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

Monday 30 Apr 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Faces Places
89-year-old Agnés Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33-year-old French photographer and muralist, JR, teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie. Together they travel around villages of France in JR's photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories, and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts, and trains revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. Faces Places documents these heart-warming encounters, as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way. France 89. PG subtitles

Monday 7 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Paddington
Somehow we missed screening this charming animated film when it first came out. Paddington brings a beloved children's character into the 21st century without sacrificing his essential charm, delivering a family-friendly adventure as irresistibly cuddly as its star. A young Peruvian bear travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he meets the kindly Brown family, who offer him a temporary haven. With Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins. Pg

Paddington 2 coming soon!
cast: Tim Downie, Madeleine Worrall, Lottie Steer, Geoffrey Palmer, Theresa Watson

Saturday 12 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Unrest
Jennifer Brea's Sundance award-winning feature documentary is a personal journey from patient to advocate to storyteller. Jennifer is twenty-eight years-old, working on her PhD at Harvard, and months away from marrying the love of her life when a mysterious fever leaves her bedridden. When doctors tell her it’s "all in her head," she picks up her camera as an act of defiance and brings us into a hidden world of millions that medicine abandoned.
In this story of love and loss, newlyweds Jennifer and Omar search for answers as they face unexpected obstacles with great heart. Often confined by her illness to the private space of her bed, Jennifer connects with others around the globe. Like a modern-day Odysseus, she travels by Skype into a forgotten community, crafting intimate portraits of four other families suffering similarly. Jennifer Brea's wonderfully honest and humane portrayal asks us to rethink the stigma around an illness that affects millions. Unrest is a vulnerable and eloquent personal documentary that is sure to hit closer to home than many could imagine. 98min 2017
Refreshments to be served before the film. Stay for the post screening panel Q&A with people who live with ME/FM.
Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), commonly known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or ME/CFS, is a devastating multi-system disease that causes dysfunction of the neurological, immune, endocrine and energy metabolism systems. It often follows an infection and leaves 75% of those affected unable to work and 25% homebound are bedridden. An estimated 15-30 million people worldwide have ME.

Monday 14 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Meet Beau Dick: Maker Of Monsters
Beau Dick was a Kwakwaka’wakw (Alert Bay area First Nation) artist and hereditary chief who died at 61 just last year as this documentary was being finished. In Meet Beau Dick: Maker Of Monsters, directors LaTiesha Ti’si’tla Fazakas and Natalie Boll share an intimate profile of this charismatic man, with a particular focus on his work and his cultural-activist passion. Beau Dick’s remarkable work has been celebrated across the global art scene as vibrant expressions of West Coast Indigenous culture and a sophisticated crossover into the contemporary art world. Dick had an unprecedented ability to tap into the collective memory of his people and breathe new life into age - old traditions. Beau’s celebrity status called attention to the injustices done to his people and the environment. Pg
Meet special guest, Linnea Dick
Linnea Dick, Beau Dick's daughter, is an Indigenous writer, orator & activist, from the Nisga’a & Tsimshian nations on her mother’s side and the Kwakwaka’wakw nation on her father’s side. She became involved in indigenous activism in 2013 with a conviction to create social change and help heal the injustices faced by Indigenous people. Through this work, she began to heal and recognize her purpose in life - to advocate for indigenous youth, culture and sexual assault victims through public speaking and, later, curating. Her late father is one of her greatest inspirations in life, while she continues on her own path in life. Her hope is to inspire others to speak their truths and create a space where they can share their gifts, too.

Monday 21 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Paddington 2
Paddington 2 finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy's hundredth birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber's antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the nefarious thief, played with full gusto by Hugh Grant. G
cast: Michael Gambon, Imelda Staunton, Ben Whishaw, Madeleine Harris, Samuel Joslin

Saturday 26 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
The Unofficial Trial Of Alexandra Morton
Alexandra Morton, a vocal independent biologist turned activist must endure a barrage of questions from industry and government lawyers in a federal inquiry in Canada, the Cohen Commission into the Decline of the Sockeye salmon. Expecting that her years of research into the detrimental effects of open ocean fish farms would find a place in a sea of evidence, she is instead questioned on her qualifications and integrity.
< Here's a courtroom drama as fascinating as any fictional courtroom drama, but this is about the attempt to discredit and muzzle those standing up for our incredibly valuable resource, the salmon. It's a historical event but currently very pertinent to the news breaking about still more problems with in ocean net raising of Atlantic salmon; sea lice, disease transmission, escapement, pollution etc. Our NDP/Green government is currently making critical decisions based on these kinds of inquiry and industry pressure. (Pg?)
Q&A with Scott Renyard, Vancouver-based filmmaker and scientist, with a Masters in Science in Resource Management and Regional Planning from UBC, and long time fish advocate.
And with Alexandra Morton by phone Alexandra Morton is an independent biologist publishing research on the devastating impact of salmon farm disease and sea lice on wild salmon and whales.

Monday 28 May 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Shut Up and Say Something
A big man with a big heart and a very big message. Shane Koyczan is a much celebrated Canadian spoken-word poet. He has touched audiences far and wide with the generous intensity of his live performances, viral animated videos, TED Talks, a libretto for the opera Stickboy and the unforgettable opening ceremonies for the 2010 Olympics where hundreds of new fans came on board the Shane train.In her film “Shut up and Say Something”, Melanie Wood has captured the performer, the young boy who was bullied, the grandson grateful for the love of his Grandmother, the son trying to forgive his father and the man in search of who he really is. PG - Coarse Language. Q&A with Vancouver filmmaker Melanie Wood.

Monday 4 Jun 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Wild Horse Redemption
At a prison in the high desert foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, hardened criminals are taught the training methods of ‘horse whisperers’ and given 90 days to tame wild mustangs taken from the herd that roams government lands. Failure means one more defeat for the inmate; success could save both lives. Most of the inmates who volunteer for this unique rehabilitation program have never ridden a horse before. Can two wild creatures - prisoner and mustang - help each other to a better life? With John Zaritsky, the most colourful filmmaker I know.

Monday 11 Jun 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
All That Jazz
Here's director/choreographer Bob Fosse's outrageous vision based on his own life (and death) story. He details the colourful character of Joe Gideon, a womanizing, drug-using dancer. This is a wild and wonderful screenplay with classic Fosse dance routines, Roy Scheider leading, Jessica Lange as "Angelique", his angel of death and a terrific ensemble of others. Justly nominated for nine Oscars and winning four for Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Costume Design R strong imagery, some nudity
cast: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen

Monday 18 Jun 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
Cannery Row
Cannery Row the film that started this great adventure.
This was the film at a very tentative Movie Monday back on June 14, 1993. Still a favourite, now we are for the first time showing it in a beautiful wide screen DVD version. I love this film for its off-beat, almost surreal setting and colourful characters, based on John Steinbeck stories Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday. The yarn is set in an abandoned sardine cannery with a brooding ocean biologist (Nick Nolte) and a fresh-faced girl (Debra Winger), a novice at the ‘oldest profession', plus a group of creative ne'er-do-wells, and a few thousand frogs. What could possibly go wrong? PG
There's going to be cake!
cast: Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, Audra Lindley, Frank McRae, M. Emmet Walsh

Monday 25 Jun 2018    alphabetical list  chronological list
The S Word
The S Word a collaboration with Connections Place, an International Clubhouse in the making.
A suicide attempt survivor is on a mission to find fellow survivors and document their stories of unguarded courage, insight and humour. She discovers a national community rising to transform personal struggles into action. Pg13 with discussion.
By Lisa Klein, the director of THE S WORD. "As a survivor of both my father's and brother's suicides, I have struggled with the ‘whys' for years, along with the guilt, shame, and confusion that lingers in suicide's wake. I will never know why my dad ended his life. And, nobody talked about my brother. My mother could never bring herself to say the words, "My son killed himself." No mother should have to say that. Ever. There is no more highly charged personal issue for me, and for that reason I am driven to document it and open a much needed conversation. It is time for us to boldly talk about suicide because no family should have to experience that which radiates outward for generations to come."