10 to target at the 2018 Calgary International Film Festival

So many movies, so little time.

This year’s Calgary International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 19 to 30  is yet another smorgasbord of cinematic goodness served up on city screens.

What to see? When to see it?

These are the questions that can drive any film-lover loony.

We’re here to help.

Writers John Tebbutt (a.k.a. The Video Vulture) and Mike Bell have teamed up to give their top flick picks for this year’s fest.

Take their advice, ignore it — it doesn’t really matter as long as you get out there and see something good over the next 12 days.

Under the Silver Lake

Friday, Sept. 28, 7:40 p.m. at Eau Claire 4

Sunday, Sept. 30, 12:30 p.m. at Eau Claire 2

OK, Calgary Film, it’s weird that you’d try to confuse your patrons by scheduling two different movies with the words “Silver Lake” in the title, but I still wanna see this one — despite the fact that it’s got two actors from the worst Spider-Man movies in it. Andrew Garfield and Topher Grace are actually good actors (when they aren’t in bad Spider-Man movies), and we all want to see what writer/director David Robert Mitchell has in store for us after the dizzyingly original It Follows (2014).

Mega Time Squad

Friday, Sept. 28, 10:15 p.m. at Globe Cinema (downstairs)

Sunday, Sept. 30, 4:20 p.m. at Eau Claire 2

I’m a big fan of the “dumb people messing with time travel” subgenre, and this New Zealand-produced curio looks like my kind of nonsense. The title alone convinced me, to be honest.

Secret Ingredient

Friday, Sept. 28, 9:10 p.m. at Eau Claire 1

Sunday, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. at Globe Cinema (downstairs)

A desperate man with a sickly father bakes some stolen cannabis into a cake, and gets a reputation as a miracle healer. This sounds like it has the potential to be an endearing but edgy dark comedy.

Behind the Curve

Saturday, Sept. 22, 2:05 p.m. at Eau Claire 2

Saturday, Sept. 29, 3:40 p.m. at Eau Cliare 5

An increasingly large group of people seem to really, really believe that the Earth is flat. In 2018. Despite … like … SO much evidence to the contrary. So here’s a documentary in which a bunch of ’em explain themselves. Sometimes, it’s just fun to let the crazy folk talk crazy.

The Long Dumb Road

Saturday, Sept. 22, 1:45 p.m. at Eau Claire 1

Monday, Sept. 24, 6:30 p.m. at Globe Cinema (downstairs)

This movie appears to have the good sense to put wild-haired madman Jason Mantzoukas (from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The League, and the hilarious bad-movie podcast How Did This Get Made?) in front of a camera and just let him go. That’s what I want to see. This guy rants like Robin Williams in his prime.

— John Tebbutt

The House That Jack Built

Saturday, Sept.  22, 9:30 p.m. at Eau Claire 6

One screening only of this late addition to the fest, and one that will likely be packed. Director Lars von Trier’s serial killer flick stars Matt Dillon as the titular character — a psychopath who racks up a pretty impressive body count while tempting fate to take him down. It looks like a gory, creepy, arty, mind-bender of a movie, with a stellar cast that also includes Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Riley Keough and Bruno Ganz.

Smuggling Hendrix

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 9:15 p.m. at Eau Claire 5

Friday, Sept. 28, 7:15 p.m. at Eau Claire 3

Who doesn’t love a dog movie? Unless it’s Cujo, you could probably describe any entry into the canine cinematic oeuvre as “heart-warming,” and this film is apparently no exception. It tells the tail (see what I did there?) of a musician who goes in search of his dog, Jimi, who ran away, crossing the UN buffer zone dividing the Turkish and Greek sides of Cyprus. Getting his beloved pooch back brings him into contact with a cast of characters who prove that there really isn’t much of a divide between people no matter their beliefs. Unless you’re a cat lover.

Assassination Nation

Thursday, Sept. 20, 9:35 p.m. at Globe Cinema (downstairs)

Mean Girls meets The Purge. ’Nuff said. Oh, and should you miss this screening, it opens wide on Friday, Sept. 21.

Bad Reputation

Friday, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m. at Eau Claire 6

Monday, Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m. at Eau Claire 5

A true rock and roll pioneer gets put in the spotlight with this documentary about Joan Jett. From her early days in all-girl act The Runaways to mainstream success in the ’80s via a chart-topping cover of I Love Rock ’n’ Roll and a career that continues today — she just dropped Fresh Start, her first new tune in a half-decade, which is featured in the doc — see the story of an artist who has inspired many and many women to pick up a guitar and R&R.

I’ll Take Your Dead

Thursday, Sept. 27, 9:30 p.m. at Globe Cinema (downstairs)

Saturday, Sept. 29, 11:20 a.m. at Eau Claire 2

Except this one’s not. Dead, that is. When gangland murder victims are dumped on his property out in the country, a man disposes of them and makes them disappear. But one body is very much alive and he has to figure out what to do with her. Pretty sure it’s not as easy as the scene from the Python and the Holy Grail. Or as funny. The film’s star Aidan Devine, producer Chris Giroux, and director Chad Archibald will be in attendance for the world premiere of this taut thriller.

— Mike Bell

The Calgary International Film Festival runs Sept. 19 to 30 at various locations around Calgary. For a complete list of films, schedule and to purchase tickets please go to