Monday 2 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Mad Adventures Of Rabbi Jacob
This film I remembered as great fun when I saw it 30 years ago, finally, happily now available on a crisp DVD! It's particularly relevant with the recent upheaval in France.

"Louis de Funes stars in this celebrated comic treat as a racist, anti-Semitic businessman en route to his daughter's wedding, who unwittingly stumbles upon a group of Arab terrorists. In order to hide from them, he disguises himself as a rabbi, which leads to one crazy, slapstick situation after another. Nominated for a Best Foreign Film Golden Globe. "One of the funniest movies from any country" (Boxoffice).


Monday 9 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Dear Frankie
Nine-year-old Frankie and his single mum Lizzie have been on the move ever since Frankie can remember, most recently arriving in a seaside Scottish town. Wanting to protect her deaf son from the truth that they've run away from his father, Lizzie has invented a story, complete with letters, that he is away at sea on the HMS Accra. When that ship comes in Lizzie arranges a standin Dad. A really engrossing human drama.

Monday 16 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Benny & Joon
This was the first film about mental illness I ventured to show at Movie Monday, 12 years ago! It's both entertaining, laced with great music like The Proclaimers' 500 Miles and a great performance by a young Johnny Depp, but it also provokes discussion about the realities of living with serious mental illness. Pg. more
Cast: Johnny Depp, Mary Stuart Masterson, Aidan Quinn, Julianne Moore, Oliver Platt

Our special guests will be Tara Timmers, a woman who is recovering from schizophrenia, and Dr. Peter Schieldrop, a Victoria psychiatrist and specialist in the condition. This event is co-sponsored by Victoria Branch.

Saturday 21 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Saturday Live! Scrupulosity: (Live!)
A play about keeping your faith without losing your mind.

What happens when well meaning Christian moral teaching with a little helping Hellfire and Damnation is served up and taken to heart by an impressionable lad prone to obsessive/compulsive tendencies? Here's a monologue about finding your faith without losing your mind.

Andrew Bailey explores this autobiographical theme in his solo play Scrupulosity that won BEST SOLO PLAY at the 2005 Fringe.

Hopefully this will be the first in a series of Fringe-style solo shows exploring mental illness and recovery - SATURDAY LIVE! - a special project of Movie Monday.

The Eric Martin Pavilion's Theatre was originally built in part for "psycho-drama". It'll be sweet to get back to this use with personal explorations by folks who've been there. Discussions with the performers/creators will follow the performances.

Monday 23 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Born To Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids
This film is a chronicle of filmmakers Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman's efforts to show the world of Calcutta's red light district. To do that, they inspired a special group of children of the prostitutes of the area to photograph their neighbourhood. As the kids excel in their new found art, the filmmakers struggle to help them have a chance for a better life away from the miserable poverty that threatens to crush their dreams.

Monday 30 Jan 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
A Song For Martin
"A Song for Martin" tells the story of two people who find sudden, delirious love, and then lose it in one of the most painful ways possible, because of Alzheimers disease. Their love and loss is all the more poignant because they are such warm, creative people--and perhaps because we sense an ease and acceptance between the two actors, Sven Wollter and Viveka Seldahl, who were married in real life. That she died not long after the movie was made adds another dimension of poignance... "A Song for Martin" is more honest about Alzheimer's disease, I think, than "Iris"... -

This is a sad story but one that many of us are sharing as our generations grow older. We'll have guests from Victoria's Alzheimers Society, an organization that can be a life saver for families faced with this disease. PG13 In Swedish with subtitles.

Monday 6 Feb 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Amadeus
It's Mozart's 250th Birthday on Jan 27! For this special occasion we'll first present a wonderful 1 hr documentary about the making of the brilliant 1984 film, its adaptation from the stage play and the filming in Czechoslovakia with Director Milos Foreman. It's a treat in itself and a setup for the 3 hr director's cut that will follow. We'll have refreshments - a desert break - Mozart Balls anyone? (an overpriced confection consisting of marzipan and praline wrapped in thin layers of light and dark chocolate) Pg. Watch for Larry Weinstein's premiere of Mozart Balls opening Vic Film and Video Fest Jan 27.

Monday 13 Feb 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Truly, Madly, Deeply
For Valentine's Day A young woman, unable to get over the death of her musician lover, gets a shock when he shows up in her apartment, a ghost! At first it's almost as good as it used to be - hey, even the rats that infested her house have disappeared. Until he starts bringing ghostly friends home to hang out and watch videos... Charming performances by Juliet Stevenson and Alan Rickman.

Monday 20 Feb 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Grizzly Man
A new feature doc from Werner Herzog, working from stunning self-shot footage of an eccentric, self-styled Samurai wildlife preservationist. Timothy Threadwell for 13 years lived his summers in Alaska in close grizzly proximity, filmed some incredible behavior of the bears and him, and unfortunately, inevitably ended up grizzly lunch. Herzog adds interview footage and his own sage commentary. Was Treadwell mad or just living large?

Monday 27 Feb 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Back To God's Country
Silent but with live accompaniment by pianist Karel Roessingh! This 1919 film was produced directed and stars a Victoria girl who went to Hollywood and established a new film role - "Heroic femininity". Shipman was a fearless, free spirit on and off screen. She did her own stunts and had a special way with nature and animals. One of her biographer's states, "The husbands or lovers in her films were either absent or incapacitated: they fell ill, were injured, or were simply 'artistic'". This film includes a tasteful but pioneering nude scene!

Here Shipman is a beautiful young wife trapped on an ice-bound ship. The captain, a murderous fugitive, will stop at nothing to have his way with Nell. With only the help of a ferocious dog named Wapi, she must stave off his advances and escape with her severely wounded husband to safety. Shot on location in the frozen wilds of Canada and the arid Mojave Desert. Booing and hissing the villain is encouraged!

Monday 6 Mar 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Aboriginal Filmmaker Barb Cranmer
I was very impressed with Barb when I met her and saw her present at last year Cowichan Aboriginal Film Fest in Duncan, and determined then to bring her to Victoria to do a similar event for MM. ( read about Barb Cranmer )

T'lina: The Rendering of Wealth 1999 50 min Best Short Documentary at the 1999 American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

While the economic impact of declines in commercial fisheries has garnered national attention - where the local harvesting of a tiny fish known as the eulachon is concerned, it is the potential CULTURAL loss that is important to the 'Namgis community of Alert Bay. In the Kwakwala language t'lina (pronounced "gleetna") is the name of the precious oil rendered from the fish. This oil is a symbol of cultural wealth, a valuable trade item and important food staple. The oil is rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Historically, it has been traded on "grease trails" throughout the northwest. For thousands of years, the Alert Bay community has made its way by boat each spring to a remote mainland inlet known as Dzawadi (Knight Inlet). Here the eulachon are harvested and rendered after spawning. Habitat loss and commercial over-fishing now imperil this traditional fishery.

As with all her work, T'lina shares an intimate view of the power of community and the strength of tradition among the 14 groups speaking the Kwak'wala language, who live in a territory that reaches from Port Hardy on Northern Vancouver Island, south to Campbell River area.

"I myself am living my own history through the films that I am making," said Cranmer. "The strength, for me, in doing this work, comes from my family, comes from my community."

As with all her work, T'lina shares an intimate view of the power of community and the strength of tradition among the 14 groups speaking the Kwak'wala language, who live in a territory that reaches from Port Hardy on Northern Vancouver Island, south to Campbell River area.

"I myself am living my own history through the films that I am making," said Cranmer. "The strength, for me, in doing this work, comes from my family, comes from my community."

Barb is now a member for the 'Namgis First Nation Council' in Alert Bay and has just opened a new venture there called "Culture Shock Interactive Gallery" as an outlet for her and collaborators to market their work and present their cultural heritage (her films and custom-made jewelery).

She will be with us for a phone Q & A session after the film.

Added shorts: Sucker Fish, 8 min short and This Beggar, 65 min. This Beggar won Best Doc at the Victoria Independent Film and Video Fest this month.

Monday 13 Mar 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
This Beggar's Description, 2005, 65 min
Brand new from the NFB. Very moving story about a man in Montreal who has schizophrenia. Philip Tetrault has suffered all the ravages of this mental illness: estranged family, substance abuse, street involvement - a dumpster diver alcoholic's existence. He's also a gifted poet, and his undeniable creative ability in spite of a chaotic life is recognized by many, including Leonard Cohen. Cohen is seen hanging out and reading with him and Cohen's haunting songs from the sound track of this 65 min film. Phil's brother, Pierre, made the film which concludes with a gala launch of a book of Phil's poetry, celebrating the art that's kept him going.

Plus: Camouflage an 8 min short, animated film from UK about the difficulties of child growing up with a parent who has schizophrenia.Monday 20 Mar 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Georgie Girl
Meet Georgina Beyer, the latest "it" girl of New Zealand politics. A one-time sex worker of Maori descent turned public official, Georgina stunned the world in 1999 by becoming the first transgender person to hold national office. Born George Beyer, this unlikely politician grew up on a small Tarankai farm and later became a small-time celebrity on the cabaret circuit in Auckland.

With charisma, humor and charm, Beyer unapologetically recounts her fascinating life story, shares how she overcame adversity and discloses the reasons she decided to run for office in a mostly all white, conservative electorate. Incorporating an unbelievable montage of colorful archival images dug up from Georgina's days as an exotic dancer, theatre and television performer, this absorbing documentary breaks down stereotypes and promotes greater understanding of transgender people.

Monday 27 Mar 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Walk The Line
You may have heard of this one... Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon channel Johnny Cash and June Carter. Great music, classic story of the hard life on the road; the highs of great music and audience adoration and the perils of the in-between times.

Monday 3 Apr 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Weird Sex and Snowshoes
If you had to boil Canadian film down, would you get the unlikely combo of awkward sex pitched against a barren northern landscape? Weird Sex and Snowshoes, the fresh, fast-paced, funny documentary (based loosely on Vancouver Sun film critic Katherine Monk's acclaimed book by the same name) is cagey enough to say just that and more.

A smorgasbord of interviews and film clips, Weird Sex gives some of Canada's most celebrated filmmakers the chance to sound off on "Just what is Canadian film?" Atom Egoyan, Robert Lepage, Patricia Rozema, Denys Arcand, Zacharias Kunuk, Denis Villeneuve, Lynne Stopkewich, Clement Virgo, and others reveal opinions as diverse as their filmmaking styles.

Monday 10 Apr 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Girl In The Cafe
A small human drama/comedy that addresses some huge issues. A British civil servant (Bill Nighy) meets said young-woman-in-a-cafe and uncharacteristically invites her to accompany him to the G8 meeting in Iceland, a summit on global poverty. This young woman's idealism clashes with the well-greased wheels of polite international diplomacy. This screening is courtesy of HBO.

Monday 17 Apr 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Life and Death Of Peter Sellers
Geoffrey Rush is brilliant and as chameleonic as Sellers himself as he vividly portrays the man we thought we knew. Despite his comic genius, the man who famously brought us Inspector Clouseau and Chauncey Gardener and the gooniest goon, had a deeply troubled personal life. The film peers behind the facades of his many characters to expose the one the legendary comedic actor never revealed to the public, himself. The 2005 Golden Globe winner for BEST MOTION PICTURE and BEST ACTOR for TV. Thanks to HBO again for the right to screen this film.

Monday 1 May 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
La Neuvaine
Winner of the Ecumenical Jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival for presenting simple faith with respect and acknowledging the difficulty of belief in the face of tragedy. Two strangers, a troubled woman doctor and a young man on a nine-day pilgrimage, or novena, offering prayers for his dying grandmother's life meet by chance in this emotional yet contemplative film which develops into an intelligent meditation on faith. It asks such questions as whether there can be hope without God and if non-believers find the peace claimed by believers. "Bernard Émond offers no easy answers save that simple goodness can be all the answer that's needed. Deliberately paced and often deeply melancholic, The Novena is as intelligent and rewarding as films get, and a kind of sanctuary in itself." - Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter.

Monday 8 May 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Shipbreakers: The Place Where Ships Go To Die
An exquisitely filmed documentary about the recycling of old ships in Alang, In Northwest India. The industry poses dangers to the people who work there and to the environment around them; however, it also shows that without shipbreaking at least one million people in India would go hungry. A global paradox.

plus - Dohbi Ghat What happens when residents of Mumbai, a city of 15 million residents, leave dirty clothes to be washed? No laundry tickets and no computers, yet they are delivered the next day, in perfect condition through an amazingly efficient system employing illiterate workers.

Monday 15 May 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Joe Gould's Secret
Joe Mitchell is a top writer at The New Yorker, specializing in profiles of urban eccentrics. But he's never met anyone as fascinating as Joe Gould, a cantankerous, unkempt, yet possibly brilliant street philosopher and author. When Mitchell decides to profile Gould, he has to decide whether Gould is a fraud or a genius. Joe is played, with another kinlife story and played the inquisitive writer. R for some language and bried of genius, by Ian Holm. Stanley Tucci adapted and produced this real-life story and played the inquisitive writer.

Monday 22 May 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Blue
The first in Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski's celebrated "Three Colors" trilogy, BLUE, stars Juliette Binoche as Julie, the lone survivor of an automobile crash that killed her husband, a famed composer, and their only child. She sets about starting over, purging all remnants of her former existence in an attempt to sever her ties to the past.

Monday 29 May 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Corpse Bride
Set in a 19th century European village, this stop-motion, animated feature follows the story of Victor, a young man who is whisked away to the underworld and wed to a mysterious Corpse Bride, while his real bride, Victoria, waits bereft in the land of the living. Although life in the Land of the Dead proves to be a lot more colorful than his strict Victorian upbringing, Victor learns that there is nothing that can keep him away from his one true love.

Monday 5 Jun 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
My Architect: A Son's Journey
My Architect is a tale of love and art, betrayal and forgiveness -- in which the illegitimate son of a legendary artist undertakes a five year, worldwide exploration to understand his long-dead father.

Louis I. Kahn, who died in 1974, is considered by many architectural historians to have been the most important architect of the second half of the twentieth century. A Jewish immigrant who overcame poverty and the effects of a devastating childhood accident, Kahn created a handful of intensely powerful and spiritual buildings - geometric compositions of brick, concrete and light - which, in the words of one critic, "change your life."

Monday 12 June 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Horse's Mouth
13th Anniversary!! A really special event to celebrate! Cake!!!

Alec Guiness adapted this story for the screen and played the extraordinary character, Gully Jimson, an audacious artist who sees empty walls, even the sides of tanker ships, as canvases for his robust murals. He is driven by his urge to create and uses his considerable, devious wits to accomplish his visions. From a crisp new DVD from the Criterion Collection of restored classics.

The DVD includes a lovely 25 min extra with Ronald Neame about Guiness and the film's genesis. Included is the amazing short, DAYBREAK EXPRESS, about NY's trains system waking up the city. It was D.A. Pennebaher's (Don't Look Back, The War Room) first commercial film that played with Horse's Mouth when it premiered in North America!

We'll have special guest Bob Choma with some of his extraordinary work. He's an early contributor to MM's highlighting of 'outsider' creativity, a lifelong artist and visionary! see some of Bob Choma's work

MM's traditional anniversary cake will double to celebrate Bob's 81st birthday the next day!

Monday 19 June 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Raven Tales 1 & 2, Plus: A Thousand Roads
Simon James, Director of RAVEN TALES will be with us in person. He's both the writer and Director of Art and Animation for the Raven Tales series. Born in Alert Bay, Simon comes from the Kwakwakewakw people. Named 'Winadzi' which means Raider by his Grandfather, Simon has through the years explored many avenues of expression, as a film maker, carver, dancer and storyteller. It is through these activities that Simon learns the culture and traditions of his ancestors and passes them on to the next generation.

Through both traditional and nontraditional expression, Simon works to foster a better understanding of the native people of this land. The Raven Tales site has concept images of his film that are sent from his studio in Vancouver to the animators in Calgary for full animation. Evan Adams (Smoke Signals) voices Raven.

These two tales are the first in a series that will re-tell Aboriginal tales from all over North America through Simon James' exciting new vision.

A THOUSAND ROADS follows the lives of four contemporary American Indians as they confront the crises that arise in a single day. A THOUSAND ROADS is the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian's new signature film. There is an unconventional blend of Native characters: a Mohawk woman stockbroker, working in the steel and glass canyons of Manhattan; a young Inupiat girl, journeying to a new life in Barrow, Alaska; a Navajo gang member, tending sheep alone on the mesas of New Mexico; and a Quechuan healer who journeys across the Sacred Valley of the Incas in an attempt to save a sick child.

Director Chris Eyre (Cheyenne Aparaho) will always be my hero for his making SMOKE SIGNALS.

Monday 26 June 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Brokeback Mountain
The story of two young men - a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy - who meet in the summer of 1961, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys, and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love.

Monday 3 July 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
C.R.A.Z.Y. Plus: I Am Not An American!
C.R.A.Z.Y. was Canada's pick for the Oscars in 2006. The film was described by festival organizers as a "wildly entertaining film that is an ambitious and magical cinematic homage to the pop-culture-saturated middle class of the seventies."

Montreal, September 20, 2005 - Telefilm Canada, Chair of the Canadian selection committee for the 78th Annual Academy Awards, is proud to announce that Jean-Marc Vallée's C.R.A.Z.Y. has been submitted to represent the country in the bid for a nomination in the Best Foreign-Language Film category.

C.R.A.Z.Y. swept the country's Genie Awards and Quebec's Jutra Awards and is a huge hit in Canada. The film, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, opened the Museum of Modern Art's third annual "Canadian Front" series of eight new Canadian features in New York, but earlier had piqued the interest of U.S. distributors, some of whom have seen the film several times. But subtitles and costly music-licensing fees have stood in the way of a swift pick-up. Yet the film is a real audience pleaser, meaning bets are on that C.R.A.Z.Y. will find a U.S. home.

I liked it too. And a great choice for Canada Day!

Plus: The Loading Ready Run boys with their I Am Not An American! For Canada Day, a music video for a patriotic song by The Arrogant Worms.

Monday 10 Jul 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Zorba The Greek
I was reminded how great this classic was when I caught it on Turner's oldie channel. Join us with Anthony Quinn and Allan Bates, exploring what it is to be Greek and to make really great, original movies.

Monday 17 Jul 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Quill
The life of a seeing eye dog in Japan, birth to death. A heart-warming and beautifully told tale if with a definitely non-Disney style. Warning: A hanky burner in an Old Yeller kind of way.

Monday 24 Jul 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Incident At Loch Ness
If you enjoyed Herzog's film GRIZZLY MAN and/or the fabulous doc BURDEN OF DREAMS you'll have fun with this good-hearted send up of Herzog getting drawn into a production, searching out the not-as-elusive-as-many-of-us-believed monster of the loch.

Monday 31 Jul 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Little Fish
Tightly built drama from Australia about addiction, going clean, and all it's complications. Kate Blanchet plays a woman trying to stay on track in a web of ambition to start her own legit business, family, and old associates from her life before she kicked. All people doing what they feel they have to do. Beautifully directed, shot, and edited.

Monday 7 Aug 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
A Simple Curve
Caleb, 27, was raised in the majestic Kootenay region of B.C. by his bush hippie parents. He loves his father Jim and understands his reverence for wood working, coriander and soya products, but he just doesn't get Jim's determined effort to achieve economic disaster at every turn. A gentle drama about growing up in an interior small-town, about finding ones self. A film that reflects BC's beautiful countryside and the complex heritage of folks who come here from afar.

Monday 14 Aug 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Their Brothers' Keepers
I'm really pleased to announce that Movie Monday will be featuring the documentary THEIR BROTHERS' KEEPER.

Catherine Mullins, the filmmaker, will be with us by tele-convenor from Montreal (or on location in Labrador) for a Q & A with the film.

Monday 21 Aug 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Mrs Henderson Presents
Recently widowed well-to-do Laura Henderson is at a bit of a loose end in inter-war London. On a whim she buys the derelict Windmill theatre in the West End and persuades impresario Vivian Van Damm to run it, despite the fact the two don't seem to get on at all. Although their idea of a non-stop revue is at first a success, other theatres copy it and disaster looms. Laura suggests they put nudes in the show, but Van Damm points out that the Lord Chamberlain, who licenses live shows in Britain, is likely to have something to say about this. Luckily Mrs Henderson is friends with him.

Fun and a little silly - because, as Bill Faulkner says, "We need something Light in August!"

Monday 28 Aug 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
A Whole New Thing
One of this year's Great Canadian small films. A coming of age story with real characters, well acted and deeply insightful.

Emerson Thorsen, lives with his parents in their eco-home in the wilds of Nova Scotia. He's just had his first wet dream, and completed writing and illustrating his first book. Meanwhile, the homeschooled youth can barely add 2 + 2. His mother enrolls him in the local school. There, Emerson's English teacher, the solitary Don has settled into a life of perpetual adolescence, paying regular visits to a park washroom for anonymous sex. In the classroom, Emerson stirs things up. Surprisingly, Don sees a bit of himself reflected in Emerson. Emerson, initially scornful of his teacher, quickly develops his first crush – on Don. The precociously confident boy, raised in a household of casual nudity and sexual openness, throws himself into this awakening of his heart with dangerous abandon.

Monday 11 Sep 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Sombrio
Here's a bit a local history about the colourful people, politics and funky shelter solutions that adorned Sombio Beach until the residents were evicted for its transition to a provincial park in 1997.

Monday 18 Sep 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Tsotsi
This year's deserving Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film, this South African film follows a shanty town hood through a few days in his troubled life. His journey to redemption begins when he steals a car that happens to have a baby on board. A tough but rewarding experience.

Monday 25 Sep 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
An Unfinished Life
A down on her luck woman, desperate to provide care for her daughter, moves in with her father-in-law from whom she is estranged. Jennifer Lopez puts in a solid, low-key performance, but as the two old farmstead buddies, Robert Redford and Mogan Freeman are a treat to behold. You'll see Damian Lewis in a small part who next week stars as "Keane". It's set against the rugged ranchlands of Wyoming - but was filmed in Kamloops, British Columbia by a Swedish-born filmmaker Lasse Hallström. That'd be a German/USA production - go figger!.

Monday 2 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Keane
We first meet William Keane (brilliantly played by Damian Lewis) in the NY Port Authority bus terminal where he is desperately searching for his 6-year-old daughter, who has been missing for months. With his apparent mental illness and the chaotic lifestyle of an unattached middle-aged male on the tough side of society it's a dangerous combination. A chance meeting with a woman with a daughter near the age of his own may be a chance for redemption - or even more trouble. "Working in an evocative hand-held verité style, director Lodge Kerrigan and Director of Photography John Foster, plunge us directly into Keane's profoundly unsettled universe. Lewis's riveting, visceral performance of a man grappling with the effects of profound loss makes KEANE a complex, deeply humane and unforgettable portrait".

Monday 9 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Eve and the Firehorse
This wonderful feature by BC filmmaker Julia Kwan is about a couple of young girls coming to terms with colliding religions. It deservedly won Special Jury Prize at Sundance and Audience Award in Vancouver International Film Fest (where I saw it last September - the hardest thing about MM for me is having to wait a whole year to share a treat like this with my audience!)

After a series of misfortunes strike the Eng family, May Lin (Vivian Wu) And her daughters, Eve and Karena, (Phoebe Kut, Holly Lo) turn to Buddhism, Catholicism, and ancient Chinese superstitions to try to take control of their destinies. When crucifixes pop up next to the Buddha in the family¹s house and Eve, a precocious nine year-old with an overactive imagination, must contend with a Sunday school class where her wild imagination is distinctly out of place. But when the two young sisters decide they must achieve sainthood in order to save their wayward family, it takes them down a path that will change their relationship forever. Seen through the eyes of an imaginative young girl, Eve and the Fire Horse takes you on a wondrous yet deeply felt journey, family life is strange, childhood lonely and religions perplexing.

Monday 16 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Braindamadj’d ...Take II
Braindamadj'd - Take II is a brilliant, innovative documentary that's looking at scooping four Geminis on Oct 18. Ten years ago, Montrealer Paul Nadler at 30 was a creative maverick - snowboarding, rock-climbing and scuba diving, and winning awards as a hip television director and producer. A car accident in Egypt left him with severe TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury. The film traces his excruciating process of recovery, both physical and psychological.As the film shows, Nadler sets goals that seem impossible, but he's an irrepressible person. Never shying away from attention, Nadler returns to school for his master's degree in communications, and his career takes a surprise twist. I'm thrilled to present this film with a special MM exclusive video interview with Paul that updates his remarkable story! PG13 for language.

Also a special MM video interview with Paul Nadler, the subject.

Saturday 21 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers
The story of what happens to everyday Americans when corporations go to war. Acclaimed director Robert Greenwald (Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, Outfoxed, and Uncovered) takes you inside the lives of soldiers, truck drivers, widows and children who have been changed forever as a result of profiteering in the reconstruction of Iraq. Iraq for Sale uncovers the connections between private corporations making a killing in Iraq and the decision makers who allow them to do so.

Monday 23 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Thank You For Smoking
A fiercely satirical and funny look at today's "culture of spin." The hero is Nick Naylor, chief spokesman for Big Tobacco, who makes his living defending the rights of smokers and cigarette makers in today's neo-puritanical society. Confronted by health zealots out to ban tobacco and an opportunistic senator who wants to put poison labels on cigarette packs, Nick goes on a PR offensive, spinning away the dangers of cigarettes on TV talk shows and enlisting a Hollywood super-agent to promote smoking in movies. Outrageous fun!

Monday 30 Oct 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Georgi and the Butterflies
A documentary about a psych hospital in Bulgaria and its extraordinarily resourceful administrator who tries everything from silk worm, snail, and ostrich farming to keep his beleaguered institution afloat and its inhabitants gainfully occupied. In one article his per patient/per day allowance is pegged at 15 cents! And we think our mental health system has got it tough!

The film project has happily brought some help to the beleaguered Dr. Georgi Lulchev's institution. The cinematographers have had exhibits of still photos they took and contributed funds raised to the home. They will be spent on medicines and shoes. There is also a number of individual charity donations including from abroad. A Bulgarian meat factory provides every week 20 kg. of sausages for the Home.

Monday 6 Nov 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Touch The Sound
While still a student, Evelyn Glennie learned that she was going deaf. Rather than abandon her study of music, in which she had shown such talent, she instead turned her focus toward percussion instruments and developed her ability to feel the sound through her body. This documentary follows her as she performs in New York, Germany and Tokyo, sharing her insights into the nature of music and the ways in which we experience it.

Monday 13 Nov 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Cars
Lightning McQueen is a cocky, rookie race car. Speeding on his way to a big race, he crashes into Radiator Springs, destroying lots of the inhabitants belongings. In order to make up for what he did, the cocky roadster is sentenced to community service. Though he will do anything to get away from the work, McQueen must learn to respect and bond with the Radiator Springs inhabitants in order to get out of the town and back on the racetracks.

Monday 20 Nov 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Shameless: The Art Of Disability
Art, activism and disability are the starting point for what unfolds as a funny and intimate portrait of five surprising individuals. Director Bonnie Sherr Klein (Not a Love Story, and Speaking Our Peace) has been a pioneer of women’s cinema and an inspiration to a generation of filmmakers around the world. Shameless: the Art of Disability marks Klein's return to a career interrupted by a catastrophic stroke in 1987. Always the activist, she now turns the lens on the world of disability culture, and ultimately, the transformative power of art.

Monday 27 Nov 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Burnt Toast & Mozart Balls
Burnt Toast poses the question, is Colin Mochrie someone you think of as an opera singer? Or what about Paul Gross or Mark McKinney? No? Well hold onto your seats as award-winning director Larry Weinstein takes you on an amusing ride through the world of relationships with the most unlikely cast of characters in the most unusual format that you can imagine. Opera lovers will be tickled pink and non-opera lovers delighted by this wickedly playful twist.

Burnt Toast is comprised of a series of eight comedic mini-operas, each depicting a different stage of a romantic relationship set in contemporary settings. With original music and libretti, each vignette is a self-contained story, but together they work as a cohesive single piece. The relationships are of all types: the passionate, the fantasized, the bored and of course, the dead relationship.

Weinstein, who moves from documentary to narrative here, has taken on the challenge along with Alexina Louie, a serious orchestral composer who is very widely performed, but who has never done comedy, and Dan Redican, who¹s a great comic and a great comic writer and has certainly never worked in opera. All push the boundaries of their traditional associations.

Mozart Balls, Directed By: Larry Weinstein

Larry Weinstein's film is a light-hearted tribute to Mozart that explores what he symbolizes in our age. The film features curious characters that embody the spirit of Mozart--from a retired Swiss school teacher obsessed by all things Mozart, to an ex-pop musician in Oklahoma who believes that her body is actually inhabited by Mozart's spirit; from a computer genius in California whose software has created a new Mozart cello concerto, to an Austrian astronaut who carried a score of The Magic Flute and delicious chocolate "Mozartkugeln" into space. These are the individuals who inhabit the film and through their strange and, at times, very moving stories, the viewer will be exposed to the liveliness, the magic and the obsession that Mozart has become to so many music fans today. Mozart is an icon, and for many (even though born 250 years ago this year) he is still very much alive!

Monday 4 Dec 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Dirty Filthy Love
Provocative title, eh?! It's about a guy with obsessive / compulsive disorder, with a side of Tourettes syndrome. A Sundance selection, British film. It's gripping portrayal of a guy figuring out his problems. As his marriage and job falls apart he hooks up with a support group who help him to realize what he has and companions who help him work through it. Share the journey. Brilliant emsemble acting and a fascinating story.

Monday 11 Dec 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Prairie Home Companion
After 32 years, Garrison Keillor's radio variety show is coming to an end. Set on a rainy Saturday night in St. Paul, Minnesota, fans file into the Fitzgerald Theater to see "A Prairie Home Companion," a staple of radio station WLT, not knowing that WLT has been sold to a Texas conglomerate and that tonight's show will be the last. Backstage cast and crew assemble for one last hurrah. They include: The Johnson Sisters, Yolanda and Rhonda, a country duet act that has survived the county-fair circuit; Lola, who gets her big chance to sing on the show and then forgets the words; Guy Noir, a private eye down on his luck who works as a backstage doorkeeper; and Dusty and Lefty, the Old Trailhands, a singing cowboy act.

Monday 18 Dec 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Sketches Of Frank Gehry
Sketches of Frank Gehry by Sydney Pollock chronicles the friendship between director Sydney Pollock and the famed architect every bit as much as it does Gehry and his work, and it makes for a delightful window into the world of creativity and genius. Gehry has made a big imprint (which critics might liken to Bigfoot's) on architecture at the turn of the 21st century; his molten-looking visions have graced buildings small (actor Dennis Hopper's industrial-looking home in Venice, Calif.) to enormous (the sprawling Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain). He's the genius behind Los Angeles's sweeping Walt Disney Concert Hall--which, though formidable in shape and size, manages to nod gracefully to its adjoining, beloved predecessor, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. (He also created the controversial Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, which residents have likened to a giant psychedelic beetle crouched at the foot of the Space Needle.)

Tuesday 26 Dec 2006 alphabetical list  chronological list
Over The Hedge
Good fun for on whole family on Boxing Day. The Over The Hedge crew get a work out in their first animated movie when RJ the raccoon has to quickly replace his bear buddy's junk food stash before the full moon. Luckly (or maybe not) there are great pickings in the urban sprall just over the... you-know-what. The naturally indignant human residents have issues with vermin looting their stuff and call in an exterminator extraordinaire. Stunning computer animation, lots of action, and a few moral high points visited too.