The Civic Theatre will be paying homage to Ingmar Bergman and his classic Trilogy film series. File photo

COLUMN: Civic Theatre celebrates the past and targets for the future

See all films in Ingman Bergman’s Trilogy for the price of two

JASON ARBIEL

Civic Theatre column

With the approach of BC Youth Week at the beginning of May, the Civic Theatre is preparing to close a busy week of fun-filled events celebrating youth and building a strong connection between youth and their communities with The Reel Youth Film Festival on May 2.

Thanks to the generous support of the Nelson and District Credit Union and WorkSafeBC, the Civic Theatre and the Nelson Youth Action Network have partnered with Reel Youth to bring a fabulous program of insightful, diverse, compelling and humorous collection of short films from around the globe – all made by young artists. Premiering annually at the Vancouver International Film Festival, this program is chosen by a youth jury who review over 1,500 submissions from more than 100 countries, creating a collection that shows the world through the eyes of an incredibly gifted emerging group of filmmakers.

The program also includes and celebrates a collection of short works by our own talented youth in the West Kootenay. The winner of the local audience choice award at this gala event will be featured on the Reel Youth site, with all the submissions being considered for the following touring international reel premiering in the Fall of 2018.

And while we celebrate our masters of tomorrow, the month of May also presents us an opportunity to pay homage to one of the greatest film masters of all time. The Civic Theatre joins film institutions across the globe in celebrating the 2018 centenary of the Swedish film artist, Ingmar Bergman. Bergman (1918-2007) stands as a central figure in cinema both for his achievement as a filmmaker and for the impact he had on global film culture. His works played a crucial part in the explosion of interest in international and art-house cinema, in the growing appreciation of film as a serious art form, that spread around the world in the 1960s and early 1970s.

I clearly remember the profound effect, when as a young aspiring filmmaker myself, I witnessed the astonishing and mind boggling opening scene from Bergman’s Persona (‘66), which I stumbled on while exploring international classics from the modest VHS collection at the Edmonton Public Library. I could not have predicted then the trajectory that this film, single-handedly, would put me on: from enrolling in local film and video workshops at The Film and Video Arts Society of Alberta, to post-secondary film education at SFU, to a job as 35mm projectionist at The Pacific Cinematheque (where I incidentally projected this very film) to here, where I get the opportunity to share the probing cinema of this true auteur in beautiful new restorations for the Bergman centenary.

At the beginning of the 1960s, Bergman began work on what were to become some of his most powerful and representative works—the Trilogy. His first time working with the incomparable cinematographer Sven Nykvist—Bergman unleashed Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and The Silence in rapid succession, exposing moviegoers worldwide to a new level of intellectual and emotional intensity.

The trilogy is connected by theme only, each film a stand-alone classic. Buy a ticket to the individual films or see all three for the price of two (only available through online purchase).

If, along with Black Panther, and the other heroes of Marvel Universe, you appreciate the chance to see our filmmaking heroes of the past and our own homegrown future artists, please consider becoming and renewing your membership today.

Jason Asbell is programming director for The Civic Theatre.

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