Dra­mas and docs dom­i­nate fall se­ries

cineSar­nia un­veils 2017 se­ries line-up

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - CARL HNATYSHYN

Fans of film will have an abun­dance of com­pelling fare to choose from this fall, as cineSar­nia an­nounces four of the five films it will be screen­ing dur­ing its fall sea­son at Sar­nia Pub­lic Li­brary Theatre.

With sub­ject mat­ter rang­ing from an award-win­ning biopic about one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists – Maud Lewis – to an ex­plo­ration of obituary writ­ing, to a film in­spired by real life events in post-Sec­ond World War Den­mark, cineSar­nia sub­scribers and oth­ers will have good rea­son to rush to the theatre this fall, said cineSar­nia’s Bob Dell.

“I think the com­mit­tee has once again se­lected a num­ber of in­cred­i­bly in­ter­est­ing, solid films for our 23rd sea­son,” he said. “At this point, all we’re try­ing to do is raise an aware­ness that we’re out there and tell peo­ple what we’re plan­ning to do.”

As in the past, cineSar­nia com­mit­tee mem­bers fanned out across On­tario to a va­ri­ety of film fes­ti­vals – from the Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val to Sud­bury’s in­creas­ingly pres­ti­gious Cine­fest Sud­bury – to find films that would en­ter­tain, en­gage, charm and chal­lenge Lambton County au­di­ences.

“Pri­mar­ily the films are se­lected from mem­bers of the com­mit­tee go­ing to see th­ese films at TIFF or at other fes­ti­vals, then we get to­gether and de­cide who liked what, talk about re­views and dis­cuss what would work best with our mem­ber­ship,” said new cineSar­nia board mem­ber Anne West. “This year, for the first time, we have two doc­u­men­taries in our fall sea­son, so we’ll see how that goes.”

“We were a bit wor­ried about that, but when I think back to Search­ing for Sugarman and Twenty Feet from Star­dom, they were two of the most pop­u­lar films we have ever shown and they were both docs,” added Dell.

This sea­son’s films in­clude:

• Maudie (Sept. 24/25): The story of renowned Nova Sco­tia por­trait painter Maud Lewis (por­trayed by Sally Hawkins), the film takes

a look at a par­tic­u­lar pe­riod of the dam­aged artist’s life (Lewis suf­fered from ju­ve­nile rheuma­toid arthri­tis, an af­flic­tion that got pro­gres­sively worse as she aged) where she was hired as a house­keeper by a reclu­sive, dam­aged fish monger (played by Ethan Hawke) and an im­prob­a­ble romance be­gins.

“Many on the com­mit­tee saw Maudie and it’s just an ab­so­lutely won­der­ful film,” Dell said. “Sally Hawkins is just in­cred­i­ble in her por­trayal of Lewis.”

• The River of My Dreams: A Por­trait of Gor­don Pin­sent (Oct. 15/16): A doc­u­men­tary about the life and times of one of Canada’s most iconic ac­tors of screen and stage, Gor­don Pin­sent, The River of My Dreams traces Pin­sent’s jour­ney from his hum­ble be­gin­nings in Grand Falls, New­found­land to the main stage at Strat­ford, to his suc­cess in both Hol­ly­wood as well as in his home coun­try on the big and small screens.

Along with fas­ci­nat­ing and re­veal­ing in­ter­views with Pin­sent – a master sto­ry­teller even at the ten­der age of 87 – the film also fea­tures com­men­tary from his peers and his ad­mir­ers, in­clud­ing Christo­pher Plum­mer, Mary Walsh and Nor­man Jewi­son.

“The nice thing in Gor­don Pin­sett’s doc­u­men­tary is that they use peo­ple to talk about his life who are Cana­dian and very well-rec­og­nized,” Dell said. “It’s nice to see them be­cause you get a sense of who those peo­ple are too, like Christo­pher Plum­mer.” • Land of Mine (Nov 5/6): The story of a group of teenage Ger­man pris­on­ers of war who were cap­tured in Den­mark fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War and forced to clear mines from the Dan­ish coast­line, Land of Mine fo­cuses on both the deadly task at hand for th­ese teens – many of whom had only been drafted into the army at the very end of the war – as well as the com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ships that de­vel­ops be­tween the Ger­man boys and Dan­ish sergeant Carl Ras­mussen, who is tasked with car­ry­ing out the mis­sion.

“It’s cap­tur­ing a piece of his­tory that al­most no­body knows about,” Dell said.

“It’s fas­ci­nat­ing be­cause so many of th­ese Ger­man teenagers had never seen any ac­tion in the war,” West added. “And be­yond the drama and the sus­pense of the story, the cin­e­matog­ra­phy of the Dan­ish coast­line is just spec­tac­u­lar in this film, as well.” • Obit (Nov 19/20): A charm­ing and com­pelling ex­am­i­na­tion of the obituary desk at the New York Times, Obit is a doc­u­men­tary that show­cases sev­eral ex­perts-in-their field, peo­ple who have a golden touch when it comes to neatly, ac­cu­rately and colour­fully sum­ma­riz­ing the lives of the re­cently de­ceased into the space of two or three para­graphs. Sur­pris­ingly up­lift­ing and con­sis­tently though-pro­vok­ing, Obit will be eye-open­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for au­di­ence mem­bers young and old, said West.

“In the world of Twit­ter, where peo­ple are try­ing to get some­thing across in 144 char­ac­ters, th­ese are peo­ple who are try­ing to cap­ture a whole per­son’s life in a cou­ple of para­graphs,” she said. “It’s kind of a pre­cur­sor of sorts to Twit­ter.”

“Obit is one of the films that Laura Good, our Film Cir­cuit per­son, rec­om­mended to us,” Dell added. “The in­ter­est­ing thing about the film is that it’s re­ally a pos­i­tive film, be­cause the slant is not about some­body’s death but it’s about the story of the won­der­ful life they lived. I’m re­ally kind of ex­cited about it.” • Film 5 (Dec 3/4): To be de­ter­mined at a later date. For more in­for­ma­tion about cineSar­nia’s fall sea­son, or to view the trail­ers, visit www.cinesar­nia.com


Dur­ing its fall sea­son, cineSar­nia will screen The River of My Dreams: A Por­trait of Gor­don Pin­sent, a doc­u­men­tary on the life and times of the renowned Cana­dian ac­tor.


cineSar­nia will also be screen­ing Land of Mine, a Dan­ish drama that takes a look at the fate of teenage Ger­man POWs fol­low­ing the Sec­ond World War, where they were charged with the dan­ger­ous task of clear­ing land mines from Den­mark's coast­line.

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