Archive for month: February, 2018

Halifax screening picks—Tuesday & Wednesday Feb 27-28

27 Feb
February 27, 2018

Friends, I’ve got flu and laryngitis and am in no shape to research and post a full week of screening picks at the moment, so for now I will just call your attention to a couple of screenings tonight (Tuesday): the Dal Art Gallery’s screening of Mai Zetterling’s 1964 feature Loving Couples at 7pm, and the Thrillema’s screening of Takashi Miike’s 1999  gory classic Audition at the Museum of Natural History at 8pm.

I hope to update later in the week with some weekend picks.

Halifax screening picks—February 19-25

19 Feb
February 19, 2018

This Friday, Carbon Arc has its third documentary in a row, School Life, “the most adorable documentary that Frederick Wiseman never made,” about the only primary-age boarding school in Ireland.

The Canadian-Irish co-production The Breadwinner, a story of childhood set in Taliban-controlled Kabul—and a 2018 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature—has a couple of additional screenings at Cineplex Park Lane today (Monday) and tomorrow, and then on Wednesday at Fundy Cinema in Wolfville. On Sunday, Fundy has Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, featuring Annette Bening in “one of the juiciest roles of her career” as Hollywood legend Gloria Grahame.

The very important and surprisingly good Black Panther arrived and crushed the box office this weekend. Although I don’t typically highlight studio-tentpole films here, I do like to note when there’s particular merit to choosing the IMAX editions of such films. So it pains me a bit to say that the IMAX edition of Panther is a bit of a scam in this regard. As part of the cross-promotional deals that IMAX has signed, quite a large portion of this film (about an hour) has been “specially formatted in IMAX“—but in this case, the footage in question was shot neither with IMAX gear nor with any other larger-format cameras—”it wasn’t feasible, given the hectic post schedule and dealing with last-minute VFX shots.” So those scenes will switch to a taller aspect ratio as we’ve seen with, for example, Chris Nolan’s Dark Knight films, but the higher resolution is produced by algorithmic extrapolation rather than additional detail captured by a camera lens. Disappointing.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new & notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (Feb 19) — The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 1pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Feb 20) — The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:40pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
    • Friday (Feb 23) — School Life (aka In Loco Parentis), Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9pm, $8.75. Neasa Ní Chianáin & David Rane, Ireland/Spain, 2016, 99 minutes.
  • Wolfville screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Feb 21) — The Breadwinner, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
    • Sunday (Feb 25) — Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Paul McGuigan, UK/USA, 2017, 106 minutes.

Halifax screening picks—February 12-18

12 Feb
February 12, 2018

Faces Places, the “unexpected—and perhaps final—gift from the visionary eighty-nine-year-old director Agnès Varda,” is the film that has given Varda a chance to claim this year’s Best Documentary Feature Oscar, just months after becoming the first female director to receive an honorary Oscar. Carbon Arc will have two Friday screenings of this gem, which I ranked #2 on my top films of 2017. That makes it the best film released in 2017 (#1 on my 2017 list, Zamawon’t be released until this April), and not just in my opinion, but by at least one measure of critical consensus.

On Saturday, Carbon Arc has a special presentation of The Stairs, “a work with deep compassion for those who’ve made their way back from the depths of addiction.” A documentary shot over several years that examines the lives of habitual drug users in Toronto’s Regent Park, it won Best Canadian Film of 2016 from the Toronto Film Critics Association. This screening features a post-film Q&A with director Hugh Gibson, hosted by Natasha Pace from Global TV and featuring Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Strang.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has a great documentary pick as well this Wednesday, with the “instantly recognizable masterpieceDawson City: Frozen Time, a film which is partly about the discovery in the Yukon of several hundred reels of nitrate film from the 1910s and ’20s, decades after they were presumed permanently lost, but has much more to tell about those early decades of the 20th century. “You don’t just watch Dawson City,” Owen Gleiberman wrote in Variety, “You step into it to and draw back a magical curtain on the past, entering a world of buried memory that’s the precursor to our own.”

Another film from my 2017 top ten, The Florida Project, also has Wolfville screenings on Sunday.

The Canadian-Irish co-production The Breadwinner, a story of childhood set in Taliban-controlled Kabul “so urgent and far-reaching that it never settles into the comforts of a coming-of-age story“—and a 2018 Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature—plays this Thursday at Cineplex Park Lane, as well as next Wednesday (the 21st) in Wolfville.

Tuesday the Dal Art Gallery continues its Women Filmmakers 1931-1969 series with a “witty and prescient look at early reality TV in Britain,” Simon and Laura, the Muriel Box directed film that “attempts to expose the myth of democracy that television promises.”

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new & notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Feb 13) — Simon and Laura, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 7pm, free. Muriel Box, UK, 1955, 87 minutes.
    • Thursday (Feb 15) — The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 5pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
    • Friday (Feb 16) — The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
      Faces Places, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9pm, $8.75. Agnes Varda & JR, France, 2017, 89 minutes.
    • Saturday (Feb 17) — The Stairs, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9pm, $8.75. Hugh Gibson, Canada, 2016, 95 minutes.
      The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:30pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
    • Sunday (Feb 18) — The Breadwinner, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:10pm, regular pricing. Nora Twomey, Canada/Ireland/Luxembourg, 2017, 94 minutes.
  • Wolfville screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Feb 14) — Dawson City: Frozen Time, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Bill Morrison, USA, 2016, 120 minutes.
    • Sunday (Feb 18) — The Florida Project, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Sean Baker, USA, 2017, 115 minutes.

Halifax screening picks—February 5-11

05 Feb
February 5, 2018

Carbon Arc programs its first feature-length film of its winter-spring season this Friday with the African sensation Fèlicité, Senegal’s nominee for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Feature, and winner of the Berlinale’s Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize, best film at FESPACO 2017 (Africa’s biggest film festival), and six Africa Movie Academy Awards (a new record). Alain Gomis’ cinematic style is “spectacularly multifaceted” (says the New York Times), and its title character’s arc shows a sophisticated understanding of female strength (says TIFF programmer extraordinaire Kiva Reardon).

I haven’t noted any Wolfville screenings for a while, but it is worth singling out this Sunday’s Fundy Cinema screenings of The Other Side of Hope, one of the best reviewed films of 2017, and one that seems to have broadened the appeal of the standout Finnish film director Aki Kaurismäki, a man who in the ongoing crisis of global migration seems to have found his moment. Before that, on Wednesday, Fundy has the Cannes Palme D’Or winner (and a good shout to pick up the Foreign Language Oscar), The Square.

Cineplex’s annual Flashback Film Fest continues through Thursday with more films than I can list here—I’ve included a handful below (nighthawk action fans who haven’t yet checked out the 3D conversion of Terminator 2: Judgment Day—”entirely supervised, frame-by-frame, by [James] Cameron” should definitely consider Tuesday’s late screening). My highest recommendations this week for your trip to the multiplex continue to be Oscar nominees Phantom Thread and Call Me by Your Name.

There is a good crop of free screenings again this week: