2017, 104 min, Canada, Dir: Luc Picard

This engaging family drama is set in Montreal during the 1970 “October Crisis,” when radical left-wing nationalist group Front de libération du Québec forced the province into a state of emergency with kidnappings, bombings and assassinations. Twelve-year-old Manon (Milya Corbeil-Gauvreau) is experiencing a more immediate crisis: With her father dying of cancer and her depressive mother unable to cope, she and her younger brother Michel are to be sent to separate foster families. Manon has sworn to her brother that she will never leave him alone, so she hatches a daring plan - inspired by the political fervor in the city, she forms a revolutionary group of her own with her older cousins. They plot to kidnap their elderly neighbor and take off to a cabin in the country, where they spend their initial days enjoying newfound freedom from the influence of the grown-up world even as that adult world hunts for them. Superbly crafted and very moving, the film was a hit at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.

2017, Wolfe Video, 95 min, Canada, Dir: Eisha Marjara

At once hilarious and serious, smart and sassy, Eisha Marjara’s articulate, absorbing and lively gender-shifting comedy is the witty tale of Sid (New York-based actor Debargo Sanyal, in a brilliant performance), a transitioning woman whose life takes a turn when a 14-year-old boy named Ralph (Jamie Mayers) arrives at her door with the surprising announcement that he is her son. While Sid is stunned by this news, Ralph meanwhile is equally surprised to discover he has a trans “father” as he is intrigued at the sheer coolness of it. Suddenly, Sid must ponder the consequences of this profound news and share it with her Indian-Canadian parents and with Daniel (Pierre-Yves Cardinal), the love of her life. Just when she thought transitioning was complicated, Sid quickly learns that she ain’t seen nothing yet!

1971, Sony Repertory, 90 min, USA, Dir: Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson’s first trip behind the camera as director is a subtle character study about basketball, college and Vietnam. It stands as one of the best sports-related movies ever made and captures the true feeling of the late ’60s/early ’70s college experience. William Tepper is a star basketball player with a drug-addled best friend (Michael Margotta) who is dodging the draft and a faculty-wife girlfriend (Karen Black) bent on giving him the boot. Bruce Dern's performance as the snide, take-no-prisoners coach is masterfully hard-nosed. With Robert Towne and Henry Jaglom in prime supporting roles, and cinematography by Bill Butler. "Nicholson deftly illustrates the background cynicism of big-time sports against the more obvious cynicism of college life." – Variety.

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