This Week in Film: A Hijacking, Everyday is Like Sunday, The Godfather, August BLACKOUT!
This Week in Film rounds up noteworthy new releases in theatres, rep cinema and avant-garde screenings, festivals, and other special cinema-related events happening in Toronto.
A Hijacking (TIFF Bell Lightbox)
One of my wild card picks at TIFF last year, there's not too much that should be, or needs to be, said about this wonderful, intense thriller from Danish filmmaker Tobias Lindholm. The film details the corporate negotiations that take place after a freighter is hijacked by some Somali pirates, who demand a $15M ransom or else they'll kill the crew. Despite the fact that the bargaining of this ransom takes up about 90% percent of the running time, it almost feels like a MacGuffin when a late development in the plot re-routes the film away from its critique of capitalism, toward a profoundly moving portrayal of insurmountable guilt; a lightning-quick turn on par with the mid-film rift in last year's The Loneliest Planet. Don't miss this unassuming gem.
In a World (Varsity)
In A World is Lake Bell's debut as a writer/director/producer, and, for a first go, it's a smash. The film features a mash-up of conflicting family politics (and competition), romance, and the struggle of a talented underdog protagonist to come out on top. Bell stars in the film as well, alongside Demetri Martin, Fred Melamed and others for an amusing, light-hearted and uplifting comedic experience.
Everyday is Like Sunday (Carlton)
Directed and co-written by Pavan Moondi (one of the producers of The Seventh Art, the popular Toronto-based video magazine and programmers of the Live Directors Series), Everyday is Like Sunday is a debut feature shot in Toronto's Parkdale and Little Portugal neighbourhoods. The film contrasts a scrappy, lo-fi, documentary aesthetic with dramatically composed cinematic montages swiftly incorporating music and imagery of the streets of Toronto, taking a look at post-collegiate characters stuck between their dwindling youth and impending adulthood. For those who can't get enough, an extended version of the film will eventually be available online as a ten-episode series.
Also opening in theatres this week:
The Book Revue: The Godfather (Tuesday, August 20 at 6:45PM; Revue Cinema)
The Book Revue takes place every two months at the Revue, and each event includes fun stuff like book giveaways, short introductions, and a discussion after the screening. There is always a guest expert on hand at each screening to talk about the book and the film, and this edition sees Geoff Pevere, who now writes The Globe's Film Geek column, introducing one of Francis Ford Coppola's canonical masterpieces, The Godfather, often considered one of the best American films ever made. The idea of the series, of course, is that you read the book before seeing the movie, so there's only a bit more time to plow through Mario Puzo's 441-page novel and immerse yourself in the world of the Corleone family.
More rep cinema this week:
Early Monthly Segments: Deborah Stratman's O'er the Land (Monday, August 19 at 8PM; Gladstone Art Bar)
The 54th edition of Early Monthly Segments presents American artist Deborah Stratman's 2009 reflection on the state of her nation, O'er the Land. The 52-minute film "hinges on the account of 48,000 foot decent of pilot Col. William Rankin who was forced to eject himself from his F8U fighter jet during a 1959 test flight. Storm buffeted, without a pressurized flight suit, held aloft in the air currents for a seeming eternity, Rankin miraculously survived to tell the tale." The screening of Stratman's film - on 16mm, as always, will be accompanied by an as-yet-unnamed short film. $5-10 donations accepted at the door. Arrive thirsty for beer and awesome door prizes.
August BLACKOUT! (Wednesday, August 21 at 8PM; The Cameron House)
For one night only, The 8 Fest Small-Gauge Film Festival invites you to go analogue and experience the 10th anniversary of August BLACKOUT! The film slate will comprise rare and iconic rolls of Super 8 film courtesy of Jonathan Culp, Tanya Read, Andrew James Paterson, and a few surprise guests, while the three bands performing, all local, are Ethel and The Mermen, Good Conduct, and Suitcase Sam and The Suits. $10 at the door, in The Cameron House's back room.
Lead still from A Hijacking. In a World write-up by Sarah Ratchford.
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