We’re Back! Metro Reopens for In-Person Cinema on Friday, June 18

Metro is delighted to announce that we are preparing to reopen for in-person cinema on Friday, June 18. Stay tuned to metrocinema.org for our opening weekend film schedule announcement in the coming days.

Metro Cinema cares about the safety of our patrons and the wider community. We have taken great care to create a safe and physically distanced environment for film fans to gather. Please thoroughly review our COVID-19 Safety Measures prior to your visit. We have come so far, and we are taking every precaution to protect our staff and audience.

Vaccines are the ticket to this reopening, and to the eventual return to full capacity events at the Garneau. We hope you’ll help us get there, and get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible.

Metro Concession Takeout

Let’s all go to the lobby! Metro’s concession opens for takeout.

Metro’s lobby will be open on select weekend days for popcorn takeout! Stop by the Garneau theatre for pop, beer, candy, and popcorn to go. Walk-in only, with social distancing in effect.

Coming up:
June 6 12:00-6:00pm
June 11 4:00-9:00pm
June 12 2:00-9:00pm

Live From the Garneau: Keep Smiling

Metro Cinema presents Live From the Garneau. This is a brand new series where local musicians and filmmakers come together in the beautiful Garneau Theatre.

We are thrilled to announce a new project: Keep Smiling, featuring Smokey and Ryan Leedu. Check out the teaser today, with the full short film available on April 30.

Metro Cinema 2021 Custom Poster Auction

Did you know that Metro Cinema’s movie posters are created by a team of talented volunteer graphic designers? That’s right! For years, talented artists have created unique new movie posters to hang in our theatre and around town. Now, you have a chance to bring have a custom movie poster, for a film of your choice, created by one of these great artists!

The winner has the opportunity to choose an artist from our list of participating designers to receive a customized, full-size theatrical movie poster for the film of your choice! The Grand Prize includes an authentic cinema poster display case to hang your masterpiece. View all the participating artist’s portfolios below and follow this link to bid on the prize!

FAQ

How will the winner select an artist?
• A Metro representative will contact the winner and put them in touch with their choice of artist from our list of participating volunteers. Be sure to check out the participating artist’s portfolios!

How will the artist know what poster to make?
• The winner will get to choose the film and provide some additional details about the film choice. After that, the artist will get to work creating the custom poster masterpiece.

Can I request changes to the finished poster?
• No. Just like when they make a poster for Metro Cinema, the artist will have full creative freedom. You should discuss all ideas during the initial consultation.

How long will it take for the grand prize winner to get their poster?
• Metro Cinema will work with the artist to determine a timeline for the completion of the artwork. Every artist’s process is different and something that cannot be rushed, therefore completion time may vary.

But what will I do with such a giant movie poster?
• Metro Cinema will print the full-size theatrical poster (24 x36 inches) and provide an authentic cinema poster display case for you to hang your poster in.

How can I pay for my item if I have the winning bid?
• A Metro representative will be in touch to arrange for payment with options that include, Credit, Debit, Cash, or Cheque.

What if I can’t pick up the prize if I win?
• Shipping may be arranged as an additional cost, separate from the value of the winning bid.

April Popcorn Pop-Up

Sometimes you need extra munchies in the middle of the week…

Metro’s next Popcorn Pop-up is coming up on Tuesday, April 20. Order your popcorn and treats by Monday for pickup at the Garneau theatre on April 20, with extended weekday pickup hours from 12–8pm.

Visit shop.metrocinema.org to pre-order popcorn, candy, Alley Kat  beers, merch, and more for pickup at the Garneau Theatre (8712 109 St). Please maintain a safe distance from other customers while waiting your turn. Only one person will be permitted to pick up their order at a time.

Pre-orders close on Monday, April 19 at 10pm.
Beer orders must be picked up by an adult with valid ID.

March Popcorn Pop-up

Spring is just around the corner, and Metro is celebrating the equinox weekend with a Popcorn Pop-up! Order your popcorn and treats by Friday for pickup at the Garneau theatre on Saturday, March 20 from 12–6pm.

Visit shop.metrocinema.org to pre-order popcorn, candy, Alley Kat  beers, merch, and more for pickup at the Garneau Theatre. Please maintain a safe distance from other customers while waiting your turn. Only one person will be permitted to pick up their order at a time.

Pre-orders close on Friday, March 19 at 10pm.
Beer orders must be picked up by an adult with valid ID.

International Women’s Day

In honour of this year’s International Women’s Day, Metro’s programming committee members have put our heads together (while staying physically far apart) to bring you a list of recommended films by women directors. Each member of the committee submitted a list of their personal favourites and we’ve compiled them for you below. Only 4 films showed up more than once, and the range of genres, styles, and eras represented speaks to the diversity of film appreciation within our ranks.

The members of the programming committee are:

Nick Keating,
Heather Noel
Maggie Hardy
Ryn Climenhaga
Nnett Rhys
Elliot Konkin
Lindsey Wasserman
Farrah Cheriet

 

 


FISH TANK
(Andrea Arnold, 2009)

The new millennium has seen many directors bring the “documentary style” of filmmaking—mostly characterized by using available light and hand-held camerawork—to the world of narrative. But British auteur Andrea Arnold (who started her career as a background dancer!) somehow elevates this aesthetic to unparalleled heights through a potent combination of empathy, vulnerability, compassion, and attention to detail. Her films live in a space that somehow marries documentary and dream. Fish Tank—the story of a volatile teenager from a poor East London neighbourhood who longs for freedom—will charm you, then terrify you, and never let you go.  (Nnett Rhys)

 


MEEK’S CUTOFF
(Kelly Reichardt, 2010)

Director Kelly Reichardt brings a heroic level of restraint and naturalism to this masterpiece of contemporary filmmaking. With a bracingly feminist approach to the story of a group of 1840s settlers led astray by a blustery, fraudulent, unworthy leader on a journey to the American West, this film resonates loudly today. Reichardt’s command of deliberate pacing and blistering tension make this her most accomplished film.  (Lindsey Wasserman)

 


BLOOD TEA AND RED STRING
(Christiane Cegavske, 2006)

You’re in a forest – serene trees and whimsical creatures surround you but a dark undercurrent of fear lurks, fetid, ruining the spell and making the hairs on your neck bristle. You’re having a dream—white mice in dress coats sit around a table, play cards, and drink tea made of blood. Maybe it’s a nightmare—little woodland critters fashion a doll stitched with red string. No one talks but you understand. A fable of obsessive love and a struggle for power. Christiane Cegavske’s Blood Tea and Red String is a hypnotic fairy-tale both terrifying and beautiful. The result of laborious stop-motion animation and 13(!) years, it is not only a testament to the power of animation as an art-form but to what can be accomplished by a lone artist with Cegavske handling almost every aspect of the project (save the score by Mark Growden) from the creation of the puppets to the writing and animation.  A masterwork. (Maggie Hardy)

 


PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE
(Céline Sciamma, 2019)

What does dramatic conflict look like if it arises not between two warring parties struggling to gain power over the other, but rather between two equals trying to understand their own desires? French filmmaker Céline Sciamma agonized over this question while writing the screenplay for Portrait Of A Lady On Fire, hoping to find an alternative to the conventions proliferated by the film schools and literature classes of her past. The resulting film is an enrapturing story of clandestine romance between two women in the late 1800s. Unequivocally a tour de force in writing, direction, acting, cinematography, and production design, Sciamma has set the bar for what mastery in narrative filmmaking looks like in the 21st Century. (Nnett Rhys)

 


VAGABOND
(Agnès Varda, 1985)

The body of a young vagrant woman is found in a farmer’s field. We are then presented with episodes from the final days of her life, as told by the rural folk that crossed paths with her. Her name is Mona, and on the surface she is the antithesis of the objectified central character of Cléo from 5 to 7. Unkempt and unruly, Mona embodies a full-scale rejection of feminine ideals.  But for Varda, the lives of both women are characterized by a profound inability to connect with others. While Cléo and Mona are both introduced with death sentences, Cléo is offered a way out, and her story is ultimately hopeful. Vagabond, with its eerie Hitchcockian score and ill-fated end, is a significantly darker, though no less compassionate or beautiful portrayal of social isolation. (Heather Noel)

 


WAYNE’S WORLD
(Penelope Spheeris, 1992)

I think it’s very likely that I have seen this film more than any other and as far as I am concerned it is one of the funniest films ever made. While extremely silly, all the jokes are executed with an earnestness that makes them timeless and the quotables never stop coming. In addition to being a great comedy, it is worth noting that Penelope Spheeris has directed many great films focusing on music culture including the punk classic Suburbia (1984) and the quintessential documentary trilogy The Decline of Western Civilization. (Nick Keating)

 


GAEA GIRLS
(Kim Longinotto & Jano Williams 2000)

What does it take to be a wrestler? What would a person go through to get their shot at being somebody? GAEA Girls thrusts headfirst into the world of joshi puroresu as we join some rookies at the start of training. Saika Takeuchi is a second-time rookie and under the harsh tutelage of  Chigusa Nagayo (founder of GAEA and one-half of tag team titans The Crush Gals) she seeks redemption. This documentary takes us from matches to the behind-the-scenes daily lives in the GAEA dorm. Will the girls find freedom from patriarchal society or just a dropkick to the face?  While Kim Longinotto and Jano Williams spend little time explaining the world of Japanese women’s wrestling this snapshot into the astounding lives of these women is unforgettable. (Maggie Hardy)

 



RAW
(Julie Ducournau, 2016)

While it certainly is not the first film to use the horror genre as a trapping for a coming-of-age story (Ginger SnapsThe Witch), Julie Ducournau’s debut feature certainly sits among the greats of this trope. Garance Marillier is incredible as a vet school freshman who gains an appetite for flesh after eating meat for the first time. Combining a college film and a body horror, the film excels with its restraint that makes the moments of extremity all the more palpable and horrifying. Very excited to see what Ducournau’s next film Titane (Due out this year) has to offer. (Nick Keating)

 


TOMBOY

(Céline Sciamma, 2011)

Growing up I had always been a tomboy. Wearing dresses was physically painful for me and I was lucky enough to have a supportive mother who let me wear, play and be whoever I wanted. Little did I know that around 20 years later I would come out to my friends and family as transgender. This movie I watched when I was younger and still identifying as a woman but it evoked such an intense reaction out of me. Looking back, I can see why. Tomboy is a raw and intimate look at childhood and identity centering on a 10-year-old french child Laure who, when their family moves, takes the opportunity to explore themselves with a new name and identity. Céline Sciamma, the director, has now been flung into the public eye with her film Portrait of a Lady on Fire but her other works deserve to be viewed as well. Her ability to capture these intimacies is something that I haven’t quite seen another director do when it comes to sexual and gender identity. And most importantly it really pushes home something we all need to remember—protect trans kids. (Elliot Konkin)

 

OTHER NOTABLE SELECTIONS:

The Ascent  (Larisa Shepitko, 1977)

Amer  (Hélène Cattet & Bruno Forzani, 2009)

The Babadook  (Jennifer Kent, 2014)

Beau Travail  (Claire Denis, 1999)

Bend it Like Beckham  (Gurinder Chadha, 2002)

Cléo from 5 to 7  (Agnès Varda, 1962)

Desert Hearts  (Donna Deitch, 1985)

The Dressmaker  (Jocelyn Moorhouse, 2015)

The Farewell  (Lulu Wang, 2019)

Firecrackers  (Jasmin Mozaffari, 2018)

The Gleaners and I  (Agnès Varda, 2000)

The House is Black  (Forough Farrokhzad, 1963)

High Art  (Lisa Cholodenko, 1998)

Little Miss Sunshine  (Valerie Farris and Jonathan Dayton, 2006)

Marock  (Laïla Marrakchi, 2005)

A New Leaf  (Elaine May, 1971)

Pariah  (Dee Rees, 2011)

Paris Is Burning  (Jennie Livingston, 1990)

Persepolis  (Marjane Satrapi and Winshluss, 2007)

Ratcatcher  (Lynne Ramsay, 1999)

Reason over Passion (Joyce Wieland, 1969)

The Secret Garden (Agnieszka Holland, 1993)

Tomboy  (Céline Sciamma, 2011)

Toni Erdmann   (Maren Ade, 2016)

Tunnitt: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos  (Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, 2011)

Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002)

Black history, Black stories, and Black joy

Black History Month may be coming to an end, but it’s never the wrong time for Black history, Black stories, or Black joy.

This list was graciously compiled by Black Women United Yeg. They asked for suggestions from their community and chose films that do not employ stereotypical characters and tropes, or focus on Black misery and subjugation.

Consider adding the films below to your watch list to experience year round.

1) Daughters of the Dust (1991)

The first feature film by an African-American woman (Julie Dash) distributed nationally in the States. Looks at the Gullah culture in South Carolina and the struggle to preserve African cultural practices that withstood the assaults of enslavement into the modern era.

2) Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (2012)

College professor Angela Davis’ social activism implicates her in a botched kidnapping that ends with four people dead and her name on the FBI’s most-wanted list.

3) Black Mother, Black Daughter (1989)

Filmmakers Sylvia Hanilton and Claire Prieto explore the lives and experiences of African Canadian women in Nova Scotia, their contributions to home, church and community, and the strength they pass on to their daughters.

4) Chisholm ’72: Unbought & Unbossed (2004)

Pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm is the subject of this lauded documentary. The nation’s first African-American congresswoman, the passionate Chisholm launches a campaign for the United States presidency in the 1972 election, and wins an impressive amount of support, given the era and the still-prevailing prejudices of many voters. The film takes a close look at her presidential run, providing interviews with Chisholm and the dedicated individuals who worked on her groundbreaking campaign.

5) Pariah (2011)

In a desperate search for sexual expression, a Brooklyn-based teenager assumes paradoxical identities and stands to lose her family and friends while setting herself up for heartbreak.

6) Moonlight (2016)

Chiron, a young African-American boy, finds guidance in Juan, a drug dealer, who teaches him to carve his own path. As he grows up in Miami, Juan’s advice leaves a lasting impression on him.

7) Malcolm X (1992)

A tribute to the controversial black activist and leader of the struggle for black liberation. He hit bottom during his imprisonment in the ’50s, he became a Black Muslim and then a leader in the Nation of Islam. His assassination in 1965 left a legacy of self-determination and racial pride.

8) 24 Days in Brooks (2007)

Over the course of a decade Brooks, Alberta, transformed from a socially conservative, primarily white town to one of the most diverse places in Canada as immigrants and refugees flocked to find jobs at the Lakeside Packers slaughterhouse. This film is a portrait of those people working together and adapting to change through the first-ever strike at Lakeside.

Metro Cinema Fundraising Survey

Metro Cinema is a community-based not-for-profit organization, meaning we rely on donations from patrons like you to continue providing diverse and unique programming. Whether or not you have donated to Metro Cinema Society before, we encourage you to fill out this survey and help provide feedback for our fundraising campaigns and initiatives.

Fill out the survey here.

Family Day Colouring Contest

Happy Family Day! It’s a perfect day to kick off our first ever, all-ages colouring contest!

Take your pick of these beautiful colouring pages created by Metro’s team of fabulous volunteer designers, and dig out your crayons, markers, digital art, or your favourite art supplies.

Download colouring pages here

A jury of Metro’s staff and board will choose a winner in the following categories based on our favourite entries. Winners will receive a Metro prize pack and will be announced on Feb 26.

Category 1: Age 0-8
Category 2: Age 8-12
Category 3: Age 13+ (Adults welcome and encouraged!)

To enter, submit your full name, age, and a scan or photo of your completed work to contests@metrocinema.org by February 21. By entering, you agree to allow your entry to be used online and on social media.

No printer? No scanner? Pop by the Garneau Theatre. Paper copies are available for curbside pickup at the front door, and completed entries may be dropped off in the mailbox located next to the red side door on 87 Avenue.

Winners must pick up their prize at the Garneau Theatre.