Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mar/Apr: Cinematheque & VIFC

Another heaping helping of Soul Food at Pacific Cinematheque and Vancity Theatre / Vancouver International Film Centre later this spring.

Fri Mar 2, 7:00
Wed Mar 7, 9:45
It's this film that leads Robert Jewett to start spelling out his thoughts on "the American monomyth" (calling it a false "other gospel," with reference to Galatians 1) in his very fine volume "Saint Paul Returns To The Movies: Triumph Over Shame." He doesn't buy the line that UNFORGIVEN undermines that super-heroic might-is-right myth, but I did, and many do. Certainly it's fascinating - and important, I think, in this day when American foreign policy seems shaped by TOMBSTONE and SHANE - to consider the arguments of the formidable Jewett. But whether you read UNFORGIVEN as a repudiation or a resurrection of that myth, there's plenty here that matters - about the weight of the past, about vengeance, about the limits of forgiveness. A fine movie. Clint's finest.

Pacific Cinematheque
Tue Mar 19, 7:30
THE NUN (1966)
Not precisely Soul Food, but of interest to Christians with an interest in important cinema. Jacques Rivette's "most conventional film" - though banned for a year because of its attacks on the Church. "Lurid in subject matter but austere and cloustrophobic in style... A young woman is forced by her family to enter a convent. The cruel Mother Superior abuses her; at a second convent, the lesbian Mother Superior lusts after her, until Suzanne escapes with the aid of a priest - who then tries to rape her." Hmmm. Think I may just skip that one.

Fri Mar 30, 9:00
Sat Mar 31, 7:00
Sun Apr 1, 9:00
Mon Apr 2, 7:00
Thu Apr 5, 9:00
No idea what to make of this, but its got one heck of a tantalizing description!
Vancity: "Fresh from prison, middle-aged neo-Nazi atheist Adam (Ulrich Thomsen) is sent to live in a country church for a stint of community service. Ivan (Casino Royale supervillain Mads Mikkelsen), the priest charged with his reform, maintains a delusional optimism as a defense against darker truths in his past and all around him. Asked to set a goal for his stay, Adam nonchalantly sets the bar pretty low: he’ll bake an apple cake. But when the church’s beloved lone apple tree is beset, in short order, by crows, worms and lightning, and fallen bibles keep opening to “The Book of Job,” it’s clear that the thunderclouds above the parish have blown in straight from the Old Testament, and a test of faith is at hand. The pitchest of black comedies, Anders Thomas Jensen’s wickedly funny film reverberates with profane dialogue, appalling behaviour and strategic use of the Bee Gees, as Adam only somewhat maliciously sets out to dismantle Ivan’s sunny armour... Assuredly filmed in frosty blues and suitably stormy weather, Adam’s Apples is a sly religious parable by a writer/director with a bracing talent for dark, astringent humour. Steve Mockus, San Francisco Film Festival"

Pacific Cinematheque
Sat Mar 31, 2:00
CT Movies editor Mark Moring's a big fan of this family-friendly Aussie indie about an imaginative little girl whose family become outcasts in a rough outback mining town. I like to be more the appreciator than the critic, so I'm a bit stuck here, as I was underimpressed by the movie, but Mark's endorsement lets me know there are plenty of folks who would enjoy this uplifting tale. Certainly an alternative to the commercial fare dished up for kids in ever-mounting heaps by the American studios. By the director of THE FULL MONTY.

Pacific Cinematheque
Wed April 4, 7:30pm (part 1)
Thu April 5, 7:30pm (part 2)
JEANNE LA PUCELLE (Joan the Maiden, 1994)
"The two great intimidating films about Joan of Arc, by Dreyer and Bresson, are purely poetic," director Jacques Rivette has said, "Whereas I was aiming for a more narrative approach - although I hope there are poetic moments."

Pacific Cinematheque
Wed Apr 18 7:30pm
Peter Chattaway picked this as the most spiritually significant film of the past year, over L'ENFANT, PAN'S LABYRINTH, SOPHIE SCHOLL or SON OF MAN (for example). Remember Jim Jones? Back in the decade of the cults. The Kool-Aid mass suicide in Guyana? This is the story of the quasi-Jesus People church that started out so good - social conscience, community, all that - and came to such a bad end.


Pacific Cinematheque
CODE UNKNOWN: The Films Of Michael Haneke
"Bresson is my idol," the Austrian writer-director Michael Haneke has said, and it very much shows in his films, but invoking the sublime French master hardly prepares you for the wallop of Haneke's shocking yet beautifully austere work. One of the most provocative filmmakers of our time...

Provocative indeed. A few of Haneke's films - BENNY'S VIDEO or FUNNY GAMES, for example - contain some of the most unwatchably vicious material to be found on films, earning Haneke the common appelation "provocateur" or "the bad boy of European filmmaking." But the challenging CODE UNKNOWN is much celebrated by Christian film lovers like Stef Loy and Jeffrey Overstreet, the stark TIME OF THE WOLF uses a vaguely post-apocalyptic setting not only to question contemporary values but also to raise spiritual questions, and the unnerving, unresolved CACHE not only enjoyed almost universal acclaim amongst cinephiles, but came close to crossing over into something like mainstream success.

Pacific Cinematheque
Fri Apr 13 7:15 - CACHE
Sat Apr 14 7:15 - CODE UNKNOWN
Sat Apr 14 9:30 - CACHE
Sun Apr 15 9:20 - CODE UNKNOWN
Sun Apr 22 9:25 - TIME OF THE WOLF
Mon Apr 23 7:15 - TIME OF THE WOLF

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