By Mabell, Dave on January 4, 2020.
This week’s ‘Seen & Heard’ column by Dave Mabell
Perhaps we take them for granted. Albertans can boast some of the world’s best alpine recreation and scenery, throughout our iconic Rocky Mountains.
But let’s admit it: When a winter storm forces highway closures, some may see the Rockies as an obstacle.
For many others, those mountains are a magnet, attracting people from around the world. So, it’s not surprising that the Banff Mountain Film Festival draws a crowd each year, just like its counterparts in other alpine areas.
This week, southern Albertans can share in their excitement when the Banff event organizers bring a fresh selection of mountain-related films to the Lethbridge Public Library. Thursday through Saturday, they’ll be screening about 30 films downtown at the Yates Theatre. – some as short as four minutes, others running 44 or 45 minutes.
Each day’s features (subject to change) are listed on the library’s website, with a link on its home page. But here are a few highlights.
On Thursday, three American films take up much of the evening, including “Into the Canyon,” “Reel Rock 13” and “Life of Pie,” along with eight shorts.
“Electric Greg” and “Return to Earth,” two Canadian features, are included in Friday’s nine-item lineup along with “Deer 139” and a look at “Kentucky Ice Climbing.”
Next Saturday a British film, “Mission Antarctica” will document expert climbers’ attempt to scale “The Spectre,” the world’s most remote mountain. The program will also include a salute to snowboarding in Canada, a documentary on American alpine legend Myrtle Simpson and seven more.
Tickets are at $20 per night, with discounts for students and seniors as well as those who attend all three sessions. Showtime each night is 7 p.m.
It seems January is prime time for movies, with three more series underway as well. The next uLethbridge Film series will begin Wednesday with “Hugo,” a 2011 feature directed by Martin Scorsese.
Each presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Theatre Gallery with an introduction from a University of Lethbridge faculty member.
The no-charge series will continue on Jan. 22 with “The Fog of War,” directed by Errol Morris in 2003, then on Feb. 5 with “The Favourite,” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos in 2018.
The fourth in the series, the 2013 film “Upstream Colour,” directed by Shane Carruth, will be shown Feb. 12.
Friday nights downtown, the library’s weekly film series resumes Jan. 17 with “The White Crow,” the story of ballet star Rudolph Nureyev.
“Red Joan,” on Jan. 24 is a spy drama about the KGB’s longest-serving British spy, Joan Stanley. And on Jan. 31, “Finding Your Feet” tells the story of a just-retired wife who soon finds herself living with her impoverished sister.
The no-charge films are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the Theatre Gallery.
And Tuesdays at the Crossing Branch, this month’s free film selections will all be based on books. “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” on Jan. 7 tells the tale of a mother who decides to connect with her creative passions. In “The Kitchen” on Jan. 14, the wives of jailed gangsters decide to pick up where their partners left off.
“The Art of Racing in the Rain” on Jan. 21 is focused on a golden retriever, Enzo. And on Jan. 28 “The Goldfinch” is the story of an orphaned boy who’s welcomed into the home of a wealthy New York family. All begin at 7 p.m., except 6:30 p.m. for the longer feature on Jan. 28.
And, yes, the university’s French Language Centre will also be hosting a week of free films, Jan. 27 to 31 on campus. Watch for details in coming weeks.
The Lethbridge Folk Club kicks off its winter series on Jan. 18 with Celtara as headliner, after opening selections by Kavanagh and Hepher. The Geomatic Attic will present Whitehorse, on Jan. 29 at the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.
And the university’s Opera Workshop students are preparing for two performances of the Gilbert and Sullivan musical comedy, “The Gondoliers.” Evening performances are set for Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at Southminster United Church.
And for a rich serving of culture, costumes and choreography, the Troyanda Ukrainian Dance Club welcomes the community to a traditional New Year’s celebration on Jan. 18 at the German Canadian Hall. For tickets and details, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-315-3492.
Just a few last-minute reminders:
This afternoon, the Metrik Jazz ensemble returns to The Owl for a no-charge concert from 3 to 5 p.m. The event is scheduled to continue each month on the first Saturday afternoon, and it’s offered in a family-friendly environment.
And already, today sees the last performance for New West Theatre’s seasonal show for young audiences, “The Legend of the Lost Tooth.” It’s set for 1 p.m. today in the Sterndale Bennett Theatre at the Yates Centre.
And today also offers the last opportunities to “Celebrate” with New West as it marks its 30th year on stage here. There’s a 1 p.m. matinee today at the Yates in addition to the final curtain at 7:30 p.m.
Check for tickets for both features at the Ticket Centre in the Yates.