Well ok, I don’t do it alone – Colin helps out too. After months of working in the shadows on trying to beef up The Royal’s programming, marketing and outreach efforts, it’s finally officially-official. The press release went out today via our awesome friends at Clutch PR, and I’m reprinting it here for y’all.
The Royal announces new programmers
and five first run titles
Colin Geddes & Katarina Gligorijevic join Toronto’s historic
The Royal Cinema as programmers
July 4, 2014, TORONTO – Historic movie house The Royal (608 College St.) is thrilled to announce Colin Geddes and partner Katarina Gligorijevic as its new programming directors. Veteran film industry professionals Geddes and Gligorijevic bring a diverse, fresh roster of first run premieres, special events and classic genre films to the beloved theatre.
As one of the international film programmers for TIFF for over a decade, Geddes is best known for the Midnight Madness and Vanguard selections, delivering one of a kind programming with TIFF. Gligorijevic is a Toronto based writer and producer who has worked in the music and film industry for over a decade and was Festivals Manager at REEL CANADA for eight years. The pair will bring their sharp eye for unique, captivating film to their programming at The Royal.
Along with new programming and unique special events, the pair are bringing in five first run titles exclusive to The Royal throughout the month of July. They include:
Opening: Friday, July 4, 2014
A dark suburban fable, Borgman follows an enigmatic vagrant who enters the lives of an upper-class family and quickly unravels their carefully curated lifestyle.
Radio Free Albemuth (2010)
Opening: Friday, July 11, 2014
From sci-fi author Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner, Minority Report) comes his most prophetic thriller to date. In an alternate reality, Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady begins to experience strange visions transmitted from an extraterrestrial source he calls VALIS. (To buy tickets click HERE)
The Dance of Reality (2013)
Opening: Friday, July 18, 2014
A full bodied and mischievous autobiography in the spirit of Federico Fellini’s Amarcord, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s return to filmmaking after 28 years explodes with great ideas. (To buy tickets click HERE)
GMO OMG (2013)
Opening: Friday, July 25, 2014
How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice? These questions and more are posed in this hard-hitting doc.
With a new program introduced each month, tickets priced at $10 and $8 for students/seniors, the unique setting of a vintage theatre, The Royal is unlike any other Toronto cinema.
If you’re a member of the Toronto film/arts media and you’re reading this, please send your physical mailing address to email@example.com to receive a VIP media pass.
About The Royal
Originally built in 1939, The Royal Cinema is a historic Art Moderne movie house located in the heart of Toronto’s Little Italy. Following extensive upgrades and renovations, the 480-seat indie/art house theatre is also a digitally equipped event venue suited for live concerts, screenings, film festivals, corporate events, multimedia exhibition and more. http://www.theroyal.to
Theatre D Digital
During the daytime, Theatre D operates out of The Royal as a film and television post-production studio. The main theatre becomes a Dolby-approved 5.1 mix room and four picture editing suites are located upstairs. Esteemed Canadian directors such as Atom Egoyan (Chloe, Adoration), Deepa Mehta (Heaven on Earth), Bruce McDonald (The Husband), Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell) and Kari Skogland (Stone Angel) have mixed and/or edited their projects there. For more information visit: http://theatred.com
This is the day that I pack with film watching! Feels like being at a film festival, finally, except that almost everyone’s already left town and it actually feels like everything is over just as I’m hitting my stride. On day one or two, I felt like I had already been here for months, but now it seems like the whole thing whizzed by in the blink of an eye.
I kick off the day with a screening of the competition film Borgman, which is apparently the first Dutch film in competition in over 30 years. It’s absurd and funny and defies description (and really, any description would be a bit of a spoiler, and the surprises in this one are so satisfying). Loosely, the plot is about a man who slowly worms his way into the lives of an unassuming family, with unexpected and bizarre consequences. Refreshing!
Next up, I pop into the Quebecois film Sarah Prefers to Run, which is in the Un Certain Regard programme. It’s a small and simple movie about a young woman who loves to run. Sarah’s commitment to running has all but eliminated any hopes of a normal social life (or any kind of life outside of running), but considering how awkward she is in all her human interactions, perhaps it’s for the best. After all, given a choice, Sarah prefers to run over pretty much any other activity.
After a short break for quick snacks, I race across from the Palais to the Theatre Croisette (a whopping 10 minute walk, really) to catch Erik Matti’s On the Job. The film looks fantastic and there are a lot of great action moments in it, but I can’t help feeling that a lot is lost in the cultural translation about the way Philippine society works. The plot centres around two inmates who are routinely let out of prison by corrupt guards in order to work as assassins. The relationship between the two is interesting, but the ins and outs of the prison system are difficult to understand at first, and once the film broadens into the larger corruption (it reaches to the top, naturally), I missed the intimate story about the two hitmen that we’d started with.
The final film of the day is Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives, which had just a couple of days ago received some boos in the press screening but was then seemingly well received by the later public audience. None of the negative reactions lessened my excitement, and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed. The film is slow, highly stylized, and Gosling isn’t really the hero or even the main character (Thai actor Vithaya Pansringarm is, and he’s great). I loved the Thai colour palette, the deliberately languid pacing and the dreamlike atmosphere. And I loved Kristen Scott Thomas! She is the best bad mom ever.
But anyway, being booed puts the film into some pretty fantastic company, as this Booed at Cannes retrospective at BAM in Brooklyn points out.
After Only God Forgives, Colin and I go off to dinner with some friends who work in distribution, back at Papa Nino’s, our favourite pizza place in town. There’s a weird amount of pizza joints in this town. I don’t know if it’s the proximity to Italy or what, but you couldn’t spit without hitting a pizza place in Cannes. They’re all pretty decent, but Papa Nino’s is by far the best. It’s a small mom & pop shop that seats 30 (tops) and I hope it never gets too popular, because it’s so good. We’ve eaten there three times on this trip and it hardly feels like enough times.
Spending the day watching movies did wonders for my sense of calm and wellbeing. At this point, getting through the odds and ends of the last couple of days seems like it’ll be a breeze.