Trying something new, starting today… I’m going to be combing through local event listings, weekly, to come up with recommended film screenings for the Halifax area. This week’s current film pick was a pretty easy one—Jon Stewart’s directorial debut Rosewater is a surprisingly strong depiction of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari’s 118-day stint in an Iranian prison. The squeamish need not fear—this is a journey of the soul, not torture porn, and the ever-appealing Gael García Bernal does a fine job of inhabiting this role, while Stewart successfully cracks the problem of making an extended detention interesting on the screen. Friday’s Carbon Arc screening at the Museum of Natural History. (Above you can see the real-life and film-fiction Baharis side by side, with Jon Stewart and Cameron Bailey at TIFF this past September.)
My repertory pick of the week is the 40th anniversary re-release of Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, which it so happens was Al Pacino’s next role after The Godfather Part II. This is a Cineplex Classic Film Series screening at Dartmouth Crossing on Wednesday.
Here are my Halifax area screening picks for selected days this week:
- Monday (Feb 9) — Payback, Halifax Central Library, 7pm, free. Based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, dir. Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes).
- Tuesday (Feb 10) — Faat Kiné, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 5pm, free. 2000’s now rarely-seen capstone film from Senegal’s “father of African film,” Ousmane Sembene.
- Wednesday (Feb 11) — Dog Day Afternoon, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6.
- Thursday (Feb 12) — Mr. Turner, Cineplex Oxford, regular pricing (playing Monday through Thursday). Timothy Spall won the Best Actor prize at Cannes for his performance as J.M.W. Turner in Mike Leigh’s biopic.
- Friday (Feb 13) — Rosewater, Carbon Arc Cinema at the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7.
- Sunday (Feb 15) — Living Is Easy with Eyes Closed, Fundy Film Society at Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville, 4pm and 7pm, $9. Haven’t yet seen this tale of a 1966 Spanish road trip quest to meet John Lennon, but it looks like it would make for a fun actual Sunday road trip to Wolfville.