Hired to paint a portrait ahead of a prospective marriage, an artist in 18th-century Brittany finds herself falling for the reclusive would-be bride, in this Cannes Queer Palm-winning feature. Portrait of a Lady on Fire screens Sunday, Mar. 1 and Wednesday, Mar. 4. Photo supplied

Comox Valley Art Gallery announces its Winter Film Series lineup

The Comox Valley Art Gallery has announced its Winter Film Series content – 10 films, all being screened at Landmark Cinemas. All films start at 5 p.m.

Tickets and passes for the film series are on sale now.

Ask Dr. Ruth – Sunday, Jan. 12 and Wednesday, Jan. 15

Dr. Ruth Westheimer became famous in the United States for her frank and unapologetic discussions about sex. Beyond her insistence on open, honest dialogue around sexual pleasure and intimacy, Dr. Ruth also became an advocate for the gay community and women’s reproductive rights, during a time when both were being dangerously disregarded in the larger cultural conversation.

Official Secrets – Sunday, Jan. 19 and Wednesday, Jan. 22

Official Secrets recalls the prosecution of real-life whistle-blower Katharine Gun, a story that might otherwise be a footnote in the campaign that led to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq by British and American troops. The film offers a behind-the-scenes account of events from the perspectives of Gun and the journalists and lawyers that warn of the perilous state of democracy at times of war.

Marianne and Leonard – Sunday, Jan. 26 and Wednesday, Jan. 29

This documentary examines the love affair between Marianne Ihlen and Leonard Cohen that began on the Greek island of Hydra in 1960. Through never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with Ihlen and Cohen’s friends and former colleagues, a portrait emerges of the woman behind the lyrics and the great influence she had on Cohen.

Sometimes Always Never – Sunday, Feb. 16 and Wednesday, Feb. 19

Alan is an eccentric, retired tailor with a uniquely keen talent for Scrabble — and for hustling strangers in games. However, the pleasure he takes in Scrabble is tainted by the memory of his long-lost son, who stormed out while playing one night and was never seen again.

It Must be Heaven – Sunday, Feb. 23 and Wednesday, Feb. 26

A church in Nazareth with a door that won’t open. A deserted Paris. A New York supermarket with as many guns as fresh produce. In his fifth feature — which garnered a Jury Special Mention at Cannes 2019 — Elia Suleiman, a famed figure in Palestinian cinema, explores the world with his trademark, wide-eyed wonder — one that, here, belies an incisive critique of nationalism and identity.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Sunday, March 1 and Wednesday, March 4

Hired to paint a portrait ahead of a prospective marriage, an artist in 18th-century Brittany finds herself falling for the reclusive would-be bride, in this Cannes Queer Palm-winning feature. The film engages the emotions and the intellect in tandem, as our heroines discuss the purpose of art and life while their love builds from a spark to a blaze.

Arab Blues – Sun & Wed, Sunday, March 15 and Wednesday, March 18

After years abroad in Paris, Selma returns to Tunis with the dream of opening up her own psychotherapy practice. Arab Blues develops with an irresistible charm while not side-stepping bigger questions about both a country and a woman at a crossroads.

Sorry We Missed You – Sunday, March 22 and Wednesday, March 25

From socially conscious director Ken Loach comes a wrenching portrait of a hardworking English couple sliding deeper into debt and despair, despite toiling in all-consuming jobs. Even as the film’s social critique becomes more overt, Loach never lets us forget that the victims of corporate avarice are not statistics, but individuals fighting for what everyone deserves: dignity and fairness.

Hope Gap – Sunday, Mar. 29 and Wednesday, April 1

Together Grace and Edward live the kind of comfortable life that comes with decades of familiarity. As much about the dissolution of a marriage as it is about the ever-evolving relationship between parent and child, Hope Gap deftly considers the humanity in each of its characters, masterfully exploring the many grey areas inherent in matters of the heart.

Ordinary Love – Sunday, April 5 and Wednesday, April 8

Joan and Tom are a long-married couple, with their set habits, cozy bickering and assumption of a long walk together into the sunset. But when Joan discovers a lump in her breast, it soon becomes clear that cancer will radically change each of them and their relationship.

Passes for all 10 films are $126 for CVAG members and $135 for non-members. Individual tickets are $14 each for CVAG members and $15 for non-members.

(Please note: passes and tickets are sold for either Sunday or Wednesday screenings.)

Call 250-338-6211 ext 1 to purchase over the phone, or drop by CVAG at 580 Duncan Avenue in Courtenay.

All films are at Landmark Cinemas, 2665 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay and start promptly at 5 p.m. No latecomers please.

Visit www.comoxvalleyartgallery.com for complete film listing.

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