Feb 18, 2020
Check out what’s playing at Cinematheque in the Now Playing section and purchase advance tickets. Download a PDF copy of the March / April program guide.
Dave Barber, Senior Cinematheque Programmer:
Winnipeg Architecture Foundation E.D. Susan Algie and her team have pulled it off again – another great five day festival of the latest contemporary films on architecture and design… Architecture + Design Film Festival. Susan has built this festival into one of the finest platforms for the latest new films on architectural and design based themes anywhere and sometimes premiering work even before it plays New York. Now in its 9th year, I’m excited to see the new B&W British feature Bait, highly acclaimed as one of the best British films of the year. They’ve also reached out to find new films from Austria, Denmark, Spain, Ireland, Germany and France. And curators Damien Ferland and Marie Lemeunier from the Alliance Française French Film Festival have assembled a terrific selection of new works of French cinema with strong work by women including one of the top films of the year Celine Sciamma’s Portrait of a Lady on Fire and the riveting feature doc Woman which gives voice to 2,000 women from 50 countries.
Like the best multi part TV series on Netflix, 63 Up is the ongoing documentary story of the lives of several individuals in Britain who all agreed to be interviewed about their lives on camera every 7 years starting from the time they were 7 years old. From 7 to 14, 21, 28, 35 and now 63. If you have seen the earlier films over the years we have come to know them as friends – Nick, Neil, Lynn, Jacquelyn…63 Up makes for riveting viewing as the film includes earlier passages from the series episodes when they were 7, 14 and 28 to contrast with how their lives are faring now. It also raises powerful questions about one’s own ability to grow and face the emotional challenges of life.
You also don’t want to miss the latest from Alan Zweig, the Canadian master of getting people to open up about their lives (Vinyl, I Curmudgeon, Hurt) in this case Coppers his remarkable new documentary about retired policemen and women who relate powerful stories about the pressures of the day to day challenge of being a cop. And he will be here to introduce the film and speak about the challenges with a panel of retired cops.
The magical illusion of 3D stretches as far back as the 1830’s when stereoscopic photography was being invented. We’ve selected four features which explore the imaginative range of 3D ranging from William Cameron Menzies (director Invaders from Mars) 1953 classic The Maze – an atmospheric mystery story set in a Scottish castle – a film considered one of the best restorations from the 3D Film Archive to the dreamlike, gorgeous noir story by Chinese director Bi Gan, Long Day’s Journey Into Night – a Wong Kar Wai – like film which concludes with a remarkable 59 minute one take 3D shot. Also playing is the most stunning use of 3D since Wim Wenders’ dance film Pina, about the legendary choreographer Merce Cunningham who worked with Sonic Youth, Radiohead, Roy Lichenstein, Andy Warhol and John Cage. The final 3D film Prototype by Blake Williams (who has a new short film in Berlin this year) has been called the most significant use of 3D since Jean Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language. Focusing on a major storm which struck Galveston, Texas in 1900 the film is a hypnotic, immersive experience.
Finally, east coast filmmaker Nicole Dorsey has created a terrific new feature Black Conflux about Jackie – a teenager in the late 80’s coming to terms with friendship, dating, and emerging womanhood.
Ryan Steel, Cinematheque Box Office & Projection:
I’ve been meaning to check out Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night for some time now so I’m especially excited to get the chance to watch it in the intended 3D presentation. Kiarostami is one of my heros so I’m super stoked to finally see Close-Up on the Cinematheque screen.
Greg Klymkiw, Executive Director:
Two great films, one new, one classic, are my top picks for the latest WFG Cinematheque program. Alan Zweig is, without question, one of the most important Canadian filmmakers in the world. His newest film, Coppers, was a huge hit at TIFF 2019. This is a movie that hits the ground running and never lets up. Zweig delivers a harrowing and moving portrait of retired cops. The horrors these men and women face on a daily basis are simply unparalleled. The film is as compassionate as it is sprinkled with moments of mordant humour. To experience the humanity of policing is unique and original – especially as presented with Zweig’s trademark tough-minded probing. The Maze 3D is a gorgeous 4K restoration of one of the creepiest and most dazzling genre films ever made. William Cameron Menzies was one of the greatest production designers in motion picture history. His art direction in Gone with the Wind was so astonishing and integral to the look of the film that it compelled producer David O. Selznick to invent a whole new credit for Menzies – Production Designer. He was the first person to be credited as such and his work inspired other film artists and created a whole new key creative position in the film industry. As a director, Menzies brought his original production design eye to everything he created, including such groundbreaking works as Things to Come and Invaders from Mars. The Maze 3D will dazzle, mystify and chill you to the bone. Seeing any film he production designed or directed reveals a genuine vision that many have tried to copy, but never match.
David Knipe, Cinematheque Manager of Operations & Special Programming:
This program, I’m beyond thrilled to suggest three new first feature films by female filmmakers: Black Conflux, by Nicole Dorsey, is a mature meditation on self discovery and redemption; Firecrackers, by Jasmin Mozaffari, is a bold and pulsating vision of youth in revolt; For Sama, by Waad Al-Kataeb & Edward Watts, is the most urgent portrait of human perseverance in the face of death that I’ve ever seen.
We’re switching things up on Tuesdays in March/April, scattering Restoration Tuesdays throughout the other days of the week in our new Looking Backwards/Moving Forwards series to better give everyone the opportunity to see these amazing offerings. Fear not, Tuesdays will still be discounted though, with our new Cheapie Tuesdays deal! This program, our 4 restorations aim to open a window on two oft-demonized areas of the world: from Iran, Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-up and The Wind Will Carry Us are poetic ruminations on truth and beauty; two films from Hong Kong and Taiwan, Made in Hong Kong and Taipei Story, grapple with the tumultuous socio-political statuses of these Chinese states.
I’m excited about our new partnered event series with the Good Will Social Club that will see us pairing some fun and underseen 90s films with their Nothin’ Butt 90s dance parties. This series kicks off on March 14 with a new restoration of the whacked-out spin on the Little Red Riding Hood story, Freeway, starring Reese Witherspoon and Kiefer Sutherland. Come to the movie and get free admission to the Good Will’s dance party afterward before 11pm!
Jaimz Asmundson, Cinematheque Programming Director:
In March / April, I’m quite thrilled that we have 3 visiting artists making the trek to Winnipeg to introduce their work! Toronto-based Alan Zweig, the master of personal character-based documentaries, will be at the ‘theque to introduce his new acclaimed film Coppers, an emotional mix of sweet and sour stories from retired police officers. In a special co-presentation with the Gimli Film Festival, Jasmin Mozaffari will be in attendance to introduce her electrifying and impressive debut feature Firecrackers. And in celebration of Canadian Film Day, director Jonathan Culp will be in town to introduce a free screening of his found-footage feature Taking Shelter which assembles odd fragments from 434 films from the wild west of the Canadian Tax Shelter era.
Lastly, I can hardly contain my excitement for our next edition of Cream of the Crap, our bi-monthly celebration of discarded VHS culture, as we will be watching -the- bad film that warped my young mind into bad movie derangement so many years ago – and it’s for my birthday! I have obsessively watched this monstrosity over 100 times and I cannot wait to share it with you in all of it’s wonderfully bad glory. I can promise you the laziest of lazy filmmaking that includes a plot haphazardly stitched together using reused footage and entire scenes from other films, a drunk z-grade action hero, and a walking carpet-creature of some kind that speaks in wonderful gibberish.