Thank You, Ottawa!


The ByTowne is now closed.

It's possible that, after the pandemic has been brought under control,
new management will take over the space and offer big-screen wonderfulness again.

The building is being maintained, with all its facilities and equipment intact,
in preparation for that hoped-for day.
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– Lest We Forget –

Poster for 11'09"01 -- September 11

Sometimes the world of cinema, like the world at large, gives us something extraordinary that is also a painful reminder of lost opportunities.
One such example is 11’09”01 – September 11, an often brilliant, always revelatory, deeply interesting omnibus film. In it, 11 major world filmmakers create cinematic vignettes: portraits of their reactions after the Sept. 11, 2001, World Trade Center tragedy.
Those filmmakers – including Japan’s Shohei Imamura, France’s Claude Lelouch, Israel’s Amos Gitaï, Iran’s Samira Makhmalbaf, Bosnia’s Danis Tanovic (No Man’s Land) and Mexico’s Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Biutiful) – were given complete artistic control and only one major parameter. Each segment had to be exactly 11 minutes, nine seconds and one frame long, to coincide poetically with the European style for the date 11-09-01.
The result is mesmerizing. The film keeps shifting from country to country, viewpoint to viewpoint. Some of the 11 shorts are brilliant, but even the flawed ones are provocative and revealing. And in general, the vignettes’ perspectives – even among directors who are deeply critical of U.S. foreign policy – are humanistic and anti-war, full of anger at the massacre and empathy for its victims. 11’09”01 – September 11 is a fine film. It’s also historically essential.
– Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

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