Cinema Paradiso

This Week in Film: August 7th 2008

This Week in Film returns to a comfortable weekday slot, giving you more than enough time to plan your upcoming weekend of movie-going accordingly! Blockbusters this week are slim pickings, between yet another stoner film with Pineapple Express, and overly perky sequel Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2: Isn't that a Gossip Girl? Luckily the alternative cinemas in the city make up for what the Cineplexes will lack this week.

Starting tonight, the Bloor Cinema is screening previously featured film, Mongol. Beautifully painted if lacking a bit in character development, Sergei Bodrov's epic will nonetheless have you cheering in your seats as Asano makes Genghis Khan all kinds of cool.

Also starting tonight at the Royal Cinema is, coined by Norm Wilner, a 'mumblecore' film called Baghead. The film follows a group of would-be auteurs who attempt to brainstorm what would-be a 'hit' indie film. Whether it's a horror, indie, abstract or an art film, the description of Baghead reminds me thoroughly of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, if a little less satirical.

Saturday night showcases the deliciously taboo Visconti film, his 1965 winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Sandra. Starring the gorgeous Claudia Cardinale (recognized most famously for her role as Claudia in Fellini's 8 1/2) the film exposes the secrets of an Italian woman's family history to her bewildered American husband, secrets which include Nazi's, betrayal and a scandal involving her brother. Tickets are still available for the film which begins at 9pm at the Cinematheque Ontario on Saturday.

The final free film at Harbourfront for the summer will be the Che Guevara biopic, The Motorcycle Diaries. Based on the book of the same name, the Walter Salles film follows a young Che on a road trip that will eventually teach him his life's calling, it became a sensation when released in 2004, being nominated and winning awards all across the globe. The Yonge and Dundas free film next week will be another award winner, the epic tale of love and loss, Titanic. Both films start on Tuesday at sundown, approximately around 8:45/9pm.

The Revue Cinema slips in a cinematic classic this week, amongst second run programming, of the film-loving flick Cinema Paradiso. A stirring coming of age story, the film follows in flashback the youth of Salvatore, now a famous film director, exploring his childhood roots in cinema and his friendship with grandfatherly projectionist Alfredo. The film renewed interest in contemporary Italian cinema and won the Best Foreign Language Oscar and Grand Prix du Jury at Cannes, now widely regarded as one of the best movies about movies, ever. Cinema Paradiso can be seen Tuesday at 9pm or Wednesday at 7pm.

Image: Cinema Paradiso from DVD Beaver.

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