The best sci-fi movie of the year (sorry Joss!) Ex Machina is a chamber drama about a tech genius lording it out in his private domain, and inviting one of his employees, a brilliant young programmer, to come in and test-run his latest gizmo, an Artificial Intelligence who may just have all the attributes of human-born consciousness. What follows is a fascinating mental chess game in which the programmer belatedly realises he has been cast as a pawn.
Caleb Behn sports a Mohawk and tattoos, hunts moose, and wears a business suit. His father is a devout environmentalist and residential school survivor. His mother is in a senior position in the oil and gas industry. His people, at the epicenter of some of the largest fracking operations on earth, are deeply divided. How does Caleb balance their need for jobs with his sacred duty to defend their territory?
Special Guest and Keynote Speaker: Caleb Behn, star of Fractured Land
"Anyone who can throw a hatchet and sue you is a force to be reckoned with." Meet Caleb Behn, one of the new generation of First Nations leaders, a charismatic and articulate young Dene lawyer grappling with the contradictions between tradition and modernity embodied in his own life by the examples of his mom (an oil and gas executive) and his dad (an environmentalist). Caleb’s dilemma will reverberate with anyone with a conscience.
Volume 3 – The Enchanted One
It’s here that the trilogy is both at its most playful and focused. Having escaped the palace of the king, Scheherazade explores a seaside landscape where she encounters, among others, a “wind genie” and a daft suitor. In this chapter, it’s as if the historical backdrop, the modern world and the disparate modes of storytelling collapse into one another. Movingly and unexpectedly, the last gesture of Arabian Nights is to scale back its scope and provide a disarmingly modest and poignant grace note on which one of contemporary cinema’s new masterpieces can close.
Volume 2 – The Desolate One
The dramatic shifts in tone become even more pronounced with the second film’s slow-tempo opening chapter about an old man on the lam. In “The Tears of the Judge,” a public trial becomes a mockery, with the testimony implicating everyone in attendance. Finally, The Desolate One ends on an exhilarating note, with a supremely entertaining story about a dog named Dixie who’s passed between owners, familiarizing us with the inhabitants of a working-class apartment building.
Miguel Gomes’ (Tabu, Our Beloved Month of August) astonishing three-volume, six-hour epic draws inspiration from the tales of Scheherazade (here played by Crista Alfaiate) and once again uses a fascinating combination of reality and fiction to comment on Portugal’s past, present and future. "There’s Bunuelian satire, lo-fi crime, Brechtian allegory, and high fantasy all in the mix. It’s dizzying stuff… a film that’s moving, sad, exciting, fiery, and funny." Indiewire
Three pack ticket offer available
Given complete and unprecedented access to the treasures of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, this is a major new film about one of the world’s favourite artists.
This film provides viewers with the moving and inspiring experience of seeing Vincent’s iconic masterpieces close-up on the screen and presents new insights and interpretations by specially invited guests including V. Willem van Gogh great grandson of Theo van Gogh and contemporary artist Lachlan Goudie. Vincent’s illuminating letters to his family and friends are brought to life by dramatisation which puts flesh on the bones of new biography. Recent research question the many myths surrounding Vincent’s troubled life.
Phil Grabsky’s latest Exhibition on Film entry captures some of the world’s most famous paintings in stunning high definition as well as interweaving the incredible story of Paul Durand-Ruel and the extraordinary lengths he went to make Impressionism a household name.
Following on from his explorations of Beethoven, Mozart and others, Phil Grabsky investigates the life and work of the great Russian composer. "Told mostly through letters sent by the Polish wunderkind (many to or about the love of his life, britches-wearing novelist Georges Sand), the intensely piano-centred film features astute comments and even better illustrations from the likes of Daniel Barenboim, Lars Vogt, and Leif Ove Andsnes." Ken Eisner, Georgia Straight
Filmmaker in attendance
British documentarian Phil Grabsky followed concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes for four years as he wrestled with Beethoven’s five piano concertos. Concerto is more than a portrait of a famous musician on tour; it is an exploration into Ludwig van Beethoven’s life as revealed by these five masterworks. The relationship between the composer and his world is mirrored by the relationship between the pianist and orchestra in these concertos.
Phil Grabsky will be in attendance.
80 years ago antibiotics revolutionized medicine. Only now are we realizing the potentially catastrophic consequences of these miracle drugs. The question is: have we reached a point where we must save antibiotics to save ourselves?
Documentary followed by panel discussion.
Satirist Sabina Guzzanti’s controversial documentary examines the aftermath of an April 2009 earthquake that devastated the historic city of L’Aquila, the capital of Italy’s wildly beautiful region of Abruzzo. A kind of Italian Michael Moore, Guzzanti shows how the disaster was used by Berlusconi and his cronies for political and financial gain.
Presented by the Circolo Abruzzese