Docs Opening in Canada this Week (Feb. 2-8)

Brasilia: Life After Design


By Pat Mullen

After last week’s busy release schedule, movie theatres seem to be taking a winter’s nap. It’s a quiet few days of moviegoing in terms of new releases, but doc fans in Vancouver can catch Brasilia: Life After Design when it opens for a few days at Vancity Theatre. The new film from Bart Simpson (not that Bart Simpson) jets audiences to the concrete jungle of Brasilia, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Amazon, and studies the rich history of the city. “Bart Simpson offers a visually stunning and refined portrait of Brasilia,” wrote Anastasia Akulinina while reviewing the film. “The filmmaker captures Brasilia’s obsession for eccentric geometrical shapes and impeccable symmetry, offering a wide range of shots of its most marvelous constructions. Simpson demonstrates the simplicity and genius of Brasilia’s architecture, while personalizing the city through conversing with its residents.” Read the POV review of Brasilia: Life After Design here.

This month’s Doc Soup screening at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is the timely offering of A Suitable Girl. Directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra consider the futures of young women in India by following three subjects in their late twenties and early thirties—old maids by their parents’ standards—as they prepare to be matched and wedded to prospective grooms. A Suitable Girl asks how arranged marriages respect the rights and dreams of women at a time when their contemporaries around the world may choose their own paths. “The film gives voice to countless young women in a society that still struggles to portray them as equal to men, and, thankfully, it does so through perspectives outside of a Western point of view,” we wrote in our review of the film. “A Suitable Girl should engage audiences eager to see more representation for women both on the screen and behind the camera.Read the POV review of A Suitable Girl here.

Finally, doc fans eager to make good use of their mittens and snowshoes can head to Whitehorse for the Available Light Film Festival. The festival’s opening night gala is Melanie Wood’s crowd-pleasing doc Shut Up and Say Something about spoken word artist Shane Koyczan. Other notables on the Canadian front include the Hot Docs anthology In the Name of All Canadians, Carmen Pollard’s devastating For Dear Life and festival favourites A Better Man, Unarmed Verses,, Let There Be Light, A Moon of Nickle and Ice, and The Road Forward. ALFF runs February 3-11.

Kingston’s Reelout Film Festival includes The Gardener and Rebels on Pointe.

Opening this Week:

24 Davids
Dir. Céline Baril | Canada | 135 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinématheque Québécoise – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8

Brasilia: Life After Design
Dir. Bart Simpson | Canada/UK | 88 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Sun, Feb. 4; Tues, Feb. 6

Faces Places
Dir. Agnès Varda, JR | France | 90 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinématheque Québécoise – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8
-Ottawa, ON: ByTowne Cinema – Thursday, Feb. 8
-Toronto, ON: The Regent – Fri, Feb. 2 – Sat, Feb. 3; Tues, Feb. 6

The Final Year Review 1 | Review 2
Dir. Greg Barker | USA | 89 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Feb 2 – Sun, Feb. 4

The Group of Seven Guitar Project
Dir. Liam Romalis, Jason Charters | Canada | 80 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Fri, Feb. 2 – Sun, Feb. 4; Tues, Feb. 6 – Thurs, Feb. 8
—>Directors Liam Romalis and Jason Charters will be in attendance for post-screening discussions on Saturday, February 3 at 8:45 p.m. and Thursday, February 8 at 9:30 p.m.

Integral Man
Dir. Joseph Clement | Canada | 62 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Fri, Feb. 2; Mon, Feb. 5

Jane
Dir. Brett Morgen | USA | 90 min.
-Victoria, BC: Cinecenta – Fri, Feb. 2 – Sat, Feb. 3

Letters from Baghdad
Dir. Sabine Krayenbühl, Zeva Oelbaum | UK/France | 92 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Sun, Feb. 4

Luk’Luk’I
Dir. Wayne Wapeemukwa | Canada | 80 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sun, Feb. 4

Manic
Dir. Kalina Bertin | Canada | 84 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinématheque Québécoise – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8

Midnight Return: The Story of Billy Hayes and Turkey
Dir. Sally Sussman | USA |
-Toronto, ON: The Royal – Fri, Feb. 2; Sun, Feb. 4

Mountain
Dir. Jennifer Peedom | Australia | 74 min.
-Cobourg, ON: Cobourg Loft – Wed, Feb. 7
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sat, Feb. 3

Our People Will Be Healed
Dir. Alanis Obomsawin | Canada | 96 min.
-Edmonton, AB: Metro Cinema – Sat, Feb. 3

Ramen Heads
Dir. Koki Shigeno | Japan | 93 min.
-Calgary, AB: Globe Cinema – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Feb. 2; Sun, Feb. 4; Wed, Feb. 7 – Thurs, Feb. 8

The Road Movie
Dir. Dmitrii Kalashnikov | Russia | 67 min.
-Ottawa, ON: Mayfair Theatre – Fri, Feb. 2; Sun, Feb. 4 – Mon, Feb. 5

Shadowman
Dir. Oren Jacoby | USA | 83 min.
-Vancouver, BC: Vancity Theatre – Fri, Feb. 2 – Sat, Feb. 3; Wed, Feb. 7 – Thurs, Feb. 8

Step
Dir. Amanda Lipitz | USA | 84 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Tues, Feb. 6
—>FREE!

A Suitable Girl
Dir. Sarita Khurana, Smriti Mundhra | USA/India | 94 min.
-Toronto, ON: Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema – Wed, Feb. 7 – Thurs, Feb. 8

The Venerable W.
Dir. Barbet Schroeder | France | 107 min.
-Montreal, QC: Cinema du Parc – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8
-Montreal, QC: Cinématheque Québécoise – Fri, Feb. 2 – Thurs, Feb. 8

Enjoy a week at the movies!