Five film events to check out in the new year - Monocolumn | Monocle


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2 January 2014


Spirited Away: The Films of Studio Ghibli

Downtown Toronto’s 46-storey TIFF Bell Lightbox Cinema has been playing host to a mini festival devoted to Japanese anime-innovators Studio Ghibli since December. Film lovers can still catch the festival’s closing week in January with animated films such as Ponyo, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbor Totoro on show that have entertained and intrigued fans ever since directors Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata set up the studio in the mid-1980s. And for those less in a hurry to acquaint themselves with Ghibli’s rich back catalogue, TIFF’s ground-floor restaurant, Luma is also a perfect stop for some seasonal pre-film drinks.

TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King Street West. Until 3 January.


Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary

Giuseppe Tornatore’s classic Cinema Paradiso – a love letter to film from the early 20th century and Italian life during that same period – is turning 25 years old. To mark the quarter-century anniversary a new remastered version is hitting both big screens at cinemas and the small screen on Blu-ray DVD. The film tells the story of Salvatore, whose life as a projectionist while growing up in a Sicilian town under the mentorship of an elderly film enthusiast is a picture-perfect ode to an era gone by.

'Cinema Paradiso 25th Anniversary' is now out on Blu-ray DVD.


The Contenders 2013

In the sixth edition of this annual film festival, MoMA's department of film has sifted through the noteworthy releases of 2013 to choose those that might be influential in cinematography for years to come. The Contenders 2013 runs until mid-January and features a mix of mainstream releases, indies, and foreign-language films such as Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie and the Boxer, the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and Haifaa al-Mansour’s Wadjda – the first full-length feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia.

MoMa, 11 W 53rd Street. Until 16 January. For full schedule check website.


Complete Works of Adolpho Arrietta

The first DVD collection of the complete works of Adolpho Arrietta is as much a reflection on the Spanish experimental filmmaker's career as it is an exploration of style and composition. The set of 13 films, cataloged on five DVDs opens with El Crimen de la Pirindola shot in 1965 which set the filmmaker's dreamy avant-garde tone. The collection concludes in equally loose fashion with 2008’s Dry Martini – a tribute to fellow Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel’s passion for cocktails.

‘The Complete Works of Adolpho Arrietta’ is available to buy now on DVD.


The Railway Man

The Railway Man, in cinemas early January, stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in Jonathan Teplitzky’s adaptation of the bestselling autobiography of Eric Lomax. Firth plays Lomax – a British officer captured by the Japanese army and forced to work on the Thailand-Burma railway – Lomax revisits the trauma of his experiences in order to try and achieve closure on those harrowing events. The period drama is, of course, packed with Hollywood A-listers but look for a standout performance from young British actor Jeremy Irvine too amid the beautiful scenery of Southeast Asia that also reveals a turbulent past.

‘The Railway Man’ is in cinemas across the UK, Canada, Spain and Australia.


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