Fixing the world one film at a time

Yes Men black metal among this week’s cinematic offerings

Just because the Calgary Cinematheque Society has wrapped up its Nouvelle Vague series doesn’t mean they’re out of art house classics to show Calgarians. This week the Cinematheque presents Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao Hsien’s A City of Sadness an expansive drama about his home country’s post-Second World War troubles. Locals might remember Hsien for his Flight of the Red Balloon an expansion on Albert Lamorisse’s 1956 children’s classic but expect City of Sadness to show an entirely different side of the director. It screens at the Plaza on Thursday March 18 — and unlike recent Cinematheque screenings it won’t be repeated.

Also this weekend the Plaza is premièring a pair of promising documentaries. The Yes Men Fix the World is the latest from the activist world’s leading band of merry pranksters and it includes the group’s 2007 hoax at Calgary’s Gas and Oil Exposition. The film’s title is a bit optimistic but who doesn’t like a bit of vicarious culture-jamming?

The other is Until the Light Takes Us a look at Norway’s infamous black metal scene from the early ’90s. In addition to some of the most terrifying music ever created at the time that scene also included church burnings murder alleged cannibalism and all the things your parents warned you would happen if you ever listened to anything more threatening than Pat Boone.

Saturday March 20 sees the latest instalment of the Quickdraw Animation Society’s Aboriginal Youth Animation Project (AYAP) at — you guessed it — the Plaza. The AYAP is dedicated to giving aboriginal youth a chance to express their feelings on issues related to youth culture and identity — and it gives audiences a chance to experience the unfiltered creativity that comes with an animator’s first project.

To take this column out of Kensington for a minute next Thursday March 25 is the kick-off to ACAD’s Reel Artists Film Festival at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery. The fest features audience discussions with ACAD faculty and other local artists in addition to screenings about some of the most respected visual artists in the global art community.

But you can’t escape the Plaza for long and the Show Us Your Shorts festival starts its second year with a screening of The Toe Tactic . Yes it’s a full-length feature at a short-film fest but just because it doesn’t really make sense doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show up.