Author Archive for: c0v3yf17m

Halifax film screening picks — May 22-28

22 May
May 22, 2017

The Thrillema is back on Tuesday with the 1959 Vincent Price vehicle and certified classic, House on Haunted Hill—a film that failed to impress older viewers at its first preview screening, but found a “wildly enthusiastic” reception when screened instead for young people.

The First Features series of free Wednesday screenings at the Dal Art Gallery continues this week with Fruitvale Station, the unforgettable first teaming of actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler, who successfully re-teamed for Creed.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville this Sunday has The Zookeeper’s Wife, the latest from Whale Rider director Niki Caro, who takes on a plot that you would think would be overdetermined by the likes of Schindler’s List, and instead delivers “a singular, thrilling portrait, filled with surprises and moving performances.”

  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (May 22) — Your Name (Japanese version w English subtitles), Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, regular pricing. Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 2016, 107 minutes.
    • Tuesday (May 23) — David Lynch: The Art Life, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, regular pricing. Jon Nguyen, Olivia Neergaard-Holm & Rick Barnes, USA, 2017, 90 minutes.
      House on Haunted Hill, The Thrillema @ Natural History Museum, 8pm, free tickets in advance and at the door. William Castle, USA, 1959, 75 minutes.
    • Wednesday (May 24) — Fruitvale Station, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Ryan Coogler, USA, 2013, 87 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (May 23) — The Red Turtle, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $10. Michaël Dudok de Wit, France/Belgium/Japan, 2016, 80 minutes.
    • Friday (May 26) — Maudie, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7pm, $10. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Saturday (May 27) — Maudie, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7pm, $10. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 28) — Maudie, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 2pm & 7pm, $10. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
      The Zookeeper’s Wife, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Niki Caro, USA/UK, 2017, 126 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — May 15-21

15 May
May 15, 2017

The run-up to this Sunday’s return of Twin Peaks (a build-up that includes a debut of two new episodes at the Cannes Film Festival) continues this week at Park Lane with another screening of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me on Tuesday, and the documentary David Lynch: The Art Life on Sunday. This “cockeyed, oblique attempt to get closer to the worldview of David Lynch” is back for a second Halifax screening after making its debut at Carbon Arc.

Park Lane also has a couple of screenings of the Japanese-language version of Your Name., with English subtitles. And speaking of the Cannes Festival, Alliance Française is acknowledging the annual fest with a screening of the Dardenne brothers gem Two Days, One Night, featuring a burner of a performance by Marion Cotillard—good news for those who didn’t catch it before it left Netflix.

The First Features series of free Wednesday screenings at the Dal Art Gallery continues this week with Submarine, the 2010 coming-of-age drama that from the beginning had first-time director Richard Ayoade fending off Wes Anderson comparisons.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville this Sunday has Being 17, “the strongest film in many years by the post-New Wave French director André Téchiné.” Before that, on Wednesday it is screening the artful, pulsing, and occasionally wrenching documentary Don’t Blink: Robert Frank, a film that I picked as one of my five notables of 2016.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
    • Get Out, Jordan Peele, USA, 2017, 103 minutes
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (May 15) — Your Name (Japanese version w English subtitles), Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, regular pricing. Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 2016, 107 minutes.
    • Tuesday (May 16) — La La Land, Cineplex Park Lane, 6:40pm, $9.95. Damien Chazelle, USA, 2016, 128 minutes.
      Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:30pm, $9.95. David Lynch, France/USA, 1992, 135 minutes.
    • Wednesday (May 17) — La La Land, Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, $9.95. Damien Chazelle, USA, 2016, 128 minutes.
      Singin’ in the Rain, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6.99. Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, USA, 1952, 103 minutes.
      Submarine, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Richard Ayoade, UK, 2010, 97 minutes.
    • Thursday (May 18) — Your Name (Japanese version w English subtitles), Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, regular pricing. Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 2016, 107 minutes.
    • Friday (May 19) — Your Name (Japanese version w English subtitles), Cineplex Park Lane, 4:20pm, regular pricing. Makoto Shinkai, Japan, 2016, 107 minutes.
      Two Days, One Night, Alliance Française (5509 Young Street), 7pm, suggested donation: $5. Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy, 2014, 95 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 21) — David Lynch: The Art Life, Cineplex Park Lane, 4pm, regular pricing. Jon Nguyen, Olivia Neergaard-Holm & Rick Barnes, USA, 2017, 90 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley and South Shore screenings this week:
    • Monday (May 15) — The Lost City of Z, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. James Gray, USA, 2016, 140 minutes.
    • Wednesday (May 17) — A Quiet Passion, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Terence Davies, UK, 2016, 126 minutes.
      Don’t Blink: Robert Frank, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Laura Israel, Canada/USA/France, 2015, 82 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 21) — Being 17, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. André Téchiné, France, 2016, 116 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — May 8-14

08 May
May 8, 2017

Fascinating disaster“? Or “David Lynch’s masterpiece“? Feels like, for the most part, critical opinion has come 180 degrees on the 1992 Twin Peaks prequel Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, just in time for the series revival. This Friday at Cineplex Park Lane you can draw or revisit your own conclusions as “the film that almost killed Twin Peaks” returns to the big screen.

Before that, on Tuesday, you can revisit Lynch’s first hack at this sort of material with a Park Lane screening of Blue Velvet, the 1986 film much hated by Roger Ebert, despite his affection for Lynch himself.

Speaking of Ebert, Cineplex (Park Lane and Dartmouth Crossing) this Sunday has a Classic Films screening of Singin’ in the Rain, the musical that in Ebert’s words “is a transcendent experience… no one who loves movies can afford to miss it.” Cineplex Park Lane has also added A Quiet Passion, the Terence Davies biopic with the wonderful Cynthia Nixon as poet Emily Dickinson—it played Wolfville a couple of months ago, but is only now arriving in Halifax.

The First Features series of free Wednesday screenings at the Dal Art Gallery returns this week with Transamerica, the 2005 debut of Duncan Tucker that is associated, perhaps more than any film, with the comparatively recent shift toward positive portrayals of transgender people in movies.

Fundy Cinema in Wolfville this Sunday has Jean of the Joneses, which played the Emerging Lens festival in Halifax last month. In Liverpool, the Astor has last screenings of Maudie today and this weekend brings in the very well reviewed James Gray film The Lost City of Z. King’s Theatre in Annapolis Royal on Tuesday has the wonderful Cape Breton ’70s-set road movie Weirdos, by Bruce McDonald.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (May 9) — Blue Velvet, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, $9.95. David Lynch, USA, 1986, 120 minutes.
    • Wednesday (May 10) — Transamerica, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Duncan Tucker, USA, 2005, 103 minutes.
    • Friday (May 12) — Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, $9.95. David Lynch, France/USA, 1992, 135 minutes.
    • Saturday (May 13) — Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $9.95. David Lynch, France/USA, 1992, 135 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 14) — Singin’ in the Rain, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $6.99. Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen, USA, 1952, 103 minutes.
      Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:25pm, $9.95. David Lynch, France/USA, 1992, 135 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley and South Shore screenings this week:
    • Monday (May 8) — Maudie, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Friday (May 12) — The Lost City of Z, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. James Gray, USA, 2016, 140 minutes.
    • Saturday (May 13) — The Lost City of Z, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. James Gray, USA, 2016, 140 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 14) — The Lost City of Z, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. James Gray, USA, 2016, 140 minutes.
      Jean of the Joneses, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Stella Meghie, Canada, 2016, 82 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — May 1-7

01 May
May 1, 2017

TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival finally hits Halifax this week at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (almost 4 months after this excellent overview appeared in the NY Times), but you’d have to be forgiven if you haven’t heard about it. With an almost total lack of publicity (not listed on the AGNS website events page, pretty much hidden under a “CTTFF” sub-link on the Atlantic Film Festival events menu, and with no Facebook events created) and pretty terrible screening times (only 1 evening screening among the 10 screenings through the week), it feels more like a covert operation than an effective way to shine a light on Canada’s best films of last year.

Perhaps the most impressive of the lot, Cape Breton director Ashley McKenzie’s debut feature Werewolf is playing Thursday afternoon at 3pm. This will be the third Halifax screening, after selling out at the Atlantic Film Festival in September and at Carbon Arc in March. I am also very much looking forward to Kevan Funk’s violence-and-hockey drama, his “terse and devastating feature film debutHello Destroyer, which is the one evening screening, also on Thursday.

So many of these films, as with Hello Destroyer, played just once in Halifax, at the Atlantic Film Festival, and have been eagerly awaited since—Ann Marie Fleming’s Window Horses, Xavier Dolan’s It’s Only the End of the World, Johnny Ma’s Old Stone, Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk. And in the case of Zacharias Kunuk’s Maliglutit (Searchers)—an Inuit response of sorts to John Ford’s The Searchers—this will be its first Halifax screening. It’s too bad that it will be nearly impossible for folks with daytime commitments to seem them.

None of the regular local screening series have offerings this week.

Out of town, Fundy Cinema in Wolfville has Carbon Arc crowd favourite Kedi on Wednesday and Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-nominated The Salesman on Sunday. In Liverpool, the Astor has the Olivier Assayas gem Personal Shopper on Wednesday and Atlantic Canadian box office sensation Maudie on Friday and Saturday—hopefully it can do for the Astor what it did for Fundy Cinema.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (May 1) — Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Ann Marie Fleming, 2016, Canada, 89 minutes.
    • Tuesday (May 2) — It’s Only the End of the World, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Xavier Dolan, 2016, Canada/France, 99 minutes.
    • Wednesday (May 3) — Old Stone (Lao Shi), Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Johnny Ma, 2016, Canada/China, 80 minutes.
    • Thursday (May 4) — Werewolf, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Ashley McKenzie, 2016, Canada, 79 minutes.
      — Hello Destroyer, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 7pm, free. Kevan Funk, 2016, Canada, 110 minutes.
    • Friday (May 5) — Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 1pm, free. Mathieu Denis & Simon Lavoie, 2016, Canada, 183 minutes.
      Blue Velvet, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:30pm, $9.95. David Lynch, 1986, USA, 120 minutes.
    • Saturday (May 6) — Canada On Screen Shorts Programme 1, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 1pm, free, 95 minutes.
      Angry Inuk, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, 2016, Canada, 82 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 7) — Canada On Screen Shorts Programme 2, Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 1pm, free, 79 minutes.
      Maliglutit (Searchers), Windsor Foundation Lecture Theatre @ AGNS, 3pm, free. Zacharias Kunuk, 2016, Canada, 94 minutes.
      Blue Velvet, Cineplex Park Lane, 9pm, $9.95. David Lynch, 1986, USA, 120 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley and South Shore screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (May 3) — Personal Shopper, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. Olivier Assayas, France, 2016, 110 minutes.
      — Kedi, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Ceyda Torun, Turkey/USA, 2016, 80 minutes.
    • Friday (May 5) — Maudie, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Saturday (May 6) — Maudie, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Aisling Walsh, Ireland/Canada, 2016, 115 minutes.
    • Sunday (May 7) — The Salesman, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Asghar Farhadi, Iran/France, 2016, 125 minutes.

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.

Halifax film screening picks — March 27-April 2

27 Mar
March 27, 2017

“When I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me.”
— Dylan Farrow, Woody Allen’s adoptive daughter, in a February 2014 open letter

I’m not sure exactly how Woody Allen’s expensive image rehabilitation process is going, but it’s been at least no smoother than his directing career. Cafe Society was the first of his last three films to be favourably reviewed, but then six months ago came his tepidly reviewed Amazon Prime series—now it’s back to the vaults for a restored edition of 1979’s Manhattan, which hits Cineplex Park Lane this weekend. Part of me would really love to know the chain of decisions that landed on re-releasing a film that is so particularly emblematic of the intersection between the person and the persona. And indeed another part of me would really love to be able to get past what we now know and return to my original, innocent experience of this, yes, beautiful film. I’m not here to criticize those who choose to attend—I think watching the work on its own terms is both possible and ethically defensible. But it’s too soon for me, and maybe it always will be—what I’m feeling right now is a big ol’ nope.

Now in the category of big, big yes, how about the consistently brilliant Hirokazu Kore-eda, who has built up an incredible catalogue of work—even though, he says, his films are harder than ever to make.  His latest, After the Storm, has gathered his best reviews since 2009’s Still Walking, and Carbon Arc has booked it for this Friday, in just its second week of North American release.  The next night, there’s an encore showing of the popular cats-in-Istanbul doc Kedi—which at the time of writing on Sunday March 26 is already sold out of advance tickets (26 tickets available at the door starting at 6:30pm).

The Thrillema is back on Tuesday with the Brian De Palma nugget Phantom of the Paradise, the “musical rock opera horror comedy film” that crashed and burned everywhere on first release in 1974—everywhere, that is, except Winnipeg, where it was a massive hit. For the last couple of years, as the revival cult has spread, a crowd-funded documentary, Phantom of Winnipeg, has been in the works to tell the story of why Winnipeg so loved this eccentric film.

The Dal Art Gallery First Features series continues this Wednesday with I Shot Andy Warhol, the 1996 debut of Canadian director Mary Harron, featuring Lili Taylor in her signature role as Valerie Solanas—and of course Yo La Tengo briefly playing their favourite band, The Velvet Underground.

Novel Tech Ethics is back this evening with another screening-and-panel event on mental health issues. Tonight’s film is Unbroken Glass, the personal documentary by Dinesh Das Sabu that has been called “a fascinating look into how we are caught between influences of our past and present.” The expert-led panel discussion will touch on schizophrenia, family resilience & coping, living as a cultural minority in America, early parental death, and suicide.

The highlight of out-of-town screenings this week is the 2016 Palme D’Or winning I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach, which plays Fundy Cinema in Wolfville Wednesday evening. As well, Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe, which hasn’t played in Nova Scotia since its October Cineplex engagements, is back for a couple of Fundy screenings this Sunday.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Monday (Mar 27) — Unbroken Glass, QEII Royal Bank Theatre – Halifax Infirmary (1796 Summer entrance), 7pm, free. Dinesh Das Sabu, USA, 2016, 57 minutes, followed by panel discussion.
    • Tuesday (Mar 28) — Phantom of the Paradise, The Thrillema @ Natural History Museum, 8pm, free tickets in advance and at the door. Brian De Palma, USA, 1974, 91 minutes.
      — Saturday Night Fever, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:25pm, $9.95. John Badham, USA, 1977, 118 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 29) — I Shot Andy Warhol, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Mary Harron, UK/USA, 1996, 103 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 31) — After the Storm, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan, 2016, 117 minutes.
    • Saturday (Apr 1) — Kedi, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm & 9pm, $7. Ceyda Torun, Turkey/USA, 2016, 80 minutes.
  • South Shore and Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Mar 28) — Lion, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $10. Garth Davis, Australia/UK/USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 29) — I, Daniel Blake, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Ken Loach, UK/France/Belgium, 2016, 100 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 31) — Hidden Figures, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7pm, $10.
    • Saturday (Apr 1) — Paterson, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
      — Hidden Figures, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7pm, $10.
    • Sunday (Apr 2) — Paterson, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Jim Jarmusch, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
      — Queen of Katwe, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Mira Nair, USA, 2016, 124 minutes.

Halifax film screening picks — March 20-26

20 Mar
March 20, 2017

Bruce McDonald’s summer-of-’76 Cape Breton road movie Weirdos, “a tender but never sappy memory piece” that premiered at TIFF (and locally at AFF) last September, has arrived at Cineplex Park Lane, hot on the heels of Daniel MacIvor picking up the Best Original Screenplay trophy at the Canadian Screen Awards last Sunday. Tara Thorne in last week’s issue of The Coast says “Weirdos was the first film made under the newly structured provincial tax credit system, shot in beautiful black and white by Becky Parsons all around Nova Scotia in the autumn of 2014″—a bit of a strange way to frame the film’s production story, to be fair. In fact, as producer Mike MacMillan related at AFF in Halifax, the film was originally set to be filmed in the summer, when our provincial premier, in foolishly uninformed fashion, based on a discredited economic theory, and contradicting his own explicit promise, gutted the province’s film tax credit system. When the funding basis for the film disappeared overnight, the shooting schedule had to be delayed until fall, which in turn prompted the shift to black and white, in order to conceal any visible signs of fall foliage. But this indeed is a lovely look for the film, and the CSA-nominated production design by Matt Likely is downright heroic in my book—absolutely nails the details of 1970s Nova Scotia.

Tuesday, Cineplex Park Lane has a 40th anniversary screening of Gene Siskel’s favourite film, Saturday Night Fever, the definitive John Travolta vehicle that indeed has a production history worth reading.

The Dal Art Gallery First Features series continues this Wednesday with The Seventh Continent, the 1989 debut of Michael Haneke to which “all the icy gloom of Code Unknown, The Piano Teacher, and Caché can be traced back.

The last of three “Fashion Forward” film screenings Thursday at Art Bar +Projects is The Fifth Element, the apeshit crazy 1997 sci-fi film that “allowed costume designer Jean Paul Gaultier unleash his imagination in a series of hyper ostentatious garments that took inspiration from the designer’s haute couture collections.”

Friday, Carbon Arc returns from March Break hiatus with the eco-doc Call of the Forest: the Forgotten Wisdom of Trees.

If you missed Jackie during its brief Halifax run, Fundy Cinema in Wolfville gives you a second chance with a couple of screenings this Sunday.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • In theatres, notable:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Mar 21) — Saturday Night Fever, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $9.95. John Badham, USA, 1977, 118 minutes.
    • Wednesday (Mar 22) — The Seventh Continent, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Michael Haneke, Austria/France/Germany, 1989, 108 minutes.
    • Thursday (Mar 23) — The Fifth Element, Art Bar +Projects (1873 Granville St), 6:30pm, free. Luc Besson, France, 1997, 126 minutes.
    • Friday (Mar 24) — Call of the Forest: the Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Jeffrey McKay, Canada/Germany/Ireland/Japan/USA, 2016, 82 minutes.
  • Annapolis Valley screenings this week:
    • Tuesday (Mar 21) — Moonlight, King’s Theatre (209 St. George St., Annapolis Royal), 7:30pm, $10. Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016, 110 minutes.
    • Sunday (Mar 26) — Jackie, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Pablo Larraín, USA/Chile/France, 2016, 99 minutes.