Big Dreams

And this was 20 years before affordable CGI, rememberIt’s all Olympics, all the time in the world’s news media — CBC Radio just ran a live report from a megaplex in Richmond Hill, where throngs of people have packed the theaters to watch the opening ceremonies broadcast on all fourteen screens.

No word on what this may do for the second-weekend grosses of “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”.

But if you’re planning to ignore the festivities this weekend and catch a movie instead, there are some interesting films on offer:

“Amal”: Well-received at TIFF last year, Richie Mehta’s New Dehli drama about a penniless rickshaw driver (Rupinder Nagra) who catches the eye of an undercover millionaire (Naseeruddin Shah) comes right up to the line of button-pushing melodrama, but never quite crosses it. So that’s cool. Deirdre explains.

Baghead“: The Dupless brothers, who helped bring the mumblecore movement into being with their Sundance charmer “The Puffy Chair”, bring the handheld DV aesthetic back to its “Blair Witch Project” roots with this fascinating fusion project about four twentysomethings who go out to the woods to write an indie drama and end up in a very strange place.

Jellyfish“: Israeli art couple Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret make their filmmaking debut with this engaging multicharacter tale of several Tel Aviv women encountering life-changing crises over the course of a week. It’s sort of like “Magnolia”, only at half the length and with fewer frogs.

“Man on Wire”: Precisely thirty-four years ago, French tightrope walker Philiipe Petit strung a steel cable between the twin towers of the World Trade Center and spend almost an hour suspended between them. James Marsh’s documentary revels in his achievement, and — as Jason puts it — places it in its proper context as a sort of quirky, thrilling miracle that can’t be diminished by the towers’ eventual fate.