Toronto Film Screenings

This Week in Film: The Devil's Double, Little Terrors, Mid-August Lunch, Homicidal, Rollerball, Demons

This week in film rounds up the most noteworthy independent screenings and cinema-related events happening in Toronto.

It's a big year for Dominic Cooper, the British actor has been on screen earlier this summer in the role of Howard Stark (father of Iron Man) in Captain America, has a role in the fall in the Marilyn Monroe feature, My Week With Marilyn alongside Michelle Williams, but it's his dual role in The Devil's Double that really showcases his chops as he plays a dual role as Uday Hussein and his body double. The Devil's Double is a dark, violent and controversial film based on the life of Latif Yahia, a young man born to wealthy parents whose resemblance to the sadistic son of Saddam Hussein led him to be forcibly conscripted as a body double for the young man. Undergoing extensive training and surgery, Latif is taught to walk, talk and act like the psychopathic playboy, acting out situations he could have never dreamed to be a part of. Tickets are $12.75 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.

This Tuesday, Rue Morgue presents a two hour feast of gore-filled, thrilling short horror films at the newest cinema on the block, the Projection Booth. Included in this evening of mayhem is The Legend of Beaver Dam, a short horror musical about a camper who (while singing) must gallantly save his friends from a ghost brought to life by their stories and Treevenge, which won the Best Short Film award at Fantasia a year or so back, the devastating revenge tale of the angry Christmas Tree against, well, us. These and more can be seen for a modest fee of $5.99 and tickets can be bought at the cinema.


The Epicure's Revue is a film program running at the Revue Cinema that has a bit of a twist. Instead of contrasting movies by genre, country, culture or stars, the Epicure Review connects the most important commodity of all, food. This month's feature is Mid-August Lunch, an appropriately timed film about Gianni, a man whose mounting debts land him and his elderly mother close to eviction. That is, unless, he can take care of his landlords mother and aunt, and his doctor's mother, and so on as he accrues a small entourage of older ladies he must entertain and cook for in the waning days of August to repay all of his debts. Hilarious and touching. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the cinema.

Film School Confidential presents a night of horror movie gimmicks and promotion, featuring Homicidal, a graphic Gothic melodrama focusing on dark family secrets in a mansion in Southern California. We have an heir, a mysterious blonde and the housekeeper who can no longer speak, even to reveal the horrors she may be witnessing. Dismissed as a Psycho rip-off, Homicidal was directed by William Castle, a man who devoted his life to making b-movies and promoting them wildly. The original 1961 release of this film featured a 'Coward's Corner' for those too afraid to stay to the climax of the film, director William Castle had an arrangement that any customer asking for a refund would have to visibly leave their seat and stand in a booth with an usher and be administrated a blood pressure test to prove cowardice. Social media marketing eat your heart out. Tickets are $10 and can be bought at the cinema.

Screening as part of the Norman Jewison retrospective at the Lightbox this month (and for all intents and purposes, I always forget he directed this film.) Rollerball presents us with the future of sports entertainment, a brutal combination of the most violent and fast-paced sports all rolled into one, as the mob takes amusement from the players and the corporations sponsoring the game control the teams and the people who play for them. When the most popular player of the game, an appropriately cast James Caan, is forced into retirement and he fights against it, all the rules of the game are altered to make it deadly for him to continue. A dystopic tale based on a short story by William Harrison set only a few years from now, foreshadows imposing corporations and their input into all aspects of human life. Norman Jewison will be in attendance for this screening, tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the theatre or online.

The first feature length film by Toronto video artist and director Daniel Cockburn was first presented at TIFF last year to confounded attention and finally has a release at the Lightbox starting this week. This multilayered film features a motley crew of characters such as an unnamed archivist (Tracy Wright) as her apartment begins collecting items. We're not quite sure why and neither is she as the items have a habit of moving around and relocating themselves, or is she doing that subconsciously? Alan discovers that he is an every-man, the average man, literally every person who has ever existed, in all their loneliness and banality, this may be making him crazy. You are Here is almost an impossibility to describe in 200 words or less, or truly at all but you can ask all your questions this Friday as Daniel Cockburn,will be in audience for the 7:30pm and 9:45pm performances on Friday the 19th and Saturday the 20th. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the cinema or online.

On a subway car in Berlin, a young woman is pursued by a creepy stranger in a mask. When he finally reaches her, she is presented with a mysterious ticket for a test screening for a new horror film in West Berlin, and, overcoming her fright, naturally invites her best friend along. The horror film in question takes a sudden turn when the theater is quickly turned into a breeding ground for demons and the body toll begins to rise. A classic Italian horror film by director Lamberto Bava and produced by one of the kings of the genre, Dario Argento, the simple plot paired with a timely heavy metal soundtrack and spawned more than a half dozen sequels. But be warned, you may never quite feel comfortable in a movie theater the same way again. Tickets are $8 and can be bought at the cinema.

For Toronto movie showtimes, view our Movie Listings section.

Still from Mid-August Lunch.

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