Topic: Mala Noche Special Screening @ The Plaza Calgary

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“Mala Noche" screens on Thursday, March 26 at 7p.m. at The Plaza Theatre. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $10 for Calgary Cinematheque members. Doors will open at 6:30p.m.
The Calgary Cinematheque is pleased to present a newly restored 35mm print of Gus Van Sant's first film "Mala Noche" at the Plaza Theatre on Thursday, March 26th at 7pm.

The first feature from acclaimed director Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, Milk), "Mala Noche" is a hauntingly beautiful black-and-white meditation on lust, love, obsession, and class.

Stuck behind the cash register of a convenience store in Portland’s skid row, young Walt (Tim Streeter) becomes infatuated with Johnny (Doug Cooeyate), a Mexican teenager and illegal immigrant who is willing to reciprocate Walt’s attentions – to a point. Although Walt subsequently turns to Johnny’s friend Pepper (Ray Monge), he is  unable  to  shake  his  fixation, and finds his crush becoming an all-consuming amour fou.

Screened intermittently since 1985, but never given a proper theatrical release, the Calgary Cinematheque is proud to present "Mala Noche" in a new 35mm print.

With its low budget and lush black-and-white imagery, "Mala Noche" heralded an idiosyncratic, provocative new voice in American independent film. Van Sant has gone on to have a long and successful career that has shuttled between Hollywood and the margins.  His first international hit, My Own Private Idaho (1991) is seen as the central example of the New Queer Cinema, while his more mainstream fare, such Good Will Hunting (1997), has met with commercial and popular success.

These two streams are reflected in his most recent works:  Paranoid Park (2007), a lyrical film about an accidental murder in a skateboard park, and the Academy-Award winning Milk (2008), about the gay activist Harvey Milk. Despite their differences, the most interesting elements of both films can be seen in "Mala Noche".

“This fully formed debut contains Van Sant’s pet themes (alienated youth, conflicted male relationships) and the traits of his quintessential hero (haunted, sincere, painfully sensitive, but not entirely  humorless). It also features many of his poetic signatures—not just those famous time-lapse clouds but the more ingrained gestures that happen on the level of film syntax: a dreamy elasticity of time, a jazzy deployment of repetition and punctuation.��   - Dennis Lim

"A rhapsodic slacker noir pitched on the edge of physical and emotional darkness." - Nathan Lee, The Village Voice

"[Van Sant] posesses a penchant for pure lyricism that puts him in league with Terrence Malick." - Max Goldberg, San Francisco Bay Guardian