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.
Hey, did you hear? Terrence Malick won the Palme d’Or! One of American cinema’s most remarkable filmmakers, Malick landed top honours for his latest, Tree of Life. We haven’t seen it, but if it’s half as good as his last film, The New World, it’s perfect. What does that have to do with Movie Mondays? Well besides being movie related, it has very little to do with it. Tree of Life has CGI dinosaurs though, and this week in Toronto there’s some animated T ‘n’ A. So that’s a connection, no?
Wednesday, May 25, 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, May 25, 9:30 p.m.
|The Big Lebowski
Thursday, May 26, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 28, 2 p.m.
If you grew up in the late ‘80s or ‘90s, then chances are you know Gerald Potterton’s Heavy Metal. And even if you’ve never seen the cult animated sci-fi anthology film, its reputation precedes it. Who, after all, doesn’t remember seeing the poster, or VHS slip case, with a busty, sword-wielding Valkyrie riding on some sort of dragon in your local video store as a kid? Like Army of Darkness, it was the kind of movie you’d nag your dad to let you rent. And then when he finally relented, you saw something totally unexpected. Because before Heavy Metal, you couldn’t even conceive of cartoon characters having nipples.
Crammed with lots of animated nudity, violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, and an awesome soundtrack (featuring Black Sabbath, Devo, and—who can forget?—Donald Fagen), Heavy Metal’s a cinematic oddity well worthy of its cult cachet. So whether your VHS copy is beat to death or you’ve never even seen it at all, get to the Bloor this Wednesday, May 25 at 9:30 p.m. where Fangoria‘s Chris Alexander will host a screening of Heavy Metal. Even better, director Gerald Potterton will be in the house to introduce the film and take part in a post-screening Q&A.
If something like Heavy Metal is just too stupid or dorky for you (and really, we don’t blame you) then head the Underground Wednesday, March 25 at 9:30 p.m. for a screening of Taxi Driver, which contains no dragons or sci-fi violence or anything, but is still pretty good.
As good as the movie (which is about a a New York City cab driver’s slow burn to psychopathy, in case you didn’t know) is the new 35mm print. No need to watch it on some crummy DVD! See what Robert DeNiro looked like when he was skinnier and an excellent actor! Or what Martin Scorsese looked like when he made films that seemed at all personal. Or what Jodie Foster looked like when she was dolled up as an underage prostitute. In 35 whole millimetres!
When the Coens’ True Grit came out last winter, loads of people praised Jeff Bridges’ shambling, scenery-chewing theatrics. And even if we reserve the right to think that Bridges played badass wild west lawman Rooster Cogburn a little too over the top, it’s probably only because we cherish how good he was the last time he teamed up with the Coens, for 1998’s The Big Lebowski.
But what’s the point of arguing the relative merits of Bridges doing the Duke or Bridges doing the Dude when you can see Bridges do both? And back-to-back no less. It’s the grizzliest, beardiest, White Russian drinkingest double bill this Thursday, May 26 with The Big Lebowski at 7 p.m. and True Grit at 9:20 p.m., only at Roncesvalles’ best (and only) rep house, the Revue.
One thing that films can do really well that movies and plays aren’t so hot on is body-swapping stories. From Like Father Like Son to The Change-Up and every Rob Schneider movie, cinema has relished in the conceptual possibilities of mind-body switches, where thanks to lightning or magic or some mad scientist, characters really get to see how the other half lives, so to speak. But the ne plus ultra of the sub-genre is Gary Nelson’s 1976 switcheroo, Freaky Friday.
Starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris as a daughter and mother (respectively) who find their consciousness transferred into the others’ body one especially “freaky” Friday the 13th, Freaky Friday the film basically set the bar for family-friendly body swaps, and taught a whole new generation of daughters what it was like to be a mother. And vice-versa. It’s also a perfect addition to the Lightbox’s Family Classics program. So take the parent (or kid) who doesn’t “get you” and go see it at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 28. Because you never know, one a day a totally inexplicable body swap may happen to you. (It won’t, though.)