Monday, November 24, 2008


Saturday Night Sinema Presents:

Audition (Takashi Miike, 1999)

(Mayfair Theatre, 1074 Bank Street, Saturday November 29th, 11:00pm)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Charlie Kaufman is a genious

Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)

Synecdoche, New York is a film about life and everything that it encompasses. This overly ambitious film is the synecdoche (si-nek-duh-kee), when a part is used for the whole, where in 124 minutes on a projected screen you can experience a film that captures the process of mortality. The story is about a theater director Caden Cotard (Philip Seymour Hoffman) his latest project is a successful yet artistically submisive adaptation of Death of a Salesman played by young actors that honestly baffles his father as well his wife Adele (Catherine Keener) misses the premiere to send out miniature crates containing her tiny paintings. These early scenes give off a necessary comical relief to contrast the darker broodings that follow. Soon after Adele leaves him and takes away their daughter due to his self-depreciating nature. He becomes enormously disturbed and this disastifaction stays with him through out his life. His next projects is a recreation of his past and on-going memories of his life in a football sized theater in New York city where he is getting actors to play the people from his life. This is done in a very comical fashion where in a scene there would be the real Caden Cotard, the actor playing him and a double which is not only funny but calls into questions the essense of ones own identity. The story unravels through diary entries, dream sequences and re-creations of memories that have emotional importance which defines him as a person. This is the most mature screenplay Charlie Kaufman has ever created which includes great movies like Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind, Adaptation and Being John Malovich. Unlike the hip style of the latter by Spike Jonze and Michelle Goundry, Synecdoche is Kaufmans directorial debut and the style is retricted to theater, which he is familiar with working as a stage director the last few years, and maximizes on medium shots and close ups. The style works with the conundrum the film brings up about how one would even go about presenting a play of that magnitude. Michelle Williams and Emily Watson have magnificent supporting roles as assistents to Caden. Their is a challenging aspect to the film that requires a constant engagemnt with the viewer that will keep you thinking about Synecdoche for days to come.-David Davidson

Synecdoche, New York premieres at the ByTowne Cinema Nov. 21st at 6:55 p.m. and will be there until the 27th. Tickets are $10, $6 for members.

Monday, November 3, 2008

23rd European Union Film Festival

The Class (Lauren Cantet, 2008)
Of Time and The City (Terence Davies, 2008)

The 23rd European Union Film Festival will be playing films from the European Union and its member states. The New European Cinema movement has a reemergence of new filmmakers that are making original films that try to communicate their own national values and aethetics throught their film. The state of the cinema of the new Europe has its roots in the early 1990s with the end of communism especially in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic where there had been restraints lifted that brought about intense and scathing work that that lacked insight and since there was no longer a strong totalitarian power to speak out about a lot of the filmmakers had an issue with finding something else to voice. Through experimentation European cinema has moved forwards and is now at the for front of world cinema winning the prestigious prizes at cannes for consecutive years. The festival would be a good chance to watch these exciting films since the majority of them will not get an international release. Most of these films are made to fulfill a national film quota for these countries and rarely go abroad other then to the film festival circuit. As well it is a great opportunity to explore other cultures, ways of life and altogether be a fulfilling experience.

Two films in the upcoming week that would be definitly worth checking out is The Class and Of Time and the City. The Class directed by Lauren Cantet is the first French film to win the the prestigious Palme d'Or from Cannes in 21 years. The film is based on the book Entre les murs about a teacher in the 20th arrondissment of Paris written by and starring François Bégaudeau. François tries to analyze the role of the teacher in a class room, its value and the theoretical retraints of the education system. He has a challenging approach to teaching that can vary from caring to confrontational. Laurent Cantet refuses to mold the film in a class room drama by drenching the film of the genres typical clichés. Of Time and the City shot with a digital camera by the acclaimed British filmmaker Terence Davies is a personal documentary on the Liverpool of his youth in the 1940's to the 50's. It is a telling journey of what it was like being British during the war meditating on memories and their emotional importance. It is composed of found footage with Davies accompanying it with a performative voice over narration which he also wrote and poetry selections from T.S. Elliot. .-David Davidson

The Class will be playing Friday Nov. 14th at 7:00 pm and Of Time And The City will be playing Tuesday Nov 18th at 7:00 pm. The screenings will take place at the auditorium at the Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington Street. Tickets are $10, $6 for members and students. For more information on films and listings you can visit there website at