In recognition of the 20th anniversary of the release of Bruce McDonald's Highway 61, Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society and Pacific Cinémathèque are proud to present an evening honouring this classic indie Canadian film with a unique double bill. We're very excited about this opportunity to showcase the work of up-and-coming filmmakers while also celebrating the work of a Canadian cinematic legend, and look forward to sharing the experience with you.
A reception (with cash bar) will follow the screenings. We hope you'll join us for a drink and a chance to meet some of the evening's filmmakers.
For more information on the process and competition, visit cineworks.ca/highway61.
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Back Down the Highway:
The Four Winning Short Films
We'll start the evening at 7:00 pm with a collection of short films created as part of “Back Down the Highway,” a Cineworks-sponsored short film competition inspired by McDonald’s seminal feature. Applicants were challenged to come up with a ten-minute script that employs a section of dialogue drawn from Highway 61, but to use those words to create an entirely new and original piece. Four films were then produced from these scripts, with each team given two weeks to complete the entire creative process from the first shot to the final edit.
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 7:00pm
Canada 1992. Director: Bruce McDonald
Cast: Valerie Buhagiar, Don McKellar, Earl Pastko, Peter Breck, Art Bergmann
After mainlining a jolt of rock ‘n’ roll energy into Canadian cinema with his 1989 debut feature Roadkill, maverick Bruce McDonald (whose Hard Core Logo also screens at Pacific Cinémathèque this week) upped the ante (and the road-movie antics) with Highway 61, which earned prizes for best director at San Sebastian and most popular Canadian film at VIFF. ”Set along the legendary road that leads from Thunder Bay in northern Ontario to New Orleans (passing through St. Louis, Memphis and many points in between), Highway 61 is a finely tuned, high-octane road movie. Don McKellar [who acted in and wrote Roadkill] stars as a barber and frustrated trumpet player who for years has been planning to flee his small town and journey to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. When some kid happens to die in his backyard, he gets mixed up with a hard-ass rock ‘n’ roll roadie (Valerie Buhagiar), and before he knows it, he’s speeding down the blacktop with a pine coffin strapped to the roof of his Galaxie 500 ... Working, once again, with both a hilarious script and subtle performance by McKellar, McDonald gives Highway 61 the same exuberant energy as Roadkill, but shapes it into a slicker, totally entertaining movie” (Toronto I.F.F.). Colour, 35mm. 102 mins.
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 8:30pm
"A phantasmagoric comedy that unfurls with the lunatic unpredictability of one of Mr. Dylan's lengthier mid-1960's ballads."New York Times | full review
"If being offbeat were the sole criterion for a film's success, then Bruce McDonald's Highway 61 would be a masterpiece."Washington Post | full review
"Performances by McKellar and Buhagiar, who look surprisingly like real people and not like movie actors."Chicago Sun-Times | full review
Tickets for the evening (one or both screenings): $10.50 regular / $9.00 seniors & students.Membership in the Pacific Cinémathèque or Cineworks will be accepted for this event.