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What to watch in Gimli

Ten offbeat films to see at 2018 festival

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/7/2018 (548 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

In its 18th year, the Gimli Film Festival has reached the age of majority.

Freedom at the beach

The Gimli Film Festival’s most famous feature is also its cheapest. The RBC program of free beach screenings continue until Sunday, with movies screening every night at 10 p.m. (Pending weather conditions, Dr. George Johnson Middle School will be used as a rain venue.)

The Gimli Film Festival’s most famous feature is also its cheapest. The RBC program of free beach screenings continue until Sunday, with movies screening every night at 10 p.m. (Pending weather conditions, Dr. George Johnson Middle School will be used as a rain venue.)

This year’s crop includes:

Phantom of the Paradise (Thursday, July 26)
It was just a matter of time before Brian De Palma’s horror-rock musical — a Winnipeg-specific cult hit — hit the Gimli beach screen. Starring Paul Williams, William Finley and Jessica Harper.

Dazed and Confused (Friday, July 27 at 10 p.m.)
Director Richard Linklater’s eerily accurate portrait of high school students coming to terms with adult responsibility on the last day of school, circa 1976.

The Big Lebowski (Friday, July 27, midnight)
Writer-directors Joel and Ethan Coen filter smoky noir mystery through bong-water in this 1998 cult classic starring Jeff Bridges as a reluctant stoner sleuth.

Stand By Me (Saturday, July 28)
Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming of age film was adapted from a Stephen King novella about four boys on a mission to see a dead body in the woods.

The Great Outdoors (Sunday, July 29)
The late, great John Candy stars in this comedy about a Chicago dad attempting to have a peaceful vacation in the woods. Directed by Howard Deutch, from a script by John Hughes.

Befitting that newfound sense of maturity, the festival recently announced that it would take a more equitable approach to programming, especially with regard to representation. For that reason, a full 46 per cent of this year’s program is made up of films written or directed by women.

But even so, a festival with 111 films is a lot to navigate. With that in mind, befitting a film festival that’s off the beaten path (90 kilometres north of Winnipeg), here are 10 offbeat feature films to consider taking in at the Gimli Film Festival.

 

Archangel

(Thursday, July 26 at 8 p.m. at the A-Spire Theatre)

Guy Maddin’s second feature film after Tales from the Gimli Hospital, this 1990 fantasia is about an amnesiac Russian soldier returning to his home village to continue the fight, not remembering the war has already ended. Maddin will be in attendance at the screening and, in a Saturday night award reception, will receive the Alda Award for his outstanding contributions to the art of cinema as a filmmaker working in the circumpolar nations.

 


 

Ava

(Thursday, July 26, at 12:30 p.m. and Friday, July 27, at 12:30 p.m. at the A-Spire Theatre)

Iranian-Canadian director Sadaf Foroughi created this coming-of-age drama set in Tehran, where upper-middle-class teen Ava devotes herself to her school and music lessons, but is still mistrusted by her mother, who questions her relationship with a boy and takes her suspicions to unsavoury extremes.

 


 

Bachman

(Thursday, July 26, at 10 a.m. at the A-Spire Theatre; Saturday, July 28, at 8 p.m. at the Gimli Theatre)

Winnipeg director John Barnard will be in attendance at this Manitoba première of his documentary portrait of Randy Bachman, the local boy rocker who achieved the rare trick of scoring No. 1 hits with two different bands, the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.

 


 

Before Anything You Say

(Friday, July 27 at 10 a.m. and Saturday, July 28 at 3 p.m. at the A-Spire Theatre)

Director Shelagh Carter will be in attendance at two screenings of her feature drama, based on a chapter of her own life. It’s about a married couple obliged to reconcile after the husband announces his intent to pursue a job opportunity which would take him to Bangkok for five years, without consulting his wife.

 


 

The King

(Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 28 at 3 p.m. at the Gimli Lutheran Church)

A philosophical and political documentary by Eugene Jarecki contemplating the legacy of Elvis Presley in a musical road trip across America in Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce, roughly equating Presley’s corruption on the road to "king" status with his country’s embrace of demagoguery.

 

 


 

Mankiller

(Thursday, July 26 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 29 at 3 p.m. at the A-Spire Theatre)

This documentary by Valerie Red-Horse Mohl takes an intimate look at the life and work of Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to be elected to serve as the Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

 


 

Miseducation of Cameron Post

(Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. and Friday, July 27 at 8 p.m. at the Gimli Lutheran Church and Sunday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Lady of The Lake Theatre.)

Director Desiree Akhavan offers up a different kind of drama, set in 1993, when teenage Cameron (Chloe Grace Moretz) is sent to a gay conversion treatment centre in a remote area called God’s Promise, where she bonds with some fellow residents as they pretend to go along with the reconditioning.

 


 

Never Steady, Never Still

(Friday, July 27 at 8 p.m. at the Lady of The Lake Theatre and Saturday, July 28 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gimli Lutheran Church)

Young Canadian filmmaker Kathleen Hepburn will be in attendance for the screenings of this drama about a mother struggling to take control of her life in the face of Parkinson’s disease, while her son battles for his sexual and emotional identity in the harsh environment of Alberta’s oilfield work camps.

 

 


 

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood

(Thursday, July 26 at 12:30 p.m. and Friday, July 27 at 10p.m. at the Lady of The Lake Theatre)

This documentary portrait of charming pansexual Second World War vet Scotty Bowers from director Matt Tyrnauer simultaneously offers the dishy pleasures of Bowers’ life as a sexual procurer in the Golden Age of Hollywood while exposing just how false a picture Hollywood presented to the world at that time.

 

 


690 Vopnafjörðu

(Thursday, July 26 at 8 p.m. at the Lady of The Lake Theatre and Saturday, July 28 at 10 a.m. at the Gimli Lutheran Church)

This documentary by Karna Sigurðardóttir examines the desolate life among the 645 people of Vopnafjörður, a village in Iceland gripped by fear of depopulation as they struggle to preserve the existence of their fjord town.

 

 

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @FreepKing

Randall King

Randall King
Reporter

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

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