Cinematheque Ontario usually has the monopoly on canonical cinematic summer fare in Toronto, as they spend two or three months unspooling a few dozen of the most famous films ever made. But this year the Bloor Cinema is giving them a run for their money, with an equally ambitious—yet markedly different—program of the greatest films of all time. Among the movies playing in 35 mm prints this July: Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Brazil, A Clockwork Orange, Goldfinger, Dr. No, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Loved Me, Dr. Strangelove, Barton Fink, 12 Monkeys, Harold and Maude, E.T., Blade Runner, Amélie, City of Lost Children, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Labyrinth, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid To Ask, Vivre sa vie, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Jules et Jim, Vertigo, Taxi Driver, and The Shining. Although you can pick out a few thematic threads (Lynch, Bond, etc.), it’s really just a Good Movie Festival.
On top of these are worthy second-runners like Son of Rambow, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Speed Racer, Flight of the Red Balloon, Young People Fucking, Indiana Jones and the KotCS, and The Edge of Heaven. Perhaps most thrilling of all, though, is the first Toronto run of Stuck, the based-on-a-true-story horror comedy that was easily one of the best Midnight Madness movies we saw at TIFF last year.
The downside? As of last Tuesday, all of the prices have gone up by a dollar, with members’ matinee tickets now at $5 and evening tickets now at $6. Which keeps it the cheapest theatre in the city (skirting pretty close to Cinematheque’s member, student, and senior price of $6.50), but is still quite a bump, considering that all past increases have been in increments of 50¢. While we suppose it’s worth an extra dollar to keep such a wonderful establishment in operation, we also hope that the quality of the presentation will increase accordingly; in other words, there’s really no longer any excuse for the inconsistently-focused projection or the fact that the new sound system, installed over a year ago, has yet to be properly calibrated, such that dialogue is sometimes difficult to make out.
Photo of the Bloor lobby by Jonathan Goldsbie.