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June 23, 2023

WIFF’S WEEKEND WATCH LIST — 6/23

Check out our recommendations of what to watch this weekend.

if you want top-notch filmmaking

cold war

Vincent Georgie: Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski very quickly established himself as a master with his one-two punch of his Oscar-Winner IDA, and then this showboat of cinematic style and substance. Nominated for 3 Oscars, COLD WAR is an elegant, moody and oh-so-cinematic luxury. Selected as the Closing Night Film of WIFF 2018.

Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of the 1950s Cold War in Poland, two people of differing backgrounds and temperaments begin an almost impossible romance.

Available on iTunes and YouTube.

if you want to laugh and laugh a lot

my big fat greek wedding

Vincent Georgie: Greek-Canadian writer-actress Nia Vardalos created the most unexpected comedy sensation not just of 2002 but of any year for that matter.

Made for $5M, it grossed over $350M and beat the second installment of THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy at the box office that year. Bring your Aunt Voula, get ready to tell her you don’t eat meat and let’s settle in for a Windex joke or two.

Synopsis: Everyone in the Portokalos family worries about Toula. Still unmarried at 30 years old, she works at Dancing Zorba’s, the Greek restaurant owned by her parents, Gus and Maria. After taking a job at her aunt’s travel agency, she falls in love with Ian Miller, a teacher who is tall, handsome and definitely not Greek. Toula isn’t sure which will be more upsetting to her father, that Ian is a foreigner or that he’s a vegetarian.

if you crave originality

toni erdmann

Vincent Georgie: German filmmaker Maren Ade was the toast of Cannes in 2016 with this shockingly original, funny and frequently unhinged father-daughter comedy. There have been talks of a US remake for years, but no one can figure out how to quite replicate the catch-you-off-guard comedic energy of this film. Stars Peter Simonischek (who recently passed) and Sandra Huller (who will surely be an Oscar contender at next year’s Oscars with her new film ANATOMY OF A FALL) are both memorable in this Oscar-nominated film. A hidden gem at WIFF 2016.

Synopsis: A hard-working woman reluctantly agrees to spend time with her estranged father when he unexpectedly arrives. As a practical joker, the father does his best to reconnect by pretending to be her CEO’s life coach.

Available on iTunes, YouTube, and Amazon Prime

DOUBLE FEATURE

no one does it like the italians

We were delighted to feature a Vittorio De Sica retrospective at WIFF 2011, showing these two incredibly evocative Italian classics in restored 35MM prints. Two gorgeous nights in the Capitol Theater. I suggest you relive these two films at home this weekend.

yesterday today and tomorrow

Director Vittorio De Sica created this trilogy of romantic comedies set in different parts of Italy, with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni starring in each story. In Naples, poor Adelina supports her husband by selling black-market cigarettes. In Milan, wealthy Anna is having an affair with poor Renzo, whose infatuation is tested by a near tragedy. In Rome, prostitute Mara seeks the help of her client Augusto to spurn the advances of her neighbour’s infatuated grandson.

marriage Italian style

When handsome, successful Domenico first meets the sexy young waif Filomena in Naples during World War II, he is instantly smitten. Flash forward to the postwar years, and the two meet again, sparking a passionate affair that spans two decades. But when Filomena — who has now become Domenico’s kept woman and has secretly borne his children — learns that her lover is planning to wed another, she stops at nothing to hook him into marrying her instead.

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