Debra Paget in Fritz Lang's The Indian Tomb.
Sure, the megaplexes are teeming with British spies and American sparkle vampires, but after you see those, you're maybe going to want something meatier.
Amnesty International's Reel Awareness Film Festival runs through Sunday at the Carlton Cinema, offering a chance to catch up to some of the politically charged documentaries you might have missed in their earlier appearances on the festival circuit.
Over at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Indian Expressionism series offers a rare big-screen look at Fritz Lang's bizarre two-part epic of exoticism The Tiger Of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb, screening both halves back-to-back Sunday at 1 pm. It's three and a half hours of brightly coloured spectacle - and though its camp qualities are the stuff of legend. I'd argue Debra Paget's infamous cobra dance actually transcends camp; she's so committed to the performance that it doesn't even matter she's acting opposite one of the least convincing snakes in cinema history.
Tonight (Friday) at 7 pm, it's Luc Côté and Patricio Henriquez's Omar Khadr documentary You Don't Like The Truth: 4 Days At Guantanamo; Sunday at 5:30 pm, Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson's This Is My Land ... Hebron - which I first reviewed at the Human Rights Watch fest earlier this year - gives us an unfortunately well-timed look at the tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. The festival wraps up Sunday at 7:30 pm with Fredrik Gertten's Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, one of the buzzier films at Hot Docs this past spring; Susan G. Cole reviews it here.
More of a sports fan? Well, the 100th Grey Cup Festival is holding the Rushes Football Film Festival over at the Scotiabank Theatre, screening classics of gridiron cinema over the weekend.
The fest kicked off last night with Brian's Song (of course) and continues tonight with North Dallas Forty at 7 pm and The Longest Yard - that'd be the one with Burt Reynolds, not Adam Sandler - at 10 pm. (Director Ted Kotcheff will be present for the North Dallas Forty screening.) Saturday, it's Jerry Maguire at 2 pm and Any Given Sunday at 7:30 pm; The Replacements wraps things up Sunday at 5 pm. Sure, you've got them all on disc and you know them backwards and forwards, but Jamie Foxx throwing up all over himself is much funnier with a crowd, right?
What else? Well, John Carpenter's Halloween screens at the Lightbox at 10 pm Saturday in Todd Brown's Birth Of A Villain series. Yes, it launched two decades of inferior sequels and those two awful Rob Zombie pictures, but damn, Carpenter's 1978 original is just about perfect.
A gorgeously photographed, absolutely uncompromising thriller about a babysitter (Jamie Lee Curtis) stalked by a blank-faced maniac over one awful Halloween night, it's driven by one of the all-time great musical scores, and featuring a delightfully unhinged turn from Donald Pleasance as the Cassandra-like Dr. Loomis. This is one hell of a motion picture. You should see it on the big screen.
In more of a punk mood? The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is screening Bruce McDonald's kickass 1996 mockumentary Hard Core Logo Sunday at 4 pm as part of its ongoing Back To The Bloor series. It's VSC's new digital restoration of the film, and author Noel Baker and editor Reg Harkema will be present for a post-screening Q&A. If you love this movie, you'll want to be there. And if you don't, I'm worried there might be something wrong with you.