We all miss the Paramount downtown, especially the great job they did bringing in smaller indie films. While it's long gone, there is still a great non-profit organization here that has been continually feeding the Okanagan with a great selection of smaller budget movies that the megaplexes don't show (a new Patricia Rozema film!). The Kelowna Film Society has their fall schedule out, and we've listed what they're showing here.
In 2000, KFS began presenting films in Kelowna as an affiliate of the Shuswap Film Society, and in 2008, they became independent and formed the non-profit organization Kelowna Film Society.
All of their films are shown on Wednesdays at the Orchard Plaza Cinema. Bonus – recliners! Show times are 4pm and 7pm. Ticket sales will commence at 3pm for 4pm showings and at 6pm (once the 4pm showing has ended) for 7pm showings.
Admission is $7 - cash or cheque only. You must present your Kelowna Film Society Membership Card in order to purchase a ticket. Memberships may be purchased at the door for $1 and are good for the calendar year. Multiple show passes are available at the door. You can also purchase a five-film pass for $35.
Tel Aviv On Fire, September 25th
In our currently overwrought political era, would Mel Brooks make a movie centred on a fictional musical “Springtime for Hitler”? Of course he would, but today The Producers would have to line up behind Sameh Zoabi’s comedy Tel Aviv on Fire, which puts the Israeli-Palestinian standoff into a soap opera frame.
Can humour really lead to serious conversations about difficult issues? Tokyo, Seattle, Zurich, Haifa and other festival audiences thought so since each named Zoabi’s work as their best film. Venice also selected Kais Nashif as Best Actor for his portrayal of Salam Abbass, the Palestinian nobody who blunders into the job of soap opera scriptwriter. Eventually, Salam has to make plot choices under pressure from his producers, excited viewers in both communities, and even the captain at his border checkpoint.
In some ways we can hope that a work of art might knit struggling communities together. If our current reality often comes across as bad comedy, perhaps we can appreciate a comedy which speaks to the need for some new realities.
"Multi-layered and crafty” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
Luxembourg, Belgium, Israel, France
Arabic, Hebrew with English subtitles
Times: 4pm - 5:40pm | 7pm - 8:40pm
Photograph, October 2nd
Pressured by his grandmother to get married, a struggling street photographer convinces a shy stranger to pose as his finance in Photograph. They soon develop an unexpected bond that transforms both of them in ways they could not have imagined.
Ritesh Batra (The Lunch Box) returns with another nuanced love story, about the hopes, dreams, and identities of ordinary people of different worlds. With gentle poignancy, Batra explores moments of both isolation and connection amidst the otherwise chaotic urban landscape of Mumbai. In fact, Mumbai is lovingly portrayed as the director seeks out quietly redemptive spaces that are usually missing from tales of this over stuffed city.
Photograph is an insightful meditation on loneliness and the ache of connection. It may be that the stories in movies are all the same but it can be lovely when a movie like this one finds a different way to tell them.
Germany, India, USA
Hindi, Gujarati, English with English subtitles
Times: 4pm - 5:50pm | 7pm - 8:50pm
Mouthpiece, October 9th
Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema returns with a potent exploration of how women across generations contend with their own socialization. One of her most vibrant films to date, Rozema’s latest — an Official Selection in TIFF's 2018 Canada's Top Ten series - knots together the thematic threads of her past work - feminist consciousness and the struggle for self-expression.
In the aftermath of her mother’s sudden death, aspiring writer Cassandra struggles to compose a eulogy. She self-identifies as the black sheep of the family, standing in brazen opposition to her mother’s embodiment of feminine grace. In Cassandra’s eyes, to be a “nurturing mother” and a “classy woman” is to be a vessel for self-sacrifice, and she roils over her mother’s failed career and incessant need for approval from others. Cassandra is only able to connect with her mother when she realizes that her own rebelliousness is as much a response to the male gaze as her mother’s conformity.
"A film that brandishes the messiness of self-doubt and self-contradiction, but uses that morass of emotions to unearth something very pertinent about the lives women live, and the lives they leave behind." – Pamela Hutchinson, Sight & Sound
Times: 4pm - 5:31pm | 7pm - 8:31pm
La Femme de Mon Frere, October 16th
How would you feel about your brother – a psychologist who you live with and with whom you share a symbiotic relationship – if he fell head over heels in love with your gynaecologist?
This Quebecois comedy, set in Montreal, follows Sophia, a brilliant but jobless young PhD, as she navigates a world of absurd yet sincere relationships.
The film is "a perfect fusion of Bridget Jones and Daria" – Le Monde. The main actress (Anne Elisabeth Bosse) is Quebec’s comedy darling and her interpretation is “unforgettable” – Le Monde. So is the cinematic construction of the film – reminiscent of Xavier Dolan’s – with fresh, quick aesthetically pleasing editing.
French with English subtitles Rated: NR
4pm - 5:57pm | 7pm - 8:57pm
nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up, October 23rd
In August 2016, Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man, was part of a group of young people who drove onto the Saskatchewan farm of white owner, Gerald Stanley. Stanley fired warning shots into the air with a pistol since he was alarmed at the actions of Boushie and his friends. When he approached the car, the gun discharged and Boushie was killed instantly. A loaded 22-calibre rifle was later discovered between Boushie’s legs. Stanley claimed self-defence and, following a tense trial that divided the local community, he was acquitted by an all-white jury.
The result captured international headlines which criticized the impartiality of Canada’s legal system and was controversially denounced by senior federal politicians. Director Tasha Hubbard, related by marriage to the Boushie family, documents this complex story as part of Canada’s strained relations with its indigenous population. She highlights the family’s search for justice and the continuing need for reconciliation and greater intercultural understanding. Winner of Best Canadian Feature Documentary at the 2019 Hot Docs Film Festival, We Will Stand Up is a hard film to watch but one not to miss.
"By weaving in a personal story, Hubbard elevates this documentary from a summary of the case to a poignant exploration of how to maintain indigenous identity in a settler society" – Brett Pardy, Seventh Row
Times: 4pm - 5:38pm | 7pm - 8:38pm
Mademoiselle de Joncquieres, October 30th
Madame de la Pommeraye is a young widow whose libertine lover, le Marquis des Arcis, has fallen out of love with her. She seeks revenge by introducing him to Mademoiselle de Joncquieres, a courtesan.
Adapted from a witty story written by the famous French 18th century writer, Denis Diderot, this film is sure to please the eye -and the mind - with its lush costumes and settings. Its drama, rendered with sophistication by a cast with a very wide range from comedy to intimate, results in sincere turmoil.
"Anyone who loves ‘Dangerous Liaisons" - in any of its iterations – should rush to cue up Mademoiselle de Joncquieres, a period romance with a similarly wicked sense of comic melodrama" – Los Angeles Times
French with English subtitles
Times: 4pm - 5:49pm | 7pm - 8:49pm
The Farewell, November 6th
The lovely paradox of The Farewell is that everyone in it tries to hide their feelings as long as they can, yet their story goes straight to your heart.
Billi, is a New Yorker who returns home to China to see her grandmother Nai Nai. The elderly woman has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. The catch is that Nai Nai’s relatives don’t want her to know the painful truth. According to Chinese custom, it’s the kinder way. As everyone gathers under the guise of an expedited wedding, Billi must navigate a minefield of family expectations but she also finds there’s a lot to celebrate especially her chance to rediscover the country she left as a child; her grandmother’s wondrous spirit and the ties that keep on binding even when so much goes unspoken.
Billi and her father sing a duet to "Killing Me Softly With His Song." She delivers a brief tribute to her Nai Nai in a Mandarin that we’re told is imperfect, but that sounds heartfelt. The Farewell is the family’s story, to be sure. It is a paying of last respects. Yet this stirring, dramatic comedy is equally Billi’s story: a classic tale of divided identity in a modern split setting.
"A funny, emotionally intricate and deeply moving tale of severed connections and renewed family ties." – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
English, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian with English subtitles
Times: 4pm - 5:38pm | 7pm - 8:38pm
What You Missed
Wild Rose, September 11th
Fresh out from jail in Glasgow, Scotland after a one year stay for narcotics possession, Rose-Lynn Harden, a 23 year old free spirited, single mother of two children, dreams of becoming a country music star. Forced to wear an ankle monitor and observe a curfew, she can’t return to her job as a singer with a band and lands a job as a house keeper for a wealthy family. Her mother (Julie Walters) hopes that Rose-Lynn will now learn to take responsibility and act like the grown up her kids need her to be.
Jessie Buckley delivers a vivacious and unforgettable performance as Rose-Lynn, her voice a star of its own. With confident hand, director Tom Harper brings the beautiful textured script, full of authentic characters and unexpected turns, to life in a city that, like Rose-Lynn, might appear gritty on the surface but is bursting with spirit and personality.
Rose-Lynn’s story reminds us that taking responsibility doesn’t have to mean giving up hope. And sometimes when we’re chasing our dreams, we realize we were living them all along.
"Wild Rose is a charmer, but it doesn’t charm at the expense of intelligence or depth. It marries its populist appeal to thoughtful social commentary becoming one of the high points of 2019 cinema" – Andrew Kendall, Stabroek News
Times: 4pm - 5:41pm | 7pm - 8:41pm
The Souvenir, September 18th
Written and directed by Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir is a semi-autobiographical account of a relationship between a young, ambitious film student and an older, smooth-talking man, set in 1980s West London. It won the 2019 World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for a Dramatic feature at Sundance.
Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) is beginning to finding her place as a film maker and her own artistic voice. But her journey is derailed when she falls in love with Anthony (Tom Burke) whose charisma is equal to his immorality- much to the dismay of her mother (played by Swinton Byrne’s real-life mother, Tilda Swinton) The subsequent entanglement threatens to destroy Julie’s dream of becoming a filmmaker. While Julie struggles to find her artistic voice, Anthony battles his various addictions.
Rather than a chronological narration of events past and remembered, the film is a collection of memories. Some are still sharp and piercing as shards, while others have been smoothed down and flattened over time. The film is shot in a series of lengthy takes, with the camera keeping its distance; the better to observe the characters at play.
Joanna Hogg has announced that she’s started production on a sequel, suggesting that life after bad romance can continue.
"The Souvenir is one of my favorite movies of the year so far, but I almost want to keep it a secret. Partly because it’s the kind of film…that feels like a private discovery, an experience you want to protect rather than talk about." – A.O. Scott New York Times
Times: 4pm - 5:59pm | 7pm - 8:59pm