Alison Murray Retrospective at the Royal Cinema
From May 13th to 15th the Royal Cinema will be hosting a retrospective series dedicated to director Alison Murray, the Halifax-born, London-raised, Toronto-based director whose most recent film Carny took Hot Docs by storm.
The first time I saw an Alison Murray film was when the gritty Mouth to Mouth was screened in small theatres back in 2005. The film stars a young Ellen Page as Sherry, a teenage runaway who begins living with a group of organized street kids in Europe. When the group relocates to a vineyard to do hard labour, Sherry begins struggling with her identity and finds herself and her mother held captive by the handsome leader bent on brainwashing all his followers.
When I discovered she had a film at Hot Docs this year, I made sure to get a glimpse. Her film Carny follows the lives of carnival workers at a traveling circus, focusing on how they joined the troupe, what keeps them at a job that pays less than minimum wage and their fears should they ever return to regular society. I really enjoyed the film because while it focused on outsiders, it was heartwarming, hilarious and never once made fun of its subjects. The film was a hit at Hot Docs, selling out in advance for both the scheduled screenings and additional third screening and will hopefully see the same reception tonight and Thursday evening.
The schedule for the retrospective is as follows:
Tuesday May 13th: 7pm Short films followed by Train on the Brain (2003)
Tuesday May 13th: 9pm Carny (2007) with Don Kerr's Carnival Orchestra
Wednesday May 14th: 7pm Mouth to Mouth (2005)
Thursday, May 15th: 7pm Carny plus shorts
Image: Mouth to Mouth from Mouth to Mouth Movie
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