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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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Arabian Nights Volume 1

The Restless One

ByTowne members can buy an advance ticket to see all three films in the Arabian Nights series for just $18!

Thrillingly inventive, wildly ambitious, and as urgent as it is playful, Miguel Gomes’s three-part epic adopts the structure of the classic One Thousand And One Nights to explore Portugal’s plunge into austerity. One of the most important films of the year, Arabian Nights was a major hit at Cannes.

Poster art for Arabian NightsA majestic, modern-day folk tale, the tragicomic trilogy from Portugal channels Gomes’s outrage at his country’s enduring economic crisis into an exhilarating fresco of contemporary life, narrated by a winsome modern-day Scheherazade in a series of tales of woe and wonder.

Volume 1: The Restless One is a collection of tall tales that includes appearances by cunning wasps, island-dwelling virgins, technocrats with erection-inducing potions, a talking cockerel who runs for municipal election, and exploding whales. It reveals a deeply rattled society where poverty, unemployment, and drug addiction are rampant, but is suffused with good humour and and heartfelt humanism.

Wilfully sprawling and gently intimate, Gomes’s opus – like the classic Arabian Nights tales it evokes – is both of its time and forever enduring. An unmissable cinematic event, Arabian Nights is best viewed in succession and in its entirety.

– Andrea Picard, Toronto International Film Festival

Volume 2: The Desolate One screens February 23 & 24

Volume 3: The Enchanted One comes to the ByTowne March 1 & 2.

ByTowne members can buy a ticket for all three films for $18.

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