WEIRDOS
2016, 89 min, Canada, Dir: Bruce McDonald

In this offbeat and endearing B&W coming-of-age story set in Nova Scotia during 1976, 15-year-olds Kit (Dylan Authors) and Alice (Julia Sarah Stone) decide to hitchhike out of their tiny hometown to visit Kit’s eccentric, unstable mother (Molly Parker) in faraway Sydney. As romantic tension rears its head between the two platonic pals, this summer trip leads straight to the strange confusions of adulthood. An understated and insightful road movie, WEIRDOS boasts an excellent 1970s soundtrack, an impressive ensemble cast and a dollop or two of magic realism - even Andy Warhol shows up!


MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE
2010, 90 min, USA, Dir: Bruce McDonald

Rita Chiarelli, Canada's “Queen of the Blues,” takes a pilgrimage to the genre’s birthplace: Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary, aka Angola Prison, once the bloodiest prison in America. Rita's trip turns into a historic jailhouse tour-de-force as she plays and riffs with inmates serving life sentences, and draws striking revelations from them. Guided by Chiarelli's ebullient personality, a remarkable story of hope and a quest for forgiveness comes to the fore in Bruce McDonald’s moving documentary about the power of music to those both free and behind bars.


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