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Neil Young: Journeys

(2011, 87 mins, 35mm)
Director:
FEATURING Neil Young
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Sep 15 08:20 pm

In May of 2011, Neil Young drove a 1956 Crown Victoria from his idyllic hometown of Omemee, Ontario to downtown Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall where he intimately performed the last two nights of his solo world tour. Along the drive, Young recounted insightful and introspective stories from his youth to filmmaker Jonathan Demme. Demme, a long-time fan and collaborator, captured these tales of Young’s childhood and masterfully weaved them together with his mesmerizing music including songs from the 2010 album Le Noise and powerful renditions of classics including "Ohio", Hey Hey, My My", "I Believe in You" and previously unreleased songs "Leia" and "You Never Call." Through the tunes and the tales, Demme portrays a personal, retrospective look into the heart and soul of the artist.

"Shooting a couple of rapturously received gigs performed by a band-less Young at Toronto’s historic Massey Hall in May, 2011, Demme not only had his camera crew get up the singer’s nose (literally), he affixed small stationary cameras inside a piano, on the microphone stand and elsewhere to capture his subject’s every grimace, gliss of sweat and fleck of spittle….At film’s end, one is left in awe at the richness of Young’s oeuvre (which admittedly sometimes makes Bob Dylan’s seem like tidings of great joy), his stamina and his questing spirit." James Adams, Globe and Mail

"A feast for Neil Young lovers and initiates alike." Peter Rainier, Christian Sience Monitor

Talk to Her

(Hable con ella)
(2002, 112 mins, 35mm)
In Spanish
Director:
CAST Javier Cámara, Rosario Flores, Darío Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Geraldine Chaplin
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Sep 14 07:30 pm

Two men are sitting together by chance. They don’t know each other. They are Benigno (a young nurse) and Marco (a writer in his early forties). On the stage, filled with wooden chairs and tables, two women, their eyes closed and their arms extended, are moving to the music of "The Fairy Queen", by Henry Purcell. The piece is so moving that Marco starts to cry. Benigno can see the gleam of his chance companion’s tears, in the darkness of the stalls. He’d like to tell him that he too is moved by the spectacle but he doesn’t dare. Months later, the two men meet again at "El Bosque", a private clinic where Benigno works. Lydia, Marco’s girlfriend and a bullfighter by profession, has been gored and is in a coma. It so happens that Benigno is looking after another woman in a coma, Alicia, a young ballet student. When Marco walks by the door of Alicia’s room, Benigno doesn’t think twice before speaking to him. It’s the start of an intense friendship… as linear as a roller coaster.

"Talk to Her is totally in love with passion, and with love." The New York Times

"Talk to Her is very much a subversive film, one that takes its time creeping in under your skin. But once there, it’s determined to stay awhile, to entice the mind into playing seditious games." Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"Pure cinematic intoxication, a wildly inventive mixture of comedy and melodrama, tastelessness and swooning elegance." Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

The Secret in Their Eyes

(El secreto de sus ojos)
(2009, 129 mins, Blu-ray Disc)
In Spanish
Director:
CAST Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Sep 14 05:00 pm

Juan José Campanella’s adaptation of Eduardo Sacheri’s novel winds back through the past to unravel a brutal sex crime, in the process taking a good, hard look at the legal system.

Campanella (who also wrote the screenplay) frames the story in flashbacks, as a retired government lawyer reworks a book about a case that still bothers him, 25 years after the rape and murder of a beautiful young bride. Benjamin (Ricardo Darin) takes his manuscript to Irene (Soledad Villamil), who is now a judge, but who was his boss back then. She is reluctant to revisit those days for reasons both personal and political…

At first the case is closed too soon by a judge more mindful of crime stats than justice, while the key suspect hovers just beyond reach. It is the commitment of the victim’s widower that inspires Benjamin, when he happens to bump into him a year later, staking out a commuter station as he says he does every morning, waiting and praying for the time when the murderer crosses his path. The young lawyer is struck not just by this man’s anger, but by his devotion to the memory of his wife. He wonders if the system doesn’t owe him more, and in convincing Irene that it does he opens her eyes to his own unspoken ardor.

Campanella lays it out carefully and patiently, and mostly the performances are so good, and the writing is strong enough, that the movie commands our attention. It draws you in and envelopes you in the dynamics of the characters.

A Hollywood remake is currently in the works, with Billy Ray directing Chiwetel Ejiofor and Gwyneth Paltrow.

"The wonder is that the film balances its many genres, from the thorns of murder to the bloom of romance to the thickets of politics, with such easy grace. 4/4" Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

This beautiful film, directed with subtlety and grace by Juan José Campanella, really is about moving from fear to love." Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

"Secret is bound to linger in the memory for years." Betsy Sharkey, LA Times

Searching for Sugar Man

(2012, 86 mins, DCP)
Director:
FEATURING Sixto Rodriguez
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Sep 08 08:20 pm

An enormous hit in Vancouver (where it ran for more than three months) and worldwide, this fascinating documentary put the all-but forgotten 70s troubadour Rodriguez back on the cultural map. The film is framed as a mystery, as a couple of South African fans try to find out more about an artist who became a talisman for the anti-apartheid movement in their country, but who long ago vanished into obscurity in his native US. The movie went on to win the Oscar for best documentary and turned 40 year old albums into chart-toppers - but in a tragic epilogue director Malik Bendjelloul committed suicide earlier this year.

"A hugely appealing documentary about fans, faith and an enigmatic Age of Aquarius musician who burned bright and hopeful before disappearing." Manohla Dargis, New York Times

"All you really have to know about this surprising and emotive music doc is that you should see it." Trevor Johnston, Time Out

A Prophet

(Un prophète)
(2009, 155 mins, 35mm)
In French
Director:
CAST Tahar Rahim, Nils Arestrup
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media.

Showtimes

Sep 07 07:00 pm

A prison somewhere in the boondocks outside Paris: home for 19-year-old French-North African Malik (Tahar Rahim) for the next six years. He’s soon singled out by Corsican crime boss Cesar Luciani (snowy haired Nils Arestrup) as their best shot at assassinating another Arab prisoner, a stool pigeon who appears to take a fancy to the young man.

Malik doesn’t want to comply, but soon discovers that Cesar’s power extends right across the prison, inmates, guards and all. The murder is a bloody fiasco, but Cesar ensures that he gets off with no questions asked, and there’s a job in it for him too. Cesar’s gang treat him like a lackey, but at least he’s a lackey with connections and the privilege to move around the prison with relative ease.

With time he earns the kingpin’s respect, if not entirely his trust. That’s a mixed blessing too – Luciani has high expectations, but he remains watchful for any sign of too much initiative. Malik earns day-release rights, and soon he’s trafficking drugs for the Corsican’s allies, making good money, and risking his neck on a regular basis.

The confines of the prison provide Jacques Audiard (Read My Lips; The Beat My Heart Skipped) with a handy social microcosm: we see the way the institution has been rigged and corrupted by money, violence and power, the endemic racism of the place, and how Malik is forced to play the game or perish.

Not only does he play, he wins. In the self-improvement stakes he would be a model prisoner – he even learns Corsican – if it weren’t for all the dead bodies he leaves in his wake.

"If Malik doesn’t remind you of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone on his journey from innocence to corruption in The Godfather saga, well . . . he should. A Prophet is similarly, startlingly momentous." Steven Rea, Philadeliphia Inquirer

"It’s a highly original film made in a familiar context, and an exciting moviegoing experience you shouldn’t miss." Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

"A Prophet is the kind of film that makes you remember why going to the movies can be a thrilling experience." Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

The Lives of Others

(Das Leben der Anderen)
(2006, 137 mins, 35mm)
In German
Director:
CAST Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Sep 07 04:00 pm

"The Stasi—East Germany’s omnipotent and greatly feared secret police—employed some 100,000 people, in addition to the 200,000 informers who could be counted on to spy on their neighbors, their friends and their own families. The waking nightmare of this "socialist paradise," a country with the second highest suicide rate in the world, is unforgettably captured in The Lives of Others.

Writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck sets his tale of betrayal, corruption and moral awakening in East Berlin in 1984, five years before the fall of the wall. The system may be rotting from within, but Capt. Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), one of the Stasi’s most skilled officers, is still a true believer, rooting out the enemies of East German socialism with a ruthless precision born of genuine ideological commitment.

The humourless, ascetic Wiesler is assigned to spy on the celebrated playwright Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his lover and star actress, Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck). Bugging the couple’s apartment, he sits monklike in a secret attic, earphones on his head, listening for hours to their lovers’ quarrels, their discussions of art and the music they play. What Wiesler discovers is that his assignment is about more than state security: Hempf, a high government minister (Thomas Thieme), lusts after Christa-Maria and wants to see his rival taken off the field. It’s made clear to Wiesler that finding dirt on Dreyman could do wonders for the Stasi officer’s career. Suddenly Wiesler, against all his training and convictions, begins to feel a strange sympathy for the man and woman whose lives he’s secretly entered.

[…] It’s hard to believe this is von Donnersmarck’s first feature. His storytelling gifts have the novelistic richness of a seasoned master. The accelerating plot twists are more than just clever surprises; they reverberate with deep and painful ironies, creating both suspense and an emotional impact all the more powerful because it creeps up so quietly. He creates edge-of-your-seat tension without a single gunshot, car chase or fight scene. Even more remarkable is his grasp of character […] The Lives of Others shows, with devastating clarity and intelligence, how the virus of corruption spreads from a political system into the hearts and souls of its citizens, infecting everything it touches." David Ansen, Newsweek

"A thoroughly compelling political thriller, at once intellectually challenging and profoundly emotional." Claudia Puig, USA Today

"The Lives of Others is a supremely intelligent, unfailingly honest look at a shadowy period in recent German history." AO Scott, New York Times

The Corporation

(2003, 120 mins, DCP)
Directors:
CAST Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media

Showtimes

Aug 31 07:30 pm

One hundred and fifty years ago, the corporation was a relatively insignificant entity. Today, it is a vivid, dramatic and pervasive presence in all our lives. Like the Church, the Monarchy and the Communist Party in other times and places, the corporation is today’s dominant institution. But history humbles dominant institutions. All have been crushed, belittled or absorbed into some new order. The corporation is unlikely to be the first institution to defy history. Based on Joel Bakan’s book, "The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power," this documentary is a critical inquiry that examines the very nature of the corporation- its inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. We begin by learning that under the law, corporations have all the rights and yet few of the responsibilities of people.

By viewing the behavior of the corporation through the prism of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (or DSM III, the gold standard of psychiatric evaluation) the filmmakers discover that if the corporation were indeed a person, the person would be considered a psychopath. Featuring candid interviews with CEOs, whistle-blowers, brokers, gurus, spies, players, pawns and pundits, the chronicle charts the spectacular rise of an institution aimed at achieving specific economic goals as it also recounts victories against this seemingly invincible force. Once you see it, you may find yourself thinking twice about what you eat, what you wear, what you watch and what you read.

Screening here in a revised 120 minute cut which the filmmakers are hoping to make available to schools for free.

"A cogent, compelling, powerful argument, and a terrific movie." Glenn Kenny, Premiere

A Separation

(2011, 123 mins, DCP)
In Farsi
Director:
CAST Leila Halami, Payman Moadi, Shahab Hosseini, Sareh Bayat
Classification: 19+
Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Canadian art house distributor Mongrel Media.

Showtimes

Aug 31 05:00 pm

Even art-house aficionados were unprepared for the dramatic sophistication and depth on display in this blistering domestic drama from Iran’s Asghar Farhadi (About Elly; The Past). It was as if Ingmar Bergman had been reborn in Tehran, to dissect the dissolution of a middle class marriage.

Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. When Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father, Simin sues for divorce. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents’ home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader. When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his father in his wife’s absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just his marriage.

"A Separation serves as a quiet reminder of how good it’s possible for movies to be." Dana Stevens, Slate

"A Separation is totally foreign and achingly familiar. It’s a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior as well as a compelling look at what goes on behind a particular curtain that almost never gets raised." Kenneth Turan, LA Times

Norte, The End of History

(2013, 250 mins, DCP)
In Tagalog with English subtitles
Director:
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 05 06:30 pm
Sep 06 06:30 pm
Sep 09 06:30 pm
Sep 11 06:30 pm

In the northern Philippine province of Luzon, a law-school dropout commits a horrific double murder; a gentle family man takes the fall and receives a life sentence, leaving behind a wife and two kids. At their best, Lav Diaz’s marathon movies reveal just how much other films leave out. In his devastating twelfth feature (and at four-plus hours, one of his shortest), the broad canvas accommodates both the irreducible facts of individual experience and the cosmic sweep of time and space. A careful rethinking of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment shot in blazing color, this tour de force offers a masterful recapitulation of Diaz’s longstanding obsessions: cultural memory, national guilt, and the origin of evil. The wounds and defeats of Filipino history loom large in each of Diaz’s films. Fabian, Norte’s tortured antihero (superbly played by Sid Lucero), may well be his most indelible creation: a haunting embodiment of the dead ends of ideology.

Its very existence is an exhilarating triumph over complacency… there is an almost inexhaustible humanism at the heart of this remarkable film." A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“The lights came up, I stood with tears in my eyes, and clapped as loudly as I ever have for any movie in my life.” Wesley Morris, Grantland

“A mesmerising experience that grows deeper and broader the longer it goes on” Kieran Corless, Sight and Sound

Truly Madly Deeply

(1991, 106 mins)
Director:
CAST Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Michael Maloney
Classification: 19+

Showtimes

Sep 02 07:00 pm

Nina is consumed by grief when Jamie, the love of her life, dies. She imagines him everywhere and his absence is an unbearable pain. He comes back and for a short time and his presence allows her to deal with her grief until finally she is ready to move on. What keeps the film from schmaltz are the wonderful performances of Nina (Juliet Stevenson) and Jamie (Alan Rickman), whose characters have plenty of warmth and tenderness, and some great comic elements.

This film was the feature debut of writer-director Anthony Minghella, after a successful career in television and theatre. From the success of Truly Madly Deeply, he went on to direct The Talented Mr. Ripley, The English Patient and Cold Mountain.

Presented by Murray Battle

Murray Battle is the Director of Independent Production and Presentation at British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. Recent commissions include the award winning series, Emergency Room: Life and Death at Vancouver General Hospital, Oil Sands Karaoke, Just Eat It, Backward Class, Father Figures, Do You Really Want to Know? and Coast Modern. In a previous life, he was a filmmaker for over 30 years.

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