This week I managed to catch two very worthwhile films that, if you have a couple hours to spare, you should definitely try to see.
Monday night I saw Young @ Heart, a documentary of the Young At Heart Chorus who sing together in Northampton, Massachusetts. The chorus is a gang of seniors who range in age from 72 to 88 and sing a wide range of music including a Sonic Youth tune, some Rolling Stones, and songs like "Doo Wah Diddy" and "I Feel Good" by James Brown. The documentary is hilarious and astonishing, truly heartfelt and very moving. I won't kid around here, because no one who saw it before me warned that it is also very sad, but trust me, amid all the giggling and cheering you do in the audience, there is also some crying. These folks are octogenarians and older, remember, so health concerns are top priority for most of them. Some characters really stand out, and some of them can still REALLY sing, too! I think Young @ Heart is playing pretty widely so if you have the opportunity to see it at a local theatre, spend the 12 bucks - trust me! Everyone I know who has seen it raves about it, and I'm no exception.
Last night I went with friends to see Carts of Darkness, another documentary but this time about North Shore binners who ride shopping carts down extreme hills at great disk of death and disfigurement. For anyone outside of Vancouver, a binner makes cash to live by collecting bottles and cans and returning them for the deposit. The main guy in the film, Al (pictured), used to be a skateboarder and gets a supreme high from coasting down the steep hills of North Vancouver on a shopping cart going up to 67km/hour! The documentary covers how these guys make a living, where and how they live, jail time, and the motivation to make the film by the director, Murray Siple. Murray used to make snowboard films but was in a car accident a decade ago that left him essentially quadriplegic. This is his first film after a decade hiatus and you can feel his thrill to be back behind the camera and to be...well, you'll see! I doubt this will be circulating very widely since it's a low budget, local film, but it's funded by the NFB so you might be able to get a hold of it through them somehow. Jaw-dropping action, I guarantee you!