Film Group is a series of films that encompasses the broad variety of movies that are generally not mainstream releases. Other terms used to describe this genre of film product are: independent, art, international.

O'Brien Theatres Renfrew offers Film Group. Different films between late September and April on alternate Wednesday nights. Memberships are sold at the beginning of the series; these memberships offer a discounted rate. In is not necessary to be a member to attend. Newsletters are published in September and December covering the early and later portions of the season. An extensive mailing list is maintained, and the information is delivered by post or e-mail.

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Arnprior Program


Renfrew Program
Rumble: The Indians who Rocked The World
Rating A14
Showtimes Wednesday, September 20 7:30 PM  
Running Time 103 mins
Actors Robbie Robertson, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Martin Scorsese, George Clinton
Director Catherine Bainbridge, Alfonso Maiorana
Country Canada

Winner of the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary at the 2017 Hot Docs Film Festival, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World tells the fascinating and largely hidden history of Indigenous influence on, and contribution to, popular music of the last century. Primarily focused on rock ’n’ roll, blues, and jazz, Rumble gets its title from the infamous Link Wray instrumental hit of 1958 — a song so powerful in its musicality and so emotionally resonant that it was banned from radio play despite not having a single lyric.
Interviews from artists such as Robbie Robertson of The Band, Pat Vegas of Redbone, and Buffy Sainte-Marie illuminate how the cultural identity of Native American and Indigenous artists was obscured or delib­erately underreported, as part of a larger postcolonial effort to erase the cultural heritage of First Peoples. Robertson recalls being told as a budding musician to “be proud you’re an Indian, but be careful who you tell.” Connecting the musical histories of jazz, blues, folk, and rock ’n’ roll with the political and social movements that blossomed out of these genres, Rumble deftly displays the ways in which Indigenous artists in North America navigated activism through music, and went on to influence guitarists like Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Pete Townsend. From Mildred Bailey, jazz singer of the 1930s and a favourite of Tony Bennett, to guitarist Jesse Ed Davis and his influence on The Beatles, to heavy metal drummer Randy Castillo’s iconic rhythms with Black Sabbath, the his­tory of Indigenous artists serves as a history of music itself.
Refusing to shy away from the ways in which Native American and Indigenous artists suffered from institutional racism, political persecution, and the lasting effects of cultural erasure, Rumble points to the incredible innovative spirit of these artists, and how their music served as expressions of frustration, resistance, and celebration — not only for Indigenous communities, but for generations of music lovers who found power through song.
 
The Wedding Plan
Rating PG
Showtimes Sunday, October 1 3:45 PM  Wednesday, October 4 7:30 PM  
Running Time 110 mins
Actors Noa Koler, Amos Tamam, Oz Zehavi
Director Rama Burshtein
Country Israel, Hebrew w/ English subtitles

Exhausted by single life at 32, spirited bride-to-be Michal (Noa Koler) is eager for the comfort and companionship of marriage. Then, her fiancé dumps her one month before their wedding. Devastated but undeterred, she decides to keep her wedding date, leaving it to fate to provide a suitable groom.

With invitations sent, the venue booked, the clock counting down to the big day, and pressure from her family mounting, Michal enlists two matchmakers to help her find Mr. Right. After a series of comically mismatched dates — including with a charming but utterly unsuitable pop star — and many soul-bearing conversations with her sisters, Michal finds she has chemistry with someone she never expected.

Trailblazing writer-director Rama Burshtein ("Fill the Void”) returns to the cloistered Orthodox community she knows intimately with this funny and poignant screwball romantic comedy. When it comes to finding love, it's equal parts luck, determination, and blind faith.
 
Tanna
Rating PG
Showtimes Sunday, October 15 3:45 PM  Wednesday, October 18 7:30 PM  
Running Time 104 mins
Actors Mungau Dain, Marie Wawa, Marceline Rofit
Director Martin Butler, Bentley Dean
Country AUSTRALIA/VANUATU, 2016 Nauvhal w/ English subtitl

Tanna tells the tale of Wawa and Dain, two star-crossed lovers forced to choose between their relationship and peace for their small Vanuatu tribe, in this modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet.
Wawa, a young girl from one of the last traditional tribes in the South Pacific, falls in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain, but when a violent intertribal war escalates, she unknowingly becomes betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away and are pursued by enemy warriors intent on killing them. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers struggle to both preserve their traditional culture and adapt to the increasing demands for individual freedom.
Nominated for Best Foreign Language film at the Academy Awards, Tanna is lush with meditative and artistically captured land­scapes, and magnetic central performances by a young couple who, in the face of tragedy, must reconcile their love for each other, and their obligations to their community.
 
Tulip Fever
Rating A14
Showtimes Sunday, October 29 3:45 PM  Wednesday, November 1 7:30 PM  
Running Time 105 mins
Actors Judi Dench, Christoph Waltz, Alicia Vikander
Director Justin Chadwick
Country UNITED KINGDOM/USA, 2017

Based on the novel by celebrated author Deborah Moggach (These Foolish Things), Tulip Fever tells the tale of a torrid romance between a painter and a beautiful, young married woman at the height of tulip mania in 17th-century Amsterdam. Drawing from an adapted screenplay by playwright Sir Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love, Anna Karenina), director Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) once again employs his masterful eye for detail to bring this period drama to vivid life.
When wealthy merchant Cornelis (Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes; Inglourious Basterds) commissions a portrait of his beautiful wife Sophia (Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl; Testament of Youth), an irre­pressible passion begins to bloom between Sophia and the talented young artist (Dane DeHaan, Two Lovers and a Bear; Devil’s Knot) hired to commit her beauty to canvas. As the young star-crossed lovers hinge their future together on an investment in the risky tulip market, tensions build and deceptions abound as the stakes grow higher.
Beautifully shot in muted palettes reminis­cent of Vermeer, Tulip Fever features quietly powerful performances from its two leads, as well as another wonderfully ominous turn from the Academy Award–winning Waltz. Dame Judi Dench also brings her infamously dry wit to the role of a surprisingly cheeky abbess.
Tulip Fever interweaves the narrative of one of the most astonishing economic events in European history with a deeply intimate tale of desire, betrayal, and perilous ambition. As the young lovers become ever more daring in their commitment, both to each other and towards a shared future, we are reminded of that universal truth: the course of true love never did run smooth.
 
The Big Sick
Rating A14
Showtimes Sunday, November 12 3:45 PM  Wednesday, November 15 7:30 PM  
Running Time 120 mins
Actors Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter
Director Michael Showalter
Country USA

Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. THE BIG SICK is directed by Michael Showalter (HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS) and producer by Judd Apatow (TRAINWRECK, THIS IS 40) and Barry Mendel (TRAINWRECK, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS).
 
The Glass Castle
Rating A14
Showtimes Sunday, November 26 3:45 PM  Wednesday, November 29 7:30 PM  
Running Time 127 mins
Actors Brie Larson, Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson
Director Destin Daniel Cretton

Based on Jeannette Walls’ highly acclaimed and best-selling memoir, The Glass Castle follows the successful writer’s life as she reflects on the unconventional and frequently impoverished upbringing she and her siblings experienced while growing up with their chaotic and dysfunctional, but ultimately lov­ing parents.
Along with her siblings Lori (Sarah Snook, The Dressmaker), Brian (Iain Armitage, Captain Fantastic’s Charlie Shotwell, and Josh Caras), and Maureen (Eden Grace Redfield, Captain Fantastic’s Shree Crooks, and Brigette Lundy-Paine), Jeannette (Chandler Head, Ella Anderson, and Room’s Brie Larson) leads a non-traditional but tight-knit family life with her parents Rex (Woody Harrelson, The Edge of Seventeen; TV’s True Detective) and Rose Mary (Naomi Watts, Demolition; While We’re Young). Embracing a life of adventure and self-directed learning, Rex and Rose Mary move their family frequently around to differ­ent cities in Arizona and California. However, as their children grow older and more aware of the debt and broken relationships chasing their parents from place to place, the won­der of their nomadic lifestyle begins to fade. With their family life growing increasingly unstable, due in large part to Rex’s alcoholism and inability to maintain meaningful work, Jeannette and her siblings begin to imagine a more traditional and independent life of their own, away from their parents’ chaotic influence.
At once adventurous and heartfelt, The Glass Castle tests the strength of family bonds against individual ambitions and identities, and explores the complexities of negotiating parent-child relationships as children mature into adults. Deftly adapted and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), the emotional resonance of Jeannette Walls’ widely loved memoir is unmistakably present in its long-awaited film adaptation.
 
The Other Side Of Hope (Toivon tuolla puolen)
Rating PG
Showtimes Sunday, December 10 3:45 PM  Wednesday, December 13 7:30 PM  
Running Time 100 mins
Actors Ville Virtanen, Tommi Korpela, Kati Outinen
Director Aki Kaurismäki
Country FINLAND/GERMANY, 2017 w/ English subtitles

Returning with his first feature in six years since his Film Circuit arthouse favourite Le Havre, Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki (The Man Without a Past) delivers what can be considered the second chapter of his Port Cities Trilogy. In his distinctive anachronistic, yet tonally rich style, Kaurismäki paints the unlikely bond between a Syrian refugee and a middle-aged menswear salesman.
Khaled (newcomer Sherwan Haji) worked as a mechanic in Aleppo before fleeing in a coal ship container and accidently landing on the shores of Helsinki. He emerges from his hid­ing place covered head to toe in black dust, an alien in an unfamiliar town. Wikstrom (Sakari Kuosmanen, The Man without a Past), deeply unsatisfied with his life, leaves his prickly, alcoholic wife and offloads his remaining stock of men’s shirts to fund a career change. After taking a risk at a high-stakes poker game, Wikstrom is presented with a new breath of life that eventually connects and collides both men in an unpredictable friendship.
Winner of the Silver Bear for Best Director at this year’s Berlinale, The Other Side of Hope demonstrates the height of Kaurismäki’s auteurial form. Deftly mixing tragedy and wry humour, Kaurismäki builds a story of an unlikely community coming together under difficult circumstances. This idiosyncratic fable on the refugee crisis could not be more humane and timely.
 

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