Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I’m sure that you’ve heard this before – “You have to meet so and so.” You might be one of those types whose defenses go up immediately. But this is a matchmaking in the unreal world of cinema. So relax, you will never meet these characters and I can confidently say that you have to meet the Patels! They are a lively immigrant family with one foot in the wonderfully rich cultural heritage of India and the other mired in the pressures of the American dream.

Ravi and Geeta are siblings. Ravi has just broken up with his Caucasian girlfriend of two years whom his parents know nothing about. Geeta is the cinematographer and she wields her camera with a terrific zeal, documenting a year in which her parents and all of their many friends and family across the U.S. try to find Ravi a wife. Poor Ravi. He is committed to this project and his exploits make you realize that truth is often wilder than fiction.

One very interesting aspect of the movie was the casual racist subtext – or not even subtext but text. At one point Ravi’s aunt says something like “I will never visit your home if you marry a white girl.” This movie lets it all hang out and you are along for the ride.

Even Variety, the mouthpiece for Hollywood, liked meeting the Patels! "Geeta V. Patel and Ravi V. Patel's documentary offers a sharp, often riotously funny take on the conflicts and compromises that all culturally nebulous families must navigate.”

Meet the Patels is back by popular demand,  Monday Jan 18th and Tuesday Jan 19th, both showings at 9pm!

- Barb

Sunday, January 10, 2016


The January Guelph Movie Club presentation of The Matrix marks our third birthday. That’s right. Three years ago this month, I stood at the front of The Cinema and announced that yes, Guelph Movie Club was a thing, a movie thing where we showed movies, movies we loved that deserved another turn on the big screen. Then we watched Ghostbusters.

This month, we’re showing The Matrix. At least four of you are saying – this very second – that the two sequels ruin the movie for you. And, the Wachowskis haven’t made anything good since. And, so on.

To you I say, “Cool your jets.” Come back with me to the magical year of 1999. It was a simpler time before George W. Bush and Survivor. If, like me, you saw this during its original theatrical run, then this might have been a movie that came out of nowhere and blew your socks off. It might not seem like it now because a million movies have aped its tropes, but The Matrix stands up as something kinda special.

And kinda special movies are what Guelph Movie Club is all about. So, join us on January 28th at 9:00 at The Bookshelf Cinema. I promise to make at least one kung fu joke, and, if someone reminds me, tell you the story about the first time I saw The Matrix in theatre.

If you’re new to Guelph Movie Club, here’s how it works. At each of our screenings, we ask for suggestions. We turn those suggestions into polls. Those polls decide what goes up on the screen each month. Here's our Oscar snub poll. We'll announce the results at the screening of The Matrix.

Which Oscar Snub Should We Honour with a Guelph Movie Club Showing?

Some other things you might want to know:

· We’re on Twitter
· And Facebook

It’s Guelph Movie Club’s third birthday! Come see a movie. Find out if we get that new bike we’ve been asking for.

Til then, see you at the movies.


Saturday, January 9, 2016


Dalton Trumbo was one of the heroes of the McCarthy dark ages when being a communist was enough to have you incarcerated. As one of The Hollywood Ten (and probably Hollywood’s most successful screenwriter) he refused to testify before The House of American Activities – or, in other words, he refused to snitch on any of his friends who may have had communist membership or even leanings. For this he was blacklisted until the 60’s, and in 1950 spent 11 months in a federal penitentiary.

There is a lot that I didn’t understand about that era even though at the time I immersed myself in my mother’s Screen Gem magazines. Trumbo is really worth seeing for a number of reasons, the least of which is an amazing performance by Helen Mirren playing Hedda Hopper, gossip columnist extraordinaire. And Brian Cranston is very believable and likable as Trumbo. He is portrayed as a person who puts his money where his mouth is. But the thing that really hit home for me was how easily the culture of fear, which is taking place presently in American politics, can be so quickly spread and how easily it can infect both the corridors of power and those of us outside that system. We’re bringing this movie back for a reason. Don’t miss it if you haven’t seen it.

- Barb