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The Films

2017 Winter Schedule

Jan 11 Little Men
Jan 25 Denial
Feb 08 Moonlight
Feb 22 The Salesman
Mar 08 I, Daniel Blake
Mar 22 After The Storm
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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Jan 11, 2017 LITTLE MEN (85 minutes, PG tomatometer 98)

Little MenWhen 13-year-old Jake's grandfather dies, his family moves from Manhattan back into his father's old Brooklyn home. There, Jake befriends the charismatic Tony, whose single mother Leonor, a dressmaker from Chile, runs the shop downstairs. Soon, Jake's parents -- one, a struggling actor, the other, a psychotherapist -- ask Leonor to sign a new, steeper lease on her store. For Leonor, the proposed new rent is untenable, and a feud ignites between the adults. At first, Jake and Tony don't seem to notice; the two boys, so different on the surface, begin to develop a formative kinship as they discover the pleasures of being young in Brooklyn. Jake aspires to be an artist, while Tony wants to be an actor, and they have dreams of going to the same prestigious arts high school together. But the children can't avoid the problems of their parents forever, and soon enough, the adult conflict intrudes upon the borders of their friendship.

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Jan. 25, 2017 DENIAL (109 minutes PG-13 tomatometer 81)

DenialDenial tells the true story of a legal battle that cut to the heart of the 20th century. Based on Deborah E. Lipstadt's book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier, this film is an absorbing account of a woman's fight for the truth.

David Irving, once a well-regarded military historian, courted controversy when he began citing the pseudoscientific Leuchter report as proof that the Holocaust was a hoax. Lipstadt (Academy Award winner Rachel Weisz) explicitly labelled him a denier in her 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, and he sued her for libel. But since the burden of proof in English libel law lies with the accused, it bizarrely fell to Lipstadt and her legal team to demonstrate that one of the defining events of the century did indeed transpire.

Denial zeroes in on the fascinating specifics of the court case while presenting a wider perspective on the dangers of revisionism. Weisz brings a ferocious tenacity to her portrayal of Lipstadt. And Spall, so often affable in the films of his long-time collaborator Mike Leigh, here epitomizes the banality of evil, playing an iconoclast goaded by newfound media attention. Denial is a gripping reminder that history should never be taken for granted.

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Feb. 8 2017 MOONLIGHT (111 minutes R tomatometer 98)

MoonlightWriter-director Barry Jenkins made waves with his 2008 feature debut Medicine for Melancholy. Not only did it give the hipster-romance-indie genre a much-needed shot of artistic vigour, but — unlike most of those films — it took place in an America where race and class are defining aspects of life. Now, Jenkins' sophomore feature Moonlight makes good on Melancholy's promise. This is an impeccably crafted study of African-American masculinity from a vital creative voice in contemporary cinema.

Though his story is set in Miami, Jenkins shuns the familiar neon-lit aesthetic that the likes of Michael Mann have associated with the Florida hot spot. Instead, he shows a different kind of life, miles away from South Beach, in an area hit by a crack epidemic. It's here that we meet young Chiron.

Bullied at school and beaten down by a harsh home life, Chiron risks becoming a statistic: another black man dominated and ultimately destroyed by the system. Despite his small stature and taciturn nature, Chiron is a survivor, and, as he grows, it becomes clear that his real battle isn't even on the streets. It's an internal one: reckoning with his complex love for his best friend.

Moonlight takes Chiron from childhood to his teens to adulthood, but it absolutely defies coming-of-age conventions. Instead of offering a clear progression of time, Jenkins plunges us into an atmospheric subjectivity, an impressionistic vision of Chiron's psyche in which sensuality, pain, and unhealed wounds take centre stage with staggering power.

Anchored in an unforgettable performance by emerging talent Trevante Rhodes (as the older Chiron), Moonlight explores the human need to feel connected. But although its themes could be called "universal," they are firmly grounded in a specific understanding of African-American experience.

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Feb. 22 2017 THE SALESMAN (125 minutes PG-13)

The Salesman Asghar Farhadi rose to international prominence after his film A Separation won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — the first Iranian film to do so. At Cannes, The Salesman received prizes for Best Actor and Best Screenplay,

Their Tehran apartment block on the brink of collapse, a couple is obliged to move into a shabby nearby flat. Soon an unfriendly visitor comes calling and there is an eruption of violence. Before we can get our bearings, this work of slow-burning suspense has us unnerved and unable to look away. We are locked in a realm of simmering domestic tension elegantly rendered by Iran's modern master Asghar Farhadi.

Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti) are the troubled couple at the centre of The Salesman. Following the story's initial traumatic events, things turn strange and tense between husband and wife. Feeling vengeful and confused, Emad plays detective, while rattled Rana gives him mysteriously mixed signals. Meanwhile, the two are performing as Willy and Linda Loman in an amateur production of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and their onstage roles begin to resonate with their fractured lives in beguiling ways.

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March 8, 2017 I, DANIEL BLAKE (100 minutes PG-13 tomatometer 92)

I, Daniel BlakeFor nearly 50 prolific years Ken Loach has addressed socio-economic issues in Britain and beyond through the working-class heroes who populate his films. His relatable characters, with all their naturalism and sharp edges, leap off the screen as if real people in real, and usually dire, situations.

I, Daniel Blake won the Palme d'Or at Cannes this year, and it is indeed one of Loach's finest explorations of social realism. The eponymous Daniel is an affable, 59-year-old carpenter in Newcastle, fighting to collect his Employment and Support Allowance after falling ill. (Government illogic stipulates that his benefits will be taken away unless he looks for work, yet doctor's orders prevent him from working.) Waiting to sign on at the local Jobcentre, Daniel befriends Katie, a young single mother who is also being shoved around by the vagaries of the system, having just been relocated with her two kids from a London homeless shelter to an affordable council flat up north. A mutually beneficial alliance, and makeshift extended family, is formed.

Loach and his frequent collaborator, screenwriter Paul Laverty, spin a tale that will leave no one unmoved. Working with some of most powerful set pieces he has ever filmed, the director effortlessly builds empathy for two downtrodden people — honest would-be workers navigating a cruel tangle of red tape while trying to steal a happy moment or two.

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March 22, 2016 AFTER THE STORM (117 minutes)

After the StormOn the surface After The Storm is a simple film, a kind look at a loser. Ryota (Hiroshi Abe) is a failed writer, a third-rate detective, and a hardened gambler. As the film’s title seems to suggest, the salient moments of his life have already passed before the beginning of the story.

He won an important literary award when he was young, but his promising career vanished into thin air. Now, his father has died and his wife has left him. He adores his young son, but seems resigned to his position on the sidelines of the boy’s life.

One night, when a typhoon strikes, the broken family is forced to spend the night together at Ryota’s mother’s home. The ensuing interaction that is both bittersweet and tender forms the film’s highlight, allowing Ryota to find a lasting place in the life of his young son.

Great performances here not only from Abe but from Kirin Kiki as Ryota’s mother, who is so funny she steals every scene she is in.

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TBA

Always more to come!

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-updated 2016-12-04