This Week in Film: Our Nixon, The Birth of the Blockbuster, and Frenkel Defects

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.


Our Nixon (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)

"As Richard Nixon prepares to take the oath of office, three of his closest associates fire up their cameras," and this is the footage. I probably don't need to say much more than that, really. One of the most fascinating and complex public figures of the twentieth century, Nixon as organized by Penny Lane is a rare, insider look at his life that has been wowing festival audiences all year - including those who caught it at Hot Docs last May - with its revelations and intimate insights.

Also opening in theatres this week:

  • Closed Curcuit (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
  • Far Out Isn't Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)
  • Getaway (Scotiabank)
  • How To Make A Book With Steidl (Bloor Hot Docs Cinema)
  • One Direction: This is Us (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)
  • Satyagraha (Cineplex Yonge & Dundas)


Endless Summer: The Birth of the Blockbuster (August 30 - September 1; TIFF Bell Lightbox)

Before diving head-first into a sea of art cinema next week, the TIFF Bell Lightbox offers this jam-packed, palette cleansing weekend showcasing the earliest and best examples of Hollywood blockbuster filmmaking. The series is predictably Spielberg heavy, though mysteriously without any George Lucas representation. I've long waited to catch John Carpenter's The Thing on the big screen (put off seeing the remake for that very reason), so its inclusion is my highlight of the set, even if it will be showing - like all of the other films - from digital prints.

Screening in Endless Summer:


Frenkel Defects: Process Reversal (Tuesday, September 3 at 8PM; CineCycle)

Frenkel Defects

"A short program of 16mm film works from the Process Reversal Collective and other artist-run film groups including l'Abominable (Paris, France), The Double Negative Collective (Montreal, PQ) and The Handmade Film Institute (Boulder, CO)." The filmmakers showing work in this programme are Sarah Biagini, Andrew Busti, Taylor Dunne, Kevin Rice, Robert Schaller, Philipe Leonard, and Nicolas Rey (who made last year's excellent differently, Molussia, which screened at TIFF).

Lead still from Our Nixon.

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