Vancouver’s Alternative Film Scene

Vancouver proves the genius of T.S. Eliot every year: April really is the cruelest month. We propose you pass it by with a bit of celluloid tourism – venture to sunny Lebanon, to New Wave Paris and then back home to the wild and woolly underbelly of your own backyard.

Caramel
A light-soaked highlight of last year’s Vancouver Film Fest, the debut feature film of Lebanese music video director Nadine Labaki is a languid but deeply felt study of the often cloistered world of the modern Middle Eastern woman. Although set in a Beirut hair salon, this is no sentimental chick flick, but rather a subtle and clear-eyed view into a rarely seen world. Gorgeous. At Fifth Avenue Cinemas.

Godard Double Bill

La Chinoise was made before the legendary student uprisings of May, 1968. The film is an anarchic collision of passion and politics, a Parisian summer-imbued tale of a band of outsider student hipsters drinking, smoking, reading Mao and of course plotting an assignation. Pierrot le Fou is a film more reminiscent of Godard’s best-known work,Breathless. Pierrot abandons his bourgeois life in Paris and runs away with Marianne, who is being hunted by Algerian hit men. A perfect evocation of Godard’s amalgam of Camus-like dread with nouvelle vague sex and cool. At the Pacific Cinematheque, April 18 – 21. La Chinoise plays until April 26. 1131 Howe Street, (604) 688-FILM.

Carts of Darkness
Don’t miss local hero Murray Siple’s roughneck doc about North Van binners who birthed the sport of shopping cart racing. A huge hit at theMountain Film Festival and now travelling to Hot Docs in Toronto, this film features local bands Black Mountain and Ladyhawk, and it’s like nothing you’ve seen. Come for the carts and the crashes, the booze and the bruises, but stay for the story of a unique brotherhood and a quiet redemption. At the Vancity Theatre, April 28 – 30. 1181 Seymour Street, (604) 683-FILM.

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