As the temperature drops and cultural events slow to a crawl, it’s all too easy to succumb to the warm allure of Netflix (or, if you’re old school, the video store). If you want to devote January to film, that’s well and fine your initiative — but didn’t you just resolve to get out more? You can have it both ways: Here are a few special film events happening in the next few weeks in Toronto that require you to leave the house.
Canada’s Top Ten
It shouldn’t be contentious to say that Canadians need a bit of a nudge to get out and see movies from their home country, but the Toronto International Film Festival makes it as easy as possible by ranking the best of the past year into an easy-to-parse top ten list and then screening them all in January at its home base, TIFF Bell Lightbox. Three days of screenings remain, offering seven films in total, so if you’ve yet to catch Café de Flore (haven’t you read the reviews?), now’s the time. Until January 15, 350 King St. W., 416-599-TIFF
Afternoon at the Movies
In the summer, it’s hard to walk out of the house without finding a free, outdoor film screening; the winter, however, is a bit harder on the wallet. That’s why it’s nice that the Toronto Public Library’s Afternoon at the Movies series continues modestly into January. There’s one left: a screening of the 2011 George Clooney/Ryan Gosling political thriller, The Ides of March. So if you have a soft spot for pithy dialogue delivered by A-listers and can get the afternoon off next Thursday, get to Barbara Frum Library on January 19. January 19, 20 Covington Rd., 416-395-5440
30 X 30
It’s not likely you’ll find a great deal of truly experimental film on Netflix, so why not head to LIFT’s birthday celebration at the AGO’s Jackman Hall? Founded by Bruce McDonald and Peter Mettler, LIFT (the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto) has been host to some of the city’s best video art. For the organisation’s 30th anniversary, they’ve commissioned 30 new pieces. All of the films shown were either shot on or inspired by Super 8mm film (no, it’s not just a J.J. Abrams blockbuster). January 19 to January 22, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-588-6444
Adapting a novel for the big screen is a tricky, obstacle-wrought process that runs the risk of pissing off literary purists. When it’s done right, though, the results can be extraordinary. Revue Cinema’s Book Revue series explores the connection between page and screen. With its 2012 return, they’ll take on one of the most celebrated depictions of post-grad ennui (a hot topic these days), The Graduate. Read the Charles Webb novel beforehand, watch the film, and come prepared to discuss (or at least lurk while it’s being discussed). The series continues monthly throughout the year. January 24, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, 416-531-9959
Image courtesy of boeke.