A new home, a new projector and a Turkish movie full of cats
AGH film program opens theatre with summer series
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.
Guillaume Gallienne and Guillaume Canet in “Cezanne et Moi,” which screens Friday, July 28, 3 p.m., and Saturday, July 29, 7 p.m.