Wake in Fright; Quest for Fire (Netflix Canada picks)

27 Nov
November 27, 2015

Wake in Fright – Ted Kotcheff, Australia/USA, 1971, 109 minutes

Quest for Fire – Jean-Jacques Annaud, Canada/France/USA, 1981, 100 minutes

Wake in Fright, summarized by the distributor as “the nightmarish story of a schoolteacher’s descent into personal demoralization at the hands of drunken, deranged derelicts while stranded in a small town in outback Australia,” is a unique fragment of movie history. It has moments of paranoia and confusion that feel like the best science-fiction, horrifyingly real scenes of a cruel nighttime kangaroo hunt, and an awkward detour into homosexuality that in contemporary terms is in some kind of grey zone between memory repression and date rape. So a “quintessential Australian exploitation film,” yes, but one that, in the social identity questions that it opens, evokes shades of its unlikely cinematic cousin Lawrence of Arabia, complete with a protagonist played by Gary Bond, more than convincing as a poor man’s Peter O’Toole. Genuine film classics of the ’70s are few and far between on Netflix, which makes this all the more essential as an add to your watch-list. Netflix is streaming a pristine transfer of the recent meticulous restoration.

Speaking of awkwardness, and shades of science fiction, how about the Canadian-financed and filmed Quest for Fire, which Roger Ebert memorably introduced in his review as “either (a) the moving story of how scattered tribes of very early men developed some of the traits that made them human, or (b) a laughable caveman picture in which a lot of lantern-jawed actors jump around in animal skins, snarling and swinging clubs at one another.” He was surprised at how the film went from “b” to “a” for him, as it pulled him into its world—and so was I. This is a story that seems like it shouldn’t work, and looks like it isn’t going to—and then does. The image quality is not the greatest, with some visible artifacting and damage that mostly settles down after the opening minutes.  It’s more than watchable—probably the same transfer that was used for the 2003 DVD—but here is a film that deserves and could use some restoration work and a high-def release. In the meantime I recommend Netflix (or Shomi—same transfer) as your best viewing option.

Buñuel retrospective summer 2016 at TIFF Lightbox?

25 Nov
November 25, 2015

The ICA in London is about midway through a massive-jealousy-inducing retrospective of the films of Luis Buñuel, that has had me wondering for some time whether it might, like past retrospectives of Pasolini and Kubrick, eventually find its way to Canada.  So, feel free to tell me that I’m seizing on the thinnest thread of evidence, but I got more than a little excited when I discovered these tweets from Guillermo del Toro:

It’s hard to believe that the TIFF Lightbox would screen a lesser-known Buñuel film like Él in isolation. It seems to me much more plausible that del Toro is in talks with them to be one of a number of special guests in a full retrospective series this coming summer.

This isn’t really the sort of blog that is generally about rumour-starting, but, fellow film nerds—let’s start this one.  This has to happen.

In the meantime here’s the trailer for that ICA exhibition.

Halifax film screening picks — Nov 23-29

23 Nov
November 23, 2015

Decent film picks are few and far between this week with Carbon Arc and the Dal Art Gallery both on breaks this week. There are recent Bollywood and Japanese anime productions screening this week, but scanning the reviews I don’t think I can recommend either. However Monday does offer one last chance to catch Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak on the big screen (Park Lane, Dartmouth Crossing) in a Cineplex Classic Film Series screening of Pal Joey.

The best bets this week are out-of-town screenings: 99 Homes (with the ever-intense Michael Shannon) in Annapolis Royal on Tuesday, Lily Tomlin in Grandma at the Astor in Liverpool on Wednesday, and the highly-regarded Canadian coming-of-ager Wet Bum in Wolfville on Sunday.

This weekend’s late-night screener at Cineplex Park Lane is Spaceballs. May the schwartz be with you.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Monday (Nov 23) — Pal Joey, Cineplex Park Lane & Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6. George Sidney, USA, 1957, 109 minutes.
  • Tuesday (Nov 24) — Room, Cineplex Oxford, 3 6:30pm &‎ ‎9:15pm‎, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). Lenny Abrahamson, 2015, USA, 118 minutes.
  • Friday (Nov 27) — Spaceballs, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Mel Brooks, USA, 1987, 96 minutes.
  • Saturday (Nov 28) — Spaceballs, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Mel Brooks, USA, 1987, 96 minutes.

Here are my Annapolis Valley and South Shore screening picks for selected days this week:

  • Tuesday (Nov 24) — 99 Homes, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal),  7:30pm, $8. Ramin Bahrani, 2014, USA, 112 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Nov 25) — Grandma, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Paul Weitz, 2015, USA, 78 minutes.
  • Sunday (Nov 29) — Wet Bum, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Lindsay MacKay, 2014, Canada, 98 minutes.

Blu-ray diary: I, Geoffrey Chaucer (Pasolini 10: The Canterbury Tales)

17 Nov
November 17, 2015

Canterbury Tales BFI Blu-ray cover imageI’m feeling a bit silly and regretful. If I had my Pasolini watch-through to do over again, I never would have let myself get knocked off course by the impenetrability of his Medea, which made me back up, read the play, and then watch the movie a second time. Based on that experience, I decided to read each of the source texts for the Trilogy of Life (The Decameron, The Canterbury Tales, Arabian Nights), and then at least part of the multiple sources of Salò, before attempting the films.

Reading The Decameron was pure enjoyment but it took a long time, and although I got a start on re-reading The Canterbury Tales, which I hadn’t touched since painfully, slowly making my way through portions of the original text as an undergraduate, I fell off the wagon, and so did my Pasolini viewing project.

This week I decided to just take the plunge and watch Canterbury, Arabian Nights, and Salò, and I now realize that my fretting and delay was all for naught. The films are all, like Decameron, perfectly comprehensible without knowledge of their sources. It’s now clear to me that Medea is an outlier in the Pasolini oeuvre. Yes his films are intellectual rigorous, yes they display a supreme cinematic intelligence, but Pasolini never talks down to the viewer, and is never willfully obscure. Knowing what I know now about his films, my advice to the first-time viewer is this—with that one exception, you really don’t need to know the sources to enjoy and grasp any of his literary adaptations, so just go ahead and watch them already.

That advice goes double for The Canterbury Tales, which moves with a breezy delight that belies its rigorously-conceived underpinnings. If Pasolini’s was a painterly approach to filmmaking, then the middle film of the trilogy represents his quickest, tightest, and surest strokes.

That extends to his self-casting as Geoffrey Chaucer, on which he commented: “As an actor, I had decidedly more fun in this role than as Boccaccio’s Giotto, who’s always so worried about his work… Here I joke and mock my own human ‘inventions.'” In fact early reviews were not favourable to this portrayal, which was seen as not representative of the range of tone of the original works. But his choice to shape the character and the work to his own purpose has been largely validated by critical consensus over time.

With the whole Trilogy, and especially with this film, Pasolini was creating images of sexuality that were simultaneously daring in their explicitness, polymorphous in their content, and innocent and playful in tone. Thus it was extremely disappointing for him when the success of the films led to a whole new exploitation subgenre that was predicated on the perception of his films as being lurid and transgressive—as detailed in the excellent 36-minute documentary Pasolini and the Italian Genre Film, included with the BFI Blu-ray release of this film.

Pasolini Six Films Blu-ray box set BFI coverI’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the release, a couple of weeks ago, of the new British Film Institute box set of six Pasolini films on Blu-ray. I can recommend it without reservation even though I won’t be purchasing it myself—it simply collects the six of his films that the BFI has already released on Blu-ray disc, five of which I own already (the sixth, Salò, I have in its Criterion release, but will likely double-dip for at some point just to lay my hands on the additional special features). If you love cinema, and you don’t own these already, and you can play Region B Blu-ray discs, you need this, it’s as simple as that.

Halifax film screening picks — Nov 16-22

16 Nov
November 16, 2015

With the Jewish Film Festival done and Carbon Arc on hiatus until the new year it’s fair to say that film pickings are rather more slim this week. However, there are a few notables this week starting with the first local screening since the Atlantic Film Festival of the Naomi Klein documentary This Changes Everything, directed by her husband Avi Lewis. That’s being screening on Monday at the Central Library by the Radical Imagination Project.

A festival crowd favourite, the widely praised—though not uncontroversial—novel adaptation Room has moved in at the Oxford, and although I do have some reservations about the film I do recommend it, on balance—and of course encourage people to see it and make up their own minds about it.

On Tuesday there’s a one-off screening at Cineplex Park Lane of the Japanese anime The Anthem of the Heart, which is the latest from the creative team behind 2013’s Anohana Movie. If that’s your niche then here’s a rare opportunity.

Dal Art Gallery continues its Wednesday sci-fi series this week with the 1980 nugget Altered States, and I think I’m breaking some kind of rule by saying this but Friday and Saturday, Cineplex Park Lane will have late-night screenings of Fight Club.

If you missed the recent Carbon Arc screening, on Sunday in Wolfville the Fundy Film Society has Court.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Monday (Nov 16) — This Changes Everything, Halifax Central Library, 6:30pm, free, presented by the Radical Imagination Project, followed by a panel discussion w Catherine Abreu, Catherine Martin, Kiki Wood. Avi Lewis, Canada/USA, 2015, 89 minutes.
  • Tuesday (Nov 17) — Room, Cineplex Oxford, 3 6:30pm &‎ ‎9:15pm‎, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). Lenny Abrahamson, 2015, USA, 118 minutes.
    The Anthem of the Heart (Kokoro ga sakebitagatterunda), Cineplex Park Lane, 9:25pm, $6.99. Tatsuyuki Nagai, Japan, 2015, 120 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Nov 18) — Altered States, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Ken Russell, USA, 1980, 102 minutes.
  • Friday (Nov 20) — Fight Club, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. David Fincher, USA/Germany, 1999, 139 minutes.
  • Saturday (Nov 21) — Fight Club, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. David Fincher, USA/Germany, 1999, 139 minutes.

Here is my Annapolis Valley pick for this week:

  • Sunday (Nov 22) — Court, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Chaitanya Tamhane, India, 2014, 116 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — Nov 11-15

11 Nov
November 11, 2015

So the Atlantic Jewish Film Festival is back for another annual instalment—an event that I’ve appreciated over the years for bringing in interesting films that would otherwise never play here. And indeed there are some excellent choices on this year’s program, but also a couple of head-scratchers, including a French film that was deemed too racist for distribution in the English-speaking worldSerial (Bad) Weddings, according to the National Post’s movie critic Chris Knight, is “something truly sickness-inducing”—its “humour sometimes strays across the good-taste divide and into actual racist remarks” and “often isn’t funny at all.” “The awkwardness and clichés about race and religion come out in this film” says the festival website. Indeed. As well, there is a Sunday afternoon screening of a documentary called Above & Beyond, about the early days of the Israeli air force, that looks to be a piece of straight-up propaganda about the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. “By including an extended, fairly one-sided account of the founding of Israel, complete with an interview with Shimon Peres, and placing it within the heroic yarn-spinning of American WWII vets, the filmmakers conjure the illusion of a national destiny linked to the United States, unchanged in its trajectory to the present,” says Ronnie Scheib in Variety. That one is co-presented by the Atlantic Film Festival. Hmm.

That’s the bad news, but the good news is that there are some really solid choices as usual, especially the closing film Gett: the Trial of Viviane Amsalem, which played the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes in 2014. This widely lauded courtroom drama critiques the effective veto power over divorce that husbands have in Israel. Matt Zoller Seitz’s review says that in this film, director siblings Ronit and Shlomi Elkmbetz “prove that they rank with the finest filmmakers alive.” I’m also intrigued to see that there is a Friday morning screening of the 1938 Yiddish film classic Mamele, which has been recently restored by the National Center for Jewish Film. The Saturday evening screening of the doc Deli Man looks like a fun way to kick off the Gala party, and there is also a Friday afternoon co-presentation with Carbon Arc of Dough which looks a similarly feel-good experience. “A pokey, cliché-filled, completely unadventurous movie if ever there was one… It’s also impossible to resist,” says a reviewer who attended the Asheville Jewish Film Festival.

Speaking of Carbon Arc, the fall screening series wraps up this week (early, yes, due to repair work set to commence at the Museum of Natural History) with the (possibly final) Ken Loach film Jimmy’s Hall and the Chernobyl documentary The Russian Woodpecker.

The Cineplex Park Lane weekend late night screening this Friday and Saturday is the Coen brothers’ most cultish film, The Big Lebowski.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Friday (Nov 13) — Mamele, Museum of Natural History, 11am, tickets. Joseph Green & Konrad Tom, Poland, Yiddish w English subtitles, 1938, 97 minutes.
    Dough, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 2pm, tickets. John Goldschmidt, UK/Hungary, 2015, 94 minutes.
    Jimmy’s Hall, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Ken Loach, UK/Ireland/France, 2014, 106 minutes.
    The Russian Woodpecker, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 9pm, $7. Chad Gracia, USA/UK/Ukraine, 2015, 80 minutes.
    The Big Lebowski, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Joel Coen, USA, 1998, 117 minutes.
  • Saturday (Nov 14) — Deli Man, Museum of Natural History, 2pm, tickets. Eric Anjou, USA, 2014, 92 minutes.
    — The Big Lebowski, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Joel Coen, USA, 1998, 117 minutes.
  • Sunday (Nov 15) — Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Halifax Central Library, 7pm, tickets. Ronit Elkabetz & Shlomi Elkmbetz, Israel/France, 2014, 115 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — Nov 2-8

02 Nov
November 2, 2015

I’m pretty pleased to see that Carbon Arc has two screenings of two films over two nights this week—featuring a pair of widely-lauded/highly-regarded films. Tangerine, a story of transgender L.A. sex workers, shot with three iPhones, has been called “a textbook example of how indies can tell groundbreaking stories in a way that Hollywood simply can’t match” while Court, the story of a 69-year-old folk singer on trial in India for singing anti-state lyrics, and purportedly goading a listener to suicide, has been described as “one of the strongest debut features in years.” The two films will flip between the early and late timeslots on Friday and Saturday, so check the schedule below. (With renovations to the Museum of Natural History’s ventilation system starting the week of November 16, the last screenings of the fall film series will be on November 13.)

The Dal Art Gallery film screening series is also doubling down this week—on classic science fiction. Fantastic Voyage (the 1966 film that was later kinda-sorta remade as Innerspace, and which James Cameron keeps threatening to remake again) screens on Tuesday, and Nicholas Roeg’s David Bowie vehicle The Man Who Fell to Earth on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, if you’re on the fence about eating meat vs. going vegan, maybe the sight of “a cow being brutally loaded onto a bulldozer for slaughter, and a sustainably-reared duck being bloodily beheaded by a blunt axe” will be your tipping point. Yep, the Radical Imagination Project has the Leonardo-DiCaprio-funded vegan-gelical doc Cowspiracy in a free screening on Monday at the Central Library.

Speaking of science fiction, and bloody shifts in the food pyramid, it occurs to me that I’ve never seen Ridley Scott’s Alien on the big screen—looks like this Friday or Saturday at Park Lane I’ll have a chance to rectify that.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Monday (Nov 2) — Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, Halifax Central Library (room 301), 6:30pm, free, presented by the Radical Imagination Project. Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn, USA, 2014, 91 minutes.
  • Tuesday (Nov 3) — Fantastic Voyage, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Richard Fleischer, USA, 1966, 100 minutes.
    — Grandma, Cineplex Park Lane, 3:35‎pm, 6:50pm &‎ ‎8:55pm‎, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). Paul Weitz, 2015, USA, 78 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Nov 4) — The Man Who Fell to Earth, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Nicholas Roeg, USA/UK, 1976, 139 minutes.
  • Friday (Nov 6) — Tangerine, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Sean S. Baker, USA, 2015, 88 minutes.
    Court, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 9pm, $7. Chaitanya Tamhane, India, 2014, 116 minutes.
    Alien, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Ridley Scott, UK/USA, 1979, 117 minutes.
  • Saturday (Nov 7) — Court, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Chaitanya Tamhane, India, 2014, 116 minutes.
    — Tangerine, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 9pm, $7. Sean S. Baker, USA, 2015, 88 minutes.
    — Alien, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Ridley Scott, UK/USA, 1979, 117 minutes.

Here are my Annapolis Valley and South Shore screening picks for this week:

  • Tuesday (Nov 3) — This Changes Everything, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Avi Lewis, Canada/USA, 2015, 89 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Nov 4) — The Second Mother, Cineplex Cinemas Bridgewater (349 Lahave St, Bridgewater), 4pm & 7pm, $8. Anna Muylaert, Brazil, 2015, 112 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — Oct 26-Nov 1

26 Oct
October 26, 2015

I think that the Fundy Film Society wins film-Halloween this year, with the Iranian vampire western A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night playing this Wednesday evening in Wolfville.

Carbon Arc has the “delicious and frothy fantasia with a teasing erotic frisson,” François Ozon’s The New Girlfriend (two screenings on Friday), and the rather more reflective documentary Quebekoisie on Wednesday, with the directors Mélanie Carrier and Olivier Higgins in attendance for a Q&A.

I’m pretty sure the first time I watched Solaris it was because the description on the VHS box at Video Difference sold it to me as Russia’s answer to 2001. In the years since I’ve watched it multiple times, read the novel, and twice watched the Soderbergh remake that is surprisingly truer to the book in some key ways. I now think of it, of course, as very much its own thing, and if you’ve never seen it, I’d suggest you check out this week’s screening—the latest in the Dal Art Gallery sci-fi Wednesdays series. On Tuesday the Gallery also has the visually rich The Mill and the Cross to conclude its October series of Dutch-art-related screenings.

Cineplex Park Lane has late-night screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show this Friday and Saturday, because, yeah, Halloween.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Tuesday (Oct 27) — The Mill and the Cross, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Lech Majeswski, Poland/US/UK, 2011, 100 minutes.
    Grandma, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:05‎pm, ‎7:05pm &‎ ‎9:10pm‎, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). Paul Weitz, 2015, USA, 78 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Oct 28) — Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Cineplex Park Lane @ 6:45pm & Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing @ 7pm, $6. Frank Capra, USA, 1939, 130 minutes.
    Quebekoisie, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, by donation, directors present for Q&A. Mélanie Carrier & Olivier Higgins, Canada, 2014, 80 minutes.
    Solaris, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1972, 167 minutes.
  • Thursday (Oct 29) — Revolution, Ondaatje Auditorium @ McCain Building (6135 University Ave), 7pm, free. Follow-up to 2006’s Sharkwater examines threats to marine life around the globe—runner-up for People’s Choice doc award at TIFF 2012. Rob Stewart, Canada, 2012, 85 minutes.
  • Friday (Oct 30) — The New Girlfriend, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9:30pm, $7. François Ozon, France, 2014, 107 minutes.
    — The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Jim Sharman, UK/USA, 1975, 100 minutes.
  • Saturday (Oct 31) — The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. Jim Sharman, UK/USA, 1975, 100 minutes.

Here are my Annapolis Valley screening picks for this week:

  • Tuesday (Oct 27) — Jimmy’s Hall, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal),  7:30pm, $8. Ken Loach, UK/Ireland/France, 2014, 106 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Oct 28) — A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Ana Lily Amirpour, USA, 2014, 101 minutes.
  • Sunday (Nov 1) — ’71, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Yann Demange, UK, 2014, 99 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — Oct 19-25

19 Oct
October 19, 2015

It’s Halifax Pop Explosion week, and there are a couple of screenings happening to celebrate. Thursday at the Halifax North Memorial Library, the Poptober presentations of Penelope Spheeris’ The Decline of Western Civilization trilogy wrap up with a free screening of the original instalment from 1981. And on Friday, Carbon Arc has the Les Blank documentary about Leon Russell—shot in the early ‘70s in Oklahoma but only released in 2015—A Poem Is a Naked Person. The single screening at 7pm is followed at 9pm by the musical comedy Songs She Wrote About People She Knows.

Marketing miscalculation or ahead of its time? Halloween III: Season of the Witch—the only Halloween instalment without Michael Myers—gets a Thrillema screening this Thursday.

The Dal Art Gallery screenings continue this week: Scarlett Johansson is Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring in the 2003 Peter Webber film, in Tuesday’s Dutch art series, and the Wednesday sci-fi screening is Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. And speaking of Kubrick, Cineplex Park Lane has late-night screenings of The Shining this Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday at the Central Library you can catch another free Novel Tech Ethics health-issues screening with panel discussion—the John Kastner doc Out of Mind, Out of Sight—which won the best Canadian doc award at Hot Docs 2014—portrays the treatment process of four patients at a forensic psychiatric hospital.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

Halifax film screening picks — Oct 12-18

12 Oct
October 12, 2015

Once again this week, the film screening that I most want to attend is happening out of town—Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, an “unflinching, quietly furious exploration of life under radical Islamist rule,” is being screened by the Fundy Film Society in Wolfville this Wednesday.

Here in Halifax, Carbon Arc has double goodness this week: The remarkable, surprisingly upbeat documentary The Wolfpack has a single screening on Friday, and, as part of Nocturne: Art at Night, three free Saturday screenings of a collection of eight short films from the Schnit International Short Film Festival.

Cineplex Park lane has screenings today and tomorrow of a documentary whose existence is as improbable as the cancelled movie project that it examines—The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened? Yes, there was going to be a Tim-Burton-directed Superman movie starring Nicolas Cage, and yes, someone has made a film on this subject that might be worth seeing.

The Dal Art Gallery screenings continue this week with fresh instalments of the Tuesday Dutch art series and the Wednesday sci-fi series. In the former category we have director Peter Greenaway returning to Rembrandt’s The Night Watch with the documentary Rembrandt’s J’Accuse, and in the latter, the repeatedly-remade 1956 classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Wednesday at the Central Library you can catch another free Novel Tech Ethics health-issues screening with panel discussion—the John Kastner doc NCR: Not Criminally Responsible “offers a timely and provocative examination of violence and mental illness, and the rights of victims.”

Thursday the Poptober screening series of the legendary Penelope Spheeris docu-trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization continues with Part II: The Metal Years, which delves into 80s “hair metal.” That’s at the Halifax North Memorial Library.

Cineplex Park Lane has a couple of late-night screenings of The Exorcist this weekend, and Jimmy Stewart fans can catch their favourite everyman on the big screen as well—a limited Classic Film Series engagement of Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington kicks off at Cineplex this Sunday.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for this week:

  • Monday (Oct 12) — The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:50pm, regular pricing. Jon Schnepp, USA, 2015, 104 minutes.
  • Tuesday (Oct 13) — The Death of “Superman Lives”: What Happened?, Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, Tuesday cheap-night pricing. Jon Schnepp, USA, 2015, 104 minutes.
    Rembrandt’s J’Accuse, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Peter Greenaway, Netherlands/UK, 2008, 100 mins.
  • Wednesday (Oct 14) — NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, Halifax Central Library, 6pm, free. John Kastner, Canada, 2013, 98 minutes.
    — Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Curt Siodmak, USA, 1953, 76 mins.
  • Thursday (Oct 15) —The Decline of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years, Halifax North Memorial Library, 7pm, free. Penelope Spheeris, USA, 1988, 93 minutes.
  • Friday (Oct 16) — The Wolfpack, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Crystal Moselle, USA, 2015, 90 minutes.
    The Exorcist, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. William Friedkin, USA, 1973, 122 minutes.
  • Saturday (Oct 17) — Schnit International Short Film Festival (selected short films), Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 6pm, 8pm, & 10pm, free. Various directors, international, 2015, 70 minutes.
    — The Exorcist, Cineplex Park Lane, 11:30pm, $6. William Friedkin, USA, 1973, 122 minutes.
  • Sunday (Oct 18) — Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Cineplex Oxford & Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $6. Frank Capra, USA, 1939, 129 minutes.

Here are my Annapolis Valley screening picks for this week:

  • Tuesday (Oct 13) — Best of Enemies, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal),  7:30pm, $8. Robert Gordon & Morgan Neville, 2015, USA, 88 minutes.
  • Wednesday (Oct 14) — Timbuktu, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Abderrahmane Sissako, France/Mauritania, 2014, 96 minutes.
  • Sunday (Oct 18) — Love & Mercy, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Bill Pohlad, USA, 2014, 121 minutes.