The Orphanage

This Week in Film: December 27th 2007


I always find myself disappointed the weekend after Christmas due to the lack of new releases. It leaves me playing catch-up with films I still haven't seen such as The Kite Runner or The Savages. If you know any gems playing this weekend that I may have missed, feel free to comment and let me know. But don't be discouraged, there is one new release this weekend that is absolutely worth a visit to the cinema and another rare screening not to be missed.

Newly released this weekend is The Orphanage (El Orfanato), directed by Juan Antonio Bayona and produced by Guillermo del Toro, the director of last years smash hit Pan's Labyrinth. While there are similarities between the quality, tone and cinematography of the two Spanish films, I found that while Pan's Labyrinth played with imagination and fantasy through the eyes of a child, The Orphanage chose to reveal the horrors found in an adult mind. To briefly summarize, Laura (the film's protagonist) suffers a tragedy shortly after renovating the orphanage she grew up in and the film follows her attempts to discover whether the building is haunted or if she's losing her grip on reality. The end result is a suspenseful, creepy, well made film. It is playing at the Varsity Cinema.

Also, if you are like myself and have lived in Toronto for several years without making the trip to the infamous Cineforum (home of Reg Hartt) perhaps the screening this week could change your mind. The Cineforum will be showing parts of Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, an epic 15 hour series based off of the great novel by Alfred Doblin, with an additional feature of Fassbinder's following each episode. The screening on January 1st will be Part 2 of the Berlin Alexanderplatz and will contain the feature Rios das Mortes while the screening on the 2nd will be Part 3 and will feature Gods of the Plague. The Cineforum is located at 463 Bathurst and both screenings start at 7pm.


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