Click Here for Mini-Reviews
Wednesday, March 15
6:30 C.R.A.Z.Y. 2005. Canada. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Screenplay by Vallée, François Boulay. With Michel Côté, Marc-André Grondin, Danielle Proulx.
Take the first initials of the five sons of a Montreal family in reverse birth order-Christian, Raymond, Antoine, Zachary, and Yvan-and you get C.R.A.Z.Y. This exuberant debut film focuses on Zach, the odd duckling of the boys, born Christmas 1960, and his relationship with his feisty family, for whom music plays a significant role. In French, English subtitles. 127 min. New York premiere
9:00 Six Figures. 2005. Canada. Directed by David Christensen. Screenplay by Christensen, based on the novel by Fred Leebron. With JR Bourne, Caroline Cave, Deborah Grover. From Calgary comes a debut feature that is at once a tense domestic thriller and a jaundiced view of an ever-present social malaise: wanting more than you can afford. A couple with two small children look for a home in an overheated housing market, and experience a catastrophe. 108 min. U.S. premiere
Thursday, March 16
6:00 Six Figures. See Wednesday, March 15, 9:00.
8:30 3 Needles. 2005. Canada. Written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald. With Lucy Liu, Chloë Sevigny, Sandra Oh, Stockard Channing, Sook-Yin Lee.
An angry epic in three intense chapters-set in rural China, a South African oceanfront village, and downtown Montreal-about the knowing transmission of a disease. Fitzgerald, recognized for such films as The Hanging Garden (1997) and Beefcake (1999), fashions his most complex and resonant work to date. In English, French, Xhosa, Afrikaans, and Mandarin, English subtitles. 126 min. U.S. premiere
Friday, March 17
4:30 Unnatural and Accidental. 2006. Canada. Directed by Carl Bessai. Screenplay by Bessai, based on the play by Marie Clements. With Carmen Moore, Callum Keith Rennie, Tantoo Cardinal, Clements. In Vancouver, over several years, a large number of lonely and deracinated aboriginal women died in an “unnatural and accidental” way: from drinking too much alcohol offered by an all-too-kind killer. Bessai’s fifth feature tells of a daughter who tries to reach her missing alcoholic mother before she is reached by the “generous” murderer. 90 min. U.S. premiere.
6:30 Whole New Thing. 2005. Canada. Directed by Amnon Buchbinder. Screenplay by Buchbinder, Daniel MacIvor. With Aaron Weber, Rebecca Jenkins, Robert Joy, MacIvor. Buchbinder’s wise second feature is a coming-of-age story about Emerson, a writer mature beyond his 13 years. Homeschooled by his “eco-hippie” parents, he is sent to improve his math at the local high school, where he develops an emotional attachment to his English teacher, much to the gay man’s discomfort. 92 min. U.S. premiere.
8:30 memory for Max, Claire, Ida and company. 2005. Canada. Directed by Allan King. King, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker of Warrendale (1967) and Dying at Grace (2003)-a highlight of Canadian Front two seasons ago-returns with narrationless observations, both candid and humane, on growing old, loss of memory, and emotional behavior. Several residents of a Jewish home for the aged at Baycrest Center for Geriatric Care, in Toronto, and their caregivers and visiting families agree to have their daily lives recorded. 112 min. New York premiere.
Saturday, March 18
1:00 memory for Max, Claire, Ida and company. See Friday, March 17, 8:30. 3:30 C.R.A.Z.Y. See Wednesday, March 15, 6:30. 6:30 Unnatural and Accidental. See Friday, March 17, 4:30. 8:30 3 Needles. See Thursday, March 16, 8:30.
Sunday, March 19
1:00 Les États nordiques (Drifting States). 2005. Canada. Directed by Denis Côté. Screenplay by Côté, Christian LeBlanc. With LeBlanc.
This strong and contemplative debut film mixes a spare narrative with the richness of documentary observation. A Montrealer commits a crime of mercy and heads north to Radisson, the only non-Aboriginal settlement on James Bay, to find salvation. In French, English subtitles. 91 min. U.S. premiere.
3:00 Whole New Thing. See Friday, March 17, 6:30.
5:15 Ma vie en cinémascope (My Life in Cinemascope/Bitter Memories). 2004. Canada. Written and directed by Denise Filiatrault. With Pascale Bussières, Serge Postigo, Denis Bernard.
A film about the life of Alys Robi, the Céline Dion of the late 1940s, a Quebec singer who enjoyed enormous international popularity. In 1952 her family, thinking her unstable, forced her to have a lobotomy. This classically made biographical film, directed by actress-turned-filmmaker Filiatrault, tells the 20-year story of a woman not prepared for celebrity. In French, English subtitles. 105 min. U.S. premiere.
Monday, March 20 6:00 Ma vie en cinémascope (My Life in Cinemascope/Bitter Memories). See Sunday, March 19, 5:15.
8:15 Les États nordiques (Drifting States). See Sunday, March 19, 1:00.