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The big deal 

A million little reasons to go see these ten daring films about dealing, drinking, smoking and selling.

CottonlandSeptember 15, 7:05pm, Park Lane, $10

Hitting close to home, photographer Nance Ackerman, best known for her striking portraits of First Nations women, turns a camera lens on how the addictive prescription drug OxyContin has become a signifier of the devastating social problems facing the community of Glace Bay. Ackerman collaborated with recovering addicts to explore the effects of dependency while emphasizing a strong, collective community-based approach to dealing with its underlying causes.

Strangers with CandySeptember 15, 11:30pm, Park Lane, $15

No one makes crack whores with macrame vests as much fun as Amy Sedaris’s Jerri Blank, a self-proclaimed 47 year-old “boozer, a user and a loser” who goes back to high school, 32 years after dropping out. Not for the faint-hearted or easily offended, the movie prequel to the three-season Comedy Central parody of after-school specials—“If you’re going to reach for a star, reach for the lowest one you can!”—stars show regulars Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert, plus appearances by Mathew Broderick, Allison Janney, Kristen Johnston and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Boys’ and Girls’ Guide to Getting DownSeptember 16, 11:30pm, Park Lane, $10

Listen up, class: A satirical how-to guide for Los Angeles hipster nightlife, this film is an essential primer on how to get laid, score coke and free drinks, and still look fabulous under the glow of the Hollywood sign. Learn the proper etiquette for purchasing drugs or for getting rid of last-night’s date (graphic charts handily demonstrate for those too stoned to figure out the plot) and how to properly use the term “fauxmosexual.”

One Hit WonderAtlantic Shorts I, September 18, 7pm, Park Lane, $10

From travelling fetuses (Jackie Torrens’s Pickled Punk) to Gaelic tales of escaping the grim reaper (Marc Almon’s The Wake of Calum Macleod), fans of dark humour wrapped in small packages should enjoy this year’s selection of short films, from here and away. In One Hit Wonder, Tom Gallant is Remy Royale, a washed up songwriter who imbibes in plenty of squalor and gin in his hotel-room apartment, until one last hope comes along in the form of a young musician who lives downtown. Written by Chaz Thorne, who co-wrote, along with Clement Virgo, the upcoming Halifax boxing feature Poor Boys’ Game, starring Rossif Sutherland and Danny Glover.

PuppySeptember 19, 7:15pm, Park Lane, $10

Aiden (Bernard Curry) is a delusional tow-truck driver who has stopped taking his medications. Liz (Nadia Townsend) is a smart-talking young woman who just got kicked out of the house. Aiden is convinced that he’s finally found his runaway wife and doesn’t want to let her go. Ever. Liz plays along with Aiden’s fantasy and starts to enjoy herself. Proving that Australians know how to weave a twisted love story as well as, or better than, any Commonwealth country, Puppy was described by one critic as Misery meets Buffalo 66.

Cocaine CowboysSeptember 21, 11:30pm, Park Lane, $10

Well before the original Crockett and Tubbs slipped on their mesh shoes, Miami was a city of vices, thanks to a thriving cocaine

cartel. Filmmaker Billy Corben’s stylized documentary uses archive footage and interviews with those in the game to expose how a former town of blue-hairs was transformed into a sultry city of riches. Rock out to a musical score by Jan Hammer, composer of the Miami Vice theme. This should not be confused with the 1979 action movie of the same name, with the bizarre cast of Jack Palance and Andy Warhol.

Rolling Like a StoneSeptember 22, 7:05pm, Park Lane, $10

In 1965, four years before Brian Jones was found dead in a swimming pool, he went with Mick and Keith to a post-concert party in Malmo, Sweden, where they hung out with pre-ABBA Swedish hipster bands The Namelosers and Gonks, as well as teenager Mona Ovendal and her friends. Combining footage from the evening captured on a 8mm home movie, directors Magnus Gertten and Stefan Berg reunite the Swedish party people 40 years later. Ideal for those who want their Stones fix, but don’t want to get their stilettos stuck in the Commons.

CandySeptember 22, 7:15pm, Park Lane, $10

Once again, Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain) lands in a romance destined for the can. In this Australian film based on Luke Davies’ grim novel of the same name, Ledger plays Dan, a free-spirited poet who falls in love with art student Candy (Abbie Cornish). Problem is that Dan has a wee heroin addiction, and Candy’s so in love with Dan, she starts shooting up too. A love story in the same vein as Requiem for a Dream or Drugstore Cowboy. Also, keep an eye out for Geoffrey Rush, appearing as Dan’s friend, mentor and dealer.

Half Nelson September 22, 9:30pm, Oxford, $15

Like Heath Ledger, Ryan Gosling (The United States of Leland) also plays a drug addict named Dan, but one with a day job: He’s an inspirational inner-city junior high school teacher who challenges social injustices by day, and smokes crack in his off-hours. “Amazing,” “galvanic” and “astounding” are some of the praises already being tossed around by critics for Gosling’s performance. And if that soundtrack sounds awfully familiar, it’s probably because it comes courtesy Toronto music mobsters, Broken Social Scene. BSS’s Brendan Canning is in town on September 21 to deliver the SOCAN keynote address.

Anger MeSeptember 23, 4:05pm, Park Lane, $10

A confessional documentary on Kenneth Anger, the controversial and fascinating experimental filmmaker and author of the naughty 1959 tell-all Hollywood Babylon. One of America’s first openly gay filmmakers, a forefather to John Waters, friend to Alfred Kinsey and Mick Jagger, Anger’s 1972 film Lucifer Rising featured a trippy music score by Manson family member Bobby Beausoleil, recorded while he was in prison. Story has it that Beausoleil borrowed $10,000 from Anger, which he used to buy bales of marijuana that he stored unsuspectingly at Anger’s home—until his dogs got hold of it.

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Vol 25, No 29
December 14, 2017

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