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Capital Film Society:

Winter 2002


Mondays, 8:00 pm
Tilley Hall, UNB

Invite a friend to the Capital Film Society!

Half-Year Memberships ($20.00 regular, $12:00 students and seniors) are available at the door on Monday nights. Admission — $3.00 with membership, $7.00 without.

January 14: NOVOCAINE

2001 - 95 min. - Feature, Color

Director  David Atkins

Produced by  Daniel M. Rosenberg / Paul Mones


In this darkly comic film noir from writer/director David Atkins, Steve Martin revisits dentistry - an occupation he'd explored 15 years prior, in the camp musical Little Shop of Horrors. Novocaine casts Martin as a much more mild-mannered D.D.S., Dr. Frank Sangster. Engaged to a prim and delicate hygienist, Jean (Laura Dern), Sangster leads a placid, upper-middle class existence, save for the occasional visit from his deadbeat artist brother Harlan (Elias Koteas). But Sangster finds his life turned inside out from the moment the alluring Susan (Helena Bonham Carter) plops down in his reclining vinyl chair: Complaining about her molars, she's really more interested in the refrigerator of narcotics the good dentist keeps on hand for his patients in pain. Once they manage to get Sangster's guard down, Susan and her brother (Scott Caan) rob him blind - and worse yet, frame him for the theft. When a dead body turns up in Sangster's sleek suburban home, he finds that clearing his name will be a difficult proposition indeed. Novocaine marks the directorial debut of screenwriter Atkins, who first made his mark with the script for Emir Kusturica's oddball cult favorite Arizona Dream (1993). - Michael Hastings



2001 - USA - 146 min. - Feature, Color

Director  David Lynch


David Lynch wrote and directed this look at two women who finds themselves walking a fine line between truth and deception in the beautiful but dangerous netherworld of Hollywood. A beautiful woman (Laura Elena Harring) riding in a limousine along Los Angeles' Mulholland Drive is targeted by a would-be shooter, but before he can pull the trigger, she is injured when her limo is hit by another car. The woman stumbles from the wreck with a head wound, and in time makes her way into an apartment with no idea of where or who she is. As it turns out, the apartment is home to an elderly woman who is out of town, and is allowing her niece Betty (Naomi Watts) to stay there; Betty is a small-town girl from Canada who wants to be an actress, and her aunt was able to arrange an audition with a film director for her. Betty befriends the injured woman, who begins calling herself "Rita" after seeing a poster of Rita Hayworth. While Betty's audition impresses a casting agent, and she catches the eye of hotshot director Adam Kesher (Justin Theroux), Kesher's producers and moneymen insist with no small vehemence that he instead cast a woman named Camilla Rhodes. As Rita attempts to put the pieces of her life back together, she pulls the name Diane Selwyn from her memory; Rita thinks it could be her real name, but when she and Betty find a listing for Diane Selwyn and visit her apartment, they discover the latest victim of a mysterious killer who is eluding police detective Harry McKnight (Robert Forster). Rita's emotional identity soon takes a left turn, and it turns out that neither woman is quite who she once appeared to be. David Lynch originally conceived Mulholland Drive as the pilot film for a television series; after the ABC television network rejected the pilot and declined to air it, the French production film StudioCanal took over the project, and Lynch reshot and re-edited the material into a theatrical feature. The resulting version of Mulholland Drive premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, where David Lynch shared Best Director honors with Joel Coen. - Mark Deming


 Best Composer (nom)  Angelo Badalamenti  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Director (nom)  David Lynch  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Female Actor (nom)  Naomi Watts  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)  Tony Krantz  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)  Mary Sweeney  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)  Alain Sarde  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)  Michael Polaire  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)  Neal Edelstein  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)    2001  Broadcast Film Critics Association 

 Best Director (nom)  David Lynch  2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Original Score (nom)  Angelo Badalamenti  2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Picture - Drama (nom)    2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Screenplay (nom)  David Lynch  2001  Golden Globes 

 #10 Film of the Year (win)    2001  National Board of Review 

 Breakthrough Performance of the Year (win)  Naomi Watts  2001 National Board of Review 

 Best Picture (win)   2001  New Film Critics Circle



2001 - Canada - 95 min. - Feature, Color

Director  David Weaver

Produced by  Victorious Films


David Weaver makes his feature debut with his omnibus film--each tale during different points during the 20th century but in the same hotel room, room 720. The film opens during the swinging 20s when a beautiful young woman, married against her will to a brutish thug of a man, endures a tension fraught honeymoon. During the depression segment, a mail order bride from China meets her husband for the first time. Following the end of World War II, a soldier returns home to meet his girlfriend and his best friend. During the paranoia of the 1950s, a professor searches for his wife. During the 1980s, a lawyer has too much sex and debt and during the dawn of the millennium, a woman comes to a newly refurbished room 720 to meet her Internet lover. Such acclaimed Canadian actors as Tom McCamus, Sandrine Holt and Colm Feore star in this film, which was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

- Jonathan Crow



2001 - USA - 116 min. - Feature, B&W

Director  Joel Coen

Color type  Deluxe B&W

Produced by  Working Title


Set in a sleepy Northern California town in the 1940s, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen's The Man Who Wasn't There stars Billy Bob Thornton as Ed Crane, a humble barber who suspects his hard-hearted and hard-drinking wife Doris (Frances McDormand) of having an affair with her boss (James Gandolfini). When a jocular stranger (Jon Polito) breezes into town hinting at the fortune to be made investing in an outlandish-sounding new invention called dry cleaning, Ed hatches a blackmail scheme he hopes will make him rich and get him some revenge at the same time. His plan goes horribly awry when he accidentally commits a murder for which Doris ends up being blamed, landing her in the slammer and Ed at the mercy of blowhard big-city lawyer Freddy Riedenschneider (Tony Shalhoub). Filmed in black-and-white by three-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins, The Man Who Wasn't There was inspired by the seedy crime novels of James M. Cain, putting a distinctly Coen brothers' spin on the film noir tradition. Though spiked with their characteristic humor, its moody atmosphere hearkens back to the darker moments of Blood Simple and Fargo - a marked departure from the high-spirited slapstick of O Brother Where Art Thou. - Tom Vick


Best Cinematography (nom) Roger Deakins  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Male Actor (nom)  Billy Bob Thornton  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)_ Ethan Coen  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Supporting Male Actor (nom)  Tony Shalhoub  2001  American Film Institute 

 Best Picture (nom)    2001  Broadcast Film Critics Association 

 Best Screenplay (nom)   Ethan Coen  2001  Broadcast Film Critics Association 

 Best Screenplay (nom)  Joel Coen  2001  Broadcast Film Critics Association 

 Best Actor - Drama (nom)  Billy Bob Thornton  2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Picture - Drama (nom)    2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Screenplay (nom)  Joel Coen  2001  Golden Globes 

 Best Screenplay (nom)  Ethan Coen  2001  Golden Globes 

 #7 Film of the Year  (win)  2001  National Board of Review 

 Best Actor (win)  Billy Bob Thornton (win) 2001  National Board of Review 


February 11: INNOCENCE

2000 - Australia - 92 min. - Feature, Color

Director  Paul Cox

Produced by  CineTe / Cinemedia Corp. / Illumination Films / New Oz / Showtime Australia / South Australian Film Corp. / Strand


Lovers in Belgium during WWII, Claire (Julia Blake) and Andreas (Charles Tingwell) are shocked to discover that, after a 45-year separation, they are neighbors in the same Melbourne neighborhood. Andreas has been a widower for 30 years, while Claire is happily though not passionately married to John (Terry Norris), whom she hasn't slept with for two decades. Andreas and Claire resume their heady sexual relationship, much to the disapproval of their loved ones. Director Paul Cox cuts between footage of the couple in the present and the past, examining how they have and haven't changed over the years, and the bond that continues to keep them together. - Rebecca Flint


 Air Canada People's Choice Award (win)  Paul Cox  2000  Montreal World Film Festival 

 Grand Prix of the Americas (win)    2000  Montreal World Film Festival 



February 18: Der Krieger und die Kaiserin

2000 - Germany - 135 min. - Feature, Color

AKA  The Princess And The Warrior (U.S. title)

Director  Tom Tykwer

Produced by  X Filme Creative Pool


Director Tom Tykwer followed up his international hit Lola Rennt with this drama, which also examines young people living on the edges of the law. Sisi (Franka Potente) is an attractive but withdrawn woman who works in a psychiatric clinic, while Bodo (Benno Furmann) is looking to make some quick money after his recent release from the army. Bodo robs a gas station and is fleeing on foot when he accidentally causes Sisi to be hit by a truck. Realizing she's seriously injured, Bodo comes to Sisi's rescue and performs an emergency tracheotomy on her before he escapes again. Sisi, who is often pursued by men but shies away from their advances, finds that she longs to meet the mysterious Bodo again, and eventually tracks him down to a hideout he shares with his brother Walter (Joachim Krol). Bodo and Walter angrily send Sisi away, but she unexpectedly encounters them when they pull a robbery at a bank where she's running an errand. Bodo and Walter are caught in a shootout with police, and Sisi helps to spirit Bodo away to the clinic where she works, trying to spare him the grim news that Walter was killed in the melee. In addition to serving as writer and director, Tom Tykwer also composed the musical score for The Princess and the Warrior in collaboration with Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil. - Mark Deming


February 25: LAST WEDDING 

2001 - Canada - 101 min. - Feature, Color

Director  Bruce Sweeney

Produced by  BC Film / Canadian Television Fund / Chum Telivision / Last Wedding Prods. / Telefilm Canada / TMN


Canadian indie auteur Bruce Sweeney spins this wry look at the relationship of three Vancouver couples. After dating for a mere six months, Noah (Benjamin Ratner) and Zipporah (Frida Betrani) shock family and friends by announcing that they are getting married. No one is particularly thrilled about the impending nuptials and soon Noah starts to figure out why. Noah, a waterproofing expert, is maddened first by Zipporah's condo's leaking roof and then by his wife who has illusions of fame and fortune as a country singer but has precious little talent. Noah's buddies Peter (Tom Scholte) and Shane (Vincent Gale) - both of whom gave halfhearted congratulations at the wedding - have romantic issues of their own. Shane grows increasing jealous when his girlfriend and fellow architect (Molly Parker) gets a big career break while he languishes behind. Meanwhile, Peter, a literature professor, cheats on his wife, Leslie (Nancy Sivak), with a shapely student (Marya Delver) who offers him favors while he discusses the work of Margaret Laurence. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

- Jonathan Crow


March 4: Safar e Gandehar

2001 - France / Iran - 85 min. - Feature, Color

AKA  Kandahar

The Sun Behind the Moon (Festival title)

Director  Mohsen Makhmalbaf

Produced by  Bac Films / Makmalbaf Film House


Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf examines the troubling story of life in neighboring Afghanistan in this compelling drama. Nafas (Niloufar Pazira) is a reporter who was born in Afghanistan, but fled with her family to Canada as a child, escaping the violence of the country's political instability. However, her sister wasn't so lucky; she lost her legs to a land mine while young, and when Nafas and her family left the country, her sister was accidentally left behind. Nafas receives a letter from her sister announcing that she's decided to kill herself during the final eclipse before the dawn of the 21st century; desperate to spare her sister's life, Nafas makes haste to Afghanistan, where she joins a caravan of refugees who, for a variety of reasons, are returning to the war-torn nation. As Nafas searches for her sister, she soon gets a clear and disturbing portrait of the toll the Taliban regime has taken upon its people. Also featuring Hassan Tantai and Sadou Teymouri, Safar E Gandehar was shown in competition at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival.

- Mark Deming


March 11: L'ange de goudron

2001 - Canada - 98 min. - Feature, Color

AKA  Tar Angel

Director  Denis Chouinard

Produced by  Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm / Alliance Atlantis Vivafilm / Max Films

Released by  Odeon Films


Following up on his directorial debut Clandestins - about desperate refugees stowing away on a ship - Denis Chouinard created this taut thriller about immigrants after they have arrived on Canada's shores. Ahmed Kasmi and his family fled Algeria and is now only a week away from getting his Canadian citizenship. Ahmed's teenaged son Hafid, secretly apart of group of militants, breaks into the immigration office and deletes databanks worth of information. Captured by security cameras, the act is broadcast throughout the country on the nightly news, just as Ahmed is practicing "Oh Canada" in his living room. Crushed by the stupid actions of his wayward son, he heads into the streets of Montreal in search of Hafid, where he discovers an entire underworld of radical activism and militancy that he never knew existed. He eventually hooks up with Huguette - Hafid's girlfriend - and the two search for him together. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

- Jonathan Crow


March 18: La Virgen De Los Sicarios

2000 - Colombia / France - 101 min. - Feature, Color

AKA  Our Lady Of The Assassins

Director  Barbet Schroeder

From book by  Vallejo, Fernando

Negative Format  HD-to-35mm

Produced by  Canal Plus / Le Studio Canal Plus / Les Films du Losange / Vertigo Films


A middle-aged man wanting to revisit the city of his birth discovers time and corruption have taken a terrible toll in this drama. Fernando (German Jaramillo) is a successful gay writer who was born in Medell¡n, Colombia, but has lived in Europe for the past 30 years. Feeling jaded and uninspired, Fernando decides to return to Colombia after the death of his sister, who was the last surviving member of his immediate family. Fernando remembers the Medell¡n of his youth as a beautiful place, but now the city is the capital of the international drug trade, and crime and urban sprawl have made it a harsh and dangerous place to live. At a party, Fernando meets Alexis (Anderson Ballesteros), a member of a teenage street gang. The two soon strike up a friendship, as Fernando tries to show Alexis what's left of the city he once knew, and Alexis teaches Fernando the grim realities of life and death on the streets. Fernando and Alexis become lovers, but despite their affection for each other, Fernando does not fully understand the dangerous and volatile nature of life in the new Medell¡n, which leads him into grave danger. La Virgen de los Sicarios was written for the screen by Fernando Vallejo, based on his novel. Director Barbet Schroeder shot the film on location in Medell¡n, using a digital video camera in order to speed up production in the notoriously dangerous city. - Mark Deming



2001 - Canada - 90 min. - Feature, Color

Director  William Phillips

Produced by  Treed Murray Prods.


Canadian filmmaker William Phillips makes his feature debut with this psychological thriller about an ad exec, a gang of juvenile thugs, and a really big tree. Murray Roberts (David Hewlett) is an up and coming salesman for an advertising company who while strolling in a city park one day encounters a fourteen year old mugger named Carter. Being a life long alpha male, Roberts refuses to play the victim and a tussle ensues, resulting in Carter being killed. The lad's comrades in crime emerge from the surrounding trees and soon Roberts is forced to flee. He eventually finds refuge in the higher branches of a rather large tree. The gang members led by the charismatic Shark (Cle Bennett) lay siege. A battle of wills and wits ensues between the ad man and the gangster. This film was screened at the 2001 Toronto Film Festival.

- Jonathan Crow


April 1: Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amelie Poulain

2001 - Germany / France - 121 min. - Feature, Color and B&W

AKA  Amelie (U.S. title)

Amelie From Montmarte

Director  Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Produced by  Canal P / Claudie Ossard / France 3 Cinema / MMC Independent / Sofica Sofinergie 5 / Tapioca Films / UGC / Victoires Prods.


One woman decides to change the world by changing the lives of the people she knows in this charming and romantic comic fantasy from director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Amelie (Audrey Tautou) is a young woman who had a decidedly unusual childhood; misdiagnosed with an unusual heart condition, Amelie didn't attend school with other children, but spent most of her time in her room, where she developed a keen imagination and an active fantasy life. Her mother Amandine (Lorella Cravotta) died in a freak accident when Amelie was eight, and her father Raphael (Rufus) had limited contact with her, since his presence seemed to throw her heart into high gear. Despite all this, Amelie has grown into a healthy and beautiful young woman who works in a cafe and has a whimsical, romantic nature. When Princess Diana dies in a car wreck in the summer of 1997, Amelie is reminded that life can be fleeting and she decides it's time for her to intervene in the lives of those around her, hoping to bring a bit of happiness to her neighbors and the regulars at the cafe. Amelie starts by bringing together two lonely people - Georgette (Isabelle Nanty), a tobacconist with a severe case of hypochondria, and Joseph (Dominique Pinon), an especially ill-tempered customer. When Amelie finds a box of old toys in her apartment, she returns them to their former owner, Collignon (Urbain Cancellier), sending him on a reverie of childhood. Amelie befriends Dufayel (Serge Merlin), an elderly artist living nearby whose bones are so brittle, thanks to a rare disease, that everything in his flat must be padded for his protection. And Amelie decides someone has to step into the life of Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz), a lonely adult video store clerk and part-time carnival spook-show ghost who collects pictures left behind at photo booths around Paris. Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amelie Poulain received unusually enthusiastic advance reviews prior to its French premiere in the spring of 2001, and was well received at a special free screening at that year's Cannes Film Festival. - Mark Deming


Best Foreign Language Film (nom)    2001  Broadcast Film Critics Association 

 Best Actress (nom)  Audrey Tautou  2001  European Film Academy 

 Best Cinematography (win)  Bruno Delbonnel  2001  European Film Academy 

 Best Director (win)  Jean-Pierre Jeunet  2001  European Film Academy 

 Best Picture (win)    2001  European Film Academy 

 Best Foreign Language Film (nom)    2001  Golden Globes 

 #5 Foreign Film of the Year (win)    2001  National Board of Review 



April 8: TBA: (Gosford Park, or In the Bedroom)