This Week in Film: Working Stiffs, The Big Lebowski, Taxi Driver, Escape from New York, A Clockwork Orange, Bobby Fischer Against the World, Freaky Friday, The Night Watch
MONDAY MAY 23RD / WORKING STIFFS PROGRAM / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 9:15PM
Screening as part of the Inside Out Film Festival which was featured last week, Working Stiffs is a shorts programme bursting at the seams with tales that unravel at the place where we spend 1/3rd of our days out in succession, work! The shorts feature a myriad of characters from an aspiring go-go dancer in Go Go Reject who wishes to ditch his yogurt-serving job, to a street hustler in New Orleans selling flowers to keep a roof his head in The Price of Flowers, a dry-cleaning teenager who has too much fun with the prom outfits of his peers in The Queen and so many more. Tickets are $13 and can be bought online or at the cinema.
TUESDAY MAY 24TH / A TASTE OF NOIR: THE BIG LEBOWSKI / REVUE CINEMA / 9:20PM
Probably one of my all time favourites, The Big Lebowski is about a dude we can all relate to. All The Dude wants to do with his life is to bowl, drink white russians and smoke pot in the bathtub. But thanks to a major case of mistaken identity, a urine-soaked rug and the scheming mind of his loose cannon of a bowling teammate, his life is no longer the simple idyll it used to be. Before you can say "Shut up Donny" he's in over his head dealing with detectives, porn stars, grifters and nihilists who all want a cut. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema.
WEDNESDAY MAY 25TH / TAXI DRIVER / TORONTO UNDERGROUND CINEMA / 9:30PM
A shiny new print of the gritty ol' film about a man who just can't take it anymore. What always impresses me about this film is the way that New York, as the city, was recorded. Shot during a hot garbage strike in the 70's, it in no way resembles the city of today, but somehow, Scorsese was successful in making this film so iconic that it leaves a permanent imprint scored into your brain. You will always remember what the city looked like to Travis Bickle, a mentally unstable former Marine, sick of the crime and violence in the city (perhaps in himself as well) and his hypocritical solution to his perceived problem. Tickets are $8 and can be bought at the cinema.
THURSDAY MAY 26TH / ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK & A CLOCKWORK ORANGE / BLOOR CINEMA / 7PM & 9:15PM
Strap yourselves in, eyeballs open please, for a dystopic double bill featuring rebels and outsiders as they clash against the status quo. While Escape from New York features a fugitive on a mission to save the President (as distasteful as the head of state seems to be) A Clockwork Orange focuses on a juvenile delinquent who, after a crime spree of epic proportions, gets caught and undergoes a controversial new technique to control and rehabilitate prisoners. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the cinema.
FRIDAY MAY 27TH / BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7PM & 9:15PM
There is a fine line between madness and genius and Bobby Fischer Against the World shows how easily one of the brightest minds of the Cold War period, a chess player who was thrust in the limelight as an example of American prowess, could so easily stray from one category to another. Famous for his lack of sportsmanship, his eventual anti-americanism and anti-semitic remarks (despite being Jewish) still much is not known. He was not a simple man, he was not a pleasant man, but he was definitely an interesting one. The film is beginning a running engagement and will be screening daily at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, see the website for more screening dates and times. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema or online.
SATURDAY MAY 28TH / FREAKY FRIDAY / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 2PM
Most are familiar with the particulars of this story; teenage daughter and mother have an argument, a typical type of blow-up fight which somehow convinces each other that the other person has the better life, a simple wish later and poof, movie magic. Freaky Friday is a classic family comedy that many know and love, much better than the sum of its remakes. Featuring a slightly different Jodie Foster than her Taxi Driver role (Wednesday at the Underground) this time we get to see her take on a sunnier version of adolescence, tantrums and all. Tickets are $12 and and be bought online or at the cinema.
SUNDAY MAY 29TH / THE NIGHT WATCH / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 7:30PM
The closing gala of the Inside Out Film Festival is about anything but a casual affair. The Night Watch is set in post-war London in the 40's, as four young people connected to each other by their wartime experiences strive to move forward despite a bleak outlook to the future. Two women working at the marriage bureau struggle with their own separate and estranged romances, another restlessly roams the city at night and a man finds himself haunted by a spectre from his past. Tickets are $22 and can be bought online or at the cinema.
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