katrinaolson.ca - KO Review of Wreck City: An Epilogue For 809 (CUFF 2016)

Posted on Wednesday, April 06, 2016 at 10:00 AM

KO Review of Wreck City: An Epilogue For 809 (CUFF 2016)

Review by Katrina Olson-Mottahed x CalgaryMovies.com

A KO Review by Emily Mody

Wreck City: An Epilogue For 809 is a documentary directed by Ramin Eshraghi Yazdi. This film looks at the demolition of a city block in Sunnyside, Calgary. A number of houses were set for demolition including a garage gallery called 809. When the owners of 809, Brandon Dalmer and Shawn Mankowske, found out about the development project they took it upon themselves to create an art exhibition known as Wreck City that would include their gallery space and all of the houses that were set for demolition. This was an interactive art installation that functioned as a celebration of alternative art space in Calgary, Alberta before it was demolished and replaced by a new condo complex.

I thought this film was amazing and I was so glad to be able to, in my own way, participate in this art installation through the documentation of the exhibition. Wreck City was such a brave and authentic way to utilize a space that was otherwise not being used. I find that artistic exhibitions, in Calgary at least, do not receive very large exposure. Mostly it is people who are interested in art or artists themselves that enjoy and take part in these types of events. This exhibition, however, brought out artists and all kinds of people from the neighboring areas that have a love for the city. I thought it was a really beautiful way to share artistic expression.

This film was also very inspiring to watch. It made me realize the realm of possibility when you have a group of people who are determined to do something innovative. I feel like a project such as Wreck City has the ability to completely revitalize the area. I love the alternative art scene in Calgary and the fact that people can see so much artistic potential in the mundane aspects of life. Development is a very necessary part of a flowering city. All things are rendered obsolete when given enough time and the beauty of the Wreck City project was the reflection of our own mortality. I have always loved Calgary, understanding of course that no city is perfect but this film has really revitalized that love. Wreck City made me see the realm of possibility in a city with a thriving art scene.

If you love Calgary or if you do not love Calgary but you wish you did, you should really go see this film. I would also recommend this film to anyone who enjoys the exploration and exhibition of alternative art spaces. This film is 60 minutes long. I would say that Wreck City is appropriate for all audiences. Some of the houses did display art that was a little more mature in content (ie. nudity) but I believe that everyone can benefit from the discussion of expression. Wreck City: An Epilogue For 809 will be screening as a part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival (CUFF) at the Globe Cinema Upstairs at 7:30pm on April 15, 2016. Go see Wreck City, you will not be disappointed.

“We have to acknowledge that we’re pretend cowboy culture. That’s us too. Um, not that I love that but there are parts of that I kind of think are pretty awesome. But then there’s this other thing that happens here where people are really good at making opportunities for themselves.” – Caitlind R.C. Brown (Curator)


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.