Shot in the Dark is Langley’s TIFF Circuit film screening group — we show independent and international films over two seasons each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. We’re a non-profit organization and a member of the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit. We have been doing this since 1999, and remain committed to bringing unique and challenging films to this community, many of which otherwise would never screen here.
Fall 2019 Season
From september through november, every other wednesday
September 25, 7:30 PM
For over 40 years, the film footage for Aretha Franklin’s live recording of her groundbreaking gospel album Amazing Grace was thought lost. Lost, as in hopeless: director Sydney Pollack hadn’t used clapboards, and months of work in, not one song had been synced to complete footage. Now, thanks to digital tools, the film has been assembled, a moving testament to one of the greatest voices of all time, in one of her greatest moments, at home in a genre she reinvented. With James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir, conducted by Alexander Hamilton.
"It doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent with Amazing Grace the album. No suitable preparation exists for the experience of witnessing its recording." — Wesley Morris, New York Times
"The film is just as exhausting and beautiful as the recording sessions it documents, just as overflowing with that unquantified ability to reach directly into the soul that only the greatest art approaches." — K. Austin Collins, Vanity Fair
October 9, 7:30 PM
After Jackson (Michael K. Williams) organizes a sit-in for the houseless at Cincinnati’s public library, every level of “help” and administration gets involved. There are the librarians (played by director Emilio Estevez and Jena Malone), management (Jeffrey Wright), a municipal official (Christian Slater), and, of course, the police (Alec Baldwin). It’s a cold winter night, so while everyone expends a lot of hot air talking through the use of community space, the simple question remains: just what do these people want to build together?
"It is a tribute to the cast that they manage to bring out the essence of the film, its political heart, so strongly" — Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter
"An ... old-fashioned, uplifting dramedy redolent of Frank Capra and William Saroyan" — Dennis Harvey, Variety
October 23, 7:30 PM
A film with the power to lift and break your heart in equal measure, Mike Leigh’s Peterloo builds from the end of the Napoleonic Wars through the stirring of working-class political consciousness in 19th century England, right up to their stand at St. Peter’s Field in Manchester for the rights to vote and receive fair wages. Working, as always, in close concert with his actors to develop rich, lived-in characters, Leigh begins with a family (Maxine Peake, Pearce Quigley, David Moorst) and fans out to a broad tapestry of speech-makers and power-wielding politicians (Rory Kinnear, Karl Johnson). It might be his masterpiece.
"Beautifully staged and shot, with a you-are-there urgency" — Stephanie Zacharek, Time
"Deeply impressive, with more evidence of Leigh’s greatness than any of his films since Vera Drake" — Dan Sallitt, MUBI Notebook
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD
November 6, 7:30 PM
Given access to the Imperial War Museums archive of WWI materials in London, Peter Jackson has made something difficult to categorize: the resulting film is empathetic and respectful, but also astonishing and ruthless, a borderline experimental effort to lay bare war’s labour and scars. At first, footage is shown without decoration, the whir of the projector playing behind oral histories. But before long, modern techniques (colour, sound collage) are put to use. As an entire generation of men are seen being run through their country's military conditioning process, Jackson in turn uses every tool he has to rouse his audience out of the usual conditioned response of remembering the Great War, or any war.
"For some of us, They Shall Not Grow Old will remain the most memorable film of the past year" — Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker
"Jackson has found fresh, humane purpose to his ambitious technical artistry, opening up any number of exciting, slightly terrifying possibilities in the realm of archival documentary" — Guy Lodge, Variety
SOMETIMES ALWAYS NEVER
November 20, 7:30 PM
Alan (Bill Nighy) is father to two sons. Michael, his eldest, left home after a dispute years ago, with no word since. Peter (Sam Riley), is still in contact, but it’s strained contact. To his credit, perhaps, Alan doesn’t burrow into the past — instead, his obsessions lead him toward games (online Scrabble and romantic set-ups), which, he hopes, will turn out to be markers on the path to reconciliation for his family after all.
"A distinct, articulate pleasure" — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"The script revels in wordplay ... achieves an engaging Bill Forsyth-like playfulness" — Kate Stables, Sight & Sound
November 27, 7:30 PM
Rafi (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) isn’t young anymore, but he’s happy with his life as a tourist photographer in Mumbai. His grandmother (Farrukh Jaffar), on the other hand, isn’t thrilled at his single status. After a surprise visit, Rafi enlists the help of Miloni (Sanya Malholtra), a woman he only knows through a portrait he snapped, to pose as his partner, an almost Shakespearean set-up that expands into a portrait of a city, and a family’s, traditions and futures.
"The storytelling is immersive ... Batra shades in the leads and their worlds with a human specificity that makes Photograph compelling" — Aisha Harris, New York Times
"In India's current stridently divisive world, and ours, this sweetly conciliatory and hopeful fantasy is welcome" — Ella Taylor, NPR
In Hindi, Gujarati, and English with English subtitles.