The Al­chemist Cook­book; Al Purdy Was Here

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THE AL­CHEMIST COOK­BOOK drama/hor­ror, 82 min­utes, not rated, 3 chiles

Sean (Ty Hick­son) is a loner who has re­treated from the world, oc­cu­py­ing his time with research into the su­per­nat­u­ral in a cabin in the woods. But he is no Van Hels­ing — he may, in fact, be com­pletely delu­sional. When he first ap­pears on cam­era, Sean could be con­struct­ing a bomb and plan­ning acts of civil dis­obe­di­ence, even terrorism. That is what the film­mak­ers prob­a­bly want you to think, but The Al­chemist Cook­book toys with ex­pec­ta­tions. Hick­son does an im­pres­sive job por­tray­ing a man who may have lost his grip on re­al­ity, play­ing Sean as fully aware of his predica­ment but un­able to avoid suc­cumb­ing to it. It’s an ac­tor’s tour de force. In a scene that seems in­spired by the idea of a ma­gi­cian con­jur­ing de­mons, he sees an ap­pari­tion by his camp­fire. It’s left to the au­di­ence to de­cide if the phan­tom is real or a fig­ment of Sean’s dis­eased mind. If it’s real, it changes the en­tire mean­ing of what we think we’ve been watch­ing. Maybe Sean is a mod­ern-day Van Hels­ing af­ter all. — M.A. Vi­o­let Crown, 5:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 20; 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21; 12:45 p.m. Oct. 23

AL PURDY WAS HERE doc­u­men­tary, 90 min­utes, not rated, 4 chiles

A me­mo­rial statue of free verse poet Al Purdy in Toronto’s Queen’s Park has its own Twit­ter ac­count, @stat­ue­o­falpurdy, that tweets Purdy-like ob­ser­va­tions of the statue’s sur­round­ings, such as “Woman in all white car­ry­ing a new mop.” It is a quiet trib­ute to a man with a foghorn voice and a big per­son­al­ity, Canada’s un­of­fi­cial poet lau­re­ate and win­ner of two Gover­nor Gen­eral’s Awards. Al Purdy Was Here, a doc­u­men­tary about Purdy’s life and the restora­tion of the A-frame

Al Purdy Was Here

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