The Cape Breton Island Film Series kicks off its fall season Thursday with Beasts of the Southern Wild, one of the most talked about indie films on the festival circuit this year. The 13 week series — all screenings are at 7 pm, Thursdays, at the Empire Theatre in Sydney — runs until November 29 with the usual eclectic mix of drams, comedies, foreign films, and documentaries.
Set in a remote Louisiana bayou, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a visually stunning account of a tiny girl’s battle with the forces of nature that are bearing down on her isolated, mixed-race community. Director Benh Zeitlin, who made the film with the help of a New Orleans artists’ collective, says his goal was to merge “the poetics of an art film with something that feels like Die Hard.”
The Intouchables (November 1), a French comedy about an aristocrat injured in a hang-gliding accident who horrifies his friends by hiring a street thug as his personal caregiver, will serve as the film series’ annual benefit for l’Arche Cape Breton. Dave Gunning, who has just released a tribute album to John Allan Cameron, will provide the musical part of the evening, which will also feature a Lebanese buffet.
The series will feature Pina (September 20), Wm Wenders’ 3D documentary about the German choreographer Pina Bauch, and Al Weiwi: Never Sorry (October 11), a doc about China’s most famous dissident artist.
Compliance (October 4) is a psychodrama based on the real story of a sinister prank caller who impersonated a police officer and persuaded the manager of a fast food outlet to detain, question, and eventually strip-search an innocent teenage clerk.
David Cronenburg’s latest thriller, Cosmopolis, about an insanely wealthy Wall Street trader whose latest financial bet goes badly sour, screens November 22, and Emily Blunt stars in the cerebral comedy Your Sister’s Sister November 15.
“A friend called it an interesting, challenging lineup,” said film series organizer Parker Donham, “and I’d say that’s just about right.”
Film series tickets are $11, students $7. A season pass to all 13 movies costs $90, a $53 savings off the single-ticket price. Complete details at the film series website.