Dec 17, 2019
Check out what’s playing at Cinematheque in the Now Playing section and purchase advance tickets. Download a PDF copy of the January / February program guide.
Dave Barber, Senior Cinematheque Programmer:
Steve Gravestock, Senior Programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival recently declared the Winnipeg Film Group Cinematheque, “One of my favourite cinemas in the world!” Here’s why:
Matthew Rankin’s sharp sense of humour, precise editing skills and spectacular visual sense are on full display in his shorts program States of Beauty on January 11 – (which includes his masterpiece Negativipeg, some rarely seen shorts, and Cattle Call, his co-directed gem made with Mike Maryniuk) followed by the premiere of his astonishing feature debut The Twentieth Century which is garnering rave reviews across North America.
On January 15th Ryan McKenna follows up his great work in The Last Winter and The Heart of Madame Sabali with the theatrical premiere of Cranks – a corrosive, dryly hilarious series of B&W vignettes drawn from letters and call-ins to Peter Warren’s CJOB radio show.
Another MUST SEE – the WFG Members’ Premiere: Winnipeg Dreamers – featuring Charlene’s Moore’s When the Children Left which has traveled to so many film festivals I have lost track. Other highlights include Jesse de Rocquigny’s The Other Side, Trinity Linklater’s superb Bees and Space, Chanelle Lajoie’s Metis Femme Bodies, Isaac Würmann’s Cruise Night, Tif Bartel’s Portage Place, and the dry wit of Tavis Putnam’s The Possessive.
Varda by Agnès – the final personal documentary in a career of over 50 documentaries, fiction films and shorts made over the course of 64 years premieres alongside new 2K restorations that David Knipe assembled of some of this legendary director’s greatest films – Vagabond, Daguerréotypes, and The Gleaners and I. If you have never seen Vagabond I can’t recommend it highly enough. Varda would have been proud to have her work featured alongside Winnipeg filmmakers.
And hello? Did someone say Godzilla ? The much beloved fire breathing Toho monster in a rubber suit who kicks ass for a living is back for a mini festival featuring a contest with prizes, newly restored versions of his camp classics and Cressa Beer’s hilarious new Godzilla shorts – Baby Metal and Godzilla X Nintendo and Marv Newland`s mini masterpiece Bambi Meets Godzilla.
Cabin Fever Free Films for Kids! rolls out for a record 16th year with a deep thanks to the Assiniboine Credit Union. This fun packed cinema for kids and their families includes the Afro Prairie Supa Modo, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Japanese anime Mirai, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Three Stooges, All the Time in the World.
In the glorious battle for Canadian cinema the TIFF TOP TEN launches another program of the year’s best features, including many strong works from women – East coast filmmaker Heather Young’s Murmur – an eloquent tale of a lonely 60ish year old woman named Donna who finds solace in dogs, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers & Kathleen Hepburn`s raw portrait of a pregnant Indigenous woman fleeing an abusive home in The Body Remember When the World Broke Open and finally Canada’s entry for the Oscars, Sophie Deraspe’s compassionate family tale Antigone. Your winter destination begins and ends at the Cinematheque.
Ryan Steel, Cinematheque Box Office & Projection:
The upcoming season at Cinematheque hosts an unbelievable amount of amazing cinema. Starting off, the film I’m most excited about is Matthew Rankin’s feature film debut The Twentieth Century. Rankin has been one of my favourite filmmakers for some time and his new feature is the film I have anticipated most in my entire life. I hear there is an amazingly bleak depiction of life in Winnipeg that I think will pair well with early January. I was fortunate enough to see the magnificent Parasite last year but I will be trying to watch it as many times as possible during its run at the Cinematheque. Parasite is essential viewing for anyone who loves movies. As a huge Agnès Varda and Godzilla fan, I am excited to dive into their respective retrospectives. I loved Kazik Radwanski previous two films so I am highly anticipating his latest Anne at 13,000 ft. Radwanski has one of the most interesting voices in contemporary Canadian cinema. Cranks and Tapeworm are two films shot in Winnipeg that are coming back to Cinematheque this winter. They are both excellent humanistic dark comedies that explore Winnipeg in interesting ways. Last but not least I urge everyone to check out the two Winnipeg Dreamers programs so that you can check out what the members of the Winnipeg Film Group have been up to over the past year. The wealth of good cinema coming to the Cinematheque over the winter months is enough to actually get me to leave my apartment. I can’t wait.
Greg Klymkiw, Executive Director:
Winnipeg filmmakers are at the top of my list of must-see movies this month: Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, a glorious post-modernist and perverse biopic of insane Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King; Ryan McKenna’s Cranks, a deadpan laugh-riot infused with ‘Peg City ennui; Winnipeg Dreamers, a wonderful selection of cutting edge short films by Winnipeg Film Group members and; Terrance (Hamilton-based honorary Winnipegger) Odette’s beautifully restored Heater, a moving and funny tale of two homeless men wandering though an icy ‘Peg landscape. Other wonderful work you can’t miss includes The Canadian International Comedy Film Festival, Agnes Varda’s astonishing Vagabond, the Godzilla Fest and the best movie of 2019, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite.
David Knipe, Cinematheque Manager of Operations & Special Programming:
How in the actual heck are we fitting all this amazing programming into a 2-month period!? As usual, TIFF Canada’s Top Ten program offers a plentiful bounty of the best Canadian film from the last year. It’s always an impressive announcement of fresh and promising voices in film from around the country. This year, a few of my favourites (that I’ve seen) are: the truly warped piece of revisionist history The Twentieth Century; an assured and empathetic doc/narrative hybrid, Murmur; and the visceral acting tour-de-force Anne at 13,000 ft.
In March we sadly lost one of cinema’s most beloved artists: Agnès Varda. In February, we will pay tribute to the life and work of this most singular and impactful voice in the history of film with our series Agnès Varda: Life is Cinema. At the age of 90, she was still making films that sent shockwaves through the film world. Her last, Varda by Agnès is a fitting note to end on, as it finds the director looking back on her art in the playful and insightful way that she was known for. I’m thrilled that I was able to program alongside it my favorite films of hers: Vagabond and The Gleaners and I, as well as Daguerréotypes, thanks to Janus Films’ newly restored catalogue of her work.
A couple films which will find their rightful place on my Top 19 of 2019 list (forthcoming) are getting another chance to be seen this program. Parasite, deservedly regarded as one of the year’s absolute best by multitudinous critics and audiences, returns in the New Year. It is a skillfully written and directed depiction of class warfare that is funny, intelligent, surprising and ceaselessly engaging. Honeyland, which I programmed at our latest edition of the Gimme Some Truth Documentary Festival this past November, is one of this year’s most exquisitely-lensed docs and is a powerful parable for our modern times.
Lastly, make sure to check out Hinterland Remixed: Media, Memory & the Canadian 1970s book launch and screening on January 16. Author, critical thinker, cinephile and all-around amazing person Andrew Burke is launching one of his most recent book-length projects and showing some treasures of Canadian TV heritage. I fully trust Andrew’s analytic eye, so I’m sure he’ll put together an informative and compelling night of Canadiana.
Tavis Putnam, Cinematheque Box Office:
With the plethora of fantastic contemporary and classic films playing these next two months at Cinematheque, it is difficult to keep my list of must-sees down to a reasonable number. So I will merely list a few: Bong Joon-ho’s Cannes Palm d’Or-winning Parasite; Trey Edward Schultz’s Waves; late French master Agnes Varda’s The Gleaners and I, Vagabond, and Daguerréotypes.
And of course, the impressive slate of Canadian features (many of them directed by former, or current Winnipeggers): Ryan McKenna’s Cranks; Terrance Odette’s Heater; Heather Young’s Murmur; Kazik Radwanski’s Anne at 13,000 ft; Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century; Zacharias Kunuk’s One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk; and an encore screening of Milos Mitrovic and Fabian Velasco’s Tapeworm, in conjunction with the Canadian International Comedy Film Festival.
Jaimz Asmundson, Cinematheque Programming Director:
Hoo-boy, this program guide’s a packed one! I’m so happy that Dave brought in Bong Joon Ho’s surprising and exhilarating Parasite, easily my favourite film of 2019. These days it’s sometimes rare to see a film where you can tell the filmmaker is so gleefully playing in the sandbox of cinema. It’s beautiful and such a wild ride, I cannot recommend it enough.
I’m a sucker for supernatural horror, so I’m quite pumped to see Peter Strickland’s (Berberian Sound Studio) new film In Fabric. I cannot wait to lose myself in the eerie department store haunted by a blood-red dress and punctuated by a psychedelic synth score.
Also, I cannot think of a filmmaker that is more dedicated to their craft than our own Matthew Rankin. I remember once while tirelessly animating his 16mm short film Mynarski Death Plummet by hand, and frame by frame, he persevered this months long self-imposed expulsion from the world around him, and suffered through his body beginning to fail as he inhaled the toxic fumes of his celluloid experiments while all of his house plants shriveled and died around him. There is no one so diligently dedicated to realizing their vision (and such a gloriously gonzo vision at that!) than Rankin. I cannot imagine what he put himself through to bring us his first feature The Twentieth Century, but I am looking forward to seeing what his literal blood, sweat and tears have summoned forth and so meticulously erupted onto celluloid.