Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Busy June (And What I Will Be Doing)

June Film Listings

Bytowne Cinema
Punishment Park (Peter Watkins, 1971) 14/06 – 16/06.
Sweetgrass (Ilisa Barbash & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, 2009) 18/06 – 22/06.
Breaking the Waves (Lars von Trier, 1996) 21/06 – 22/06.

Mayfair Theatre
Steven Spielberg Double Bill 08/06.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1997) 14/06.
Back to God’s Country (David Hartford, 1919) 25/06.
Prime Cut (Michael Ritchie, 1972) 26/06.
Canadian Cult Revue 30/06.

Canadian Film Institute
Day of Wrath (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1927) 12/06.
Lebanon (Samuel Maoz, 2009) 13/06.
Drunken Angel (Akira Kurosawa, 1948) 19/06.
The Lower Depths (Akira Kurosawa, 1957) 25/06.
Stone Time Touch (Gariné Torossian, 2007) 26/06.

Movie Night at the Imperial
Written on the Wind (Douglas Sirk, 1956) 1/06.
Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, 1935) 29/06.

TIFF Cinematheque (Toronto, ON)
Personal Views: A Tribute to Robin Wood 18/06.

Cinema Beaubien (Montreal, QC)
Les Amours Imaginaire (Xavier Dolan, 2010) 11/06.

Saw Gallery
Lesley Marsland’s Science Fiction Comedy TBA.


It is summer here in Ottawa and the weather is hot. Since completing my Bachelors of Arts with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Film Studies at the University of Ottawa in April my activities can best be described as idling. A lot of my time is spent at coffee houses, movie theaters, and at bars. I have a few short-term contract jobs here including researching vocabulary and working memory in elementary school students, the production of a couple of educational tool videos, and my part-time gig at the CFI. These jobs help me get by, but If find I am somehow still increasing my credit card debt. Whatever.

Solo reading wise, I have been really enjoying reading Zoë Druick’s erudite Projecting Canada, government policy and documentary film at the national film board (2007), she writes in the book “It is my contention that the NFB represents a rarified site for examining the use of new communications technology (in this case, film) and a new film form (documentary) for education, nation building, and the governmental project of an administered welfare state.” I am also having a pleasure exploring Vidéographe’s box set Robert Morin, The Videomaker’s Journey (1976-1997). Robert Morin and Lorraine Dufour output for their Coop Vidéo de Montréal is rich and compelling.

It looks like there are going to be a lot of worthwhile films going to be screening this month. Cool. Just browsing through my June Film Listings I am partly interested in writing about my friend Lesley Marsland directorial debut, it is supposed to be a twenty-minute sci-fi comedy; Back to God’s Country with the great Nell Shipman and which the film guide describes as “the earliest surviving Canadian feature film from 1919”, there will be live music by Mike Dubue; If I can make it out to it I would be interested in putting my thoughts out there on Xavier Dolan’s remake of François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (1962), Les Amours Imaginaire (2010); and finally I eagerly anticipate Ottawa’s premiere of Gariné Torossian essay film narrated by Arsinee Khanjian Stone Time Touch (2007), which also includes a book with a contribution by Scott Birdwise. If you are at all interested in reading about the other films I am sure you can find analysis of them in the writings of Robin Wood, Joseph McBride, Cinema Scope, and Jonathan Rosenbaum.

I am also happy to hear Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s newest film Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lives (2010) won The Palme d’Or. Joe is ever adventurous in his projects and his work recalls the mysticism of Andrei Tarkovsky. I liked how his film Tropical Malady (2004) spoke towards a distinct Thai experience while expanding on more universal themes of fright and loneliness in the search for a partner through its two narratives; one which is straightforward and the other an abstract re-rendition.-David Davidson


Spencer said...

Have you seen the Trotsky? I really enjoyed it, and although its structure meant it was predictable, it got many laughs out of me.

David Davidson said...

Yeah, I saw it and liked it. We played it at the CFI as part of our Canadian Top Ten series. I remember liking Jay Baruchel performance, the family dynamics, and the Montreal setting.