A new home, a new pro­jec­tor and a Turk­ish movie full of cats

AGH film pro­gram opens the­atre with sum­mer se­ries

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - GRA­HAM ROCK­ING­HAM The Hamilton Spec­ta­tor

The Art Gallery of Hamilton film pro­gram is in­tro­duc­ing its new home at the Lin­coln Alexan­der Cen­tre this week­end with screen­ings of three films deal­ing with art, lit­er­a­ture, friend­ship and cats — lots and lots of cats, an en­tire city full of them.

The AGH film pro­gram has been look­ing for a new screen­ing room since the Land­mark Cin­ema at Jack­son Square ren­o­vated its the­atres last year with new re­cliner seats. The ren­o­va­tion has worked out well for Jack­son Square, but the new seats made the­atre ca­pac­ity too lim­ited for AGH screen­ings.

At last Oc­to­ber’s AGH World Film Fes­ti­val, sev­eral movies were shown at the 350-seat Lin­coln Alexan­der The­atre, the re­cently ren­o­vated site of the old Odeon cin­e­mas that op­er­ated from 1973 to 1991.

The site was well re­ceived but it lacked a qual­ity pro­jec­tion sys­tem, and AGH film cu­ra­tor Ryan Fer-

gu­son was forced to rent equip­ment for the se­ries. In a long-term sense, how­ever, equip­ment rental was not fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble.

With the help of a grant from the City of Hamilton’s Fu­ture Fund, the AGH was able to pur­chase a new state-of-the-art Christie Dig­i­tal cin­ema pro­jec­tor and screen at a cost of about $70,000.

“This is the same sort of pro­jec­tion sys­tem you’ll find in all the main­stream movie the­atres,” Fer­gu­son says. “It’s like a small car. It’s huge.”

The equip­ment was in­stalled at the Lin­coln Alexan­der Cen­tre in June and will get its first AGH run this week­end with two screen­ings of the French film “Cézanne et Moi,” two screen­ings of “Maudie,” star­ring Academy Award nom­i­nees Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins, and a sin­gle screen­ing of “Kedi,” a doc­u­men­tary about the hun­dreds of thou­sands of cats that freely roam the Turk­ish city of Is­tan­bul.

Cou­pled with the grass­roots cam­paign to ren­o­vate the West­dale the­atre, Fer­gu­son says he hopes the new home of the AGH film pro­gram will help re­store a strong non­main­stream movie scene to down­town Hamilton.

“We have more film fes­ti­vals and film ac­tiv­ity hap­pen­ing in this city than ever be­fore,” Fer­gu­son says. “I be­lieve the AGH film pro­gram can fur­ther route al­ter­na­tive and in­ter­na­tional cin­ema down­town, and help build a city with a thriv­ing ar­ray of cin­e­matic op­tions.”

Cézanne et Moi — Di­rected by Daniele Thomp­son, France, 2016. Rated 14A. A his­tor­i­cal drama that traces the life­long friend­ship be­tween French pain­ter Paul Cézanne and writer Emile Zola. French with English sub­ti­tles. 116 min­utes. Fri­day, July 28, 3 p.m., and Satur­day, July 29, 7 p.m.

Maudie — Di­rected by Ais­ling Walsh, Canada/Ire­land, 2016. Rated PG. Hawkins and Hawke star in this biopic of Maud Lewis, who over­came ju­ve­nile rheuma­toid arthri­tis to be­come one of Canada’s best-loved folk artists. Fri­day, July 28, 6 p.m., and Satur­day, July 29, 2 p.m. AGH se­nior cu­ra­tor Tobi Bruce will dis­cuss the life and work of Lewis prior to the Fri­day screen­ing.

Kedi — Di­rected by Ceyda Torun, Turkey, 2016. Rated G. Crit­i­cally ac­claimed doc­u­men­tary about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the cats and peo­ple of Is­tan­bul who have peace­fully co­ex­isted to­gether for cen­turies. Satur­day, July 29 at 5 p.m. Turk­ish with English sub­ti­tles. 79 min­utes.

“Kedi” is the story of Is­tan­bul’s cat pop­u­la­tion. It will be screened Satur­day, July 29, 5 p.m., at the Lin­coln Alexan­der Cen­tre.

The Lin­coln Alexan­der Cen­tre the­atre is the new home of the Art Gallery of Hamilton film pro­gram.

Sally Hawkins as Maud Lewis and Ethan Hawke as Everett Lewis in “Maudie.” The film will be screened July 28 and 29.

LUC ROUX, MAGNOLIA PICTURES

Guil­laume Gal­li­enne and Guil­laume Canet in “Cezanne et Moi,” which screens Fri­day, July 28, 3 p.m., and Satur­day, July 29, 7 p.m.

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