It's the most wonderful time of the year. The Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has begun and this year it's coming in hot. Local B-Grade fans need to clear their schedules tonight (Nov. 30) for a screening of Another WolfCop, an instant Canadian classic of gore, comedy and practical effects from writer-director Lowell Dean (WolfCop). Everything about this one sounds perfect: an alcoholic werewolf cop defends his hometown from a crooked self-help guru with plans to use hockey and beer to mind-control the town! There's also alien Illuminati, furries, and a talking penis with a moustache just to keep things fresh.
Another WolfCop is 80 minutes of pure genre bliss, and an example of why making movies with your buddies is always the right decision. (Personal note: Nov. 30 also marks one year since we lost beloved Whistler filmmaker, artist and HorrorFest visionary Chili Thom. The rad folks behind Another WolfCop are honouring Chili by showing a couple HorrorFest shorts before their feature screening: Chili's Oz-revisionist masterpiece Tin Man and Benny Stoddard's classic Zombie Skatepark Bloodbath. It all goes down at 9:30 p.m. tonight at the Village 8.)
There are dozens of other really incredible films at this year's WFF but for film geeks, there's one standout, don't-miss, double shot. Tommy Wiseau's The Room is arguably the best-worst movie in the history of misguided attempts at brilliance. Wiseau wrote, produced, directed and starred in this one and since its self-release in 2003, The Room has achieved a legendary cult status with a subculture of fans who attend screenings and participate in group antics. If cinema is about a shared human experience then The Room is about sharing one so shitty that to derive enjoyment from it ensures you are part of an elite club. And everyone likes to feel special.
But wait, there's more. The Room is so epically flawed that James Franco has made (and stars in) The Disaster Artist, a film based on a book about the making of The Room. And by many accounts it's the funniest flick of the year. The Disaster Artist not only celebrates Wiseau's role as a true Hollywood outsider, but also the value of chasing your dreams and creating art, even shitty art. The Room screens Dec. 2 and 3 at the Rainbow Theatre, and The Disaster Artist plays Dec. 1 and 2, also at the Rainbow.
Of course, local badass Darcy Turenne Hennessey (Jackieland, The Little Things, The Trip) is closing out the fest this year with The Moment, a Dogtown-style documentary about the birth of freeride mountain biking. It screens Sunday, Dec. 3 for two shows at the Rainbow. Rumour has it Brett Tippie will be in the building.
As well, Whistler's own Peter Harvey is back home with two features at WFF this year. He's the executive producer on The Cannon, a Canadian comedy-drama about a middle-aged male porn star who realizes his time has come, and gone. Harvey executive produced this one and it's the first feature from director Marshall Axani, best known for Anxious Oswald Greene. WFF has the world premiere of The Cannon on Dec. 1 at the Maury Young Arts Centre, and a rescreening on Dec. 3 at the Village 8.
Harvey's second contribution this year is Mobile Homes, a France-Canada co-production he line produced. Imogen Poots (Green Room, Frank & Lola) stars as a young mother drifting across the Maritimes with a dodgy boyfriend and an eight-year-old son. Ironically, a trailer park offers salvation but nothing lasts forever (even cold November rain). Mobile Homes premiered at Cannes earlier this year, but what matters most is that you can catch it tonight at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre and Dec. 1 at the Village 8.
And this is just the proverbial tip, so sit down, strap in and see as many flicks as you can this week. WFF rulez!!!