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The Arbalest

Canadian Premiere
  • USA
  • 2016
  • 73 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Official Selection: SXSW 2016 (Grand Jury Prize); Atlanta Film and Video Festival 2016; Nashville Film Festival 2016; Montclair Film Festival 2016

“[A] historical fantasy of high style, composed dramatically and visually with a shot-by-shot and moment-to-moment profusion of imagination and invention” – Richard Brody, NEW YORKER

Foster Kalt (Mike Brune), the reclusive and eccentric inventor behind the Kalt Cube – the world’s most popular toy! – is opening up after a 10-year vow of silence. In a historical interview, he tells all, jumping back and forth from the late ’60s to the present. He explains how he invented the Cube, how he met Sylvia (Tallie Medel), how she broke his heart and, importantly, how she inspired him to build again. After years of absence from the public eye, Kalt is indeed finally ready to unveil a new invention – a toy that could supplant the ubiquitous Kalt Cube and which might very well change the course of history…

The indie revelation of this year’s SXSW (where it was crowned with the Grand Jury Prize), Adam Pinney’s feature-film debut THE ARBALEST is a fantastical historical film like no other. A quirky, edge-of-your-seat character study, unfolding as the confessional of a Steve Jobs-esque inventor, THE ARBALEST is a rare thing: a vision at once fresh, hilarious and chilling in its pitch-perfect timeliness. Recalling in equal measure the obsessiveness of Wes Anderson and the playfulness of Albert Lamorisse (LE BALLON ROUGE), THE ARBALEST also evokes the period accuracy of Matthew Weiner of MAD MEN! That said, Pinney’s film is also wholly unique, and heralds the arrival of major new voice on the American indie film landscape, one unafraid to take on the unlikeliest of premises and smartly twist it (and what a twist!) into a fantastical world of possibility — a dark portrait of ego, lost love, and the complexities of human nature!

— Ariel Esteban Cayer