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East coast represent

Tara Thorne has reasons to get outside on hot summer nights.

We're gonna stomp on Scene's turf a little bit here, but word has just come down from the CBC that it has lined up a new show, East Coast Sessions, six half-hour eps featuring two locals a show. And you can attend the tapings free! We highly recommend doing this sort of thing whenever you can—it's always free, you get to go through a security checkpoint, see how TV works and witness something that will ultimately be national on an intimate level. (We first met Kathleen Edwards at a taping for Mary Walsh's book show.)

The performers are: Gordie Sampson and Jenn Grant (if there really is a god, Jenn will cover a certain Carrie Underwood song) on July 4; Newfoundland imports Hey Rosetta! and Amelia Curran on July 6; Meaghan Smith, whose fall release we're hearing is the shit, and the tallest, nicest man in Halifax rock, David Myles on July 9; Rose Cousins and Fall Horsie on July 10; Jill Barber and the recently re-emerged Nathan Wiley on July 11 and a big finish on July 12 with Catherine MacLellan and Joel Plaskett.

Doors open the Ceeb's Bell Road studio at 7:30pm, with the actual tapings running from about 8 to 10pm. For free tickets, call Alberta Dube at 420-4752 or drop a line to adube@cbc.ca, leaving your name and phone number and how many tickets you'd like to which show(s).

Frisky Fresco

There—off in the distance. Getting closer. That's it. Do you hear them? Do you hear the sleigh bells? That's because summer Christmas has arrived with the announcement of this year's alFresco filmFesto line-up! And the Atlantic Film Festival mafia has its indie hat (mostly) front-and-centre this year with a contemporary-classic smattering of cult hits from straight outta the art house.

Before she was Caroline in the city (did this column just enter a time warp into 1995? You'll see what we did there in a sec), Lea Thompson was Michael J. Fox's mother in Back to the Future, the time-travelling comedy series featuring a pimped-out DeLorean with awesome wing-doors (that's a technical term) and Crispin Glover in one of his only sensical roles ever. Christopher Lloyd's career is still stuck in time somewhere, but on July 27 you'll see why he was a star of the day (that day being 1985) as alFresco kicks off its seventh season on the Halifax waterfront.

On August 3 the traditional double feature goes quirky with the Coens' beloved bowling-themed epic The Big Lebowski, followed by Donnie Darko, the revered-but-confusing film where Jake Gyllenhaal talks to a rabbit-like thing and Patrick Swayze is there and so is Drew Barrymore and there's some stuff about an apocalypse and you know what, midnight screenings aren't for kids for a reason.

August 10, however, is for the kids as the fest screens the first Shrek, back before Mike Myers had done Cat in the Hat or the third Austin Powers and was still a viable, interesting performer. Then it's back to the art house, and, in our opinion, one of the most irritating subsets of indie film wankerdom, the Wes Andersonites, which will be out in full insufferable effect once Rushmore unspools against the wall on August 17. That's followed up by a more LCD choice, the Russell Crowe high-sea adventurer Master and Commander (we suppose pirates are still in), on August 24.

The season closes out as it does every year, with a readers' choice poll, with the winner screening August 31. This year's theme is "firefighter's classic," though we're not sure how much the Billy Baldwin-starring indie A Pyromaniac's Love Story qualifies. Your other choices are the always-hacktastic Ron Howard's Backdraft (you know there's one when the smoke is sucked back under the door), the John Travolta-Joaquin Phoenix bromance Ladder 49, horror classic Firestarter, starring Drew Barrymore at the beginning of her alcoholism, disaster fave The Towering Inferno and the Schwarzenegger entry Collateral Damage. The UK tagline for that movie, by the way, is "The Act Itself Wasn't Personal...HIS VENGEANCE WILL BE." Take that, you stupid terrorists! It's not a tumour, it's the Governor of Californ-i-a!

You can vote at www.atlanticfilm.com, where you'll also be able to check in on the day of the show to see if the screening's been bumped due to weather. Rain date is always the following day.

What’s your pick? Email: tarat@thecoast.ca

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