Ex Machina

Halifax film screening picks — May 11-17

Cineplex Oxford and Dartmouth Crossing are both showing Ex Machina this week—the extremely well-received directorial debut of Alex Garland, the screenwriter for Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Sunshine. One of the many four-star reviews online comes from Matt Zoller Seitz, who effuses: “real science fiction is about ideas, which means that real science fiction is rarely seen on movie screens, a commercially minded canvas that’s more at ease with sensation and spectacle… Ex Machina is a rare and welcome exception to that norm.”

This Wednesday it will be 100 years, and exactly one week, since the birth of Orson Welles, and the Dal Art Gallery film noir series will be screening the unimpeachable, but not unrevisable, classic Touch of Evil, which is famous not only for its opening eight-minute tracking shot, but also for its chicanerous release & redaction history. The UK Blu-ray release has no less than five presentations of the film, including the theatrical release version, a preview release version, and the 1998 reconstructed version, which I suspect is what we will see on Wednesday.

The Radical Imagination Project has another free Monday urban-issues doc screening, this one in association with the Mayworks Festival, and on Tuesday AFCOOP has an interesting free screening—12 aboriginal Canadian shorts from the past decade, selected by Ariel Smith. The Ottawa International Animation Festival has more information about the program here.

All of this week’s one-off screenings are crammed into three nights, but hopefully Ex Machina and/or While We’re Young will stick around and offer some filmgoing options for the rest of the week.

Here are my Halifax area screening picks for selected days this week:

  • Monday (May 11) — Portrait of Resistance: The Art and Activism of Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge (Mayworks Halifax Festival event presented by the Radical Imagination Project), Halifax Central Library, 7pm, free, details here. Roz Owen, Canada, 2011, 72 minutes.
  • Tuesday (May 12) — Ex Machina, Cineplex Oxford, 6:45‎ ‎& 9:30‎, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 11:55am,‎ ‎2:35pm,‎ ‎5:15pm,‎ ‎7:55pm, &‎ ‎10:35pm, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). Alex Garland, UK, 2015, 108 minutes.
    — While We’re Young, Cineplex Oxford, 6:45pm &‎ ‎9:15pm, regular pricing discounted Tuesday, film continues through Thursday (at least). ‎The highly-regarded latest feature from Noah Baumbach stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts. USA, 2014, 97 minutes.
    Welcome to Kanata,  AFCOOP – 5663 Cornwallis Street, 7pm, free. A touring package of contemporary animated films by Canadian aboriginal filmmakers, curated by Ariel Smith, award-winning filmmaker and Director of the National Indigenous Arts Coalition. 12 films, 80 minutes total running time, event details here, program details here.
  • Wednesday (May 13) — Touch of Evil, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 8pm, free. Orson Welles, USA, 1958, 110-ish minutes.
    — Oklahoma!, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 7pm, $6. Fred Zinnemann, USA, 1955, 145 minutes.
    Heritage Minutes, Cineplex Park Lane, 6:30pm, free. Historica Canada presents a selection of classic Heritage Minutes, followed by the premiere of a brand new Heritage Minute.
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