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FREE | AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019

Volume 53 | Number 2692

ARTISTS AFLOAT Blue Cabin opens

PINOT NOIR Six B.C. picks

LATIN FILMS Dreamers battle ICE

TaiwanFest Sorry Youth mixes the personal with the political—and the Taiwanese indie rockers aren't sorry that they’ve been banned from China

PERCUSSION

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ORVILLE PECK

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HEALTH GIFT

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WELFARE SCRAP


2 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019


CANADA SHOWCASE Daily, 12, 2 & 5pm

Join us throughout the day for wonderful live entertainment at Festival Park, highlighted by the Canada Showcase— a cultural mosaic of dynamic dancers and exhilarating musical performers.

Festival Park Nights, 7 & 8:30pm 40th ANNIVERSARY

Moon Coin Show Band August 22, 23, 24

Electric Fire: A Pyro Musical Finale Nightly, 10:15pm A nightly pyro musical finale where the skies erupt with flying rockets, exploding fire, live performers and high-voltage intensity. It’s a 360º, immersive show experience.

R&B Allstars August 25, 27, 28, 29

Ten Souljers August 30, 31, Sep 1, 2

Hot Glass: Glass Blowing Demonstrations Daily, 12–6pm Learn the characteristics of molten glass, and how its properties make it possible to be blown and shaped, as the Hot Shop Team from the Museum of Glass demonstrate the process of creating works of art.

AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 3


CONTENTS

August 22 – 29 / 2019

15 COVER

Taiwanese indie rockers Sorry Youth have no concerns whatsoever about being prohibited from performing in China. By Adrian Mack

6

NEWS

Antipoverty activists want the legislature’s finance committee to recommend a hike in welfare rates. By Carlito Pablo

14 FOOD

Local and global chefs converge at this year’s TaiwanFest to flex their culinary muscles. By Tammy Kwan

17 ARTS

Theatrical as its elaborately choreographed shows are, Taiwan’s Ju Percussion Group is all about the music. By Alexander Varty

20 MOVIES

The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival punks ICE with the award-winning docudrama, The Infiltrators. By Adrian Mack

e Start Here 17 ARTS TIP SHEET 14 THE BOTTLE 16 CONFESSIONS 11 HEALTH 10 HOROSCOPES 14 I SAW YOU 21 MOVIE REVIEWS 23 SAVAGE LOVE 19 THEATRE

e Online TOP 5

Here’s what people are reading this week on Straight.com.

1 2 3 4 5

e Listings 19 ARTS 16 MUSIC

e Services 22 CLASSIFIEDS

Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly Volume 53 | Number 2692 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 T: 604.730.7000 F: 604.730.7010 E: gs.info@straight.com straight.com DISPLAY ADVERTISING: T: 604.730.7020 F: 604.730.7012 E: sales@straight.com

CLASSIFIEDS: T: 604.730.7060 E: classads@straight.com SUBSCRIPTIONS: 604.730.7000

Spread of fake grass is worse than any ills it’s meant to cover up Site of Vancouver’s first train station set for revival 143 years of sex-based discrimination in Indian Act comes to a close Two local men missing since July found dead near Ashcroft Ride-hailing companies will operate without maximum rates

GeorgiaStraight @GeorgiaStraight

DISTRIBUTION: 604.730.7087

@GeorgiaStraight

The Georgia Straight is published every Thursday by the Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. Copies are distributed free every week throughout Vancouver, Burnaby, North and West Vancouver, New Westminster, and Richmond. International Standard Serial Number ISSN 0709-8995. Subscription rates in Canada $182.00/52 issues (includes GST), $92.00/26 issues (includes GST); United States $379.00/52 issues, $205.00/26 issues; foreign $715.00/52 issues, $365.00/26 issues. Contact 604-730-7087 if you wish to distribute free copies of the Georgia Straight at your place of business. Entire contents copyright © 2019 Vancouver Free Press, Best Of Vancouver, Bov And Golden Plates Are Trade-Marks Of Vancouver Free Press Publishing Corp. SUBMISSIONS The Straight accepts no responsibility for, and will not necessarily respond to, any submitted materials. All submissions should be addressed to contact@straight.com. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #40009178, return undeliverable Canadian addresses to The Georgia Straight, 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C, V6J 1W9

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NEWS

Committee omits antipoverty measure

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by Carlito Pablo

very year, an all-party committee of the B.C. legislative assembly does a familiar routine. The finance and government services committee goes around the province, asks the public what they want to see in the upcoming budget, and releases a report. As far as antipoverty proponent Trish Garner remembers, one measure is always included in the committee’s list of recommendations. It’s for the government to increase income- and disability-assistance rates. Whether or not the government adopts the recommendation is another thing. When the current committee issued its report on August 7, Garner and her colleagues with the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition were shocked and disappointed. Garner claims that for the first time in many years, the committee did not recommend an increase. “I’m never sure how much the government takes from the finance committee and their final report, but I do think that, at least, it should be in

there, even if the government are not acting upon it,” Garner told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview. Garner’s coalition has launched a campaign to correct what it considers an error by the committee. “We’re asking our supporters around the province to email the finance committee to let them know that…they made a mistake in their recommendations,” Garner explained. The province has seen two increases in assistance rates under the B.C. NDP government of Premier John Horgan. One was a $100 monthly increase, which was announced a few days after Horgan was sworn into office in July 2017. The second one was a $50 raise to monthly rates, which was part of the 2019 budget. The $150 increase has boosted income assistance for a single and employable person to $760 per month. A person on disability assistance now gets $1,183 per month. In its report, the legislative committee noted that several organizations have “acknowledged recent increases to income and disability assistance

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rates, but explained that they still remain well below the poverty line”. According to the committee, the groups “stressed that further increases are required”. In addition, these increases should be tied to what is known as the Market Basket Measure, which represents a basic standard of what a person needs as calculated by Statistics Canada, and indexed to the cost of living. A submission by the B.C. Poverty Reduction Coalition noted that the MBM ranges from $1,476 to $1,675 a month in B.C. for a single person. For a family of four and depending on which community they live in, the amount is between $2,952 and $3,350. The committee made three recommendations regarding social assistance. One suggestion reads: “Provide long-term training and education to low-income individuals to enable them to transition into stable, wellpaying jobs.” Committee chair and B.C. NDP Maple Ridge–Mission MLA Bob D’Eith was out camping, and could not be reached by his staff for official comment. g

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AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 7


Richmond World Festival celebrates diversity (This story is sponsored by the City of Richmond.)

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nyone who has yet to make plans for the Labour Day long weekend should be sure to add the Richmond World Festival to their calendar. Now in its fifth year, the two-day event— produced by the City of Richmond and presented by Coast Capital Savings—is a celebration of music, food, and culture from around the world. Thousands of fans from across Metro Vancouver are expected to attend the festival, taking place at Minoru Park (7191 Granville Avenue) on August 30 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and August 31 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. With more than 100 artists on eight stages, there’s sure to be something for everyone. Better still, admission is free and it is conveniently located just a couple of blocks from the Brighouse Canada Line SkyTrain station. In addition to the stellar lineup of entertainment, this year’s festival sees the return of the ever-popular FEASTival of Flavours. More than 60 of the region’s best food trucks will be onsite, where hungry guests can experience different cultures through a variety of delectable bites. Attendees should also be ready to enjoy performances by a selection of chart-topping Canadian headliners, making the Richmond World Festival the must-see festival of the summer. On Friday, alternative-radio mainstay Bedouin Soundclash will be starting the party with its distinctive reggae-pop sound. On Saturday, the Juno-award-winning Strumbellas will take the stage, singing the smash-hit single “Spirits”, along with other current and new songs. This year’s YVR Mosaic Main Stage will welcome radio sensation Jocelyn Alice and critically acclaimed Halifax duo Neon Dreams. Alice rose to fame with her 2015 breakout summer song, “Jackpot”, which was certified platinum in Can-

Visitors to the free event, taking place on August 30 and 31 at Minoru Park, will be able to enjoy a variety of entertainment and food from around the world.

ada. Since then, her songs have received more than 100 million streams, including the singles “Still Wondering”, “I Know”, and “Bound to You”. Neon Dreams has experienced huge success since first hitting the airwaves in 2014. The beautiful melodies and emotional chords have earned the band a Canadian Radio Music Award for best new group a performance at the Juno Awards, its own Warner Music-backed record label, and even a spot on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s summer Spotify playlist. The reach of talent at Richmond World Festival extends far beyond the borders of Canada. Audiences at this year’s event will also enjoy performances by imports that include Veronica Fusaro from Switzerland and Quinta Kalavera from Mexico. Many community-based cultural groups and dance troupes will take the stage, along with colourful performances taking place as entertainers roam the festival site.

Look out for the new Africa Zone, which will feature amazing artists, fun activities, and a variety of vendors showcasing everything from batiks to bolga baskets. In the Africa Pavilion, festivalgoers will be able to enjoy a drumming demonstration led by Ezeadi Onukwulu. Other cultural pavilions at this year’s festival will represent China, Hong Kong, Japan, Russia, and Taiwan. Don’t miss the chance to experience a two-day adventure around the globe—right in Richmond’s back yard. g Richmond World Festival takes place at Minoru Park (7191 Granville Avenue) on August 30 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and August 31 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, the festival lineup, and lists of things to do, visit the website at richmondworldfestival. com/ or follow @RichmondWorldFest on Facebook and Instagram, using the hashtag #RichmondWorldFest.

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HOROSCOPE AUGUST 22 TO 28, 2019

T

by Rose Marcus

he sun officially cuts the ribbon on back-to-it month on Friday. Venus and Mars, both freshly into Virgo, team up on Saturday to begin a new two-year make-it-better cycle. Mercury, the last of the summertime holdouts in Leo, will enter Virgo next Thursday. Next Friday, a super new moon in Virgo hits the on switch. If this boost from the get-down-to-task sign doesn’t talk you into rolling up your sleeves, watch for the stars to twist your arm. Spanning the past four years, there have been two preceding Venus/Mars cycles. Third time the payout? This next apprenticeship run is set to refine your/our skill set by making what or who isn’t cutting the mustard too obvious to ignore. Mercury, still in Leo as this new cycle starts, keeps our best interest at heart and at the top of the search engine. As we move through the next two years, we’ll have another opportunity to make the necessary improvement, to heal, mend what has been broken, and fill in what has been missing or eluded us so far. Venus trines Uranus on Monday, Mars trines Uranus on Wednesday, and the sun does so next Thursday. All three “open for business” transits put good timing to work. See activities and communication hit a good stride.

A

ARIES

March 20–April 20

Ready to get back to it? All efforts to clean up and fix up are well supported by the stars. At the start of a new two-year cycle on Saturday, Venus and Mars set you on a next (karmic) chapter regarding relationships, personal and work-related. Monday and Wednesday are best for a fresh start and/or to explore fresh options.

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On Saturday, Mars and Venus, freshly into Virgo, join forces to set a two-year initiative into play. This is the third cycle in a row that has set you up for significant personal/ karmic growth. Monday through next Friday, you’re off to an excellent start. Serendipity is on your side. September 23–October 23

Mercury in Leo will hold out in your social and pleasure sector through next Thursday, but Mars, Venus, and the sun, freshly into Virgo, get you in the mood to work. Even so, there’s no need to force it or sweat it for the week ahead. All three, well aligned with Uranus, keep synchronicity in good flow for the week ahead. October 23–November 22

Friday/Saturday could see you take on a significant commitment or sign a contract. At the very least, the stars are likely to help you get better focused regarding what’s in your best interest and/or how to play it next. The week ahead should prove to be a natural progression. On Wednesday, Mars and Uranus deliver an energy boost. November 22–December 21

Mars and Venus hit refresh on Saturday. Together they place you at a threshold of significance. Whether it is a feeling or a fact, there is no denying that the past is over and that your new reality is already well in the works. Monday through Thursday, Uranus keeps you on the upswing. Wednesday is your best day to rev it up or get going.

It’s time to get your act together! Virgo month is one of your best for doing just that. Mars provides motivation, Venus lends you a better appreciation for what’s involved, and the sun in Virgo revitalizes you. Forming a CAPRICORN good run in the week ahead (Monday, December 21–January 20 Wednesday, and Thursday), all three Friday brings a noticeable planets sync up with Uranus. Good timing/better timing supports you now. energy or attention shift. Saturday, Venus and Mars set you onto a twoGEMINI year set-the-play-in-motion and/or May 21–June 21 move-beyond-it growth cycle. Over Whether it’s a coat of paint or the week ahead, you should find youra change of wardrobe or of attitude, a self quick on the ball, especially in spruce-up does you good. A new two- spotting a good deal, scoring an adyear fill-in/find-what’s-missing and vantage, or reading between the lines. better-your-best cycle begins. Next AQUARIUS week is ideal for scooping bargains and January 20–February 18 making the most of what you have to It’s time to get to work! Venus work with. Uranus puts opportunity and Mars begin a new cycle on Satand good timing on your side. urday. The sun (Friday) and Mercury CANCER (next Thursday) hit it fresh in Virgo, June 21–July 22 helping you make improvements Is there another way to get the where your want it the most—i.e., fijob done or to get what you need? You nances and one-on-one relationships. bet. As of Saturday, Venus and Mars Monday through Friday, Uranus keeps place you at the start of a two-year fix- good timing on your side. it/improve-it track. Monday, WednesPISCES day, and next Thursday, the stars enlist February 18–March 20 Uranus. Launch yourself and watch You’re about to get a lot busier, the stars show up for you. Better help, advice, options, or solutions are on especially if you are self-employed or work with the public. Use the week the horizon. ahead to clear clutter and to get a LEO jump-start on the fresh agenda. MonJuly 22–August 23 day and Wednesday are good for The sun makes an exodus out exploring options, meet-ups, and/or of your sign on Friday, but you’ll have working it out. g

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ast year, retired Vancouver businesswoman and Taiwanese-Canadian community leader Carol Pan feared that she might be nearing the end of her life. On the Labour Day weekend during the annual TaiwanFest celebration, she was clutching her stomach in pain as she tried to enjoy the festivities. It turned out to be a stage IV tumour—also referred to as metastatic cancer because it had spread from another part of the body. Pan had already undergone four cancer operations since 2008 after being diagnosed with melanoma. Her lymph nodes had been removed. She had been treated for breast cancer. And now this. Her oncologist, Dr. Kerry Savage, wanted her to have a positron-emission tomography scan to determine treatment options. The B.C. health plan covered the cost of this being done in Washington state, and Pan and her husband Leigh went down with her. After all, they had been married 47 years and had been together since they met in university 55 years earlier in Taiwan. This was a medical emergency and these nuclear medicine functional imaging tests, known as PET scans, can detect minuscule metastasis of cancer cells. That enables physicians to pinpoint treatments. In the end, Pan was prescribed immunotherapy, which helps the immune system mount its own defences against tumours. “It’s a wonder drug. It worked!” Pan told the Straight in an interview alongside her husband in her downtown condo. “I always tell people ‘If you have cancer, just hang in there. They are doing so much research.’ ” This year, Pan is looking forward to the 30th-anniversary edition of TaiwanFest on the Labour Day weekend, this time without any pain. The tumour has vanished and this time, she didn’t have to undergo any surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatments. The president and CEO of the B.C. Cancer Foundation, Sarah Roth, told the Straight that immunotherapy is an exciting new way to treat cancer, though she cautioned that it doesn’t work for everyone. “It can be a less toxic therapy if you compare with chemotherapy and radiation,” she said. “And it has less side effects and can be way more precise and effective. “So Carol is a great example,” Roth continued. “She had a pretty

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Carole Pan and her husband, Leigh, decided to buy a $1-million PET/CT scanner to help B.C. cancer patients after innovative immunotherapy eliminated her tumour.

serious cancer and a new immunotherapy drug became available to try on her, and it worked.” The B.C. Cancer Agency is one of the leading centres when it comes to doing clinical trials testing immunotherapy, according to Roth. She emphasized that it helps to have the very best diagnostic machinery to be able to detect the presence of cancer cells in the body. “With cancer, we need to go deeper and see what’s happening at the cellular level—and see the difference between the healthy cell and the unhealthy cell,” she said. “That’s what the PET scan allows.” Pan knows this as well as anyone, having undergone cancer treatments for more than a decade. So after she healed from her last tumour, she and Leigh decided to buy a PET/CT scanner to help others in a similar situation. According to Leigh, they didn’t even debate the issue. It cost them about $1 million. They were able to do this because before retiring in 2008, they operated a successful wholesale company for many years, supplying rhodonite and jade sculptures to retailers. Pan said that they couldn’t have succeeded in business if it hadn’t been for their loyal Canadian customers. At that point, her husband interjected, noting that they owe everything they have to Canada. “I actually never made any money in Taiwan,” he quipped. When they made the decision to

buy the PET/CT machine, there were only two of these medical devices in B.C. A third has since been installed in Victoria and a fourth will be added in Kelowna next year. The B.C. Cancer Agency in Vancouver has the machine bought by the Pans, but it hasn’t been installed yet. “These machines do thousands and thousands of scans, upwards of 10,000 a year,” Roth said. She expressed appreciation to the Pans for allowing the B.C. Cancer Foundation to publicize their gift and put their picture in the B.C. Cancer Agency building. Last month, Pan’s sister-in-law was visiting from out of town, so the Pans decided to show her the facility. Much to Pan’s surprise, a woman in the PET/CT scan waiting room recognized her and came running after her as the three of them were leaving the building. “She came up to us and she started crying—the tears were going down her face,” Pan said. This cancer patient said she couldn’t have a biopsy because of where her cancer was located, so she really needed a PET scan. And she declared profound gratitude to Pan and her husband for making their generous donation. This highly emotional experience left a lasting impression on Pan, not to mention her husband. “They were hugging each other,” Leigh Pan recalled. “I was so touched.” g

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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < AMBLESIDE ROCK SHELLY & JAY

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 18, 2019 WHERE: Ambleside Rock

I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 19, 2019 WHERE: Expo Line

Shelly, I was the tall guy with a yellow t-shirt that stood beside you at the Ambleside Rock show. We had brief chats. You have a beautiful smile and poise. I asked you if you would be back next year... but I don't think I want to wait that long, Jay.

You were wearing all black with black Vans, tattoos, short hair and clear glasses frames. I almost fell over when the train started. A stretch but... want to get coffee?

YOU FORGOT YOUR TRAVEL MUG, CELINE!

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 31, 2019 WHERE: Nanaimo Ferry You first caught my eye when I saw you change in your car - I couldn’t believe a Canadian National Treasure would do such a thing! When I finally got a closer look I realized you weren’t actually Celine Dion but a convincing doppelgänger. I noticed you leave your travel mug behind maybe I could return it and you could also be my Cinderella?

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 17, 2019 WHERE: Biltmore Hotel HELLO JENKS! Meeting you was truly a delight! I trust you enjoyed it too. So, what happened? I waited for you to return. Looked around for a while. Was that your way of saying, "BYE FELICIA"?

BICYCLE ROUTE FLIRTING

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 15, 2019 WHERE: Produce Section Buy Low Foods Kingsgate It was all too quick in the produce section... you were wearing a light blue dress with shoulder straps... collar length brown hair and lovely smile... Me: wearing rust/ black shirt with bad sandy hair day. Saw you again in checkout line up and kicked myself for not saying hello! You shop there often? Hope so.

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 16, 2019 WHERE: 10th Ave Bike Route We were riding east on the 10th Avenue Bike Route from Kits to East Van. I rode behind you for a while, tried to smile at you when I passed you. You were wearing a rainbow striped top, riding along. I caught a light and got ahead, then waited for you to catch up. I had to stop at the clinic and saw you ride by looking at me. I waved but not sure you saw. I hope so and that you see this, let’s go for a bike ride again?

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 14, 2019 WHERE: Moore Hotel, Seattle You and your pizza shared the tiny hotel elevator with me and my friend after the Stones concert. We met again next morning at checkout and talked rock ‘n’ roll on the lobby sofas. I was too wrung out from the fantastic show to think to ask for your number. Meet for a drink if you’re back in Seattle for the Who?

YOU MADE MY DAY

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 13, 2019 WHERE: UBC I was on my bike on the alley behind Ritsumeikan and Totem Park at UBC; you were walking toward me wearing the most fetching orange dress. Despite my goofy garb, you gave me the warmest greeting, and I was too pleasantly stunned to respond appropriately. Second chance? What was I wearing?

TAKING YOUR GIRL CAMPING

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 15, 2019 WHERE: Ferry Over to Victoria You were the dad with two cute kids... dropping one off and taking your oldest camping. I was the mom taking my two to visit a friend. You seemed really nice. I hope you had a great trip, it sounded really special!

SOPHIE FROM AUSTRALIA LIVING IN KITSILANO

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 9, 2019 WHERE: The Red Room Downtown Vancouver Sophie, we met last Friday (Aug. 9th) at The Red Room in Vancouver and tried to get my wasted heart fixed because it used to skip a beat since we danced together. The bitter truth is: it beats even faster than ever now that I didn't ask for your number before you left. The problem is that such a fast heartbeat is not only bad for my health but also makes me wanna watch‚ "Love Actually" on repeat for days. Since I can't afford renting out the DVD too much longer, I need you to reach out to me as soon as possible. Or anyone who knows her... Sophie, blond, from Australia (Melbourne) and living in Vancouver (Kitsilano) for 2 years. Any help is appreciated - J

WE MET ON THE WEST COAST TRAIL AUG 9-10

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I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: AUGUST 9, 2019 WHERE: Pachena Bay

You were hiking from Nitinaht to Pachena with 3 high school friends from Duncan. We were camped next to each other at Michigan Creek; you sauntered into camp with a pack full of wood and you were so handsome. My group followed you all the way to the cafe in Bamfield and you gave me a hug. I’ve been kicking myself for not joining your campfire or even asking your name! I guess this is a long shot... but I would love a second chance at another hug.

Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ 14 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019

FOOD

Flavours of Vietnam infuse TaiwanFest

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by Tammy Kwan

ong Kong, Japan, and the Philippines: these places have all been in the spotlight at the annual TaiwanFest in Vancouver, a cultural extravaganza that likes to feature other Asian nations. This year, Vietnam will steal the show when the popular festival returns to the city from August 31 to September 2. Riding the Waves With Vietnam is the theme for 2019, and a Vietnamese flair will be incorporated into the event’s musical performances, exhibitions, film showcases, and arguably the most anticipated aspect: food. One of the main culinary programs at this year’s festival is the Friendship Kitchen: cooking demonstrations and classes led by local and international chefs. Familiar names like Hidekazu Tojo (Tojo’s Restaurant), Chi Le (Chi Modern Vietnamese Kitchen), and Ching-Lung Hung (Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle) will dialogue with various chefs from abroad. One of the invited guests is Manh Hung Nguyen, a celebrity chef from Hanoi. He has his own cooking shows and has written several cookbooks, but it wasn’t an easy path to get to where he is today. “I grew up in a small village outside Hanoi, and we were very poor. My dad died when I was very young, and my mother worked every day to make enough money for me and my sister to grow up,” Nguyen told the Straight on the line from Vietnam. “We didn’t have enough money for food. I was always watching cooking shows on TV, which was the best way to see food.” These daily shows inspired him to pursue a career in the culinary arts. He’s worked in authentic Vietnamese restaurants as well as a French dining establishment, which has influenced his western and traditional cooking techniques. For TaiwanFest, Nguyen has taken up a few challenges presented to him by Vancouver’s own Chef Tojo. The visiting celebrity chef will incorporate Vietnamese cooking styles and flavours into Japanese cuisine. Attendees can expect to see Japanese soba, tempura, and sushi made with spring rolls and fish sauce. “The meaning of the festival is to bring cultures combined together to show the people about Vietnamese food, so I’m very happy to do that in Canada for the first time,” added Nguyen. Another guest chef will be Josie Chang, owner of Petit Été Vietnamese restaurant in Taichung, Taiwan. She happens to be Nguyen’s friend, and the two have visited each other’s home country to learn about its cuisines. Chang originally worked in the finance industry, but decided to pursue her dream of professional cooking. It

Hanoi-based celebrity chef Manh Hung Nguyen will blend the cooking styles of his homeland into Japanese cuisine.

helped that she had roommates from Vietnam who knew how to create delicious meals, which motivated her to learn how to make Vietnamese food for Taiwanese people. “My customers enjoy my interpretation of Vietnamese food,” Chang told the Straight in a phone interview. “They tell me my food is as competitive as other restaurants in larger cities, [and] they give me support in helping me pursue my dream.” Chang has come a long way since she first entered the gastronomic world, when people would often ask why a Taiwanese person would even think to prepare Vietnamese fare in Taiwan. “I said, ‘If Taiwanese people can cook French, Italian, and Japanese, why can’t I make Vietnamese cuisine?’ ” She’ll be integrating Taiwanese-style cooking into her Vietnamese creations, such as spring rolls made with shrimp and shredded chicken, paired with fish sauce for dipping. “Food is a common language,” explained Chang. “We want to meet Vancouver people through the sharing of food, and by cultural exchanges with different types of food.” g TaiwanFest takes place from August 31 to September 2 at various downtown Vancouver locations, including the Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza, the Orpheum Annex, and sites along Granville Street.

B.C. Pinot Noir finds its own freshness

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by Kurtis Kolt

’ve recently returned from a handful of days in British Columbia’s sunny Okanagan Valley, where vintage 2019 is humming right along. We’re at the veraison point of the year, when grapes are ripening at a good clip, and the skins are beginning to change colour. There’s a palpable sense of relief at the relatively small number of wildfires in the region this season. The purpose of the trip was to moderate a seminar at the fifth edition of the B.C. Pinot Noir Celebration. Titled Something Old, Something New, it was an exploration of the age-ability of B.C. Pinot Noir, with four wineries each presenting a library edition of their Pinot alongside a current release. My big take-away is how local Pinot Noir reflects its terroir of origin, rather than its producers trying to emulate other iconic Pinot regions around the world, from Burgundy in France to the Russian River Valley in California. No matter which B.C. region it hailed from, each one had a freshness and purity of fruit, along with juicy acidity—a common trait in B.C. wine. I was quite impressed that compared to other reds—from Bordeaux-inspired blends to Syrah—the B.C. Pinot Noirs were all tasty and approachable, whether we were looking at current, more fruit-forward releases, or bottlings as far back as a 2006 from Averill Creek on Vancouver Island. It had started to exhibit those more savoury, tertiary notes like sarsaparilla and sun-dried tomato, but still had great structure and was buoyant on the palate. Here’s a look at highlights, first from the four wineries participating in my seminar, and a couple extra gems I enjoyed over the weekend. These can all be enjoyed now, but by all means lay ’em down a few years

to allow them to integrate more and bursts with Rainier cherries, Italian plums, and roasted Red Haven peachhit their stride. es, dusted with a light smattering of AVERILL CREEK VINEYARD nutmeg and clove. Stock up! SOMENOS PINOT NOIR 2016

(Vancouver Island; $49.08, averill creek.ca/) With climate change showing no sign of stopping, the cool-climate conditions of Vancouver Island make it poised to be the next great home of Pinot Noir in North America. Until recently, proprietor Andy Johnston had to tent or wrap the vines early in the season to create a greenhouse effect so the vines would jump-start into action, ensuring a long enough growing season. But he’s now doing away with the method, as they seem to be good on their own these days. This is a lovely, breezy ode to cherries and plums, as pretty on the palate as it is on the nose. CEDARCREEK ESTATE WINERY BLOCK 4 PINOT NOIR 2016

(Okanagan Valley; $54.99, cedarcreek. bc.ca/) Winemaker Taylor Whelan’s sandy, loamy soils in Block 4 of the CedarCreek vineyard offer great drainage, ensuring those 20-plus-year-old vines work hard, digging deep for water and any nutrients down there. Concentrated darker berry fruit is all in the right place: blackberries, mulberries, and blueberries are on a fine pedestal of French oak, lifting them but not getting in the way.

TANTALUS VINEYARDS PINOT NOIR 2017

(Okanagan Valley; $29.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) I’m a huge Riesling fan, and I think winemaker Dave Paterson’s takes on the grape are some of the best in the nation, which is why I feel guilty when my visits with his Pinot Noirs don’t occur nearly as often. Every time I have one, I fall in love all over again. Here, his deft touch brings fresh lilacs to red berry fruit, kissed with just enough French oak to frame it all well. KITSCH 5 BARREL PINOT NOIR 2017

(Okanagan Valley, B.C.; $69, kitschwines.ca/) If you’re looking for a Pinot Noir that has a little more weight and power, check out winemaker Grant Biggs’s bottling of the best fruit from his top five barrels, and revel in gobs of purple fruit, hearty splashes of mocha, and charismatic notes of cardamom and garam masala. NICHE WINE CO. PINOT NOIR BLANC 2018

(Okanagan Valley; $20.49, niche winecompany.com/) Every year I enjoy James and Joanna Schlosser’s quirky take on PiMEYER FAMILY VINEYARDS PINOT not Noir, removing the skins off the NOIR 2018 bat and making it into a white wine. (Okanagan Valley; $22.71, mfvwines. There’s a lush, brioche-y roundness com/) to it, with apricots, nectarines, and a Winemaker Chris Carson’s single- good lashing of nutmeg on the finish. vineyard Pinot Noirs are some of the best in Canada, but don’t ignore All of those listed as available his “entry-level” take on the grape, winery-direct can also be found at sourced from Okanagan Falls, Ke- private retailers around town, usulowna, and Kaleden vineyards. It ally for just a few bucks more. g


music

Taiwan’s Sorry Youth is unapologetic

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by Adrian Mack

here’s a saying, the Georgia Straight is told. “Hong Kong today, tomorrow Taiwan.” “Meaning,” explains Chung-Han, a.k.a. Fred, drummer with Taiwanese rockers Sorry Youth, “the situation is the same, it’s just that there’s an ocean between the mainland and Taiwan, so it’s safer for us. But actually, with an authoritarian government like China, Taiwanese should be more cautious about the situation.” Fred and his two bandmates in Sorry Youth, Weni (guitar and vocals) and Giang Giang (bass and vocals), are talking to the Straight in midAugust, only minutes after wrapping a gig in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan. A week earlier, the alt-rock band played in Hong Kong as the former British colony entered its 10th week of massive pro-democracy demonstrations. China answered with an ominous display of military might across the bay in Shenzhen. “So we directly talked to those youngsters of Hong Kong. And they actually are worried about the situation in Taiwan,” continues Fred, speaking English with impressive skill. “If we decided to accept the threat of China, [it] will push more than ever before. They will try make us sign a ‘peaceful’ deal with them, but it’s not peaceful at all. It’s actually just like the example of Hong Kong, right now.” Both the former British colony and the island nation of Taiwan endure an uneasy coexistence with the People’s Republic of China. It’s Taiwan, however, that elected, in 2016, its first president of Aboriginal descent, Tsai

Taiwanese indie band Sorry Youth blends ’90s-style alternative rock with jazzy textures and traditional folk influences.

Ing-wen. And it’s Taiwan that historically exerts the fiercest desire for autonomy, noisily expressed through one of the most politically charged music scenes on the planet. When Sorry Youth arrives in Vancouver next Sunday (September 1) as part of this year’s TaiwanFest, it follows an array of previous artist-activists— Aphasia, Kou Chou Ching, Fire EX— whose music is an implicit cry for Taiwanese independence. True to form, notes Fred, Sorry Youth makes an immediate statement by singing in its native “local language, not Mandarin”. Otherwise, the band’s 2017 album, Brothers Shouldn’t Live Without Dreams, concentrates on more personal matters, often with a sweeping sense of drama. The alternative-rock template remains from 2012 debut Seafood, recalling Mellon Collie–era Smashing Pumpkins in “The Kitchen I Remember” or

The pop music is all the same, but in the local indie scene you could listen to a variety of music. – Chung-Han, a.k.a. Fred

mutant New Order channelling Asian psych on album closers “Running On” and “Undercurrent”. But the beats are more limber, Weni’s guitar work more textured and jazzy, while the addition of horns and traditional influences—

beiguan music on “Child of God”, spoken-word liam kua on “Friends”— thrillingly suggests the collision of Taiwanese folk with ’90s Britpop. Also in contrast to Seafood, the new album was recorded live with few overdubs, 10-minute title track included. Sorry Youth might have cooled its studio jets for five years while plying day jobs, but in the meantime the band evolved into a monster live act with an expanded musical imagination. Fred figures that’s likely to happen when you live and play in Taipei. “Comparing to the mainstream music, Taiwan’s indie music is kind of motivation for people to listen to different types of music,” he says. “Because in Taiwan, the pop music is all the same, but in the local indie scene you could listen to a variety of music, whatever it is—pop music, blues, jazz, rock ’n’ roll. We think it’s more creative than the pop music.”

The mention of Taiwan’s most commercially successful act, Mayday, triggers an eruption of knowing laughter from the entire band—although Fred allows that “the first album is very good”—and nobody seems particularly perturbed that Sorry Youth wasn’t allowed to visit mainland China when a friend from Taipei tried to organize a show in Shanghai. “The immigration bureau rejected our application. We don’t know why,” says Fred. “They didn’t tell us,” remarks a laconic Weni. “But that’s all right. We didn’t care.” The band, in fact, has no interest in that market, rejecting several bids to tour and release its albums on the mainland. “No freedom,” they reply in chorus, when asked why. But it’s a disingenuous question. Taiwan’s internal cultural fire promises more excitement than a thousand uniform stadium shows. Fred and his bandmates rave about Taiwanese acts ranging from veteran blues rocker Wu Bai to legendary chaos merchants LTK Commune. (“Like the Sex Pistols of Taiwan,” says Fred.) If western rock music has reached a terminal slump after decades of domestication by commercial forces, Taiwan’s is still in its screaming infancy. “In our music history,” says Weni, “there’s no golden age of rock ’n’ roll.” “Not yet!” says Fred. Be advised: today Taiwan, tomorrow the world! g TaiwanFest runs at various venues from August 31 to September 2. More information is at www.taiwanfest.ca/.

Peck has his own yee-haw agenda

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by Mike Usinger

s high concepts go, it’s brilliant to the point where one has trouble getting a handle on what’s fiction and what’s reality. At face value, Orville Peck might be the best thing to happen to country music since Kacey Musgraves, who’s made a modern cottage industry out of subverting one of the most stubbornly traditional genres in popular music. One commands the stage at Coachella with “When I say ‘Yee’, you say ‘Haw’,” and then bitch-slaps the audience for being unable to follow simple directions with “I didn’t fucking say ‘Yee’.” The other isn’t afraid to salt his lyrics with yee haw, two words that—unless your name is Kacey Musgraves— haven’t belonged in country music since CBS pulled the plug on Hee Haw. The amazing thing about Peck? Well, for a start, there’s nothing cartoony about the way he yells “Yee haw” in the middle of “Take You Back (The Iron Hoof Cattle Call)”, a song on his stunner of a debut album, Pony. It’s not easy to come off as dead serious when you hit the stage in a cowboy hat, post-Nudie’s western finery, and— most famous of all—an identity-obscuring, bandannalike mask. And what brilliantly theatrical masks he wears— think the Lone Ranger, if he had a thing for leather and Victorian lampshades. Or the Coen brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, if the titular singing cowboy had a thing for the films of Federico Fellini. And it’s when one takes Peck’s signature masks and then considers his back story that things get truly interesting. The singer identifies as queer, which makes him something of a rarity in a genre where the target audience is whisky-drinking good ol’ boys and the cheating women who love them. He’s also Canadian. Do your research—which, sadly, these days consists of spending 3.2 seconds on Google— and you’ll find plenty of speculation he was heavily involved in Vancouver’s fabled Emergency Room scene. You might even have seen him help re-create the Last Supper at the Legion on Main for a Georgia Straight Best of Vancouver Bands photo shoot. His strongly DIY punk-rock past gives him a different take on country music. On Pony, Peck mostly comes off as a traditionalist—a lonesome cowboy who’d be happier on the sunbaked plains of 1895 Nevada. Occasionally, he’ll drop the façade a bit—pay attention and you’ll notice the Velvet Underground–strength distortion in “Kansas (Remembers Me Now)” and the garage-goth organs in “Old River”. Mostly, though, this is the album you want on when you’re sitting around a full-moon campfire in the middle of nowhere with Chris Isaak, Nick Cave, Lana Del

Orville Peck is a new kind of country outlaw: he’s a musical traditionalist who happens to be both Canadian and queer.

Rey, and the ghosts of Marty Robbins and Roy Orbison. Peck—who is on famously progressive Sub Pop in the States—has noted that he’s received letters from folks in Middle America thanking him for making country great again. Which is ironic, because he’s hardly positioned himself as a man who’d be at home breaking bread with Godfearing churchgoers, most of whom would presumably have trouble relating to “Winds Change” lyrics like “Left my mind in the Salt Lake City/Met a lot of men who would call me pretty.” And they’d be less than open-minded about the video for “Hope to Die”, which looks like something David Lynch might have dreamed up over Lone Stars and Bulleit bourbon at Ben’s apartment in Blue Velvet. The clip starts with an image of two face-to-face illustrated cowboys made famous by Sid Vicious’s favourite T-shirt during the Sex Pistols’ Texas tour. Over the next four-and-a-half minutes, we get Peck, mesmerizingly, taking the Holy Body Tattoo approach to line dancing and then squaring off with a fellow gunslinger who’s shown not only from behind but from between naked legs. Things become even more fascinating when one considers the political climate in Donald Trump’s America. The USA today is backsliding into a time when the country was proudly intolerant. With Peck’s Canadian queer cowboy, a new mysterious stranger has ridden into a town increasingly untrusting of anyone different-looking. Peck’s world has a revered place for Marlboro Red packs and the Man in Black. But it’s also one where two men on the run somewhere near the Carson City line aren’t afraid to ride hand in hand. Country has a new, fast-rising outlaw. Hang on to your black cowboy hats, fringed masks optional. It’s about time. g

AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 15


CANADIAN PACIFIC BLUES SOCIETY and PRESENT

MUSIC LISTINGS CONCERTS JUST ANNOUNCED

DOORS: 6:30 PM SHOW: 7:30 PM

HOME FREE A cappella country quintet from Minnesota. Sep 9, 8 pm, Bell Performing Arts Centre. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am, $55/45/35. TOM RUSSELL Singer-songwriter incorporates elements of folk, traditional country & western, and cowboy music. Oct 4, 8-10:30 pm, St. James Community Square. $35/31. GUTTER DEMONS Rock ‘n’ roll trio with rockabilly roots, with guests the Devil’s Sons. Nov 2, 8 pm, Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse. $15. SWMRS Punk-rock quartet from Oakland. Nov 4, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am, $23.50. TOW’RS Arizona-based indie-folk band plays tunes from new album New Nostalgia. Nov 14, 9 pm, WISE Club. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am, $15. ANTHONY RAMOS Singer-actor from New York City. Nov 19, 8 pm, Imperial Vancouver. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am, $15. KING DIAMOND Heavy-metal act from Denmark, with guests Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats and Idle Hands. Nov 27, 7 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am, $89.50/79.50/59.50/45. THE TENORS Classical-pop vocal group performs a Christmas show. Dec 3, Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tix on sale Aug 23, 10 am.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21

FEATURING FEI REN ALEC SANTOS

WED-SAT @ 7:30PM AUGUST 21ST - 31ST BROWN PAPER TICKETS DUSTY FLOWER SHOP THEATRE 2050 SCOTIA ST.

DIRECTOR CHRISTY WEBB

The Georgia Straight Confessions, an outlet for submitting revelations about your private lives—or for the voyeurs among us who want to read what other people have disclosed.

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

AUG 22

AUG 23

AUG 24

AUG 25

SECOND BREAKFAST FAIRLY FERAL

GARDEN ROBBIE MICE MACINTYRE

OPEN MIC

WITH MIKE WETERINGS (7 PM)

CANNERY ROW (2-5 PM)

NOW OPEN E VERY DAY FROM NOON TILL L ATE.

Aug 15-31

$2.50 BACKSTAGE LAGER (Just mention this ad)

1585 Johnston St. Granville Is | 604.687.1354 |thebackstagelounge.com *** VISIT US ONLINE FOR UP TO THE MINUTE LISTINGS, DRINK SPECIALS AND MORE www.thebackstagelounge.com ***

Scan to confess So tempted... I see the advertisement at the bus stop: a $10 bucket of KFC popcorn chicken. That was always the cats meow. But I also don’t know if I want to do that to my body. I haven’t had KFC in at least 10 years. Do I trade my $10 for my 10 years? Marketing buckets of popcorn chicken must be fairly easy... it looks like crack.

SMOKEY ROBINSON Legendary soul-pop vocalist. Aug 23, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available. CAFE TACVBA Alt-rock band from Ciudad Satélite, Mexico. Aug 23, Vogue Theatre. $42.50. SWEET HOME CHICAGO Celebration of the blues featuring Wailin’ Al Walker, Angie Brinton, and Dameian Walsh, with Rob Montgomery and his All-Star Band. Aug 23, 7:30 pm, Railway Stage and Beer Café. $10. THE SOJOURNERS Local gospel-blues vocal group. Aug 23, 8-10:30 pm, PAL Theatre. $27.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 COLLECTIVE SOUL & GIN BLOSSOMS Double bill of American rock bands. Aug 24, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available. COMPOUND 2019 Free block party includes live electronic music on two stages. Aug 24, 2-9 pm, Monstercat HQ. Free. CALEXICO AND IRON & WINE Double bill of Americana and indie-folk acts from the States. Aug 24, 7 pm, Vogue Theatre. SONNY LANDRETH Slide-guitar virtuoso from Louisiana, with local guest Robert Connely Farr. Aug 24, 7:30 pm, Rio Theatre. $36. TONYE AGANABA Local vocalist mixes soul, neo-folk, and R&B. Aug 24, 8-10:30 pm, PAL Theatre. $27. CIRCUS AT THE FAIRVIEW Local glam-rock band Clone, with guests Eddy D & the Sex Bombs and the Circus in Flames. Aug 24, 8:30 pm, Fairview Pub. $10. GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR Canadian experimental-music collective. Aug 24, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $35.

UB40 Reggae-pop band from the ‘80s. Aug 27, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available. ORVILLE PECK Canadian psychedelic-outlaw cowboy-crooner plays tunes from debut album Pony. Aug 27, 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $20.

My mother has a gambling addiction (for 10+ years now) and I don’t know what to say or do to help put an end to it. Growing up, it affected our social and financial aspect as a family. My mom would be playing bingo or in the casino for hours (throwing money down the drain). She even slipped into a conversation with me recently, which wasn’t really a confession, that she spent 20 hours in the Vancouver casino. It’s a sad thing to see your own mother go through something like this.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 COLIN JAMES Canadian blues-rocker. Aug 28, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available. THE NATIONAL Indie-rock band from Cincinnati. Aug 28, 6:30 pm, Deer Lake Park. $65. CARLY RAE JEPSEN Multiplatinum pop singer-songwriter from Mission plays two nights. Aug 28-29, 8 pm, Commodore Ballroom.

Cloudy Summer I really liked it. No awful heat swell. No real rain. No daily forest fire evacuations on the news. Perfect, beautiful summer.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30

Thanks, Mom

16 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27

Not a winner

to post a Confession

VINCE NEIL Former frontman of Mötley Crüe. Aug 22, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available.

STYX American rockers from the ‘70s Aug 25, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available.

My new neighbour plays the saxophone. I used to like the saxophone.

Visit

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25

Make it stop

In front of a group of people, my mom announced that my ass was big and fat. I don’t know what compelled her announcement. I weigh the same as I always do this time of the year and I’m within 10 lbs of what I weighed... (con’t @straight.com)

BURTON CUMMINGS AND BAND Former singer for the Guess Who. Aug 21, 8:30 pm, PNE Amphitheatre. Free with PNE admission; reserved seats available. AMOS LEE American soul-funk singersongwriter, with guest Madison Cunningham. Aug 21, 7:30 pm, The Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts. $95/69/55/35. DEMONS & WIZARDS Power-metal band from Germany, with guests Lizzy Borden and Tyr. Aug 21, 7:30 pm, Commodore Ballroom. $52.25.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO...

Cliffhanger cliffhangerclimbing.com

Coastal Jazz coastaljazz.ca

SUMMERSET MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL Featuring performances by Rival Sons, the Trews, and Jess Roper. Aug 30, Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada. QUANTIC English musician, producer, and DJ. Aug 30, 9 pm, Rickshaw Theatre. $25. MUSIC LISTINGSare a public service provided free of charge. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight. com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.


arts

TaiwanFest beats go far beyond spectacle

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by Alexander Varty

t would be easy enough to get the wrong impression of Taiwan’s Ju Percussion Group. A casual trawl of online video sites will find the troupe, which headlines TaiwanFest next week, indulging in elaborately choreographed stickwork, slamming out thunderous beats on huge red barrel drums, and playing in ghostly white masks. “Some kind of Asian Blue Man Group,” one might think, but there’s more to this band than mere spectacle. Yes, its shows are compulsively watchable, but Ju Percussion has a serious side, too. When founding member Tzong-Ching Ju initially assembled the ensemble in 1986, he was breaking new ground in Taiwanese culture; previous drum troupes had specialized in folkloric styles primarily imported from mainland China, such as the raucous drum-and-gong music that generally accompanies Lunar New Year celebrations. Conservatorytrained percussionists working from sheet music were, and still are, a rarity. “Pretty much from the very beginning, Mr. Ju decided to build a new category of percussion music, which combined the western and the oriental, and also the traditional and the contemporary,” says group spokesperson Kuen-Yean Hwang, in a telephone interview from his Taipei home. “He was educated in Taiwan and later he finished his studies in Vienna, so pretty much his background is influenced by western music education. Most important, on the culture side, is that Taiwan is of course most influenced by the Chinese culture, but we were a colony of Japan for a while, and also the U.S. army had built bases here during the Vietnam War and Korean War. So it’s such a very special combination you can see in Taiwan.” Hwang, whose own degrees include a master’s in jazz performance from the University of Southern California, points out that while some of the works Ju Percussion will perform

Ju Percussion Group combines the western and the eastern, the traditional and the contemporary, in virtuosic new ways.

Arts TIP SHEET THE BARD ON THE BEACH

Shakespeare Festival has just announced its 2020 season, and it boasts four creatively reimagined classics: d A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (June 11 to September 26, 2020, on the BMO Mainstage) Director Scott Bellis sets Shakespeare’s classic fantasy during the early Industrial Revolution. d HENRY V (June 12 to September 20, 2020 on the BMO Mainstage) Hot off 2018’s critically acclaimed Lysistrata and 2019’s spaghettiwestern The Taming of the Shrew, director Lois Anderson takes on the epic work with a

signature gender-crossing twist: Kate Besworth plays the title role.

d LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (July 3 to September 26, 2020, on the Howard Family Stage) As You Like It director Daryl Cloran restages 2015’s hit Jazz Age–set rendition, returning to 1920s Chicago. d PARADISE LOST (July 10 to September 20, 2020, on the Howard Family Stage) Playwright Erin Shields debuted this provocative retelling of John Milton’s poem at the Stratford Festival last year, to rave reviews. Bard veteran Colleen Wheeler plays Satan and Anita Rochon takes the helm. g

We don’t play every piece like a theatrical piece. That depends on the composition... – Kuen-Yean Hwang

depends on the composition, and we commission many composers from around the world, not only from Taiwan. So when the composer’s got any theatrical ideas, we are very open in Vancouver certainly contain a rical part, actually, is only one face of to accepting their ideas, and we try theatrical aspect, that’s not the en- our group,” he says. “We don’t play to cooperate with the composer to semble’s principal focus. “The theat- every piece like a theatrical piece. That make them happen.”

Similarly, any parallels to the martial arts are more coincidental than intended. The group performs with ninjalike intensity, but that has more to do with extracting the sounds they want to hear from their instruments than with any nonmusical form of physical training. “For example, on this tour we have a piece called Drumming Fest that is based on Cantonese lion-dance drumming,” Hwang explains. “In that piece, we use many drumming techniques that come from that really popular tradition, which is a lot like Japanese taiko. Just like in taiko, you need to hold your breath, and you need to lower your body, and you need to keep your body balanced. We’re not really trying to use any movement from the martial arts, but it looks, of course, very oriental or very Chinese—but that’s because of the music, not for the theatrical or the visual effect only.” Ju Percussion’s Vancouver appearance—the only one on its current North American tour that will feature the ensemble’s full complement of musicians—will also show that this is more than a percussion ensemble. The evening’s central piece is a concerto for pipa and percussion, Zhong Kui Marrying His Sister Off, in which the lutelike stringed instrument will take centre stage. “That is a very big challenge for us,” Hwang allows. “A pipa concerto is a very different sound, and a different timbre for the ensemble, trying to accompany a soft instrument—I mean, in terms of the volume—with very delicate sound. The piece has a storytelling kind of mood, so also we need to be careful about the sound. But it’s a very charming piece, and the audience, I think, will feel very surprised by how well the pipa can match the percussion ensemble.” g Ju Percussion Group plays a free concert at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on August 31, as part of TaiwanFest.

Salish weaving brings Blue Cabin to life

T

by Robin Laurence

har she be, afloat on the grey waters of False Creek. The legendary Blue Cabin is now a “vessel”, moored together with a newly built “deck house” at Dock 7 behind the Plaza of Nations. After three intense years, during which grunt gallery and two artists’ collectives, Other Sights for Artists’ Projects and Creative Cultural Collaborations (C3), worked together with public and private funders to save the 92-year-old cabin from demolition and to restore it, the structure is about to be reincarnated into its new creative existence. This Sunday (August 25) will see the public launch of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency. The yearlong inaugural program, titled Skeins: Weaving on the Foreshore, will spotlight the resurgence of Salish weaving practices, says Barbara Cole. Artist, curator, educator, publicart consultant, and founder of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, she is guiding the Straight around the cottagey-looking Blue Cabin (restored by artists Jeremy and Sus Borsos, and intended to be used as a studio) and its elegantly simple companion structure (created by artist Germaine Koh and architect Marko Simcic as loftlike accommodation for visiting artists). The structure and residency program will be operating, she estimates, for 20 years. During this time, the cabin will be towed to various coastal locations and the programming will adapt to different places and communities. Cole is a Blue Cabin Committee lead along with grunt gallery’s Glenn Alteen and C3’s Esther Rausenberg, who initiated the project of saving and repurposing the cabin. While

The Blue Cabin has had a long journey to its new role as a floating artist residency. Photo by John Zuk

pointing out some of the features of its interior (the well-worn look faithfully intact), she talks a little about the structure’s history. Built in 1927, it was a floating home in Coal Harbour until it was barged, in the 1930s, to a beach near Cates Park in North Vancouver. There, it functioned as a somewhat marginal habitation for a number of unnamed folk and, from 1966 to 2015, as a studio for interdisciplinary artists Al Neil and Carole Itter. “The cabin was always on the waterfront, always on the foreshore,

always in this grey zone between low and high tides and also of jurisdiction,” Cole says. She talks about Other Sights’ long-standing interest in who “owns” public space, a meaningful segue to the Blue Cabin’s new role as a place for Indigenous artists to work and interact with the public. The committee wanted to flag the history of the people who were here long before the cabin was built, she says, adding that in thinking through programming for the structure, “It was clear that there was a need for an Indigenous focus, and from there it went to this idea of resurgent practices.” Artists in residence for the coming year are weavers Angela George (Squamish/TsleilWaututh), Janice George and Buddy Joseph (Squamish), and Debra Sparrow (Musqueam). In concert with the Australia Council for the Arts, the Blue Cabin residency program will also host Australian Indigenous artist Vicki Couzens (Gunditjmara), who has revived the culturally significant possum-cloak tradition of her people. With her older sisters Wendy Grant-John and Robyn Sparrow, Debra Sparrow is closely identified with reigniting Musqueam weaving practices and symbolism. An acclaimed designer, jeweller, and muralist, as well as a leading weaver, she speaks to the Straight by phone from her home while she splits wool. “I wanted to know who the people were here, before contact,” she says. “I wanted to know why and what inspired them to create the things they did. “We actually didn’t know about the blankets prior to 1984 or ’5,” she continues. “We

didn’t grow up seeing them, we didn’t identify with them, because they were dormant for 80, 85 years.” The three sisters pored over Paula Gustafson’s landmark book Salish Weaving, spoke to community elders, and looked at examples of blankets in museum collections. “We had no teachers, we really relied on our instinct,” Sparrow says. Of precontact Musqueam weavers, she exclaims, “I’m forever in awe and holding my hands up to them for the intelligence they showed in these blankets—the geometric patterning, the mathematical genius behind them, the dyes they were making and the medicines that went with that.” Then she adds, “This was not just about making a pretty blanket. It was about reconnecting with our history.” Sparrow acknowledges the rich education she acquired from her late grandfather, Ed Sparrow. “He drove me around the city of Vancouver as we know it and showed me where the [Indigenous] villages were,” she says. “There were named villages all through this whole territory.” Historically resonant is the site where the Blue Cabin is now moored, because it was where the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh used to congregate, she says. “Having our residencies there, in the very place that our ancestors were— and the spirit of them is—will be very significant to us in coming together as weavers.” g The public launch of the Blue Cabin Floating Artist Residency program will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday (August 25), at the Plaza of Nations Aquabus stop. See thebluecabin.ca/ for information.

AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 17


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18 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019

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ARTS

Shrieks, moans, and scares in the dark

The Taming of the Shrew Andrew McNee & Jennifer Lines Photo: Emily Cooper

SHOWS SELLING OUT – BOOK NOW!

by Andrea Warner

THEATRE

DEEP INTO DARKNESS

Written and produced by Laura Carly Miller, Sydney Doberstein, Fraser Larock, and Blaine Anderson. Directed by Laura Carly Miller and Sydney Doberstein. Presented by Third Wheel Productions. At the Cultch on Tuesday, August 13. Continues until August 25

d EDGAR ALLAN POE is the perfect inspiration for a sprawling, immersive theatre experience, which is exactly what Third Wheel Productions delivers with its new show, Deep Into Darkness. The ambitious production, spread across 20-plus rooms throughout the Cultch, is provocative, compelling, and full of surprises. It’s also kind of impossible to review as traditional theatre. There are things happening everywhere all the time, including stairwells, hallways, and the basement—and there’s no way to see everything. As the evening

begins, audience members are also given hard white masks that must be worn throughout the show. The premise is, loosely, that we’re inside Poe’s troubled mind and several of his most famous stories. Deep Into Darkness gives back what its audience puts into it. Individually, we decide where we want to go and when, as well as how deeply we wish to engage with the sets and props and the vague mystery underlying Deep Into Darkness’s loose story line. I still don’t really know what the mystery was, but I had fun opening drawers and looking for hidden clues, crumpled papers tucked into tree hollows, and sketches folded inside old books. You might enter a room and stumble on an actor wielding an axe and staring intensely into the woods, or you might follow the loud bangs coming from the tavern and find the Unseelie Faery Queen (Sarah Corrigan) wreaking havoc. What I found most incredible were the moments I ended up alone with an actor and how brilliantly that person performed in even the

quietest, smallest spaces. One actor was tasked with crying, terrorized in a stairwell for several minutes, and I just stood nearby and marvelled at him. At another point, I ended up in a small dark room filled with plastic doll heads and a chessboard. I was looking through items on a shelf when I felt someone beside me. It was the Faery Queen, wearing a white sheet, staring at me ominously while I tried to maintain eye contact. I was her audience of one, and it was unnerving but also the best. The cast members are fully committed to their characters and they do a wonderful job, particularly since most of them don’t have any lines or dialogue to rely on. Laughter and groans, cries and shrieks, moans and other utterances, but that’s it, and the relative silence only adds to the creepiness. As much as I hated wearing the white mask—I require glasses and they kept fogging up; also, masks are hot—the effect was undeniable. Deep Into Darkness promises macabre madness and it mostly delivers. g

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ARTS LISTINGS ONGOING THE TAMING OF THE SHREW The 2007 spaghetti-western version of Shakespeare’s work is the inspiration behind this Wild West love story. To Sep 21, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. From $26. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block. To Sep 18, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. From $26. THEATRE UNDER THE STARS Alternating performances of Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies. To Aug 24, Malkin Bowl. $30-55. OF MICE AND MEN Promethean Theatre presents a collaboration between artists with and without disabilities. To Aug 24, 8 pm, Stage Door. $20/15. LUNGS Duncan Macmillan’s off-kilter love story. To Aug 31, 7:30 pm, Dusty Flower Shop. $25. THE ZOO STORY The Rusted Cage Theatre Lab presents Edward Albee’s classic story of human disconnection and class division. To Aug 24, Havana Theatre. $12-25. THE CLOCK BY CHRISTIAN MARCLAY Twenty-four-hour video that montages film and television footage from the last 70 years. To Sep 15, The Polygon. By donation. TEATRO INTIMO DEL FLAMENCO Karen Flamenco presents a one-hour show featuring traditional flamenco music, dance, puppetry and magic. To Sep 28, Sat. at 3 & 5 pm, The Improv Centre. $12. CLASSIC THEATRESPORTS Two teams of performers are pitted against each other in competitive improv matches. To Aug 31, 7:309:15 pm, The Improv Centre. From $10.75. MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC aIN A DIFFERENT LIGHT: REFLECTING ON NORTHWEST COAST ART to summer 2020 aSHAKEUP: PRESERVING WHAT WE VALUE to Sep 1 aSHADOWS, STRINGS AND OTHER THINGS: THE ENCHANTING THEATRE OF PUPPETS to Oct 14 MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER aWILD THINGS: THE POWER OF NATURE IN OUR LIVES to Sep 30 aHAIDA NOW: A VISUAL FEAST OF INNOVATION AND TRADITION to Dec 1 aTHERE IS TRUTH HERE to Dec 31 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY aMOVING STILL: PERFORMATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY IN INDIA to Sep 2 aVIEWS OF THE COLLECTION: THE STREET to Nov 17 aALBERTO GIACOMETTI: A LINE THROUGH TIME to Sep 29 aVIKKY ALEXANDER: EXTREME BEAUTY to Jan 26 aROBERT RAUSCHENBERG 1965–1980 to Jan 26 PNE FAIR The annual Pacific National Exhibition features midway rides, pig races, drag shows, agriculture displays, cooking demonstrations, Superdogs, and the Summer Night Concerts series. To Sep 2, PNE.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 21 CORIOLANUS Shakespeare’s story of a woman who fights for honour without compromise. Aug 21–Sep 15, Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival. From $26. MICHAEL STONE’S WORK & LEGACY Celebrate the social activist’s first posthumous book of unpublished teachings. Aug 21, 6:308 pm, Banyen Books and Sound. Free. VANCOUVER COMEDY UNCENSORED Politically incorrect standup comedy. Aug 21, 8-10 pm, Hood 29. $15 for 2. THE DIRTY BETTY SHOW! Comedic variety show featuring an all femme cast. Aug 21, 1011 pm, The Junction. $10.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 22 JOKES PLEASE! Standup comedy show hosted by Ross Dauk. Aug 22, 9-10:40 pm, Little Mountain Gallery. $10. HOOD29 COMEDY FIRST ANNIVERSARY SHOW Standup comedy by Steve Bottomley, John Gough, Angelica Senger, Garrett Doran Moran, and headliner Katie-Ellen Humphries. Aug 22, 9:30-11 pm, Hood 29. By donation.

Arts

HOT TICKET

BREATHE OUT, LISTEN IN (August 25 at the Polygon

Gallery) The Blueridge Chamber Music Festival teams up with the Polygon to present music that plays with time and sound in much the same way the site’s mesmerizing installation The Clock does. From 12:30 to 1 p.m., Tahltan-Tlinglit composer and musician Edzi’u presents her hypnotic soundwork, melding stories from her ancestors, vintage recordings, and electronic instruments. Afterward, from 1 to 5:30 p.m., lose yourself in the soundscape of Morton Feldman’s contemplative For Philip Guston, for flute, piano, and percussion.

OPERAS & ARIAS (August 26

and September 2 at the Bard on the Beach tents in Vanier Park) In one of the city’s most spectacular settings, the UBC Opera Ensemble and members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra bring to life the classics of La Traviata, Rigoletto, Carmen, and more. And did we mention superstar soprano and UBC Opera alumna Simone Osborne performs at all the concerts?

FRIDAY, AUGUST 23 A NUDE HOPE: A SCI-FI BURLESQUE ADVENTURE A Star Wars burlesque parody. To Aug 31, Fri-Sat. at 8 pm, The Red Gate Revue Stage. $25/40. JAMES BALL Comedian performs two nights of standup. Aug 23-24, 8 pm, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club. $20.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 24 OPERA BAZAAR Opera performance plus costume and prop sale. Aug 24, 12-6 pm, St. Faith’s Anglican Church. $0-22. A LIL SOMETHIN’ FOR EVERYONE Two-day fundraising event and art sale featuring works by more than 40 visual artists. Aug 2425, 7-5 pm, Ground Floor Art Centre.

music by composer Morton Feldman. Aug 25, 12:30-5:30 pm, The Polygon. By donation. DANZA DESCALZA (QC) Contemporary and Afro-Colombian dance traditions. Aug 25, 1-4 pm, Performance Works. Free. THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE On-script actors paired up with improvisers. Aug 25, 8 pm, Havana Theatre. $12. SUDDENLY, THEATRE! An original one-act play written by the night’s audience. Aug 25, 8-9 pm, Havana Theatre. $12.

MONDAY, AUGUST 26 IMPROV MONDAYS WITH MICHELLE Vancouver TheatreSports presents an improvcomedy melodrama. To Aug 26, 7:30-9:15 pm, The Improv Centre. From $10.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 27 SAY WHA?! READINGS OF DELICIOUSLY ROTTEN WRITING Sara Bynoe hosts readings of bad writings by John Cullen, Eric Fell, Brent Hirose, and Megan Phillips. Aug 27, 8-9:30 pm, Havana Theatre. $12.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 28 JAK KNIGHT Intersection of visual art, comedy, and hip-hop. Aug 28, Biltmore Cabaret.

JOSHUA BEAMISH/ MOVETHECOMPANY

presents the world premiere of

THURSDAY, AUGUST 29 PUFF THE MAGIC IMPROV SHOW Improvcomedy show, with second half performed high on weed. Aug 29, 9-11 pm, China Cloud. $10/15.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 30 DIGITAL CARNIVAL 2019: FIRE Cutting-edge artworks including video projections, interactive installations, and virtual-reality projects. Aug 30, 4-10 pm; Aug 31, 11 am–10 pm, Minoru Park. Free. EXPERIMENTAL COMPOSITION FOR GAMELAN Gita Asmara presents experimental works for Balinese gamelan. Aug 30, 7-9 pm, 240 Northern. Free.

Featuring artists from American Ballet Theatre, The National Ballet of Canada and Pennsylvania Ballet

SATURDAY, AUGUST 31 TAIWANFEST 2019: RIDING THE WAVES WITH VIETNAM A cultural bridge between Taiwan and Vietnam. Aug 31–Sep 2, 11 am–6 pm, downtown Vancouver. Free. CARMEN AGUIRRE Canada Reads winner signs her latest book. Aug 31, 1-3 pm, Indigo Langley. Free. OH MANADA! BOYLESQUE T.O Male burlesque troupe, with guests Shirley Gnome and April O’Peel. Aug 31, 8 pm, Rio Theatre. $25/30. ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge. Submit events online using the event-submission form at straight. com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.

SEPT 5-7, 2019 Vancouver Playhouse Tickets at joshuabeamish.eventbrite.com

THE KESSLER ACADEMY 2019 The Microcosmos Quartet is joined by the Echéa Quartet. Aug 24, 7:30 pm, Pyatt Hall. $29/10.

SUNDAY, AUGUST 25 ROOKIE NIGHT Vancouver TheatreSports presents improv comedy with the plot and action based on audience suggestions. Aug 25, 7:30 pm, The Improv Centre. $8.75-10.25. BLUE CABIN FLOATING ARTIST RESIDENCY PUBLIC LAUNCH An initiative composed of a restored squatter’s cabin and an energy-efficient deckhouse examines local histories and resurgent Indigenous traditions. Aug 25, Plaza of Nations. Free. BEIMING SHI ART SOLO SHOW A must-see Amazing Beiming Shi Art Solo Show Aug 25-31, Vancouver Chinese Cultural Centre Museum. Free admission. BREATHE OUT, LISTEN IN: MUSIC ABOUT TIME A soundwork by Tahltan-Tlinglit composer-musician Edzi’u and chamber

AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 19


MOVIES

Daring young Infiltrators break the ICE by Adrian Mack

T

he Broward Transitional Center is a nondescript compound plunked on the side of a highway in Florida. The name is innocuous, but the GEO Group–operated facility is one of over 200 Kafkaesque purgatories used by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE) to warehouse alleged illegal immigrants prior to deportation. It’s the for-profit clearinghouse at the end of every “undocumented” citizen’s worst nightmare. It is, effectively, a black site for those held without trial, sometimes for years. And Marco Saavedra—the child of undocumented immigrants originally from

Oaxaca, Mexico—is wondering how he can get in. Thus begins The Infiltrators, a sizzling docudrama hybrid getting its Vancouver premiere at the Cinematheque next Friday (August 30), courtesy of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival. Switching between interviews and crisp, dramatic recreations, the film tells the story of a wild caper conceived during the Obama era by the National Immigration Youth Alliance—or the Dreamers, as NIYA’s young, savvy “illegals” call themselves. If they could get Saavedra inside the facility, the Dreamers figured, then he could covertly coach its inmates on how to get out. As seen in The Infiltrators, Marco Saavedra busted into an immigrant detention centre to help people like Claudio Rojas get out.

“Around 2010 we saw the news of these undocumented youth getting arrested and facing deportation as part of an act of political protest, and we wanted to understand what was going on, to understand the risks they were taking, and how the government was going to react,” explains filmmaker Alex Rivera, who directed the Sundance award winner with Cristina Ibarra. “We felt like it was important to tell a story in which undocumented folks were actively trying to puzzle things out and find freedom inside of these systems. It’s something we’d never seen before, that was really necessary to see.” Calling the Georgia Straight from Florida, Rivera describes The Infiltrators as “a kind of heist film set inside of a documentary reality”, though it’s the byzantine nature of U.S. immigration policy that triggers much of the tension. After getting himself arrested by the South Florida Border Patrol—he

It’s at the whim of the president who gets locked up and who gets deported. – Filmmaker Alex Rivera

calls the checkpoint “my own personal Death Star”—Saavedra sets about issuing NIYA’s hotline number to his fellow detainees and spiriting legal documents in and out of a facility that operates on impregnable silence. Essentially, Saavedra’s strategy

was to enlist inmates in an effort to bring unwanted media attention to BTC while badgering the offices of politicians like Florida congressman Ted Deutch, who could order the release of a detainee with a single phone call. A second Dreamer, Viridiana Martinez, accesses the women’s wing of the facility. Both are met with skepticism and a permeating hopelessness, and they face immediate danger from guards, snitches, and—we eventually see— a system flexible enough to identify and outrun their tactics. Indeed, it’s no secret that NIYA’s efforts at BTC ended triumphantly in 2012 with the release of several lowsecurity detainees. But, as Rivera remarks with a bitter laugh, “This is a portrait of the good old days. The whole immigration system is a separate body of law and it all runs under the executive branch. It’s more like a gulag or a prison system in which people are kind of swept up at the discretion of an administration. The scary thing is that it’s all politics. It’s not based on any kind of objective metrics. It’s at the whim of the president who gets locked up and who gets deported. So, on day one, Trump decides Muslims are ‘banned’.” The filmmaker continues: “Under Obama there were record deportations, but if you could get on TV, if your local Democratic congressperson made noise, if you fought like hell—you could get out. Under Trump, what we’ve seen is the opposite of that. Deportations overall are down, but they’re explicitly targeting outspoken immigrants who are activists, who are artists, who have a high profile. They are explicitly being targeted by ICE, a heartbreaking event that happened to one of the real people in our film, Claudio Rojas.” It was a desperate email from the family of Rojas that prompted the Dreamers to storm Broward in the first place, and his story is central to The Infiltrators, which now inherits a sombre, real-world epilogue. “It’s a terrifying system, but also a very vulnerable one,” Rivera reasons, “because, if we had a different president in this country, we could and should demand a very different immigration system from them. And they can kind of create it on a dime, meaning quickly, the way that Trump quickly created all these changes we’re dealing with today.” On a more immediately positive note, The Infiltrators is now being adapted into a TV series by, of all companies, Blumhouse Productions. “Which is, of course, known for Paranormal Activity and Jordan Peele’s recent horror film Get Out,” says Rivera, now a veteran observer of the abuses and nightmare logic of ICE and its profiteering partners like GEO Group. “We can’t think of a better company to try to understand America’s immigration system than Blumhouse.” g The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival runs from Thursday (August 22) to September 1. More information is at www. vlaff.org/.

20 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019


MOVIES

The Falcon and the shape of water In this week’s new releases, two misfits go to sea while a third finds the apocalypse in H20 by Ken Eisner

Shia LaBeouf headlines a tale of runaways and redemption in The Peanut Butter Falcon (left); Viktor Kossakovsky shoots his mesmerizing documentary Aquarela (right).

REVIEWS

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON Starring Shia LaBeouf. Rated PG

ambitious and technically dazzling new documentary that ends up being too much of a good thing. Russian filmmaker Viktor Kossakovsky, a noted experimentalist, spent years travelling to remote places with advanced equipment— most of this was shot on a system that operates at 96 frames per second, instead of the usual 24—and pieced together this wholly impressionistic look at where this crazy blue planet is heading. Whether cruising under icebergs in Greenland, following a tiny yacht through the stormy Southern Sea, or watching liquid vaporize down an endless descent from Olympian waterfalls in Venezuela, the viewer is nearly immersed in highly forbidding environments. Although there are no narrators or title cards to underline the effects of climate change, it’s obvious from the thawing ice, f looded roads, and fast-calving glaciers on offer here that humans had better get ready for a wild ride. People don’t appear much onscreen. It’s odd, then, that the film opens with its most atypical sequence, a long and somewhat repetitive visit with workers attempting to retrieve automobiles that have fallen through the formerly solid winter caps on Siberia’s remote Lake Baikal. They lose more cars in the process, and that sense of impending, ghoulishly comical doom colours everything that follows, even as it points to Kossakovsky’s somewhat random sense of form. A number of reviewers have complained about his use of doommetal music from the Finnish band Apocalyptica. (Where’s Christopher Guest when you need him?) While there’s certainly nothing wrong with applying that particular genre to the crashing of ginormous waves, there’s virtually no difference between the scenes in

d NEAR THE BEGINNING of The Peanut Butter Falcon, a generally amiable tale of runaways and redemption, one traveller says of another, “Maybe he’s living the American dream, like in a Mark Twain story.” That character won’t be remembered for his book smarts, nor will the movie, which aspires to a kind of rolling-down-the-river Americana and gets maybe halfway there. More Shania than Mark, the Twainish fellow in question, played by Shia LaBeouf, is a bearded screwup who gets by in the swamps of North Carolina on charm and ingenuity. He’s named Tyler, like codirector Tyler Nilson, who also wrote this debut feature with filmmaking partner Michael Schwartz. When screen Tyler’s feud with local crab fishermen (led by John Hawkes) heats up, he revs up his rusty bayou boat without realizing he has a stowaway: half-naked Zak (first-timer Zack Gottsagen), a Down-syndrome youngster who has just fled a haphazard community home where he shared a room with ever-crotchety Bruce Dern. Initially nonplussed, Tyler is intrigued by Zak’s persistence and agrees to help him find a pro-wrestling camp run by a TV personality called the Salt Water Redneck. On old VHS tapes that help give this current tale a timeless quality, the latter is played by Thomas Haden Church, who lends an energy boost to a draggy final quarter. On sea and land, our Huckleberry friends are lightly hounded by the bad guys and followed closely by Eleanor, a volunteer nurse, or something, from Zak’s ex-home. This is Dakota Johnson, who seems to have put as much thought into her character as the filmmakers did—which is to say, it was discussed maybe 10 minutes before each scene was shot. Sadly, Eleanor is more a decorative reward for Tyler’s good deeds than an THE VANCOUVER LATIN actual character. But then, nobody FILM FESTIVAL gears up with seems very thought-through, even over 40 titles this year. Here with some obligatory flashbacks. are three that shouldn’t be On the upside, LaBeouf is so physmissed. ically present for his role, he appears c LOS SILENCIOS Colombian to be growing, alongside gators and migrants encounter the kudzu, right out of the Carolina and supernatural in Beatriz Georgia landscapes lovingly framed Seigner’s acclaimed drama, by True Detective cinematographer opening VLAFF at SFU Nigel Bluck. And Gottsagen, though Woodward’s on Thursday halting in delivery (and actually 34 (August 22). years old), is likewise compelling. c THE AWAKENING OF THE The basic plot and dialogue will ANTS A rural Diary of a Mad never win any Twain Prizes, but the Housewife headlines VLAFF’s visual storytelling here offers a raft of Costa Rican program at the subtle pleasures. Cinematheque next Saturday

which the instruments clang and those when they don’t. Honestly, it’s weird when a filmmaker does this kind of bombastic editorializing twice in a 90-minute movie and elsewhere sticks to the naturally spooky sounds of cracking bergs

and screaming sea birds. Aquarela exerts a mesmerizing physical power, but it’s of a sort that makes you want to find the right drugs, shuff le the scenes, and supply your own music. (I suggest Debussy’s La Mer.) g

Movies

TIP SHEET

AQUARELA

A documentary by Viktor Kossakovsky. Rated PG

d WATER, WATER everywhere and now you need a drink! That’s one potential response to Aquarela, an

and Sunday (August 31 and September 1).

c ASFIXIA From Mexico, this haunting tale of an albino excon searching for her young daughter closes the festival at SFU Woodward’s next Sunday (September 1). AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT 21


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Trustin Construction LTD is looking for Floor Layers,Greater Vancouver area, BC. F/Time, Permanent Wage - $21.50 hourly. Experience 2-3 years, good English. Education: Secondary school. Main duties: Measure and mark surfaces to be covered; Measure, cut and fasten underlay; Prepare and install hardwood floors;Measure, cut and install carpeting; Measure, cut and install resilient floor covering; Operate and maintain measuring, hand and power tools Follow established safety rules Company’s business address: 208-6939 Hastings St., Burnaby BC V5B 1S9 Please apply by e-mail: hrtrustinconstruction@gmail.com

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INTERVIEWS DAILY C OV E RGI R LE S C ORT S .C OM


SAVAGE LOVE

Quick answers to your burning queries by Dan Savage

b I TOOK MOLLY with my best bud. We wound up cuddling and telling each other everything. We didn’t mess around—we’re both straight guys— but one of the things I told him is that I would much rather eat pussy than fuck, and one of the things he told me is that he’s not at all into eating pussy and pretty much only likes to fuck. I think we’d make a great team: we’re both good-looking, athletic dudes and we should find a woman who loves to have her pussy eaten and loves to get fucked. I would go down on her and get her going (and coming), then he steps in and dicks her down (and gets her off one last time). What say you?

Upside: you last longer. Downside: you may sometimes have sex without climaxing. Or you can shift your perspective and try to see this downside as a secret upside: Sometimes you get to enjoy sex without climaxing— and next time, when you do climax, you’ll blow a bigger load.

b I’VE RECENTLY BEGUN to experiment with a few kinky friends. One of them b I AM A bisexual man who’s active in is a voyeur who is super into bukkake. the sex-positive community, and I love I’d be open to a group bukkake scene, playing with couples. I was updating but how do I avoid contracting an STI? - Anonymous Assistant my Feeld profile to reflect this desire, but I realized there’s no consistent term for a male unicorn. So I listed “On me, not in me” was a safe-sex “Male/Stag/Stallion/Minotaur/Pega- message crafted in the earliest, darksus”, various terms I’ve seen people est, most terrifying days of the AIDS use. WTF, it shouldn’t require a whole Crisis—and a bukkake scene, which line in my profile to run through all involves multiple men ejaculating the terms! As the person who famously on one person, is all about “on me”, crowdsourced “pegging”, I was hoping which makes it relatively safe. So long you could work your magic and get as you’re careful not to get anyone’s everyone to agree on a nonbinary term come in your eyes (ocular gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia are all that works for all sexual identities. - Having One Reliable Name things) or on your hole(s), you won’t have anything to worry about. What’s wrong with “unicorn”? Unicorns—the mythical beasts—can be b IS THERE A regional difference befemale, male, or, I suppose, gender- tween people who use the word come less or genderfluid. They can be any- versus people who use jizz? I personally thing we want them to be, HORN, only use the word come and rarely hear since we made them up. And while the anyone use jizz. Do people not use jizz, term first came into use to describe bi or do they just not use it where I live? - Seeking Pretty Unnecessary Niche women who weren’t just open to havKnowledge ing sex with an established, oppositesex couple but open to committing to a couple and forming a poly triad, there’s I’ve seen maps that track regionalno reason men and/or nonbinary folks isms like soda versus pop, SPUNK, who are interested in the same—hook- but I’ve never seen one tracking ing up with and forming relationships come versus jizz. Seems like somewith established couples—couldn’t thing a sex-positive linguist might identify as unicorns too. But are you a want to jump on.

- Ultimate Package Deal I would say “FUCK, YES!” if I were a woman, UPD, which I’m not. And while I can’t promise you every woman will have the same reaction I did, some women most definitely will.

b I’M A MALE in my late 50s. I went to a urologist for my erection problem, which was helped with ED medication. But orgasms are very hard to achieve, and the ED medication does not seem to make orgasms any easier to have. My girlfriend appreciates the erections, but I would also like to climax. This is very frustrating. Any advice? - Pills Inhibiting Lusty Loads Tits and dicks both sag with age, which is why push-up bras and pushup pills were invented. And while ED meds do make it easier for a guy to get an erection, they can also make it more difficult for a guy to climax.

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girlfriend gave you permission to initiate skin-to-skin contact in the middle of the night— unless she not only didn’t have a problem with the first blowjob you accidentally triggered but explicitly gave you the go-ahead to trigger more—you have already and repeatedly violated her consent. If she doesn’t want to do more than cuddle or spoon when she’s awake, you shouldn’t be manipulating her into blowing you when she’s asleep. Most people who are partnered with sexsomniacs prefer not to have sex with their partners when they’re unconscious, but some do—with their sexsomniac partner’s prior consent. It’s a grey area, because an unconscious person can’t offer meaningful,

- Unwelcome Personal Surprise Enraging Totally

Unless your new

You’re not exclusive, UPSET, and you gave this guy and your best friend permission to fuck, and… they fucked. But you got something out of it too: you learned an important lesson. Namely, no one can read your mind. If you give someone permission to do something with someone else sometime, and both those someones are sitting on a bed, you need to bring up any and all additional conditions before falling asleep on the couch in the next room. g On the Lovecast, when your twin brother is a white supremacist: savagelovecast.com. Email: mail@savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @fakedansavage. ITMFA.org.

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enthusiastic, ongoing consent. But unless there are details you’ve omitted—details like your partner saying, “I blew you in my sleep? Really! Neat! I’m happy to keep doing that!”—stop initiating skin-to-skin contact when she’s asleep or stop pretending you care about consent. (You should care about consent, and you should stop.)

b I’VE BEEN SEEING a guy. We’re not really “boyfriend and girlfriend”, and we’re not exclusive. Last night, him and my best friend and I were all hanging out in his bedroom. After a while, I went to sleep on the couch in the living room and left them in the bedroom. When I woke up, they were having sex. I had told them both it was okay for them to have sex with each other, but I didn’t expect them to do - She’s My Dream Girl it when I was just in the other room.

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b I’M A 46-YEAR-OLD man and I recently met a 31-year-old woman. We have not had PIV sex yet, but we have enjoyed several nights of cuddling, spooning, et cetera, as the relationship progresses. She has made it very clear she wants our first time to be a fairy-tale evening, so we have yet to take things past mild foreplay. Plot twist: after two nights of us sleeping together, I realized she’s a sexsomniac. She had no idea until I told her, and she barely believes me. But if I put my arm around her to cuddle when she’s asleep, she immediately sexually responds to the skin-to-skin contact. On two occasions she’s performed oral on me. I’m not complaining, as this is quite possibly every guy’s dream. My question is around consent when dealing with situations like this.

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5-3490 Kingsway, Van. ESTABLISHED 1993 HIRING: 778.893.4439 AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23


Join members of the acclaimed theatre project “ILLICIT” for a processional performance that takes us back in time to the event that shaped drug policy in Canada. 8:00pm - Chinatown Location TBA

24 THE GEORGIA STR AIGHT AUGUST 22 – 29 / 2019

Profile for The Georgia Straight

The Georgia Straight - TaiwanFest - Aug 22, 2019  

Issue #2692

The Georgia Straight - TaiwanFest - Aug 22, 2019  

Issue #2692