Archive for month: October, 2017

Halifax screening picks — October 30-November 5

30 Oct
October 30, 2017

Somehow this fall (mostly due to illness, really) I have contrived to miss The Florida Project at TIFF, at AIFF, and now on its opening weekend in Halifax, but I’ll be seeing it at my first opportunity—the film is one of the six best reviewed films of 2017 so far, and if you’ve beat me to it, I’m jealous.

The Thrillema is back with its annual Halloween double feature tonight, starting with the unimpeachable Night of the Living Dead, a film that partly owes its enduring influence to an accident of the most pedestrian kind, and proceeding to Halloween II, the film with half-baked plot twists that ruined the franchise, on some accounts. As usual there are no advance tickets left but there will be standby seats.

This Thursday the Dal Art Gallery has a free screening of Andrei Tarkovsky’s most densely autobiographical film, The Mirror, and I don’t know if there’s a better example of a film being simultaneously impenetrable and absorbing. No matter how little you know about the director’s life, the film’s effect is hypnotic: “The smallest details (a stammering child, the wrinkle in the turned page of a book) stick like burrs, and we are left to wonder if any director has delved with more modesty and honesty into the heartbreak of the past.” Note that the screening has been moved from the Gallery, upstairs to the MacAloney Room (406) on the 4th floor of the Dalhousie Arts Centre.

Carbon Arc has two screenings this weekend. Friday it’s Person to Person, the mostly tepidly reviewed ensemble comedy that nonetheless has some well-respected defenders, including David Ehrlich. Saturday brings the neo-slapstick comedy Lost in Paris, “a daft and deft farce about the Last Canadian Who Should Ever Get Herself into a Fix in the Most Gorgeous City on Earth.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (Oct 30) — Frankenstein (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 3:45pm, $6.99. James Whale, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      — Night of the Living Dead, The Thrillema @ Natural History Museum, 7:30pm, limited free standby seats. George A. Romero, USA, 1968, 96 minutes.
      Dracula (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, $6.99. Tod Browning, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      Halloween II, The Thrillema @ Natural History Museum, 9:30pm, limited free standby seats. Rick Rosenthal, USA, 1981, 92 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Oct 31) — Frankenstein (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 3:45pm & 9:15pm, $6.99. James Whale, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      Dracula (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $6.99. Tod Browning, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Nov 1) — Spirited Away [English dub], Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 3:45pm, $12.95. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001, 125 minutes.
      Spirited Away [Japanese w/English subtitles], Cineplex Park Lane 7pm & 9:45pm, Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $12.95. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001, 125 minutes.
    • Thursday (Nov 2) — The Mirror, MacAloney Room (406), 4th floor, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 7pm, free. Andrei Tarkovsky, USSR, 1975, 106 minutes.
    • Friday (Nov 3) — Person to Person, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Dustin Guy Defa, USA, 2017, 84 minutes.
    • Saturday (Nov 4) — Lost in Paris, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Dominique Abel & Fiona Gordon, France/Belgium, 2017, 83 minutes.

Halifax screening picks — October 23-29

23 Oct
October 23, 2017

I spent most of last week music-festing and I’m playing hurried catch-up with the cinema scene today, but here are a couple of quick hits on screenings of note this week:

  •  In theatres, notable
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Oct 25) — My Fair Lady, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:30pm & Dartmouth Crossing, 7:00pm, $6.99. George Cukor, USA, 1964, 170 minutes.
    • Friday (Oct 27) — The Teacher, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Jan Hřebejk, Slovakia/Czech Republic, 2016, 102 minutes.
      Dracula (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $6.99. Tod Browning, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      Frankenstein (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 3:45pm & 9pm, $6.99. James Whale, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
    • Saturday (Oct 28) — Frankenstein (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $6.99. James Whale, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      Dracula (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 9pm, $6.99. Tod Browning, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
    • Sunday (Oct 29) — Spirited Away, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $12.95. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2001, 125 minutes.
      Dracula (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $6.99. Tod Browning, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.
      Frankenstein (1931), Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, $6.99. James Whale, USA, 1931, 90 minutes.

Halifax screening picks — October 16-22

16 Oct
October 16, 2017

The annual Atlantic Jewish Film Festival is back this week, this time with at least 3 features that have had some impact outside the Jewish film-festival circuit. The Women’s Balcony, “a charming exercise in gender politics as experienced via religion,” opens the fest on Thursday at Park Lane. Friday afternoon, The Wedding Plan, aka Through the Wall, a film which”takes a comic look at the question of finding a groom for a desperate spinster of 32,” is co-presented with Carbon Arc Cinema. The festival closes on Sunday at the Central Library with Keep Quiet, a documentary about an anti-Semite who learns that he is of Jewish lineage. “Even if you are unmoved by Mr. Szegedi’s personal story… what Keep Quiet tells us about its larger themes is upsettingly pertinent.” As usual there are several more screenings, so do consult the schedule.

Carbon Arc Cinema this Friday evening is showing the documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time, “a one-of-a-kind curio of a movie that captures, through a collage of photographs, silent documentary footage, and pre-talkie Hollywood film, the story of a Canadian mining town from the 1890s up through the early decades of the 20th century.”

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has opened in Halifax, and the film which surely would have been a fit for the sadly closed Oxford (for which some are still holding out some hope for a rebirth—just not as a cinema) is only playing Cineplex’s Bayers Lake location. The film dramatizes the remarkable origins of the Wonder Woman character, based on Jill Lepore’s book The Secret History of Wonder Woman which she condensed into a 2014 New Yorker essay. Reviews have been largely positive (“lively, feminist biopic“) but critical of “a tone of forced sweetness and celebratory earnestness.”

Halifax screening picks — October 9-15

09 Oct
October 9, 2017

It took 35 years, but a second Blade Runner instalment has arrived. I will hopefully have more to say about it in the next day or two, but if forced to boil down my reaction, I will say Blade Runner 2049 is both an unprecedented visual marvel, and inexcusably retrograde from a feminist point of view—the latter fact seemingly contributing to its underperformance at the box office.

Carbon Arc Cinema this Friday is showing the documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, “a celebratory examination of the often-underappreciated role played in the development of American popular music by singers, musicians, and songwriters of Native American ancestry.” After the screening, at 9pm, everyone is invited to come discuss Carbon Arc’s plans for a full-time cinema. I definitely plan to be there so I hope you’ll come join in.

This week also features a couple of free screenings of note. Tuesday evening at the Central Library it’s the remarkable and daring Timbuktu, introduced by Zack Miller.  And the “Russian Revolutions” series of screenings continues this Thursday afternoon with the 1967 film Commissar, the only feature film directed by Aleksandr Askoldov—”a requiem for Soviet Jewry, not a popular subject among officially approved Soviet movie makers, writers or scholars.”

This Sunday afternoon the Cineplex Classic Films series returns with another shot of Audrey Hepburn goodness in My Fair Lady, which Charlotte Alter defends as “about a strong woman attempting to retain her identity in spite of the controlling machinations of a small-minded man.”

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  •  In theatres, notable
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Oct 10) — Timbuktu, Central Library, 6:30pm, free, introduced by Zack Millerl. Abderrahmane Sissako, France/Mauritania, 2014, 96 minutes.
    • Thursday (Oct 12) — Commissar, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2:30pm, free. Aleksandr Askoldov, USSR, 1967, 110 minutes.
    • Friday (Oct 13) — Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Catherine Bainbridge & Alfonso Maiorana, Canada, 2017, 103 minutes.
    • Sunday (Oct 15) — My Fair Lady, Cineplex Park Lane, 1pm & Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $6.99. George Cukor, USA, 1964, 170 minutes.

Halifax screening picks — October 2-8

02 Oct
October 2, 2017

There’s no question that the cinematic highlight of this week is this Saturday’s free Central Library screening of the 1925 silent classic Strike, featuring live musical accompaniment by player, composer, and ethnomusicologist Mohammad Sahraei and four other musical guests. Sergei Eisenstein’s first feature-length film is “a raucous, rousing hymn to human dignity and courage.”

“At the turn of the twenty-first century,” writes Steve Erickson, “Wong Kar-wai was the most exciting director in the world, and 2000’s In the Mood for Love is his greatest movie.” This Tuesday you can see this classic for free at the Central Library, introduced by Chris Campbell. Incidentally, there is a new restoration from original elements in the pipeline, which will be premiering October 22 as the closing film of the Lumière Festival—as Criterion is one of the partners in this new edition, we can likely expect a fresh replacement next year of their 2012 Blu-ray release.

Wednesday in Wolfville, you can check out a well-regarded animated feature that hasn’t played in Nova Scotia since 2016’s Atlantic Film Festival—Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming). Alissa Simon wrote in Variety that “the film provides a counterweight to our xenophobic times, proving that human beings are more alike than unalike and that poetry can be relevant across millennia.”

Carbon Arc continues its fall season this Friday with the latest from Thomas Vinterberg (The Hunt, The Celebration, Far From the Madding Crowd), The Commune—”the film’s craft is pristine, deftly fabricating intimacy without suffocating either us or the characters.” All of the advance tickets have already been sold for this one, but there will be a few available at the door.

This Sunday at Carbon Arc’s screening room at the Museum of Natural History, there is another Iranian film screening in Halifax, but Oxidan hasn’t been to the festivals so it’s impossible to find an English-language review online. Interestingly though, this comedy by director Hamed Mojhammadi, about a man who impersonates a Catholic priest to get a visa to the UK, has been attacked by conservative Iranian MPs and threatened with a ban, apparently for “insults against holy religions” and the possibility of causing discord among the great Iranian people.”

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  •  In theatres, notable
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Oct 3) — In the Mood for Love, Central Library, 6pm, free, introduced by Chris Campbell. Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong, 2000, 98 minutes.
    • Friday (Oct 6) — The Commune, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Thomas Vinterberg, Denmark, 2016, 90 minutes.
    • Saturday (Oct 7) — Strike, Central Library, 7:30pm, free. Sergei Eisenstein, USSR, 1925, 82 minutes.
    • Sunday (Oct 8) — Oxidan, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 6pm, $13 advance tickets. Hamed Mohammadi, Iran, 2017, 95 minutes.
  • South Shore & Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Monday (Oct 2) — Maudie, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Oct 4) — Window Horses (The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming), Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Ann Marie Fleming, Canada, 2016, 88 minutes.