Dec 30, 2010

Whispering City + Scanners Jan. 19th at the Mayfair Theatre $10

7pm Whispering City, 1946, Directed by Fedor Ozep, 91mins, 1.37, mono, Rated PG, 35mm new archival Black and White 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 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 dramatic setting, taking advantage of the city's long history and imposing architecture to heighten the suspense and add visual interest. The film is also 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).

For more on this Quebec Noir double bill see John's writeup in Unfolding.

8:45pm Scanners, 1981, 35mm print, Rated R, directed by David Cronenberg, the print is supplied by the Library and Archives Canada.

How best to describe Cronenberg’s tale of an underground organization of people with telepathic abilities bent on taking over the world? How about "mind-blowing"?

Dec 8, 2010

Title change for Jan. 19th SCANNERS!

Unfortunately Alliance Atlantis who told us a while back they had a 35mm print of Le Confessional has now told us they infact do not have one or own the rights anymore.  We had to make a quick change as the Mayfair is printing their January schedule early because of the holidays.  We will now be playing David Cronenberg's Scanners as the second show on Jan 19th at 8:45pm.

Scanners, 1981, 35mm print, directed by David Cronenberg, the print  is supplied by the Library and Archives Canada.

Dec 5, 2010


The Lost Dominion has aquired a DTS Cinema processor (XD10) and two 70mm DTS readers for the next 70mm Festival. We can now play new prints that only have a DTS track on them.  Films with DTS only inculde:  New prints of 2001, Cleopatra, Pattoon, Doctor Dolittle, etc...

Nov 13, 2010

The Silent Partner + Black Christmas Dec 15th at the Mayfair

Dec. 15th: Xmas Chills Double Bill, Mayfair Theatre $10

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 Christmas, 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 (HalloweenFriday 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). 

For a more detailed preview of the double bill by John Yemen go here

Oct 21, 2010

Lest We Forget Double Bill Nov 10th @ the Mayfair

Canadian Army News Reels 7:00pm + Guy Maddin's Archangel 9:10pm
Mayfair Theatre, Nov. 10th, Ottawa, Ontario 

Canadian Army News Reels, 1942-46, 90mins, 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 the Second World War.  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 the so many 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. We will be screening 8-9, 10 minute newsreels many that were only seen by Canadian troops and never to the general public back home.

For the complete DVD box set of the newsreels produced by the Canadian War Amps go here 

For a Toronto Star article on the War Amps News Reel box set go here

A a more detailed preview by John Yemen go here


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.
The companion booklet on the film by the Winnipeg Film group is here

Sep 30, 2010

Oct. 20th Ginger Snaps + American Psycho

Mayfair Theatre,  Halloween Double bill  $10

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

A darker Canadian counterpart to Buffy the Vampire SlayerGinger 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, 2.35 Cinemascope, 35mm print, Rated R

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.

For a more detailed review by collective member John Yemen go here.

Aug 31, 2010

70MM Here We Come!

Famous Film Archivist Robert Harris will be attending the festival and doing Q&A's after Vertigo, Spartacus and Lawrence of Arabia.

The Lost Dominion 70mm Film Festival is just around the corner (Sept. 24-26th). Our program is now getting around town, tickets can now be bought at the Museum of Civilization's Box office and festival passes at Invisible Cinema. Come out and support large format films, we have something for everyone!

The Lost Dominion Screening Collective is proud to present the first annual Lost Dominion 70mm Film Festival at the Canadian Museum of Civilization September 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2010.

We will be showing a selection of some of the most popular large-format films of the 20th Century released in 70mm format as well as some Canadian films that haven't been seen on the big screen since the late 1960's and early 1970's. 

Although popular in the rest of the world, there hasn't been a  film festival devoted to 70mm film in the Ottawa area in almost twenty years, and there have been very few individual screenings of 70mm films in over ten years. One reason for the dwindling amount of exhibition is that theatres capable of showing 70mm films have been slowly disappearing. The Canadian Museum of Civilization has the last screen in the Ottawa/Gatineau area capable of showing standard 70mm film prints with their original six-track magnetic soundtracks, so this will be a rare chance for audiences to see these large-format films in all their original big-screen glory.

The Lost Dominion 70mm Festival, co-presenting with the Canadian Film Institute (CFI), will feature fully restored 70mm prints of three great Hollywood classics:

         Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo (1958), starring James Stewart and Kim Novak;
         Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960), starring Lawrence Olivier and Kirk Douglas (just in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its release); and,
         David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia (1962), starring Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif.

Film restorer Robert A. Harris, the man who led the teams that restored all three films, is currently planning to attend the festival. If all goes as planned he will be available for Q&A sessions at some of the screenings.

Along with the Hollywood classics, the 70mm Film Festival will also feature a selection of Canadian short films originally produced for Expo 67 in Montreal, Expo 70 in Osaka, Japan, the opening of the Ontario Place Cinesphere in Toronto in 1971. Most of these films have not been seen on the big-screen since their original runs, including Christopher Chapman's A Place to Stand (1967) winner of the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Subject and a Canadian “Film of the Year” Award (predecessor to the Genie Awards).

A Place to Stand was the featured attraction at the Ontario pavilion at Expo 67 and was conceived as a mural-in-motion using a pioneering kaleidoscopic editing technique that influenced countless other feature films, television shows, and music videos. Brilliantly scored with Richard Morris' and Dolores Claman's “Ontari-ari-ario” musical theme, it is a true Canadian classic.

Other Canadian films will include:

         L'Homme Multiplié/Multiple Man (1969), a commemoration of the “Terre des Hommes” theme of Expo 67, with footage shot at Expo 67 and around the world;
         Festival (1970), produced for Expo 70 by Christopher Chapman as a portrait of Ontario using many of the same techniques he used  in A Place to Stand;
         Seasons in the Mind (1971), a portrait of Eastern-Ontario produced for the inaugural season of the Ontario Cinesphere (featuring some scenes shot in Arnprior) with a soundtrack by Ottawa-area composer Larry Crosley (who received a Canadian Film Award for the music); and
         Where the North Begins (1970), a portrait of life in north-central Ontario featuring glorious photography of the Canadian Shield landscape, also produced for the Cinesphere.

     The 70mm Film Festival will also feature films such as:

         The Untouchables (1987), starring Robert DeNiro, Kevin Costner, and Patricia Clarkson, and featuring an Oscar-winning supporting performance by Sean Connery;
         Star Trek VI:The Undiscovered Country (1991), by Nicholas Meyer (the same director as Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan) and featuring Canadians William Shatner, Christopher Plummer, and Kim Cattrall;
         Baraka (1992), director Ron Fricke's hugely impressive poetic exploration of nature and humanity. It is one of the few films shot in 65mm in the last twenty years and released in 70mm (Fricke has just completed a sequel to be released in 2011 called Samsara, also shot in 65mm); and
         Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), the fantastical family classic based on a story by James Bond creator Sir Ian Fleming with a screenplay co-written by children's author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

The schedule is as follows:

FRIDAY September 24
1:30pm Vertigo
4:00pm Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
7:00pm Vertigo
9:30 Baraka (+ A Place to Stand)

SATURDAY September 25
10:30am Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2:00pm Spartacus
7:00pm Lawrence of Arabia

SUNDAY September 26
11:00am Canadian Shorts
1:00pm Lawrence of Arabia
6:30pm Baraka (+ Seasons in the Mind)
9pm The Untouchables

Background on 70mm:
70mm was the format of choice for releasing Hollywood's widescreen films of the mid-20th century up until the 1990's. There were a number of competing large-screen formats used for filming (Panavision, Todd-AO, VistaVision etc), but when released to movie theatres most were printed and distributed on standard 70mm film prints. Commonly, film was shot on 65mm film stock, and then printed and released on 70mm with the extra 5mm devoted to the magnetic sound track. 

What all the large-screen formats shared were superior colour and resolution to standard 35mm film, at roughly double the width and four times the resolution. Surprisingly, the 70mm format exceeds the current technical standards for High Definition Video as well as those of the Digital Cinema of today. 70mm film has superior image quality and resolution, with a  far cleaner, and brighter, image.

70mm films also featured the first real use of multi-track “surround sound”, with six discrete magnetic sound tracks. It was the highest-quality sound format available until the emergence of multi-track digital audio in the early 1990's. In fact, many people assert that 70mm films still have superior sound quality compared to today's films.

When 70mm soundtracks were created the technicians could take advantage of five “behind-the-screen” sound channels plus the surround channels to the side and rear of the theatre.  The actors' dialogue could move between the channels depending on where people were positioned on-screen, giving a greater degree of verisimilitude to the audio mix.  This sort of position-based, flexible sound mixing is not typically done for the digital-audio mixes used in theatres today. Instead, for current films, dialogue is locked onto the centre sound channel, and surround channels are reserved for music and sound effects (similar to the home-theatre style sound mixing found on DVDs).  

Many audio purists also argue that the warmth and dynamic range of analog-based magnetic sound is superior to the digital sound found in today's films, particularly as digital sound can sound harsh if it not equalized properly, or is “over-driven”. Magnetic soundtracks tend to have a greater dynamic range, and a warmer, more organic feel. They are thus particularly friendly to the human voice and symphonic musical scores.  So if you ever wondered why the Hollywood epics of yesteryear sounded “better”, more “realistic”, or more “impressive” than the films of today, you can thank the six-track magnetic sound.

The 70mm format was so good that many films not originally shot in large format were reprinted in 70mm to take advantage of the superior picture and sound quality. Even a film shot in 35mm but released on a 70mm print ended up having superior image and sound quality to a standard movie release.

The 70mm format was an evolutionary step towards to one of the most popular film formats of today: the Canadian-developed IMAX. IMAX is the only format currently in wide-use that can hold a candle to classic 70mm in terms of quality. Interestingly, audiences are rediscovering some of the joys of classic-70mm-style film through new IMAX releases, with films such as Christopher Nolan's Inception, that was shot in 65mm and released to IMAX theatres this summer. Hopefully it is the start of a new trend. Now, if only we could convince filmmakers to go back to magnetic sound...

Ticket Information:
Tickets ($10) for individual shows can be purchased at the door on the day of, or in advance at the Museum of Civilization's Box Office (w/surcharge).

Festival passes ($40) can be purchased at:

The Invisible Cinema 319 Lisgar Street, Ottawa, ON  K2P 0E1 (613) 237-0769
Open Mon-Thu Noon-9pm; Fri-Sat Noon-10pm; Sun Noon-8pm

or   Online through Paypal to

Aug 25, 2010

The Brain + Search and Destroy Double Bill

Sept. 22nd, Mayfair Theatre, $10

The Brain, 1988, Directed by Ed Hunt, 90mins, 1.85, Dolby A, rated AA,  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.

Check out this online review of the film here:

Search and Destroy (AKA Striking Back), 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).

Aug 19, 2010

70mm tickets now on sale at the Museum of Civilization!

You can now buy individual show tickets at the Museum of Civilization box office for the 70mm festival (Sept. 24-26th). The Films are arriving!

Festival passes ($40.00) can only be bought at the Invisible Cinema (319 Lisgar St.) or by paypal through the Lost Dominion.

Invisible Cinema
319 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0E1
(613) 237-0769

A Place to Stand, 1967, 70mm, 6-track mag

Crimewave = 16mm by hand.

Thanks to all who came out for the 16mm double bill.  You got a very rare chance to see two "Lost Canadian Classics" A massive thank you also goes out to the Matthew the Projectionist for dealing on the fly with some warped 16mm house reels. He had to guide the film by hand while it ran. Standing for three hours straight is not easy!  

Aug 9, 2010


Festival Passes for the 70mm film festival go on sale Wednesday (Aug. 11th at the Invisible Cinema, Bank an Lisgar).

Passes are $40.00 and get you into all the screenings. For more on the schedule go here.

Passes can also be bought during the Canadian Cult Revue screenings at the Mayfair Theatre. The next one is Aug. 18th then Sept. 22nd.  Or you can Paypal us the payment and we will mail you the festival pass. Our Paypal account is

319 Lisgar Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 0E1
(613) 237-0769

Open Mon-Thu Noon-9pm; Fri-Sat Noon-10pm; Sun Noon-8pm

Aug 2, 2010


70mm Festival Schedule update:

FRIDAY, Sept. 24th 2010

1:30pm Vertigo, 1996 restoration

4:00pm Star Trek 6: Undiscovered Country

7pm Vertigo

9:30 Baraka (A Place To Stand Plays before Feature)

SATURDAY. Sept. 25th 2010

10:30 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
2pm Spartacus, 1991 restoration
7pm Lawrence of Arabia, 1989 restoration
SUNDAY, Sept 26th 2010

11:00am Canadian Shorts on 70mm

1pm Lawrence of Arabia

6:30pm Baraka (Seasons in the Mind plays before feature)

9pm Untouchables

Jul 30, 2010

New title added to 70mm Festival!

VERTIGO! 70mm print from the1996 restoration.

We are currently juggling the schedule to fit a couple screenings of Vertigo. The full locked down schedule will be on-line by Tuesday Aug. 3rd. We will also start selling festival passes in early August. Festival passes are $40.00 CND. We also have a official hotel which is across the street from the venue, the Four Points Sheraton. With a discounted rate starting at $119.00 for a double room. For more on the festival go here.

Jul 12, 2010

August 18: Crime Wave + Skip Tracer

August 18: Indy 16mm Double Bill, Mayfair Theatre, $10.00

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.  Go here for an interview with director John Paizs.

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

Skip Tracer, 1977, Directed by Zale Dalen
 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

for more information on these two films read John Yemen's preview at Unfolding Magazine.

Jul 2, 2010

Neil Young Double Bill July 21st

July 21st: Neil Young Double Bill

Mayfair Theatre, 7pm $10.00 gets into both films.

Lots of prizes before the show including the Greendale Comic.

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.

For more on Neil Young film's read John Yemen's Article on

Jul 1, 2010

Coming Soon! 70mm Film Festival and Canadian Indies on 16mm

Don't forget about the 70mm Film Festival we are hosting Sept. 24-26th. Tickets and programs will be available mid-Aug from our website or at the Museum of Civilizations box office. Check back in early August for more details.

Get ready for some classic 70mm epics and 80's action on 70mm film with 6-track sound.

For more on the festival go here

Also in August we are presenting two very rare 16mm Canadina features. These films are not on DVD so this could be your only chance to see two unknown classics.

Jun 28, 2010

Don't Miss Our Canada Day Eve Triple Bill!

Join the hosers of the Lost Dominion Film Collective for our
Canada Day Eve Triple Bill! @ The Mayfair Theatre  Wednesday, June 30th 2010.

This triple bill highlights the best and brightest of the Canadian big screen starting at...

7:00 Goin' Down the Road,  a great 35mm print brought to you by Library and Archives Canada! a Canadian classic about two maritimers who go to Toronto to try and make it big

8:45 Strange Brew
Bob and Doug Mackenzie drink the largest beer ever in their hoser-fied version of Hamlet

10:20 Fubar
"If I have five words left and I'm about to fuckin' expire and all I have left to say is to curse fuckin' Tron, I'm probably not going to say, Tron funkin' blow."

** and don't forget it's $10 for 3 movies!!**

For a article by collective member John Yemen about triple bill beer fest  go here

Jun 1, 2010

Back to God's Country

Follow this link to read a fascinating monograph on the restoration of Back to God's Country by film archivist D.J. Turner from Library and Archives Canada (it's a large file so please give it time to load).  Turner recounts the great technical challenges as well as the strokes of luck that went into saving this important part of Canada's cinema heritage. We will be showing this same restored print on June 25th at 9pm with live music by HILOTRONS founder/composer Mike Dubue. Very few Canadian feature films from the early days of cinema still exist, and the restoration of Back to God's Country is a case to cheer. Not only did Turner restore a piece of Canadian cinema history, he also helped bring attention to the pioneering career of Nell Shipman. She was a true trailblazer - writing, producing and starring in the film. As with many of her roles, she portrays a heroine fighting to survive against impossible odds in the wilderness. It features a dastardly villain, wild animals, rugged landscapes, a husband in need of rescue, and a bonus nude scene from Shipman who knew how to entice an audience into the theatre.  This film became her greatest success, and cemented her reputation as a maverick filmmaker. Modern audiences may be shocked at just how "modern" this silent film is...don't miss it!

May 20, 2010


Lots a Canadian themed prizes, O'Canada and more.

Goin' Down the Road
1970, Directed by Donald Shebib, 100mins, 1.37, Mono, Rated AA, 35mm archival print (reprinted in 2000)  7pm

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...) 9pm

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. 10:40pm 

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).

$10 for three films!

May 14, 2010

Bonus Canadian Cult Revue Screening of Back to God's Country with Live Music

One of the oldest surviving Canadian feature films - Back to Gods's Country (1919), written and produced by star Nell Shipman - will be playing at the Mayfair Theatre, June 25th at 9pm with live music by HILOTRONS member and Mayfair Orchestra leader Mike Dubué. The 35mm tinted print is coming from the Library and Archives Canada. Don't miss this unique event!  $10.00 for Mayfair Members, Students and Seniors.

May 7, 2010


Poster created by Jacob Rolfe

For more on the festival taking place Sept. 24-26th 2010 go here

Apr 22, 2010

Slacker Counter-Culture Triple Bill! May 19th

Slacker Counter-Culture Triple Bill @ The Mayfair Theatre
May 19th, $10.00 for 3 films!

For John Yemen's preview of the triple bill go to Unfolding Magazine.

Monkey Warfare, 2006, Directed by Reginald Harkema, 75mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital, Rated 14A, 35mm Studio print.

 Steadfast Canadian actor on 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) Keith Lock in Attendance!!!

“Work, Bike, Eat” is about youth and being young. The intention in making the film was to catch people and the relationships between things in as natural a way as possible, and to minimize the apparent intrusion of the filming process into the subject matter. The story is really a collection of vignettes from everyday life: getting a job, eating a meal at home with your parents, chance meetings with strangers, taking a nap. A carefree camaraderie pervades the film.. 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 Studio Print

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).

Mar 25, 2010

Quest for Fire + Black Robe Double Bill, April 21st @ the Mayfair

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) 7pm

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, 9:10pm

Jan 13, 2010

March 24th Sci-fi Double Bill @ the Mayfair Theatre, The Start of the Canadian Cult Revue!


eXistenZ 1999, Director by David Cronenberg, 97mins, 1.85, Dolby Digital, Rated R, 35mm, Studio print. 7PM

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.

Jan 5, 2010

The 70mm Film Festival (The "Grandfather of IMAX")

Another film series we are working on is the 70mm Film Festival to be held in September 24th-26th, 2010 at the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec. This festival will give audiences a chance to experience the once prominent, but now virtually "lost" wide-screen 70mm format with 6 track sound (the Museum has one of the only remaining 70mm projectors in the Ottawa area). For more detailed info go here.

The 70mm films booked so far include:


Lawrence of Arabia 6-track mag, Super Panavision 70
Spartacus  6-track mag, Technirama
Baraka 6-track mag, TODD-AO
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 6-track mag, Super Panavision 70
Untouchables (Blowup) 6-track mag, In 70mm Dolby Stereo
Star Trek VI (Blowup) 6-track mag, In 70mm Dolby Stereo
Top Gun (Blowup) 6-track mag, In 70mm Dolby Stereo
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Blowup), 6-track mag, In 70mm Dolby Stereo

Canadian 70mm Short Films:

Seasons in the Mind, 1971, 6-track mag, In 70mm

A Place to Stand, 1967, 6-track mag, In 70mm

Multiple Man, 1968, 6-track mag, In 70mm (NFB Produced Short Film)

Where the North Begins, 1971, 6-track mag, in 70mm

Festival, 1971, 6-track mag, In 70mm

The Museum of Civilization's 500 seat theatre, and the Victoria 8, 70mm projectors