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The Films

2016 Winter Schedule

Jan 06 Trumbo
Jan 20 Brooklyn
Feb 10 Al Purdy Was Here
Feb 24 The Second Mother
Mar 09 Carol
Mar 23 Rams
TBA Always much more coming!

Welcome!

Screening times twice monthly on Wednesdays on what has become a somewhat irregular schedule- check the listings, below; 7:30 p.m., Galaxy Cinema, 1000 Islands Mall, Brockville, Ontario.

The box office opens about 7:00 p.m. Seating is limited (200) and is on a first-come first-served basis, so come early. The ticket price is $9.00 (cash only; exact change is appreciated because that makes sales proceed quickly/smoothly). We are not equipped for debit/credit cards. Any change can be donated to the Brockville food bank.

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The Films

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Trumbo (14A, 134 minutes)

Wed. Jan. 06, 7:30 p.m.

Trumbo A fascinating portrait of one of the most emblematic figures of Hollywood's Golden Age, Trumbo stars Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston as the prolific screenwriter who paid a terrible price for his political convictions.

The author of scripts for such films as Kitty Foyle, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, Dalton Trumbo was among the highest-paid scenarists of his time. He was also among the most unjustly ostracized, one of numerous film artists who saw their careers screech to a halt after being interrogated by the House Un-American Activities Committee about their supposed communist ties. An outspoken member of the so-called Hollywood Ten, Trumbo did in fact identify as communist. Nevertheless, he refused to testify and was cited for contempt of Congress, resulting in a year-long prison sentence and a prominent place on the studios' blacklist. Unable to obtain employment under his own name, Trumbo did some of his finest work pseudonymously throughout the 1950s — even winning an Oscar for The Brave One — until his public crediting for the epics Exodus and Spartacus in 1960 helped bring the blacklist era to an end.

Featuring exceptional performances by Cranston and a remarkable supporting cast — including Diane Lane and Elle Fanning as Trumbo's wife Cleo and daughter Nikola, John Goodman as Trumbo's producer and ally Frank King, and Helen Mirren as notorious gossip columnist Hedda Hopper — Trumbo is a gripping drama that sheds light on one of the darkest chapters in Hollywood history.

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Brooklyn (PG-13, 111 minutes)

Wed. Jan. 20, 7:30 p.m.

Brooklyn This Sundance hit — with its stellar cast including Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson, Jim Broadbent, and Julie Walters — is an exquisitely crafted period piece telling the tale of a young immigrant in a strange new land.

There aren't many opportunities for young women in postwar Ireland, but soft-spoken Eilis Lacey (Ronan) is lucky: America has long been considered the land of opportunity, and when her family makes arrangements with a kindly Brooklyn priest (Broadbent) for her to move there, she jumps at the chance. Set up tentatively in a boarding house and working in a swanky Brooklyn department store, Eilis struggles to find her place — but after meeting Tony (Emory Cohen), a handsome young Italian man with an infectious passion for life, she's filled with the joy of young love and the promise of a future. When a family tragedy brings her back to Ireland, she discovers that her perspective has changed dramatically; facing mounting pressures from those closest to her, Eilis must decide where she is to spend the rest of her life.

Adapted from Colm Tóibín's acclaimed novel, Brooklyn is a story universal in its reach yet personal in the telling. Painting with a luscious colour palette, the film recreates 1950s Brooklyn as a romantic dream — and at the centre of this dream are the captivating performances. Ronan is outstanding, letting us in on every nuance of Eilis' transformation from a lonely young wallflower to a confident adult, and you won't soon forget Cohen as the tough but tender Tony. Brooklyn is a gorgeously realized film about family, memory, and making a new home.

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Al Purdy Was Here (PG, 92 minutes)

Wed. Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.

Al Purdy Was Here An icon of English Canadian letters, the late Al Purdy was equal parts rock star, raconteur, and rabble rouser — in other words, all poet. Coming to prominence in the 1960s alongside a crop of other extraordinary talents (including Irving Layton, Leonard Cohen, George Bowering, Alden Nowlan, Margaret Laurence, Margaret Atwood, and Michael Ondaatje), Purdy scorned the tired tales of rural life that had dominated Canadian literature and set out to create a different language, one that came from the contemporary Canadian experience.

Purdy's impact on Canadian culture has now been lovingly detailed in Brian D. Johnson's fine documentary Al Purdy Was Here, which artfully combines archival footage — including some of Purdy's priceless television appearances, where he played the eccentric contrarian with everyone from Adrienne Clarkson to William F. Buckley, Jr. — with readings and reminiscences from friends and colleagues, as well as performances from such musicians as Bruce Cockburn, Tanya Tagaq, and Sarah Harmer, who set Purdy's words to music.

What emerges is a far more complex portrait of Purdy than was suggested by his public persona as the boisterous lover of booze, brawls, and verse, immortalized in his best-known poem "At the Quinte Hotel." While Johnson does not skimp on anecdotes about Al's delightful debauches, the Purdy he presents is a diligent, hard-working writer, and one of the first in English Canada who was actually able to make a living off his work. Underlying the whole of Johnson's affectionate elegy, and investing it with a sense of urgency, is the realization that the fiercely proud cultural nationalism that Purdy embodied has not been seen in Canada for decades — and perhaps never will be again.

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The Second Mother (PG 112 minutes)

Wed. Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.

The Second Mother After leaving her daughter in a small town in Pernambuco to be raised by relatives, Val spends the next 13 years working as a nanny to Fabinho in São Paulo. She has financial stability but has to live with the guilt of having not raised Jessica herself. As Fabinho’s college entrance exams roll around though, her daughter calls and gives her what seems to be a second chance.

Jessica wants to come to São Paulo to take her college entrance exams as well. Filled with joy as well as apprehension, Val gets ready, with the wholehearted support of her employers, for the long-dreamed moment of being near her daughter again. But when Jessica arrives, cohabitation is not easy. She doesn’t behave in conformity to what is expected of her and starts to create tension inside the household. Everyone will be affected by the girl’s personality and candor. And Val finds herself right in the middle, split between the living room and the kitchen, where she will have to find a new way of facing life.

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Carol (PG, 118 minutes)

Wed. Mar. 09, 7:30 p.m.

Carol In an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s seminal novel The Price of Salt, CAROL follows two women from very different backgrounds who find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her 20s, Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol (Cate Blanchett), an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage. As an immediate connection sparks between them, the innocence of their first encounter dims and their connection deepens. While Carol breaks free from the confines of marriage, her husband (Kyle Chandler) begins to question her competence as a mother as her involvement with Therese and close relationship with her best friend Abby (Sarah Paulson) come to light.

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Rams (R, 93 minutes, subtitles)

Wed. Mar. 23, 7:30 p.m.

Rams Winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year's Cannes festival, Grímur Hákonarson's Rams — a warm, compassionate drama laced with moments of beautifully deadpan comedy — tells the tale of two rival sheep farmers whose decades-long feud is interrupted by an unforeseen event that threatens to destroy centuries of tradition.

Despite the fact that they live on neighbouring farms, Gummi (Sigurdur Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) have not spoken to one another in forty years, their intermittent and grudging communications carried out via letters carried by Kiddi's dog. Their rivalry reaches its height in the valley's annual competition for best ram, which Kiddi has won several times. After once again losing the prize to the boastful, hard-living Kiddi, the stern and solitary Gummi spots a dead sheep in Kiddi's field, and soon begins to notice symptoms of the lethal and highly contagious disease scrapie in his neighbour's flock. Veterinary authorities quickly arrive in the valley and decree drastic measures that may mean disaster for the entire region, and that the two men determine to resist, each in his distinctive way.

With keen observation and gently sardonic humour, Hákonarson offers an understanding yet incisively satirical take on the Icelandic championing of independence and self-reliance, and how those otherwise admirable qualities can turn into isolationism, short-sightedness, and unyielding recalcitrance. Driven by the stellar performances of its two leads, Rams masterfully mixes comedy and heartbreak in its portrait of an ancient, and endangered, way of life.

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TBA

Always more to come!

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-updated 2016-01-20