Archive for category: Halifax Screening Picks

Halifax screening picks—January 15-21

15 Jan
January 15, 2018

On Tuesday this week, the Dal Art Gallery kicks off a year-long series of free screenings spotlighting the work of women filmmakers, going back before Triumph of the Will and Olympia to Leni Riefenstahl’s 1932 directorial debut The Blue Light, “a visual tone poem to the mountainside, best appreciated as a silent film with snippets of dialogue.”

The Central Library Wes Anderson retrospective continues this week with Zack Miller introducing Bottle Rocket on Thursday and a make-up edition on Sunday of the previously stormed-out screening of Rushmore, introduced by Kendra Barnes.

The latest from Steven Spielberg, The Post, with a powerhouse cast including Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, is piling up rave reviews, but locally there is at least one dissenting opinion.

Halifax screening picks—January 8-14

08 Jan
January 8, 2018

Another notable film from the past fall’s festival season has arrived in Halifax in time for award-show season—I, Tonya, “Craig Gillespie’s raucous Tonya Harding biopic.”

A live-music accompanied screening of Fritz Lang’s classic 1927 film, Metropolis, is opening a lecture series and closing a music festival on Wednesday at U King’s College’s Alumni Hall. Your cinematic musical improvisors include Lukas Pearse, Amy Brandon, Steven Naylor and Brandon Auger.

We’re still four weeks away from the winter season of Carbon Arc but there are some nice free rep screenings to be had this week, including more Wes Anderson films at the Central Library, with Chris Campbell introducing The Grand Budapest Hotel Thursday evening, and Kendra Barnes cueing up Fantastic Mr. Fox Sunday afternoon. This evening (Monday) at the library you can also catch the Radical Imagination Project‘s presentation of Burn!, featuring Marlon Brando in Gillo Pontecorvo’s 1969 follow-up to The Battle of Algiers. Dr. Larry Haiven will facilitate a post-movie discussion.

Blade Runner 2049 will be released on various optical disc formats next week so tonight’s (Monday’s) screening at Park Lane is probably your last chance to see it on the big screen for some time to come.

Halifax screening picks—January 1-7

01 Jan
January 1, 2018

I finally saw The Shape of Water and I really enjoyed it, more than perhaps I expected and definitely enough to recommend it here. But I honestly just don’t get Guillermo del Toro’s fixation on gore. By his standards, there isn’t much of it here, but there are still a couple of gross-out moments that serve no narrative purpose that I can see—they just add a directorial signature.

I usually only add films to my “recommended” list if I feel I can do so without significant reservation, but I’m adding Molly’s Game only because I really enjoyed the first two thirds of the film so much that the lapse into awkward dadsplaining in the final third didn’t ruin it for me. Reading various women’s responses to the film has been interesting—some like April Wolfe feel that the merits of the first two acts are decisive, while others like Manohla Dargis feel that the whole enterprise is undermined—I find myself alternately entertaining both perspectives.

The Central Library will kick off a series of free screenings of Wes Anderson films this Thursday with Carbon Arc programmer Kendra Barnes presenting Rushmore.

With Blade Runner 2049 being released on Blu-ray/DVD shortly, Park Lane has a couple of screenings this week back-to-back with the 2007 cut of the 1982 original.

Halifax screening picks—December 25-31

25 Dec
December 25, 2017

The Shape of Water, the latest from Guillermo del Toro—and winner of the Golden Lion at Venice—has finally arrived in Halifax. The film has generated a pile of glowing reviews, but also some dissenters including David Edelstein, who calls it “an utterly lovely, complacent movie, too comfortable with itself to generate real dramatic tension,” and Rex Reed, who calls it “Maudie Meets the Creature From the Black Lagoon.”

Halifax screening picks—December 19-24

19 Dec
December 19, 2017

I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that Star Wars: The Last Jedi, is, in the first instance, “a good movie,” but I have to say I’m fascinated by the backlash reaction amongst a vocal minority of fans. The film is being actively review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes, which is being misunderstood to mean that audiences generally don’t like the film, which is completely untrue. And so another weird front opens in the ongoing culture wars.

Like the 1977 original Star Wars, Last Jedi references several other films, especially those of Akira Kurosawa, and takes inspiration from others that are less obvious.  It was shot on film, mostly in 35mm, but with some key scenes on IMAX, so it’s worth taking the trouble to get to Bayers Lake for an IMAX screening.

Perennial seasonal downer-upper It’s a Wonderful Life is back for daily screenings for the next few days, which provides you with the opportunity to compare and contrast with Neptune’s production of the stage adaptation.

Halifax screening picks—December 18

18 Dec
December 18, 2017

Due to a scheduling/logistics issue, I’ll be posting screenings picks for the coming week by 1pm Tuesday, December 19.

Halifax screening picks — December 11-17

11 Dec
December 11, 2017

Some four years ago, we began to see longform/in-depth articles about the “worst movie ever made,” The Room, so I suppose it was inevitable that we’d get the movie about the making of the movie, The Disaster Artist. Polling says that about half of the early audiences are familiar with the 2003 original, so it’s safe to say the strong cast is playing an equally important role in turning chicken shit into chicken salad.

Halifax screening picks — December 4-10

04 Dec
December 4, 2017

I don’t usually highlight short films in this column, but tomorrow’s free screening, presented by AFCOOP at the Central Library, is so topical this week that it’s hard to ignore. “Reflections on the Halifax Explosion in New Local Films” will feature Halifax Explosion: The Deaf Experience, the 45-minute documentary that won Best Canadian Deaf Film at the Toronto International Deaf Film Arts Festival (TIDFAF), as well as new shorts that AFCOOP commissioned from five local animators (Becka Barker, Carbon Arc’s Siloen Daley, Josh Owen, Jim McSwain and Sam Decoste) in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.

In other free screenings this week, on Wednesday there’s a Thrillema screening of Donnie Darko and a Strange Adventures Dartmouth screening of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Monday (Dec 4) — Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:15pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.
    • Tuesday (Dec 5) — Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:15pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.
      Reflections on the Halifax Explosion in New Films, Central Library, 7pm, free. Various directors, screening + Q&A, 2 hours.
    • Wednesday (Dec 6) — Howl’s Moving Castle, Japanese w English s.t., Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $12.95. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2004, 119 minutes.
      The Nightmare Before Christmas, Alderney Landing Theatre, 7pm, free, doors at 6pm, presented by Strange Adventures Dartmouth, with work by local artists available to view. Henry Selick, USA, 1993, 76 minutes.
      Donnie Darko, The Thrillema @ Natural History Museum, 8pm, free advance tickets available. Richard Kelly, USA, 2001, 113 minutes.
      Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 9:35pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.
    • Thursday (Dec 7) — Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:15pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.

Halifax screening picks — November 27-December 3

27 Nov
November 27, 2017

“Yes, Thelma is a horror movie—a lovely, transfixing one—but don’t look to it for cheap scares,” says The Village Voice’s Bilge Ebiri, “the terror here cuts far deeper.” This weekend, Cineplex Park Lane has screenings of the latest from Norwegian director Joachim Trier. Fans of Carrie and The Exorcist take note, and maybe check out the rather striking trailer.

The Bluenose-Ability Film Festival, “Atlantic Canada’s first and only disability film festival,” opens this Thursday at the Central Library with a fully accessible screening of Best and Most Beautiful Things, a documentary which has been a divider of critics. Responses have ranged from a NY Times golden-checkmark review from Neil Genzlinger calling it “a remarkably forthright documentary” to’s Neil Allen “a film with a subject that it achingly wants to share, but has little idea how to best talk about it.”

Also on Thursday, the Dalhousie Art Gallery’s “Russian Revolutions” fall series of free screenings wraps up with Russian Ark, a film that is famously composed of one 96-minute tracking shot of the Hermitage Museum—”the longest uninterrupted Steadicam shot in cinema history.”

Cineplex is wrapping up its retrospective of Studio Ghibli films with Howl’s Moving Castle, showing in the English dub version this Sunday. The Cineplex Classic Films selection for December is Miracle on 34th Street, which frankly has less to offer cinephiles than any other “Christmas classic” I can think of (maybe get at me here or on Twitter if you can think of a film that is more Christmas-canonical yet less worthy). Bah humbug?

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Thursday (Nov 30) — Best and Most Beautiful Things, Central Library, 6:30pm, free. Garrett Zevgetis, USA, 2016, 90 minutes.
      Russian Ark, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 7pm, free. Alexander Sokurov, Russia/Germany/Canada/Finland, 2002, 96 minutes.
    • Friday (Dec 1) — Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.
    • Saturday (Dec 2) — Miracle on 34th Street, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm & Park Lane, 1pm, $6.99. George Seaton, USA, 1947, 96 minutes.
      Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 9pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes.
    • Sunday (Dec 3) — Howl’s Moving Castle, Cineplex Park Lane & Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm, $12.95. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan, 2004, 119 minutes.
      Thelma, Cineplex Park Lane, 79pm, regular pricing. Joachim Trier, Norway, 2017, 116 minutes

Halifax screening picks — November 24-26 [bonus weekend edition]

24 Nov
November 24, 2017

Lady Bird, rated by Metacritic as one of the five best-reviewed films of 2017, is both very familiar, and yet a breath of fresh air. “You might think you’ve seen this all before. You probably have, but never quite like this,” says A.O. Scott in the NY Times, which encapsulates well how I feel about this film. It’s my strongest recommendation this weekend, and it has now expanded from Park Lane to play at Bayers Lake as well.

The Square, on the other hand, is a film I’ve never quite made my mind up about. Winner of the Palme D’or at Cannes this year, it divided critics and still divides me. On the one hand, I feel that its analysis of the art world and social ethics has been rather over-praised. On the other hand, I found myself constantly entertained and amused by its many discrete episodes, sometimes riveted, so much so that I’m actually surprised to rediscover that it runs fully 142 minutes. If you’re interested, my advice is to move quickly as it’s sure to have a short run at Park Lane.

Carbon Arc wraps up its 2017 fall season this Friday with Sami Blood, the Swedish film that has won widespread acclaim for “examining with rare anthropological acuity the abuse of the indigenous Sami people of northernmost Europe.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • Halifax screenings this weekend:
    • Friday (Nov 24) — Sami Blood, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Amanda Kernell, Sweden/Denmark/Norway, 2016, 110 minutes.