Monday 5 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list|
The Vic High R&B Band goes to Detroit, Home of R&B and is mentored by Martha Reeves, the Motown legend of Martha and the Vandellas (Dancing in the Street, (Love is Like a) Heat Wave, What's Going On, Quicksand, and Tears of a Clown - all featured in the film). One year later, the band get a chance to back-up Martha when she performs at the Victoria International Jazz Festival. This delightful, homegrown documentary mixes cinema verite, performance and interview footage to build a story about dreams and how young musicians can be profoundly influenced by their mentors and teachers. Donations will go to the Vic High Band Program.
Monday 12 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Crimes and Misdemeanors
In two separate stories of adultery; a New York doctor (Martin Landau) resorts to desperate measures to cover up his long-term adulterous affair. An unhappily married documentary filmmaker (Woody Allen) fights an adulterous temptation while making his latest documentary on a TV producer. One of Allen's most accomplished films - about the interplay between morality and happiness. Touches of humour and high drama. Starring Martin Landau, Mia Farrow, and Woody,pretty much as himself. (he did win Oscars for Best Film, Writing and Screenplay, and Landau – Brest in a Supporting Role. Pg13
Besides a gripping crime drama and some Woody humorous moments, here's lots to think about in this film See You Tube Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1-2 if you're wondering.
Monday 19 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Man Who Planted Trees
Tonight we're all about the environment and how the actions of individuals can change the world in a big way. First, the wonderful animated 30 min story The Man Who Planted Trees follows a man who quietly, persistently goes about reforesting a bleak countryside. One Man, One Cow, One Planet follows a similarly determined New Zealander who is helping farmer in India reclaim their lands health by guiding them back to organic farming.
Partnering with Life Cycles and special guest, traveler and organic farmer, Laurent Guillou.
LifeCycles Fruit Tree Project, a local registered charity, plays a large community role in redistribution of fruit that would otherwise go to waste. Up and picking since 1998, the Victoria Fruit Tree Project, volunteers and a couple of ladders have transformed backyard fruit trees into a valuable source of food for the community. Harvested fruit is redistributed to volunteer pickers, tree- owners food banks and community agencies. To help raise funds, the project retains a portion of the fruit to make value added products with local businesses. In 2008 the project harvested more than 43,351 lbs or 19,705 kgs of fruit and redistributed 14,592 lbs to food banks and community agencies.
Saturday 24 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Cats Of Mirikitani
One homeless story Cats Of Mirikitani with Judy Graves - Vancouver City's Housing Advocate Bruce S. facilitating.
Sunday afternoon 25 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Vancouver and Santa Monica experiences. What can we learn?
Homeless In Paradise with Jody Paterson.
Something To Eat, A Place To Sleep, and Someone Who Gives A Damn With filmmaker Les Merson photographer Ken Villeneuve and subject Gloria.
Tent City and housing options, slide presentation about local tent city (Peter Rockwell- photographer and Chris Johnson) and what we can glean from Portland Oregon's Dignity Village's Tent Cities Toolkit and The Mayor of Tent City (Toronto's disbanded experiment). We'll refer to StreetCity, shipping containers, Stop Gap Housing - construction mobiles, etc.
Sunday evening 25 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Downtown Dawgs with Calgary filmmaker Mike Scullion via telephone Q&A (his brother Kevin is also filmmaker and one of the coaches). Bruce S. facilitating.
Monday evening 26 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Something To Eat, A Place To Sleep, And Someone Who Gives A Damn
Q&A with Judy Graves, Vancouver City's Housing Advocate, and filmmaker Les Merson.
Monday afternoon 26 Jan 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Last Call At The Gladstone Hotel
The short film Hollow and Last Call At The Gladstone Hotel with the filmmakers by phone from Toronto.
It's a story that would take more than five years to see to completion [and win a Gemini], with all the main characters firmly in place - from the developers who buy the hotel to the staff who have been around for decades to the low-income residents who worry they will be forced to find new affordable places to live and finally to the new owners who try to make the best out of a very difficult situation.
The Gladstone Hotel was built in 1889, and is the oldest continuously operating hotel in Toronto. Now a cool urban hotel and an arts destination in the city, it used to be flophouse, home to people who couldn't afford to live elsewhere, including an ex-bag lady named Maryanne.
Monday 2 Feb 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Lydia, an overweight sales clerk, nearing 30, is still struggling with feelings about her body and its place in the world. Darcy, a recovering-anorexic in her mid-20s, has the same issues from a different perspective, is introduced to Lydia and they begin a friendship. Then Lydia gets involved in a sexual relationship with Bob, an overweight man. Stirred emotionally by this new romance, Lydia asks her new friend for anorexia lessons. When Darcy lets Lydia inside her secret inner world, it forces both women to confront buried feelings about their bodies.
Monday 9 Feb 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
A young Bangladeshi woman arrives in 1980s London for an arranged marriage and a new life. Trapped within the four walls of her flat and in a loveless marriage she fears her soul is quietly dying. Nazneen struggles to accept her lifestyle but she soon discovers that life cannot be avoided - and is forced to confront it the day that the hotheaded young Karim comes knocking at her door.
Monday 16 Feb 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Michael Moore on the spit - what a switch! Did you ever wonder how the world's biggest documentary hero stands up to close scrutiny? This Canadian crew followed up their curiosity, even used some of his tactics, and came up with an intriguing portrait of a paranoid superstar, a "crusader for truth", riding the razor blade of hypocrisy.
These are major gaffs from a guy who is attempting to show hypocrisy in others....
Continuity: The speech that Moore claims/shows then NRA president Charlton Heston giving in Colorado is actually several speeches edited into one. Note how Heston's clothing changes between cuts during this speech.
Factual error: After the shooting of Kayla Rolland at Mt. Morris, MI, just north of Flint, Michael Moore says "Just as he did after the Columbine shooting, [NRA President] Charlton Heston showed up in Flint, to have a big pro-gun rally" When in fact Heston's speech was given at a "get out the vote" rally in Flint, which was held when elections rolled by some eight months after the shooting (Feb 29 vs Oct 17) In fact, then-presidential candidate George W. Bush, then Vice-President Al Gore, civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, and Moore himself all spoke at the rally.
Continuity: After interviewing Charlton Heston and as he is leaving Heston's property, Michael Moore tries to show him the picture of a little girl that was killed by her 6 year old classmate. Heston walks away but Moore keeps shouting back to him. The scene keeps jumping back and forth between a wide shot behind Moore looking into Heston's yard, an a very close up shot of Moore as he is yelling with the picture to show Heston. Moore claims both angles were taken simultaneously with two cameras. However, neither camera is visible in the shots. This is impossible. In the wide shots, there is no place that the close up camera could have been hidden. Due to the plants, etc. obstructing the view, the close up camera had to be a few feet in front of Moore at most and thus would have been visible in the side angle shots. [remember Broadcast News? That film revolved around questioning the morality of this kind of reportage 'manipulation' - B]
Factual error: Moore states when talking about Canada that, "13 % of the country is Non-White, so the Canadians are pretty much like us". He uses that figure while trying to figure why the deaths caused with guns is so high in the US compared to other countries. Problem is the US, as of the last census (2000), was nearly 25% "Non-White". Now 13 and 25 percent don't seem that far away but not only is the US percentage almost double Canada's "non-White" population, but that 25% equates to over 70 million people in the US over two times the entire population of Canada (which as of their last census was 32 million).
Monday 23 Feb 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Autorickshaw driver Amal is content with the small but vital role of driving customers around New Delhi as quickly and safely as possible. But his sense of duty is tested by an eccentric, aging billionaire, who bequeaths him his entire estate. To claim the inheritance Amal struggles with duty and wealth are threatened by all those around him - an injured beggar girl, a lovely merchant and the danger of upper-caste friends and siblings, all seeking to claim their share.
Monday 2 Mar 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Here is some fun. An elaborate setup, too complicated to describe, involving a look into the world of folks that haven't quite settled into the afterlife - New York City is apparently full of them - and prickly dentist who really doesn't like people. Well, of course the prickly dentist softens up, but it's the telling of the story that makes all the difference. And this one is a treat!
Monday 9 Mar 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Bella Coola To Berlin
In 1885, a Norwegian artifact collector named Fillip Jacobsen to travelled to our coast to find a group of Indians to perform in his zoo in Hamburg and in other cities in Germany. A group of nine Bella Coola Indians who were looking for work, and they took the job performing their traditional dances in Germany. Their contract required them to exhibited themselves before the public in the performance of Indian games, the use of bows and arrows, singing and dancing, speaking and otherwise in showing the habits, manners and customs of the Indians to the curious Europeans. Here's the strange story of their year away, thoughtfully told, creatively reconstructed from archival documents, combined with present day interviews from Germany and Bella Coola. Presented by filmmaker Barbarah Hagar, also director and producer of The New Canoe and director of her recent MM hit, Motown High.
Monday 16 Mar 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
NFB's BC Premiere screening of this film The Strangest Dream tells the story of Joseph Rotblat, the history of nuclear weapons and the efforts of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs - which he co-founded - to halt nuclear proliferation. Nuclear physicist Joseph Rotblat was branded a traitor and spy after walking away from the Manhattan Project, builders of the first atomic bomb. But, with Bertrand Russell, he went on to help create the modern peace movement, and eventually to win the Nobel Peace Prize. We'll have a panel of people to share their thoughts on this film. Movie Monday is pleased to partner with The Canadian Pugwash Group, and Canadian Student Young Pugwash to present this event. With special thanks to The National Film Board of Canada.
Monday 23 Mar 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
World's Fastest Indian
This story is a film based on the legendary New Zealand speed bike racer Burt Munro and his highly modified Indian 'Scout' motorcycle. Munro set numerous land speed records for motorcycles with engines less than 1000 cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. Many of his records still stand to this day. Burt's a real guy. Anthony Hopkins plays him in this biopic, apparently very true to his gregarious, resourceful self, and true to the odyssey Burt travelled to get to his Salt Flats destination from New Zealand with almost no money and threatening health problems. (a nitroglycerine for himself, maybe two, and one in the tank of his motor cycle. I was reminded of this charming film by a mechanic in town, who did a lot of work on my car this winter, who loved the film.
Monday 30 Mar 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Man On Wire
"On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York's twin towers, then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, and brought to jail before he was finally released. James Marsh's documentary brings Petit's extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of Philippe himself, and some of the co-conspirators who helped him create the unique and magnificent spectacle that became known as "the artistic crime of the century."
It's the telling of this story that is so extraordinary. This is a masterpiece! It won Grand Jury prize at Sundance 2008, in February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film. It is nominated for Best Documentary Film at the 81st Academy Awards as well as many others.
Monday 6 Apr 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
This is a boxing scenario - but Rocky this one ain't. It's more like Paul Newman's wonderful film and MM fave, Nobody's Fool - just a guy in his later years trying to find himself, figuring out what's important. In fact he's the same kind of knock-about construction guy that Newman played but does a little boxing coaching on the side. It stars Adam Carolla. It's his film - he wrote, directed, and stars in it with his real life sidekick/buddy, and it is pretty much him; boxing and construction guy (he built the gym in the film years ago and coached there) and gentle, slow talkin' giant - but without his radio personality career, now blogmeister, thrown in. It won the Audience Award at Vic Film Fest in 2008.
Monday 13 Apr 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Mad City Chickens
Witness if you will Gallus Domesticus... the backyard chicken. A mere few pounds of feather, bone, and muscle; a creature regarded by many as a rather humorous, though not so intelligent agent of food production. And yet make note of a most singular phenomenon now taking shape across suburb and city. From backyard eggs to the family's new favorite pet, the urban chicken is forging a fresh place in the pecking order of human importance.
Mad City Chickens deftly weaves multiple stories and contextual issues on city chickens and their keepers in a non-linear fashion that one rarely sees in a documentary. From leading experts to urban newbies, experience the humor and heart of what's fast becoming an international backyard chicken movement.
Monday 20 Apr 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Street City is a compelling verité feature documentary about life in an experimental housing project for homeless people on Toronto's downtown east side. Award-winning filmmaker Bay Weyman interweaves events in the lives of StreetCity residents over a period of six months, to explore a microcosm of the homeless world. Most of all, the film relates to the homeless as real people. StreetCity lets residents tell their own stories of hope, struggle and resignation, creating a very personal, often humorous, yet disturbing portrait of homeless society. The project has morphed to a larger, again converted industrial building, specially retrofitted for the purpose. It's called Strachan House. We'll have an update and consider the feasibility for our city of a social experiment of this nature. We'll have guests and discussion.
Patricia Mueller, Executive Director of Homes First and Deena Nelson, Manager of Strachan House (the next generation of Street City) will be calling in from Toronto!
Monday 27 Apr 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
A new National Film Board of Canada production about Harvard trained Theologian, Stephen Jenkinson's work with dying people. One of Canada's leading palliative care teachers, Stephen is revolutionizing the way dying and death are known and done in North America. In this feature documentary portrait of this extraordinary individual, we meet three dying people he is advising while we encounter his unique view of the end of life. His life's mission is to change the way we look at death through a new kind of compassion, from a wretched anxiety and an existential terror to something closer to befriending death, learning the skill of grief and dying extravagantly. Framed by the filmmaker, Tim Wilson, wrestling with his denial of his own death as he nearly succumbs to a sudden illness, and later his having to face the death of someone very close to him.
Beautifully using the imagery of impermanent nature, Wilson documents Jenkinson's work with the dying while challenging him to explain how "death is the cradle of your love of life."
It's a piece that will provoke thought and discussion about a topic that most of us avoid.
Monday 4 May 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Hearing [our] Voices
This six year long Participatory Action Research Project resulted in working with a group of Consumers of mental health services, not as consultants or subjects of a study, but as researcher themselves exploring topics they felt most important, housing and the relationship between them and service providers and caregivers. The result, as the prof assisting them is in the Faculty of Communication & Culture with and interest in out-of-the-usual way of disseminating the information, is a huge mural that will fill our lobby, a booklet version of the mural, a 29 min video and a crew who can ably inform the “system” from the inside of their lived experience of schizophrenia what's good and what they would like to see improve.
Monday 11 May 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
This just in: Shunned when it first came out in 1987, this comedy starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty is now found to be great fun! Two really poor songwriters get mixed up in a nefarious plot when they go to 'break into the business' in North Africa. "The big-budget film (50 million dollars) remains as one of the all-time box office bombs. Though it might serve as a perverse delight for those who take pleasure in seeing a film that was not intended to be bad turn out so unforgivably bad. Its appeal is as a timeless oddity is almost assured with the advent of cable TV as a graveyard spot to catch it from time to time and see if it's as bad as most critics think." (it's not!) Give it a try....22 years is too long to have missed seeing this gem!
Monday 18 May 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Last Chance Harvey
Harvey Shine (Hoffman) is a musician nearing the end of his career, who travels from America to London for the wedding of his daughter and, quite by chance, connects with lonely Kate, (Thompson). The result is an unexpected romance.
This is a very small film, and the basic plot is extremely familiar. Luckily, two wonderful actors give the material distinction.
Monday 25 May 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Shooting Indians – A Journey With Jeffery Thomas
As well a a novel exploration of the ethics of Curtis' record reflected in a modern aboriginal photographer's eyes, I found it extraordinary that toward the end of the film they visit a dear little, elderly lady who played the princess in the 1914 film In The Land Of The Headhunters, the one you may have seen in the Royal BC Museum Exhibit - B
Monday 1 Jun 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Bolt, an American White Shepherd, has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets a female alley cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino. Along the way, he learns that he doesn't have superpowers and that the show is not real.
Monday 8 Jun 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
That's My Time
Irwin Barker is one of Canada's best-loved comedy writers and stand up comedians. These days, living in Toronto, Irwin is working up new material. It may be the most hilarious and fulfilling writing of his life. And it may also be his last. Irwin Barker is diagnosed with terminal cancer. ""That's My Time" is an amazing one hour documentary that chronicles Irwin's journey with cancer, and his determination that he will "find the funny" in what is for most of us the least funny predicament imaginable. The journey culminates in a comedy fest to celebrate his prognosis "due date", an event that he hopes to redux this June.
Monday 15 Jun 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Cubers a new documentary from Nova Scotia, but a world-wide look at the geeks who take cubing extremely seriously. This film does for Rubik's Cube what Spellbound did for the spelling bee. People who can solve the puzzle in under a minute! Blindfolded!! Under 10 seconds!!!
Free popcorn if you can do it under 5 minutes.
Monday 22 Jun 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Milk charts the last eight years of Harvey Milk's life. While living in New York City, Milk and his lover Scott Smith relocate to San Francisco, where they found a small business in the heart of a working-class neighborhood. Milk surprises Scott and himself by becoming an outspoken agent for change by plunging headfirst into the choppy waters of politics. Elected supervisor, he tries to coordinate his efforts with those of another newly elected supervisor but their political agendas increasingly diverge and their personal destinies tragically converge. Milk's platform was and is one of hope – a hero's legacy that resonates in the here and now.
cast: Sean Penn, Emile Hirsch, Josh Brolin, Diego Luna, James FrancoI'm very pleased to announce that Wayne Cho, Cross Canada Runner for Depression and Anxiety and all round inspiring guy, will join us for a brief presentation before our feature film MILK. A good fit I think, as Harvey Milk was a ground breaker about Gay acceptance and openness. Wayne is bringing attention to mental health recovery and reducing the stigma that so often keeps people from getting help.
Wayne has carried an inspiring message through communities all across the country, from Cape Spear, Nfld. to Victoria's Mile 0, over 8000 km through rain and snow, summer heat and 40 below temperatures.
He started in May 2008 accomplished his goal last week, June 11. He's impressed with Victoria (as we are with him), enjoying a break in his regime and some adulation for the accomplishment, before heading off North to the Yukon. His planning on settling here and collaborating to develop a Marathon For Mental Health project. Great idea, and he's the man to do it!
Monday 29 Jun 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Slumdog Millionaire plus Goonda
My favourite film from 2008! The story of Jamal Malik, an 18 year-old orphan from the slums of Mumbai, who is about to experience the biggest day of his life. With the whole nation watching, he is just one question away from winning a staggering 20 million rupees on India's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" But when the show breaks for the night, police arrest him on suspicion of cheating; how could a street kid know so much? Desperate to prove his innocence, Jamal tells the story of his life in the slum where he and his brother grew up, of their adventures together on the road, of vicious encounters with local gangs, and of Latika, the girl he loved and lost.
cast: Dev Patel, Anil Kapoor, Saurabh Shukla, Rajendranath Zutshi, Jeneva TalwarGoonda Nanjunda and his friends live on the streets of Mysore, South India where they quickly learn loyalty, ferocity and to steal joy where possible. A bitter-sweet look at street kids in India.
Monday 6 Jul 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Chris and Don A Love Story & The Chosen Family
The true-life story of the passionate three-decade relationship between British writer Christopher Isherwood and American portrait painter Don Bachardy, thirty years his junior. From Isherwood's Kit-Kat-Club years in Weimar-era Germany to the couple's first meeting on the sun-kissed beaches of 1950s Malibu, their against-all-odds saga is brought to dazzling life by a treasure trove of multimedia. Bachardy's contemporary reminiscences artfully interact with archival footage, rare home movies, reenactments, and, most sweetly, whimsical animations based on the cat-and-horse cartoons the pair used in their personal correspondence. With Isherwood's status as an out-and-proud gay maverick, and Bachardy's eventual artistic triumph away from the considerable shadow of his life partner, Chris & Don: A Love Story is above all a joyful celebration of a most extraordinary couple.
cast: Don Bachardy, John Boorman, Leslie Caron, Charlie Gordon, Christopher Isherwood, Jack Larson, Liza Minnelliplus: The Chosen Family by Victoria filmmaker. Margaret is the target of multiple familial comings-out.
Monday 13 Jul 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Instead of hunkering down to face brutal treatment for cancer our protagonist chooses to leave family and home behind and to head out on his motorcycle across Canada. He meets interesting people and encounters many giant things (we have a remarkable number of over sized hockey sticks, nickels, geese, wigwams, and deck chairs etc). A great Canadian road movie with terrific soundtrack, this film really grows on you. Pg
cast: Joshua Jackson, Liane Balaban, Campbell Scott, Fiona Reid, Chuck Shamata
Monday 20 Jul 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
30 YEARS, kids! Here's the Summer Camp experience you never had - with Bill Murray in his prime (and his first starring part) as a zany yet inspiring and empathetic as the camp counsellor. Brought to attention by my 29 year old son, "a fun kids' film heralding the summer (as in its maddening theme song 'are you ready for the summer?')... it has scene after scene of Bill Murray as head counsellor being charming and hilarious, and bonding with this lonely camper in a touching way. Give it a try perhaps, it might tickle you." It did.
cast: Bill Murray, Tripper Harrison, Harvey Atkin, Kate Lynch, Russ Banham, Kristine DeBell
Monday 27 Jul 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Post-WWII Germany: Nearly a decade after his affair with an older woman came to a mysterious end, law student Michael Berg re-encounters his former lover as she defends herself in a war-crime trial. Not a perfect movie but a totally engaging look into post Holocaust angst and human nature. Kate Winslet (Best Actress Oscar) and newcomer David Kross.
cast: Ralph Fiennes, Jeanette Hain, David Kross, Kate Winslet, Susanne Lothar
Monday 3 Aug 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Immortal Beaver & Crowded At The Bottom
The Immortal Beaver is a look at the history of the Canadian workhorse bush plane and an amazing reconstruction by Sidney BC's Viking Air of a derelict plane from the airplane bone yard near Tucson, Arizona into a spanking 'new' plane. Written by Arwen Hunter.
Also: Crowded At The Bottom - Award Winning Bravo! Blues Documentary about Victoria street/waterfront veteran busker Dave Harris.
Monday 10 Aug 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Sita Sings The Blues
You can watch quirky animated treat on line but as the filmmaker says, "The best way to see Sita Sings the Blues is on a big screen, in a dark room, with other people." Several different styles of animation, cool 20's blues torch songs, Indian mythology, modern day angst, and three shadow puppets narrating the action - this is something different...and fun!
Sita is a goddess separated from her beloved Lord and husband Rama. Nina is an animator whose husband moves to India, then dumps her by email. Three hilarious shadow puppets narrate both ancient tragedy and modern comedy in this beautifully animated interpretation of the Indian epic Ramayana. Set to the 1920's jazz vocals of Annette Hanshaw, Sita Sings the Blues earns its tagline as "the Greatest Break-Up Story Ever Told." PG
Paley comes across a sparkly, bright, passionate person who is truly an artist investigating, through her project, Sita Sings The Blues, freedom for artists to remix and build on others' works. By disregarding the issue of copyright she got to make a brilliant little film instead of backing up many years, requiring lawyers, and mega bucks, before she could create something new. She's broke, perhaps, but artistically fulfilled. She got to create her art and got people to see it broadly worldwide - before it in turn gets remixed by someone else.
Monday 17 Aug 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Women In The Shadows, also: Out Of The Shadow
An NFB distributed documentary about a Metis woman, Christine Welsh, now a professor of Womens Studies at Uvic discovering her hidden identity.
Out of the Shadow: Christine Welsh (part of the Storytellers in Motion series)
Her story is a great model of a person powerfully using the documentary medium to explore her own life and issues of her Metis, Indigenous and Aboriginal peers. Kuper Island: Return To The Healing Circle, The Story Of The Coast Salish Knitters, and the recent Finding Dawn, about the missing women of Downtown Eastside Vancouver and Highway of Tears, are examples of her excellent filmmaking work.
Monday 24 Aug 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jure! (It's Not Me I Swear)
In the summer of '68, Leon comes close to hanging himself accidentally. His mother saves him at the last minute, just like last summer in the pool and like two years ago in the freezer. At ten, Leon has lots of problems and an overly fertile imagination. There is Mom and Dad who are always fighting and those annoying neighbours who get to spend the summer at the beach. And then, there's Lea, the exasperating girl who's always right about everything.
When Mom decides to leave, Léon is prepared to do anything to kill the pain – destroy the neighbours' house, become a professional liar and even, why not, fall in love with Lea. Together, they will overcome the pain of growing up when you feel abandoned.
Perfect Summer viewing, work out that childhood angst!
Monday 31 Aug 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Frost / Nixon
"For three years after being forced from office, Nixon remained silent. But in summer 1977, the steely, cunning former commander-in-chief agreed to sit for one all-inclusive interview to confront the questions of his time in office and the Watergate scandal that ended his presidency. Nixon surprised everyone in selecting Frost as his televised confessor, intending to easily outfox the breezy British showman and secure a place in the hearts and minds of Americans. Likewise, Frost's team harboured doubts about their boss' ability to hold his own. But as cameras rolled, a charged battle of wits resulted. Would Nixon evade questions of his role in one of the nation's greatest disgraces? Or would Frost confound critics and bravely demand accountability from the man who'd built a career out of stonewalling? Over the course of their encounter, each man would reveal his own insecurities, ego and reserves of dignity—ultimately setting aside posturing in a stunning display of unvarnished truth. Frost/Nixon not only re-creates the on-air interview, but the weeks of around-the-world, behind-the-scenes manoeuvring between the two men and their camps as negotiations were struck, deals were made and secrets revealed…all leading to the moment when they would sit facing one another in the court of public opinion."
Directed by Ron Howard with Frank Langella (as Nixon) and Michael Sheen (as Frost) recreating their celebrated stage roles. We'll add a segment of the actual interview for comparison!
Monday 9 Sep 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Drawing From Life
A special event for Suicide Awareness Week with NEED Crisis Line
How do people learn to live rather than to die?
Drawing from Life follows a group therapy workshop for people who have attempted suicide more than once.
A hybrid of vérité documentary and animation, this unusual film's visual metaphors illuminate the thoughts and feelings of its participants. This candid portrayal of twelve people who together, for 20 weeks, take on their fears, their behaviours and their ghosts to move towards life and away from suicide. 30 min with 36 min extras, 2009 Pg with panel discussion.
A collaboration with NEED Crisis Line.
Monday 14 Sep 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
No Bikini: An Evening With Ivan Coyote
A seven year old girl has a glorious summer in swim class, passing as a boy. It's a wonderful minute short film based on an Ivan Coyote story – that in turn inspired this evening's visit by the author to MM.
Ivan will read some of her stories including the one that No Bikini was based on, engage with the audience, and sign some books. Ottawa X Press said "Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture." Currently she's Writer in Residence at the Vancouver Public Library, and working with elders to write their stories and a sought after story teller far and wide.
Monday 21 Sep 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
with filmmakers Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit
This is the touching story of a solitary young killer whale who showed up in Gold River in 2004. He was lonely and befriended people - and life became complicated for the whole community. For three years the filmmakers documented the story.
"Along with breathtaking cinematography, the filmmakers talk about the web of life, interconnectedness and the pitfalls of anthropomorphism. More than anything, they ask us to consider the wall between humans and the natural world" Katherine Monk..
Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit are writers and documentary filmmakers based near Sidney, British Columbia. They specialize in telling stories of the relationships between people and our natural world.
Saving Luna: A whale story
A life does not have to be human to be great.
A film by Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit Mountainside Films Ltd.
Winner of 24 AWARDS from 10 countries and counting! One summer in a fjord called Nootka Sound on the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, a young killer whale whom people call Luna gets separated from his pod. Like us humans, orcas are highly social and depend on their families, but Luna finds himself desperately alone. So he tries to make contact with people. He begs for attention at boats and docks. He looks soulfully into your eyes. He wants to have his tongue rubbed. When you whistle at him, he squeaks and whistles back. He follows you around like a puppy.
People fall in love with him -- a cook on an old freighter, a gruff fisheries officer, an elder and a young man from a First Nations band. But the government decides that being friendly with Luna is bad for him, and tries to keep him and people apart.
This effort becomes hilarious and baffling, because Luna refuses to give up his search for a social life. Policemen arrest people for rubbing Luna's nose. Fines are levied. But humans are social, too. When the government tells people they can't even look at Luna, people still go out to meet him, like smugglers carrying friendship through the dark.
But friendship is complicated, even among humans themselves, and does it work between species? People who love Luna don't agree on how to help him. The fisheries officer wants Luna captured and trucked away to try to force him to connect with his family. The young First Nations man thinks that's disrespectful because his band says Luna is the spirit of a chief. The elder believes Luna is supernatural, the sea's source of wisdom and justice. The ship's cook doesn't know what to do except marvel when she looks in his eyes.
Then conflict comes to Nootka Sound. The government builds a huge net. The First Nations' members bring out their canoes. Then, suddenly, as the two sides start to fight over Luna on the wind-swept water, the young whale has all the friends he wants. As the officer tries to lead Luna into the net, the First Nations elder sings and paddles and tries to lead him away, and Luna plays among the boats like a kid out of school. To Luna this must be great, but in this human conflict above him, someone has to win and someone has to lose, and where will his friends be then?
Nothing goes as planned on Nootka Sound, and the unexpected always happens. Finally even the filmmakers get swept up in events that catch everyone by surprise and challenge the very nature of that special and mysterious bond we humans call friendship.
In the end, Saving Luna explores one of the greatest of mysteries: Who are these lives who share the planet with us humans, and what are the connections between us that we do not yet know?
Monday 28 Sep 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Can'Tswer and Kilimanjaro slide presentation
Ten years after his leukemia diagnosis, Ryan Hendren is a survivor who is reluctant to take risks and move forward with life. The opportunity to take a backpacking trip through the Andes Mountains changes his and his perception of his cancer experience - from one of Survivor to Thriver.
Monday 5 Oct 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Soloist, discussion with Dr John Gray
Special event for Mental Illness Awareness WeekSteve Lopez, a Los Angeles newspaper writer, discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a mentally ill, homeless street musician who possesses extraordinary talent. Although playing a battered violin with two strings, he was once a gifted cellist. Inspired by his story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about Ayers and attempts to do more to help both him and the rest of the underclass of LA have a better life. However, Lopez's good intentions run headlong in the hard realities of the strength of Ayers' personal demons and the larger social injustices facing the homeless.
This new feature film, based on a true story, is an opening for a lively discussion about how we treat our homeless and/or mentally ill citizens. Pg13 some language and drug use. official site, view a trailer and here's what we're up against, check this out only if you want to see some funny - but ignorant guys - talking about this film. Finally here's an amazing 60 Minute piece about the real story.
Our guest, John Gray, PhD has worked as a psychologist clinician and psychiatric hospital director in Saskatchewan. In BC he was an Assistant Executive Director at Riverview Hospital and worked in the Ministry of Health, Mental Health Services for over 20 years. John currently serves on the Victoria and provincial boards of the BC Schizophrenia Society and is a past president of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada. He is lead author of the recently published book "Canadian Mental Health Law and Policy".
cast: Jamie Foxx, Robert Downey Jr.
Monday 12 Oct 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Story Of Anvil
It's probably best to experience this film as a non-metalhead. Anvil is just a simple story of two guys who are dedicated to their dream. They started metal music's ascent but somehow got lost when it became big.
"It might be easy to mistake ANVIL! for a THIS IS SPINAL TAP mockumentary. But despite the snicker-inducing heavy-metal trappings, this is also a warmly human portrait of two men pursuing their creative passions despite Sisyphean odds."
A totally loveable film! Best time I've had in the theatre since Best In Show. R language
Monday 19 Oct 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Keeper Of The Flame
Come celebrate, with The Raging Grannies, the birthday of the man voted "Greatest Canadian", The film: NFB's award winning Keeper Of The Flame. G
"Once a champion boxer, then a fiery preacher, T.C. Douglas got into politics during the 1930s and never looked back. His career as premier of Saskatchewan and leader of the federal New Democratic Party was a rollercoaster ride of victories and defeats. Douglas was a highly principled proponent of social justice; his radical reforms - such as medicare - are now accepted as normal public policy in Canada. The film traces Douglas's fifty-year political career and captures the unique spirit of the man."
Shirley Douglas, Tommy Douglas' daughter, one of Canada's most prominent activists in favor of the publicly-funded health care system over privatized care and mother of three children including Keifer Sutherland will call in to introduce the film.
Monday 26 Oct 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Necessities Of Life
This thoughtful, quiet film was written by a MM Favourite and past guest, Bernard Emond who before working in film was an anthropologist in the North. This story reflects his experience. In the 1950s an Innu man was abruptly detached from his family and way of life to be brought south to a TB clinic. Featuring a touching performance by the lead actor from Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner. In French and Inuktitut with subtitles.
Monday 2 Nov 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Om Shanti Om
The greatest of all Bollywood films, Om Shanti Om bubbles over with elaborate plot; comedy, high romance, ghosts, reincarnation and revenge. It's full of Indian superstars, music and frenetic, imaginative dance numbers, and clocks in at a robust. "Both an homage to and parody of Bollywood, this cinematic feast delivered straight from the heart of the film industry will have you glued to your seats till the end." PG
Monday 9 Nov 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Stone Of Destiny Scotland
With Scots nationalism waning under the weight of Britain's rule, four university students, led by Ian Hamilton, make a dramatic gesture to reawaken their country's pride. Despite having little money and even less experience, they scheme to break into Westminster Abbey in the wee hours and "liberate" that most powerful symbol of Scotland's nationhood - The Stone of Destiny. This latest historical comedy/drama from Vancouver's Charles Martin Smith is a treat! It's close to the true story. PG
Tuesday 10 Nov 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule
What do secrecy, police provocateurs, an assault on democracy and infringements on citizens rights have in common? The Security and Prosperity Partnership.
'You, Me, and the S.P.P: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule' exposes the latest manifestation of a corporate agenda that is undermining the democratic authority of the citizens of North America and threatens the sovereignty of the NAFTA countries through the integration of military, security structures and regulatory regimes.
"Manly has created an extremely thorough introduction to a set of issues that will increasingly affect every Canadian. As the film progressed, I was shocked at my own ignorance about the SPP and TILMA and their implications and I am indebted to this film for the research and revelations it presents." Mark Achbar – Manufacturing Consent, The Corporation.
Monday 16 Nov 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Owning The Slave
OWNING the SLAVE introduces Andy Stringfellow, a Comox Valley local who moved to Canada, leaving behind the United States and the rich African-American culture of the rural south where he was raised. Thirty years later, the only black man in a white town, Andy offers a frank, complex view into the experience of being an outsider.
Because of heart disease, Andy has had to give up his successful career as a clinical counsellor. Determined to continue his personal evolution, he overcomes his lifelong need to keep his inner-self hidden. His journey is about reclaiming oneself from imposed social, political and personal patterns and restrictions.
Andy's spontaneous performances of traditional songs complement original music composed and played by Michel Leblanc.
Saturday 21 November 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Reena Virk Story
A special presentation of this film about bullying and restorative justice (on the cusp of weeks to notice those important topics) with guests Filmmaker Larry Moore and special guests Suman and Manjit Virk
On November 14, 1997, fourteen year old Reena Virk was lured out by her peers, then swarmed, beaten and drowned in the Gorge Waterway in Victoria, B.C. For the last eleven years Reena's parents Suman and Manjit have struggled to make sense of what happened and now share their insights with audiences of all ages in an effort to prevent similar tragedies.
Monday 30 Nov 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Gathering Storm
The Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island is devoted to ensuring the inspiration of this great global statesman, from the last century, will motivate even greater leadership today. Run by volunteers, the society provides events and activities for members and for the general public.
Monday 7 Dec 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
The Living Museum
The Living Museum is an art community in a downsized New York mental institution (Creedmoor Psychiatric Center) where every inch of the 40,000 square foot space is treated like a canvas. The Living Museum illuminates the life and work of artists who are patients and graduates of the Creedmoor. Dr. Janos Marton, charismatic director co-founder and seven of his patients/artists illustrate how it works and how art can be so necessary in the lives of many who are "afflicted " with mental illness.
By Academy Award winning filmmaker Jessica Yu (who transferred the film to DVD just for us!) The project is still, after 15 years, very much alive in NY, as our art programs are threatened. more and also see
"In the Living Museum, people are able to express themselves, to create something worthwhile - it's like going to a job. Karen Schechter, the Director of Community Relations, is part of an administration that is uniquely sensitive to and supportive of the artists in their midst. Recognizing how important an expressive outlet is for the recovery process, art is integrated into rehabilitation at Creedmoor. It is an important part of the treatment plans for both inpatients and outpatients."
Monday 14 Dec 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Julie & Julia
Based on two true stories, Julie & Julia intertwines the lives of two women who, though separated by time and space, are both at loose ends...until they discover that with the right combination of passion, fearlessness and butter, anything is possible. This is a film everybody loves and Merle Streep is brilliant again.
Monday 21 Dec 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music
"In this classic 1969 documentary, the Man in Black is captured at his peak, the first of many in a looming roller-coaster career. Fresh on the heels of his Folsom Prison album, Cash reveals the dark intensity and raw talent that made him a country music star and cultural icon. Director Robert Elfstrom got closer than any other filmmaker to Cash, who is seen performing with his new bride June Carter Cash, in a rare duet with Bob Dylan, playing a prison concert, and behind the scenes with friends, family and being receptive to aspiring young musicians. Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music paints an unforgettable portrait that endures beyond the singer's 2003 death." The film was recently recut by Vancouver based filmmaker Peter Davies, a friend of director Robert Elfstrom. Pg See clip and more
Visit youtube and you'll see a five minute clip of Cash listening attentively to a young Metis musician, all the way from Saskatchewan, Canada, who plays two beautiful songs. He gets a nod to be hooked up with Columbia Records. That endorsement could have been the start of a great career. You’ve got to wonder. The kid is good!
Well, happily, Don Freed 40+ years later lives in Victoria and will be with us to talk about that moment and "the rest of the story".
Monday 28 Dec 2009 alphabetical list chronological list
Never Apologize combines McDowell's personal reminiscences with his readings of pieces written by and about his friend and mentor, Director Lindsay Anderson (IF, O LUCKY MAN). These are brought to life by the actor's often hilarious and moving impressions of not only the provocative Anderson, but also the notables in their circle, including Alan Bates, Bette Davis, John Ford, John Gielgud, Lillian Gish, Richard Harris, Laurence Olivier and Rachel Roberts. We visit a group of colorful personalities and witness the cultural, social and political climate of the period – all through MacDowell's brilliant, sophisicatedly funny monologue. A MM special treat. This is THE film lovers' film! Almost 2 hours of pure joy.