Vancouver Week in Widescreen: Maple Ridge accepts No Reservations

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      NO RESERVATIONS  Originally made for the Crazy 8s short film competition in 2017, “No Reservations” is the kind of agitprop we like: pointed as fuck, and funny as hell. 

      The great Lorne Cardinal gets to chew the scenery in Trevor Carroll’s perfectly formed 10-minute film as a representative of the “Nobridge Corporation” who shows up in the front yard of Peter and Marilyn Whiteman, “in the charming community of Sitting Pebble”, flanked by a team of First Nations construction workers ready to start work on a pipeline project that cuts right through the suburban couple’s perfectly manicured NIMBY existence.

      “Were you not at all the consultation meetings we had over the past two years?” he disingenuously asks the helpless couple.

      We’ll leave no spoilers over “No Reservations”, just be sure to catch it when it screens before Prodigal Dad, the grand opening feature at the second annual Maple Ridge Festival of BC Film, taking place at the ACT Arts Centre from Friday to Sunday (March 23-25).

      Robert Wenzek’s amiable low-budget film gives Brad Dryborough the chance to work through his fatherly emotional constipation while reconnecting with his student daughter. (Hint: the booze and weed help.) As ever, it’s nice to see Vancouver play itself—and it gives quite the performance.

      For more on the three day, strongly local-minded fest—including screenings of the Dustin Milligan/Katharine Isabelle feature Primary, Jason Bourque’s superb Drone, and Kevan Funk’s still fresh Hello Destroyergo here.

      DOUBLE LOVER  Part Brian De Palma and part Georges Bataille, director François Ozon’s audacious thriller left Cannes audiences aghast last year at its, let’s say, poetically graphic imagery. Double Lover comes to the Vancity Theatre on Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday (March 23, 25, and 27)

      JE TU IL ELLE  A year before sealing her reputation with 1975’s Jeanne Dielman, Chantal Akerman emerged with this provocative feature debut, now restored and paired at the Cinematheque with Agnes Varda’s no less vital One Sings, the Other Doesn’t. Starts Friday (March 23).

      BACKBONE: VANCOUVER EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA FROM 1967-1981  Richard Martin’s trippy look back at the city’s cinematic avant garde follows a tribute to the work of David Rimmer at the Cinematheque on Monday (March 26).

      #SAVE THE RIO FUNDRAISER  Do your bit to help preserve the last great single screen venue in Vancouver by attending this double bill of—what else?—The Disaster Artist and The Room, on Tuesday (March 27).