BRITPICS 3: THE BEST OF NEW BRITISH CINEMA at the Bloor Cinema (506 Bloor West), from Friday (July 19) to July 25. Single tickets $9, multi-ticket packages available. 416-516-2330. Rating: NNN
Browsing the selection for this year's Britpics festival at the Bloor, you come across a lot of films that look like warmed-over Ken Loach or Mike Leigh lite. Check out these picks that don't fit into what's become the basic mould for non-Merchant-Ivory English filmmaking in the past decade.
LATE NIGHT SHOPPING (Saul Metzstein)LATE NIGHT SHOPPING (Saul Metzstein)
When the kids from Human Traffic realize they can't spend their lives doing soft drugs and hitting raves, this might be what happens: a series of dead-end night-shift jobs, bad relationships and hanging out in an all-night café whining about it. Late Night Shopping is actually much better than it sounds. It's a sharply observed comedy about, well, young people in dead-end jobs with relationship problems. It's like Friends, but without the snazzy guest stars and great hair. (Friday, July 19, 9:30 pm)
REVELATION (Stuart Urban)REVELATION (Stuart Urban)
This is a mind-bending thriller that spans a couple thousand years of Christian mythology and criss-crosses half of Europe. James D'Arcy and Natasha Wightman are fleeing the powerful remnants of the Knights Templar while trying to find a relic of the Crucifixion that apparently holds apocalyptic power. It's like Robert Ludlum with an eschatological edge, so if you thought Memento was confusing, you may be in trouble here. Excellent performances, particularly by Terence Stamp as a billionaire who decides to double-cross the Templars and pays the price, and the always outré Udo Kier as the head bad guy. (Saturday, July 20, 9:30 pm)
IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE (Sarah Share)IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE (Sarah Share)
Working from an extensive library of performance footage, If I Should Fall From Grace is half a history of the Pogues and half a documentary about their charismatic and doomed lead singer, Shane McGowan, who paid the price for years of drinking by winding up with about six functioning brain cells, though he does have moments of lucidity. It's a moving exploration of how time treats yesterday's bad boys and, more frightening, how they treat themselves. And with the money he made from the Pogues, didn't McGowan ever visit a dentist? (Wednesday, July 24, 7 pm)