This Week in Film: Heathers, The Big Heat, JFK, The Secret of NIMH, Cosmonaut, Vagabond, This Movie is Broken
This week in film rounds up the most noteworthy independent screenings and cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
MONDAY MARCH 14TH / BLOOR CINEMA / HEATHERS / 7PM
While March Break is in full swing, every newspaper and weekly in the city will be endearing themselves to parents with family-friendly (gag-worthy) film recommendations. Instead I counter-offer with Heathers, essential viewing for the 'kids aren't alright' generation. A response to the sappy Brat Pack films which dominated theatres in the late 80's, Heathers has the darker high school tropes such as dangerous cliques, murder, suicide and devastating peer pressure. A perfect March Break film for the rebellious teen born in the 90's. Tickets are $10 for non-members and $7 for members and can be purchased at the cinema.
TUESDAY MARCH 15TH / THE BIG HEAT / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 6:30PM
Dave Bannion is a cop on a mission to solve the murder of his fellow officer. At least, that's how it begins, but soon enough he's embroiled in a web of gangster activity that exposes him to so many dangerous elements that his wife gets killed in the crossfire. From then on, his only mission is to bring her murderers to justice any way he can. Featuring a terrifying performance by Lee Marvin as the mug in question, and Fritz Lang's precise direction, this classic is a solid thriller from start to finish. Tickets are $12 for non-members, $9 for members and can be bought at the cinema or online.
WEDNESDAY MARCH 16TH / BODIES OF WORK: JFK / REVUE CINEMA / 7PM
The Revue takes a breather from March Break programming on Wednesday to delve into one of the nitty-gritty parts of filmmaking, the special effects! Enter Gordon Smith, a special effects expert who has worked on films such as JFK, X-Men, X2, Platoon and Jacob's Ladder. For three weeks the Revue will be showcasing a special effects prop with an in-depth discussion of the techniques and tricks involved in the process alongside the film it was featured in. This week, take a peek at the fully recreated JFK autopsy body and then enjoy as Oliver Stone takes wild liberties with the assassination of a historic figure. Tickets are $10 for members, $12 for non members and can be bought at the cinema.
THURSDAY MARCH 17TH / THE SECRET OF NIMH / TORONTO UNDERGROUND CINEMA / 9:30PM
The Animated Series which has presented films such as Metropolis, An American Tail and Heavy Metal returns with a childhood favourite, The Secret of NIMH. The directorial debut of Don Bluth, the film follows a widowed mouse, Mrs. Brisby, as she attempts to protect her children from imminent danger. Her companions along the way include an endearing crow and some highly intelligent former laboratory rats who help her fight for her home and kids. While it was a box office disappointment, it thrived on video and in the homes of 80's children, myself included. Tickets are $8 and can be bought at the cinema.
FRIDAY MARCH 18TH / COSMONAUT / ROYAL CINEMA / 7PM & 9PM
Set in 1963, Cosmonaut is a strange coming of age story about Luciana, a 15 year old card-carrying Italian communist. Luciana's got it rough, she's a tomboy who has been obsessed with space travel since she was 9, she doesn't get along with her parents, she only has one real friend and also has a devastating crush on an unattainable boy. Throw in the obligatory conflict that occurs when push comes to shove and shoving gets to hormones and this film serves as another reminder that movies about teenagers growing up will never get old. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the cinema. More showtimes for Cosmonaut can be found on the website.
SATURDAY MARCH 19TH / SANS TOIT NI LOI (VAGABOND) / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 6:30PM
Agnes Varda's stunning film features Sandrine Bonnaire in one of her earliest roles as Mona, an enigmatic drifter who wanders through Midi in what will be her last winter. Varda plays with the audiences expectations through her use of chronology, as the film begins with Mona's lifeless body and then introduces us to her while she was still alive. By splicing narrative scenes with documentary-like interviews with other drifters, Varda leaves it up to us to decide exactly who Mona was and what happened to her. Tickets are $12 for non-members, $9 for members and can be bought at the cinema or online.
SUNDAY MARCH 20TH / THIS MOVIE IS BROKEN / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 9:45PM
Part of the Juno film programme that will be playing the next week leading up to the Junos themselves, This Movie is Broken is a fantastic inclusion into the concert-film genre where the musical focus is broken up by a short narrative about a romantic encounter between two old friends. While Broken Social Scene plays on in the fore and background of the characters lives, their actions are also mirrored by the lyrics in the songs and the themes in the music. The two work hand in hand to capture a moment in time, in the summer of 2009, when a garbage strike and heat wave brought a city together on that sweaty night. Tickets are $12 for non-members, $9 for members and can be bought at the cinema or online.
Lead still from This Movie is Broken
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