Halifax film screening picks — January 9-15

“Do we look or look away? Are we bearing witness or intruding on private emotions? At what point does our concern shade into voyeurism?”—these are the dilemmas that director Kirsten Johnson explores in her film Cameraperson, including what she feels is her betrayal of her own mother. One of the most acclaimed documentaries of 2016, it “unfolds with beauty and purpose — mixing the fluidity of a dream with the acuity of an essay.” If, like me, you missed it when it played Carbon Arc in November, it has been rescheduled to this Wednesday at Liverpool’s historic Astor Theatre.

Incidentally, the Johnson-lensed Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ acclaimed 2014 doc about Edward Snowden, was added to Netflix Canada on Christmas Day. Also, if you missed the Oxford run of Moonlight, which just picked up the Golden Globe for best dramatic film, Liverpool’s Astor is giving you another chance to see it this weekend (it’s playing this Friday through Monday).

This Wednesday the Central Library continues its series of screenings of Stanley Kubrick films with arguably the finest film ever made about World War I: Paths of Glory, introduced by the inimitable Carsten Knox.

I finally pushed past my feelings about Casey Affleck’s 2010 sexual harassment case and went to see Manchester by the Sea, which indeed is centred on a top-tier performance by Affleck. But the real star of the film for me is the screenplay by under-appreciated genius Kenneth Lonergan, whose understated direction allows his script to shine. The film is still pulling in sizeable audiences at the Oxford, while the other buzz film of this season, La La Land, is unfortunately only playing the Scotiabank Theatre out at Bayers Lake. Let me assure you that it is worth the pilgrimage.

  • In theatres, seen and recommended:
  • Halifax area screenings this week:
    • Wednesday (Jan 11) — Paths of Glory, Central Library, 5:30pm, free, introduced by Carsten Knox. Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1957, 88 minutes.
  • South Shore screening picks for this week:
    • Wednesday (Jan 11) — Cameraperson, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Kirsten Johnson, USA, 2016, 102 minutes.
    • Friday (Jan 13) — Moonlight, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016, 110 minutes.
    • Saturday (Jan 14) — Moonlight, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016, 110 minutes.
    • Sunday (Jan 15) — Moonlight, Astor Theatre (59 Gorham Street, Liverpool), 7pm, $8. Barry Jenkins, USA, 2016, 110 minutes.
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