By Morgan Cairns
CALGARY — With the dreary winter weather starting to set in, what better way to spend your weekend than in a warm theatre watching world class film? This month, Calgary will be host to four film festivals, plus the second instalment of Doc Soup’s season. Each different in theme, but equal in merit. Here are just a few options for the coming month.
Calgary European Film Festival: Eva Nová (2015) and The Last Bus (2011)
Selected as Slovakia’s entry for Best Foreign Language Film at this years Academy Awards, Eva Nová promises to be a standout. Eva, a former actress and recovering alcoholic, tries desperately to reconnect with her son after abandoning him as a child while battling with her sobriety. Director Marko Škop’s fiction feature debut, this intimate drama is probably best served by Emília Vášáryová’s stunning performance as Eva.
Preceding Eva Nová is the Slovakian short The Last Bus. Bringing Wes Anderson levels of quirkiness, this stop-motion animation follows a group of forest animals who, upon the arrival of hunting season, board a bus to flee to safety.
Screening at the Globe Cinema, Saturday November 12th, at 8 p.m.
Marda Loop Justice Film Festival: Raped (2015)
At 18 years old, director Linda Steinhoff was raped by someone she knew. In an effort to come to terms, and better understand how the system both helps, and hurts, victims of sexual assault, Steinhoff has created her first documentary feature. Including interviews with a convicted rapist, a victim, a lawyer and a psychiatrist, this documentary might make for uneasy viewing, but it only furthers the point of the film; that in order to do something about sexual assault, we first must learn to talk about it.
Screening at River Park Auditorium, Saturday November 19th, at 2:45 p.m.
CUFF Docs: Kate Plays Christine (2016)
Part documentary, part psychological thriller, Kate Plays Christine follows actress Kate Lyn Sheil as she prepares to play the role of Christine Chubbuck, a Florida newscaster who committed suicide on live television in 1974. Christine, the film at the centre of this documentary, takes place in the days leading up to Christine Chubbuck’s on-air suicide, and focuses on her struggles with depression. Given the intense subject matter, Kate must immerse herself in the life and torment of Chubbuck in order to give justice to the role. Sheil’s performance has earned rave reviews, so if you plan on seeing Christine when it comes to theatres, Kate Plays Christine will serve as excellent context for the film, and give you a deeper look into both Chubbuck, and the actress tasked with playing her.
Screening at the Globe Cinema, Friday November 18th, at 6 p.m.
GIRAF Animation Festival: Allegro Non Troppo (1976)
Coined a sort of Fantasia for adults, Bruno Bozzetto’s 1976 classic will be presented as GIRAF’s 2016 retrospective screening. With a mix of live action and surrealist animation, paired with a classical music score, the seven sequences range from comedy to tragedy, and everything in between. With the slew of documentary features screening this month, this throwback film will be a pleasant shake-up in your film schedule.
Prior to that, GIRAF has secured the North American premiere about Allegro Non Troppo’s creator Bruno Bozzetto, fittingly titled: Bozzetto Non Troppo.
Screening at the Globe Cinema, Saturday November 26th, at 5 p.m. (Bozzetto Non Troppo) and 7 p.m. (Allegro Non Troppo)
Doc Soup (December screening): Mr. Gaga (2015)
One of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary choreographers, Ohad Naharin takes centre stage in this Israeli documentary. Eight years in the making, Mr. Gaga is a true testament to the human body, in both its abilities and its limits. What makes this film a must-see is not only its powerful subject, but the opportunity to view performances from some of the most talented dancers in the world, making Mr. Gaga a visual delight on many levels.
Screening at Cineplex Eau Claire, Wednesday December 7th, at 7 p.m.AB, Alberta, Allegro Non Troppo, Calgary European Film Festival, Calgary film, CUFF.Docs, Doc Soup, Eva Nova, GIRAF, Kate Plys Christine, Marda Loop Justice Film Festival, Mr. Gaga, Raped, The Last Bus