The Next Two Weeks at The Bloor: 2/21/14 & 2/28/14

Money for Nothing Inside the Federal Reserve

Money for Nothing: Inside the Federal Reserve

Although a bit too cute in its approach (leaning quite heavily at times on pop culture references and artfully designed montage), Money for Nothing does an admittedly terrific job of making sense out of what the United States Federal Reserve Bank actually does. Occasionally even laudatory towards one of the largest world banking systems in the world, director Jim Bruce breaks down the many pitfalls of having a system in place that can literally just print its own money to ensure the survival of the entire world economy.

Beginning and eventually leading to the sub-prime mortgage collapse circa 2007, Bruce and narrator Liev Schreiber trace the history of the Federal Reserve from its formation in the early 1900s – bringing together some of the world’s greatest economic minds – through the Great Depression (their first major bungle), resulting inflation, the legendary reign of free market economist Alan Greenspan at the helm, and today’s wishful sense of denial that boom period bubbles will never ever burst.

It might go on a tad too long (it feels even longer than it actually is), but Bruce has laid out a pretty great case history that illustrates in great detail the Fed’s relationship to the banks and the stock market, both of which the regulatory body seems too powerless and spineless to stop. It probably only has appeal to those interested in high finance, but it’s a great explanation to the question “What the heck do these guys do, again?”

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Director Jim Bruce will participate in a Skype Q&A following the 6:30pm screening on Friday, February 21st.

Also at the Bloor this week AND next week:

Leading out of this year’s Sochi Winter Games where the punk rock collective Pussy Riot once again made headlines, Pussy Riot: A Punk Rock Prayer sticks around for another week’s worth of shows after opening last weekend. We took a look at it in our Films in Brief column last week in case you missed it.

2014 Oscar Docs

Next weekend, brings no new films opening, but return engagements of all of this year’s Oscar nominated documentary features from the 28th to the March 3rd. Cutie and The Boxer screens on the 28th at 6:30pm and on the 1st at 1:30pm. Dirty Wars can be seen on the 28th at 8:45pm and on the 1st at 9:15pm. Twenty Feet from Stardom is on the 1st at 4:00pm and the 2nd at 1:00pm. The Act of Killing plays at 6:30pm on the 1st and 3:30pm on the 3rd. And finally, The Square screens on the 2nd at 3:30pm and 9:15pm on the 3rd. They have your entire Oscar pool catch-up needs pretty well covered for those of you waiting till the last second.

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A handful of other past Bloor hits will be coming back for return engagements, as well. I am Divine comes back on the 27th at 8:45pm, and When Jews Were Funny and Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia both return on the 28th at 1:45 and 4:15pm, respectively.

The Music on Film series returns on Monday the 24th at 6:30pm with a bit of Latin flavour. Children of Flamenco takes a look at a pair of 12 year old guitar prodigies as they experience decidedly different amounts of success. The film is preceded by the short Flamenco at 5:15 (that’s the title, not the start time, so you don’t get confused) and will be followed by a Q&A with Flamenco guitarist Jorge Miguel and dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Martine Lamy.

The next edition of the double-bill series Oppositions: Architecture on Film (presented in association with the Toronto Society of Architects) will take place on Tuesday the 25th starting at 6:45pm with screenings of Birds of a Feather and Trouble in the Peace. The films will also be accompanied by post film Q&As and discussions with University of Waterloo architecture professor Lola Sheppard and Greenpeace spokesperson and University of Toronto professor Keith Stewart.

The PEN Canada sponsored PEN Picks series continues on Monday, March 3rd at 6:15pm with novelist Camilla Gibb taking a look at a pair of documentary shorts set amid the famine and military struggles in Ethiopia: The Unknown Famine and Ye Wonz Maibel: Deluge.

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If you guys are more in the mood for special events, cutting edge comedy, and once in a lifetime opportunities, legendary comedian and write Paul Mooney brings his Last Stand Tour to the Bloor on Saturday, February 22nd at 9:00pm. The famous and infamous comic mastermind behind some of the best moments on Chappelle’s Show and In Living Color has worked with the biggest and brightest talents in the business and is the definition of a comic’s comic. Tickets range from $35-$75 and can be purchased here.

The end of the month also brings another screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The sing-along, play-along, throw stuff around fun – complete with shadow cast – takes place on Friday the 28th at 11:30pm.

Is there anything we’re forgetting? OH YEAH. THE OSCARS. You can check out this year’s live broadcast at The Bloor for free (and with a bar in the theatre) with your film critic host Thom Ernst at 7:00pm. Advance tickets are no longer available, but there will be some made available on the day of the show, Sunday, March 2nd, starting at noon from the box office.

And with that, we’ll see you all with a special early week column again on Monday, March 3rd. Enjoy your docs-ing or whatever the kids call it these days.

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