Far Out East Cinema, Metro Moncton’s champion for independent and non-mainstream films will kick off its 23rd season this week.
Founded in 1994 by film buff Hugh Murphy, the original idea behind Far Out East was to offer filmgoers a selection of independent films that he felt were often overlooked by the major theatre chains.
While it might have started as a bit of a passion project, Far Out East’s fall season launch is now one of the city’s most eagerly anticipated events among film buffs.
Even with the widespread proliferation of online services like Netflix, Far Out East has not only maintained a dedicated clientele, it has seen its numbers grow over the last few years.
Much like seeing a music concert in person is a vastly different experience from watching the same show from the comfort of your home, Murphy believes Far Out East attracts those looking to take in a movie-going experience.
“I believe we came close to setting an attendance record last year,” Murphy says, citing the relatively mild winter that kept people off the region’s ski hills. “With every season, people have shown they are still very interested in taking in that movie-going experience.”
Murphy says that while he is not able to dedicate as much time as he would like to the programming for each season, he consistently strives to offer a broad array of films, the origins of which come from all corners of the world.
“I always have to keep a watchful eye on which movies might be playing elsewhere in the region, but balance the programming through a combination of what has been recently released and what is attracting a good buzz. My goal is to offer a variety of programming for audiences to enjoy.”
Joking that he may one day even have a website constructed for the boutique cinema, Murphy is overjoyed at the way in which Far Out East has grown over the last 22 years.
“The longer I do this, the less confident I am in my programming selections, simply because people’s tastes are so varied. That being said though, It never fails that people will often take the time to send me a comment to say how much they enjoyed a specific title. That’s a nice acknowledgement that I am not completing botching the programming,” Murphy says, laughing.
What: Far Out East Cinema
When: Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening, 8:00 p.m.
Where: Amphitheatre 163, Jacqueline Bouchard Building, Université de Moncton
Admission is $6.50 for members, $8 for non-members. Far Out East memberships are $10 for the season, available at the door.
Café Society, Rated PG
Dir: Woody Allen, USA, 2016, 85 min.
Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Steve Carrell, Parker Posey
Set in the 1930s, Woody Allen’s bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Centering on events in the lives of Bobby’s colorful Bronx family, the film is a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians, and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age.
The Innocents, Rated 14A
Dir: Anne Fontaine, France/Poland, 2016, 115 min.
Katarzyna Dabrowska, Joanna Kulig, Agata Kulesza
(French, Polish, and Russian with English Subtitles)
Warsaw, December 1945: the Second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother. Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist government, and facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.
Florence Foster Jenkins, Rated PG
Dir: Stephen Frears, USA, 2016, 110 min.
Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant
Directed by Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen), Florence Foster Jenkins tells the inspirational true story of the eponymous New York heiress who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The film celebrates the human spirit, the power of music and the passion of amateurs everywhere. The voice Florence heard in her head was divine, but to the rest of the world it was hilariously awful. At private recitals, her devoted husband and manager, St Clair Bayfield, managed to protect Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give her first public concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall, St Clair realized he had perhaps bitten off more than he could chew.
Captain Fantastic, Rated 14A
Dir: Matt Ross, USA, 2016, 119 min.
Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George MacKay
Ben is an unconventional man raising six children in a Washington State cabin where the cultural theories of Noam Chomsky are given the same importance as knife-fighting skills. When their mother dies in New Mexico, Ben packs the brood into a bus, determined to crash the funeral – but that’s just the departure point for this examination of parenthood in contemporary society. Writer/director Ross creates a fascinating group of characters who are never as simple as they appear to be. Mortensen and the rest of the ensemble keep us watching.
Our Little Sister, Rated PG
Dir. Hirokazu Koreeda , Japan, 2015, 128 min.
Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Suzu Hirose
(Japanese with English Subtitles)
Three sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father – absent from the family home for the last 15 years – dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral, and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings.
Mia Madre, Not yet rated
Dir: Nanni Moretti, Italy, 2015, 106 min.
John Turturro, Nanni Moretti, Margherita Buy
(Italian and French with English subtitles)
Acclaimed Italian auteur Nanni Moretti finds comedy and pathos in the story of Margherita, a harried film director (Margherita Buy) trying to juggle the demands of her latest movie and a personal life in crisis. The star of her film, a charming but hammy American actor (John Turturro) imported for the production, initially presents nothing but headaches and her crew is close to mutiny. Away from the shoot, Margherita tries to hold her life together as her beloved mother’s illness progresses, and her teenage daughter grows ever more distant. A comedy-drama imbued with a quiet sense of grief, Moretti illuminates the poignancy of human imperfection that is revealed when real life and art intersect.
The Dressmaker, Rated 14A
Dir: Jocelyn Moorhouse, Australia, 2016, 118 min.
Kate Winslet, Liam Hemsworth, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis
The Dressmaker tells the story of the beautiful and talented Tilly Dunnage (Winslet) who, after years working as a dressmaker in exclusive Parisian fashion houses, returns home to a town in the Australian outback to reconcile with her eccentric mother Molly (Davis). She also falls in love with the pure-hearted Teddy (Hemsworth), and armed with her sewing machine and haute couture style, Tilly transforms the women of the town, exacting sweet revenge on those who did her wrong.
Hell or High Water, Rated 14A
Dir: David McKenzie, USA, 2016, 102 min.
Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine, Ben Foster
Texas brothers–Toby and Tanner come together after years divided to rob branches of the bank threatening to foreclose on their family land. For them, the hold-ups are just part of a last-ditch scheme to take back a future that seemed to have been stolen from under them. Justice seems to be theirs, until they find themselves on the radar of Texas Ranger, Marcus (Bridges) looking for one last grand pursuit on the eve of his retirement, and his half-Comanche partner, Alberto. As the brothers plot a final bank heist to complete their scheme, and with the Rangers on their heels, a showdown looms at the crossroads where the values of the Old and New West murderously collide.
Equity, Rated 14A
Dir: Meera Menon , USA, 2016, 100 min.
Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas
A female investment banker, fighting to rise to the top of the corporate ladder at a competitive Wall Street firm, navigates a controversial tech IPO in the post-financial crisis world, where loyalties are suspect, regulations are tight, but pressure to bring in “big money” remains high. “Equity” is about women on Wall Street. It’s a drama, but it’s not about corruption, crime, or catastrophe. It’s about women who thrive on competition and ambition, deals and strategy, but who must carefully calibrate every aspect of their lives, professional and private, to stay equal in the game. The film is directed, written, produced, and financed by women, a collaboration among women in entertainment and business leaders in finance—the real-life women of Wall Street—who chose to invest in this film because they wanted to see their story told.