As a means of rounding up Toronto’s various cinematic goings-on each week, Movie Mondays compiles the best rep cinema and art house screenings, special presentations, lectures, and limited engagements.
Still from Mid-August Lunch courtesy Filmswelike.
Another fine week of film offerings in the city, with the Royal screening a first-run foreign film, and the Bloor keeping its head well above water despite the Toronto Underground Cinema moving onto their “from cult to culture” turf. But the real treat this week is the ’80s Film Fest at the Fox, which sees screenings of John Hughes movies, Robert Zemeckis movies, and even the trippy punk classic Repo Man (not to be confused with that Jude Law movie Repo Men that came out a few months back). With the weather as nice as it is, the ’80s Film Fest is a great reason to make the bike ride out to the Beaches. Unless you live in the Beaches, in which case, well, just walk over there.
The Royal (608 College Street)
Mother’s Day may be a few weeks behind us, but the celebration of maternal tyranny is really a year-round affair. On Friday, The Royal kicks off a week-long engagement of Gianni di Gregorio’s Mid-August Lunch. Based on di Gregorio’s real life, the film follows a middle-aged man (named, appropriately, Gianni) tending to his widowed mother during an Italian holiday. After striking a deal with his condo manager and being tricked by a friend, Gianni finds himself tending to four squabbling elderly women, his patience continually tested as he navigates a nightmarish Golden Girls episode. While Mid-August Lunch marks di Gregorio’s debut feature (he has worked as a writer on a handful of Italian films, including 2008’s mob epic Gomorrah), it has already received heaps of critical praise, including the Best First Film award at the Venice International Film Festival. Some sort of strained food pun is probably in order (“Mid-August Lunch is a cinematic feast for hungry film-goers everywhere!”) but we’ll save you the embarrassment of having to read that. Oh wait…
The Bloor (506 Bloor Street West)
Chris Alexander’s Film School Confidential is back in session on Thursday. This month, Alexander (who recently became the editor-in-chief of venerable horror mag Fangoria) will be shedding some light on Italian goremeister Lucio Fulici’s City of the Living Dead, just in time to coincide with Blue Underground’s DVD and Blu-Ray re-release on May 25. But if your idea of a great time is getting blotto on Pabst Blue Ribbon (or, sure, Heineken), shaving off your eyebrows, and chicken-walking down to the local movie house for a David Lynch double-feature, then you’re in luck! On Wednesday, the Bloor offers up the overrated Blue Velvet and the underrated Lost Highway (which produced one of the best spooky industrial soundtracks of the 1990s) back-to-back. This is why we still love you, Bloor Cinema.
The Fox (2236 Queen Street East)
For a while there, the conventional wisdom about the ’80s was that the whole decade was just some bland stopgap between the rockin’ excess of the ’70s and the grungy slackerism of the ’90s. Then, somehow, it was like everyone remembered that the 1980s gave us three or four great Depeche Mode albums, West Coast punk, Nintendo, and a bunch of other worthwhile stuff. Now the Fox is celebrating the ’80s the best way they know how: by screening a whole bunch of movies! Friday marks the kick-off of the ’80s Film Festival, which will include everything from The Breakfast Club to Ghostbusters and Heavy Metal. But the real gem here is two ultra-rare 35mm screenings of Back to the Future on Saturday and Sunday. Time travel, Crispin Glover, and all the weird incest subtext has never looked better!