Gone Phishing 

WHAT: Bittersweet Motel

WHERE: Rainbow Theatre

WHEN: Feb. 16-17 at 11 p.m.; Feb. 17-18 at 4:20 p.m.

Whether you’re a Phish fan or just enjoy good cinema, you won’t want to miss a special presentation at Whistler’s Rainbow Theatre.

Bittersweet Motel is a year-long journey along with what Rolling Stone Magazine called "the most important band of the ’90s." The film chronicles the band members’ lives on and off the stage across North America and Europe, with an extensive section dedicated to "The Great Went." The Limestone, Maine two-day Phish festival capped off the band’s 1997 tour. It’s remembered for many things, including more than 70,000 concert-goers who descended on the burg of just 2,000 inhabitants, creating, for one weekend, the largest city in the state.

Bitterweet Motel is more than your average rockumentary. The critics in the crowd will appreciate unique camera angles, captivating cinematography and inspired direction.

The director himself, Todd Phillips, is reason enough to check out the film. Phillips received critical acclaim and awards for his 1993 documentary Hated, about the highly controversial punk rocker GG Allin. Phillips followed up with an equally controversial documentary about the dark side of American college fraternity life. Despite the fact that Frat House was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, distribution channels remain underground after numerous threats of lawsuits over subject matter.

Mainstream theatre goers will certainly recognize Phillips’ largest production to date, Road Trip, a summer big-screen blockbuster. Phillips has since been signed to a three-film deal with Stephen Spielberg’s Dreamworks, and was in fact forced to cancel press interviews for Bitterweet Motel due to the schedule of his present work-in-progress.

Whistler is one of just six Canadian towns to host Bittersweet Motel. Promoters chose the intimate venues in hopes of creating a specific atmosphere of excitement and energy. It’s a reward for Phish fans and perhaps a transformation for Phish first-timers.

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