2017. Sweden. Dir: Tarik Saleh. With Fares Fares. 106 min.
A young singer is murdered in one of Cairo’s big hotels just a few days before the January 25 revolution and National Police Day. This neo-noir thriller follows a surly cop assigned to the case as he dodges corruption in his department and realizes some of Moubarrak’s people might be implicated in the deadly a air.
1984. W.Germany/France. Dir: Wim Wenders. With Harry Dean Stanton, Hunter Carson. 145 min.
In this wonderfully heartfelt portrait of a broken family, the late Stanton had the role of a lifetime as an amnesiac returning home after years and trying to reconnect with his young son. “New” German filmmaker Wenders (Wings of Desire) lends an outsider’s sense of alienation to the Texan landscape.
1961. France. Dir: Agne?s Varda. With Corinne Marchand. 90 min.
Awaiting a possible cancer diagnosis, a self-absorbed pop singer spends ninety “real-time” minutes wandering the streets in between short-lived carefreeness and agitating despair. A peripatetic observation of postwar Paris, Varda’s Left Bank landmark explores feminism with a taste of light somberness. Look out for a surprise cameo by Jean-Luc Godard.
2004. USA. Dir: Jon Turteltaub. With Nicolas Cage. 131 min. 35mm print.
Code-breaking, treasure hunting, American history, and humor are the secret ingredients in this Wes-alum-directed action-adventure heist flick. In a ludicrous pursuit for Masonic loot, the patriotic Cage steals the Declaration of Independence and follows clues with the help of his quippy, tech-savvy sidekick and a fiercely intelligent archivist.
1990. USA. Dir: Jennie Livingston. With Dorian Corey. Documentary. 71 min.
This iconic celebration of queerness chronicles the underground Harlem ball culture of the late 80s, showcasing the vibrant personalities of its predominantly Black and Latinx participants. The historical aesthetics of drag and the minority origins of cultural concepts such as voguing and throwing shade are brought to light in potent critique of oppression.
2016. Spain. Dir: Pedro Almodovar. With Emma Suarez, Adriana Ugarte. 92 min.
The melodramatic auteur’s latest turn arrives with less flamboyance than usual but no less heartbreak. Chance, memory, trauma, and tragedy circle a tale spanning two timelines (and two lead actresses in the title role). Based off of Alice Munro’s short stories, Julieta explores the interiority of a woman reconciling her past and present in glorious detail.
1954. Japan. Dir: Akira Kurosawa. With Toshiro? Mifune. 207 min. 35mm print.
Kurosawa’s enduring classic depicts the methodical last stand of the masterless ronin hired to defend a village from a horde of robbers. The brisk, multifaceted narrative works a mix of tones, ranging from lighthearted gags to bitter cynicism to intense choreographed swordplay. Print courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
2017. USA. Dir: Malcolm D. Lee. With Regina Hall, Queen Latifah. 122 min.
A foursome of friends reconnect during a wild weekend at a music festival, filled with partying, hookups, and female empowerment. The first film with an all-black creative team to net over $100 million, GIRLS TRIP’s inspirational sisterhood and incisive commentary make it more than just another raunchy comedy.
1975. India. Dir: Ramesh Sippy. With Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra. 204 min.
A retired police chief enlists the help of two bandits to defeat a murderous crime lord, unleashing a campy current of action, melodrama, and – of course – musical numbers. At first considered a flop, Sholay has gained so much of a following that it may now be the highest grossing Hindi-language film of all time.
1997. Japan. Dir: Hayao Miyazaki. With Yoji Matsuda. Animation. 134 min.
After a prince is poisoned in a wild boar attack, he goes in search of a forest god to heal him. En route he encounters an ongoing war between a mining town and an army of spirits, among them a mysterious wolfgirl. Miyazaki utilizes breathtaking animation and a fantastical story to level commentary at industrialization and environmental destruction.