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Fetching Cody (2005)

by on 2013/01/27

fetching_cody_2005“Why did you come downtown?”

* * * *

My fellow movie reviewer Hacker Renders and I have a time travel game we like to play. We like to imagine that we saw each other, were in the same places at the same times, years ago – long before we were actually introduced.

It turns out the idea that we met a long time ago, it isn’t so very far fetched. We used to haunt a lot of the same places back in Toronto.

I used to spend a lot of time at a club called Lee’s Palace, upstairs in the Dance Cave, stumbling around in big army boots, dressed in black. He’d sit in that same dark hole in the wall, and write in the back corner. I remember – somewhat clearly – stepping on a guy who sat quietly scribbling notes in the pitch black.

On one lonely Saturday afternoon, I and a guy who wore a long, black trench coat were the only people watching Ray Liotta’s No Escape at the Eaton Centre cinema. The guy sat on one side of the tiny theatre, and I on the other.

Since I am not one to talk to strangers, we didn’t say anything, just quietly watched the movie about a savage prison island together, alone. Hacker said he saw that same movie in that same deserted theatre. The list goes on.

When we both moved from Toronto to Ottawa for our own respective idiotic reasons in 2000 on the very same month, it would take us three more years to find each other.

Fetching Cody is a movie about time, and the difference meeting a person can make in another person’s life. Hacker Renders has accused me of despising time travel films, but for movies like this one, written and directed by David Ray, I make an exception.

Starring Jay Baruchel (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) and Sarah Lind (The Assassination of Jesse James), the movie deals with a couple living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.  Baruchel plays Art, a charming street hustler and sometimes drug dealer, who is in love with Cody (Lind), a junkie prostitute. Rarely has such a union been depicted with such charm and aching poignancy.

When Cody gets sick, Art uses a homeless man’s time machine to go back and try to fix Cody’s life. The time machine in question is an old, plaid recliner strung with Christmas lights, housed in a derelict building used by trash-collecting, homeless mystic, Harvey (Jim Byrnes).

This movie about love is made with love. Scenes are carefully constructed, shots are painterly. The crumbling beauty of Vancouver’s notorious neighbourhood plays a key supporting role. Director Ray even calls in Eastside royalty to move the plot along, with Empress XXVIII of the Imperial and Sovereign Dogwood Empire of Vancouver, otherwise known as Robert Kaiser, a well-known area drag queen.

Kaiser, the kind of royalty I can stand, plays a kindly friend to the damaged couple. He’s lovely.

Fetching Cody features amazing performances from Baruchel and Lind. This independent film is proof you can make magic with clever ideas, lovely words, a pile of discarded junk, an old chair, a string of Christmas lights and a mattress on the floor. And this kind of beautiful alchemy can make you ache.

Thanks to Fetching Cody I realize don’t hate time travel. I think it just breaks my heart.

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87 minutes

Rated 14A for drug use, some sexuality and language

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