By: Alex Bloom
Just for Laughs (JFL) Northwest’s Vancouver Film Festival recently came to a close on March 10. During the festival various short and feature length films were shown — for many it was their Canadian premiere. Here are some of the films shown during the festival that you should check out:
Lost in Paris (France/Belgium)
Starting off with an unconventional twist, the filmmakers themselves, Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon, star in this screwball comedy. This will, of course, be familiar to their fans. The duo — who have a long history of working together — have often played versions of themselves in their past films.
Lost In Paris follows a Canadian librarian (Gordon) who receives a strange message from her aunt in Paris, and decides to go to the French capital to investigate. During her travels she has all sorts of wacky adventures, and meets the strange yet loveable Dom (Abel). The film promises slapstick comedy, a wealth of goofiness, and the odd touching moment.
Room For Rent (Canada)
Starring late-night comedy veteran Brett Gelman and Mark Little (best known for his role in the CBC’s Mr. D), this films tells the classic — if formulaic — tale of a war between two neighbours.
Not to be confused with the horror movie of the same name, Room For Rent follows Mitch Baldwin (Little), an adult living with his parents who convinces them to look for a roommate in order to avoid selling their house. Mitch gets more than he bargained for when the somewhat creepy roommate he finds, Carl (Gelman), turns out to be a nightmare to live with. If you’re a fan of Gelman, who has appeared in Stranger Things, then you will likely enjoy this spin on a comedy trope.
This Spanish language film follows Bosco (Santiago Alverú), the son of an important government minister. After a corruption scandal in which his father is implicated, Bosco’s life takes a turn for the worst, and he is forced to abandon his luxurious lifestyle.
No longer wealthy, Bosco moves into a working class neighbourhood and learns the struggle of paying rent. What makes this fish-out-of-water comedy unique is the fact that Bosco decides to film himself throughout his experience. This social commentary promises entertainment, as well as a glimpse of Spain’s political landscape.
The Death of Stalin (UK/France/Belgium)
Written by Armando Iannucci, the writer of HBO’s Veep, this film follows the events that transpired in Russia after the death of Joseph Stalin: the political fallout, the confusion, and the violence. Boasting a star-studded cast, The Death of Stalin features actors such as Steve Buscemi, Olga Kurylenko, Jason Isaacs, Michael Palin of Monty Python, and Jeffrey Tambor.
Iannucci demonstrated his knack for political comedy in Veep, and based on the trailer, this film will not disappoint either. The combination of sharp-witted dialogue, and its slew of talented actors is likely to result in an A+ film about this tumultuous moment in Russian history.