By Morgan Cairns
CALGARY – Ringing in the New Year with temperatures below -30 Celsius, you can bet this January will be a chilly one. So instead of venturing out into this frozen tundra we call home, trade those skis and skates for some popcorn and a warm theatre, and catch some of these cool flicks playing in Calgary this month.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
One of the only two films to be nominated in every eligible category at the Academy Awards (with Elizabeth Taylor bringing home her second trophy for Best actress) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a certified American classic. Based on the play by Edward Albee, this dark comedy follows the turbulent relationship of aging couple George and Martha (played by real-life tumultuous couple, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) as they spend a tense evening with younger couple Nick and Honey (George Segal and Sandy Dennis) The directorial debut of the Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Charlie Wilson’s War), this 1966 film helped take down the Motion Picture Production Code with its then-alarming levels of profanity and sexual innuendo, and is Elizabeth Taylor at her best: hurling insults at Richard Burton.
Calgary Cinematheque presents Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at The Plaza Theatre on January 11 at 6:45 p.m.
The Princess Bride
Sure, I could quote one of the films infamous lines (“My name is Inigo Montoya”, “As you wish”, “Mawage”, take your pick) and then launch into a film synopsis, but if you haven’t seen this 1987 cult classic yet, I’m not going to be the one to persuade you. But what I will say, is that if this film tops the list of your childhood (and, let’s be honest, adulthood) faves, then this Fifth Reel presented shindig will be right up your alley. Hosted by local karaoke-superstar, Beau Barker, and a pre-show by pastel-punk darlings, soft cure, you’ve never seen Westley and Buttercup quite like this.
The Fifth Reel Presents: The Princess Bride feat. soft cure at The Globe Cinema on January 12 at 10:00 p.m.
The 400 Blows
Synonymous with French New Wave cinema, François Truffaut’s 1959 masterpiece will serve as the first installment in Contemporary Calgary’s French Connections film screenings. A tie in to the Contemporary Calgary’s current exhibition, extratextual, The 400 Blows is Truffaut’s semi-autobiographical film about rebellious pre-teen Antoine (the first role of Truffaut’s life-long collaborator, Jean-Pierre Léaud) and his life in 1950’s paris. Lauded as one of the greatest French films of all time, and a noted favourite among directors such as Akira Kurosawa and Luis Buñuel, this chic gallery screening is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The 400 Blows will screen at Contemporary Calgary on January 14 at 2:00 p.m.
An anti-hero and a femme fatale, low lighting and ominous shadows, desperation and deception. All the essential ingredients of a film noir, and all present in the 1944 classic, Double Indemnity. Part of The Globe Cinema’s Film Noir series, in partnership with the Calgary Association of Lifelong Learners, Double Indemnity stars Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis, a housewife who plots to kill her husband, and Fred MacMurray as Walter, the man who’s going to help her. An insurance salesman, Walter helps Phyllis take out a life insurance policy on her husband, including a double indemnity clause in the case of “accidental” death, before killing the poor schmuck. But insurance investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) quickly grows suspicious to their claims, and begins to uncover the truth. Never has insurance fraud looked so sexy.
Double Indemnity will screen at The Globe Cinema on January 23 at 7:00 p.m.
The first installment of The Globe’s new Staff Picks series, resident horror buff Cody Cook’s pick is the 1980 Japanese action flick, Shogun Assassin. Ogami Ittō (also known as ‘The Lone Wolf’) is the Shogun’s executioner. After his wife is murdered, Lone Wolf ( Tomisaburô Wakayama) roams the country with his son, Daigorō, seeking revenge on the Shogun, while also being hunted down by the Shogun’s own assassin (Kayo Matsuo). A violent, action extravaganza, this is a revenge film at its best.
Shogun Assassin will screen at The Globe Cinema on January 27 at 7:00 p.m.
Calgary Cinematheque, Contemporary Calgary, Double Indemnity, Films, Five Films, Shogun Assassin, Soft Cure, The 400 Blows, The Fifth Reel, The Globe Cinema, The Plaza Theatre, The Princess Bride, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?