The Cape Breton Island Film Series operated from January 2003 through December 2013. We had a great run, screening 256 movies in all, including some of the best films of our time.
There are lots of ways to view motion pictures, but for our money, nothing beats the thrill of a theatre crowded with friends united in anticipation of the great movie they are about to see on a big screen. We got to experience that thrill hundreds of times. Thank you for sharing it with us.
Special thanks to: Linda, Kevin, Robbie, Diane, and the entire staff at Empire Sydney. (I hope Cineplex understands how lucky it is to have inherited this crew.) Co-founder Bill Richards. Indefatigable volunteers Susan and Gerald Taylor, Ronnie Keough, Lynda and Terry Casey, Walter Van Veen and Mary Daly, Wayne Connors. Inspiring friends and dedicated helpers Ashley McKenzie and Nelson MacDonald. Our friend and faithful patron Helen McNeil. The ineffable Peggy MacAdam of the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop. Tom Alexander at Mongrel Media. Dean Leland at Empire HQ. Steve Mills, Sadie Richards, Ellen Gushue, Nicole McNeil, and dozens of others who pulled stints at the ticket table, or ferried prints from the bus terminal to the theatre and back. Season pass-holders, you were the glue that held the series together. Thank you all so much.
To the 1,800 others on this list who attended one movie or hundreds, thank you. I miss you already.
Cape Breton Island Film Series
The final film of the Cape Breton Island Film Series for 2013 is FRANCES HA, a comic drama starring Greta Gerwig as a coltish but likeable woman in her late 20s struggling to find her way in New York City.
Directed by Noah Baumbach (THE SQUID AND THE WHALE, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING), who co-wrote it with Gerwig, the film explores what might be called a quarter-life crisis.
Frances is skipping heedlessly through her 20s—an apprentice dance who doesn’t really dance, a New Yorker who doesn’t have an apartment—when she blunders and pratfalls her way up against adulthood.
Adam Driver (GIRLS) has a supporting role, and fans of Lena Dunham will see some parallels with her brilliantly original HBO series.
Gerwig, who has effortless, behind-the-beat verbal timing, also possesses a knack for physical comedy, an enviable ability to obliterate the difference between clumsiness and grace. –New York Times
An alternately beguiling and bruising comedy…. It’s impossible not to fall hard for Greta Gerwig. –Rolling Stone
FRANCES HA screens one time only, 7 p.m., Thursday, at the Cineplex Theatre, 325 Prince Street, Sydney. This is the final movie of the film series’ 2013 season.
This week, the latest film from the celebrated Quebec auteur Denis Côté.
In the opening moments of VIC + FLO See a Bear (French title: Vic + Flo ont vu un ours), Victoria (Pierrette Robitaille) is waiting at a bus stop. We find out later she has just been released from prison, but at this point we only know that she is a weary-looking, but hardly dishevelled, woman of a certain age, pulling a black suitcase behind her.
Victoria is soon joined by her bi-sexual prison pal Florence (Romane Bohringer). The two plan to forge a new life together in the backwoods of Quebec, but tensions soon emerge. The peace and quiet of rural living make Florence antsy. Her wandering eye falls on Victoria’s well-meaning probation officer ( Marc-André Grondin), and on the odd-ball collection of men who hang out at the local bar.
Then a mysterious third woman appears, played by the French actress Marie Brassard.
The result is classic Côté: part dark comedy, part character study, part psychological thriller. The film carries a 14A rating due to one scene of brief but shocking violence as it approaches its surprising conclusion.
Côté once again demonstrates his mastery of teasing out the fascinating in the banal—to unnerving effect. — Vancouver Straight
VIC + FLO SAW A BEAR plays one show only, 7 p.m, Thursday, Nov 21, at the Cineplex Theatre (formerly Empire), 325 Prince Street, Sydney.
This powerfully directed, magnificently acted Danish film involves a man who experiences redemption, only to be laid low by a false accusation. It’s hard to say more than that without spoilers, so I will just list a few of the encomiums reviewers have showered upon it:
Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt conveys the sinister swirl of persecution more vividly than any film I can remember. –Dallas Morning News
Through it all, we see an idyllic-looking community, where glorious fall colors fade into twinkling December snow – a pretty frame for a terrifying story of a modern-day witch hunt. –Seattle Times
Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen delivers an astonishingly restrained and expressive central performance in THE HUNT, an engrossing psycho-social drama by Thomas Vinterberg. –Washington Post
THE HUNT is a merciless examination of the fear and savagery roiling just below the surface of bourgeois life. –NY Times
For his deeply affecting role that haunts the viewer long after the film ends, Mr. Mikkelsen won the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. –New York Observer
THE HUNT offers a powerful, provocative study of mob mentality and the fabric of trust. –Philadelphia Inquirer
THE HUNT plays one show only, 7 p.m, Thursday, Nov 14, at the Empire Theatre, 325 Prince Street, Sydney.