Archive for month: March, 2018

Halifax screening picks—March 26-April 1

26 Mar
March 26, 2018

The Death of Stalin seems like a timely comedy for the dark Trumpian timeline we currently find ourselves on, but the Village Voice’s Bilge Ebiri says it “would be a brilliant, harrowing film even without all that contemporary resonance.” I’m just delighted that it’s arrived in Halifax.

“In a fairer world, Portrait of Jason would have done what [Shirley Clarke’s] earlier works didn’t—it would have launched her, turned her into one of the most sought-out, most admired, and busiest directors of the time,” writes Richard Brody in The New Yorker.  “In director Shirley Clarke’s daring and ground-breaking documentary,” says the Dal Art Gallery’s note for this Tuesday’s screening, “would-be cabaret performer, hustler, and gender preference pioneer Jason delivers an electrifying monologue about what it is like to be black and gay in mid-Sixties USA.” This is the latest in the Gallery’s Women Filmmakers 1931-1969 series of free screenings, rescheduled from two weeks ago for nor’easter reasons.

Carbon Arc this Friday is showing the sexual-assault-themed The Light of the Moon, and they are doing it in partnership with the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, which seems to me like a really creative and responsible way to handle such a screening. “The film’s concerns are profoundly therapeutic, but it nimbly avoids every therapy-drama cliché,” says Sheri Linden of the LA Times.

Speaking of filmmakers and responsibility around themes of sexuality and violence—Steven Soderbergh’s new shot-on-iPhone suspenser Unsane is on a couple of Cineplex screens in Halifax, but I can’t bring myself to add it to my “recommended” list. From a strictly film-technique point of view, there’s much that’s praiseworthy, but too much of the content is awkwardly written or just out of place in 2018.  It has, however, inspired a very thoughtful take by the New York Times’ Manohla Dargis.

Halifax screening picks—March 19-25

19 Mar
March 19, 2018

This year’s winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Sebastián Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman, is finally playing Halifax, at Park Lane, and it isn’t guaranteed to be here after Thursday, so I think you know what to do.

If you’re like me and the recent screenings of Faces Places were a strong reminder that you can never have enough Agnès Varda in your life, well, the Dalhousie Art Gallery has us both covered. This Tuesday’s free screening in the Women Filmmakers 1931-1969 series is Lions Love (…and Lies), Varda’s most ambitious American film, “a staged documentary about a performance of events and ideas and attitudes that were very real to 1968.”

Speaking of films at Dal, this Thursday, Dalhousie Students for Partners in Health (DSPIH) hosts a pay-what-you-can screening of Bending the Arc, the extremely well-reviewed documentary released just five months ago, “about a group of advocates who sought to improve access to quality healthcare around the world.”

Carbon Arc returns from March Break with two films this weekend. Friday, In Between, from the Hungarian-born Palestinian Israeli film director Maysaloun Hamoud, tells the story of three young Palestinian women sharing an apartment in Tel Aviv—the “three bright actresses bring such a sense of authenticity to their roles that this all feels new.” Saturday, it’s the Metric concert film Dreams So Real, about which it’s impossible to find a review, so your level of interest is probably best matched to your level of interest in the band.

On Thursday, an unusual night for Fundy Cinema in Wolfville, there’s an equally unlikely choice of documentary—A lovasíjász (The Horse Archer), which screening apparently includes a demonstration of the eponymous horse archery. I have to assume this will be minus the horse.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Mar 20) — Lions Love (…and Lies), MacAloney Room, 4th floor, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 7pm, free. Agnès Varda, France/USA, 1969, 110 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:40pm, regular Tuesday pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 21) — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:40pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Thursday (Mar 22) — Bending the Arc, Room 1020, Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, 6100 University Ave, 6pm, donations accepted. Kief Davidson & Pedro Kos, USA, 2017, 102 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 23) — In Between, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $8.75. Maysaloun Hamoud, Israel/France, 2016, 103 minutes.
    • Saturday (Mar 24) — Metric: Dreams So Real, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $8.75. T. Edward Martin & Jeff Rogers, Canada, 2017, 110 minutes.
  • Wolfville screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Mar 21) — A Fantastic Woman, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Sebastián Lelio, Chile/Germany/Spain/USA, 2017, 104 minutes.
    • Thursday (Mar 22) — A lovasíjász (The Horse Archer), Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $10. Géza Kaszás & Dániel Tiszeker, Hungary, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 25) — Molly’s Game, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Aaron Sorkin, USA, 2017, 140 minutes.

Halifax screening picks—March 12-18

12 Mar
March 12, 2018

“In a fairer world, Portrait of Jason would have done what [Shirley Clarke’s] earlier works didn’t—it would have launched her, turned her into one of the most sought-out, most admired, and busiest directors of the time,” writes Richard Brody in The New Yorker.  “In director Shirley Clarke’s daring and ground-breaking documentary,” says the Dal Art Gallery’s note for this Tuesday’s screening, “would-be cabaret performer, hustler, and gender preference pioneer Jason delivers an electrifying monologue about what it is like to be black and gay in mid-Sixties USA.” This is the latest in the Gallery’s Women Filmmakers 1931-1969 series of free screenings. Rescheduled to Tuesday March 27.

Wednesday in Wolfville, Fundy Cinema has Spettacolo, the well-reviewed documentary about a dying tradition in a dying town. Every year in Monticchiello, a Tuscan village with about 100 residents, the citizens stage a play about themselves. “One of the film’s most beautiful passages,” writes the Village Voice’s Bilge Ebiri, “is a montage of different townsfolk — a teacher, a woman hanging laundry, a clerk behind a desk — practicing their lines as they go about their day.”

This evening (Monday) at the Central Library, Novel Tech Ethics has lined up another excellent discussion panel for a mental-health-themed screening, this time for Sarah Silverman’s 2015 expectation-redefining portrayal of depression, I Smile Back, a film that, with its relentless darkness, has been more of a divider than uniter of critical opinion.

Carbon Arc is on hiatus this weekend to accommodate the Museum of Natural History’s March break programming.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Monday (Mar 12) — Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
      I Smile Back, Central Library, 6pm, free. Adam Salky, USA, 2015, 85 minutes.
      The Dark Crystal, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:30pm, $6.99. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA/UK, 1982, 93 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:40pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Mar 13) — Portrait of Jason, MacAloney Room, 4th floor, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 7pm, free. Shirley Clarke, USA, 1967, 105 minutes.
      To Kill a Mockingbird, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $6.99. Alan J. Pakula, USA, 1962, 129 minutes.
      The Dark Crystal, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:45pm, $6.99. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA/UK, 1982, 93 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 14) — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:15pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
      To Kill a Mockingbird, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6.99. Alan J. Pakula, USA, 1962, 129 minutes.
      Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:45pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
    • Thursday (Mar 15) — The Dark Crystal, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, $6.99. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA/UK, 1982, 93 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 16) — Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:40pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 18) — To Kill a Mockingbird, Cineplex Park Lane, 2:30pm, $6.99. Alan J. Pakula, USA, 1962, 129 minutes.
  • Wolfville screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Mar 14) — Spettacolo, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Jeff Malmberg & Chris Shellen, USA, 2017, 91 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 18) — I, Tonya, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Craig Gillespie, USA, 2017, 121 minutes.

Halifax screening picks—March 5-11

05 Mar
March 5, 2018

Carbon Arc is on hiatus for a couple of weekends to accommodate the Museum of Natural History’s March break programming, but there are still some screenings of note this week. An all-time Czech New Wave favourite of mine, Daisies, the “radically mischievous” 1966 film by Věra Chytilová, is this week’s instalment of the Dal Art Gallery’s “Women Filmmakers 1931-1969” free screening series.

The 1982 Jim Henson creation The Dark Crystal is returning as a Netflix series, and in advance of that, the original film has returned to theatres, and is playing at Cineplex Park Lane on Wednesday. Speaking of timeless children’s entertainment, the film that offers to continue the legacy of Hayao Miyazaki’s work at Studio Ghibli, Yonebayashi Hiromasa’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower, has arrived at Park Lane as well.

This week’s reluctant/obligatory mention goes to this Sunday’s Cineplex Classic Films screenings of To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve never been a huge fan of Gregory “The Human Jaw” Peck and possibly I resent the fact that he basically stole a best actor Oscar for this performance from the much more deserving Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia. But I am at your service and here to inform you of such screenings as this.

Cineplex Park Lane has a film that was a late add to this past September’s AIFF, English director Sally Potter’s brief (71-minute) dark comedy The Party, “like Buñuel meets Molière, grounded in Chekhov,” and also has a couple more screenings of Call Me By Your Name (features the perfect coupling of a James Ivory’s Oscar-winning script with Luca Guadagnino’s direction), late Tuesday and early Wednesday.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has Call Me By Your Name on Wednesday and Mina Shum’s Meditation Park on Sunday.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Monday (Mar 5) — Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:15pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Mar 6) — Daisies, MacAloney Room, 4th floor, Dalhousie Arts Centre, 7pm, free. Věra Chytilová, Czechoslovakia, 1966, 76 minutes.
      The Dark Crystal, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:30pm, $6.99. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA/UK, 1982, 93 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:40pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 7) — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 5pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minute
      Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 7:50pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
    • Thursday (Mar 8) — Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:40pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 9) — Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:15pm, regular pricing. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Japan, 2017, 117 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
      The Dark Crystal, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:45pm, $6.99. Jim Henson & Frank Oz, USA/UK, 1982, 93 minutes.
    • Saturday (Mar 10) — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:50pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 11) — To Kill a Mockingbird, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $6.99. Alan J. Pakula, USA, 1962, 129 minutes.
      — Call Me By Your Name, Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, regular pricing. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes
  • Wolfville screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Mar 7) — Call Me By Your Name, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Luca Guadagnino, Italy/USA/Brazil/France, 2017, 132 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 11) — Meditation Park, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Mina Shum, Canada, 2017, 94 minutes.

Halifax screening picks—weekend edition March 2-4

02 Mar
March 2, 2018

The 2018 edition of the Halifax Black Film Festival is here, opening with the well-reviewed Jim-Crow-era sexual violence doc The Rape of Recy Taylor, and closing with Black Cop, the feature directorial debut from Nova Scotia’s own Cory Bowles, a film that has picked up a bag full of awards since debuting this past fall at TIFF and AIFF.

Meanwhile, Carbon Arc on Friday (at an atypical 8:30pm screening time) has the latest from one of my favourite directors, Lebanon’s Ziad Doueiri, The Insult, a film that had excellent notices at TIFF and is in the running for the Best Foreign Language Feature Oscar to be handed out on Sunday. On Saturday, there are two screenings of the Brett Morgen doc about Jane Goodall, Jane.

Cineplex Park Lane has a film that was a late add to this past September’s AIFF, English director Sally Potter’s brief (71-minute) dark comedy The Party, “like Buñuel meets Molière, grounded in Chekhov.”

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • In theatres, new & notable:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Friday (Mar 2) — The Rape of Recy Taylor, Spatz Theatre, 7pm, $20 [info]. Nancy Buirski, USA, 2017, 91 minutes.
      The Insult, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 8:30pm, $8.75. Ziad Doueiri, France/Lebanon, 2017, 112 minutes.
    • Saturday (Mar 3) — Jane, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9pm, $8.75. Brett Morgen, USA, 2017, 90 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 4) — Black Cop, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $15. Cory Bowles, Canada, 2017, 91 minutes.