Wednesday, October 16, 2013

oct 26 29 30 | wings of desire | cinematheque

Wings Of Desire is certainly one to see on the big screen, if at all possible: and Cinemathque is making that possible, even for free if you're lucky! Also clearly one of the Soul Food masterpieces: indeed, director Wim Wenders came to faith during its filming, as he describes to filmmaker Scott Derrickson in this interview for IMAGE Journal. It also happens to be the favourite film of Jeffrey Overstreet, which is something - he's seen one or two movies. Roger Ebert also a fan - also saw lots.

Wings of Desire
West Germany/France 1987. Director: Wim Wenders

Pacific Cinematheque
Sat Oct 26 | 6:30
Tue Oct 29 | 6:30
Wed Oct 30 | 8:40

Cinematheque: "Angels perched atop the buildings of Berlin listen in to the innermost thoughts of mere mortals in Wim Wenders’s lovely, lyrical Wings of Desire, a soaring high-point of the famed German director’s cinema, and a highly moving, melancholic elegy to a Berlin still divided. Damiel (Bruno Ganz) and Cassiel (Otto Sander) are two brooding, compassionate angels who eavesdrop on the secret pains and fears of ordinary peopled going about their daily business in the city. When Damiel falls for a beautiful trapeze artist (Solveig Dommartin), he decides to renounce his immortality to return to earth as a human, hoping to attain a love that will transcend life in the heavens. The stunning cinematography — crisp black-and-white, lurid Technicolor — is by French great Henri Alekan, whose many credits include Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. Inspired by the poems of Rilke, and dedicated to Ozu, Truffaut, and “other fallen angels,” Wings of Desire earned Wenders Best Director honours at Cannes in 1987. “Remarkable ... A film about the Fall and the Wall, it’s full of astonishingly hypnotic images ... Few films are so rich, so intriguing, or so ambitious” (Geoff Andrew, Time Out). B&W and colour, 35mm, in German with English subtitles. 127 mins."

To enter to win tickets to see Wings of Desire, email your contact info and preferred screening to:
Contest ends noon, Thu Oct 24. Two pairs of tickets will be given away, winners will be selected at random. Good luck!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

oct 18-23 | nostalghia | pacific cinematheque

tarkovsky + big screen = soul food
enough said

Okay, I'll say more. This Tarko isn't as explicitly about matters of faith as, say, Andrei Rublev or The Sacrifice. But a mystical Christian aesthetic informs every one of his films, and the images in this one are without parallel. Don't go eager for narrative: this is all about image. There is story there, but take my word: you'll be in the right frame of mind if you go to look at moving pictures rather than a movie: at visual poetry rather than a story onscreen. But if you're up for that... 

Italy/USSR 1983. Director: Andrei Tarkovsky
Pacific Cinematheque
Friday, October 18, 2013 - 6:30pm
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 4:00pm
Saturday, October 19, 2013 - 9:10pm
Sunday, October 20, 2013 - 7:00pm
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 9:10pm

30TH ANNIVERSARY! NEW 35mm PRINT! ► A true gift to cinephiles: a new 35mm print of an unsurpassably gorgeous film by one of cinema’s greatest visionaries! We’re pleased to present the Canadian premiere of this deluxe 30th-anniversary re-release of Tarkovsky’s Nostalghia. Shot in Tuscany, and co-written with prolific Italian screenwriter Tonino Guerra (who also co-wrote Antonioni’s L’Avventura), Nostalghia was Tarkovsky’s first film made outside the USSR — he had finally tired of Soviet censorship — and proved to be his penultimate work. (1986’s The Sacrifice, made in Sweden, would be his last film.) While in Italy researching the life of an 18th-century Russian composer who died there, a Soviet musicologist has a sexually-charged but unconsummated relationship with his beautiful translator, and meets a mysterious madman (played by Bergman regular and Sacrifice star Erland Josephson) who is convinced that the world is about to end. Nostalghia is suffused with an almost overwhelming sense of longing and homesickness, and is composed of some of Tarkovsky’s most astonishing imagery. It shared, with Robert Bresson’s L’Argent, a special Grand Prize for Creative Cinema at Cannes in 1983 (given that year in lieu of the best director award). “Extraordinary ... Nostalghia is not so much a movie as a place to inhabit for two hours ... A world of fantastic textures, sumptuously muted colours, and terrarium-like humidity. This is a film that turns the spectacle of an ancient, leaky cellar into an image as memorable as any this century” (J. Hoberman, Village Voice). Colour and B&W, 35mm, in Italian and Russian with English subtitles. 125 mins.

"Tarkovsky's films remain so important today because of their ineffable spirituality."
Slant | full review

oct 16 | tyrannosaur | pacific cinematheque

Here's one I had long ago flagged as potential Soul Food - perhaps in the same sort of register as HARDCORE, REVANCHE, or the films of Lars Von Trier. Dark, but sometimes that's where even dim light shines brightest. Anyhow, it's screening tomorrow night at Pacific Cinematheque - sorry for the late notice. 

Great Britain 2011. Director: Paddy Considine
Pacific Cinematheque
8:15 wed oct 16

Cinematheque: "In his first feature as a writer-director, British actor Paddy Considine plumbs the depths of human fallibility (not to mention his own straitened childhood on a Midlands council estate) in an auspicious debut that references the “kitchen-sink” realism of directors such as Ken Loach and Mike Leigh. Set in gritty blue-collar Leeds, Tyrannosaur stars Scottish actor Peter Mullan as Joseph, an unemployed, hard-drinking widower whose inchoate rage leads him to commit acts of unspeakable violence. One afternoon, on the run from a fight, Joseph ducks into the closest refuge — an empty thrift shop - where he meets Hannah (Olivia Colman) a gentle Christian woman who offers to pray for him. Convinced she is nothing but a smug middle-class do-gooder, Joseph angrily rebuffs her, yet finds himself drawn back to her shop the next day. A tentative friendship develops, one that is challenged when Joseph learns the truth about Hannah’s relationship with her abusive husband James (Eddie Marsan). From this least likely of places, a story of grace and possible redemption gradually emerges. “A visceral, considered dissection of abuse and rage ... The performances of Mullan, Colman, and Marsan are excellent and create a compelling human drama” (Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian). Colour, HDCAM. 92 mins."

Warning: Contains scenes that may be upsetting to sensitive viewers.