Archive for month: April, 2017

Halifax film screening picks — April 24-30

24 Apr
April 24, 2017

Get ready for five months of life without Carbon Arc screenings—the winter-spring season wraps up this week with one more go-round for the massively popular cats-in-Istanbul doc Kedi at 9pm, but not before a 7pm screening of The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki, winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at last year’s Cannes festival. This true story of Olli Mäki—the Finnish boxer who had a shot at the 1962 World Featherweight title—was shot on black and white film by first-time director Juho Kuosmanen, who “skips the usual triumphant moments and instead lingers over the big questions… that might be glossed over elsewhere.”

Tonight at Cineplex Park Lane you can check out the work of this year’s thesis and third year film students at NSCAD at their end-of-year screening. Doors will open at 6pm and films will begin promptly at 6:15—tickets are available for a suggested donation of 5$ or 10$ at the door.

The “Featured Film Director Series” of films by Nicole Holofcener continues Tuesday at the Central Library with Carbon Arc programmer Zack Miller introducing James Gandolfini’s penultimate film Enough Said, “a romantic comedy of sorts, one set in deep middle age, that time of life when you start wondering if there are any surprises left for you.”

Out of town this week, King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on Tuesday has what is probably the last Nova Scotia screening of Jim Jarmusch’s marvellous Paterson. This Sunday in Wolfville, Fundy Cinema has the WWII romance Their Finest, “a film that openly stumps for two causes: the value of women in the workplace, and the power of cinema to tell stories that people need to hear.” As of this posting it is also still playing in Halifax at Park Lane. The heartening news from Fundy, by the way, is that this essential screening series is on an uncommonly solidly financial footing for the next while thanks to the unexpected popularity of Maudie.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (Apr 24) — NSCAD Film Screening, Cineplex Park Lane, 6:15pm, suggested donation $5 or $10. Various directors, Canada, 2017, event to end by 10pm.
    • Tuesday (Apr 25) — Enough Said, Central Library, 6:30pm, free, introduced by Zack Miller. Nicole Holofcener, USA, 2013, 93 minutes.
    • Friday (Apr 28) — The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Juho Kuosmanen, Finland/Germany/Sweden, 2016, 92 minutes.
      — Kedi, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 9pm, $7. Ceyda Torun, Turkey/USA, 2016, 80 minutes.
      The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:25pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
    • Saturday (Apr 29) — The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 30) — The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:30pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 25) — Paterson, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $10. Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 30) — Their Finest, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Lone Scherfig, UK, 2016, 117 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — April 17-23

17 Apr
April 17, 2017

It’s the penultimate week for the Carbon Arc winter-spring season, and there are two screenings this weekend. On Friday it’s the Jane Jacobs documentary by Matt Tyrnauer, Citizen Jane, telling the story of an urban planning from 50 years ago in a way that “just about pulses with contemporary resonance.” On Saturday it’s the 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows, the latest yearly anthology of animated shorts, as usual “bringing the more personal and experimental films from the international festival circuit to larger audiences.”

This Wednesday is National Canadian Film Day, featuring a massive number of free screenings all over Canada, including many, many places in Nova Scotia. For me a couple of the most interesting screenings are happening at out-of-town theatres: Bill MacGillivray’s 1988 Nova Scotian drama Life Classes screens at the Astor Theatre in Liverpool, and Atom Egoyan’s 1997 Cannes Grand Prix winner The Sweet Hereafter is presented by Fundy Cinema in Wolfville.

There are a number of non-NCFD free film screenings in Halifax this week that deserve mention:

Halifax film screening picks — April 10-16

10 Apr
April 10, 2017

As a follow-up director-actor collaboration between French auteur Olivier Assayas and celebrity model-actress Kristen Stewart, Personal Shopper feels like the surprisingly awesome B-side to a smash hit single.  (The A-side in this case is Clouds of Sils Maria, the outstanding 2015 film where Stewart is paired with no less than Juliette Binoche and rather steals the movie.) Personal Shopper pretty convincingly draws unlikely connections between the supernatural, the internet and the fashion industry’s underbelly—as one critic puts it, “an outré yet unexpectedly touching tale of luxury brands and ectoplasm.” Hard to describe, easy to recommend.

Fifty years on from its surprise success, The Graduatean impressive 4k restoration thereof, in fact—is back in theatres for a couple of dates this month, including this Wednesday at Cineplex Park Lane and Dartmouth Crossing.  In advance maybe settle into your sofa for half an hour and enjoy this brilliant 2008 long-read making-of piece from Vanity Fair.

Tonight at the Central Library, the Radical Imagination Project is showing Ovarian Psycos, a “concise and intimate documentary” about a Latina bicycle brigade in Los Angeles. Also at the library, Tuesday’s instalment of a featured-director series of films of Nicole Holofcener has Please Give, the 2010 film that explores “the fascinating matter of why some people impulsively give and others compulsively take.” The screening will be introduced by Chris Campbell.

The Dal Art Gallery First Features series continues this Wednesday with Sofia Coppola’s debut The Virgin Suicides, “a poignant portrayal of white middle class suburbia, where the cloying summer humidity is a metaphor for the claustrophobic atmosphere created by parents who are terrified of their children’s potential to become adults.”

This Friday, Carbon Arc has a 7pm screening of David Lynch: The Art Life, a “cockeyed, oblique attempt to get closer to the worldview of David Lynch.” Carbon Arc is really excellent at bringing in the most recent acclaimed releases, and this is the latest example—a film that opened in New York just this past weekend.

This Sunday in Wolfville, Fundy Cinema will be screening the Maud Lewis biopic MaudieI fully expect it will be playing Halifax by then as well which has now moved in at the Oxford.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, new/notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (Apr 10) — Ovarian Psycos, Central Library, 6:30pm, free, presented by the Radical Imagination Project. Joanna Sokolowski & Kate Trumbull-LaValle, USA, 2016, 72 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Apr 11) — Please Give, Central Library, 6:30pm, free, introduced by Chris Campbell. Nicole Holofcener, USA, 2010, 87 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Apr 12) — The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
      The Virgin Suicides, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Sofia Coppola, USA, 1999, 97 minutes.
    • Friday (Apr 14) — David Lynch: The Art Life, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7.
      Jon Nguyen, Olivia Neergaard-Holm & Rick Barnes, USA, 2017, 90 minutes.
      The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:30pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 16) — The Graduate, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, $6.99. Mike Nichols, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Apr 11) — I, Daniel Blake, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $10. Ken Loach, UK/France/Belgium, 2016, 100 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Apr 13) — I Am Not Your Negro, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Raoul Peck, USA, 2016, 95 minutes.
    • Sunday (Apr 16) — Maudie, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — April 3-9

03 Apr
April 3, 2017

This Friday, Carbon Arc has a 7pm screening of the Swiss/French animated feature My Life as a Zucchini, which has gathered many, many glowing reviews in the past month or two. Céline Sciamma, the writer/director of Tomboy and Girlhood (which have both, sadly, exited Netflix) picks up one of four screenwriting credits here.

Speaking of well-regarded animated features, opening on Friday at Cineplex Park Lane is Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name, “an unclassifiable experience that starts like a hormonal riff on Freaky Friday, morphs into an apocalyptic version of Portrait of Jennie, and somehow manages to layer a gender-swapping 12th century tale over the ongoing trauma of 3/11 in the meantime,” as David Ehrlich’s review has it.

Friday’s 9pm Carbon Arc screening is Hamid Reza Ghorbani’s A House on 41st Street, a bourgeois domestic tale that takes its time setting up its tense back-half drama, if this Hollywood Reporter review is anything to go by. This is the latest in a series of Iranian film screenings that has started up in Halifax in the past few months. Note that this film, as with all films in this series, has a higher admission price of $13.

The Dal Art Gallery First Features series continues this Wednesday with Chris Eyre’s Smoke Signals, the first feature written and directed by North American Indigenous filmmakers. Says TCM’s Susan Doll, “when released in 1998, the groundbreaking significance of Smoke Signals almost outshone its considerable strengths as a film.”

Jim Jarmusch’s brilliant Paterson has its final two screenings in Liverpool this afternoon and evening at the Astor Theatre. This Wednesday the Astor has the remarkable documentary Obit, about the New York Times obituary section—the film premiered at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and played Toronto’s Hot Docs as well. In Wolfville on Wednesday, Fundy Cinema offers a chance to see one of 2016’s very best films, Toni Erdmann, which played Halifax for just a single week, about a month ago.

Local film critic Carsten Knox is taking on a new professional opportunity and I’m very much going to miss his weekly Halifax film openings round-up on his excellent blog Flaw in the Iris. I’m glad to hear, though, that he’s going to continue to do his podcast with Stephen Cooke, Lens Me Your Ears. To stay on top of what’s opening and closing I recommend, as does Carsten, giving a Twitter follow to Halifax Cinema, a service which I find absolutely invaluable.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Apr 5) — Smoke Signals, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Chris Eyre, USA, 1998, 89 minutes.
    • Friday (Apr 7) — My Life as a Zucchini, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Claude Barras, Switzerland/France, 2016, 66 minutes.
      — A House on 41st Street, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 9pm, $13. Hamid Reza Ghorbani, Iran, 2016, 86 minutes.
  • South Shore and Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Monday (Apr 3) — Paterson, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Apr 5) — Toni Erdmann, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Maren Ade, Germany/Austria, 2016, 163 minutes.
      Obit, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Vanessa Gould, USA, 2016, 93 minutes.