At long last the un-bio-pic Jackie has arrived in Halifax, featuring a performance by Natalie Portman that is “a brilliant reproach to every biopic that believed putting a pretty brunette in a pillbox hat was enough,” as well as unsettling, jagged, and glissing music by Mica Levi that is even more impressive than her dissonant score for Under the Skin. The first English-language feature for the gifted Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín, it subtly calls back to previous films like No and The Club, but owes little obvious debt to previous Kennedy films. And, as Manohla Dargis has proposed, it is also a remarkable riposte to Christopher Hitchens, who was repulsed by Jackie’s self- and myth-construction. “She married John F. Kennedy; she also helped invent him.”
There still hasn’t been a Halifax screening of Maliglutit (Searchers), the new film from Zacharias Kunuk—who is still best known for the 2001 Caméra d’Or (Cannes first-feature prize) winning Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner—but thanks to Fundy Cinema you can see it this Wednesday in Wolfville. Not a remake per se of John Ford’s The Searchers, but a film that unapologetically uses it as source and outline, it played recently at the TIFF Lightbox in Toronto, where Kunuk and TIFF programmer Jesse Wente also did live commentary during a screening of Ford’s original.
A number of film series continue in Halifax this week:
- The free First Features series at the Dal Art Gallery on Wednesday has Andrei Tarkovsky’s great 1962 debut Ivan’s Childhood, which “with Fellini’s 8½… boasts one of the great opening dream sequences in movie history.” As well, the Gallery’s Black History Month screenings debut on Tuesday with the first of three “Black Music Biographies“—Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead.
- Cineplex continues Flashback Film Fest through Thursday. Notables include Pulp Fiction, the 1994 film that launched Quentin Tarantino into the directorial-fame stratosphere, Monday and Thursday, and a Danny Boyle double-header on Wednesday with Shallow Grave (1995) and Trainspotting (1996).
- Carbon Arc on Friday has Tanna, a film “rich in both sociological detail and roiling emotions,” based on a true story and performed by the people of Yakel in Vanuatu.
- In theatres, seen and recommended:
Jackie, Pablo Larraín, USA/Chile/France, 2016, 99 minutes— Halifax showtimes Moonlight, Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016, 110 minutes— Halifax showtimes
- Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan, USA, 2016, 137 minutes — Halifax showtimes
- La La Land, Damien Chazelle, USA, 2016, 128 minutes — Halifax showtimes
- In theatres, notable:
- Halifax screenings this week:
- Monday (Feb 6) — Pulp Fiction, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, $7.99. Quentin Tarantino, USA, 1994, 154 minutes.
- Tuesday (Feb 7) — Miles Ahead, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 5pm, free. Don Cheadle, USA, 2015, 100 minutes.
- Wednesday (Feb 8) — Ivan’s Childhood, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1962, 94 minutes.
— Shallow Grave, Cineplex Park Lane, 8pm, $7.99. Danny Boyle, UK, 1995, 92 minutes.
— Trainspotting, Cineplex Park Lane, 10pm, $7.99. Danny Boyle, UK, 1995, 92 minutes.
- Thursday (Feb 9) — Pulp Fiction, Cineplex Park Lane, 7pm, $7.99. Quentin Tarantino, USA, 1994, 154 minutes.
- Friday (Feb 10) — Tanna, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7. Martin Butler & Bentley Dean, Australia/Vanuatu, 2015, 100 minutes.
- Annapolis Valley & South Shore screenings this week:
- Monday (Feb 6) — Hidden Figures, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 1:30pm & 7pm, $8. Theodore Melfi, USA, 2016, 127 minutes.
- Wednesday (Feb 8) — Maliglutit (Searchers), Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 7pm, $9. Zacharias Kunuk & Natar Ungalaaq, Canada, 2016, 94 minutes.
- Friday (Feb 10) — 20th Century Women, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Mike Mills, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
- Saturday (Feb 11) — 20th Century Women, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Mike Mills, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
- Sunday (Feb 12) — 20th Century Women, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Mike Mills, USA, 2016, 118 minutes.
— Manchester by the Sea, Acadia Cinema’s Al Whittle Theatre (450 Main Street, Wolfville), 4pm & 7pm, $9. Kenneth Lonergan, USA, 2016, 137 minutes.