THU MAY 26 – SUN MAY 29
Curated by Kevin Nikkel
* Special Full Series Pass: $50 / $35 members – available for advance purchase through our online store at www.winnipegcinematheque.com.
In 2006, it was announced that the Winnipeg International Airport would be renamed after James Armstrong Richardson, a modern canonization of a pioneer of the early days of flight on the prairies. To mark the occasion this year, a new terminal will be unveiled. What better time to look closer at the history of our skies. As events of the last decade remind us, pilots rise to mythical status as they face moments of crisis and are commemorated for achievements. It is not hard to celebrate with wonder these pilots of the past, regardless of their back-stories–or the discriminating circumstances that existed during their days of triumph. But even the heroes and stories we treasure are worth examining carefully.
What kind of aviation heroes do we make? What kind of heroes are they really? What untold stories are there of heroes of the air and those who remain on the ground? These heroes emerge from the clouds to face a crisis, to face an enemy, and then to face the media. The facts, the stories and the legends eventually become mixed in our memories as they fade into history. This program is a search for our iconic aviators and inventors, ground crews, and rescuers; the stories our skies would tell were they to speak. – Kevin Nikkel
Cinematheque gratefully acknowledges the Richardson Foundation for their support of this program.
We also acknowledge the assistance of the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, the Archives of Manitoba and the National Film Board.
THURSDAY, MAY 26
CAPTAINS OF THE CLOUDS
Dir. Michael Curtiz | 1942 | USA | 114 min.
James Cagney and his daredevil flying buddies enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force thinking that years of dangerous aerial feats have acquainted them with mid-air derring-do. The brash leader gets stuck with a civilian air convoy, but matures quickly when faced with a heroic decision.
FRIDAY, MAY 27
THE KID WHO COULDN’T MISS
Dir. Paul Cowan | 1982 | Canada | 79 min.
The Kid Who Couldn’t Miss combines fiction and reality to tell the story of how William Avery (Billy) Bishop became one of the leading fighter pilots of World War I. By no accounts a biography of Billy Bishop, the film uses a ‘docu-drama’ approach to show how one person goes from being a brash kid from Ontario to Canada’s most decorated military figure.
Also plays with:
Skydive (dir. Heidi Phillips, 2001, Canada, 5 min) – A metaphoric reflection on risk and the faith that it demands.
SATURDAY, MAY 28
BETWEEN HOME AND THE FRONT
Double Heritage (dir. Richard Gilbert, 1959, Canada, 30 min)
Flight 6 (dir. Sydney Newman, 1944, Canada, 10 min)
Wings Parade (dir. Cranfield Cook, 1942, Canada, 20 min)
As Close As Brothers (dir. Jeffrey Riddel, 2010, Canada, 19 min)
STRANGE WINGS: AVIATION FILMS FROM THE NFB
The Defender (dir. Stephen Low, 1988, Canada, 54 min)
Blake (dir. Bill Mason, 1969, Canada, 20 min)
The Balgonie Birdman (dir. Brian Duchscherer, 1991, Canada, 9 min)
SUNDAY, MAY 29
RIVETS AND WINGS
Wings on Her Shoulder (dir. Jane Marsh, 1943, Canada, 10 min)
Rosies of the North (dir. Kelly Saxberg, 1999, Canada, 47 min)
OUR NORTHERN SKIES
History in our Skies (Archival Excerpts, 1930, Canada, 5 min)
Bush Pilot: Reflections on a Canadian Myth (dirs. Norma Bailey & Bob Lower, 1980, Canada, 23 min)
Northlander (dir. Myles & Riel Langlois, 2008, Canada, 53 min)