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GUEST OF HONOUR
2020, Kino Lorber, 105 min, Canada, Dir: Atom Egoyan

Jim (David Thewlis) and his daughter Veronica (Laysla De Oliveira), a high school music teacher, attempt to unravel their complicated histories and intertwined secrets in the latest film from Academy Award nominee Atom Egoyan (THE SWEET HEREAFTER), which weaves through time exploring perception and penance, memory and forgiveness. A hoax instigated by an aggressive school bus driver (Rossif Sutherland) goes very wrong. Accused of abusing her position of authority with 17-year-old Clive (Alexandre Bourgeois) and another student, Veronica is imprisoned. Convinced that she deserves to be punished for crimes she committed at an earlier age, Veronica rebuffs her father’s attempts to secure her early release. Confused and frustrated by her intransigence, Jim's anguish begins to impinge on his job. As a food inspector, he wields great power over small, family-owned restaurants. It’s a power he doesn’t hesitate to use. While preparing Jim's funeral, Veronica confides the secrets of her past to Father Greg (Luke Wilson), who may hold the final piece of this father-daughter puzzle.


BARKSKINS
2020, National Geographic, 52 min, USA, Dir: David Slade

Although National Geographic has been producing scripted programming for nearly 10 years, BARKSKINS is the network’s first program based on a work of fiction (the New York Times bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Proulx) but the series is still in fact authentic and historically accurate. Set in the 1690s in what is now the Canadian province of Quebec, the series tells a thrilling story of exploration, adventure and ambition among dreamers and fighters - some with a utopian vision of the world, others crass and conniving, but all navigating the perils of a treacherous new frontier. As tensions escalate, unlikely alliances are forged, old antagonisms deepen and new families are formed against the seemingly endless natural riches and hidden dangers of the new American continent. The outstanding ensemble cast includes David Thewlis, Marcia Gay Harden and Aneurin Barnard


NAKED
1993, Park Circus, 132 min, UK, Dir: Mike Leigh

David Thewlis delivers a bravura performance as Johnny, a nicotine-addled, paranoid tramp who wanders the streets of Manchester and London haranguing strangers, searching for cheap sex and traumatizing the few loved ones from his past who still care about him. With its creative genesis arising from the cast’s improvisations, NAKED is a startling exploration of self-destructive toxic male vitriol tempered by Leigh’s consummate humanism. Winner of the 1993 Best Director and Best Actor prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. “This is a painful movie to watch. But it is also exhilarating, as all good movies are, because we are watching the director and actors venturing beyond any conventional idea of what a modern movie can be about.” - Roger Ebert


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