2011. France/Finland. Dir: Aki Kaurismäki. With André Wilms. 93 min. 35mm print
In this urban fairytale, a failed author takes under his wing a young illegal immigrant from Africa. With European xenophobia at its peak, Kaurismäki – a kind of droll Finnish precursor to Wes Anderson – applies a deadpan humor and pictorial compositions to inject a dose of optimism into a dilapidated world of lovable outcasts and deadbeats.
2003. USA. Dir: Tommy Wiseau. With Wiseau, Greg Sestero. 99 min.
Wiseau plays Johnny, a successful banker whose life gets torn apart when his fiancee Lisa starts seeing his best friend, Mark; Wiseau also plays director, producer, and writer of the crown jewel of so-bad-it’s-good movies. Meant to be his Citizen Kane, this picture may indeed fundamentally alter how you view the film medium (and footballs).
1985. UK. Dir: Stephen Frears. With Gordon Warnecke, Daniel Day-Lewis. 97 min.
In the face of homophobia, Thatcherism, and interracial taboos, Omar and Johnny endeavor to keep their laundrette beautiful. Frears rattles toe era’s socioeconomic paradigms with deeply felt drama and trenchant social satire, crafting an indispensable work of British indy cinema.
1979. USA. Dir: Francis Ford Coppola. With Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando. 153 min.
“The Horror! The Horror!”
Sheen gets sent upriver n a Joseph Conrad-inspired odyssey through the physical and psychological landscape of the Vietnam War, confronting violence, jingoism, and the base brutality of the human spirit. You can almost smell the napalm…
1953. USA. Dir: Howard Hawks. With Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell. 91 min.
A pair of saucy showgirls – one an artful fortune-hunter, the other a witty romantic – get embroiled in a series of comic escapades on a Europe-bound ocean liner. Their journey is punctuated by lively Technicolor musical performances, including Monroe’s iconic, dazzling “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
1993. USA. Dir: Steven Spielberg. With Laura Dern. 127 min. 35mm print
From the director who brought you Jaws (aka “Never Go in the Water Again”) and Indiana Jones (aka “Archeologists are Awesome”) comes the flick that made the world fall head-over-heels for dinosaurs and dinosaur-related merchandise. With nail-biting thrills and special effects that are still better than most current releases, this is how you do a blockbuster right.
2015. France. Dir: Jacques Audiard. With Antonythasan Jesuthasan. 115 min.
Three Strangers pose as a family to flee war-torn Sri Lanka, but the Parisian projects where they settle become another crucible of conflict. As an immersive chronicle of psychological and interpersonal struggles amidst an alienating, crime-filled milieu, the Palme d’Or winner earns comparison to Taxi Driver (albeit with better gender balance).
2015. USA. Dir: J. J. Abrams. With Daisy Ridley, John Boyega. 135 min.
Forget the prequels (seriously, forget them); with a new, young cast and Abrams at the helm, the Force is stronger than ever in Episode VII. Expertly balancing nostalgia and freshness, Abrams ushers the spirit of the original trilogy into the 21st century – with some sic action scenes to boot.
2002. Palestine et al. Dir: Elia Suleiman. With Suleiman, Manal Khader. 92 min.
In the spirit of Keaton and Tati, Suleiman’s wry silent-comedy performance anchors a very “loud” situation: the day-to-day life of Palestinians in Israeli-controlled territory. Subtitled “A Chronicle of Love and Pain,” the movie plays out a series of darkly funny and visually whimsical vignettes. Co-sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine.