Modern Construction: An MDFF Retrospective
- The Downtown Eastside Trilogy
- Antoine Bourges
- MDFF Retrospective
- March 5, 2021 through April 1, 2021
“Formally rigorous and, given its clinical subject matter, surprisingly moving.”Norman Wilner, Now Magazine, on East Hastings Pharmacy
East Hastings Pharmacy
“Simultaneously a fictionalization, a reconstruction, and a documentation” (Cinema Scope), Antoine Bourges’s trompe l’oeil treatment of the rites and routines of methadone patients receiving their medication in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside employs real-life patients “playing themselves,” a pharmacist portrayed by a professional actor (Shauna Hansen), and a set recreating an actual East Hastings pharmacy. This unique hybrid work, the centrepiece of Bourges’s DTES trilogy (which also includes the two shorts screening in this program), shows the influence of Jeff Wall’s photographic staging techniques of “near documentary” and asserts the beguiling power of verisimilitude in how we negotiate documentary “truth.” Recipient of the Colin Low Award at DOXA 2012 and top prize at Kasseler Dokfest, Germany.
An impoverished, middle-aged woman awaits the next steps in a social housing application in Antoine Bourges’s Beckettian MDFF debut, filmed in Vancouver in 2010. Selected for TIFF, Berlinale, and SXSW.
William in White Shirt
William, a young man living in Vancouver’s depressed Downtown Eastside, makes arrangements with his caseworker to visit his son in this sobering, B&W slice of social realism.
Watch a pre-recorded Q&A between writer-director Antoine Bourges and Cinematheque Programming Associate Shaun Inouye.