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Nordlys is hosted at The Bailey Theatre | 5041 50 St, Camrose, AB T4V 1R3

© 2020 Nordlys Film and Arts Society

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2019 FILMS

Maudie

Canada, 2016, 115 min, Drama | Producer in attendance

Directed by Aisling Walsh, Produced by Mary Sexton

Rated PG for some sexually suggestive scenes and mature subject matter

 

Set in rural Nova Scotia, this is the unlikely romance between the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) and the fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) he has hired to be his housekeeper. Bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, Maudie yearns to make their growing relationship work. But she also yearns, passionately, to create art. From Irish-born director Aisling Walsh, Maudie is a film biography of Maud Lewis (1903–1970), one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists. The film won seven Canadian Screen Awards and several Irish Film & Television awards. A New York Time’s Critic's Pick, Maudie opened the 2016 Vancouver International Film Festival where it won the People’s Choice Award.

The Party

UK, 2017, 71 min, Dark Comedy

Directed by Sally Potter

Rated R for language and drug use (MPAA)

Janet (Kirstin Scott Thomas) hosts a house party to celebrate her new political promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything will go down as smoothly as the red wine. The Party is a British black comedy spiked with charm, sharp wit and biting satire.  Written and directed by Sally Potter, the film was shot in black and white and features an ensemble cast of veteran stage and screen actors, including Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz and Timothy Spall. A “darkly amusing specimen of the dinner-party-from-hell subgenre” (Vulture), The Party was nominated for the Golden Bear and won the Guild Film Prize at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.

Loveless

Russia, 2017, 127 min, Drama

Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

Rated 14A for infrequent portrayals of sexual activity

 

A couple going through a divorce are forced to team up with a volunteer search group to find their 12 year-old son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments. Unfolding beneath skies the colour and density of damp concrete, Loveless uses a toxic marriage to paint a bleakly beautiful, intense drama of a family (and by extension, post-Soviet society) emotionally, ethically, and physically devastated. Shortlisted for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language category, Zvyagintsev’s fifth feature film premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival where it won the prestigious Jury Prize. It also won Best Film at the Nika Awards, Russia’s equivalent of the Oscars.

The Divine Order

Switzerland, 2017, 97 min, Drama/Comedy

Directed by Petra Biondina Volpe

Rated 14A for mature themes and sexual content

 

In 1971, Nora is a young housewife living in a tiny Swiss village untouched by the counterculture movement sweeping the globe. When Nora’s husband denies her wish to find part-time work because “a woman’s place is in the home”, Nora’s unlikely evolution into a political activist, and fighter for women’s suffrage, is born. Through Marie Leuenberger’s fine performance as Nora, the film “radiates an infectious admiration for the courage shown by its heroines.” (Variety) A mainstream crowd-pleaser adept at inspiring and amusing in equal measure, The Divine Order was Switzerland’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards.

No Roads In

Canada, 2017, 79 min, Music Documentary | Director & Producers in attendance

Directed by Josh Wong, Produced by Blake Reid and Geoff Plewes

Not Rated

 

No Roads In follows singer-songwriter Blake Reid, sound engineer Adam Naugler, and the Blake Reid Band on a musical journey as they challenge industry convention and set out to create an analog record. An abandoned house in the middle of an endless Alberta wheat field is transformed into a recording studio, as the group comes together to capture the love, laughter and raw energy of 13 songs recorded live off-the-floor over five days in the summer of 2016. Showcasing the vast Alberta prairie landscape and the uniquely haunting isolation that foments creativity, the beautifully shot documentary celebrates music’s imperfections and explores what is really important in music, and in life. 

Heavy Trip

Finland, 2018, 92, Dark Comedy

Directed by Juusa Laatio and Jukka Vidgren

Not Rated (Coarse language, violence and religious references)

 

In this offbeat comedy from Finland, Turo is stuck in a small village, where the best thing in his life is being the lead vocalist for an amateur metal band. The only problem? He and his bandmates have practiced for 12 years without playing a single gig. When the guys get a surprise visitor from Norway – the promoter for a huge heavy metal music festival – it’s now or never. They steal a van, a corpse, and even a new drummer, in order to make their metal dreams a reality. The plot thickens as the journey grows to include Viking heaven and armed conflict between Finland and Norway. A potential cult classic, Heavy Trip is perfect for the late night crowd.

The Woman in the Window

USA, 1944, 99 min, Film Noir | Special Intro by Trond Trondsen

Directed by Fritz Lang

Not Rated

 

Directed by Austrian-American filmmaker Fritz Lang, The Woman in the Window tells the story of conservative, middle-aged Professor Wanley (Edward G. Robinson), who meets and becomes enamoured with a young femme fatal (Joan Bennett). Included in the catalogue of the American Film Institute, this classic of the film noir genre follows the professor as he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder. The Woman in the Window was nominated for Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture at the 18th Academy Awards. The Nordlys audience will be treated to an in-depth introduction by our own Honorary Professor of Classic Cinema, Dr. Trond Trondsen.

This Mountain Life

Canada, 2018, 77 min, Documentary | Filmmaker in attendance

Directed by Grant Baldwin, Produced by Jenny Rustemeyer

Not Rated

The awe that mountainous landscapes evoke is universal. Yet in a province that is 75% mountains, most of us seldom venture into true wilderness. Living amongst us is a special breed of people. They are undefined by age, gender, profession or background, but for them, the draw of the mountains is so strong that their lives must revolve around it. A mother-daughter team attempting a six month journey through a mountain wilderness; the gripping story an avalanche burial; a group of nuns who inhabit a mountain retreat to be closer to God. Shot in cinematic detail, This Mountain Life is a riveting examination of human passion set high in the peaks of British Columbia.

The Silent Revolution

Germany, 2018, 111 min, Drama

Directed by Lars Kraume

Rated PG

 

Berlin, 1956. Five years before construction started on the Berlin Wall, the border between East and West is still open. The twitchily defensive East German communist regime is sensitive to counter-revolutionary activities – of any kind. The Silent Revolution is a factually-based account of a classroom act of solidarity in support of those who had fallen in the recent Hungarian Uprising. Handsomely mounted, an ultimately inspiring period piece, this film taps into the fear and paranoia of the early years of the Cold War. It also demonstrates the timeless power to be found in friendship and family ties. The Silent Revolution premiered at the 68th Annual Berlin International Film Festival.

Weirdos

Canada, 2016, 85 min, Drama

Directed by Bruce McDonald

Rated PG for coarse language and substance abuse

 

Set in 1976, a couple of small-town teens hitchhike across Nova Scotia in a nostalgia-laced drama from Canadian indie auteur Bruce McDonald. 15-year-old Kit enlists the help of his girlfriend Alice, as he runs away from home to be with his glamorous and artistic mother. A lovely, low-key memory piece, vibrant with the awkward grace of adolescence, this film is beautifully presented in black and white with a musical soundtrack that hits all the right notes. “The young leads are charming and authentic, and the film reminds us all to embrace our own weirdness.” (Seattle Times) Written by Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor, Weirdos premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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