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Upcoming Screenings: July 2012

While many of us discovered Canuxploitation films through late night TV screenings and VHS rentals, there’s still something special about catching a locally produced B-movie classic in the theatre alongside other Canadian film fans. Here’s our monthly update featuring upcoming classic Canadian cinema screenings. Want your screening listed? Contact us.

TUCKER & DALE VS EVIL
July 12 @ 7pm
Rickshaw Theatre, Vancouver
A double bill with FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980), presented by Shivers.

THE FLY
July 27 @ 11:15 and July 29 @ 8:15
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa
Cronenberg’s icky remake buzzes around for a return engagement in the nation’s capital.  More info here.

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CanFilm Five: Ottawa Screenwriter and Mayfair Theatre partner Ian Driscoll

“CanFilm Five” is the Canuxploitation blog’s ongoing guest column, which brings together prominent filmmakers, bloggers, critics and programmers to discuss their most loved offbeat Canadian films.

Ian Driscoll is the screenwriter of numerous gutter-level features and short films including the HARRY KNUCKLES series, JESUS CHRIST VAMPIRE HUNTER, THE DEAD SLEEP EASY, VAMPIRO: ANGEL, DEVIL, HERO and SMASH CUT. He has also worked as a story editor on a number of feature films, and makes (mercifully infrequent) appearances in front of the camera.  Since 2008, Ian has been a partner in Ottawa’s oldest surviving cinema, the Mayfair Theatre, which has been voted Ottawa’s “best alternative to a multiplex movie theatre” three years running. You can read more of his writing on films, Canadian and otherwise, at The Cultural Gutter

For this CanFilm Five, Ian presents his five favourite Canadian films (and a whole lot of honourable mentions!), in chronological order. 

THE RAILRODDER
Gerald Potterton, 1965

One of Buster Keaton’s final starring roles, this cross-country travelogue is one of the greatest pleasures in the NFB catalogue. It opens in London, with Keaton standing on the Westminster Bridge, overlooking the Thames. He’s reading a newspaper, and in the paper is a full-page ad that reads: SEE CANADA NOW. Keaton promptly jumps off the bridge into the water, and, an edit later, emerges from the ocean on Canada’s east coast. He discovers an unattended railway speeder, and sets off for the Pacific.

Along the way, the film provides a rare glimpse of the Canada of 1965 (the rail line Keaton rides into Ottawa no longer exists, for example) — images that carry with them a powerful wave of false nostalgia.

The film reminds me of what I love about Buster Keaton — his tranquil death-defiance, the way he and the camera become a comedy duo, his dedication to jokes that serve the story, and his hat.

But it’s also very much about how we Canadians view ourselves, and our country. Our landscape is a parade of natural wonders, to be sure. But to anyone who lives here, and lives through our seasons, it’s also exactly what Keaton shows us: a succession of epic sight gags. (I’m pretty sure that you could read the film as a parable about the Canadian immigrant experience, too, especially with the images that bookend it. But that’s a bit highbrow for me.

Potterton also directed HEAVY METAL (not on my list) and an animated version of Leacock’s MY FINANCIAL CAREER (which, at under seven minutes, is probably essential viewing).

You can watch THE RAILRODDER in its entirety below or on the NFB website.

THE ROWDYMAN
Peter Carter, 1972

Director Carter also helmed RITUALS (which I’ve written about here), as well as numerous episodes of “Wojeck,” which is a CBC TV series I’d really like to catch up on. (In a perfect world, I’d spend my days writing a fan-fiction novel about a case that takes the combined efforts of Wojeck, Kojack and Kolchak to solve. But I digress.) … Continue Reading

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Upcoming Screenings: March 2012

While many of us discovered Canuxploitation films through late night TV screenings and VHS rentals, there’s still something special about catching a locally produced B-movie classic in the theatre alongside other Canadian film fans. Here’s our monthly update featuring upcoming classic Canadian cinema screenings.

MYSTERY OF THE MILLION DOLLAR HOCKEY PUCK – 16mm
March 3, 8pm
Blue Sunshine, Montreal
Classic Cinepix kid’s film features hockey, winter carnival, jewel smugglers and intrigue. More info here.

THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION– 35mm
March 14, 1:30pm
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa
A classic “Tales for All” kiddie matinee courtesy Lost Dominion Screening Collective‘s Canadian Cult Revue! More info here.

Lost Films from Library and Archives of Canada– 35mm
March 28
Bytowne Theatre, Ottawa
Lost Dominion Screening Collective presents a rare opportunity to screen lost films from the vaults of Library and Archives Canada, set to new live musical scores. More info here.

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Upcoming Screenings: February 2012

While many of us discovered Canuxploitation films through late night TV screenings and VHS rentals, there’s still something special about catching a locally produced B-movie classic in the theatre alongside other Canadian film fans. Here’s our monthly update featuring upcoming classic Canadian cinema screenings.

MONSTER BRAWL
February 17-20, various times
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa
Eight classic creatures — including Frankenstein’s monster, the Mummy, the Wolfman and the Cyclops — battle it out, WWF-Pay-Per-View-style in an abandoned, cursed graveyard. More info here.

MY DEAD GIRLFRIEND
February 16, 9pm
Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa
Brett Kelly shows his indie comedy classic plus short zombie-related films by Ottawa filmmakers at this benefit screening to raise money for Kelly’s new project, MY FAIR ZOMBIE. More info here.