Memento, starring Guy Pearce, screens at the Vic Theatre in April.

KATHY KAY: Holiday films can lift our spirits

Upcoming movies screening at The Vic and Cinecenta offer varied takes on ‘religion’

Some films just have a resonance that goes beyond their quality, subject matter or star power.

When I had my first break-up, a local rep house was playing A Star is Born – yes, the Kris & Babs version. I saw that film over and over in a matter of days. At the time it seemed soothing or perhaps it just let me mourn in private, today there are many psychological studies on how films offer a chance to work through emotions, me, I’m just embarrassed.

Kathy Kay

Christopher Nolan’s Memento is another film that pulled me out of my doldrums during a down period. It’s smart and you had to pay attention, which was exhilarating. Then there are the holiday flicks. Doesn’t everyone have their own favourite classic? We see them over and over again and is it really Christmas without the Sound of Music or Alastair Sim in A Christmas Carol?

Speaking of holidays, Easter is around the corner and moviemakers seem to have a predilection for churning out Jesus films every few years, such as Martin Scorcese’s Last Temptation of Christ or ‘he who should not be named’s’ brutally violent The Passion of the Christ. But the one that seems to resonate most is coming to The Vic Theatre on April 19 in a sing-along format, Jesus Christ Superstar.

Directed by Canada’s own Norman Jewison with Ted Neeley taking the eponymous role in this all-singing-and-dancing version, it’s a bold and powerful film.

And if you are looking for what might be a new classic then catch Breaking Habits, about a nunnery that grows cannabis, yes, illegally. Check out Sister Kate as she’s a nun on a mission to heal!

And there’s an interesting film coming to Cinecenta, Vox Lux. While flawed, it is definitely worth a look. Natalie Portman with director Brady Corbet’s take on the ‘religion’ of celebrity contains great performances and visuals. Which brings me full circle as Vox Lux’s themes nicely complement Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born, a treatise on not just addiction, but the hazards of fame. Be careful what you wish for.

For schedule information for The Vic Theatre and Cinecenta, visit victoriafilmfestival.com/thevic/films or cinecenta.com.

Kathy Kay is director of the Victoria Film Festival.



editor@mondaymag.com

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