August 8 to 22, 2019
At its newest venue, Bell Manor Park in Etobicoke, TOPS is taking cues from its previous engagement with family-forward audiences in suburban neighbourhoods (Queensway Park in Etobicoke and Parkway Forest Park in North York) and presenting a three-week programme that emphasizes family-friendly films, while ensuring that audiences are treated to unusual feature/short pairings and offbeat selections that they may never have been exposed to.
Pack your favourite blanket and join us for alfresco movies and an unbeatable view of Toronto's skyline!
Dynamic Duos is co-curated by Emily Reid and Olena Decock, with programming consultation from Felan Parker. You can support Toronto Outdoor Picture Show's cultural investment in communities with a donation.
This evening’s programme of innovative animated stories about food and family centres on Brad Bird’s Ratatouille, the charming tale of a talking rat and an inept young chef who team up to make a name for themselves by mastering the art of French cuisine. The film is fun for all ages, offering both slapstick hijinks and a sophisticated consideration of artistic creativity, collaboration, and criticism.
Ratatouille’s meticulous depictions of food preparation and eating helped inspire the more recent Pixar short, Bao, Chinese-Canadian animator Domee Shi’s recent Oscar-winning fable of a lonely, aging mother in Toronto’s Chinatown who manifests herself a son out of a pork bun. Fellow Torontonian animator Melody Wang’sThe Casebook Of Nips & Porkington rounds out the programme, following a dynamic duo of anthropomorphic cat and pig detectives as they attempt to retrieve a stolen egg in a world artfully rendered in old-timey newsprint.
THURSDAY AUGUST 8
Directed by Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava, 2007
Bao, dir. Domee Shi, 2018 and The Casebook Of Nips & Porkington, dir. Melody Wang, 2015
In honour of the late Nora Ephron, a filmmaker who made an accomplished career of creating iconic on-screen duos, TOPS will screen the classic ‘90s romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail at Bell Manor Park. Kathleen and Frank - one an independent children’s bookstore owner and the other an executive at a major bookstore chain that’s putting the little guy out of business - have been communicating under pseudonyms for weeks through internet chat, unknowingly becoming the best part of each other’s day. But when the the soon-to-be rivals meet in person, not realizing the connection, an online-offline love-hate flurry of events builds anticipation for the truly earned “happily ever after.” A feel good flick for the ages, You’ve Got Mail offers an online dating origin-story and an always-welcome reminder that all is fair in love and war.
Featuring beautiful animation by creators Pazit Cahlon and Hector Herrara and charming narration by Gordon Pinsent, Typesetter Blues will be paired with You’ve Got Mail to tell another bookish tale of romance between coworkers, but culminating in a decidedly less happy outcome, offering a compelling contrast to Ephron’s Hollywood ending.
THURSDAY AUGUST 15
You've Got Mail
Directed by Nora Ephron, 1998
Typesetter Blues, dir. by Pazit Cahlon & Hector Herrara, 2012
Charlie Chaplin’s first full-length silent film, The Kid follows “The Tramp,” a blundering boyish vagabond played by Chaplin (and one of cinema’s most iconic characters), as he stumbles upon an abandoned baby who he takes under his wing. Jumping forward a few years, The Tramp and The Kid live in perfect harmony, pulling joint cons around town together and often only narrowly escaping arrest until, one day, The Kid’s mother sets out looking for him. Full of the laughs and tears we know to expect from a Chaplin gem, this acclaimed slice of early cinema is a heartwarming portrayal of well-intentioned mischief in the name of loyalty and love.
Screening with The Kid is Winnifred Jong’s short comedy Milk, about a grandmother and granddaughter’s comic miscommunication over the household grocery list, and Richard B. Pierre’s quirky ode to silent slapstick comedy, Squeaky Shoe, in which we learn why two squeaks are better than one.
THURSDAY AUGUST 22
Directed by Charlie Chaplin, 1921
Milk, dir. Winnifred Jong, 2017 and Squeaky Shoe, dir. Richard B. Pierre, 2013
Bell Manor Park, Toronto
Eats & Treats @ 7pm. Films @ sundown.
Free (Donations make our programming possible)
BYOBlanket & Chairs
Films will be screened with captioning when available