1953. USA. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. With Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse. 112 min. 35mm print.
A fading musical star seeks to remedy his career woes by putting on a show, and, boy, does he put on a show! Minnelli’s delightful, nostalgic showbiz film a? clef reveals MGM’s Freed production unit at the height of its art, resulting in some of the silver screen’s sheerest kinetic bliss. As the song goes: “that’s entertainment!”
2003. South Korea. Dir: Park Chan-wook. With Choi Min-sik. 120 min.
After a drunken night on the town, a businessman is kidnapped and locked in a room for fifteen years, watching his life fall apart on television and readying to charge after those responsible. This vicious thriller from the director of The Handmaiden combines an intriguing mystery, brutally realistic action scenes, and a critique of the revenge film’s cyclical violence.
2016. Israel. Dir: Avi Nesher. With Nelly Tagar, Joy Reiger. 109 min.
Inspired by true events, this thriller tracks the daring 1977 trans-European odyssey of two sisters – one an introverted ambitious classical music composer, the other a combative liberal magazine editor. As they try to unravel a disturbing wartime mystery that has cast a foreboding shadow on their entire lives, they realize that freedom from the shackles of the past requires painful sacrifices.
1996. USA. Dir: Cheryl Dunye. With Dunye, Guinevere Turner. 90 min.
is comic social critique, supposedly the first feature directed by a Black lesbian, follows a fictionalized version of Dunye researching an African-American actress from the 1930s. In uncovering this past rife with racial stereotypes and personal parallels, she is forced to confront her own relationship with an oft- ignorant white woman.
1929. USSR. Dir: Dziga Vertov. Documentary. 68 min.
Mad genius Vertov applies his “Kino-Eye” theory towards “the creation of an authentically international absolute language of cinema.” Thankfully, his magnus opus is vibrant and unpretentious, an exuberant celebration of both the medium and the surprising inspiration buried unnoticed in everyday urban life. Live accompaniment by Ben Model.
2017. USA. Dir: Sean Baker. With Brooklynn Prince, Willem Dafoe. 111 min.
In a motel just outside Disney World, six-year-old Moonee lives with her mother. Moonee and her fellow latchkey kids spend the sweltering summer messing around and getting on the nerves of the motel manager. Look through Baker’s saturated and innocent view of these children’s lives in a film that is filled to the brim with charm and heart.
2017. Israel/Germany. Dir: Ofir Raul-Glazer. With Tim Kalkhof, Sarah Adler. 105 min.
A German baker who had an a air with an Israeli businessman travels to Jerusalem upon learning his lover has died. The passionate pastry chef seeks out his lover’s widow and insinuates himself into her life, working at her cafe? while keeping his identity a secret. Can he sustain this deception as the lies accumulate? And at what cost?
2017. USA. Dir: Lana Wilson. With Ittetsu Nemoto. Documentary. 97 min.
This portrait of a Japanese punk-rocker turned Buddhist suicide-prevention counselor translates the emotional complexities surrounding mortality into cinematic terms, eschewing explanatory narration to instead quietly explore the everyday pain shared by the priest and his patients. Screening to be followed by a Q&A with director Wilson ’05.
1957. USA. Dir: Billy Wilder. With Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich. 116 min.
Swayed by the a ability of the accused, a wily, bombastic lawyer sacrifices his own health to partake in the legal twists and turns of this enthralling courtroom meller. All seems to go smoothly until the defendant is double-crossed by his sole alibi: his wife.
2004. USA. Dir: Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, Conrad Vernon. With Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy. Animated. 92 min.
Welcome to the sun-kissed kingdom of Far Far Away! Take a tour of your favorite stars’ castles, or enjoy a hearty lunch at Friar’s Fat Boy restaurant. Watch out for ogres, talking donkeys, feline assassins, and hook-handed pianists voiced by Tom Waits. You may even find your Happily Ever After…