Best Films to See This August

Monday 31st, July 2017 / 12:00
By Jonathan Lawrence 

Avoid the summer blockbusters and catch some cool indie films instead.

Time and Time and Again
Courtesy of the Esker Foundation, a rather obscure, yet fascinating Icelandic film will be screening at their Inglewood location on August 25.
This brief 45-minute film, Time and Time and Again, is about the life of Icelandic artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson, whose stark, yet poetic imagery has been exhibited all over the world. He is notable for transcending the mundane into the exciting and evocative – a primary theme throughout the film, along with how time and coincidence play a role in everyday human experience. Deep stuff!

The film combines reality with fiction, using selected works by Friðfinnsson as a basis for the narrative. There are several stories within the film to emphasize this theme, one of which entails a pair of twins who were separated at birth. The film’s bio reads as such, according to the Esker Foundation website: “One twin was brought up in the mountains of Iceland and the other below sea level in Amsterdam. Despite their shared genetics and birth date, the different forces of gravity in their environments have caused them to age differently. Equally occupied with exploring the nature of time, the twins are in fact one and the same person, Hreinn Friðfinnsson, in present and past.” This one is sure to cause some headaches, in a good way of course.  

Time and Time and Again will be shown at the Esker Foundation on August 25 at 7:00 p.m. 

The Secret World of Arrietty
The Secret World of Arrietty at first glance seems strangely familiar. Isn’t this the same plot as 1997’s The Borrowers, starring John Goodman? Well, yes, but more specifically, its roots go back to a series of children’s stories from the 1950s (also called The Borrowers)  about a family of four-inch-tall people who live in the walls of a normal sized English house and steal little things here and there. It sounds like having roommates.

Arrietty took this idea and was turned into a beautifully animated film by Studio Ghibli, a Japanese studio also responsible for renowned worldwide successes, such as Spirited AwayMy Neighbor Totoro and Howl’s Moving Castle. The screening will be put on by Quickdraw Animation Society, and an animated short film will precede each of the two screenings. Previous screenings included Ponyo, From Up on Poppy Hill, and future screenings will include Kiki’s Delivery Service and Castle in the Sky.  

The Secret World of Arrietty can be seen at the Globe Cinema on August 19 for a 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. showing.  

Dave Made a Maze
There is really no film like Dave Made a Maze. Combining quirky comedy, innovative practical effects, and stunningly inventive visuals, this film is an absolute must see. Why did Dave make a maze, you ask? Frustrated by a lack of doing anything significant in his career, Dave builds a seemingly innocent, childlike fort constructed of duct tape and cardboard boxes – only to be trapped within its labyrinthian walls. “It’s much bigger on the inside,” Dave explains to his girlfriend, who assembles a rescue squad to save him only to be met with supernatural elements and the wrath of an angry Minotaur. If you haven’t seen this film yet, at least watch the trailer. It alone is vastly entertaining.

Originally seen at the Calgary Underground Film Festival (where it won Best Narrative Feature), Dave Made a Maze is back for two nights in Calgary on August 11 and 12. Don’t miss it! 

Dave Made a Maze will be shown at the Globe Cinema on August 11-12 at 7 p.m.  

Grindhouse Double Feature
A grindhouse referred to a certain kind of theatre that became popular in the 1960s and ‘70s for primarily showing what were called exploitation films; that is,  highly sensational, over-the-top, and generally low-budget. That said, many of these exploitation flicks found a cult following and their stylistic tendencies left a lasting impact. It makes sense, then, that Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino – two directors notable for their frequent homages to cinema of a bygone era – would each create a grindhouse-inspired film and release them as part of a double-feature package in 2007, aptly named Grindhouse. 

The first film is Rodriguez’s Planet Terror, in which Bruce Willis becomes a bloated zombie, a woman has a rocket launcher grafted onto her leg, and Josh Brolin plays Josh Brolin. The second film is Tarantino’s Death Proof, which stars Kurt Russell as a stuntman who drives a “death-proof” stunt car where he can murder his passengers in staged car accidents. You can tell the two directors are good friends. Because grindhouse theaters often showed double features, it’s a fitting presentation and an interesting insight into cinema’s somewhat seedy history. Don’t miss this 10th-anniversary screening of the two films – especially on 35mm.  

Grindhouse will be shown at the Globe Cinema on August 4 at 7 p.m.

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