Monday 7 Jan 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Who Loves The Sun & Tunnel Vision
The story of a man's sudden return after a mysterious five-year disappearance reunites him with his wife and his best friend at his friend's folk's lake cottage. A comedy/drama that is delightful in it's simplicity, humour, Canadian setting, and honest moral complexity. Shot in the wilds of eastern Manitoba and western Ontario, edited in TO.

Monday 14 Jan 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Too Much Hamlet For Me
How could a simple journey for a grief-stricken family, become a world-record cycling expedition, up a 22,500 foot mountain, ten thousand miles from home? It takes nineteen years to produce an unfinished uplifting film - about not giving up.

"TOO MUCH HAMLET FOR ME" is the crazy-making vision of local filmmaker Lois Harrison. She and her director of photography, Bob Fresco, will be joining us to present it, almost finished, in this test screening.

Monday 21 Jan 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
8:17 Darling Street
A man who has spent most of his life feeling numb to the world has his eyes opened by a brush with tragedy. This mystery/drama follows an ex-crime reporter, struggling to stay on the sobriety wagon, who, because of a simple chance, arrives at his address just after his apartment building has been destroyed by an explosion. He reluctantly picks up his investigative skills to attempt to solve the mystery of how it happened, but is haunted by deeper and intensely personal questions; Why did he survive when neighbours didn't?, What is the meaning of life itself?

Monday 28 Jan 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Cabin Movie
When three couples get together at a cabin for a weekend of sex and partying, all of their relationships are called into question in this darkly comic drama. Married Katherine and Mark haven't had sex in a year; common-law Ken and Maria are trying to keep it together; and Jason just met wild-girl Ginny the weekend before. Maybe this wasn't such a good plan after all... or maybe it's just what everyone needs. The Cabin Movie cuts to the heart of sexual politics, presenting some of the most exposed, raw, and honest characters in contemporary Canadian cinema. It's funny and edgy and a contemporary version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, an all time fave of mine.

Monday 4 Feb 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Vitus
This Swiss film was deservedly their entry for the Oscar in 2006. Vitus is a boy genius, a brilliant pianist, but a misfit in a flat-footedly normal world. The child prodigy prefers to play in his eccentric grandfather's workshop. He dreams of flying and of a normal childhood. Ultimately, with one dramatic leap, Vitus takes control of his own life. Beautifully made and full of surprises.

Monday 11 Feb 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
King Corn & Grand Wheel
This feature documentary is a gentle look through the eyes of two "everymen" who plant an acre of corn in Iowa. They watch it grow and investigate what happens to it. It's a gentle, creative way to explore the wonders and foibles of modern day mega-agri-business and food distribution.

Monday 18 Feb 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Knocked Up & The Windfisherman
A surprisingly sweet comedy about a free-wheeling one night stand and unexpected repercussions. Now a career girl has to decide if this decidedly immature, geeky man could be a father to her babe. And he is trying – very trying... Knocked Up is somewhat raunchy but I found it ultimately winning.

Monday 25 Feb 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Dog Gone Addiction & A Russian Wave
Inspired by the Women of the Yukon Quest. Hang onto your dog team and join three women tackling the grueling Yukon Quest; a 1000 mile sled dog race through the Yukon and into Alaska's frigid Interior. They test their limits, driving their dog teams through record cold temperatures and over icy mountain passes amid mental exhaustion. Feel their pain as they question their abilities, and celebrate their triumphs when they overcome obstacles small and large. You will be entertained by their spirit, touched by their vulnerabilities and, ultimately, wowed by the incredible strength these women possess. This entertaining film will reveal why the lesser-known Yukon Quest is considered by many to be the most challenging sled dog race on the planet.

Monday 3 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Stardust
The passage from this world to the fantasy kingdom of Stormhold is through a breech in a wall by an English village. In the 1800s, a boy becomes a man when he ventures through the breech to prove his love for the village beauty by finding a fallen star. The star is no lump of rock, but a maiden - and there begins a tale.

Monday 10 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Being Innu & Reservation Soldiers
Here are a couple of new independent Canadian films that explore the problems faced by young people who live in remote aboriginal communities. Being Innu takes an unvarnished look at life in the village of Sheshatshiu, Labrador. Six savvy, gutsy young people talk to Montreal filmmaker Catherine Mullins about addiction, suicide, lack of jobs, hopelessness. How did it get this way and how can it change? The countryside glows with breathtaking cinematography

Reservation Soldiers takes a close look at the complex relationship between the Canadian Forces and First Nations youth, following several young Western Canadian youth through the Strong Eagle boot camp process. The military have pushed their recruitment drive into high gear, and native youth represent the perfect untapped resource. Why are these teens so keen to participate? What options are there? You'll be surprised at the conclusions.

Saturday 15 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Saturday Live! David Roche
The new book, "The Church of 80% Sincerity" David Roche shares the inspiring, poignant, wickedly funny, and sometimes heartbreaking story of his journey from shame to self-acceptance. Born with a severe facial deformity, David's life has been anything but easy. Still, over time, he's learned to accept his gifts as well as his flaws, and to see that, sometimes, they are one and the same. In this compelling book, he shares his hard-earned lessons, providing an irresistible and unforgettable glimpse of his (and everyone's) inner beauty and offering profound encouragement in dealing with whatever life brings.

Monday 17 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Into The Wild
A young man goes walkabout in America, searching for himself. The film flashes back through a number of people he meets and experiences he finds on his way to the ultimate "wilderness experience" he yearns for. The cracks in the picture of the privileged life he's escaping are gradually revealed. A very rewarding film experience.

Monday 24 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Deep Water
It's been 40 years since the first solo around the world sailing race. Now, from the maker of the incredible Touching The Void this retelling of the race, the unusual characters attracted by the challenge, and particularly Donald Crowhurst's story. He was an electronics inventor who hoped the race would prove out some of his inventions and win him the kind of esteem that Chichester had garnered for his solo circumnavigation a year earlier, in 1967. To say the least, the voyage did not go well - and has become one of the great stories of the canon of deep sea sailors' stories.

Monday 31 Mar 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Helvetica
These days everybody is a desktop publisher and is choosing fonts to express themselves. Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which celebrated its 50th birthday in 2007) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives. The film is an exploration of urban spaces in major cities and the type that inhabits them, and a fluid discussion with renowned designers about their work, the creative process, and the choices and aesthetics behind their use of type. Helvetica encompasses the worlds of design, advertising, psychology, and communication, and invites us to take a second look at the thousands of words we see every day.

Monday 7 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Flirting
A great film from Australia about forbidden love between an oddly sophisticated, awkward young guy, and a beautiful young border in the girls school across the river. Wonderfully played by Noah Taylor, the stunningly beautiful Thandie Newton (who you may remember from "Besieged") and very young Nicole Kidman.

All kinds of angst about sexuality, trouble with peer groups, and adults whose job it is to keep young lovers "appropriately apart" are played out so well.

Saturday 12 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Petals - Journey Into Self Discovery
Petals - Journey into Self Discovery graphically explores a most taboo subject - the personal and cultural body issues of women and their vulvae. The documentary examines the many unspoken beliefs and myths that effect women's sexual self-esteem.

Monday 14 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Killer of Sheep
This incredible film was first seen launched 1977, but 30 years later emerged re-edited, remastered, and beautifully presented in this Criterion Collection special edition. Long revered as an American masterpiece, Killer of Sheep is a powerful slice-of-life drama about Black society in Watts in the 70's, grittily and artfully observed. Beautifully filmed black and white, in an almost documentary style with great sound track, originally produced for under $10,000, it delivers an intimate portrait of a conflicted family man, who by the way works in an abattoir. Don't be put off by the title!

Monday 21 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Lars and The Real Girl
I love this film! A very nerdy young man adopts a lifelike doll. And his family and community accept them, in an almost believable way - a way we can only hope the world might adopt. You'll be surprised and entertained and maybe changed a little - which is always on the MM agenda.

Saturday 26 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Loose Change Final Cut
The 9/11 Truth group in Victoria presents this controversial documentary: "Using witness testimony, expert analysis, news footage and corroborating evidence this film exposes the inconsistencies and blatant lies put forward by the Bush administration in the hours, days and weeks after the Twin Towers and the Building #7 imploded into their own tracks."

Monday 28 Apr 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Steep
This RIDICULOUS big mountain skiing film will blow you away! Not only incredible action but a compelling story line involving the history, modern day adventurers and a deep exploration into why people intentionally put themselves in harm's way for the ultimate high. http://www.sonyclassics.com/steep/ and try not to be curious. Watch it on our big screen in your comfy, very safe seat.

Monday 5 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
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Monday 5 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Back From The Edge and Not Just A Bad Day
Here are two new documentaries about positive outcomes for serious mental illness conditions, Borderline Personality and Bipolar Disorders: Back From The Edge: Living with and recovering from borderline personality disorder and Not Just A Bad Day about a model treatment center in Vancouver for people with Bipolar disorder. Both Pg 13

Monday 12 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Finding Normal
Here's a film that I think all of us in Victoria who are trying to find answers to the complex problems of addiction and what recovery might look like, should see. "This mentor run program has about a 70 percent success rate, often with people who have failed multiple times in recovery." "...a thoroughly engrossing documentary by Brian Lindstrom about a group of Portland drug addicts and their rehab counselors trying day-by-day to keep. themselves clean, sober and together. The film is raw and real, filled with undeniable moments of pain and elation and human personality. It's impossible to imagine a more honest look at this all-too-common world...."

We'll have the filmmaker Brian Lindstrom and several of the mentors with us by phone from Portland to discuss the subject with the audience.

Pharis from Outlaw Social will perform two songs on the theme that will set the mood for the evening.

Saturday 19 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Death At A Funeral
How badly can a funeral go? Here's a light, slightly dark entertainment from "The Old Country" for the Victoria Holiday Monday. Dad passed away but left a secret. A few squabbling children, relatives, and friends gather - add past romantic interests of several of the above, anxieties, jealousies, a little blackmail - add a sprinkling of hallucinogens - and you've got yourselves a good ole time.

Added Short: Victoria writer and now filmmaker Rob Wipond's theatrical premiere of his short film Presto God. Visit Rob's website where you can read his articles and leave your comments on his film.

Monday 26 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Mystic Ball
Passion suffuses every moment of Mystic Ball, an uplifting documentary about one man's physical and spiritual quest. The film resists easy categorization - it's simultaneously a thrilling sports movie, an insightful journey to a new world, and a lyrical personal story.

Mystic Ball follows Greg Hamilton, the Canadian filmmaker, deep into the ancient and little-known culture of Myanmar and its traditional sport, chinlone. Like the film, chinlone is hard to define. It's a team sport without an opposing team, part dance, part meditation. There is no competition, no winners and no losers. The game is back-breakingly difficult, yet is played by almost all Burmese, from young children to octogenarians.

The film follows Greg's transformation from outsider obsessed with learning chinlone to accomplished teammate of the masters of the game. But sport is only one aspect of his journey. Through chinlone, Greg discovers things he didn't even know he was looking for: family, community and love.

Here's a brilliant film that MM was planning on screening May 26 that is particularly topical now.

The maker, Greg Hamilton, will be phoning in to talk about the, film, country, and his upcoming trip back there to personally deliver funds, Raised by screenings of his film, to the people in the film directly affected by the disaster.

The film introduces you to these lovely people and their passion for this beautiful sport, bypassing (necessarily) the politics. A great way to assist in spite this crazy political situation that has turned people away from helping out these poor folks who have been clobbered by this calamity.

Saturday 31 May 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Strong Coffee
STRONG COFFEE tells the story of a revolutionary idea that is helping people in need all over the world. Café Femenino beans are the first and only coffee beans grown entirely by women farmers. Remarkably, the Café Femenino project is helping to change long-established attitudes and weaken the grip of machismo in remote farming communities. In response, a cultural shift is taking place. There is more equality between women and men, abuse and violence towards women are decreasing, and the quality of life in these regions is improving. STRONG COFFEE also shows how Café Femenino helps women in our own communities too.

Monday 2 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Autism: The Musical
Autism: The Musical counters today's bleak statistics with one woman's optimistic pledge to lead a group of autistic children in defying diagnosed expectations by writing, rehearsing and performing their own full-length musical. Following five Los Angeles children over the course of six months, director Tricia Regan captures the struggles and triumphs of their family lives and observes how this musical production gives these performers a comfort zone in which they can explore their creative sides.

Friday 6 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Autism: The Musical
see 2 Jun 2008.

Saturday 7 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Crazy About Laurel House / A.C.E.
The members of Laurel House, an activity center for people with mental illness, take on the authorities that threaten to close their second home, the place that helps them to maintain a good quality of life. And they win.

Monday 9 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Sharkwater
Just when you thought it was unsafe to go in the water... Here's a guy who set out to show us the beauty of these primitive creatures we've been taught to fear. He came up with a different film altogether. Canadian filmmaker, 8 years in the making, beautiful underwater footage and hair raising adventure.

Monday 16 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Cannery Row
Hey we're 15 and this is the show MM opened with and still a treat. I love this film for its off-beat, almost surrealistic setting and characters, based on John Steinbeck stories. The yarn is about a brooding ocean biologist (Nick Nolte) and a girl (Debra Winger), a novice at the 'oldest profession', a group of creative ne'er-do-wells, and a few thousand frogs. There's going to be cake! PG

"A depressed section of Monterey, California, known as Cannery Row from its string of now-empty canning plants is the backdrop for an offbeat romantic comedy about a pair of mismatched lovers. Doc is a lonely marine biologist (and former baseball star) who supplies specimens for science labs and classrooms. Suzy is a scrappy drifter who can't even succeed as a prostitute because of her abrasive manner. When the two get together, it's fireworks, though not the romantic kind. Not to worry, everything is in the hands of Cannery Row's resident guardian angels, Mack and the boys, a band of drunken derelicts whose hearts are in the right place, even though their brains are not." IMDB
Cast: Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, Audra Lindley, Frank McRae, John Huston
I'm very excited to announce that Director David Ward will be calling in from his home in Santa Monica to talk to us about this classic film! I want to know about Nolta and Wingers goofy dance sequence and what it was like on stage with thousands of frogs everywhere!

Director/screenwriter David Ward brings a distinguished filmography to leading the screenwriting program in the Dodge College. In addition to directing such films as Major League and Cannery Row, he won an Academy Award for his screenplay for The Sting and was nominated for Sleepless in Seattle. David continues as an active director, with two features currently in production. He was previously our Marion Knott Filmmaker-in-Residence. He has an M.F.A. in Motion Pictures from U.C.L.A. and studied political science at Pomona College, where he is a member of the board of trustees.

We'll start with cake, then the film and then Q&A.

Monday 23 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
River Of Life
River of Life chronicles the experiences of one group of racers in this annual 740 km race down the Yukon River by detemined women who make up the 2006 Paddlers Abreast team are all breast cancer survivors. Candid and revealing, this beautifully-realized documentary follows the women from the moment they climb into their boat in Whitehorse to the cheers that greet them in Dawson City. Set against the stunning backdrop of Canada's north, this film combines lively footage of the race with touching and humorous interviews with the women, their families, and other paddlers.

Our guest, Ava P Christl, is the woman who initiated the first Paddlers Abreast entry in 2001 is now a Victoria resident. Her art, large scale oil canvases is inspired by her Yukon days and canoeing adventures.

Monday 30 Jun 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Louis 19 – King of the Airwaves
This little French Canadian film from 1994 is a treat. It hilariously predicted the fad for "reality TV". Louis has always had a dream to be on television. But when he enters a contest and wins, the first prize involves a cameraman following him everywhere for three months. The only problem is that Louis has a boring life, so the TV executives decide to put some excitement in it. This odd quiet man's life becomes the rage of Quebec society as his astonishing, stumbling metamorphosis is broadcast live.

Here's a smart and gentle comedy that won Best Canadian Screenplay and Most Popular Canadian Film at Vancouver International Film Fest and I bet you never heard of it ...Canadians... geez eh! We'll be finished in lots of time to catch the fireworks.
Cast: Martin Drainville, Dominique Michel, Patricia Tulasne

The American film EDtv was an adaptation of Louis 19.


Monday 7 Jul 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Butterfly and Diving Bell
Far from a "Who's Life Is It Anyway", this film about Jean-Dominique Bauby, a high-flying editor of Elle Magazine, paralyzed by a stroke in 1995. It's also about life and its possibilities, in spite of severe disability, a theme I love to explore at MM. Based closely on the autobiographical book by the same title, this is an amazing, intense film you won't forget.
Cast: Mathieu Amalric, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anne Consigny, Emma De Caunes, Max von Sydow
With guests Ann Jacob and Stan Tomandl

Monday 14 Jul 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Mandela - Prisoner To President
Featuring Peter Davis' documentary Mandela – Prisoner To President, plus Journey To Nyae Nyae, another from Davis' Villon stable of films about Africa, that shows us the story of N!Xau, the Bushman hero of the most successful African film ever made, The Gods Must Be Crazy. What was his life really about? We'll have a photo exhibit in our lobby gallery as well as filmmaker Peter Davis, who now lives in Vancouver, with us to fill us in on "the rest of the story".

Peter Davis: Under the aegis of Villon Films, the company which he founded, British born director Peter Davis has been independently producing and distributing award-winning films since 1970. With a strong focus on socio-political documentary, Davis' work spans such issues as government, history, ecology, culture, health and science, women's issues, biography, and the apartheid period of South African history. Visit his collection of films at the Black Film Center in Indiana.

From Peter: "Around 1986, fearing that Nelson Mandela had been forgotten or ignored - this was certainly the case with Britain's Margaret Thatcher, who dismissed him as a terrorist, and President Reagan, who thought he was irrelevant - I had the idea of doing a documentary on the powerful political force that had come about through the union of Nelson and Winnie Mandela. I raised some money through the United Nations, but had the problem of being persona non grata in South Africa, having been arrested and deported from that country in 1976. But I did manage to cross the border illegally, and make my way to Brandfort, where Winnie was in internal exile. I interviewed her there - narrowly missing a visit by the police - and eventually made the documentary Winnie Mandela: Under Apartheid, which was distributed worldwide.

However, I had a bad conscience about this film, because of Nelson's absence - he was on Robben Island - and the inevitable result that Winnie's strong personality dominated the film. So I eventually made my bio of Nelson, Remember Mandela! This was completed in 1988, when I believed that Mandela would never be released. The film had some impact, since it was shown on the opening day of the Democratic Convention of 1988, which was July 18, Nelson's birthday. Mandela: Prisoner to President, is a version that goes up to Mandela's release in 1990. I can fill in some details for the period after that. The photo exhibition [we'll be hanging in MM's lobby/gallery] ran throughout the Convention period.

I have been fortunate enough to see Mandela a few times since his release in 1990, the last time being last year, at the inauguration of the new statue to him in Parliament Square in London. I have also curated the current exhibition about him at the Museum of London."

Monday 21 Jul 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Tracy Fragments
This novel film, the latest from Bruce MacDonald, Canada's 'bad boy' filmmaker, features the breakout Maritime actor, Ellen Page (Juno, Marion Bridge), as a troubled teen on a quest to find her little brother - who she has hypnotized to act like a dog. .. The sometimes multi-screen format gives an impression of the fragmented experience of her difficult world. I found it an exhilarating film experience.

We'll talk to Director Bruce MacDonald by phone (from Toronto) about its making and the novel opportunity he gave fans to 'un-fragment' it to compete for a prize for best result.
Cast: Ellen Page, Libby Adams, Shawn Ahmed, Stephen Amell, Jackie Brown


Monday 28 Jul 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Garbage Warrior
This brilliant doc could just change the world. That's the ambition of the protagonist who gave up his architect license to build 'green' housing out of garbage - all the good stuff we're so busy throwing in dumps. Heroically battling with bureaucracies, technical hitches in his off-the-grid subdivision in New Mexico, and heading for the eye of hurricane and tsunami wracked communities to put his ideas to work, our man is undeterred, full of innovation and passion.

Monday 4 Aug 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
BC Day - For B.C.'s 150 - B.C. Boomer Special Event!
First we'll visit the 40's, 50's, and 60's in B.C. when cigarettes and sun tanning and aimless driving vacations were good things.... We'll visit the Fraser Valley and Okanagan with two campy 12-15 minute, tourist-attracting, Government made docs called Evergreen Playland presented by B.C. archivist Dennis J. Duffy.

Then: 1967. Hippies were a big threat to "our way of life" - unless you were aspiring to be one...

We'll see The Trips Festival and 1967 Easter Stanley Park "Be In". As well, psychedelic music with the likes of Gerry Garcia and Janis Joplin bringing the Devil's music to Vancouver. And an amazing interview with Mayor Tom Campbell taking a firm stand on "those people". Our guide, Stan Fox, who worked for CBC at the time but who seems to have "gone over to the other side", was in Vancouver and ventured to the mecca, Haight-Ashbury, documenting the phenomena with a sympathetic camera. Pg about 70 min plus lots of discussion.

Monday 11 Aug 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
The Savages
A film about growing old, and growing up. For two estranged siblings, out of the blue, comes the call that their elderly father they have long feared, Lenny Savage, has lost it. And there is no one to help him but his kids. Amid a sibling rivalry battle over how to handle their father's final days, they are forced to face the past and finally start to realize what adulthood, family and, most surprisingly, each other are really about. A totally believable, entertaining, absorbing story with a perfect cast.
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Linney, and Philip Bosco


Monday 18 Aug 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
She's A Boy I Knew
An incredible film from Vancouver about a young man becoming a woman, but more particularly about his family, wife and friends' adjustment to his decision.

"Using archival family footage, interviews, phone messages, and animation, Haworth's documentary She's a Boy I Knew begins in 2000 with Steven Haworth's decision to come out to his family about his life-long female gender identity. The resulting auto-ethnography is not only an exploration into the film maker's process of transition from biological male to female, from Steven to Gwen, but also an emotionally charged account of the individual experiences, struggles, and stakes that her two sisters, mother, father, best friend and wife brought to Gwen's transition."

Monday 25 Aug 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Gridlock'd
How hard can it be to get into rehab? An 'odd couple' of druggie buddies realize it's time to get out of this dangerous lifestyle, but Detroit's system bounces them around like a pin ball and they have some bad dudes on their tale, the result of one of their short term scams for cash. Tom Roth, Tupak Shakur, and Thandie Newton – all brilliant performances. Vibrant, gritty comedy. Language, nudity, drug use. R

With colour from the director via author/film studies teacher/filmmaker Richard Beck Peacock who interviewed Vondie Curtis-Hall about making Gridlock'd for his book "The Art Of Movie Making – Script To Screen".

Cast: Tim Roth, Tupac Shakur, Thandie Newton, Charles Fleischer, Howard Hesseman, James Pickens Jr.


Monday 8 Sep 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Colma The Musical
Just outside San Francisco is Colma, famous as Frisco's burial ground, and a tough place for three buddies, recent high school grads, to find their paths. Here's a fresh, micro budget, high concept, musical version of that teenaged angst experience. R Some rough language, adult themes.

Monday 15 Sep 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Bee Movie
Here's one we missed. Why the lukewarm reviews? I found Bee Movie a surprisingly engrossing, delightful romp - inventive and fun, much like the Toy Story wonders. Enjoy! Jerry Seinfeld wrote and voiced this surprisingly complex story of a humble bee who decides not to comply with the usual expectations for his kind - to pick a job, work hard all your life doing that one thing. G

voices: Jerry Seinfeld, Renée Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Patrick Warburton, John Goodman


Monday 22 Sep 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Thank You For Smoking & Say No To Big Tobacco Co
Why are people who struggle with mental illness particularly vulnerable to nicotine addiction? Tonight we'll present a MM fave Thank You For Smoking with a short made by EMP RN Joan O'Connor who is charged with the Smoking Reduction and Cessation Program for the EMP Psychiatric Day Hospital. Her music video 'Just Say No to Big Tobacco Co' will be presented by members of her group who are helping each other, and modelling, kicking the habit.

The feature is a fiercely satirical and funny look at today's "culture of spin" that perpetuates this unhealthy habit. 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. Outrageous fun! Directed by Canada's bright young filmmaker, Jason Reitman (Juno). R for language and some sexual content.

"Nearly half of all cigarettes sold are smoked by people who have a mental disorder, and smoking substantially reduces the effectiveness of many medications prescribed to treat mental illness. As more Americans quit, continued smoking is becoming a marker for other substance addictions and/or mental illness."
cast: Joan Lunden, Eric Haberman, Aaron Eckhart, Mary Jo Smith, Todd Louiso


Monday 29 Sep 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Sybil
Here's a real life story, brilliantly told that explores dissociative disorder, sometimes called multiple personality disorder. It's about a survivor of early childhood abuse that, as a young teacher, dissociates into 16 distinct personalities. Mostly it's about a healing relationship between patient (Sally Fields) and therapist (Joanne Woodward). Many people know of this story through the hair-raising book, Sybil, (1973). The film (1976) was written by Stewart Stern who thoroughly researched and rewrote the story from original transcripts and interviews with the therapist. It's 198 minute long but totally captivating - not a scene to be missed. The crisp 30 year Anniversary Collectors Edition DVD has extras such as interviews with the makers, actors, and examples "Sybil's" own art. (Yo Video has it)

R some disturbing scenes - but you'll surely find this film and discussion a rich experience.
cast: Joanne Woodward, Sally Field, Brad Davis, Martine Bartlett


Monday 2 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Devil Plays Hardball Hollow & The Schoolhouse
The Devil Plays Hardball If you could get one person off the street, would you? Could you? Devil Plays Hardball is a radical interventionist documentary by Paperny Films that seeks to answer this question.

Also: The Schoolhouse - a short film that accompanied a Globe & Mail article about "wet" housing in Toronto, supportive housing where alcohol is allowed.

We'll have an in depth discussion on the topic of homelessness - the causes and concrete solutions with Judy Graves who has been helping people find a way off the streets in Vancouver for 30 years, now working from City Hall.

Monday 7 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Out Of The Shadow Stories Of Strength And Courage
Filmed over five years, Out Of The Shadow chronicles the filmmaker's mother, Millie, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. With grace and compassion, this intimate film illustrates the painful complexities of severe mental illness and the woefully inadequate public health system (Illinois) set up to deal with it. A story of madness and dignity, shame and love, out of the shadow illuminates a common plight through one family's struggle and powerfully helps to dispel the stigmas and misconceptions surrounding this difficult condition. It highlights the value of supportive housing in this family's positive outcome.

Monday 13 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Band's Visit Hollow & Stories Of Strength And Courage
The Band's Visit tells the story of an Egyptian police force band who head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab cultural center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong foreign city. They have to spend the night billeted by locals. It's a simple premise and a satisfying, understated, film experience. Some subtitles.

Saturday 18 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Loadingreadyrun's Fifth Anniversary 5 shorts
As of October 2008, Loading Ready Run, Victoria's internet sketch comedy troop will be celebrating 5 awesome years on the incredible edible internet. Every week a video. More than 250 of the dang things! Some productions have had over half a million hits – on their own www.loadingreadyrun.com website, let alone all the viral postings by others.

Awards have been won in short film fests, crew tours Seattle and San Diego, and an astounding Desert Bus online fundraiser last November for the charity, Child's Play. In one weekend, the crew raised over $22,000 by broadcasting live their marathon playing "the most boring video game in the world", taking in donations from and interacting with people all over the globe.

It's time for a retrospective! Join other fans and the whole LRR Crew for this special event!

Monday 20 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Bucket List
So what do YOU want to do before you "kick the bucket"? Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman put together an ambitious list in a cancer ward. They travel the world, have some adventures, get to know each other and themselves better. It's unlikely - but damn entertaining and makes you think a little about things that matter to boot.

Monday 27 Oct 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Store
Here's a feature documentary about peoples' obsession to hanging on to stuff. Is it simply materialism or an innate genetic drive? A desire to have immortality by creating a physical identity or just the unwillingness to let the past go? Where's the line between collecting and hoarding? One Storage facility manager says, "this is caused by the 4-Ds Divorce, Drugs, Drinking and Death." Hopefully there are more pleasant reasons as well, not just human failings. "STORE is an 86-minute documentary that employs a rapid fire pace, and a pass-the-baton style. Full of lovable, driven and quirky characters who are often compelled to laugh and cry while explaining the forces powering this 15 billion-dollar industry. In short, the film explores what is in all these units, how long things stay in storage, at what cost, the various ways people use storage units, and why people pay so much to hold on to things that aren't worth very much. Like a storage facility, every door is the same, but each story is unique."

Monday 3 Nov 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Stone Angel
Based on the best-selling novel by Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel is the story of feisty firecracker Hagar Shipley (the younger played by the glowing Christine Horne, the senior by Oscar Winner Ellen Burstyn). Her passionate heart has always ruled her head and her choices have put her at odds with family and friends. With her life nearly behind her, she sets out in search of a way to reconcile herself to her turbulent past. Through her reflections we come to know a passionate and rebellious young bride, her love for her two sons, the freedoms she claimed, and the joys she denied herself.

Monday 10 Nov 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Poor Boy's Game
Danny Glover plays George, the father of a man who was left handicapped after a vicious beating in Poor Boy's Game. When George discovers that his son's tormentor, Donnie (brilliantly played by Rossif Sutherland), has been released from prison he seeks vengeance, but the pair form an unusual friendship when they meet, leading to some surprising twists in director Clement Virgo's moving tale. Set in the Canadian east coast port city of Halifax, it is the story of class struggle, racial tensions (there is a long history of a Black community there), boxing, and forgiveness.

Monday 15 Nov 2008 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. PG13

This film was shown at MM in March 06 and at that time Geogie joined us for a live, hour long interactive phone conversation, so we have some follow up news to share!

Monday 17 Nov 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Dogwalker & Collector Of Bedford Street
Meet man who grew up with a brain injury from a traffic accident. He suffered a lot of indignities and frustration over the years but, now 47, finds equilibrium in his role walking dogs in Calgary. Discover his philosophy – the art of Zen and Dog Walking. Plus: THE COLLECTOR OF BEDFORD STREET This cognitively challenged individual who has become famous for collecting donations for causes, and is surprised to be supported by his NYC community when he needs it. It's a model we might be inspired to follow!

Monday 24 Nov 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Cracked Not Broken
Cracked Not Broken opens a disturbing window on the life of Lisa, a 37-year-old crack-cocaine addict and estranged mother of one who prostitutes herself to fuel her costly drug habit. Although she grew up in an upper middle-class family, went to the right schools and had the right friends, something went terribly wrong. Filmed almost entirely in the Toronto hotel room she lives in and works out of, Cracked Not Broken portrays a highly intelligent, vivacious, articulate and hyperactive woman juggling cell phone and drug paraphernalia with equal dexterity while talking with incredible frankness to filmmaker Paul Perrier - the husband of one of Lisa's oldest friends - about the struggles of being in "the game" and her quest for redemption. Cracked Not Broken chronicles Lisa's faltering steps toward recovery and her early efforts to educate others about the illness of addiction.

Monday 1 Dec 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Zelig + Salmon River
Here's Woody Allen's 1983 take on personality disorder (and tricky effects, as he cleverly inserts himself into history). "Zelig" presents the strange case of Leonard Zelig the chameleon-man who surfaced in the 1930s with the very unusual trait of turning into whomever he talked to. If Zelig talked to fat people, he grew fat. If he talked to tall people, he became tall. If Indian, Jewish, Hindu, then he became Indian, Jewish and Hindu. In himself, however, he was nothing at all. Leonard Zelig was without personal substance. Enter his psychiatrist, played by Mia Farrow, whose job it was to reveal to Leonard his own unique personality.

We'll have psychiatrist, film lover, UBC educator, award winning Frames of Mind Film Series director, and friend of MM - Dr Harry Karlinsky - with us provide a ‘clinical' view of Zelig - and the usefulness of film in psychiatry.

Monday 8 Dec 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Iron Man
This is a wild ride! And a change of pace for MM. Robert Downy Jr is fabulous in this high tech, high energy, high concept comic book adaptation about ahigh rolling arms dealer. Roger Ebert says,"Not only is it a good comic book movie (smart and stupid, stirring and silly, intimate and spectacular), it's winning enough to engage even those who've never cared much for comic books or the movies they spawn."

Monday 15 Dec 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Singing Revolution Desert Bus Killed The Internet Star
A film that'll stir your soul. Most people don't think about singing when they think about revolutions. But song was the weapon of choice when, between 1987 and 1991, Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. During those years, hundreds of thousands gathered in public to sing forbidden patriotic songs and to rally for independence. The Singing Revolution is a wonderfully realized account of the process, the history, and the emotion of this sometime hair-raising, heroic struggle. Independently produced and distributed, a little film about a place most Westerners hardly have heard of, it has become a phenomena, and MM it happy to be part of it! We'll be getting the 3 disc edition with all kinds of extras. Pg 13 some archival war scenes trailer

We are now releasing selected interview clips from the "Collector's Edition 1.0" on the film's website Blog. We encourage people to watch these interesting interview commentaries, not before seen, and then e-talk with one another about it by posting comments. Our first clip is about how Shakespeare's "Hamlet" became a subversive tool in the revolution. We don't want to reveal what is said, so we will leave it at that and encourage you to go to http://www.singingrevolution.com/blog/ to see for yourself. If so moved, please add your thoughts to the blog after watching this 2.5 minute clip.

But most importantly, forward this email to get new people to watch this clip and get The Singing Revolution in front of ever more people. And the more buzz we are able to build about the film, the better the odds of high-profile television and European distribution.

We have also just begun our high school and college outreach, and hope to get this subject into the curriculum of many schools. After only one week of outreach, the film has been purchased by over 100 U.S. high schools and colleges. We will keep you updated.

Monday 22 Dec 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Air Guitar Nation
While America was pounding Iraq, another kind of nationalist domination was being enacted. From NYC's Pussycat Lounge to the tiny city of Oulu in Finland, the film tracks USA competitors who for the first time are vying for gold in the most harmless competition in the world, the Air Guitar Championships. Cheap too – no need for equipment, just guts! Feel the tension as "Asian fury" C-Diddy, the son of a Korean American psychiatrist, and his arch nemesis, Bjorn Turoque (think: Born To Rock) get down and airborn. Their mottos: "Make Air – Not War!" "To Air is Human"

Monday 29 Dec 2008 alphabetical list  chronological list
Best Of Winnipeg Short Films (15pieces)
Once a filmmaker from Chicago phoned me so excited by the filmmaking going on in Winnipeg he wanted to move here and make films. And I know why. There is something strange and wonderful about the independent filmmaking scene in Winnipeg. The independent films here reflect a deep sense of originality and imagination. Many are often populated with strange characters…people with fish for arms…or odd subplots involving twisted love, murder, or revenge. But not all. You'll also find serious dramas, poignant documentaries, and amazing animation. What you won't find is the commonplace…the "made for TV" or the "calling card" film. At least not from the independent filmmaking community.

Started in 1974 by a group of filmmakers who banded together to share resources and equipment , the WINNIPEG FILM GROUP grew into a thriving centre with film distribution, equipment, training, workshops and a theatre called THE CINEMATHEQUE, of which I have been the program co-ordinator for the last 25 years.

I have been witness to the largest body of incredible independent film-making of anywhere in Canada – films which have played at festivals around the world and won incredible critical acclaim.

This is a very personal selection of some of my favourites over the years- Highlights include: John Paskievich and Mike Mirus's TED BARYLUK'S GROCERY, the Genie AWARD Winner for BEST SHORT FILM, Guy Maddin's amazing short film ODILON REDON (shot in the Winnipeg Film Group Studio commissioned by the BBC in the U.K)., a rare short from SEAN GARRITY who won the CITY TV AWARD for INERTIA for Best Canadian Feature at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival, the third in Cecilia Araneda's trilogy, the beautifully photographed HALLEY'S COMET, and terrific work from Matt Rankin and Mike Maryniuk whose new film CATTLE CALL just got into the SUNDANCE Film Festival.