Iconic films by BC directors screen at DGC BC showcase
Consider it a crash course in the history of homegrown filmmaking: three days of short and feature-length films by some of British Columbia’s most inventive directors, projected on the big screen at VIFF’s Vancity Theatre.
The event is the inaugural DGC BC Directors Guild of Canada B.C. District Council Directors Showcase Weekend, and the intent is to shine a spotlight on the fearless, compelling, and groundbreaking work of its members.
How fearless/compelling/groundbreaking? Tank Girl, the iconic, post-apocalyptic, feminist feast for the senses by Rachel Talalay. On Putin’s Blacklist by Boris Ivanov (a searing documentary about the autocrat that probably landed its filmmaker on a blacklist). Anne Wheeler’s Bye Bye Blues, an upbeat and unapologetic romantic drama about a woman in a Prairie town during World War II who joins a swing band. Eve and the Fire Horse by Julia Kwan, a coming-of-age story about a precocious 9-year-old that won a jury prize at Sundance. Crazy Late, Zach Lipovsky’s one-shot short comedy about a groom who’s thisclose to missing his wedding.
Here’s the full line-up for the event, which takes place September 7-9 at VIFF’s Vancity Theatre:
Keepers of the Magic
This groundbreaking documentary explores our fascination with moving images and provides insight into how cinema’s most iconic moments came to be. Most of all, it honours the great masters of cinematography—unsung heroes whose vision and talent was always right before our eyes. Legendary cinematographers including Vittorio Storaro, Roger Deakins, Gordon Willis, and John Seale share their stories and some of cinema’s most memorable images.
Bye Bye Blues
Director Anne Wheeler’s most famous and honoured film is a delicate, upbeat and unapologetic World War II romance set to the music of a Prairie swing band. When her husband is transferred to Singapore, Daisy (Rebecca Jenkins) is deposited back home in Alberta with their two kids and an old piano. In need of work, Daisy starts playing with a local dance band. Photographed by Vic Sarin, this is an evocative, finely tuned romance.
Backbone: Vancouver Experimental Cinema 1967-1981
Celebrating artistic innovation in Vancouver from 1967 to 1981, this documentary follows a period when Canada was an international hub for experimental film. Vancouver artists, on Canada’s west coast, had a particularly dynamic scene that inspired an enduring body of work that resonates today. Featuring Alex MacKenzie, Dr Ron Burnett, Colin Browne, Stan Fox and Peg Campbell.
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World
If you have never visited Haida Gwaii then this is a great place to start. Charles Wilkinson’s stunning cinematography vividly captures the raw beauty of this very special part of the world. It is also, of course, a battlefield, though Wilkinson finds reasons to hope that First Nations’ long-view of environmental sustainability can prevail over short-term economic interest. Audience Award winner: VIFF
Decades before Fury Road, Lori Petty’s shaven headed Tank Girl waged post-apocalyptic rebellion in this film maudit based on the cult British comic book. Director Rachel Talalay (now of Doctor Who fame) went all out in her determination to make “the ultimate grrrl movie”, only to suffer unkindly cuts from the studio brass. But even then, there’s nothing quite like this big, brash feminist action fantasy. Ice T plays a mutant kangaroo. Bjork, Joan Jett, and Devo mix it up on the soundtrack.
Eve and the Fire Horse
In Julia Kwan’s award-winning first feature Eve is a precocious 9-year-old girl with a wild imagination growing up in a traditional Chinese immigrant family in Vancouver. Confucian doctrines, superstition and divine visions abound. When Buddhism and Catholicism are thrown into the mix, life for Eve and her 11-year-old sister escalates into a fantasia of catastrophe, sainthood and social confusion.
On Putin’s Blacklist
Wonder how adoption became mixed up with human rights and US election conspiracies? Boris Ivanov’s lucid but enraging documentary is a depressing portrait of Russia today, where propaganda and demonization of the “other” result in institutionalized racism and homophobia, and innocent orphans are caught up in a cultural Cold War.
DGC BC Showcase: Short Films Program
The Wolf Who Came to Dinner: Bea Barkley is an eight-year-old horror fanatic with a serious problem: her mom’s brought her new boyfriend home to meet the family, and no-one but Bea seems to notice he’s a werewolf. Jem Garrard, director
The Money Pet: After his mutt accidentally eats some loose change, a man is soon bewildered to discover that his furry companion has passed the currency with compounded interest. Gary Hawes, director
Crazy Late: Jimmy Smith wakes up 5 minutes late for his own wedding with 4 blocks between him and the rest of his life. Zach Lipovsky, director
In the Deep: Jodi’s mother passed away five years ago, and since then, her father has pretty well stopped living himself. Arriving unannounced on his doorstep one day, with shattering news of her own, Jodi is determined to make the most of the time they have left. Nimisha Mukerji, director
Find tickets and schedule information at https://www.viff.org/Online/2018-dgc-bc-showcase