Dec 6, 2009

Passes on sale now!

Passes for the Canadian Cult Revue series are on sale now.... $65.00 for 26 films!

Passes can be bought through Paypal, our Paypal address is:

You can also mail a check to  (checks should be made out to The Lost Dominion Screening Collective)

The Lost Dominion Screening Collective
102-429 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, ON
K2P 2P5

Canadian Cult Revue Schedule:

The first film starts at 7pm for all these screenings.

March 24th: Sci-fi Double Bill

eXistenZ 1999, Director by David Cronenberg, 97mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital, Rated R, 35mm, Studio print

David Cronenberg's labyrinthine take on video games and virtual reality was most commonly compared to The Matrix when it was released in 1999, and the general consensus was that it suffered in comparison. Mainstream audiences were confused by its darker tone, and some critics, expecting dazzle, wrote it off as a lesser effort in the Cronenberg canon.  In retrospect, eXistenZ is a much better science fiction film than The Matrix, with real ideas, and much better performances including ones by leads Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Don McKellar.  A fairer comparison is to Cronenberg's own reality-bending works, like Naked Lunch and Videodrome, and it stands up well. So yourself plug in, play the game, and watch for those clues.

Cube 1998, Directed by Vincenzo Natali, 90mins, 1.85, Dolby SR, Rated R, 35mm, Archival print

Cube was the first feature film produced out of Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Centre.  An impressive directorial effort from Vincenzo Natalie, Cube follows the trials of seven individuals as they mysteriously awake inside of, and try to escape from, the Cube, a morphing prison-puzzle filled with death-traps.  A true representation of the sci-fi “What If” scenario, Cube acquits itself well both as a science fiction film and as a model of ingenious low-budget film making.
April 21st: Early Contact Double Bill

Quest For Fire, 1982, Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, 100mins, Cinemascope 2.35, Dolby A, Rated AA, 35mm original studio print (may have colour fading and print wear)

French director Jean-Jacques Annaud takes on the dawn of man. Shot in Canada, Scotland and Kenya and set 80,000 years ago, this science-fantasy is a unique take on our early history. The film follows three cavemen, Ron Perlman, Nicholas Kadi and Everett McGill on a quest to find fire, but the real star of the film is 20 year old Canadian Rae Dawn Chong, who they meet on their way.  “I saw this film a couple years after its release at the Museum of Man (now the Museum of Nature) back when they still projected film and had a nice 300 seat theatre. A friend and I snuck into the upper balcony and were soon kicked out by the ushers - the film was rated AA and we were alone and about 10 years old. I got my dad on the phone and he told them it was okay for us to watch the film. We loved it! Who wouldn’t?:  Sabre-tooth tigers, woolly mammoths, cave bears, cannibal Neanderthals, primitive humour, nudity, sex and caveman battles.  The film still holds up today in part because of the great locations, cinemascope photography and the use of Desmond Morris and Anthony Burgess (author of A Clockwork Orange) who worked on the early human body language and languages for the film. Another interesting note is that the more advanced tribe that Rae Dawn Chong is from speaks Inuktitut. Apparently if you speak it, you will be rolling in the aisles. A friend of mine also claims that Quest for Fire is a perfect date flick. Here's your chance to find out.” - Paul Gordon

Black Robe, 1991, Directed by Bruce Beresford, 100mins, 1.85, Dolby SR, Rated AA, 35mm Studio print

Black Robe explores the meeting of, and clash of, cultures in early Canada.  It artfully resists taking sides and instead portrays a balanced look at the strengths and weaknesses our founding cultures, both native and European. This beautifully shot, intelligent, and at times brutal, film features a standout performance by Lothair Bluteau (Jesus of Montreal) as a missionary sent to convert the “savages” of the North.  Well worth seeing on the big screen.

May 19th: Slacker Counter-Culture Triple Bill

Monkey Warfare, 2006, Directed by Reginald Harkema, 75mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital, Rated 14A, 35mm archival print (never played)

Steadfast Canadian actor Don McKellar is one of the stars of Reg Harkema's Monkey Warfare, a tale of the counter-culture, or what remains of it.  A love triangle of sorts about the romance of revolution, and what happens when that revolution fails, it asks the obvious question: can that spark be re-ignited? (if you're thinking molotov cocktails, then the answer might be yes).  Also starring Tracy Wright, a supporting actress familiar from such notable films as The Five Senses, Blindness, and  Last Night, who was widely praised for her lead performance here. This film won a Special Jury Prize at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival and Katrina Onstad (CBC, Globe and Mail) named it one of the top ten films of 2006. Onstad praised its stylistic cribbing from the French New Wave and said “This is the sort of film that all young filmmakers with no money should aspire to”. That's the sort of endorsement we can get behind. Join the revolution.

Work, Bike Eat, 1971, Directed by Keith Lock and James Anderson, 40mins, 1.37, mono, Black and White, not rated, 16mm (filmmakers personal print)

Filmmakers Keith Lock and James Anderson directed this film in 1969.  What is this film about? Well... “Work, Bike, Eat” pretty much sums it up.  Lock and Anderson won a student prize for excellence for their documentary film Touched at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1970 and Work, Bike, Eat is similarly excellent.  A companion film called Arnold was also produced.

Waydowntown, 2000, directed by Gary Burns, 83mins, 1.85, Dolby SR, Rated AA, 35mm archival print (never been played)

Waydowntown is director Gary Burns' (Kitchen Party, Radiant City) humorous take on his home town of Calgary, told through a contest between a group of co-workers who are competing to see who can stay inside the longest. Anyone who's visited Calgary in the past twenty years will recognize the pervasive phenomenon of the “Plus 15” system of elevated walkways connecting nearly every building in the downtown.  Similar in nature to Montreal's Underground City and Toronto's PATH system, the Plus 15 is what happens when the harsh Canadian climate meets the soft heart of Canadian civilization, and civilization decides to go shopping (so as to avoid the climate). 

June 30th: Hoser Triple Bill

Goin' Down the Road, 1970, Directed by Donald Shebib, 100mins, 1.37, Mono, Rated AA, 35mm archival print (reprinted in 2000)

Director Don Shebib's 1970 film is ranked high on the list of all-time Canadian classics.  A story of two Maritimers heading to the big city to find a better life, this film is at once serious, hilarious, and heartbreaking. Goin' Down The Road resonates strongly 40 years later in a Canada where regional economic disparities still shape the lives of many.  It was also the start of the “hoser-trend” in Canadian Cinema, but its heart is in a grittier, darker place than the comedies that followed. Think Midnight Cowboy instead of Strange Brew

Strange Brew, 1983, Directed by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, 90mins, 1.85, mono, rated PG, Digital video presentation (for film prints currently available in Canada, but we are still looking...)

Strange Brew is an under appreciated film in Canadian film history. Perhaps because it's squarely aimed at the broad donut-and-beer filled mid-sections of the Canadian populace, it's never quite received the critical attention that it's deserved. In fact, it's never received the commercial attention it's deserved. Any other country that produced a film this successful, with characters as popular, would have produced a stream of sequels. Sadly, (for lovers of comedy) this stands as the only big-screen adventure of the SCTV-spawned hoser brothers known as Bob and Doug. This film is far more clever, and better made, than it's generally given credit for, and it's also a load of laughs.  From our perspective, any film that mixes Hamlet, Max Von Sydow and Oktoberfest deserves a big screen viewing.

Fubar, 2002, Directed by Michael Dowse, 81mins, 1.85, Dolby SR, Rated AA, 35mm studio print

As with so many Canadian films, most audiences discovered the 2002 comedy FUBAR on video, where it quickly gained a devoted following of repeat-viewing fans eager to “Giv'r” at the prospect of  spending time with Terry and Dean, prototypical Albertan party guys. Like his later film It's All Gone Pete Tong, director Michael Dowse is sure to include some winks and nudges to the smarter members of his audience, letting us know that there's a price to be had for good times.  Still, if the party can't go on forever, it's a lot of fun extending it as long as possible, and with the guys from FUBAR, you're with good company (if good company for you includes guys with Mullets who like heavy metal).

July 21st: Neil Young Double Bill

Rust Never Sleeps, 1979, Directed by Neil young, 103mins, 1.85, Dolby A, rated PG, original 35mm print, may have some wear.

Neil young has directed a number of musical based films including Déjà Vu, Greendale, Human Highway, and Journey Through The Past. Rust Never Sleeps is generally considered the best pure music film out of the bunch because it’s just Neil and his band playing for 90 minutes (there's a reason Neil Young fans are often called “Rusties”). This film documents a 1978 concert at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Young's performance and set list really make this film soar, starting with an acoustic set on a 12-string a guitar and moving onto some grungier rock stuff with his backing band Crazy Horse. Young is in top form and the film captures a momentous time period in the history of rock n' roll and Neil Young's career: Punk is in, bloated progressive rock is on the way out, and the 80’s will be a mess, but Neil will make it out alive. Warning: this original print of Rust Never Sleeps includes old film stock, so expect it to be a little rusty around the edges…but still totally watchable.  

Greendale, 2004, Directed by Neil Young, 87mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital/DTS, rated PG, 35mm studio print

Neil Young's Greendale project involved a concept album and tour captured live in this feature film. It ties together a lot of his artistic preoccupations including the faded idealism of the 60's generation, the crisis of the environment, the personal failings of his flawed protagonists and his hopes for the next generation.  Set in the fictional town of Greendale, California, using an interconnected series of vignettes of characters, with their lives and struggles expressed through songs. Rather than following the approach of a traditional stage musical, instead we see actors appear with Neil Young singing for all the characters. The film is also shot in glorious Super-8 film format (the old home-movie format) which adds to the film’s “home made” rough-around-the-edges aesthetic. Greendale is a project that could have easily fallen apart if it had been approached in a heavy-handed manner. However, Neil Young's trademark sly sense of humour, attention to songwriting craft, clever use of the “school play” structure lift this project out of the ordinary. Ambitious and fresh, it proves once again that Neil Young is Canada's superlative songwriter, and not a bad filmmaker either.

August 18: Indy 16mm Double Bill

Crime Wave, 1985, Directed by John Paizs, 80mins, 1.37, mono, rated AA, 16mm print from the Winnipeg film group, expect some print wear.

John Paisz's Crimewave is one of the best films produced out of the Winnipeg Film Group in the 1980's. Along with Guy Maddin, Paisz was able to deftly capture a bit of the uniqueness of the “Centre of the Country” filtered through classic film genres and cinema history.  More accessible than the works of Maddin, Paizs' Crimewave is a good-natured look at the process of film making itself. Paisz later went on to direct many of the mini-filmed segments of the CBC series Kids in the Hall, and a similar off-kilter sensibility is equally on display here.  A true gem of a film.

Skip Tracer, 1978, Directed by Zale Dalen, 94mins, 1.37, mono rated AA, 16mm print from Queens University

Director Zale Dalen's feature film debut, Skip Tracer was shot on location in Vancouver in the late 1970's. It's a hardscrabble drama concerning a bill-collector attempting to regain past glory by tracking down all his “skips” - people who have skipped out on paying their bills.  Enthusiasts of this little-seen film insist that it is a lost classic, one of the best Canadian films produced in the past 40 years, and a stringent commentary on life as lived in the back-alleys and “mean streets” of our cities. Rarely seen on the big screen since its debut, this is your chance to make up your own mind.

Sept. 22nd: Tax Shelter and VCR Bonanza Years Double Bill

The Brain, 1988, Directed by Ed Hunt, 90mins, 1.85, Dolby A, rated AA, Archival print with perfect colour.

The advent of the vcr enabled many lower-budget filmmakers to thrive in the 1980's with a built-in audience of b-movie addicts, with action and horror genres dominating the most successful rentals. If these films received theatrical release at all, it was the video store where they received their second and more appropriate lease on life.  If you can see past the cheesy monster effects and get past the other hilarious elements of the story, The Brain is a horror movie with a message: the importance of independent thinking. Proving that The Brain is a movie with (at least some) brains.

Striking Back (AKA Search and Destroy), 1979, Directed by William Fruet, 92mins, 1.85, mono, rated PG, 35mm original print, colour has faded and some wear.

William Fruet, the writer of Goin' Down The Road directs this revenge film centred on the traumatic after-effects of the Vietnam War.  The tax-shelter years of the 1970's created an opportunity for Canadian productions that might not have gotten off the ground in previous years, often using imported American stars, often providing surprisingly rich opportunities for Canadians to see their own country on film as Canada. You can debate just how “Canadian” these stories are, but what's not debatable is that they established a commercial industry that fostered many of the films of the English Canadian film renaissance of the 1980's. This exciting thriller is set in Niagara Falls, starring George Kennedy, tv stalwart Perry King (Riptide, Melrose Place), and Tisa Farrow (younger sister of Mia Farrow).

Oct. 20th: Halloween Double Bill

Ginger Snaps, 2000, Directed by John Fawcett, 108mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital, Rated R, 35mm studio print

A darker Canadian counterpart to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Ginger Snaps, directed by John Fawcett in the year 2000, explores the darkness lurking in the Canadian suburbs where teenagers know that things are not all well. If you ever thought adolescence had a monstrous side, Ginger Snaps is for you. A tale of two sisters, and the things go bite in the night, Ginger Snaps is both an effective scary movie and smart social commentary, exploring the world of the modern teenager with a wit  seldom seen outside of the films of John Hughes. It's a biting wit, and to its credit, it's a film that's not afraid of the horrific underbelly of high school. 

American Psycho, 2000, Directed by Mary Harron, 101mins, Cinemascope 2.35, Dolby Digital, Rated R, 35mm studio print

Bret Easton Ellis’s best selling novel is transformed by Canadian director Mary Harron into the first cult classic of the 21 century. Set in the 80’s world of big business Patrick Batemen (Christain Bale) takes no prisoners and whips out all competition in his strive for power and perfection in the corporate world. Mary Harron puts a female spin on the story and adds a lot of humour to this serial killer romp. 

 “The film regards the male executive lifestyle with the devotion of a fetishist. There is a scene where a group of businessmen compare their business cards, discussing the wording, paper thickness, finish, embossing, engraving and typefaces, and they might as well be discussing their phalli. Their sexual insecurity is manifested as card envy". Roger Ebert.

The cinemascope photography, shot in Toronto, also perfectly suits the film. The Director of Photography used the lowest speed film stocks and almost all the lights available to him on set to give the film a deep focus, sterile look. The end result is a film that is visually stunning on the big screen. Also starring Willem Dafoe, Reese Witherspoon and Jared Leto.

Nov. 10th: Lest We Forget Double Bill

Canadian Army News Reels, 1940-46, 100mins, 1.37, Non rated, 35mm archival prints

In honour of Remembrance Day, we are proud to present a series of rarely-seen Canadian Army Newsreels from World War Two.  Some of you may recall a special screening of Casablanca at the Mayfair a couple of years ago that was preceded by a newsreel that film conservator Paul Gordon retrieved from Library and Archives Canada. The rapturous reception by the audience convinced us that Ottawans were ready for more.  The prints we are going to show have been fully restored (cleaned up, and re-printed from their original sound and film elements) and will give the audience a chance to experience the progress of the war the way so many Canadians on the home front would have done at the time.  There's nothing quite like seeing a newsreel on the big screen to experience the real-life drama and struggle of war. We invite you to bring your Remembrance Day to life and join us in honouring our veterans and their sacrifice in this unique and moving tribute.

Archangel, 1990, Directed by Guy Maddin, 82mins, 1.37, mono, rated AA, New 35mm print from the Winnipeg film group

Set in World War One, Archangel is a strange and atypical war movie brought to the screen by the king of arch-stylization, Winnipeg's own Guy Maddin. Filmed in the style of a silent film, Archangel is at once dreamlike and disturbing. Using the trope of amnesia to explore the horror of war, Archangel is about as far away from a standard war movie as you can get without floating into pure abstraction. Yet, it is precisely this lack of sense that makes perfect sense, because with war, after all, is the least sensible creation of the human mind. A worthwhile journey, for those prepared to enter the dream.

Dec. 15th: Xmas Chills Double Bill

The Silent Partner, 1979, Directed by Daryl Duke, 106mins, 1.85, mono, rated R, 35mm original print

Christopher Plummer gets to play big, bad, and bold as the villain of The Silent Partner, a thriller set in late 1970's Toronto.  Using the Eaton Centre as a prime location, The Silent Partner also stars Elliot Gould as a bank clerk out to thwart Plummer's plans. Great fun, and more than a little shocking at times for its ferocious depiction of ruthless criminality. This film was written by Curtis Hanson, who later went on to direct L.A. Confidential, The River Wild, Wonder Boys and 8 Mile. A highlight of the Tax Shelter Years, this film was one of the more polished films of the era. Also starring Susannah Yorke. Watch for an appearance by John Candy.

Black Xmas, 1974, Directed by Bob Clark, 98mins, 1.85, Mono, rated R, 35mm original print

Director Bob Clark owns the distinction of having produced one of the most beloved Christmas movies of the past 40 years (1983's A Christmas Story) and also the scariest in 1974's Black Christmas. Both were filmed mostly in Canada. Clark is often credited as the inventor of the slasher genre that went on to great commercial success in the 1980's (Halloween, Friday the 13th etc), but that credit does him a bit of a disservice, conjuring up images of generic slice-em dice-em exploitation films with little artistic merit.  If Black Christmas belongs to the slasher genre, it is surely one of the best, and one that uses old-fashioned suspense to scare its audience and rather than excessive gore.  With an star-studded cast including Keir Dullea (star of Stanley Kubrick's 2001), Margot Kidder (Superman), Andrea Martin (SCTV), John Saxon (Enter the Dragon), and Argentinian beauty Olivia Hussey (Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet).

Jan. 19th 2011: Quebec City Double Bill

Whispering City, 1946, Directed by Fedor Ozep, 91mins, 1.37, mono, rated PG, 35mm new archival print

Whispering City is a film noir mystery set in Quebec City in the late 1940's.  Directed by Russian-born director Fédor Ozep (also known as Fyodor Otsep), english and french versions of this film were produced with different casts at the same time (in french it was called La Forteresse).  A modest hit at the time, Whispering City very effectively uses Quebec City as a backdrop and is notable for its excellent musical score. Starring Mary Anderson (from Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat) and Paul Lukas (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Best Actor Oscar-winner from 1943's Watch on the Rhine). 

Le Confessional, 1995, Directed by Robert Lepage, 101mins, 1.85, Dolby SR, rated AA, 35mm studio print

Quebec director Robert Lepage directed Le Confessional with his trademark, innovative style. Lepage is probably Canada's most accomplished theatre director, and is not far off when it comes to the cinema either. Tying strands of story together of Alfred Hitchcock's filming of I Confess with Montgommery Clift in Quebec City of the 1950's, and a tale of familial loss and discovery in the 1990's, Le Confessional succeeds brilliantly at capturing the myth and the mystery of Canada's walled city, the people who dwell within those walls, and the walls of time and loss. 

Feb. 16th 2011: Extreme Docs Double Bill

The Man Who Skied Down Everest, 1975, Directed by Bruce Nyznik and Lawrence Schiller, 88mins, Cinemascope 2.35, mono, rated Family, 35mm archival re-mastered print

The Man Who Skied Down Everest, produced by Ottawa's own Crawley Films, is a monumental movie in more ways than one. Founded by Budge Crawley in the late 1940's, Crawley Films grew into Canada's largest independent film studio, and even rivaled the NFB for cinematic output. It produced everything from Canada's second animated feature film (Return to Oz) in 1962, to industrial films, tv commercials, feature films and documentaries. Based in Ottawa/Gatineau, with a studio in Old Chelsea and a branch office in Toronto, it produced over 5000 films and won numerous awards over its 43 year history, including the Academy Award for Best Feature Length Documentary in 1976 for The Man Who Skied Down Everest (the first Academy Award ever won by a Candian feature film).  This film follows Japanese adventurer Yuichiro Miura as he attempts to sky down the tallest mountain in the world. Very popular with both audiences and critics of the time,  this is a film that deserves being seen on the big screen.

Life Without Death, 2000, Directed by Frank Cole, 83mins, 1.37, mono, not rated, 35mm archival print

Ottawa director Frank Cole created an epic existential documentary with Life Without Death, a personal tale of survival set in one of the harshest environments imaginable – the elemental and unforgiving landscape of the Sahara Desert.  By attempting to become the first person to cross the Sahara on foot, Cole presaged the popular reality-based tv shows like Man Vs. Wild and Survivor Man, but it's closer to Lawrence of Arabia than anything comparable on reality TV. This film has gained a devoted cult following with good reason. Cole's chronicle of his struggle against the desert at the limits of human endurance is mesmerizing in its intensity and stunning in its stark and poetic visual-composition. In it, Frank Cole manages to confront the most basic realities of human existence in a herculean test of fortitude and will.  This is a documentary that stays with you long after you have seen it.