Halifax film screening picks — March 20-26

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.
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