Be Kind, Rewind

This Week in Film: February 21st 2008

This week begins with a film I've been anticipating for quite some time, Be Kind Rewind by Michel Gondry, director of Block Party and The Science of Sleep. The film revolves around a video store clerk played by Mos Def, who has his entire inventory demagnetized by his idiot friend, Jack Black. The two then begin to re-create every film to ensure their most loyal customer (played by Mia Farrow) won't notice. Even with a premise like that and two fantastic trailers, the release date kept getting pushed. So for Gondry fans, this film has been a long time coming. But if this isn't your thing, read on for more.

Also released this week is the Lebanese 'chick flick' Caramel. Beloved at Cannes and TIFF last year, the film follows the lives of five women in Beirut, centering on the beauty salon where they work, gossip and bond. Named for the hot, sticky goo used to rip out unwanted hair in the salon, Caramel is not only the first film directed by newcomer Nadine Labiki but she also co-wrote the screenplay and stars in the film.

Tomorrow night is one of my favourite film nights of the year because it's CINSSU's annual Cult Film Triple Bill. Showcasing a little bit of everything, the films this year do not disappoint. We have fantasy, puppets and David Bowie in Labyrinth at 7pm, John Carpenter's sci-fi classic The Thing at 9pm and the gang-film The Warriors at 11pm. With no snack bar or vending machines, I would advise packing some food because it's going to be a long night.

War/Dance, the winner of the audience award at Hot Docs 2007, is opening this weekend at the Royal Cinema. The gorgeous and heartbreaking film follows a school in a small village in northern Uganda that is practicing and striving to win the National Music Competition. The only catch is that this village is made up of a tribe that has been displaced and terrorized by the Lord's Resistance Army for over 20 years. The army has abducted, terrorized and forced children into becoming soldiers, and the film follows their heart-wrenching attempt to prove to other Ugandans that despite their struggle, they still have their pride. The film is also nominated for the Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars this Sunday.

For a small Festival watch, this weekend you can choose between the Canadian Art Reel Artists Film Festival, the Ozflix Australian Film Weekend or the Small Gauge Film Festival. With offerings from Mapplethorpe to marsupials and 8mm film, these festivals are proof that the season is just warming up.

Aaaaaand last but not least, the 80th Annual Academy Awards are this weekend. Will No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood sweep most of the categories? Will Blanchett take both leading and supporting actress categories? And the most important question... will Ratatouille win Best Animated Feature over Persepolis? Look for all this and more in blogTO's Guide to the Oscars, coming this weekend.

Image: Be Kind, Rewind from

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