Charlie Chaplin’s silent classic The Kid (1921) screens at Bell Manor Park on August 22nd to wrap up Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos series at parks across the city. In The Kid, Chaplin’s iconic Tramp character takes an abandoned baby under his wing, and The Kid becomes his partner in crime as he grows up. Alongside The Kid at this screening are two short films that highlight the benefits and challenges of broken communication and silent exchanges, Winnifred Jong’s short film MILK (returning to the TOPS screen for the second year in a row) and Squeaky Shoe, directed by Richard B. Pierre. MILK depicts a miscommunication during a phone call between a grandmother and granddaughter. Squeaky Shoe follows a man who sets out to fix his one squeaky shoe before discovering that two squeaks are better than one.
Christie Pits Film Festival presents an evening of doppelgängers on August 18th as part of its summer-long Dynamic Duos programme, with the sci-fi cult classic Gattaca. The film takes place in a world where advanced genetic manipulation technology has created a society in which those conceived without the technology, called in-valids, are considered inferior to those with pre-selected traits. Vincent (Ethan Hawke), an in-valid, dreams of space travel but his genetics bar him from the opportunity. In an attempt to pursue his dreams, he impersonates another man who is part of the privileged class. Paired with Gattaca is the short film She Stoops to Conquer, directed by Zack Russell and making its second appearance at TOPS (it screened alongside Cabaret at Corktown Common in 2018). In the short, a woman meets her drag king persona’s double at an after-hours club.
An updated take on the 1940s screwball comedy, Nora Ephron’s classic rom-com You’ve Got Mail screens August 15th at Bell Manor Park as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos series. You’ve Got Mail depicts the relationship between Kathleen (Meg Ryan), the owner of an independent bookstore, and Frank (Tom Hanks), the executive of a big bookstore chain that aims to put Kathleen’s store out of business. The two make enemies of each other as soon as they first meet, but unbeknownst to either of them, they are online pen pals - who are beginning to fall for each other. Paired with You’ve Got Mail is the animated short Typesetter Blues, directed by Pazit Cahlon and Hector Herrera. Featuring narration by Gordon Pinsent, the short portrays the unrequited love story between two cartoon monsters who work together as typesetters.
Christie Pits Film Festival’s summer-long Dynamic Duos series continues Sunday, August 11th with one of the most iconic duos of documentary film history, Grey Gardens (1975). The film captures the relationship between Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and her daughter Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie), former high society socialites who live a reclusive life in the titular run-down mansion, Grey Gardens. Paired with Grey Gardens are the short films Neighbours, the pioneering Canadian animation classic directed Norman McLaren, and Glitter’s Wild Women, directed by Roney. Glitter’s Wild Women tells the story of Sophie and Hannah, two sisters living in isolation from the rest of the world who set out to make a movie, and premiere it at their stage home-made film festival.
Ang Lee and Emma Thompson’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility screens Sunday, August 4th at Christie Pits Film Festival as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos programme. Sense and Sensibility centres sisters Elinor and Marianne, and their opposing virtues. Paired with the feature is Erik Anderson’s short film Scenes from Another Marriage, which follows a gay couple and directing duo, Alex and Chris, as they attempt to adapt Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage to the present day. But things don’t go so smoothly…
Billy Wilder’s campy comedy classic, Some Like It Hot, is screening July 25th to close the Corktown Common series of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer long Dynamic Duos programme. The film follows musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) who disguise themselves as women, Josephine and Daphne, after witnessing a group of gangsters commit a massacre. Paired with Some Like It Hot is the short film Switch, which follows an affair between two women working as switchboard operators in Toronto in the 1940s. In film noir style, their story includes twists, turns, and murder.
The Odd Couple, featuring one of the most beloved duos ever portrayed on film, screens Sunday July 21st at Christie Pits Film Festival as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos series at parks across the city. The film follows the friendship between neat freak Felix Unger and his roommate, the slob Oscar Madison. Paired with The Odd Couple is Brunch Queen, Steve Adams and Sean Harlor’s documentary short about Brian and Patrick, the quirky odd couple who owned the famous Elbow Room Café in Vancouver.
Paper Moon screens Thursday, July 18th at Corktown Common as part of Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos programme at parks across the city. It follows the unlikely partnership between Moses Pray, a con-man, and Addie, a nine-year-old orphan girl who may or may not be his child. Québecoise filmmaker Katerine Martineau’s Waiting for Lou is paired with Paper Moon, a short film about Jess and her grandmother Lou, who dream about where they will travel together when Lou gets out of prison.
In keeping with Christie Pits Film Festival tradition, on Sunday, July 14th, look forward to one evening’s programme featuring the best in veteran and emerging Canadian filmmaking. As part of our summer-long Dynamic Duos programme, the all-Canuck night is headlined by Bruce McDonald’s Weirdos, which follows 1970s teens Kit and Alice as they hitchhike their way to Sydney, Nova Scotia. Paired with Weirdos are the shorts Your Mother and I, directed by Anna Maguire, and My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, directed by Charlie Tyrell (which won a Canadian Screen Award this year). Your Mother and I represents one evening of a girl (Julia Sarah Stone, also the lead in Weirdos) and her dad (Don McKellar) preparing supper as he tells her outlandish stories of how he and her mother supposedly solved the world’s problems. My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes is about filmmaker Charlie Tyrell’s recollections of his relationship with his father told through phone calls and found objects.
Toronto Outdoor Picture Show’s summer-long Dynamic Duos programme continues with the launch of our signature series, Christie Pits Film Festival, which opens on Sunday, June 30th with the Kenyan feature Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu. Rafiki tells the story of Kena and Ziki, the daughters of political rivals who fall in love and must face the prejudices of their community. Paired with Rafiki are Diane Obomsawin’s animated short I Like Girls, a touching and humorous exploration of various girls’ first loves, and Julianna Notten’s live action short, Erin’s Guide to Kissing Girls, about tween girl Erin and her best friend Liz as they concoct a scheme to invite Erin’s first crush to the school dance.
Toronto Outdoor Picture Show kicks off the summer-long Dynamic Duos programme on June 15th at Fort York with a screening of Thelma & Louise, the 1991 buddy classic featuring one of cinema’s most iconic duos who set out for a weekend vacation, but circumstances lead them to run from the law. Paired with Thelma & Louise is Québecois filmmaker Maxime Robin’s Ballet Jazz, , a short film about two dancers and best friends named Karine and Karine who set out on a road trip to New York City to audition for the musical CATS... but things don’t go exactly as planned.