2012-13 Season

Yukon Film Society/Nell Shipman's The Grub-Stake Revisited (2012)

8:00pm, Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$20 Members/Seniors/Students / $25 General Admission
18A | 70 mins | English | B&W

Silent film, new music and Shakespeare from the Yukon!
Purchase your tickets here. Doors open at 7pm.

Calgary Cinematheque is proud to present an innovative silent film, theatre and music production, The Grub-Stake Revisited.

Pre-dating Chaplin's classic film, Goldrush, by two years, Canadian silent screen iconoclast, Nell Shipman’s film Grub-Stake is an extraordinary feminist-adventure melodrama set in the Klondike. An innocent girl (Nell Shipman as Faith Diggs) journeys to the Klondike during the Gold Rush, searching for love and prosperity only to find that greed and villainy rule the day in Dawson City. This special presentation features 11 artists performing live with Nell Shipman's 1923 silent film, with original new music score performed live by the Longest Night Ensemble - and accompanied by six voice-actors who breathe life into the on-screen characters by performing dialogue from re-imagined Shakespearean text. The Artistic Director of The Grub-Stake Revisited and composer of the score is Whitehorse-based filmmaker and composer, Daniel Janke.

This 70 minutes of hilarious and riveting story-telling was commissioned by the Yukon Film Society, and has featured knockout performances at the Vancouver International Film Festival and Metro Cinema in Edmonton.

Don’t miss this special presentation, before it heads out east to Toronto International Film Festival's Bell Lightbox Theatre, and Ottawa’s National Arts Centre! A unique amalgam of film, theatre and music, The Grub-Stake Revisited promises to be the highlight of Calgary Cinematheque’s 2012/13 Season!

"Hip, cool, clever, very funny and extremely cinematic." Charles Wilkinson

Director and Composer: Daniel Janke
Produced by: Andrew Connors for Yukon Film Society
Script: Daniel Janke, Celia McBride, Eric Epstein
The Longest Night Ensemble: Daniel Janke, Jesse Zubot, Peggy Lee, Andrea McColeman, Jordy Walker
With Voices by: Sarah Moore (Faith), Roy Ness (Leroy), Celia McBride, Aaron Janke, Dave Haddock



Andrei Tarkovsky's The Sacrifice aka Offret (1986)

Featuring special introduction by Tarkovsky expert, Trond Trondsen

7:00pm, Thursday, April 18, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW›
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
18A | 142 mins | Swedish,French,English with English subtitles | Colour | 1.66:1 | Digital

The Sacrifice, director Andrei Tarkovsky's (Andrei Rublev, Solaris, The Mirror, and Stalker) final film, begins in Bergmanesque fashion on a small, remote island, where friends and family gather for drama critic Alexander's (Erland Josephson) birthday celebration. The revelry is interrupted by a radio announcement: World War III has begun, and Mankind is only hours away from utter annihilation. Each of the guests reacts differently to the news: the most dramatic response is Alexander's, who promises God that he'll give up everything he holds dear—including his beloved 6-year-old son—if war is averted. Allan Edwall, a local mailman with purported mystical powers, offers to intervene with the Creator on Josephson's behalf. The Sacrifice is so dependent upon its visuals and overall mood that any attempt at a detailed synopsis would be woefully inadequate. The willingness of Tarkovsky's protagonist to forego all his possessions may well have sprung from the cancer-ridden director's awareness that he, too, would soon be giving up everything to face his Maker. The Sacrifice won four awards at the Cannes Film Festival, including the Grand Prix.

-Hal Erickson, Rovi

"It is brilliant and audacious, with one of the most extraordinary final sequences in modern cinema.Peter Bradshaw." -The Guardian


Lina Wertmüller's Seven Beauties (1975)

7:00pm, Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW›
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
18A - Disturbing Content, Sexual Violence | 115 mins | Italian,German with English subtitles | Colour | 1.66:1 | DVD
12:00pm, Saturday, April 6, 2013 w/ 'Film School' lecture & discussion

When the opportunistic Pasqualino deserts the army during World War II, he does just about anything to survive in this black comedy complete with murder, lust and greed. Featuring an additional Film School screening—expand your knowledge as experts lecture on the significance of films that have shaped modern cinema.

Lina Wertmüller (b. 1928) emblazoned her name into the pantheon of Italian cinema with a series of intensely polemical, deeply controversial and wonderfully entertaining films. Among the most politically outspoken and iconoclastic members of the second generation of postwar directors—the direct heirs to the neo-realists—Wertmüller was also one of the first woman directors to be internationally recognized and acclaimed. Armed with a keenly satiric and Rabelaisian humor, Wertmüller reinvented the narrative forms and character types of Italian comedy to create one of the rare examples of a radical, politically galvanized cinema that managed to achieve widespread popularity. Indeed, the fierce invectives against social, cultural and historical inequities at the heart of Wertmüller's mid-1970s masterworks Love and Anarchy, Seven Beauties and Swept Away seemed only to help the films find an appreciative audience, especially in the United States, where they broke box office records for foreign films and even secured Wertmüller an Oscar nomination for Best Director—the very first woman named for this category. -Harvard Film Archive

Wertmüller's grotesque masterpiece takes the Chaplinesque tendency in her work—the melding of the comic and tragic—to its furthest and most dangerous extreme… An international smash hit, Seven Beauties offers a bracing and unexpected reply to Adorno's questioning of the status of post-Auschwitz art and an important corrective to Life is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni's ridiculously overrated and Oscar-nominated sugarcoating of the Holocaust. -Harvard Film Archive

"The movie's absorbing and mysterious. It doesn't explain itself. It presents its funny scenes—Giancarlo Giannini preening himself in the mirror of his own mind, and then unwittingly behaving as a total fool—with the same detachment it uses in scenes of total pessimism. Its virtuoso style, demonstrating once again Miss Wertmüller's mastery of filmmaking, is used to tell us a story that's very opaque, despairing, and bottomless."-Roger Ebert


Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust (2011)

7:00pm, Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
18A | 140 mins | German with English subtitles | Colour | 1.37:1 | DCP

Aleksandr Sokurov's Faust is a version of Goethe's tragedy that won the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice film festival; linking a fictional Faust with three historical figures, each pondering power, destiny, heaven and hell. In this version of the famous tale of a man willing to bargain away his soul, Faust (Johannes Zeiler) is a wise man who has become frustrated with the boundaries of human knowledge. While browsing through a curious pawnshop, Faust encounters a foul moneylender who offers to make the woman he is infatuated with, attracted to him in exchange for his signature a document surrendering ownership of his soul. Faust received its North American premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival, and completes Sokurov’s ‘tetralogy of power’ (along with Moloch 1999, Taurus 2001, and Solntse 2005).

Alexandr Sokurov is a Russian director of avant-garde and independent films that have won him international acclaim. Sokurov's films are characterized by poetic imagery, spiritual allusions, and long takes, and his work is often considered heavily influenced by Andrey Tarkovsky. Notable works include international breakthrough Mother and Son (1997), Russian Ark (2002) famous as the first film completed in a single, unedited 90 min take.

"No wonder Aleksandr Sokurov’s Faust—cranky, wild and visionary—won last year’s Venice Golden Lion. It comes roaring into view, shaking its glorious mane, and by the end has proved that the best way to honour a great original may be to eat it alive." -Nigel Andrews, ft.com

Faust shows Sokurov at the height of his ambition as a filmmaker. Impelled by the same restless curiosity as Rossellini—in his great series of films about philosophers—or the sadly missed Raúl Ruiz—boldly creating new filmic forms to explore art, politics and ideas—Sokurov is surely one of the brightest hopes for believing that cinema can still achieve its full potential as a form of ‘total art’. He himself has often spoken in the past about film as a minor art, subsidiary to the older traditions of literature and painting. But with Faust he has shown cinema capable of—and this may seem blasphemous, or just pretentious—standing alongside Goethe.

As Darren Aronofsky said in Venice: “There are films that change you forever and this is one of them.” -BFI Sight&Sound


Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Hawks and the Sparrows (1966)

7:00pm, Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
91 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.85:1 | Digital
12:00pm, Saturday, March 16, 2013
w/ Guest Film School lecture by Francesca Cadel, Assistant Professor of Italian, University of Calgary.

Originally Uccellacci e Uccellini, The Hawks and the Sparrows was adapted by director Pier Paolo Pasolini from his own novel. Italian comedian Toto plays a dual role, as "himself" and 12th century monk Brother Ciccillo. In modern times, Toto and his son Ninetto Davoli come across a talking crow who insists upon asking them where they're going. The answer, it turns out, is eight centuries into the past, where Toto and Davoli become monks, employed by Francis of Assisi to convert the birds of the world to Christianity. Unfortunately, every sparrow that they win over to God is devoured by a hawk. Back in the present, Toto and Davoli face a similar situation when their landlord threatens them with eviction. After various and sundry misadventures, the two human protagonists, growing weary of the philosophical crow's loquaciousness, eat the bird and move on, prepared to face whatever life brings them without the "help" of their feathered friend. The symbolism in The Hawks and the Sparrows is so obvious as to be funny, which was Pasolini's intention all along. -Hal Erickson, Rovi

"Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Hawks and the Sparrows is a whimsical fantasy about Christianity and Marxism; the question is left open as to whether Pasolini believes in either, or neither." -Roger Ebert


Charles Atlas/Merce Cunningham's Ocean (2011)

7:00pm, Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
100 mins | English | Blu-ray

Charles Atlas' Ocean captures the breathtaking 2008 performances of Merce Cunningham's seminal dance work of the same title. Completed in 1994, Cunningham's 90-minute opus is an homage to composer John Cage and novelist James Joyce. Similarly, Atlas' film serves as an ode to his four-decades-long collaboration with Cunningham, who died in 2009, before the film was finished. Atlas' Ocean celebrates these histories and their relation to the intertwining of video, music and dance.

A seminal figure of the twentieth-century avant-garde, American choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) engaged the boundaries of dance for more than seventy years. Emerging from and expanding upon traditions of theater, classical ballet and modern dance, Cunningham radically rearticulated the semiotics of the dancing body and created a distinctive language that survives him. Throughout his long career, Cunningham collaborated with a number of filmmakers and video artists, including Charles Atlas, on a series of pioneering dance pieces created specifically for the camera. -Electronic Arts Intermix

"The Ocean film, wonderfully, records how Cunningham’s mind moved. It shows the steep walls of the Minnesota quarry, shows the audience arriving, and then shows how the choreography, occurring within such a surround, draws the viewer into its own large and faraway world." -Alastair Macaulay, The New York Times


Roberto Rossellini's Flowers of St. Francis (1950)

7:00pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
83 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.37:1 | 35mm
12:00pm, Saturday, February 23, 2013   
Film School screening with lecture by Dr. Tinu Ruparell, Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary.

The film traces the life of St. Francis, from his embracing of religion to his efforts to establish a harmonious middle ground between life and spirituality. The film dramatizes about a dozen vignettes from the life of St. Francis and his early followers, in a series of unconnected chapters.

In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People’s Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis’s time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment. -Criterion Collection

The Flowers of St. Francis—is a delicate, fascinating hybrid, a film that is self-consciously, almost militantly, naive, and, as such, something of an anomaly in Rossellini’s body of work. Never again would his films attain the directness, simplicity, even purity that is so gloriously on display here, a work poised between the theological and the historical, between the Rossellini who emerged from neorealism into the full-blown spiritual crisis manifested in The Miracle, Stromboli, and Europa ’51, all set in postwar Italy, and the latter-day director whose abiding interest was in the depiction of history. Those later works often took religious subjects, but unlike in Acts of the Apostles, Augustine of Hippo, and The Messiah, Rossellini in The Flowers of St. Francis is less concerned with creating a portrait of a particular historical figure than he is with exploring the nature of spirituality, specifically, of “Franciscanism” itself and its impact on the medieval world. -Peter Brunette, Criterion.com


Hong Sang-soo's In Another Country (2012)

7:00pm, Thursday, January 24, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
PG | 89 mins | Korean with English subtitles | Colour | 2.35:1 | HDCam

The newest 2012 Cannes selection by Korean director Hong Sang-soo (Hahaha, The Day He Arrives, Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Woman on the Beach), features enigmatic French actress Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher, I heart Huckabees, 8 Women, Amour) in a brilliant performance of 3 different women named Anne. Each incarnation of Anne (a filmmaker, an adulteress, and a recent divorcee) meets a cast of reoccurring characters in a sleepy Korean town, including a lover who is ill-fatedly “that kind of man”, in this lighthearted comedy, exploring intimacy, longing, and a man’s inability to learn from his lustful mistakes.

South Korean master Hong Sang-soo endlessly retraces the map of his signature cinema, traversing the same territory again and again to discover new possibilities and nuances. Belying his films’ extraordinary structural intricacy, Hong explores the subtleties of human relationships and the wanderings of the soul with effervescent humor and a nimble sense of play—qualities that are amply on view in his delightful new film In Another Country, which employs a brilliant surrealist conceit to create a radiant elegy to displacement, isolation and longing. -Giovanna Fulvi, TIFF


Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura (1960)

7:00pm, Thursday, January 17, 2013
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
143 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.33:1 | 35mm

12:00pm, Saturday, January 19, 2013
w/ 'Film School' lecture & discussion

In an erotic visual portrait of the indulgent upperclass, a girl disappears during a cruise and the following search evolves into an affair between her lover and best friend.

Winning the Jury Prize at Cannes, L'Avventura brought Antonioni's career to the forefront of European Art cinema and became a turning point in the evolution of cinematic language. Join us to see this masterpiece, on 35mm from the UCLA Film & Television Archives, including a Film School guest lecture preceding the screening on Saturday January 19th
Catcalls greeted its Cannes Film Festival premiere, but filmmakers and critics recognized the artistic importance of Michelangelo Antonioni's experiments with psychologizing film narrative, and L'Avventura was awarded a special Jury Prize. Abandoning the kind of cause-and-effect plot line that might be expected in a film about the search for a missing woman, Antonioni instead sought to examine the barren inner lives of the postwar rich; the "adventure" is in the encounters between characters as they attempt and fail to make emotional connections. Limiting the audience's knowledge of Anna's disappearance to what Sandro and Claudia learn, and depicting screen actions in real time, Antonioni turns viewing the film into a direct experience of the initial excitement over the search and the waning of involvement as the effort becomes fruitless. Antonioni's carefully controlled deep focus widescreen compositions further communicate the characters' existential ennui and psychic disconnection from each other in evocatively barren environments. Bolstered by the Cannes experience, L'Avventura became Antonioni's first worldwide success; released within a year of Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960) and Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1959), L'Avventura helped announce a vital new era in international art cinema. -Lucia Bozzola, Rovi


Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush (1925)

12:00pm, Saturday, December 15, 2012
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$5 Admission for ALL!
Please bring a donation for the Calgary Food Bank
PG | 95 mins | English | B&W | 1.33:1

In Cinematheque’s Christmas Family film, The Tramp goes the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more, in this silent film comedy.

In the Alaska wilderness, the Tramp faces innumerable hardships, and hilarity as he searches for a fortune. From cooking a shoe, to an elaborate see-sawing cabin on the edge of a precipice, Gold Rush is one of the most ambitious comedies of it’s time.


Dardenne Brothers' The Kid with a Bike (2011)

7:00pm, Thursday, November 29, 2012
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
PG | 87 mins | French with English subtitles | Colour | 1.85:1 | Blu-ray

When abandoned by his father, the troubled Cyril obsessively searches for his bicycle—placing his last bit of hope in this symbol of their relationship, in this deeply moving film and Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.

Belgium's Dardenne brothers make movies that remind you the most compelling stories are unfolding right outside your window, rather than in outer space, the distant past or wherever cinema usually takes us. But rather than diminishing the medium, they elevate it, as in The Kid With a Bike, another fest-ready, arthouse-bound neorealist snapshot that subtly echoes virtual soul brother Vittorio de Sica's Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves. The Dardennes' sixth Cannes-born feature, Kid shadows a stormy 11-year-old grappling with the realization that his father doesn't want him, shoring up the helmers' profoundly humanistic, observational approach after the slightly more mainstream Lorna's Silence. -Peter Debruge, Variety

Joon-ho Bong's The Host (2006)

7:00pm, Friday, November 23, 2012
Conoco Philips Theatre, Glenbow Museum 130 9 Ave SE
119 mins | Korean with English subtitles | Colour | 1.85:1

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.


Gavin Miller's Dreamchild (1985)

7:00pm, Friday, November 16, 2012
Conoco Philips Theatre, Glenbow Museum 130 9 Ave SE
94 mins | English | Colour

Exploring the somewhat darker and more mysterious side of the Lewis Carroll's classic book, the movie follows Alice Liddell (the book's inspiration) as an old woman who is haunted by the characters she was once so amused by.


Vittorio de Sica's Umberto D. (1952)

7:00pm, Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
125 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.33:1
12:00pm, Saturday, November 17, 2012
w/ 'Film School' lecture & discussion

This neorealist masterpiece follows an elderly pensioner as he strives to make ends meet during Italy's postwar economic recovery. Featuring an additional Film School screening—expand your knowledge as experts lecture on the significance of films that have shaped modern cinema.

Frequently mentioned on lists of masterpieces of modern cinema, Vittorio De Sica's Umberto D. transforms a simple character study into a painfully poignant drama.

Considered one of the high points of Italian neo-realist cinema, Umberto D. provides the ultimate example of the movement's unadorned, observational style, which emphasizes the reality of events without calling attention to their emotional or dramatic impact. The unschooled, natural performances also contribute to the film's feeling of verisimilitude, particularly the lead performance by non-actor Carlo Battisti. -Judd Blaise, Rotten Tomatoes


Eric C. Kenton's Island of Lost Souls (1932)

7:00pm, Friday, November 9, 2012
Conoco Philips Theatre, Glenbow Museum 130 9 Ave SE
PG | 70 mins | English | B&W | 1.37:1

An obsessed scientist conducts profane experiments in evolution, eventually establishing himself as the self-styled demigod to a race of mutated, half-human abominations.


Tim Burton's Beetlejuice (1988)

7:00pm, Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
92 mins | English | Colour | 1.85:1 | Blu-ray

Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! In Cinematheque’s Halloween screening, a couple of recently deceased ghosts (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house. Complete with Harry Belefonte songs, fantastical sets and costumes, this cartoon surreal cult-classic by director Tim Burton is not to be missed on the big screen!


Federico Fellini's Nights of Cabiria (1957)

7:00pm, Thursday, October 4, 2012
The Plaza Theatre 1133 Kensington Rd NW
$8 Members / $10 Students/Seniors / $12 General Admission
110 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.33:1 | 35mm

12:00pm, Saturday, October 6, 2012
w/ 'Film School' lecture & discussion

In a stunning new 35mm print, this Academy Award winning film is an extraordinary portrait of heartbreak of the streetwalker Cabiria. Featuring an additional Film School screening—expand your knowledge as experts lecture on the significance of films that have shaped modern cinema.

Federico Fellini and Giulietta Masina, the Italian husband-wife team that gave us that haunting film, La Strada, are attempting to haunt us again with a wistful and melancholy picture about a Roman prostitute… Like La Strada and several other of the post-war Italian neo-realistic films, this one is aimed more surely toward the development of a theme than a plot. Its interest is not so much the conflicts that occur in the life of the heroine as the deep, underlying implications of human pathos that the pattern of her life shows. -Bosley Crowther, NYT, 1957


Federico Fellini's 8½ (1963)

9:00pm, Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Centre 1320 5 Ave NW
138 mins | Italian with English subtitles | B&W | 1.85:1 | Blu-ray

Join us at the tennis courts for an outdoor screening of Fellini's 1963 classic, 8½, and a sneak peak for the 2012/13 Calgary Cinematheque Screening Season. Prior to the screening, enjoy the Hillhurst Sunnyside Farmers' Market and HSCA Member and Guest beer and wine garden.

Calgary Cinematheque's 2012-13 screening season will feature bi-monthly screenings out of the Plaza Theatre in Kensington, centered on two themes: World Cinema Critic’s Picks and Post-War Italian Cinema.

    8½ is the first film where Fellini literally loses the plot in favour of the dream-like, this weaves in and out of the memories, fantasies and relationships of celebrated film director Guido Anselmi (Fellini alter-ego Mastroianni), as he is struggles to find inspiration for his latest (science fiction) film. Complex, sexy, endlessly imaginative and boasting moments of magic, this is one of the best films about filmmaking, cinema's greatest evocation of a creative mental block, and perhaps the fullest expression of the term Fellini-esque. -empireonline.com's The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema