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.


THE TRUTH (2019)
LA VERITÉ
2020, IFC Films, 106 min, France/Japan/Switzerland, Dir: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Fabienne (Catherine Deneuve) is an aging French movie star who, despite her momentary lapses in memory, remains a venerable force to be reckoned with. Upon the publication of her memoirs, her daughter Lumir (Juliette Binoche) returns to Paris from New York with her husband (Ethan Hawke) and their young daughter to commemorate its release. A sharp and funny battle of wits ensues between the mother-daughter duo, as Lumir takes issue with Fabienne's rose-colored version of the past. Reflected cleverly by Fabienne's latest role in a sci-fi drama, their strained relationship takes a poignant journey toward possible reconciliation. Charming, bold, and imbued with endless emotional insight, THE TRUTH offers a relatable look at human relationships, featuring exquisite performances from its all-star cast.


SHELF LIFE
1993, 81 min, USA, Dir: Paul Bartel

Paul Bartel is best known for his unconventional, subversive style - his films as provocative as they are sophisticated. After his early work at Roger Corman’s New World Pictures (including directing the cult classic DEATH RACE 2000) he went on to write, direct and star in his 1983 breakthrough cannibal sex comedy EATING RAOUL (released through The Criterion Collection).

In total, he made nine feature films which went on to play internationally at renowned festivals and cult midnight movie theaters alike.

Since his untimely death, Bartel’s work as both director and comedic actor has been celebrated around the world, praised by Hollywood luminaries such as Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, and Martin Scorsese as well as his many colleagues on the fringe-- Jim Jarmusch, John Waters, Joe Dante, and Allan Arkush, to name just a few.

SHELF LIFE was his last feature directorial effort, and has never been released.

The film is proudly dedicated to The Two Garys - forefathers of The American Cinematheque, Gary Essert and Gary Abrahams, whose long history with Paul Bartel goes back to Filmex, where Bartel frequently served on the Selection Committee for the long-running Los Angeles International Film Exhibition.

Recently, SHELF LIFE has been uncovered for its 25th anniversary, and is now screening throughout the country, and (for the time being) online.

- Alex Mechanik, Filmmaker


Syndicate content