Firehall Films blazing back
Sure, people in other Canadian cities can spit without having it freeze before it hits the ground, but they can’t watch obscure movies in a former fire hall.
The hallowed Firehall Films are back for the new year, kicking off with 1978’s epic swan song The Last Waltz. Recorded at The Band’s final concert on Thanksgiving Day, the film, directed by Martin Scorcese, is a who’s who of late 1970s musical talent, and features many of Canada’s finest musical exports, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Hawkins and the Band itself.
Catch Neil Young stonedly staggering onto the stage, strumming aimlessly for a few seconds, and then belting a perfect version of Helpless.
“It deserves to be seen in a location with appropriate acoustics,” said Yukon film society director Ross Burnet.
On Saturday, catch The US and Us, a film by director Catherine Quinn that examines the blaringly original subject of US-Canada relations. There’s only a week and a half left to hate the United States — as an out-of-work Michael Moore most surely knows — so stand up for your Canadian sovereignty while it’s still in vogue. Quinn will be on hand for discussion after the screening.
If the Firehall doesn’t give you your fill of on-screen gunfire, feel free to pop over to the cinema on Wood St. to catch Valkyrie. Starring Tom Cruise, the film centres on the failed July 20, 1944 plot by German officers to assassinate Adolf Hitler and overthrow the Nazi regime. “When I was a kid, I always wanted to kill Hitler,” Cruise told MTV.
Although the film is not a stoner comedy, sci-fi flick or action film, the Wood St. cinema has nevertheless decided to screen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Loosely based on a 1921 short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald about a man who ages backwards, the film is described by the New York Times as “a hothouse blossom of romance, intrigue and breathtaking digital effects.” Hothouse blossoms, what a good idea…
Big hat, small venue
There’s Canadian cowboy music, and then there’s Canadian cowboy music enjoyed in a suspicious back alley iron shack. For one night only, Alberta’s Tim Hus will play at the Jarvis St. office of Music Yukon, regaling Yukoners with his rollicking style of upbeat, image-laden country. Take this line from Cattlerack Cadillac, on his newest album, Bush Pilot Buckaroo: “It’s a grouse hunter’s dream come true you can ice fish through the floor / And warm up a can of soup on the exhaust manifold.”
Hus is in the Yukon for a few days to, hopefully, get in some ice fishing before once again hitting the road in central Alberta.
Hosting intimate concerts at the small Music Yukon office may soon become a regularity, provided they “don’t piss off the neighbours too much.”
Starting at 8 p.m. at 509-B Jarvis St., enter the Music Yukon office from the back alley. Suggested donation is $10.
The great outdoors
Take a map, leave the flask
Before you race your friends across the Yukon River on snowmobiles this weekend, remind them that from January 11th to 17th, it’s International Snowmobile Safety Week. The event is especially poignant this year given the recent death of eight experienced snowmobilers in a string of avalanches outside Sparwood, BC.
Although alcohol was not a factor in the Sparwood tragedy, the International Snowmobile Manufacturer’s Association reminds snowmobilers that more than 50 per cent of snowmobile injuries are caused by drinking alcohol. Going off-trail, driving an unfamiliar machine and getting caught in blizzards are also notable concerns, the association says.
Glass and metal, together at last
Metal worker Paul Baker and glass worker Jeanine Baker are combining forces to create Fired and Formed, a unique showcase of their respective works, as well as several collaborative pieces.
Rugged and rusty, ethereal and delicate, and never skimping of its “sense of humour,” Fired and Formed is a true beauty-and-the-beast parable for mixed media.
Keep your eyes peeled for “Ruby,” a sculpture recreating the delicate lines of a woman’s torso using scrap metal (her thighs are propane tanks.)
The opening reception is from 5 to 8 p.m. at Arts Underground. The exhibition runs until February 9.
Too cold to skate
Plummeting temperatures have apparently separated the men from the boys on Canadian ice rinks, leaving only “die-hards” to brave Whitehorse’s genital-shrinking cold and play pond hockey, reported the CBC.
A year ago, Walter Gretzky, father of hockey great Wayne, reported that global warming had melted his home’s famous backyard rink — the same mythical rink on which Wayne had honed his genius hockey skills.
Too warm in Ontario, too cold up North. Anyone for squash?
Get your rocks off
This weekend, the Yukon’s women curlers faceoff in their final championships while the men go head to head in their level 1 finals. For those of you to whom the world of large rocks and pebbled ice is a mystery, drop by for the Learn to Curl clinic, presented by the Whitehorse Curling Club from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 11.
More information is at whitehorsecurlingclub.ca.
There will be a memorial held for former Yukon News owner Dave Robertson at Mt. McIntyre Recreation Centre on Saturday at 2 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.
In Sweden, January 13th is the official last day of the Christmas season, and is celebrated with a ceremonial “disposal of the Christmas tree,” or in Swedish, the “julgransplundring.” You know it’s winter when trash-disposal becomes a cause for celebration.
On January 15th, North Korea celebrates Korean Alphabet Day. The annual celebration of the 15th century invention of Korean script replaces the country’s less-popular Forced Abortion Day.
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Tristin Hopper at email@example.com