Archive for month: April, 2016

Halifax film screening picks — April 25-May 1

25 Apr
April 25, 2016

This Friday, Carbon Arc‘s final screening before summer hiatus is Francofonia, the latest from Alexander Sokurov, best known for his single-shot wonder Russian Ark. This latest is an essay-film portrait of the Louvre that expands out into “a chatty and occasionally brilliant rumination on art, history and death.” The film is also being screened in Wolfville on Wednesday by Fundy Cinema (which also has two screenings this Sunday of Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa).

The Thrillema is back on Tuesday with another screening bringing cult-film fans and cineastes together—David Lynch’s unique and unforgettable 1977 debut feature, Eraserhead—a film that he says could not even find an audience today if it was being released for the first time—”The midnight movie circuit was what saved or brought a lot of films to the public.”

20th Century Fox are trying to make April 26 Alien Day happen, and so on Tuesday Cineplex Park Lane has a double-header of the first two films in the franchise.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new/notable:
  • Halifax area screening picks for this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 26) — Eraserhead, The Thrillema @ the Museum of Natural History, 8pm, free advance tickets, donations accepted. David Lynch, USA, 1977, 88 minutes.
      Alien + Aliens double feature, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, regular cheap-Tuesday pricing. Ridley Scott, UK/USA, 1979; James Cameron, USA, 1986. 254 minutes.
    • Friday (Apr 29) — Francofonia, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Alexander Sokurov, Germany/France/Netherlands, 2015, 88 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screening picks for this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 26) — RoomKing’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $8. Lenny Abrahamson, USA, 2015, 118 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Apr 27) — Francofonia, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Alexander Sokurov, Germany/France/Netherlands, 2015, 88 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 24) — Anomalisa, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Charlie Kaufman, USA, 2015, 90 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — April 18-24

18 Apr
April 18, 2016

This Wednesday is National Canadian Film Day, and perhaps the most notable local screening has director Andrea Dorfman on hand for a screening of her 2003 classic (can we say that now?) Love That Boy, the Halifax-shot rom-com that features a teenage Ellen Page in a supporting role.

Carbon Arc’s NCFD screening, pushed to the usual Friday slot, is the sophomore feature from Anne Émond, Our Loved Ones (Les Êtres Chers)—this is a co-presentation with Reel Canada and in fact a free screening. In the late (9:30pm) slot on Friday it’s The Invitation, which is interesting for a couple of reasons: the back story about director Karyn Kusama’s fight to shape her films and get them released is absolutely fascinating, and this is the latest film to try releasing to theatres and to pay-per-view simultaneously. The film itself is getting great reviews and the trailer by itself scared the shit out of April 10’s Carbon Arc audience, as I can testify.

Novel Tech Ethics is back with another screening-plus-discussion event tonight with Concussion, and though the film is in truth neither bad nor great, it’s one of the better issue-analysis films of the past few years, and offers a decent serious Will Smith performance, which is something we don’t get enough of in my book.

Cineplex’s Classic Film Series this week has the only film based on a Rogers & Hammerstein musical not to receive any Academy Award nominations (not sure whether that’s good or bad, because my Oscars feelings are complicated), Carousel, set in Maine, and, um, Heaven. Insert Liverpool FC reference here.

Out of town this week, the Astor Theatre in Liverpool has the raved-about Charlie Kaufman animated feature Anomalisa, nominated for Best Animated Feature at this year’s Oscars, which has yet to play Halifax after being pulled from its Carbon Arc screening by Paramount Studios. Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has the songbird documentary The Messenger on Wednesday, and Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart on Sunday.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new/notable:
  • Halifax area screening picks for this week:
  • South Shore and Annapolis Valley screening picks for this week:
    • Wednesday (Apr 20) — Anomalisa, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Charlie Kaufman, USA, 2015, 90 minutes.
      The Messenger, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Su Rynard, Canada, 2015, 89 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 24) — Mountains May Depart, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Jia Zhangke, China/France/Japan, 2015, 131 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — April 11-17

11 Apr
April 11, 2016

The new Terrence Malick film Knight of Cups has arrived for its Halifax engagement at Cineplex Park Lane, and as with its recent predecessors The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, it is inspiring rapture and contempt in equal measure. In fact I screened this for some friends last month (yes, there is a legit English-friendly German Blu-ray already available) and witnessed the same audience-dividing phenomenon, replicated in my own home. For me what it gives up in terms of character development it gains in its sense of place, succeeding at one of the most difficult tasks for a movie—showing you a Los Angeles you haven’t seen before. The key to this seems to have been guerrilla shooting tactics—which some cast members found rather disconcerting.

There are just three weeks left in the Carbon Arc season before it goes on summer hiatus, and this Friday’s selection, My Golden Days, the latest from Arnaud Desplechin, unlike Knight of Cups, is a uniter, not a divider—in fact it’s the best-reviewed live-action film that the series has programmed so far in 2016. As well, on Friday at the Bus Stop Theatre, there’s a screening of the locally set and shot Noon Gun, which got a nice notice from Carsten Knox at the most recent Atlantic Film Festival.

The Dal Art Gallery Wednesday noir series has another Dalton Trumbo-penned classic this week—The Prowler, directed by Joseph Losey, after which the series goes on a two-week hiatus while the gallery installs a new show.

Out of town this week, there are two highly-rated first features by women—King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal has Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven on Tuesday, and this Sunday, Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has The Girl in the Book by Marya Cohn.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new/notable:
  • Halifax area screening picks for this week:
    • Wednesday (Apr 13) — The Prowler, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Joseph Losey, USA, 1951, 92 minutes.
    • Friday (Apr 15) — My Golden Days, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Arnaud Desplechin, France, 2015, 120 minutes.
      Noon Gun, The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen St, 7pm, $10, advance tickets available online. Casey MacLennan, Canada, 2015, 70 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screening picks for this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 12) —Mustang, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $8. Deniz Gamze Ergüven, France/Turkey/Germany, 2015, 97 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 17) — The Girl in the Book, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Marya Cohn, USA, 2015, 86 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — April 4-10

04 Apr
April 4, 2016

If there is a more brilliant, engaged, and indeed entertaining politically-conscious filmmaker working today than Pablo Larraín, I’d like to know who that is. His latest, The Club, the story of a covert retirement home for priests forced out of the ministry by scandal, finds him “in fierce command of his craft.” Larraín says that the Vatican isn’t talking about this film because they don’t want to make it more visibleCarbon Arc is presenting it this Friday.

The Dal Art Gallery Wednesday noir series continues this week with the first of two films by famously blacklisted screenwriter Dalton TrumboGun Crazy, directed by Joseph H. Lewis.

The Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group continues its four-day mini-festival of free screenings of Cinema Politica documentaries at The Company House this week. Monday sees the Halifax return of ‘Til the Cows Come Home, Tuesday it’s Out in the Night, the story of the New Jersey 4, and Wednesday it’s the classic—now ten-year-old—NFB documentary Finding Dawn. There are post-screening Q&A/panel/performance events which you can check out by clicking through on the preceding links. As well, on Monday the Radical Imagination Project presents Sylvia Hamilton’s one-hour documentary The Little Black School House, which examines the little-known history of Canada’s racially segregated schools. The director will be on hand for a discussion after the screening at the Central Library.

Out of town you can catch a couple of films that carry my highest recommendation—Jafar Panahi’s Taxi plays at the King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on Tuesday, and the tragicomic Icelandic rural drama Rams plays the Astor Theatre in Liverpool on Wednesday.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has the Argentinian documentary Our Last Tango on Wednesday and the minimalist Norwegian drama 1001 Grams on Sunday, directed by Bent Hamer in a style that Farran Smith Nehme describes as “what might happen if Ulrich Seidl liked people.”

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new/notable:
  • Halifax area screening picks for this week:
  • Annapolis Valley & South Shore screening picks for this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 5) — Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $8. Jafar Panahi, 2015, Iran, 82 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Apr 6) — Rams, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Grímur Hákonarson, Iceland/Denmark, 2015, 92 minutes.
      Our Last Tango, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. German Kral, Argentina/Germany, 2015, 85 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 10) — 1001 Grams, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Bent Hamer, Norway, 2014, 93 minutes.