Here are some of the great independent, foreign, and critically-acclaimed movies playing at Bytowne Cinema this week:
Boychoir, April 29 – May 3
Dustin Hoffman stars as the head conductor, authoritarian choirmaster, of the American Boychoir School in New Jersey. He takes an 11-year old boy from a disadvantaged background (newcomer Garrett Wareing) under his wing, as the young treble singer learns to hone his voice, fit in at school, and impress his father. Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph explains: “. Hoffman’s performance has a sadness, an unexplained loneliness, which gives this slightly diffident piece a centre of sorts, and there’s a pleasing air of melancholy all round. It befits the especially ephemeral nature of these teacher-student bonds, which can last only as long as a young boy’s voice still climbs up to the high notes.”
The Price We Pay, May 3-6
This documentary feature from Harold Crooks probes offshore corporate tax havens. It traces the history of multinational corporations using loopholes and havens to hide from domestic tax obligations. “Essential to such endeavours is public awareness of the issues, which Crooks’s film is helping to heighten; and to which you can contribute with a thought-provoking night out at the cinema,” says T’Cha Dunlevy of the Montreal Gazette.
The Salt of the Earth, April 29-30
The Salt of the Earth is a collaboration between Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders. It takes an iconic picture of Brazil’s Serra Pelada mine and uses it as the foundation for a documentary feature. It was also nominated for a 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It tells the story of deforestation, and the environmental tally of human activity.
Une Nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend), May 7
The Inside Out Festival, which we have previously featured on UpFront Ottawa, presents this screening of Une Nouvelle amie (The New Girlfriend) on May 7 . This French film from auteur filmmaker Ozon “is a layered meditation on friendship, loss, desire and identity that skilfully shifts between psychological drama and playful farce.” Anaïs Demoustier stars as Claire, a woman who feels compelled to support her dead best friend’s husband David (Romain Duris) and newborn baby. It is based on a short story by Ruth Rendell and evokes the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
This Mauritanian movie was a 2014 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. “In the hands of a master, indignation and tragedy can be rendered with clarity yet subtlety, setting hysteria aside for deeper, more richly shaded tones. Abderrahmane Sissako is just such a master, and while previous films have showcased his skill at bringing magnetic dignity to his characters,Timbuktu confirms his status as one of the true humanists of recent cinema.”
Enjoy the films, everyone!