Tuesday 3 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Babies
Four babies are born into four very different societies; in Namibia, Japan, Mongolia, and California, USA. This beautifully made film from French filmmakers has no voice-over (March Of The Penguin style), just joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity. The contrasts and then similarities between each culture's baby-rearing style are fascinating. Subtitled where necessary.

Monday 10 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Storytelling Class
Located in Winnipeg's downtown core, Gordon Bell High School is probably the most culturally varied school in the city, with 58 different languages spoken by the student body. Many students are children who have arrived as refugees from various war torn areas of the world.

In an effort to build bridges of friendship and belonging across cultures and histories, teacher Marc Kuly initiated an after-school storytelling project whereby the immigrant students would share stories with their Canadian peers.

The catalyst for this cross-cultural interaction was the students' reading of A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah, a memoir of Beah's horrific time as a child soldier in Sierra Leone's civil war.

These voluntary after-school meetings take dramatic turns and reach their climax when Ishmael Beah and professional storyteller Laura Simms travel from New York to work with them. With their help the students learn to listen to each other and find the commonality that so long eluded them.

Monday 17 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mozart and The Whale
Directed by award-winning director Petter Naess and written by Ron Bass, Mozart and the Whale is a dramatic yet romantic comedy that's not your typical love story.

Inspired by the story of Jerry and Mary Newport, both people with Asperger's Syndrome, who had married, divorced, then both went through suffering depression and suicidal tendencies. After a few years, they reunited and married again.

People suffering Asperger's Syndrome don't naturally find it easy to love despite having hearts that truly ache for it. Asperger's Syndrome can make social interaction painful, unbearable and embarrassing. They often also have limited, stereotyped interests and activities as well as have poor communication skills, obsessive or repetitive routines, and clumsiness. But Jerry and Mary had to lose each other to find themselves and realized that love can heal the soul regardless of circumstances.

Portraying a realistic point of view from the autistic spectrum, Mozart and the Whale is charming and uplifting.

Saturday 22 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Despicable Me
Come to an entertaining - and meaningful - evening including a screening of Despicable Me!

This is a fundraiser to raise money for an Esquimalt Neighbourhood House volunteer, Kate Day, going to get M.S. treatment ( Liberation procedure ) that is not yet available in Canada. Guest speaker, Margaret Bryant, will join us to share her experiences with the treatment. Raffle tickets/gift basket draw also available at the event. Admission is by donation, please give generously. poster

Despicable Me is an immensely entertaining story of a supervillain who plans to use three orphan girls as pawns for a grand scheme, only to find that their innocent love is profoundly changing him.

Monday 24 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mao's Last Dancer
A drama based on the autobiography by Li Cunxin. At the age of 11, Li was plucked from a poor Chinese village by Madame Mao's cultural delegates and taken to Beijing to study ballet. In 1979, during a cultural exchange to Texas, he becomes a focus of a high stakes game between emerging but deeply controlling China and the 'free' West. Bruce Greenwood is brilliant as the Houston dancemaster .... the delight of this film isn't so much in the tale as the telling.

Monday 31 Jan 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Baseball Girls
This feature documentary uses animation, archival stills and live-action footage to detail the history of women's participation in the largely male-dominated world of baseball and softball. Zany and affectionate, it features 7-year-olds learning the rules and skills of the game and 50-year-olds hitting home runs, from the early days of the Bloomer Girls to the heyday of the Colorado Silver Bullets. By Montreal filmmaker Lois Siegel.

Monday 7 Feb 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Damage Done – A Drug War Odyssey
A special event from with Anti-Stigma Week

After 30 years of drug war, illegal narcotics are decreasing in price, increasing in purity and demand continues to surge. The heroes of this film are veterans of the drug war and they urge us to consider ending drug prohibition. They have had a complete revolution in their thinking. Now they are working to end the War on Drugs. Find out what happened to change their minds. By NS filmmaker Connie Littlefield.

Monday 14 Feb 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mary and Max
A different kind of love story for Valentines Day

Mary (Bethany Whitmore) is a lonely eight-year-old girl in Melbourne; randomly picking a name out of the New York phone book, she writes a letter to Max (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a middle-aged Jewish man with Asperger syndrome. So begins a decades-long correspondence (Mary eventually grows up to be voiced by Toni Collette) that will have deep resonant meaning for two souls whose lives are otherwise filled with meaningless and alienation. Pg 13 some language and oddness

Animator Adam Elliot previously won an Oscar for his short "Harvie Krumpet". "Mary & Max", his first feature, was made by six animators shooting continuously for 57 weeks (and a crew of 120 people). His nuanced clay animation - marked by emotional expressiveness, a restrained colour palette, and occasionally crude content - helped make the film the first Australian film to play the opening night slot at Sundance. The critical consensus is that the film is dark, textured, and unexpectedly moving.

Monday 21 Feb 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Beautiful Dreamers
Rip Torn does a magnificent job as American poet Walt Whitman in the fanciful period piece Beautiful Dreamers. The scene is a hellish 19th century Canadian institution for the mentally ill and/or retarded. Compassionate doctor Maurice Bucke (Colm Feore) defies his superiors by treating his patients as human beings rather than animals. He even begins conducting classes for his charges, teaching them basic cognitive and manual dexterity skills. When Whitman champions Bucke's cause, the doctor is ostracized by those who fear the poet's reputation as a "wild-eyed" radicial.

Based on a true story, Beautiful Dreamers is a great entry into tonght's visit with two Vancouver authors with recent books related to the film: Psychiatrist Harry Karlinsky, author of The Evolution of Inanimate Objects: the life and works of Thomas Darwin (2010) and George Fetherling with Walt Whitman's Secret

Monday 28 Feb 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Social Network
A very compelling dramatization about Facebook, it's invention, the legal tangles, and the unusual man behind the phenomena, Harvard University student, Mark Zuckerberg, (played by Jesse Eisenberg). He shot from introverted geek to riding the wave of a world communication system. "Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Social Network is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest." It may not follow real events closely, there's much debate about that, but it is a cracking good story.

Monday 7 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Leave Them Laughing
This film is about to win the Genie for Best Documentary March 10 "Leave Them Laughing is a musical comedy about dying, starring Carla Zilbersmith, a Vancouver native, singer and comedienne, Artistic Director at a California college drama department, who has ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. It's ninety riveting minutes of songs about life and quips about death from the wheelchair of a woman who vows to exit laughing." Pg13

Seasoned documentary maker Vancouver based John Zaritsky: "It all started on December 31, 2008, when I was reading two pages of memorable quotes from that year in the Globe and Mail. And there in the midst of these quotes was a joke about dying that I actually found funny, a real "lol". Curious, I Googled the author of the joke and discovered Carla Zilbersmith, an incredibly talented and gifted singer, songwriter, comedienne, performance artist and writer..... A few days later when I phoned Carla and explained that I wanted to do a musical comedy about dying based on a beautifully written blog she had authored, it was apparent that she and I were immediately on the same artistic wavelength.

....I love all my films like children. But the one I love most, my favourite child, is "Leave Them Laughing". Why? Because every time I see it, it puts me back to the joyous time I spent with Carla, the funniest person I ever met." From an interview at VIFF by eFilmCritic's Jason Whyte.

You'll love this film too. It's a heart-wrenching rollercoaster of humour and pathos, but the what you'll walk out of the theatre with is a huge appreciation of life and the good and funny people that make it livable.

Monday 14 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
It's Kind Of A Funny Story
A clinically depressed teenager checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward. What results is a sixteen year olds look at the strange, scary, wonderful world as an "in-patient" and out of the "real" world. It's a lot different from the 19th century but still pretty hair-raising and life changing. A lot of cool people pass through these places. You'll meet some. And we'll talk. Wonderfully acted by Keir Gilchrist as the young man and Zach Galifianakis as his peer guide.

Saturday 19 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Saturday Film Events For Japan
7:00 pm Whisper of the Heart 1995, 111 min
Shizuku Tsukishima, a young girl in junior high, loves to read. Yet, every time she opens a library book, it seems the same name appears on the cards: "Seiji Amasawa". As Shizuku learns who this person is, she also begins to learn about herself and her goals in life - a discovery that will change her life forever. more

9:00 pm Tokyo Sonata 2008, 120 min
Tokyo Sonata is a portrait of a seemingly ordinary Japanese family. The father who abruptly loses his job conceals the truth from his family; the eldest son in college hardly returns home; the youngest son furtively takes piano lessons without telling his parents; and the mother, who knows deep down that her role is to keep the family together, cannot find the will to do so. From the exterior, all is normal and the same. But, somehow, a single, unforeseeable chasm has appeared within the family, only to spread ever so quietly and quickly to disintegrate them.

Monday 21 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Los Angeles based Frenchman Thierry Guetta gets the idea that he would like to film street artists in the process of creating their work. He even gets into the act by assisting them in creating the art. One of the artists that participates is the camera-shy Brit superstar activist/artist Banksy, who refuses to be shown on screen unless he is blacked out. Banksy convinces Thierry to use the footage to make a movie. Thierry is a lousy filmmaker, but he is an interesting character in an odd yet appealing way. Banksy makes a film about the filmmaker. Brilliant!

Monday 28 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Family Matters
A compassionate and timely documentary on the impact of mental illness within the family unit, the locally-made Family Matters follows four Lower Mainland families as they struggle to support a loved one with Bipolar Disorder BD, one of the most commonly diagnosed mental illnesses. Each family in the film represents a stop on the life-long journey of living in and managing a family with the illness.

Mary M. Frymire, director of Family Matters: Surviving the Bipolar Journey. An award-winning Vancouver based filmmaker with more than 25 years experience, Frymire has developed, directed and produced documentary and dramatic projects in over 57 countries, working in four different languages. Frymire also has a personal connection to this story: both her mother and sister suffer from Bipolar Disorder.

Psychiatrist and bipolar disorder advocate, Dr. Paul Termansen, has dedicated the past few years to getting the word out about mental illness through video medium. He presented the film Not Just a Bad Day at MM (May 08) which is also about helping people living with BD, through his North Shore clinic which focuses on that specialty.

Saturday 31 Mar 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
ChomaVision
World Premiere! 31 March 2011, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Part of an evening of films and discussion "Exploring Bipolar Disorder and Creativity" by CREST.BD

The films were followed by a post-screening dialogue session facilitated by Bruce Saunders and Dr. Erin Michalak. The evening provided a venue for the community to engage in discussion about creativity and bipolar disorder, with a focus on how wellness is nurtured through creativity, and possible alternatives to the stigmas and stereotypes associated with bipolar disorder as represented in the media.

Chomavision, a documentary about an amazing 86 year old artist who is bipolar. A graduate of EMP, his life has been a classic creative, chaotic story - from tutoring from several of the Group of Seven as a kid, running a couple highly productive businesses, alcohol problems, mood swings to rediscovering his creative muse as an outsider artist later in life.

Monday 4 Apr 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Horse Boy
The Horse Boy does more than chronicle Rowan and his parents' journey across the vast, wild landscape of Mongolia, hoping to find help and healing for their son who is deeply autistic. It delves into the strange world of autism itself, the relationship between humans and animals and between different cultures and different ways of being (autistic vs. normal, or "neuro-typical"), and the nature of healing. But above all, The Horse Boy tells the story of a couple that goes to the end of the earth to find a way into their son's life.

Special guest, Melanie Houston, who works with children with this condition, and has ridden horses in Mongolia with her daughters, will bring this story home.

Monday 11 Apr 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
ChomaVision
Chomavision, a documentary about an amazing 86 year old artist who is bipolar. A graduate of EMP, his life has been a classic creative, chaotic story - from tutoring from several of the Group of Seven as a kid, running a couple highly productive businesses, alcohol problems, mood swings to rediscovering his creative muse as an outsider artist later in life.



Monday 18 Apr 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
"Here's is an insightful, heartfelt look into the life of a comedian and actress who, at 75, continues to pave the way for young comedians. Rivers never holds back, and allows her insecurities and fears to be shown to the world in an attempt to allow people to understand her a bit more. Whether you knew of Joan Rivers previously or not, you'll walk away respecting her as the cutting-edge comedic innovator that she was and continues to be today." from ( Inside Pulse ) I know I did.

Monday 25 Apr 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
A River Runs Through It
Set in small town Montana, the story follows two sons of a Presbyterian minister—one studious and the other rebellious—as they grow up and come of age in the 20s. Fly fishing is their common bond and the river the steady through-line in the story. This Robert Redford directed film is renowned for it's beautiful cinematography and it's un-Hollywood style leisurely pacing. Re-discover this wonderful film.

Monday 2 May 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The King's Speech
The story of King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne, and the speech therapist who helped the unsure monarch with a paralyzing speech impediment rise to the occasion. What resulted was the much needed inspiration his nation needed during dark days of WWII. This film cleaned up at the Oscars and the box office. It is immensely entertaining and moving, but how far did it stray from the real story? Members of the Churchill Society will be with us.

Monday 9 May 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
This Is Not A Robbery
When he was arrested for holding up a bank in Abilene, Texas, in 2003, J.L. "Red" Rountree — then aged 91 — won fame as the world's oldest active bank robber. But behind the bizarre headlines was a far more curious question: why would a formerly successful businessman with an untarnished record embark on a life of crime at age 87? Documentary filmmakers Lucas Jansen and Adam Kurland investigate Rountree's unlikely life story with help from friends, family, witnesses and a rare audio interview Rountree recorded shortly before his death in 2004.

Monday 16 May 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Topp Twins - Untouchable Girls
Topp Twins - Untouchable Girls (more fun than a possom up your trousers) This film is the most fun I've had at the movies for years. These NZ yodelling twins have been performing since they were girls and, with brilliant humour and music, have tackled everything from Aboriginal rights, nuclear weapons proliferation, GLBT issues. Even breast cancer succumbs to their spirit and their special brand of silliness.

MM is pleased to collaborate with Victoria PFLAG, (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) for these screenings, in recognition of International Day Against Homophobia.

Monday 23 May 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Made In Dagenham
In 1968 a ragtag army of British working-class women struck a resonant blow for equal rights. These unlikely feminist radicals were the sewing machinists of the Ford Motor Company's Dagenham factory, whose historic strike for equal pay with their male counterparts kick-started the ongoing drive for wage parity. Sally Hawkins and a great cast and clever writers elevate what could have been a by-the-numbers story to a really moving drama. R

Monday 30 May 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Tangled
The magically long-haired Rapunzel has spent her entire life in a tower, but now that a runaway thief has stumbled upon her, she is about to discover the world for the first time, and who she really is. Excellent fun!

Monday 6 Jun 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Mighty Jerome
From acclaimed filmmaker Charles Officer (Nurse.Fighter.Boy) comes Mighty Jerome, the story of the rise, fall and redemption of Harry Jerome, Canada's most record-setting track and field star. More than just a running machine, Harry, had to negotiate racism at home (Vancouver) and abroad, and struggled with media criticism throughout his amazing career. Gorgeous monochrome imagery, impassioned interviews and astonishing archival footage are used to tell the compelling story of what Harry Jerome's university coach, the legendary Bill Bowerman, called "the greatest comeback in track and field history." This film is a standout! Pg

Guest: Producer Selwyn Jacob, long time NFB filmmaker, who has produced, among many others, a number of other memorable MM-featured films (Obâchan's Garden, River of Life, The Journey of Lesra Martin and T'Lina: The Rendering of Wealth) will join us by phone for after-screening Q&A.

Monday 13 Jun 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Here's one for the elder hippies and us wannabes - Movie Monday's 18th Anniversary!!
Back To The Garden, 2009, 70 min & Chomavision "In 1988, Seattle–based filmmaker Kevin Tomlinson filmed and interviewed a group of back-to-the-land "hippies"—living off-grid, insulated and isolated from mainstream culture.

In 2006, he tracked down his subjects again to find out what had become of their families' utopian plans and dreams. The film captures a time-lapse view of these back-to-the-landers told with moving personal stories of non-conforming tribal families—with lots of freedom but little cash, of unflinching political activism in the midst of small-town, rural America, and hippie kids who today ask whether free love was really free." Pg

We'll have cake to celebrate — and then, at 8:10, another chance to see: Chomavision (2011, 44 min). A repeat of my documentary about an amazing 86 year old Victoria artist who is bipolar. A graduate of EMP, his life has been a classic creative, chaotic story - from being tutored by several of the Group of Seven as a kid, running a couple of highly productive businesses, alcohol problems, mood swings - to rediscovering his creative muse as an outsider artist later in life.

You'll meet Bob and his wife Phyllis, who has stood by him through thick and thin for 38 years, and some of Bob's buddies who helped this lifelong artist realize a dream to exhibit his brilliant work in Victoria's biggest art event. Director Bruce Saunders and subjects Bob and Phyllis Choma will present. Pg

Monday 20 Jun 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Susanne Tabata Double Featuretwo brilliant, local films from Vancouver based filmmaker Susanne Tabata
6:30: 49Degrees, 2002, 49 min
49Degrees is an intimate journey into western Vancouver Island surf culture phenomenon - a culture at a crossroads. 49Degrees is aimed at the surfer and non surfer alike and is told from the surfers' point of view. The film rises above the regular media fare of stereotypical surfer dude, to tell the incredible story of a few of Vancouver Island's surf families - particularly the Bruhwilers and the Okes . A thoughtful and nostalgic storyline reveals that what was once a remote and simple way of life, now becoming part a globalizing culture. It features interviews with long established locals, competitive surfers and members of the BC surf industry and historic footage and photos, opening windows to the BC surf community's fondly remembered past, including deft surfing of Sepp Bruhwiler, Raph Bruhwiler, Jesse Oke, Ryan Erickson and others. Special appearance from legendary squatter Rivermouth Mike. 49Degrees is dedicated to the Oke Family, who lost three family members during the overall production of the film. PG

AND 8:00: Bloodied But Unbowed the Vancouver Punk Movie, 1992, 75 min R (Coarse language)
Bloodied But Unbowed chronicles the late 1970s/early 1980s Vancouver punk rock scene. Vancouver filmmaker Susanne Tabata's documentary tells a tale of rebellion and music - a fiercely independent scene created from nothing and played out in a microcosm of urban squalor. Told by its surviving stars whose accounts are suffused with both humour and gritty realism - a distinctly Vancouver vibe.

Filmmaker Susanne Tabata will be with us to present these two local stories.

Monday 27 Jun 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
40 Years of Cool Aid Culture & Building Futures
This is the 43rd Anniversary of the founding of Cool Aid, an organization that has morphed from it's beginnings as a stop over for transient young people, to the backbone of Victoria's helping community.

The films are 40 Years of Cool Aid Culture (28 min), celebrating its history, and Building Futures (29 min) which profiles the construction of Cool Aid's. The innovative project to provide shelter for homeless women was renovated from an existing building, and the work was carried out by women who would actually use the service. see

We'll open with music by the so come early! Q&sAs with people from Cool Aid and updates on its amazing and various projects.

Trivia: "When Cool Aid started on Balmoral Road, they felt the police would raid the place. It was Hugh Wade's idea to have a front door key made and delivered to the Police Chief. They said the police could visit at any time but shouldn't kick down the door, as Cool Aid couldn't afford to pay for the repairs. They always sent flowers to the Police Chief on Monday." (pg. 12 of Cool Aid History)

Monday 4 Jul 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
One Week
Instead of facing up to a daunting health issue, our protagonist chooses to leave family and home behind and to head out on a motorcycle across our country. He meets interesting people, sees a lot of country west of TO. Along the way he encounters many interesting folks and giant things (we have a remarkable number of over-sized hockey sticks, nickels, geese, wigwams, deck chairs etc). There's even a moment with the Stanley Cup!

A great Canadian road movie with terrific soundtrack, this film really grows on you. Pg

Monday 11 Jul 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Fresh
We've had some reminders lately about the folly of global industrial food systems. Here's some good news!

Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet. Pg13

Monday 18 Jul 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
You Don't Know Jack
Al Pacino is riveting as Dr Death – Jack Kevorkian. Far beyond an issue-of-the-month film, this nuanced script and acting, especially the brilliant performance by Al Pacino, raises this to a completely engaging movie – with a challenging issue at its centre. Lots to talk about here!

Kevorkian just died on June 3, 2011, eight days after his 83rd birthday - of natural causes.

Monday 25 Jul 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Boy Inside: Then and Now
"An autistic boy struggles to graduate elementary school in this powerful documentary film about growing up with Asperger Syndrome. A rare insight into an increasingly common form of high-functioning autism, The Boy Inside follows 12-year-old Adam as he tries against all odds to make sense of bullies, girls and life in the real world."

This film, made by the boy's mum in 2005, won many awards and was placed in every school in the province. But what happened to the boy since the film wrapped?

Now, in 2011, Adam has graduated high school, is moving on to higher education and is a hiphop artist.

Meet Adam and hear the rest of the story at Movie Monday. Pg

Monday 1 Aug 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Double Happiness
This BC-made story was a breakout film for young Sandra Oh and Callum Keith Rennie. It portrays a young Vancouver woman trying to satisfy the values of her strict Chinese family and her own desire to branch out from those narrow confines; to become an artist and actress and to date who she really likes, not her parents' choices for her. Her brother has been disowned for his disloyal choices. "Double Happiness is when you make yourself happy and everyone else happy too." .....a tricky task. Directed by Mina Chum, shot in Vancouver. Pg13

Monday 8 Aug 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Trigger
Think: Canadian director Bruce MacDonald wants to cross My Dinner with André with a story about aging rock stars reuniting a dozen years after a nasty breakup. It works brilliantly! Molly Parker and Tracy Wright star. R

This script was specially adapted for Tracy Wright by her long-time collaborators who she knew was dying. The project is a great tribute to her craft and their care for her.

Monday 15 Aug 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
My Kid Could Paint That
A four year old becomes a rock star of the abstract art scene, producing brilliant work. Or does she? Is she the author of these amazing paintings? And if she is, are they to be considered beside the work of seasoned artists who can speak to their intention? This documentary presents some tantalizing questions about human nature - and is smart enough not to try to answer them all. Pg

Monday 22 Aug 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Rango
A duster with a difference! This one stars a chameleon and a host of brilliantly anthropomorphized desert critters. Definitely not for little kids, this plot is a little zany with lots of genre references from High Noon, to Raiders Of The Lost Ark, and a generous dollop of Blazing Saddles. Dazzling animation! Pg

Monday 29 Aug 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Singing In The Shadow: The Children of Rock Royalty
When you're the child of a rock music legend, pursuing a music career of your own would seem like a no-win situation. You will always be judged against an impossible standard. Simply making a decent living - the goal of most musicians - will be seen as failure. And being good is never enough when your parent is great.

In a candid and revealing film, nine children of music legends bare their souls: Julian Lennon, son of John Lennon; Louis Osbourne, son of Ozzy; Simon Collins, son of Phil; Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon; James Raymond - the previously unknown son of David Crosby; Sarah Lee Guthrie and Abe Guthrie, children of Arlo, grandchildren of the legendary Woody Guthrie; Jason Everly, son of Phil; Teddy Richards, son of Aretha Franklin; A.J. Croce, son of Jim; we also hear from David Crosby, Carly Simon, Phil Everly, Phil Collins, Arlo Guthrie and Aretha Franklin.

Monday 12 Sep 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune
Here's a documentary about an icon of the 60's. Phil's songs became part of the sound track of my tumultuous year in Fine Arts at UVic in '68. Phil Ochs rose to fame in the early 1960's during the height of the folk and protest song movement. His songs, with lyrics ripped straight from the daily news, spoke to those emboldened by the hopeful idealism of the day.... Ochs himself believed to his core that he and his music could change the world for the better. Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune is buoyed by [his] anthems and melodies - from humorous to haunting - and throughout the film play the role of narrator, giving contextual depth to the unfolding saga of Ochs' complex political and personal life. Pg13 (some scenes of Vietnam war)

Wednesday 14 Sep 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Gaslands
In North Eastern BC, the controversial use of hydraulic fracturing in natural gas production is rolling full steam ahead, even as other governments have recently banned or instituted moratoriums on fracking as a result of rising public concern over the health and environmental impacts of fracking. With plans for one of the largest gas plants in North America to be built, a natural gas pipeline all the way from NE BC to Kitimat, and an LNG terminal to be built off the coast to export the gas, the impacts of fracking span the province. Join the Sierra Club and Movie Monday for a screening of the award winning documentary, Gasland, followed by a q&a about fracking in BC.

Monday 19 Sep 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Most Dangerous Man In America: Daniel Ellsberg
Following our theme from last Monday:

In the age of WikiLeaks, and following last week's Phil Ochs film, this incredible film must be seen. Here's a guy who 40 years ago, from the inside, unravelled the belief many of us had in US leaders. "The Most Dangerous Man in America is a comprehensive look at the release of the Pentagon Papers and the political firestorm that may have sealed Americans' disenchantment with the war, and which certainly sealed the fate of the Nixon Administration. But the film is also an intensely intimate look into the conscience of a gifted and intelligent man who wrestled personally and professionally with what he came to see as the contradictions between American ideals and American power in Southeast Asia." Pg13 (some scenes of Vietnam war)

Monday 26 Sep 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom
Set in 1976, It's the story of Elizabeth , a geeky 11-year-old girl from the Prairies who is waiting desperately for puberty to strike when she finds out her family isn't exactly what she thought it was. So Elizabeth does what any disillusioned preteen would do. After deciding that Dolly Parton must be her real mother, she gets all gussied up, boards her banana-seat bike and sets out in pursuit of the truth. Offbeat, sweet, very Canadian. Pg

Monday 3 Oct 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Beaver
Jodie Foster directs and co-stars with Mel Gibson in The Beaver - an emotional story about a man on a journey to re-discover his family and re-start his life. Plagued by his own demons, Walter Black was once a successful toy executive and family man who now suffers from depression. No matter what he tries, Walter can't seem to get himself back on track... until a beaver hand puppet enters his life. Pg13 some disturbing scenes.

A provocative film to talk about in our special venue.

Monday 10 Oct 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me) takes us on a smart, funny, and somewhat scary ride through the concept of corporate sponsorship as he sells a documentary to be entirely, openly financed by product placements. He's good! Pg13

Monday 17 Oct 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead
"100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn't end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn't far behind. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe's personal mission to regain his health."

It's Joe's story and several more (a morbidly overweight trucker and a woman who suffers headaches) that might inspire breaking the addiction to junk food, encourage a healthier diet, and regaining a more active lifestyle. Pg

Monday 24 Oct 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Ron Hynes - The Man of A Thousand Songs
Here's a totally intriguing portrait of a Canadian icon, as told by himself and his intense and articulate nephew novelist Joel Thomas Hynes. It's been a 35 year long and winding road, with failed relationships, battles with an alter ego and drugs – a turbulent life in search of the perfect song. Sonny's Dream is one of those. Pg

Monday 31 Oct 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Corpse Bride
Set in a 19th century European village, this stop-motion, animated feature follows the story of Victor (voiced by Johnny Depp), 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. Though 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 in this world, or the next, that can keep him away from his one true love. It's a tale of optimism, romance and a very lively afterlife, told in classic Tim Burton style. Pg

Monday 7 Nov 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
A Work In Progress
A wonderful documentary about the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra; the bright and eager young players, dedicated parents, and the conductors who mentor them to give their best. Especially touching is the deep commitment of the inspired János Sándor, who the led the process for 15 years, as he challenges the players through his final season with them. He passed the mantel on to associate conductor Yariv Aloni because of failing health in 2010.

The music is brilliant and the youth musician's spark and dedication to the music is exciting to see. By Victoria director David Springbett, Asterisk Productions. PG

Monday 14 Nov 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Defendor
Woody Harrelson is a construction worker by day, self-made superhero by night in Defendor, a comedy that takes aim at society's infatuation with comic-book mythologies. I was reminded of this film by a recent Jian Ghomeshi interview (Oct 21@ 16:42) with a filmmaker who has found a number of self-proclaimed "real life superheroes" just like Defendor, aiming the make the streets safe for the innocent public. It can be a difficult calling! It's a weird combination of comedy, dark drama, filmed in Hamilton (Hammertown) ON. R Some language, violence, sexual and drug use content.

Monday 21 Nov 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Everyday Sunshine: The Story Of Fishbone
"Everyday Sunshine is a documentary about the band Fishbone, musical pioneers who have been rocking on the margins of pop culture for the past 25 years. From the streets of South-Central Los Angeles and the competitive Hollywood music scene of the 1980's, the band rose to prominence, only to fall apart when on the verge of "making it."....

"At the heart of the film's story is lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher who show how they keep the band rolling, out of pride, desperation and love for their art. To overcome money woes, family strife, and the strain of being ageing Punk rockers on the road, Norwood and Angelo are challenged to re-invent themselves in the face of dysfunction and ghosts from a painful past." Pg13

Monday 28 Nov 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Battle Of Britain
Not the old 1940 classic but a 2010 documentary with Ewan MacGregor and his aviator bro Colin (who flew combat over Iraq) looking into that remarkable history. It's such a brilliant take on the story: bright, modern day blokes who were, as kids, inspired by these brave fly boys (those who inspired Colin to become an RAF pilot). They fly historic planes, meet the veterans, explore the tactics and technology mixed with amazing archival footage. Pg

Thanks to SVP International Sales for permission to screen this remarkable film.

This event is in collaboration with The Churchill Society.

Monday 5 Dec 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Journey On The Wild Coast
This is a film you will not soon forget - once dubbed "a cross between Into The Wild and The Blair Witch Project"! "A married couple attempt to walk, paddle, and ski under their own power from Seattle to the Aleutians along the wild and remote northwest coast of North America. This documentary was filmed with a tiny hand held video camera by the adventures as they traveled through northern Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. Experience this modern adventure through their eyes as they encounter breathtaking scenery, harsh weather, amazing wildlife, starvation and danger. This modern adventure demonstrates that the most significant aspect of a journey is not reaching the final destination but how the journey changes the trajectory of the rest of a person's life." Pg Warning: don't try this before watching this film!

Filmmaker Doug Chaney will join us by phone from Juno, Alaska.

Monday 12 Dec 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Concert
The Concert is an entertaining film about an out-of-favour Russian conductor who, Blues Bros-style, gets the old orchestra together for a gig. Pretending to be the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra they head off to play a concert in Paris, the adventure of their lives. It's a comedy/drama with some fabulous music and a terrific surprise subplot. Pg13 French & Russian with subtitles.

Monday 19 Dec 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
Buck
"Buck Brannaman escaped an abusive childhood in Montana and Idaho to become a master teacher of horsemanship and the main inspiration for the book and the movie The Horse Whisperer." This completely satisfying documentary "is a portrait that expertly mirrors its subject: Buck is shaped with the same economy, restraint, and unfussiness as the man, to unexpectedly inspiring effect." You don't have to be crazy about horses to love this film. It's laced with humour and wisdom, and a little dab Robert Redford thrown in too!

You don't have to be a horse nut to fall for Buck, one of those rare documentaries whose subject is so inherently fascinating that a fictional character could hardly compete. Audience fave at Sundance. Pg

Monday 26 Dec 2011    alphabetical list  chronological list
The People vs George Lucas
The passion the original Star Wars trilogy inspires in its fans is unparalleled; but when it comes to George Lucas himself-one of the most passionately debated filmmakers of all time-many have found their ardor has cooled into a complicated love-hate relationship. This hilarious, heartfelt documentary delves deep into Lucas's cultural legacy, asking all the tough questions. Has Lucas betrayed his masterwork? With loads of interviews, stop-motion animation, Super 8 action figure films and puppet rants, The People Vs. George Lucas takes a hard look at the man behind the most popular franchise in film history and asks: What the hell happened? Pg