This Week in Film: The Wind Rises, Public Hearing, Destiny, Festival of New Spanish Cinema
This Week in Film rounds up noteworthy new releases in theatres, rep cinema and avant-garde screenings, festivals, and other special cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
Refocus: Public Hearing (Thursday, February 27 at 9:15PM; Revue Cinema)
Much like last year's Charlie Victor Romeo, which was based on air traffic control transcripts for six fallen commercial airplanes, Public Hearing is a word-for-word reenactment of an actual public hearing about "the proposed transformation of an Allegany, NY Wal-Mart into a Super Wal-Mart." Granted, perhaps not the world's most exciting synopsis, but the results have earned comparisons to American documentary masters Frederick Wiseman and Emile de Antonio, so I'm willing to take the chance. Shot on black-and-white 16mm film (!), and composed entirely of close-ups; projected in HD.
Silent Sundays: Destiny (Sunday, February 23 at 4:15PM; Revue Cinema)
From the silent film legend who brought us Before Metropolis and then one of the first sound masterpieces, M, comes one of his earliest masterpieces: 1921's Destiny, one of the first films to really signal that Lang was going to be one of the great filmmakers. "Equal parts fairytale and fantasy, Destiny tells the tale of a young woman granted three chances by a world-weary Death to save her lover from the afterlife. Hugely influential, it even inspired a young Alfred Hitchcock to pursue a career in film." Piano accompaniment will be provided by the invaluable William O'Meara.
More rep cinema this week:
- The Great Dictator (Friday, February 21 at 6:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- CINSSU Free Friday Films' Cult Night Triple Bill: Orca + Blood Beach + Piranha (Friday, February 21 at 7PM; Innis Town Hall)
- The Fourth Man (Friday, February 21 at 9:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Late Night Fridays: The Room (Friday, February 21 at 11:30PM; The Royal)
- The Girl from Chicago (Saturday, February 22 at 2:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Two Rode Together (Saturday, February 22 at 4:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Love Building (Saturday, February 22 at 4:30PM; Innis Town Hall)
- Veiled Aristocrats + Birthright (Saturday, February 22 at 7:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Maximum Overdrive (Saturday, February 22 at 10PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Murder in Harlem (Sunday, February 23 at 1PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Scarface (Sunday, February 23 at 7PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Children of Flamenco + Flamenco at 5:15 (Monday, February 24 at 6:30PM; The Bloor)
- Moonfleet (Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- People of a Feather (Tuesday, February 25 at 6:45PM; The Bloor)
- The Disciple (Tuesday, February 25 at 7PM; Innis Town Hall)
- Flesh + Blood (Tuesday, February 25 at 8:45PM; TIFF Bell Lightbox)
- Trouble in the Peace (Tuesday, February 25 at 9:15PM; The Bloor)
- The Last Pogo Jumps Again (Wednesday, February 26 at 9PM; The Royal)
Festival of New Spanish Cinema (February 26 - March 26; The Royal)
The Festival of New Spanish Cinema (FoNSC) is now six years old, but this is the traveling show's first stop in Toronto. The self-described leading showcase in North America for "the best in contemporary Spanish film" brings Toronto five premieres, including "the latest, most exciting films and allowing you to discover and share your love of Spanish cinema." More of a month-long series than a festival, FoNSC will screen a film every Wednesday evening at The Royal until the end of March, beginning with A Gun in Each Hand (Wednesday, February 26 at 7PM), a comedy about eight men who are all experiencing "a masculine identity crisis."
The Wind Rises (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
Hayao Miyazaki is so popular that the only film series to have played at the TIFF Bell Lightbox twice in its only three-and-a-half year history is the Studio Ghibli retrospective, which sold out practically all of its screenings in 2012, and then did so again last December, a mere 18 months later. Sure, not all of the films screened were Miyazaki's, but let's not kid ourselves: How many other Ghibli filmmakers' retirement announcements made front page headlines on non-entertainment media outlets?
Naturally-as he already did once before-Miyazaki has since recanted his vow to make The Wind Rises his final film, meaning everyone who called this the perfect note for him to go out on will have to, I guess, wait for the next perfect note. As it stands now, this fictional biopic about Japanese World War II plane designer Jiro Horikoshi will just have to go down as another late period feather in the animator's cap - one, it should be mentioned, that is among Miyazaki's least surreal or fantastical films.
Also opening in theatres this week:
- Cheap Thrills (The Royal)
- Fly Colt Fly (The Royal)
- Highway (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- Money For Nothing: Inside The Federal Reserve (The Bloor)
- Pompeii (Scotiabank)
- Takedown: The DNA of GSP (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- 3 Days to Kill (Varsity, Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
- Tim's Vermeer (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
Lead still from The Wind Rises.