This Week in Film: Miller's Crossing, The Heiress, Submarine, O Fantasma, Stella, Man Bites Dog, Don Q Son of Zorro
This week in film rounds up the most noteworthy independent screenings and cinema-related events happening in Toronto
MONDAY JUNE 20TH / MILLER'S CROSSING / BLOOR CINEMA / 9PM
Care to begin your week with a little well-crafted paranoia? Miller's Crossing, the third feature film by the Coen brothers, is a contemporary film noir about the back-door dealings of some American gangsters in the Prohibition era. When one gang goes to war with another, due to an ill-advised 'protection' of a bad bookie, anti-hero Tom Regan finds himself in the middle of all the mayhem, partially due to his connection to one mob boss and also because of his involvement with said bosses' devious girlfriend. Double-crossings, back-stabbings, gang politics and political power-plays rule the day as Regan finds out that power can shift hands, but only so much. Tickets are $9 and can be purchased at the cinema.
TUESDAY JUNE 21ST / THE HEIRESS / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 6:30PM
Hollywood Classics, the ongoing program from the TIFF CInematheque brings a classic William Wyler film to the table this week with the dark, broody tale of The Heiress. Olivia de Havilland plays the titular character, a shy and awkward old maid who still lives with her overbearing father with no prospects or suitors on the horizon. When one such man comes knocking, her heart jumps at the idea of romance but her father is convinced the man has other ideas. The Heiress took home quite a few gold men that year, with de Havilland taking home Best Actress, but keep an eye out for Montgomery Clifts' portrayal of the suspicious beau Morris as he woos and schemes all in the same breath. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online or at the cinema.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 22ND / SUBMARINE / AMC YONGE & DUNDAS 24 / 7:20PM & 9:55PM
Okay, I need to admit I'm a bit biased with regard to this film. You see, I do tend to enjoy awkward coming of age films because I was that awkward teenager quoting movies when I was nervous and pointing out continuity errors instead of making out during terrible movies while on dates. That being said, Submarine also benefits in that it is the debut feature film of Richard Ayoade from The I.T Crowd which I've been watching repeatedly for the last six months. Anyway, Submarine is about Oliver Tate, a self-absorbed little twit who enjoys a fantasy that he is a popular, well loved classmate when really he's an awkward loner. After befriending and wooing his first girlfriend, Oliver becomes increasingly aware and uncomfortable with his newfound understanding of emotions and relationships and makes a general mess of things as a result. Tickets are $11 and can be bought online or at the cinema.
THURSDAY JUNE 23RD / O FANTASMA / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 6:30PM
Step aside Bruce LaBruce and make way for Jo達o Pedro Rodrigues. The latter is a Portuguese filmmaker with three films under his belt dealing with homosexual characters. His most recent work, the 2009 film To Die Like a Man about an aging drag queen competed at Cannes in the Un Certain Regard program. But we're rewinding to his debut film O Fantastma which follows a disillusioned garbage man Sergio as he grapples with his inability to pursue a female coworker and instead embraces his attraction to an aloof, butch motorcyclist. As Sergio falls down a rabbit hole of lust and depravity, he winds up in more of a bind than he initially bargained for. Yeah! Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online or at the cinema.
FRIDAY JUNE 24TH / STELLA / ROYAL CINEMA / 7PM
Part of a fantastic free Greek cinema retrospective this weekend at the Royal, Stella is a Greek take on the tragic tale of Carmen. Our unfortunate lady of the hour is Stella, a popular rembetika musician (traditional Greek folk music) known for her spirit, charm and utter disregard for traditionalist views on relationships and marriage. The only problem is that her new beau, handsome soccer player Miltos has become increasingly more obsessed with her and less willing to take a chance that she'll leave him. He proposes to her and demands she make a choice between her freedom and his love. Admission is free but be sure to get to the Royal early to guarantee seating.
SATURDAY JUNE 25TH / MAN BITES DOG / TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX / 11PM
Screening as part of the Best of Midnight Madness program at the Tiff Bell Lightbox all summer, Man Bites Dog is a fictionalized nightmarish journey as a morally ambiguous film crew document the daily life of a serial killer. As he expounds about art and justifiable murder, society and his carnage, the crew become more and more enmeshed in his sick career and find themselves unable and perhaps a little unwilling to extricate themselves from the situation. Low-budget but high concept, this film will have you feeling icky from your head to your toes for quite some time. Tickets are $12 and can be bought at the cinema or online.
SUNDAY JUNE 26TH / DON Q SON OF ZORRO / REVUE CINEMA / 4PM
Silent Sundays are back at the Revue, this month with a Douglas Fairbanks action adventure as he portrays the young swashbuckler Cesar, better known as the son of Zorro! A talented young man in his own right, Cesar's skills with weaponry and patronage precede him as he becomes embroiled in an inadvertent rivalry with Don Sebastian for the hand of Dolores,a charming waif played by Mary Astor. While Cesar easily wins the affection of the young woman, Don Sebastian goes into a rage and frames Cesar with murder. Naturally, he dons the mask of his father in order to undercover the true murderer and begins posing as Zorro. Tickets are $10 for members, $12 for non-members and can be purchased at the cinema.
Still from Miller's Crossing
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