Dec 13, 2013

John and the Missus Mayfair Theatre Jan. 28th 2014

John and the Missus, 1987, 35mm Archival print, 95mins,  Mayfair Theatre, Jan. 28th 9pm

John and the Missus is the story of one man’s passionate attempt to fight for the land he loves and the way of life he believes in. Set against the rugged beauty of Newfoundland’s coastal landscape, this romantic drama unfolds during the early sixties when the future of an isolated mining community is threatened by the government’s planned resettlement program.

When a cave-in at the Cup Cove copper mine gives a government representative the opportunity to permanently close the mine – and, by extension, the town – John (Gordon Pinsent) fights back to save the mine and the town he loves. This struggle tests not only the deep love that John and the Missus (Jackie Burroughs) have for each other and their family, but John’s own sense of self. When resistance proves futile and everyone around him has given in, he literally uproots his house and sails away.

John and the Missus was clearly a labour of love for Gordon Pinsent, who directed and stars in the film and adapted the screenplay from his own novel. In many ways, it is a companion piece to Peter Carter’s The Rowdyman (1972). Also written by and starring Pinsent, The Rowdyman focuses on a young rabble-rouser who stirs up trouble in his Newfoundland village, while John and the Missus depicts the importance and sanctity of community to a more mature and wiser man. A sentimental look back to a time when small Newfoundland communities were a way of life to be treasured, the film was nominated for six Genie Awards and won for Leading Actor (Pinsent) and Music Score (Michael Conway-Baker).

Nov 27, 2013

The Silent Partner, Dec.10th Mayfair Theatre

The Silent Partner, 1979, Directed by Daryl Duke, 106mins, 1.85, mono, rated R, 35mm original print, Mayfair Theatre Dec. 10th 9:15pm

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.

Oct 21, 2013

The Viking (1931) Nov. 26th Mayfair Theatre

Screening at the Mayfair Theatre, November 26th, 9pm
 Archival 35mm print from 2003, fully restored by the
 Motion Picture Lab of Library and Archives Canada

Year: 1931
Language: English
Format: 35mm Black & White
Runtime: 71 min
Director:George Melford, Varick Frissell
Producer:Varick Frissell, Roy Gates
Writer:Varick Frissell, Garnett Weston
Cinematographer:Maurice Kellerman, Alfred Gandolfi
Editor:Alfred Gandolfi
Sound:Alfred Manche
Cast:Charles Starrett, Louise Huntington, Arthur Vinton, Bob Bartlett
Production Company:Newfoundland-Labrador Film Company
Two Newfoundlanders – good guy Luke Oarum (Charles Starrett) and bully Jed Nelson (Arthur Vinton) – compete for the love of Mary Jo (Louise Huntington). Not wanting to leave Luke alone with Mary Jo, Jed ensures that his rival comes seal hunting with him on a ship skippered by Captain Barker (Bob Bartlett), even though Luke has a reputation as a “jinker” – someone who brings bad luck to his shipmates.

After several misadventures on board ship – for which Jed always makes Luke appear responsible – the two become isolated on the ice during the hunt. Jed attempts to kill Luke, but when a fierce storm cuts them off from the ship and Jed becomes snowblind, Luke leads him back to land by crossing the ice-floes on foot. They arrive back in town just as a memorial service for them is being held. Jed tells how Luke saved his life and Luke wins the hand of Mary Jo.

This extraordinary portrait of the Newfoundland people’s “dramatic struggle for existence” was produced by the Delaware-incorporated Newfoundland-Labrador Film Company, headed by twenty-eight-year-old Yale graduate Varick Frissell, an explorer and documentary filmmaker who by the age of twenty-three had already explored the interior of Labrador by canoe. The role of the ship’s captain was played by legendary Capt. Bob Abram Bartlett, the Newfoundlander who had captained Robert Peary’s 1908-09 expedition to the North Pole.

 Not only was The Viking one of the first talkies, it was also the first location shoot outside Hollywood financed by Paramount Studios and, most notably, the first film to record sound and dialogue on location – on the ice-floes themselves, no less. Though Frissell shot all the extensive actuality scenes involving life aboard ship and the seal hunt, Paramount insisted that Hollywood director George Melford (Dracula) direct the fiction scenes. When test screenings confirmed Frissell’s concern that the overt melodrama of these sequences conflicted with and detracted from the power of the actuality content, he returned to Newfoundland to shoot more footage that would replace many of the clunky romantic scenes. He set sail on the Viking in March 1931, but six days later the ship exploded, killing twenty-seven men including Frissell and all but one of his crew. The cause of the explosion was never determined and Frissell’s body was never found – despite a handsome reward offered by his wealthy family.

The film was released in its initial form, including the awkwardly staged love scenes that do indeed detract from the authentic portrait that Frissell had wanted. To capitalize on the publicity, the film’s title was changed from White Thunder to The Viking and was advertised as “the picture that cost the lives of the producers, Varick Frissel, and twenty-five members of the crew.” It enjoyed a good deal of success in the early thirties, then faded into obscurity.

Though The Viking is technically not a Canadian film, its particular mix of dramatic fiction with footage of the wild, hostile and foreboding landscape imbues it with an especially Canadian spirit and style that distinguishes it from many of the legally Canadian “quota quickies” of the same era. It has much in common with the work of Robert Flaherty and is comparable to the contemporaneous The Silent Enemy in that the environment becomes a principal character in the drama.

Review by: Andrew McIntosh from the Canadian Film Encyclopedia


This screening is dedicated to the director Varick Frissell and the 25 other crew who died making this picture

Aug 22, 2013

Home Movie Day Oct. 19th Mayfair Theatre, Ottawa

"As a child, I used to think home movies, compared to proper films, inept and boring. But I've been converted--many examples I've seen have been beautifully shot and historically invaluable. See for yourself at your local Home Movie Day event in October."

-- Kevin Brownlow

"Home Movie Day is the perfect opportunity for people to connect with our past and to move the conversation about preserving our cultural heritage into the future."

-- Ken Burns 

"Saving our film heritage should not be limited only to commercially produced films. Home movies do not just capture the important private moments of our family's lives, but they are historical and cultural documents as well. Consider Abraham Zapruder's 8mm film that recorded the assassination of President Kennedy or Nickolas Muray's famously vibrant color footage of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera shot with his 16mm camera. Imagine how different our view of history would be without these precious films. Home Movie Day is a celebration of these films and the people who shot them. I urge anyone with an interest in learning more about how to care for and preserve their own personal memories to join in the festivities being offered in their community..."

 -- Martin Scorsese 

The Lost Dominion Screening Collective is happy to announce that Ottawa will participate in this year’s International Home Movie Day on Saturday October 19, 2013 at the Mayfair Theatre from 3:30 till 5:30pm. Home Movie Day is an annual event celebrating amateur film and filmmaking. The audience is invited to bring their own “home movies,” which will be shown on the big screen. The event provides an opportunity for attendees not only to view their own home movies in their original format (since many people don’t own their own projectors anymore), but also to learn more about our community and cultural narratives through the personal histories revealed within these shared films.
Home Movie Day is free and open to the public. The event will include a discussion on the best ways to preserve film and videotape. Attendees are encouraged to bring films and videotapes in the following gauges for inspection and screening (when possible, although some material might be too damaged or delicate to project):

·         Film: Regular 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, 28mm, 35mm

          Videotape: Video8 and Hi-8

Trained archivists will be in attendance to answer questions, and prepare material for screening.

Home Movie Day was started in 2002 by a group of film archivists concerned about what would happen to all the home movies shot on film during the 20th century. They knew many people have boxes full of family memories that they’ve never seen for lack of a projector, or out of fear that the films were too fragile to be viewed. They also knew that many people were having their amateur films transferred to videotape or DVD, with the mistaken idea that their new digital copies would last forever and the “obsolete” films could be discarded. Original films (and the equipment required to view them) can long outlast any version on VHS tape, DVDs, or other digital media. Not only that, but contrary to the stereotype of the faded, scratched, and shaky home movie image, the original films are often carefully shot in beautiful, vibrant color—which may not be captured in a lower-resolution video transfer.

Home Movie Day has grown into a worldwide celebration of these amateur films, during which people in cities and towns all over meet their local film archivists, find out about the archival advantages of film over video and digital media, and—most importantly—get to watch those old family films! Because they are local events, Home Movie Day screenings can focus on family and community histories in a meaningful way. They also present education and outreach opportunities for local archivists, who can share information about the proper storage and care of personal films, and how to plan for their future.

The Lost Dominion would like to thank the Mayfair Theatre for generously donating their space for this event. Please join us for Home Movie Day: Saturday, October 19, 2013 at the Mayfair Theatre from 3:30 till 5:30pm. We want to see your films!

For more information about Ottawa’s Home Movie Day, please contact lostdominion For more info on International Home Movie Day, please visit


Aug 9, 2013

Canadian Cult Revue Season IV Begins Sept. 24th! with Class of 1984

Class of 1984, Sept. 24th, Mayfair Theatre 1074 Bank St. 9pm
Directed by Mark Lester, 98 Minutes, 1982, Canada, 35mm, R

Class of 1984 is something like a B-movie amalgam of Death Wish and Fame. Shot in Toronto by director Mark Lester (Commando, Firestarter), it stars Perry King (Search and Destroy) as a high-school music teacher in an escalating fight for survival with a gang of teenage thugs at his new school. Roger Ebert gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four, calling it "raw, offensive, vulgar, and violent, but it contains the sparks of talent and wit, and it is acted and directed by people who cared to make it special." It's definitely not for the squeamish, but if you can stomach the exploitation it has many highlights, including a great supporting performance by Roddy McDowall (Planet of the Apes) and cameos from Canadian acting icons Al Waxman and Michael J. Fox (in only his second big-screen appearance). Presented by the Canadian Cult Revue.


Jun 25, 2013

Cinema Under Stars IV August 10th

Cinema Under Stars IV August 10th @ Raven's Knoll Campground. 35MM

At dusk the screening will start with some surprise 35mm animated shorts then the feature film. The films are free, camping is regular prices ($11 for adults, $5 for kids). The campground is near Eganville, Ontario (on the Bonnechere River close to Golden Lake) For more on Raven's Knoll go here

Night of the Comet, 1984, 35mm, 95mins, Rated AA

Night of the Comet is a fun sci-fi/comedy about the end of world, starring Canadian actress Catherine Mary Stewart (The Last Starfighter) and Robert Beltran ("Chakotay" from Star Trek Voyager). Made in the mid-1980's and filmed in classic 80's style (think neon, leg warmers and big hair) it poses the tongue-in-cheek question that only a B-movie can answer: what if a mysterious comet turned most of the human race into dust or zombies, and left the remaining survivors to fend for themselves in the post-apocalypse? The answer is just the kind of film you may have seen at the drive-in back in 1985.

May 1, 2013

Thanks for a great CCR Season III !

A big thanks to everyone who came out to our screenings this season. We are currently planning the Canadian Cult Revue Season IV. Check back mid summer for the new schedule.  Thanks again for all the support!

Mar 27, 2013

The Adventures of Prince Achmed, April 30th Bytowne Cinema

The Adventures Of Prince Achmed (1926), April 30th 9:05pm Bytowne Cinema
with Live Music. 35mm Tinted and Toned print.

The Adventures Of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving feature-length animated film. We present it tonight from a restored 35mm film print, brought up for one night only from a distributor in the United States. The evening will feature a live musical performance of a new score composed by Ottawa’s own Mike DubuĂ© (Hilotrons), who will perform it along with various guest musicians.

The musicians performing the score are:
Mike Dubue: Bass, Piano, Vibraphone
Holger Schoorl: Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar
Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde: Cello
Paul Hogan: Electric Guitar
Alex Moxon: Electric Guitar
Adam Sakailey: Effects, Piano
Rolf Klausener: Bass
Philip shaw Bova: Percussion

To make this all happen we are selling advance tickets and fundrasing to pay for the musicans, rental and original musical composition. Check out the campaign here which includes lots of great perks:

Achmed is a tale of adventure and magic based on the legends of the 1001 Arabian Nights. The film was created over a three-year period by German director Lotte Reiniger, who animated the film using an innovative silhouette technique, photographing cardboard cut-outs and lead forms with a multi-plane camera. Though filmed in black and white, Reiniger also employed various coloured tints and tones to lend the film a more evocative atmosphere. The end result is a film of surprising depth and delicacy. Upon its release it was widely acclaimed as a masterpiece.

Reiniger was a highly accomplished animator, and a determined female pioneer in the film world. In her professional life she crossed paths with luminaries such as Bertholt Brecht, Fritz Lang, and Jean Renoir, as well as John Grierson, who later founded the National Film Board of Canada. He helped Reiniger and her husband flee to England to escape Nazi persecusion for her involvement in left-wing politics, where she lived and worked for many years, before coming to Canada in the early 1970s. Enticed out of a self-imposed retirement after the death of her husband, she completed two final short animated films at the NFB, and influenced a new generation of Canadian animators.

It may be a stretch to claim Reiniger as a Canadian filmmaker, but we’re willing to do it in the name of art.

Press info here

– Lost Dominion Screening Collective

Feb 5, 2013

Decasia, March 26th With Bill Morrison

Decasia, 2002, 35mm, March 26th, Bytowne Cinema,
with Director Bill Morrison in Attendance  
Production year: 2002
Country: USA
Cert: PG
Runtime: 67 mins
Director: Bill Morrison
Format: 35mm

Decasia is a stirring, haunting feature film masterpiece composed
entirely of found footage- more precisely decaying early nitrate film
footage. Cellulose nitrate base was abandoned by filmmakers
around 1950, a technical improvement that really was justified. Nitrate
film is highly flammable and prone to rot. Yet it is the rot that
fascinates Morrison.

Morrison has found examples of old film, from archives such as
George Eastman House and the Museum of Modern Art, going back
to the beginning of the 20th century: some drama, some
documentary, screen tests, all kinds of peculiar images that have
decayed in intriguing ways.

Morrison not only researches and collects this footage, but he uses it
to create compelling montages with original soundtracks. He has
collaborated with some of the most interesting composers working
today–John Adams, Henryk Gorecki, Johann Johannsson, Steve
Reich, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Michael Gordon. In fact the music
begat the film. Decasia was commissioned for a multimedia
performance of Michael Gordon's symphony of the same name. The
end result of this artistic collaboration is mysterious, beautiful, and
highly unique.

Edited with an authentically poetic sensibility and delirious timing, the
images flow mysteriously into one another in what feels like a
necessary, meaningful structure, though inexplicable. Faces and
buildings dance in and out of random, abstract pools of black, grey
and silver; faces become chrome shadows; the sun turns black;
flames look like water. The effect of the nitrate film's decay is to
make everything seem fluid, while creating a strange landscape of
grotesque, pulsing shapes Decasia is on a death trip of its own.
In fine art and architecture, ruin has been regarded as picturesque
since the 18th century, but cinema's ruins are rarely visited. Rancid
and, in normal terms, unwatchable, these bits of film are gradually
fading into nothing in archives away from the light and away from the cinema.
They were never meant to flicker into life again.

This would not be such an original, engaging film, however, were it
simply an exercise in abstract cinema or avant-garde playfulness.
What makes Decasia so beguiling is that the film footage Morrison
has discovered is only partly destroyed. You can see images, and not
just any images. The dead and forgotten faces seen through the fog
are moving, striking, sometimes frightening.

Sometimes the effects are so expressive you can't believe chance did
this. But it did. Morrison's editing is so emotional that he makes you
see, always, something behind what is on screen, shadowy back
stories. Gradually the power of it mounts and from mild pleasure in
seeing something so unusual you become involved, tense, menaced.
It has a sculpted, sensual quality, a richness of texture missing from
most modern cinema: in place of all those clean, digital, precise
empty blockbusters here's something dense, deep, full of
unnameable spectral presences. It is film as landscape, as sublime
vista, and at the same time as history, as fact. It makes you feel that
the art, as opposed to the business, of cinema does have a future -
even if it has to be found deep in the past.

Over the past two decades, Morrison has built a filmography of more
than thirty projects that have been shown in museums, theaters,
concert halls, and galleries around the world, including Sundance and
the Tate Modern. His films are in the collection of the Museum of
Modern Art, The Nederland’s Film museum, and The Library of
Congress. He is a Guggenheim fellow and has received the Alpert
Award for the Arts, an NEA Creativity Grant, a Creative Capital grant,
and a fellowship from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts. His
work with Ridge Theater has been recognized with two Bessie
awards and an Obie Award.

A Q&A will follow the screening with Director Bill Morrison

Also Bill will be at IFCO for a Master Class before the screening at 5:30pm info here.

Bill will also be at Daimon in Gatineau on March 28th at 8pm

For more on Bill Morrison's films go here

Brought to you with the collaboration of the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa.


Jan 30, 2013

Big Meat Eater Feb. 26th Club SAW

Big Meat Eater (1982), Feb 26th
Club SAW(67 Nicholas St.) 7:30pm, 82mins, PG $5
The Big Meat Eater is an action packed roller-coster ride of a film involving:

- alien invaders!
- the reanimated corpse of the Mayor!
- a boy genius!
- construction on the site of the local butcher's septic tank!
- a special element called "balonium"!
- a new language invented by the town butcher!
- a psychopathic cleaver-wielding butcher's assistant!
- a rapidly decreasing canine population!
- musical numbers!

Skype Q&A with the producer/editor/writer/song writer! Laurence Keane

 We'll also be giving out prizes after the Q&A

Bob Sanderson is the mild mannered butcher of the small, sleepy town of Burquitlam. His motto is "Pleased to meet you, meat to please you." Bob's life is thrown into turmoil when he decides to hire Abdullah (The Big Meat Eater) - a massive human blockhouse of a man - as an apprentice in his butcher shop. Unbeknownst to Bob, Abdullah has just murdered the Mayor of Burquitlam in a fit of pique - and the corpse is hidden in Bob's freezer. 

An alien spacecraft arrives in search of a rare fuel - Bolonium - which is deposited in large quantities underneath Bob's butcher shop. Meanwhile, Jan, a boy genius, has stolen the Mayor's cadillac, installed a cyclotron and is set to launch it into outerspace...
Abdullah sings the blues while he charcoal grills gangsters and turns dalmation dogs into spotted spam... Alien robots desperate for bolonium possess the defrosted Mayor as their zombie agent... Bob and Jan are in turn the victims of repulsive temporary mutations... and Burquitlam itself becomes just another excuse for a bizarre musical comedy sci-fi/horror film. 


Jan 11, 2013

Mystery of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck Jan. 29th

Mystery of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck
Jan. 29th CLUB SAW (67 Nicholas St.)
16mm, 7pm, $5.00 for adults, kids are free

A brother-sister pair of orphans get wrapped up in a diamond-smuggling caper in this delightful family film set in Quebec in the wintertime. Filmed in the mid-1970's, the Mystery of the Million Dollar Hockey Puck is basically a chase movie involving a pair of kid-detectives (Pierre and Catou) trying to thwart a couple of dastardly thieves. The chase runs from Chicoutimi, to Quebec City's Winter Carnival, to the big city of Montreal and the world of NHL hockey. The film plays like a series of colourful vignettes of the best parts of the province. The presence real NHL players also lends big dose of authenticity and nostalgia for anyone with fond memories of the NHL's glory days. In this, the year of the “lockout season”, it's a fine reminder that hockey means something more than greedy owners and spoiled players with multi-million-dollar salaries. In the “Million Dollar Hockey Puck”, as in life, the value is in the thrill of the chase, and the game, itself.