10 films to see at the Hamilton art gallery film festival

This article was originally published in CBC Hamilton, Sept. 20, 2012

The Art Gallery of Hamilton’s fourth annual World Film Festival will kick off this Friday, Sept. 21 and run until Sunday, Sept. 30 to showcase 29 feature-length films.

From crime to comedy, this 10-day festival has lots to offer for both casual and hardcore movie-goers.

While we are, by no means, qualified to judge, we have selected 10 films of various genres, each with something special to offer.

So, kick back, relax and enjoy some of the world’s finest films.

Easy Money (7 p.m., Sept. 21)

You will have a chance to watch Easy Money, a Swedish crime and drama film, before wide release.

Directed by Daniel Espinosa and presented by American crime director, Martin Scorsese, Easy Money tells a story of a young man, living a double life as a drug runner and business student in Stockholm.

To Rome with Love (4 p.m., Sept. 22)

Award-winning and versatile Hollywood artist Woody Allen writes, directs and stars in this romantic comedy.

Allen is not the only star in this feature-length film. Expect other A-list Hollywood artists like Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin, while being serenaded by the beautiful cityscape in Rome.

Norwegian Wood (1 p.m., Sept. 23)

A Japanese film directed by a French director of Vietnamese ancestry, Norwegian Wood tells the story about a young man troubled by the loss of his best friend.

Adapted from a 1987 novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, the novel has been translated into 33 languages. The first release in Canada was in March 2012.

Farewell, My Queen, (7 p.m., Sept. 24)

Director, Benoît Jacquot retells the story of the French Revolution by focusing on the last days of Marie Antoinette. Viewers will get a different perspective of this legendary Queen of France and an insight into the daily routines of the Palace of Versailles on the eve of the Revolution.

It may be less bloody but the film still maintains the drama and emotion of 18th century nobility during this historic period.

Inescapable (7 p.m., Sept. 25)

Ever had a nagging question about a film you just watched? There might be a chance for you to have that answered with Inescapable.

Toronto filmmaker, Rubba Nadda, will be joining you on the movie seats, as you follow the film’s protagonist, Adib, in his search for his missing daughter in this thriller. At the end of the day, you may have a better understanding of this Syrian-based film.

Cosmopolis (7 p.m., Sept. 26)

While Robert Pattinson is known as a pale but smokin’ hot vampire in the Twilight series, fans will see a darker side of him as a complex billionaire in Manhattan.

This 108-minute drama film, shot in Toronto, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 2012.

Urbanized (7 p.m., Sept. 27)

A feature-length documentary, Urbanized looks at the design of cities to examine issues of urban design and strategic planning. It raises questions of balanced housing and public spaces, contributing to a larger discussion of the future of cities in light of population growth in urban areas.

Urbanized is one of the four films featured in the Urban Revival Film series, the collaborative project between the AGH and the Renew Hamilton Project exploring the relationship between film and architecture.

Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady (7 p.m., Sept. 29)

The personal story of the Burmanese activist in her quest for democracy in Burma unfolds in The Lady. It sheds light to the Suu Kyi’s painful separation with her husband and children.

Based on interviews with Suu Kyi’s confidants, this film promises an authentic portrayal of Burma’s national heroine and her courageous fight against the Burma military junta.

The World Before Her (1 p.m., Sept. 30)

Canadian budding filmmaker, Nisha Pahuja, brings two perspectives of the Miss India pageant. It follows 20 hopeful handpicked contestants as they compete for the “Miss India” title. But Pahuja also contrasts their journeys with footage and interviews inside the Durgha Vahini camp, a women’s militant fundamentalist camp in India.

Viewers will gain two sides of this story about contemporary India and the clash between Western and patriarchy traditions.

3D with Pina (7 p.m., Sept. 30)

Dance in real life can be dazzling. But Pina will offer a different viewing experience by featuring the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch and their dance moves in 3D.

A documentary film, Pina takes audiences close to the dancers, as it follows them waltzing along the streets and surrounding areas of Wuppertal, Germany.

You do not need to bring your own 3D glasses. They are included in the ticket price.

Visit the AGH World Film Festival website for descriptions of featured films and ticket prices.