Halifax screening picks — November 6-12

Like magic, the calendar has flipped over to November, and suddenly there are good films in commercial cinemas again. In fact there are three films on Cineplex screens in Halifax right now that I can personally recommend—the last time that was true was late March.

  • The Florida Project is Sean Baker’s “brilliant, buoyant, and ultimately heart-wrenching” follow-up to the remarkable debut Tangerine—seemingly drawing a dash or two of inspiration from The 400 Blows, it takes the point of view of its youngest characters in its timely portrayal of impoverished residents of a Florida welfare hotel on the outskirts of Disney World.
  • Human Flow, by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s is “the most necessary and comprehensive documentary to date about our planet’s current refugee crisis,” making brilliant use of mobile phone and drone footage along with more conventional cameras. With due attention to people displaced by the Syrian civil war and by ISIS in neighbouring Iraq, it also has time for Palestinians in Gaza, Mexican migrants on the US border, and the massive refugee encampments of sub-Saharan Africa, spanning 23 countries while crediting 12 cinematographers. I have never seen anything quite like it before.
  • The Killing of a Sacred Deer is Yorgos Lanthimos’ grittier, creepier and only slightly more reality-grounded follow-up to The Lobster, playing out at Bayers Lake instead of Park Lane, presumably because of the drawing power of Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman. They are both excellent but the movie very much belongs to Barry Keoghan, whose thought on first read of this script was “This is weird. This is really really weird.

Carbon Arc this Friday has Columbus, the debut feature from a well known name, ok, pseudonym in cinephile circles—Kogonada, master of the supercut. “Few performances—and few films—glow as brightly with the gemlike fire of precocious genius.” Note that at time of writing, there were only twenty advance tickets left. And then I bought one of them.

It’s impossible to tell from the Dal event listing who exactly is organizing and presenting this Thursday’s discussion and screening of Unrest, the doc about ME/CFS, a.k.a. chronic fatigue syndrome, but the film has had such excellent critical notices that I’ve chosen to feature it as a pick.

Friday and Saturday, Cineplex Park Lane has the animated Japanese manga adaptation A Silent Voice, a story of bullying and tables turned that has been widely critically praised. Not everyone agrees on its merits, it must be said.

Hey, have you ever heard of this film Casablanca? I guess it’s pretty good and you can see a matinee on Sunday at a couple of Cineplex locations.

  • In theatres, seen & recommended:
  • Halifax screenings this week:
    • Thursday (Nov 9) — Unrest, Marion McCain Building (Scotiabank Auditorium), 6135 University Ave, 6:30pm, free. Jennifer Brea, USA, 2017, 98 minutes.
    • Friday (Nov 10) — Columbus, Carbon Arc Cinema @ the Museum of Natural History, 7pm, $7—advance tickets sold out, some available at the door. Kogonada, USA, 2017, 104 minutes.
      A Silent Voice, Cineplex Park Lane, 9pm, regular pricing. Naoko Yamada, Japan, 2016, 129 minutes.
    • Saturday (Nov 11) — A Silent Voice, Cineplex Park Lane, 4:30pm, regular pricing. Naoko Yamada, Japan, 2016, 129 minutes.
    • Sunday (Nov 12) — Casablanca, Cineplex Dartmouth Crossing, 12:55pm & Park Lane, 1pm, $6.99. Michael Curtiz, USA, 1942, 102 minutes.
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