Canada

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CHLOTRUDIS co-presents LA BARRACUDA and LOST IN PARIS at 15th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON

Lost in ParisThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again as a co-presenter as part of the festival’s 15th year.  And we are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women in cinema, both in front of and behind the camera.

A family thriller, Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin’s LA BARRACUDA stars Allison Tolman (Fargo) as Merle, a Texas woman who finds out her dead musician father had another daughter, when the woman appears at her door.  Her appearance, and their shared musical legacy, slowly upends every aspect of Merle’s life, in unexpected ways. | Read more »

Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film presents an exclusive screening of THE SAVER and post-film reception

The SaverJoin Chlotrudis members at Jamaica Plain's Uforge Gallery for this very special screening of Wiebke von Carolsfeld's THE SAVER. | Read more »

Canadian Actress/Musician, Rebecca Jenkins, to be Honored at the 20th Annual Chlotrudis Awards Ceremony.

Rebecca JenkinsChlotrudis will honor Canadian actor/musician Rebecca Jenkins for her work on screen at the 20th annual Chlotrudis Awards ceremony.  Connoisseurs of Canadian film will know Jenkins from her outstanding work in such films as the Chlotrudis-winning MARION BRIDGE, WILBY WONDERFUL, PAST PERFECT, WHOLE NEW THING, or her early roles in BYE BYE BLUES and BOB ROBERTS. | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY sponsors Xavier Dolan’s transgender love story, ‘LAURENCE ANYWAYS’, at PROVINCETOWN FILM FEST

Laurence AnywaysThe CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY FOR INDEPENDENT FILM (CSIF) is pleased to announce its sponsorship of LAURENCE ANYWAYS, at the PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (PIFF), to be held June 19 - 23.   The film will have two screenings, 1:30pm on Thursday 6/20 and 11am on Sunday 6/22, both at the Art House. | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS co-presents Sarah Polley’s STORIES WE TELL at 11th ANNUAL INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON

Stories We TellThe Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film is pleased to join with the INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL OF BOSTON (IFFBoston) once again to co-present a Canadian film as part of the festival’s 11th year.  We are particularly pleased to have the opportunity to co-present another film from acclaimed actor/director Sarah Polley the autobiographical STORIES WE TELL, her documentary directorial debut.   In 2007 Chlotrudis co-presented Polley’s first directorial feature, AWAY FROM HER at the 5th IFFBoston.  | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY HONORS DIRECTOR ATOM EGOYAN AT ANNUAL INDIE FILM AWARD CEREMONY

Atom Egoyan - Photo credit: Sophie Giraud, © Adoration Productions Inc.On Sunday March 18th, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film will honor the legendary Canadian director Atom Egoyan, during its 18th Annual Chlotrudis Awards ceremony at the historic Brattle Theatre.  Mr. Egoyan will be in attendance to accept his special award from Chlotrudis to celebrate his achievements as a filmmaker.  The show begins at 5 pm, and tickets are $20 ($15 for Chlotrudis and Brattle members), and can be purchased online at the Brattle’s website. Chlotrudis is honored to have Mr. Egoyan to Boston to bestow upon him its special Hall of Fame award, and to celebrate his influential and compelling filmography. | Read more »

TRIGGER Premieres at the Bell Lightbox Theater Tonight at TIFF!

Tonight Tracy Wright's final film premieres at theToronto International Film Festival. It's also the premiere of the Bell Lightbox Theater, the new center for the Festival that has been under construction for the past couple of years. Bruce McDonald's TRIGGER tells the story of a rock duo who reunite after their band call it quits, and stars Tracy and another Chlotrudis favorite, Molly Parker. Wish I could be there, but Beth C. is there and will report back to us. We're hoping to screen TRIGGER in Boston sometime, but until then you can enjoy this terrific short but awesome trailer for the film. | Read more »

A great loss...

Tracy WrightThe film world was dealt a great loss recently with the passing of Canadian actor Tracy Wright.  Tracy won the Chlotrudis Career-So-Far Award in 2007 and she was a great supporter of Chlotrudis making lots of friends when she came to  Boston to receive her award.  More, Tracy became a personal friend between her visits to Boston and our visits to Toronto in the past several years.  She was an incredibly special person that touched everyone she met.  She was an amazing actor who specialized is lonely, socially challenged characters, who infused her roles with a depth and power that lifted them above stereotype.  Tracy started her career in fringe theater, and appeared in dozens of Canadian films, including LAST NIGHT, HIGHWAY 61 and MONKEY WARFARE.  She is probably best known below the border fo | Read more »

CHLOTRUDIS SOCIETY SPONSORS QUEBECOIS COMIC DRAMA ‘I KILLED MY MOTHER’ at PROVINCETOWN FILM FEST

I Killed My MotherChlotrudis is pleased to announce its sponsorship of I KILLED MY MOTHER, at the PROVINCETOWN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (PIFF), to be held June 16 - 20.   The film will have two screenings, 7pm on Friday 6/18 and 7pm on Sunday 6/20, both at the Provincetown Theater. | Read more »

TIFF Day 4 - Sunshine and Sex Dolls!

Sunday continued the trend of bright sunshine and balmy weather. After catching a program of short films in the late morning, Scot and I met Bruce to walk west on Queen St. to the Robert Bulger Gallery to attend the Opening Reception for Don McKellar’s art installation, IMAGINARY LOVERS. As we strolled down Queen Street, we serendipitously ran into Gil and Amanda who had arrived the evening before and invited them to come along. After a lengthy and surprisingly warm walk, we arrived at the Gallery (formerly Atom Egoyan’s Camera) and joined the party. Tracy introduced us to her good friend Caroline Gillis, with whom she has worked on stage (most notably the Off Broadway run of Daniel MacIvor’s play, ‘A Beautiful View’). Caroline would be recognizable to fans of ‘Twitch City,’ ‘Slings & Arrows,’ or MONKEY WARFARE. Don’s installation was comprised of a series of short films shot on cell phone featuring women all over the world sending message telling their boyfriends they missed them. Some Chlotrudis members might remember a pair of Don’t films, PHONE CALL FROM AN IMAGINARY GIRLFRIEND: INSTANBUL and PHONE CALL FROM AN IMAGINARY GIRLFRIEND: ANKARRA bookending one of our short film festivals. After complete the two initial films, Don continued to make these shorts during his travels, including stops in Wellington, New Zealand, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Regina and Montreal. The films are strangely touching and haunting, and utilize Don’s trademark humor to good effect. They are visually arresting, despite the limitations of shooting on cell phone. It was great to be able to see them as part of this installation.

The other non-film highlight of the day was my chance to finally meet the delightful Paprika Steen (who as you may recall was scheduled, but unable to attend our Chlotrudis Awards Ceremony earlier this year). I introduced myself after the screening, and she said she’d recognized me in the audience. (She gives a great Q&A!) We spoke for a few moments before she was rushed off, and she invited us to the APPLAUS party (which, if you can believe it, we were too exhausted to attend!) My hope is we are able to bring Paprika to Boston for Chlotrudis sometime in the future. She would be a terrific guest. Congratulations on your outstanding performance Paprika!

And now, on to the reviews!

Short Cuts Canada Programme 2
75 EL CAMINO
director: Sami Khan
THE TRANSLATOR
director: Sonya Di Rienzo
OUT IN THAT DEEP BLUE SEA
director: Kazik Radwanski (pictured right with Guy Maddin)
NIGHT MAYOR
director: Guy Maddin
VOLTA
director: Ryan Mullins
DE MOUVEMENT
director: Richard Kerr
SNOW HIDES THE SHADE OF FIG TREES
director: Samer Najari

Contrary to what you might think, I didn’t elect to see this program of short films because the new Guy Maddin short was featured (although that certainly was an added bonus). I really wanted to see the third film by Kazik Radwanski, Chlotrudis Short Film Festival alum. His debut short film, ASSAULT was a Chlotrudis selection in 2008. I’m always a little wary of the short film programs, because there are usually a couple of gems, and a couple of bombs, with some mediocrity filling out the rest. I am pleased to report that this year’s batch was the best selection of short films that I have seen in Toronto! Sami Khan’s 75 EL CAMINO is a moving film about getting older and the nostalgia of an old car and what it represents. In THE TRANSLATOR, Sonya De Rienzo subtitles the thoughts of various people on a subway ride, including a young couple who find themselves drifting apart. Kazik Radwanski completes his trilogy begun by ASSAULT and followed by PRINCESS MARGARET BLVD. with OUT IN THAT DEEP BLUE SEA, a poignant examination of middle age and the conflict between doing what you need to do and what you want to do. Guy Maddin is wacky and I just love him. In NIGHT MAYOR Guy invents an imaginative history for a real life friend, weaving humor, social commentary and Canadian history into a seamless fantasia. VOLTA by Ryan Mullins, explores the disappearance of the movie theatre, and what that means for a social life in this documentary about a little village in Africa. Richard Kerr’s DE MOUVEMENT is a visual collage of images plucked from historic trailers. The program ended powerfully with Samer Najari’s fantastic portrait of the immigrant experience in the snowy streets of Montreal in the film SNOW HIDES THE SHADE OF FIG TREES.

APPLAUS
director: Martin Pieter Zandvliet (pictured right with Paprika Steen)
cast: Paprika Steen; Michael Falch; Sara-Marie Maltha; Otto Leonardo Steen Rieks; Noel Koch-Søfeldt

In a tour de force performance, Danish actress, and Chlotrudis honoree Paprika Steen unleashes a powerful and fiery performance as an actress recovering from alcoholism. Thea’s addiction led to her divorce and loss of custody of her two young sons. Now on the road to recovery, Thea takes hesitant steps toward being a part of her children’s lives again. Her ex-husband is trying to help, but Thea’s impatience causes her to lash out in frustration, needing things to move more quickly because as she notes, she doesn’t drink anymore. As she feels her life spinning increasingly more out of control, she relies heavily on her caustic wit and biting intelligence. She lashes out in one moment, and then submits to logic and calm the next. It’s exhausting to watch, giving the viewer an idea of what it must be like to live it. The narrative is intercut with scenes of Thea playing Martha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ on stage – scenes of Paprika actually performing the role in Denmark. The juxtaposition allows for insight into Thea’s character, and provides us with a nice twist at the film’s end.

While first time solo director Martin Pieter Zandvliet does a good job keeping things tightly focused on Thea, shooting her in unflattering lighting and in tight close-up as an unforgiving witness, he and his collaborator Anders Frithiof August fare less well with the screenplay, which doesn’t allow for much of a dramatic arc. That said, this film is all about Paprika Steen and her unflinching, exhilarating performance. Awarded the best actress award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, this is a sure contender for a Chlotrudis award if it gets released in the U.S. While I would give Paprika’s performance 5 cats, the film as a whole gets 3 ½ cats.

AIR DOLL
director: Hirokazu Kore-eda
cast: Du-na Bae; Arata; Itsuji Itao

One day an inflatable air doll, a substitute for sexual pleasure, wakes up to find she has a heart. She is self-animated, self-aware, and filled with wonder as she discovers the world around her. On a meandering sojourn around the neighborhood she wanders into a video rental store and gets herself a job, carefully concealing the fact that she, in fact, made of plastic and filled with air. She returns home each night before her owner arrives from work, but soon grows tired of the sexual acts he performs with her and becomes more fascinated by the parade of humanity that she encounters each day; most particularly the young man with whom she works at the video store. Of course, as we all know, along with wonder and delight, life brings sadness, pain and heartbreak. After she accidentally tears a hole in her arm and her true nature is revealed to her co-worker, he hastily tapes her up and re-inflates her with his own breath. It is at this point that she truly learns what it means to be human, as she falls in love with her benefactor. Her further adventures lead her to an elderly man in the park on a respirator, a woman struggling against aging, a little girl and her harried father, and the man who created her.

Kore-eda is a master filmmaker, weaving elements of loneliness and alienation into this charming story about the creation of a new life. In parallel to the air doll’s inflatable nature, we see a series of humans who are empty inside, desperately seeking something to fill the void in their hearts. Duna Bae is magnificent as the innocent experiencing life for the first time. Her large eyes grow wider with each miraculous sight she sees, and she capably conveys the joy, confusion and pain of living with each move she makes. Despite the wacky and somewhat salacious premise, Kore-eda is such a life-affirming personality that you know you’re in for something special. 5 cats.