Summer Screening Recommendations

Hello all. Welcome back to the Carbon Arc blog. I hope you’re enjoying the warmer (if wetter) days as the Maritime spring turns to summer, and I hope while Carbon Arc is on hiatus you are seeking out the best international and independent cinema.

I’ve got a few suggestions for you to consider in the coming months:

 
Dark comedy The Lobster is a film to watch for.

Dark comedy The Lobster is a film to watch for.

 

First off, I hope you saw Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster when it screened at Cineplex a few weeks ago. One of the strangest films to get a wide release in years, I know the film polarized audiences—I had mixed feelings about it myself—but it’s exactly the kind of challenging cinema we like at Carbon Arc. (In fact, we did consider programming it.) If you missed it, keep an eye out for its arrival on DVD and online platforms.

Another compelling recent release was Ben Wheatley’s High-Rise, an adaptation of a J.G. Ballard novel of dystopian 1970s Britain. It will be on DVD on August 2.

Ongoing now is the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, showing a series of short films by local filmmakers. It runs until Sunday, June 12. The full schedule and ticket information can be found here.

Exciting the Carbon Arc staffers are a couple of screenings at the festival, including the documentary Don’t Blink: Robert Frank on Friday evening. On Sunday they’re showing Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights, the three-part, six hour Portuguese epic. The length is a test for any committed cinephile, but if you’re reading this that’s who you are. (I hope the seats at HIFF are comfy!)

 
 

Also opening in cinemas this weekend are a couple of films worth noting: The Norwegian/Canadian co-production Hevn (Revenge) is a small but compelling drama/thriller set in rural Norway, the story of a woman seeking retribution for the death of her sister. I liked it a lot for its notes of chilly, Scandinavian drama.

 
 

Love & Friendship is a wonderful Jane Austen adaptation from cult American filmmaker Whit Stillman, director of a trio of well-regarded films in the 1990s: Metropolitan, Barcelona, and The Last Days of Disco. This is a case of a director adapting material ideally suited to his sensibility, making for one of the lightest and funniest Austen adaptations put on screen. It’s at The Oxford on Friday.

 
 

Looking ahead to the summer, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon is expected in cinemas at the end of June. Some find the Danish filmmaker to be more interested in shocking visuals than narrative coherence, but he’s inspired a fervent cult around his work, which includes Bronson, Valhalla Rising, and Drive. This one is said to be his first horror film, set in the fashion world.

 
 

I’m keeping my fingers crossed the wonderful Closet Monster gets a cinematic release in July. The picture, from Newfoundlander and first time feature filmmaker Stephen Dunn, was a big hit at the 2015 Atlantic Film Festival. It deserves to be seen by a larger audience.

 
 

The Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or winner Dheepan, from director Jacques Audiard, is expected on DVD on August 9. I don’t think the film will get a cinema release in Halifax, but I’ve heard great things about it.

 
 

Carbon Arc Cinema returns the last week of September following the 2016 Atlantic Film Festival. For more reviews of current releases, please visit my film blog, Flaw In The Iris. Thanks for checking in.