OTTAWA’S CINEMA FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

Thank You, Ottawa!

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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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Babette's Feast

(Babettes Gæstebud)

Best of the ByTowne!

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A delicious cinematic treat that first premiered at the Towne, ancestor of the ByTowne!


Poster for the Danish award winner Babette's FeastThe complacent and nauseating word 'foodie' is often used in connection with Gabriel Axel's 1987 film, now rereleased in cinemas. But if you're salivating over the food, you're missing the point. The film is based on a short story by Danish author Karen Blixen, whose memoir of Out of Africa was famously adapted for the cinema in 1985. In 19th-century Denmark, spinster sisters Filippa (Bodil Kjer) and Martine (Birgitte Federspiel) are honouring the memory of their late father, a stern preacher, by doing good works and hosting prayer groups, having long since rejected the pleasures of love, marriage and children. Into these old women's lives comes a mysterious Frenchwoman, Babette (Stéphane Audran), an acquaintance of a former dejected suitor, a refugee from the French civil war.

Babette agrees to work as their cook and housekeeper; and, on coming into a huge amount of money, offers to cook for them and the cantankerous old villagers a sumptuous French banquet. It is as if the portions of everyday sensuality they have refused all their lives are now to be totalled up and paid to them all at once in this remarkable feast, just when they must bid farewell to the world, with all its pleasures and vanities. Decades later, the story is still charming and beguiling.

– Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

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