Film Series: First Features
CURATE BY RON FOLEY MACDONALD
18 January to 31 May
Some directors arrive fully formed on their debut features. Others never recover. In this survey of first features, we begin with one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, Citizen Kane, and then progress to more contemporary times where some directors—Duncan Tucker and Transamerica, for example—disappear from the scene after tackling some exceptional subject matter. Female directors and stories of gender determination dominate more modern times; Art House staple directors such as Lars von Trier (The Element of Crime) and Andrei Tarkovsky (Ivan’s Childhood) help anchor the series to the traditions of ‘serious’ cinema, while other directors’ debuts mark them for ‘serious’ Hollywood success.
SCREENINGS WEDNESDAYS AT 8 PM
22 March - The Seventh Continent
Michel Haneke, Austria/France/Germany, 1989, 108 minutes. Haneke’s (The White Ribbon, Caché, Amour) first theatrically distributed film details the tale of an average family whose final shocking act explores the nature of violence.
Movies & Film
Dalhousie Art Gallery
Next in the series:
29 March - I Shot Andy Warhol
Mary Harron, USA/UK, 1996, 103 minutes. Lily Taylor stars as Valerie Solanis, the woman who actually shot Andy Warhol the day after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. Mary Harron’s film is full of mordant wit, spot-on art direction, and assured performances.
5 April - Smoke Signals
Chris Eyre, USA, 1998, 89 minutes. The first feature written and directed by North American Indigenous filmmakers, Smoke Signals is a wry, subversive comedy about daily life on a reserve, penned by the legendary Sherman Alexie. Canadian Adam Beach stars.
12 April - The Virgin Suicides
Sophia Coppola, USA, 1999, 97 minutes. Jeffrey Eugenides’s cult novel about untouchable suburban sisters came to the screen via this remarkable debut feature from Sophia Coppola, daughter of Francis Ford Coppola. James Woods and Kathleen Turner star, with a Sloan song on the soundtrack.
19 April - Me and You and Everyone We Know
Miranda July, USA, 2005, 92 minutes. Idiosyncratic artist and writer Miranda July’s first feature is the story of a quirky couple trying to make it in an unforgiving world. July plays the wife.
Closed for exhibition installation 24 April to 5 May.
10 May - Transamerica
Duncan Tucker, USA, 2005, 103 minutes. Felicity Huffman and Kevin Zegers star as an unlikely parent-and-offspring duo on a cross-country trip where identities—sexual and otherwise—are in a constant flux.
17 May - Submarine
Richard Ayoade, UK, 2010, 97 minutes. Afro-British comic, writer, and director Ayoade’s first feature is an absurdist coming-of-age drama defined by landscape and attitude, full of unexpected plot twists and rampant humour.
24 May - Fruitvale Station
Ryan Coogler, USA, 2013, 87 minutes. Michael B. Jordan plays Oscar Grant III in this true story about the death of the young black San Francisco Bay Area transit rider. Jordan would go on to star in—and Coogler direct—Creed, the critically acclaimed and financially successful revitalization of the Rocky franchise.
31 May - A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
Ana Lily Amirpour, USA, 2014, 100 minutes. Shot in Los Angeles but set in Iran, A Girl Walks Home... is part vampire flick, part Spaghetti Western, and part art film. Totally unique and utterly original, it marks the emergence of a major filmmaking voice.
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