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Derek Martin researches the City Cinema archives

by Derek Martin

Our Top 20 Films by Attendance

I love documentaries but they drive me crazy—they are the most unpredictable genre to program. The hugely entertaining Academy Award winner Man On Wire was one of the most acclaimed films of its year. It is still the second-highest rated film (of any type) on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet it ranks 1,446 on our list—we could have fit our entire week’s audience into one screening with room left over. But when a documentary does well there is no stopping it—and so our best film of all time is Bowling For Columbine, and there are three more docs in the top 20.

Our number two film, The Piano, made City Cinema in some ways. Not only did its huge success help us catch up on a lot of our bills from getting the place open, but it introduced us to hundreds of new customers. It’s one of two New Zealand films in the top five.

Another Island film, though not explicitly set on PEI, The Ballad of Jack and Rose was filmed here and involved many Islanders in its production, and is not surprisingly number three.

The rest of the list represents a good cross-section of the City Cinema blend, the serious, the funny, the quirky (two Charlie Kaufmann films!), and is mostly international—less than half are American.

1. Bowling For Columbine
2. The Piano
3. The Ballad of Jack and Rose
4. Whale Rider
5. An Inconvenient Truth
6. The Red Violin
7. Billy Elliot
8. Amelie
9. Bend It Like Beckham
10. The Hours
11. Midnight In Paris
12. Quartet
13. Life Is Beautiful
14. Trainspotting
15. Shadowlands
16. Being John Malkovich
17. Ladies In Lavender
18. March of the Penguins
19. Super Size Me
20. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Our Top 10 Canadian Films

If you were going to introduce someone to Canadian film I think this list would be a great place to start. Great to see two Maritime films in the top three!

1. The Red Violin
2. New Waterford Girl
3. The Hanging Garden
4. Barney’s Version
5. Exotica
6. The Sweet Hereafter
7. The Barbarian Invasions
8. La Grande seduction
9. Away From Her
10. Looking For Anne

Our Top 5 Filmed On PEI

These are the best from our regular schedule—not on the this list are the many great Island productions have screened at Festivals and special events at the Cinema, from JoDee Samuelson’s wonderful animations to Dave Stewart’s movie review series And Yet I Blame Hollywood and all between.

1. The Ballad of Jack and Rose
2. Looking For Anne
3. Picking Lucy's Brain
4. Jiggers
5. The White Stripes Under Great White Northern Lights

Our Top Ten Directors

No surprise to see Woody Allen at the top here, he could have a top-ten list all to himself. Most of the other directors impress with the variety of their work. Interestingly, though two of the British directors have done westerns we’ve screened, Clint Eastwood hasn’t. Sarah Polley may be catching up, but Deepa Mehta leads the Canadians with a great record going back to 1994’s Camilla.

1. Woody Allen (20 movies)
2. Stephen Frears (10)
3. Michael Winterbottom (9)
4. Stephen Soderbergh (9)
5. Richard Linklater (8)
6. Pedro Almodovar (8)
7. Mike Leigh (8)
8. Robert Altman (7)
9. Deepa Mehta (7)
10. Clint Eastwood (7)

Our Top 11 Actors

Judging from this list, the key to keeping busy as a movie actor is to have the ability to move comfortably between leading, supporting, and ensemble roles, and from big budgets to small. We’ve shown less than a third of Julianne Moore’s movies, and it’s still been more than one a year. From Short Cuts in 1993 to last year’s Being Flynn, she is a star who makes you forget she’s a star. Fittingly, she appeared in The Fugitive—a film we never screened, but whose trailer was the first piece of footage ever to grace our screen as we tested our projector during installation. As I write this Sam Rockwell is once again helping to send people home with a smile with his performance in The Way Way Back, and Cate Blanchett’s Blue Jasmine is coming up. Canadian Sandra Oh, whose first film Double Happiness we screened in 1994, has managed to keep busy in film despite a major television career—maybe we’ll see more of her now that she’s leaving Gray’s Anatomy.

1. Julianne Moore (21 movies)
2. Cate Blanchett (18)
2. Ewan MacGregor (18)
4. Philip Seymour Hoffman (17)
4. Sam Rockwell (17)
6. Patricia Clarkson (16)
6.Catherine Keener (16)
6. Judi Dench (16)
9. Paul Giametti (15)
9. Emily Watson (15)
11. Sandra Oh (14)

Events Calendar

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Some Upcoming Events

The Ennis Sisters

Newfoundland sisters on the mainstage December 1
Homburg Theatre  On December 1, Sobeys LIVE @ [ ... ]

Kelley’s Christmas

Kelley Mooney and friends in holiday season concert series November 21, 25 & December 13
Select  [ ... ]

Yr. Obedient Servant

An evening with Samuel Johnson  November 22 | November 24
Watermark Theatre | Haviland Club Th [ ... ]

Recent News & Articles

A gift of Island poetry: Chris Bailey

Curated by Deirdre Kessler Things My Buddy Said Oh, brother, growing up I’d get into trouble
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A passion for cinema

Laurent Gariépy is screening the classics at City Cinema by Dave Stewart Anyone checking out City [ ... ]

Acadian showman

Profile: Christian Gallant by Jane Ledwell Forty-six musicians and step dancers took the stage at  [ ... ]