Cinematheque - Blue Velvet's Coming!

Looking to avoid the annual blockbuster deluge? Summer's arrived and so has the new season at the Cinematheque where it's business as usual with another excellent lineup for the film connoisseur: Polish "sociopolitical critiques"; kung fu mayhem; Bollywood method-acting; and Lynch + Hopper. What a lineup!

June brings a retrospective of the films of Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski who is best recognized by newer audiences for his Trois Couleurs trilogy Bleu, Blanc, and Rouge. Those who wish to explore more of this "eloquent conjoiner of metaphysical mystery" should put time aside to attend his Decalogue series which is 10 hour-long episodes filmed as a modern adaptation of the Ten Commandments.

Anyone who wants to add a little socky to their choppy should check out the bone-crunching action on display in the second part of Cinematheque's presentation of classic Chinese martial arts films. If the extent of your kung-fu viewing experience is the Charlie's Angels and Matrix movies then get out to these classic movies to see the inspiration behind Hollywood's current wire-work love fest.


Amongst the kung fu films on offer is the classic The Five Venoms which created the fad of eccentric martial arts styles. Think of lines such as, "Your centipede kung fu is no match for my scorpion technique!" and you get the idea. There's also The New One-Armed Swordsman which sets new limits of single-handed fighting creativity and the more recent classic Once Upon A Time In China which first exhibited the gravity-defying talents of Jet Li to western audiences.

In the mood for a slice of Bollywood? On tap is a quartet of films starring Aamir Khan, India's James Dean. Once Upon A Time In India (which could make for a long but interesting double feature with Jet Li's aforementioned film), Rang De Basanti, and The Rising: Ballad Of Mangal Pandey are featured though I'm betting the most popular film offered will be Deepa Mehta's Earth, the second in her elemental trilogy.

June's lineup also includes limited runs of several eclectic films such as John Cassavetes' Love Streams and Canadian "film-essayist" Chris Marker's The Case of the Grinning Cat.

Finally, I'm strapping on my gas mask and holding my breath for my first opportunity to see Blue Velvet on the big screen. David Lynch's corruption of the small town ideal is merely queer until amyl-nitrate-huffing Dennis Hopper appears and then the film really goes off the rails and into the realms of the bizarre. There are few villains in movie history as frightening as Hopper's Frank Booth when he smears on lipstick and describes his "love letter"...[choke].

Cinematheque screenings are at Jackman Hall. 317 Dundas West.
Blue Velvet and One-Armed Swordsman images liberated from (some weird Norwegian site)

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