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Up the Yangtze Premiere

2008_02_07yangtze.jpg
If you’re like most snow-hating Torontonians, your weekend plans are changing with the weather. Suddenly, the thought of spending Friday night in high heels and club lineups has all the appeal of an ice bath. Forget new outfits or dinner spots, you’re looking for new releases instead.
Should you also be looking for a way to broaden your horizons, impress your intimidatingly smart date, or celebrate the Chinese New Year and Canadian cinema, look no further than Up the Yangtze. Cumberland Four has the film’s North American theatrical premiere tomorrow, February 8, with four showtimes between 2 and 9:55 p.m.
The critically acclaimed feature documentary follows a pair of peasant youth up the Yangtze (no, really?) as they leave behind their poor families to work on a luxury cruise liner. Directed by Montreal’s Yung Chang, the film explores the changing tides and tensions of Chinese rural life, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Three Gorges Dam—the world’s largest hydroelectric station and looming symbol of both economic power and ecological disaster.
Chang will be present at the 7 p.m. showings both tomorrow and Saturday to answer questions about his work, which won Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival, was a top-three finalist for the Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Film Festival, and showed in the Official Competition at Sundance 2008.
Or, you could see The Hottie and The Nottie, a compelling piece of modern cinema about a dude who moves to LA to track down his sexy childhood sweetheart (The Hottie, played convincingly against type by rising ingenue Paris Hilton), only to find himself increasingly conflicted about his feelings for her less-attractive best friend (The Nottie).
Tough call.
Photo by Yung Chang.

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