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What's On, June 2024

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May 05, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 5/5

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.


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IF YOU WANT love the legend

gordon lightfoot: if you could read my mind

Vincent Georgie: The world’s music scene is darker this week with the news of Lightfoot’s passing. Comfort yourself with a particularly satisfying and enlightening film about the legend himself. Incredible true life story, excellent archival footage and an unbeatable soundtrack. Nominated for the WIFF Prize in Canadian Film in 2019. 

Synopsis: An exploration of the career, music and influence of legendary Canadian musical icon, Gordon Lightfoot. With unprecedented access to the artist, the film takes audiences from high school auditoriums in straight-laced, small-town Ontario in the ’50s to the coffee houses of Yorkville and Greenwich Village in the ’60s, through Lightfoot’s turbulent, substance-fueled arena shows of the ’70s, and finally to the artist in the late 2010s.

Available on iTunes and YouTube. Watch for free on CBC Gem.

if you want a romANCE

crossing delancey

Vincent Georgie: Certainly one of the best Jewish romances ever put to screen. Full credit to director Joan Micklin Silver and screenwriter Susan Sandler. This one is worth revisiting for its tone, humour and a very appealing Amy Irving. This one has been relatively forgotten. Let’s change that. 

Synopsis: Thirty-something Isabelle “Izzy” Grossman (Amy Irving) spends her time going from her tiny, solitary West Side apartment to that of her grandmother (Reizl Bozyk) on the Lower East Side. In between, Izzy builds a glowing reputation at the swank bookstore where she works. While her grandmother plots to find her a romantic match, Izzy is courted by a married, worldly author, Anton (Jeroen Krabbé), yet can’t seem to shake the down-to-earth appeal of Sam (Peter Riegert), a pickle vendor.

Available on iTunes and YouTube.

IF YOU WANT A showstopping performance

juniper

Vincent Georgie: Charlotte Rampling is one of those actresses that whenever her praise is sung, people’s immediate reaction is typically, “Oh, she’s amazing in everything”. And that statement would be correct, indeed. An art-house stalwart, as adept in English as she is in French, Rampling brings her signature imperious charisma to everything she does. While this latest film is quite good, it’s Rampling who’s quite excellent. 

Synopsis: A self-destructive teenager returns home from boarding school to find his alcoholic grandmother has moved in. Although the two initially clash, they soon develop an unexpected and touching bond over a period of time.

Available on iTunes and YouTube

DOUBLE FEATURE

drag party

Decades before mainstream culture fell for the entertaining dramatic pleasures of drag culture, the mid-90s dipped it’s toe in the lake with these two beloved winners. The first comes from Australia, and gave us ludicrously creative Oscar-winning costumes to say nothing of its still courageous message of being yourself. A year later, it was a marvel to see an all-in Patrick Swayze (cast profoundly against-type), Wesley Snipes (see Swayze) and John Leguizamo (the discovery of the film) bringing heart, dignity and joy to their performances. Both of these films on a double-header? You’re in for a blast of glitter. 

the adventures of Priscilla, queen of the desert

When drag queen Anthony (Hugo Weaving) agrees to take his act on the road, he invites fellow cross-dresser Adam (Guy Pearce) and transsexual Bernadette (Terence Stamp) to come along. In their colourful bus, named Priscilla, the three performers travel across the Australian desert performing for enthusiastic crowds and homophobic locals. But when the other two performers learn the truth about why Anthony took the job, it threatens their act and their friendship.

Available onAmazon Prime and YouTube.

to wong foo, thanks for everything! Julie newmar

Elite Manhattan drag queens Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze) and Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes) impress regional judges in competition, securing berths in the Nationals in Los Angeles. When the two meet pathetic drag novice Chi-Chi Rodriguez (John Alberto Leguizamo) — one of the losers that evening — the charmed Vida and Noxeema agree to take the hopeless youngster under their joined wing. Soon the three set off on a madcap road trip across America and struggle to make it to Los Angeles in time.

Available on iTunes, Amazon Prime and YouTube

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