Film line-up for Spring 2018
22-Mar-18 – DEATH OF STALIN
29-Mar-18 – DAWSON CITY
5-Apr-18 – AVA
12-Apr-18 – ROMANTIC ROAD
19-Apr-18 – FOXTROT
All films start at 7pm at the Paramount Theatre, Victoria street.
See below for more info and film trailers. Tickets
THE DEATH OF STALIN – March 22nd, 7pm
Director: Armando Iannucci. 107 min. R. United Kingdom. Staring: Steve Buscemi, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, and Michael Palin
Armando Iannucci (Veep) directs Jeffrey Tambor, Steve Buscemi, and Andrea Riseborough in this acerbic send-up of the Soviet dictator and the bootlick Ministers who vie for power after his sudden demise
A specialist in black humour whose television and film work includes the scathing political satires The Thick of It, Veep, and the Oscar-nominated In the Loop, Armando Iannucci is in his element with this acerbic send-up of the Soviet Supremo and his band of scheming bootlicks. Deploying a wide range of English-speaking actors with an assortment of accents — Cockney, Brooklyn, Liverpool — Iannucci sends a not-so-subtle message that Stalin and his inner circle were a bunch of arrivistes who wound up at the helm of a Cold War superpower.
The year is 1953. Joseph Stalin (Adrian McLoughlin) seems in hale (albeit paranoid) condition, terrorizing everyone, summarily killing off any suspected dissenters, and keeping even his cronies on edge. That comes to an abrupt halt one morning when the dictator is found belly-up on the floor of his office following a stroke. What follows is Iannucci’s version of hijinks: the plotting and jostling for power by a group of connivers who cowered under their boss. All of the top lackeys are in contention — milquetoast Malenkov (Jeffrey Tambor), wiseguy Khrushchev (Steve Buscemi), bewildered Molotov (Michael Palin), thuggish Zhukov (Jason Isaacs), and depraved Beria (Simon Russell Beale), with Stalin’s drunken son Vasily (Rupert Friend) and jaded daughter Svetlana (Andrea Riseborough) off to the side. They move with the clumsiness of aspirants not up to the job but desperate for it anyway.
Within the burlesque of The Death of Stalin is a timely allegory about venal, unfit leaders and corrupt governance — the kind of comedy that is Iannucci’s specialty. It’s not hard to imagine similar, if less bloody, events unfolding in a different capital today.
DAWSON CITY – March 29th, 7pm
Directed by Bill Morrison. 120 min. PG. US, English.
This meditation on cinema’s past from Decasia director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre true history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896 and became the center of the Canadian Gold Rush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. It was also the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned. The now-famous Dawson City Collection was uncovered in 1978 when a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans. Morrison draws on these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, pairing them with archival footage, interviews, historical photographs, and an enigmatic score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers. Dawson City: Frozen Time depicts the unique history of this Canadian Gold Rush town by chronicling the life cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery, and salvation.
AVA – April 5th, 7pm
Directed by Sadaf Foroughi. 103 min. 14A. Iran/Canada, Farsi w/English Subtitles.
In Tehran, upper-middle-class teen Ava abides by a strict routine of school, violin lessons, and curfew. When Ava’s mistrustful and overprotective mother questions her relationship with a boy — going so far as to consult a gynecologist — Ava is stunned by this violation of privacy. Her tightly controlled environment exacerbates feelings of suffocation and isolation, and further diminishes her trust in the adults who attempt to regulate her life. That her parents, including her sympathetic but powerless father, seem more concerned with social optics than their daughter’s welfare only escalates Ava’s rebellious behaviour, to life-altering effect. Sadaf Foroughi vividly renders her heroine’s internal turmoil while exposing the pervasive impact of her family’s shaming. Each frame is stunningly composed, with scenes that offer a searing social critique while presenting a strong, richly developed female character. With Ava, Foroughi establishes herself as a cinematic force.
ROMANTIC ROAD- April 12th, 7pm
Directed by Oliver McGarvey. 80 min. 14A. Canada, English. Produced by Sharon Stone.
Leading London lawyer and his wife re-define later life by motoring across rural India in their battered 1936 Rolls Royce, falling into company with tea-wallahs and maharajahs, dodging tribal conflicts and battling with border-officials to get to a human rights festival in Bangladesh.
FOXTROT – April 19th, 7pm
Directed by Samuel Maoz 114 min. 14A. Israel, Hebrew, Arabic, German with English Subtitles.
The reported death of an upper-class Israeli couple’s soldier son sparks a series of tragicomically absurd events, in the new film from award-winning filmmaker Samuel Maoz (Lebanon).
Samuel Maoz’s follow-up to his debut feature Lebanon (which won the Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice Film Festival) focuses on upper-class Israeli couple Michael (Lior Ashkenazi) and Dafna (Sarah Adler), who experience gut-wrenching grief when army officials show up at their home to announce the death of their son Jonathan while on duty. Unable to find solace in the well-meaning condolences of their extended family or the empty patriotic platitudes of bureaucrats, Michael spirals into anger, only to subsequently experience one of life’s unfathomable twists — a twist that can only be rivaled by the surreal military experiences of his son. Moving from the grieving parents’ apartment to the remote military post where Jonathan was stationed, Foxtrot shows us precisely how much damage can ensue when young soldiers, barely able to tell their toe from a trigger, experience boredom, privation, and loneliness.