Res­ur­rect­ing the cin­ema from Se­cret ses­sions to Cine­sphere

Ditch the cine­plex for a night, and try one of T.O.’s unique movie ex­pe­ri­ences

Village Post - - Currents - by Jes­sica Wei

Film might be dead, but there are plenty of peo­ple around this great city try­ing to res­ur­rect it. We’ve got live-ac­tion filmic role-play of your favourite clas­sic films, an homage to the sil­ver screen by Toronto bur­lesque dancers and drag queens, screen­ings of 16 mm clas­sic gems in an old coach house and more –– there’s a real di­ver­sity of unique cine­matic ex­pe­ri­ences to dis­cover and, be­hind them, the per­son­al­i­ties that de­liver them.

The Se­cret Ses­sions

Fus­ing a tra­di­tional film screen­ing with im­mer­sive the­atre, the cast of the­atre group Se­cret Ses­sions aims to bring clas­sic films to life. You can sit in a replica of Rick’s Café watch­ing sparks fly be­tween Humphrey Bog­art and In­grid Bergman on screen while an ac­tor play­ing Sam plays it again at the piano beside you, or sip bour­bon­heavy cock­tails while be­ing chat­ted up by the Chan­nel 4 news desk team from the film An­chor­man. Each event smashes the fourth wall and in­vites its au­di­ences along for the jour­ney. Com­ing up in May, the Se­cret Ses­sions gang ex­poses a new gen­er­a­tion to the un­for­get­table lines of Inigo Mon­toya (“You killed my fa­ther,” yada yada) with their live performance and screen­ing of

The Princess Bride at the Red­wood The­atre. Dress Code: Fairy tale and me­dieval, of course, and out­laws of all sizes are more than wel­come.

The Princess Bride, May 24 to June 2, Red­wood The­atre, 1300 Ger­rard St. E.

Cine­sphere

A beloved Toronto filmic in­sti­tu­tion since 1971, the Cine­sphere re­opened last fall af­ter five years of On­tario Place ren­o­va­tions. It was the first per­ma­nent IMAX movie the­atre in the world, is cur­rently des­ig­nated a build­ing of cul­tural her­itage value and is prob­a­bly the only cin­ema in Canada that’s sur­rounded by a moat. In part­ner­ship with the Hot Docs Cana­dian In­ter­na­tional Doc­u­men­tary Film Fes­ti­val, it will be host­ing a screen­ing of Stephen Low’s The Trol­ley, a 45-minute cine­matic ode to the street­cars, trol­leys and trams of the world, with a spe­cial shout-out to Toronto’s own his­toric fleet. And in case you’ve had enough of see­ing Toronto in its 4K 3D sur­round-sound glory out in real life, the Cine­sphere is also screen­ing

Ju­manji and War of the Planet of the Apes this spring. The Trol­ley, May 5, Cine­sphere, 955 Lake Shore Blvd. W.

Royal Cin­ema

From the out­side, the Royal is a stun­ning his­toric art deco pic­ture palace but in­side it is one of the epi­cen­tres of Toronto’s film com­mu­nity. Peo­ple don’t go to the Royal to watch the new Mar­vel movie. They go to the Royal to un­earth hid­den film gems, guided by some of the city’s fore­most cul­ture ex­perts. In­cluded in the Royal’s reg­u­lar pro­gram­ming is Indie88’s Band and a Movie, which pairs a Cana­dian band, such as Weaves, Holler­ado, Hannah Ge­or­gas and Born Ruf­fi­ans, with a free screen­ing of the band’s favourite film. There’s also the Laser Blast Film So­ci­ety, which screens de­light­fully weird and ob­scure genre films –– of­ten for the first time –– co-hosted by TIFF Mid­night Mad­ness pro­gram­mer Peter Ku­plowsky and Screen Queens, which com­bines drink­ing games and cult hits, led by drag star Allysin Chaynes. Com­ing up, the Ladies of Bur­lesque put on a live bur­lesque performance and screen 1995’s

Show­girls on 35 mm. Show­girls, May 24, the Royal, 608 Col­lege St.

An ac­tor por­trays Ron Bur­gundy as part of the live ac­tion at a Se­cret Ses­sions screen­ing of ‘An­chor­man’

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