Monday 8 Jan 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
BIG
Let's kick off this year revisiting this classic film from 1988 where a 12 year old, through a little magic, becomes BIG and tackles some of the many thrills and problems of being in an adult body early thirties and brilliant Tom Hanks. Great fun 30 years later. How we've all changed! Remember the piano dance scene? We have a beautiful Bluray version. Pg trailer.

Monday 15 Jan 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Lane 1974
Based on a true story, Lane is a 13-year-old girl coming of age on a Northern California commune in the 1970s. While Lane enjoys the freedom of living off-the-grid with her mother and younger siblings, she craves a stable "normal" life; a life she's only seen in pictures from a stolen Sears catalog. They begin moving from one unlikely situation to another, leaving normal life far behind. Scrounging for food and hitch-hiking, while her mother cadges cash and begs favors, Lane and her siblings rely on one another in an increasingly desolate and isolated emotional landscape.

Monday 22 Jan 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Southern Comfort
In collaboration with Transgender Studies and Writing Department at UVic.

Robert Eads is a middle-aged guy with a craggy face and a penchant for Waylon Jennings-style outlaw wear, lives in a trailer in rural Georgia, drives a pickup and likes to cook up a mess of barbecue for his family. That Robert is dying of a female illness is the biggest, saddest irony.

You’re about to visit a group of friends who will win your hearts and your empathy. The documentary's subjects treat their transsexuality offhandedly at times, obsessively at others, and the film offers a glimpse into their rarefied world.

Robert exudes serenity and a commitment to friends, family and a final trip to Southern Comfort, the annual Atlanta convention that serves as a touchstone for transgendered people…. It is his resolute kindness that helps him build a community of friends and loved ones and that gives ''Southern Comfort'' its punch. - SFgate.com Pg13 With discussion.

Monday 29 Jan 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Crazy Art
A compelling documentary on the role of creative expression in recovery from mental illness. The film features three artists, based in Santa Barbara, California: Trinaty Wakefield, Rodger Casier, and Lesley Grogan. The film explores how these three mid-life adults - who have long wrestled with the symptoms of schizophrenia, mania and depression - use their artistic gifts to help them cope and thrive. Pg

Monday 5 Feb 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Victoria & Abdul
The extraordinary true story of an unexpected friendship in the later years of Queen Victoria's (Academy Award winner Judi Dench) remarkable rule. When Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), a young clerk, travels from India to participate in the Queen's Golden Jubilee, he is surprised to find favor with the Queen herself. As the Queen questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance with a loyalty to one another that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. As the friendship deepens, the Queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes and joyfully reclaims her humanity. Pg13

Monday 12 Feb 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Bluefin
fishhead Bluefin In the stunning documentary Bluefin, director John Hopkins crafts a tale of epic stakes set in the "tuna capital of the world." Filmed in North Lake, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the film explores the baffling mystery of why the normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans. John Hopkins documents this phenomenon with breathtaking cinematography and brings the issues into sharp focus, at the heart of which lies a passionate concern for the fate of these giant fish. G

Monday 19 Feb 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Coming Through the Rye
Coming Through the Rye, set in 1969, is a touching coming of age story of sensitive, 16 year old Jamie Schwartz, who is bullied at his all boys' boarding school. Disconnected from students and teachers, he believes he is destined to play Holden Caulfield, the main character of The Catcher in the Rye and has adapted the book as a play. Aided by a girl who also admires the story, Jamie goes on a quest for J. D. Salinger's unlikely permission to stage his adaptation. With Alex Wolff, Stefania LaVie, and Chris Cooper, the film is written and directed by James Steven Sadwith, based on Sadwith's own quest to find Salinger. Pg13

Friday 26 Feb 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
A New Economy
What if working together for the good of all was the most common business model? What a Canadian concept! Watch as several organizations strive towards building a more cooperative future. By putting humanity before the bottom line, they are finding their place in a new economy no longer dominated by profits and big business. By Vancouver filmmaker Trevor Meier. G

In our setting the mental health ramifications of good and adequate food, ability to prepare it well, and especially community engagement are important aspects modelled here. We'll have local food security and community building speakers with us for discussion.

Monday 5 Mar 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Brad's Status
A very provocative film that looks at how we compare ourselves with others. Brad in a bit of a midlife introspective crisis is really hi-centered, comparing himself to his more successful cohort of old friends (Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, and Michael Sheen), as he attempts to help his boy apply for high end universities. Shades of Ben Stiller's own Walter Mitty film. 101 minutes 2017 14A

Monday 12 Mar 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Geek Girls
Geek Girls is the first feature-length documentary exploring the hidden half of fan culture: nerdy women. Although geeky communities have recently risen to prominence as major cultural contributors, very little attention has been directed towards the women who live and work with nerd culture on a daily basis. Montreal filmmaker Gina Hara addresses this oversight by delving into a world of professional gamers, cute dresses, fake names, and death threats; she follows her subjects through the exhilaration of newfound community and the ennui of ostracization while also exploring her own struggles with her geek identity. PG13

Monday 19 Mar 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Waterboys
Crime novelist Victor and his twenty-year-old cello playing son Zack both have become single. During a trip to Scotland they are forced to confront themselves and finally get to know each other. A funny and touching film about fathers who have to grow up and sons who should take life a little more easy. Great music of The Waterboys helps bring them together. A top pick of the VFFest. 14A Some subtitles

Monday 26 Mar 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
A Dog's Life
In large cities (and ours) with a substantial homeless population, it's a common sight to see panhandlers on the sidewalk huddled up on a cold winter's day with their loyal dogs. Some wonder how they can afford to take care of a pet, let alone themselves. What's important to realize is that these dogs provide many homeless people with a lifeline-they offer unconditional love to those who have often suffered abuse, as well as stability and warmth on cold nights. But few shelters accept pets, forcing people already isolated and marginalized to make the incredibly difficult decision to give up their beloved animals if they want a roof and a bed. Most choose to live outside instead. A Dog's Life offers touchingly poignant stories of life on the streets of Toronto and Montreal by exploring the unique relationship between people struggling with homelessness and their canine companions. Lynne Fernie - Hot Docs 14A Some subtitles

Our guest: Dr Jane Vermeulen founded Vets For Pets in 2009 to help care for the animal companions of the homeless and low-income pet owners in Victoria. They partner with Our Place Society where over 15 volunteers work with 70 pets in a clinic each month.

Monday 2 Apr 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Pleasantville
An amazing feat of filmmaking and terrific early roles for Tobey Maguire and Rees Witherspoon. They are two siblings who wind up trapped in a B&W 1950s TV show, set in a small Midwest town, where residents are seemingly perfect. In their attempts to fit in, the two become more aware of social issues such as racism and freedom of speech. A film that barely won back its cost at the time, but a nugget. What a fascinating concept - colour gradually starts showing up as they disturb the status quo. Pg

Monday 9 Apr 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Lady Bird
Christine "Lady Bird" MacPherson is a high school senior from the "wrong side of the tracks." She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic school. We follow her through her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for a distant college, her hope to break from the low expectations all around hold for her. Actor Greta Gerwig's first effort as director is a breakout hit. 14A

Monday 16 Apr 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Rebels On Pointe
After the Stonewall Riots in 1994, in the heart of Manhattan's Meatpacking District a dance troupe was formed. Since then, all-male drag troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo have been delighting audiences around the world, performing, among other things, Swan Lake as Tchaikovsky never imagined it in his wildest dreams. In size 11 toe shoes, the Trocs send up the high art and formality of classical ballet, fashioning a spectacle that is entertaining as hell in the process. By Montreal based filmmaker Bobbi Jo Hart PG

Monday 23 Apr 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
I, Tonya
A favourite pick of mine from last year's crop. There's lots of rough language and domestic violence but a wonderful, unique screenplay and brilliant performances. Tonya was a (another) spirited girl, written off by the skating community as trailer trash, couldn't get a break even though her skating was brilliant. Add a determined but destructive mother and a few other misguided people trying to help her. Here is at least a version of 'the incident', the attack on Tonya's teammate, Nancy Carrigan, before the '94 Olympics. But every story has a many versions. Tuck into this absorbing, well told story. 14A - shades of Slumdog Millionaire and Bernie. 14A