Monday, June 23, 2008

Bytowne Cinema July & August 2008, Inglorious Bastards

The new bytowne schedule came out today and it looks like we will have a good two more months. A great two months if you take into account the Jacques Tati retrospective at the archieves and the films the national art gallery will be playing. The bytowne will be getting new 35mm prints of Ingmar Bergman`s Monika and Francois Truffauts Les Quatre Cents Coups (it was worth getting the film guide for Jacques Rivette original review of the film). The must see cinema include Almodovar`s All About My Mother, Kurosawa`s Ran, Kazan`s A Streetcar Named Desire, Kubrick`s 2001 and Wilder`s Some Like It Hot. For new features there will be Hou Hsiao Hsien Flight of the Red Balloon and Herzogs Encounters at the End of the World. The IFCO (Independent Filmmakers Co-operative of Ottawa) will hold their 16th annual gala premiere with new films by Ottawa filmmakers.

Monday July 7th, 9:10, All About my Mother
Monday July 21st, 8:50, Kurosawa`s Ran
Friday July 25th, 9:00, Flight of the Red Balloon
Monday July 28th, 9:10, A Streetcar Named Desire
Friday August 1st, 6:55, Les Quatre Cents Coup
Thursday August 7th, 9:30, IFCO Gala
Friday August 22nd, 7:00, Monika
Monday August 25th, 8:50, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Monday September 1st, 8:40, Some Like It Hot


Quentin Tarantino confirmed finishing the screenplay for his long-awaited new film Inglorious Bastards. The film will be a Modern World War II epic. The film is scheduled to be ready for Cannes 2009.

"Do you want me to drive you home or do you want to come back to my apartment and watch me aphabetize my videotapes?"
- Tarantino to his girlfriend at the time (1992)

Friday, June 6, 2008

Belle de jour

Belle de jour (1967)
Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel was a Spanish filmmaker who started making films at the age of 29. His first project was a surrealist short that he co-wrote with Salvador Dali Un chien andalou (1929). His next film was L'Âge d'or (1930). L'Âge d'or was his first full lenght feature and with this film he set a precedence for what surrealism meant to cinema by filling the film with symbolism, juxtapositions of images, attacks against catholicism and the bourgeois class.

I want to note that André Breton, the leader of the original surrealist movement in the 1920s, wrote this manifesto to describe surrealism.

Surrealism as,
Psychic automatism in its pure state, by which one proposes to express -- verbally, by means of the written word, or in any other manner -- the actual functioning of thought. Dictated by the thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.

Bunuel who started out with the antiplot structure to his films changed towards a miniplot narrative in his later years. His earlier work was full of symbolism which gave it its surreal quality while tith Belle de Jour he shows the surrealism of realism with Séverine consciousness as its primary source. The whole film revolves not so much on the life of Séverine (Played by Catherine Deneuve) but on her thoughts and feelings. She is the typical bourgeoise that Bunuel mocks and when she gets bored with her husband, she decides to go work in brothel during the day, that is where the name of the film comes from, she calls herself Belle de Jour.

Catherine Deneuve who recently won the Prize of the 61st Festival de Cannes ex-aequo was 24 when she took on this role. She plays a great Séverine, she is thrilling and looks great. Bunuel shots of her included close up of her feet, nude and in chic outfits. Its worth noting that she is dressed in Yves Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent (August 1, 1936 – June 1, 2008) is one of the best known french fashion designer and he has jus recently passed away and Catherine Deneuve was one of his muses.

What I find really makes this film great is how it interweaves dream sequences, thoughts, conciousness and reality all into one without any explanation. an openness to explore Séverine subconcious appreciation of ringing bells and cat noises, a exploration of her childhood experience and her desire for adventure. The ending i thought was superb. Her husband has just come to terms with what Séverine has been doing and we see him crying in his wheelchair. She sits down and watches him cry then he gets up and tells her that everything will be ok. There is a subtle transition from reality to thought. The movie ends, Séverine is happy.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New undergraduate programs, Film Studies

The University of Ottawa is starting a new undergraduate program, Film Studies, in the Department of Communications. The program will focus on trends in cinema that shaped it to become what it is today. There will be explorations on the works of the worlds great directors. I believe this program is an important step to help shape the student community on the art of film.

Here is the website: Film Studies

Monday, June 2, 2008

The 1930s the making of the new man, theater screenings worth going to

Starting June 6th at the National Gallery of Canada, there is going to be a new exhibit opening The 1930s The Making of The New Man. The works will be dealing with themes of Genesis, Convulsive Beauty, The Will to Power, The Making of The New Man, Mother Earth, The Appeal of Classicism, Faces of our Time, Crowds and Power, The Charnel House.

There will be a film series as well. Here the films

July 10th, 7:00, The Pictures of Dorian Gray, Albert Lewin, 1945
July 17th, 7:00, Frankenstein, James Whale, 1931
July 24th, 7:00, Le Chagrin et la pitie ( The Sorrow and the pity), Marcel Ophüls, 1969
July 31st, 7:00, La belle et la bete, (beauty and the beast),Jean Cocteau, 1946
August 7th, 7:00, Amarcord, Federico Fellini, 1973
August 14th, 7:00, The Great Dictator, Charles Chaplin, 1940

Now thats exciting, and dont forget in June theres:

Monday June 2nd, 9:05 Belle De Jour, Luis Buñuel 1967, Bytowne Cinema
Wednesday June 4th, 9:05 Standard Operating Procedure, Errol Morris, Bytowne Cinema
Monday June 9th, 9:15 Touch of Evil, Orson Welles 1958, Bytowne Cinema
Friday June 13th, 7:05 My Blueberry Nights, Kar Wai Wong 2007, Bytowne Cinema
Monday June 16th, 9:00 Taxi Driver, Martin Scorsese 1976, Bytowne Cinema

and a reminder that the Canadian Film Institute are playing five of Jacques Tati`s films in July at the National Archives Auditorium.

JOUR DE FETE, 1947, Saturday July 5th, 7:00 pm
LES VACANCES DE MONSIEUR HULOT, 1953, Saturday July 12th, 7:00 pm
MON ONCLE, 1958, Saturday July 19th, 7:00 pm
PLAYTIME, 1967, Saturday July 26th, 7:00 pm
TRAFIC, 1971, Saturday August 9th, 7:00 pm