2000. USA. Dir: Gina Prince-Bythewood. With Sanaa Lathan, Omar Epps. 124 min.
“Aw man, he is a girl!” Young basketball virtuoso Monica won’t let social convention get in the way of donning Magic Johnson’s #32 – let alone a clash with the brash neighborhood boys. Subjecting fragile first love to the exuberant fray of basketball, Prince-Bythewood sidesteps potential soppiness with credible attitude and deeply felt female empathy.
1959. Brazil/France/Italy. Dir: Marcel Camus. With Breno Mello, Marpessa Dawn. 107 min. 35mm print.
Eurydice is on the run, hiding from a strange man; Orfeu is in love with her, but engaged to another. Come celebrate Carnival with one of cinema’s biggest parties, as the streets pulse with energized bodies, swirls of vibrant color, and bossa nova beats. Sponsored by the Dept. of Romance Languages & Literatures.
2004. USA. Dir: Mark Waters. With Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams. 97 min.
A naïve teen must navigate high school cliques, crushes, and the draconian rules of Girl World after a lifetime of home schooling abruptly comes to an end. An immensely quotable script by Tina Fey and a hilarious supporting cast make for one of the most essential teen movies in recent memory – it’s so fetch.
2014. Israel/France. Dir: Ronit & Shlomi Elkabetz. With Ronit Elkabetz. 115 min.
Trapped in an unhappy marriage, Viviane petitions a rabbinic court for divorce, which can only be granted with her husband’s permission. Guided by a sharp, darkly comic script, what begins as a tense courtroom drama becomes an interrogation of gender roles in the Jewish Orthodoxy. Presented as part of the Ninth Annual Ring Family Israeli Film Series, featuring speaker Marc Longenecker, Wesleyan College of Film and the Moving Image.
2015. USA. Dir: Spike Lee. With Teyonah Paris, Nick Cannon. 127 min.
Lysistrata comes to Chicago’s South Side, as the local women refuse sex in protest against the growing gang violence that plagues their community. Lee’s welcome return to form is bold and dynamic, packed with music, humor, and a who’s-who cast (including Samuel L. Jackson as a one-man Greek chorus) to declare a still-urgent social message. Part of the CFILM Awareness Series.
1933. USA. Dir: Leo McCarey. With the Marx Brothers. 68 min. 35mm print.
Groucho, Harpo, and company are up to their usual shenanigans, this time entangled in a farcical political battle for control of the bankrupt country of Freedonia. Widely regarded as the comedy troupe’s finest movie, Duck Soup is perhaps most memorable for its iconic “mirror” bit, which inspired countless awkward talent show imitations to come.
2015. USA. Dir: Denis Villeneuve. With Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro. 121 min.
An idealistic FBI go-getter is recruited to decapitate a big-league Mexican drug cartel, but all literally goes south as she uncovers the true workings of US operations at the border. Villeneuve (Prisoners) keeps everyone and everything – including your forward-inching tush – on the edge in this morally complex, gorgeously moody exercise in hypertension.
2014. Israel. Dir: Matti Harari, Arik Lubetsky. With Moran Rosenblatt. 96 min.
An Orthodox teen feels the pull of secularism away from her strict father and towards a cute college boy. Her escape isn’t a carefree, easy liberation but a hesitant and heartfelt act of self-definition by a woman who wants the best of both worlds: finding a new life while maintaining vital connection to faith and family. Presented as part of The Ninth Annual Ring Family Israeli Film Festival, featuring speaker Eran Polishuk, Director of Film and Media, Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York.
2015. Canada. Dir: Guy Maddin, Evan Johnson. With Roy Dupuis. 130 min.
From the warped depths of Maddin’s psyche emerges a series of psychedelic, cinephilic visions embedded like Russian nesting dolls: squid thieves sacrificed to volcanos, the nightmare of a dead man’s moustache, woodsmen trapped on a submarine forced to suck the air from flapjacks to survive, and more.
1975. UK/USA/Ireland. Dir: Stanley Kubrick. With Ryan O’Neal. 184 min.
In Kubrick’s staggeringly picturesque picaresque, pampered Irishman Redmond Barry falls head over heels for his cousin, Nora. But when Nora instead opts for a priggish redcoat, Redmond’s heedless response sees him embark on an epic, multinational getaway that progressively chips away at his boyish naiveté.