Notes from the back row 

Suzuki's the man

David Suzuki is many things - scientist, academic, TV personality, environmentalist, 74-year-old grandfather, and also quite the comedian who doesn't mind getting old at all.

"Years ago I was driven by testosterone and the urge to get laid and pass on my DNA," the second-generation Japanese-Canadian recently said. "Now, I can go for hours and hours without thinking about sex at all."

Force of Nature-The David Suzuki Movie is getting a special Whistler screening this week thanks to the Reel Alternatives program. Based on Suzuki's Legacy speech (a five-hour manifesto on everything from climate change to human/maggot parallels to the role of love in the creation of the universe) Force of Nature is a fascinating look at the life and ideology of a true Canadian national treasure as well as his words of warning for our collective future.

B.C.-born director Sturla Gunnarsson edits key moments from the Legacy speech with newsreel and footage from Suzuki's iconic CBC show The Nature of Things, but the most telling segments feature Suzuki returning to key places from his past and discussing the events that molded his life as an outsider - a WWII Japanese internment camp in B.C.'s interior, the racist backwaters of small-town Ontario, American research facilities in the deep south, all the way to the famous logging standoffs and nature-connect spirituality of Haida Gwaii.

Where Force of Nature succeeds is in the mixing of these interesting and emotional moments with Suzuki's eloquent take on science, history, nature and the future. From a doomsday-clock example of bacteria in a test tube to American astronomer Harlow Shapley's hypothesis that every human throughout time - from Jesus to Joan of Arc to Humprey Bogart to Angelina Jolie to you and I - essentially breathes the same air, specifically the argon atoms that our bodies don't use and breathe back out with every breath.

Force of Nature will get compared to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth but Suzuki is a more compelling figure and this film is equal parts character, love and soul mixed with the hard-hitting parts about why we shouldn't let a man-made concept like economy dictate what we do with a natural system that's been around for billions of years. Force of Nature plays at the Village 8 on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. Check it out, David Suzuki is the coolest.

A few other Canadian legends finally make their way into the Village 8 this week as Fubar 2 (in which two loveable idiots, Terry and Deaner deliver one of the year's smartest comedies) starts Friday.

Also opening Friday, speaking of smart comedies, is Jackass 3. A lot of people think these guys are just a bunch of... ah, jackasses... but in truth they are comedic geniuses keeping alive a tradition almost as old as film itself. Knoxville, Bam, Steve-O and the boys are masters of physical comedy who come up with new material by holing up for days watching The Three Stooges, Looney Tunes or Tom and Jerry . Their movie is gonna rule, especially in 3D (which Whistler doesn't have.)

Red, an action comedy about retired CIA assassins starring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and Marie Louise Parker also opens. It's based on a comic book by Warren Ellis, and John Malkovich also stars as a guy who ate acid every day for 12 years. Looks decent actually.

And since nothing is anything without an online component these days, check out the bacteria/test tube example, taken from David Suzuki's speech, about how right now is probably the end of the world as we know it -



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