Thursday, March 13
The Past (Le passé)
Empire Studio 12
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MUN Cinema Series
Thursday, March 13
The Past (Le passé)
All screenings are at 7:00 pm, Thursday, in
in the Avalon Mall.
|Full season pass:
||$72.00 regular / $66.00 students and seniors
||$45.00 regular / $40.00 students and seniors
|| $10.00 regular / $9.00 students and seniors
All films are open to the public. MUN Cinema sets up a table near the
Cinemas' box office about an hour before each MUN Cinema screening where
tickets and passes may be purchased. Tickets and passes cannot be purchased
at other times.
There is no guaranteed seating for passholders.
A pass may be used to admit at most two people to any single screening.
If two people are admitted on a single pass, the pass will be punched
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Questions? Consult our FAQ for answers to the most
frequently asked questions.
Follow the links to the
Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
for more information about the films.
January 9 A Touch of Sin (Tian zhu ding) (China 2013) 133 min.
Directed by Zhangke Jia
With Wu Jiang, Lanshan Luo, Li Meng, et al.
Mandarin and Cantonese with English subtitles [IMAGE]
Winner of best screenplay at Cannes, this beautiful, violent film has
yet to screen in the director's native land. No kidding! The film
comprises four short stories, each spinning a brutal take on modern-day
China. Each story directly reflects Jia's view of the current culture
of greed and selfishness. He has been deemed one of the world's
most important filmmakers, and it's easy to see why. The film is
gorgeously shot, highly stylized, a cinephile's dream, but it is
also compellingly focused on the contradictions of the land of
dragons and emperors. Bound by centuries of formal tradition,
today's China is also obsessed with a manic thirst for material
success. Based on the true stories the director scoured on the internet,
the film is shockingly dark and angry. Yes, it contains scenes of
astonishing but highly stylized violence. Official China paints one
story. This film gets at something beneath that picture.
It ain't always pretty, but that's the point.
January 16 Good Vibrations (UK/Ireland 2012) 103 min.
Directed by Lisa Barros D'Sa and Glenn Leyburn
With Dylan Moran, Jodie Whittaker, Richard Dormer, et al.
Well, it doesn't get much more fun than this. Essentially a biopic of
the Godfather of Belfast Punk, Terri Hooley, GOOD VIBRATIONS
lives up to its name. You know the story but you'll smile along
for the ride, to be sure. It's the 'seventies and the Troubles
are in the air. Smack in the middle of all that violence and fear,
Hooley opens up a record shop, the Good Vibrations of the title.
He meets a woman of the good counter-culture variety and is
hell-bent on making people happy. Not easy when you are living
in a war-torn place. This focus gives the film a lot of laughs
but there is a dead seriousness to it, too, especially in the way
everyone's lives are affected by the conflict. Between the cheap
lager and the lively contest of the bands, it sure smells like Irish sprit.
January 23 Watermark (Canada 2013) 92 min.
Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky
If you recall MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES you'll love WATERMARK,
the latest doc collaboration between the smart filmmaker and the
brilliant photographer. Whereas the earlier film traced Burtynsky's
discovery of the use and abuse of oil, this feature does the same for
and with water. Taking on our relationship to the life-giving element
requires a huge canvas, and so it is that we see the impact of
waterand our own attempts to harness itthrough images at
once stunning and terrifying. Burtynsky shoots the big picture,
of course, giving us a god's eye view of landscapes wet, wild, and
weird. Baichwal can zoom in, however, showing us the human-centred
dimension, literally fleshing out the picture. The result is an
absolutely riveting, poetic mediation on that on which so much depends.
You'll never run the tap again without thinking about WATERMARK.
January 30 Austenland (UK/USA 2013) 97 min.
Directed by Jerusha Hess
With Keri Russell, JJ Field, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, James Callis, Jane Seymour, et al.
To be fair, critics are divided about this whimsical take on our
current and ongoing obsession with things AustenJane, that is.
Well, we love its silly indulgences and especially the always credible
Keri Russell in the lead as the Austen-absorbed romantic in search of
her own Mr. Darcy. Sure, who isn't? Immersing herself in what is in effect
an Austen theme park, Russell's Jane is courted and cajoled by an
endless supply of suitors, almost all of the vain and inappropriate
variety. The whole experience challenges Jane's sense of what's
real and what's fantasy, not to mention her suspicion that the only
truly good men are all fictional. No comment.
February 6 Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d'Adéle) (France/Belgium/Spain 2013) 179 min.
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
With Léa Seydoux, Adéle Exarchopoulos, et al.
Winner of the Cannes Palme d'Or, much discussed for its graphic lesbian
sex, admired for its emotional honesty, BLUE is long and lithe.
Yes, this is a woman-on-woman film, although in some way it is less
about the facts of sexual pleasure than about the class attitudes
that complicate that pleasure. Perhaps only the French could have
filmed such a relationship, that between a free-spirited working-class
young woman and the bourgeois artist with whom she falls in love and by
whom she wishes to be mentored. The actors shared the Palme d'Or
with the director, largely because their amazingly natural performances
seem to have evolved organically in intimate collaboration with his
own imagination. And perhaps only the French could have made a
controversial three-hour film about sex, love, art, books, and food.
Settle in for the experience. You don't see this bildungsroman
stuff every day.
February 13 Concussion (USA 2013) 96 min.
Directed by Stacie Passon
With Robin Weigert, Julie Fain Lawrence, et al.
Another lesbian storycoincidence or just a trend? Abby and Kate are a
married couple. Just like so many married couples, they are deep into
routine. They live in the burbs, take the kids to school and soccer, go to
the gym, have dinner parties, and so on. One day Abby gets conked on the
head. Everything seems innocent enough but things change. Abby starts to
disconnect, takes up a secret life, starts exploring sides of herself
she never knew existed. This then becomes a movie about such secrets,
and how long one can sustain them in a relationship. The unpredictability
of that question is fascinating. Director Passon has been praised for
the film's naturalistic dialogue and the totally convincing performances
of her two leads. It will be interesting to contrast and compare this
film with BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR. For starters, CONCUSSION
was written and directed by a woman. Discuss.
February 20 The Armstrong Lie (USA 2013) 124 min.
Directed by Alex Gibney
What's really interesting here is that director Gibney started making
a doc about Lance Armstrong's comeback Tour (de France) in 2009,
essentially a hagiography of one of the world's most successful athletes.
But after Oprah's confessional show and the subsequent dethroning of
his idol in 2013, Gibney had to rework the film entirely. The result is
a kind of schizophrenic study of someone who was so damn good at
lying he probably even believed what he was saying after a while.
We seem to be as fascinated by Armstrong's then power to get away with
it as we once were with his cycling ability. This doc also sets the big
lie against the sport's pervasive and historic contamination, showing
us the extraordinary lengths athletes have gone to in order to conceal
their reliance on illegal enhancers. We lie all the time, sure, but this
is about concealment of a whole other order. See it before the dog
eats your homework.
February 27 The Invisible Woman (UK 2013) 111 min.
Directed by Ralph Fiennes
With Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander, et al.
Does everyone know that a 45-year-old Charles Dickens had a mad passionate
affair with an 18-year-old? It's not what they tell you when you're
studying Great Expectations, now is it? Ralph Fiennes directs himself in
the role of that horn-dog Dickens, while Felicity Jones plays the object
of desire, a lusting ingénue whose desire is fueled by her admiration
of the great writer's talent and his compassion for the Tiny Tims of
this world. The film's title suggests just how history treated young
Nelly, who was deeply in Dickens' life until he died. She was his
favourite reader and arguably his most intimate inspiration, but
ultimately the guy got the glory and the missus got this movie, well
over a century later.
March 6 Wadjda (Saudi Arabia/Germany 2013) 98 min.
Directed by Haifaa Al-Mansour
With Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah, Abdullrahman Al Gohani, Ahd, Sultan Al Assaf, Mohammed Zahir, et al.
Arabic with English subtitles [IMAGE]
How this hugely awarded film ever got made by a Saudi woman is a story
in itself, considering she made it in a country without movie theatres.
The name of the title goes to the ten-year-old at the film's centre,
a feisty and determined youngster with a modest dream: to own a bicycle.
Girls aren't allowed to ride bikes in SA because, you know, that could
lead to driving, a definite no no. Getting behind the wheel could lead
to Thelma and Louise and so what would all those Saudi men do then?
So it is that Wadjda enters a Koran competition for the prize money.
Her ambition and purposefulness are set against other older women who
have clearly and perhaps even understandably capitulated to an
unforgiving patriarchy. But like Malala Yousafzai, Wadjda shows the
way of the future, one where stories like this no longer need to be told.
Interesting fact: WADJDA won Best Feature at the Dubai
International Film Festival.
March 13 The Past (Le passé) (France/Italy 2013) 130 min.
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
With Bérénice Bejo, Tahar Rahim, Ali Mosaffa, et al.
French and Persian with English subtitles [IMAGE]
Arguably the most flawless film in this winter series, THE PAST
is perfect. Remember Farhadi's THE SEPARATION? Well, this is as
good if not even better in the emotion realism department. It features
an Iranian who returns to France to give his French wife the divorce
she seeks. Not so simple. Marie has two children from a previous marriage,
one of whom is a dangerously surly teenager. The estranged husband seeks
to make nice in and with the family but his arrival sets off a string
of accidents and disclosures. Marie is involved with another guy and he,
too, has so much baggage he can barely get through the door. And of doors
there are many. THE PAST is about all that historical weight,
as well as about cultural displacement, family dynamics, generational
shift, and urban reality. It's a complicated, subtle and brilliantly
nuanced storyat once intense and familiar. Bejo's Cannes-award-winning
performance is also worth the whole night off. Unbelievably good.
March 20 Empire of Dirt (Canada 2013) 99 min.
Directed by Peter Stebbings
With Cara Gee, Jennifer Podemski, Shay Eyre, Luke Kirby, et al.
This might be the first time we've screened a film entirely about and
performed by Native Canadians. Women are at the centre of this strong
drama. Lena is raising her rebellious daughter on her own. When things
break down Lena takes the daughter back to her Northern Ontario community
and to her own mother's house. We therefore see three generations of women,
each with a history of dreams and challenges. It is implicit that they
have inherited a legacy of victimization, and so what we have here
is their struggle to transcend that sad history. Not easy to break the
cycle, for sure. This is one of those films about which we would use the
term "quietly moving." If you have a 13-year old or two, take them to
see this film. It's right up their alley.
March 27 Tim's Vermeer (USA 2013) 80 min.
Directed by Teller
With Colin Blakemore, David Hockney, Tim Jenison, et al.
This is an absolutely fascinating doc about the quest to reveal the
real Vermeer. Long a subject of controversy in the art world, largely
because of the perfect, apparently unrehearsed way his paintings evolved,
Vermeer is here under close scrutiny by an innovating engineer and those
two famous crazy magicians Penn & Teller. Will the real Vermeer stand up?
Tim Jenison, the millionaire techno geek, who aims to reproduce a Vermeer
with the exact same materials the painter had access to, really emerges
as the lead story here. To say he is committed to this project is like
saying Penn & Teller are outrageous. This ain't like watching paint dry.
It’s more an astounding study of the way science and the imagination
can be wonderfully mutually dependent. Indeed, the magic here really
is all done with mirrors.
April 3 *TBA*
Our thanks to Paul Fardy for designing and maintaining the
MUN Cinema Series web pages from 1997 to 2004.
For more information contact:
- Noreen Golfman
- phone: 864-2478