The Great Digital Film Festival returns to Cineplex screens for another year, screening 20 films in high-definition masters from today (February 1) through Thursday (February 7). Just like its previous incarnations, the programming consists of studio HD restorations that are readily available on Blu-ray ... but even the best home-theatre setup can't compare to the experience of watching a digital projection in a proper cinema.
Participating theatres in the GTA are the Scotiabank, Colossus and Cineplex Cinemas Mississauga (formerly the Coliseum). The Cineplex website has been a little buggy with regard to showtimes, so refer to this master schedule [pdf] for the correct ones.
This year's lineup has been programmed with an eye towards double features: Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange show today (repeating Monday); Martin Scorsese's GoodFellas and Casino play Tuesday (repeating Thursday) and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction screen Thursday. And while they don't have much in common beyond intensity and subtitles, Kinji Fukasaku's Battle Royale and Park Chan-wook's Oldboy are paired on Monday (repeating Tuesday).
The standalone titles aren't bad, either: Universal's beautiful restoration of Steven Spielberg's Jaws, Joe Dante's Gremlins and John Landis's An American Werewolf In London all screen today, Sunday and Wednesday; The Matrix plays today and Wednesday as well, and The Fifth Element screens Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday. And the festival is premiering a splattery British horror comedy, Cockneys Vs. Zombies, as its Saturday midnight show; it repeats late on Sunday.
But if you can only spend one day at the festival, I recommend Saturday's marathon of all four Indiana Jones movies - Raiders Of The Lost Ark at 2:10 pm, Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom at 4:40 pm, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade at 7 pm and that awful one about the crystal skull at 9:30 pm. Paramount restored and remastered the original trilogy for an excellent Blu-ray boxed set last year, and the chance to see all three of those films in pristine condition, with a raucous crowd?
If the energy's right, you might even be able to get everyone to stick around and heckle Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. This is how lifelong friendships are forged, after all.