Calendar

Apr
14
Sun
The Parade (Parada) @ North End Studios
Apr 14 @ 5:00 pm
Director: Srdjan Dragojević
Serbia | 2011 | Narrative | Serbo-Croatian w/English subtitles
Narrative | 115 minutes
Film source: Global Lens
FREE SHOWING

A group of gay activists in Belgrade strikes a tense alliance with Limun, a Serbian crime boss, whose fiancée demands an extravagant wedding that only struggling gay theater director Mirko and his friends can provide. In exchange, macho Limun reluctantly agrees to provide security for the group’s Pride parade. It’s a tall order: previous attempts to march met with mass violence from right-wing skinheads. When Limun’s gang balks at the assignment, he recruits a band of former Balkan war combatants, now dear friends, who will stand up to the aggressors Seven Samurai style, in this rollickingly shrewd and humane comedic take on a vital human rights issue.

About the Director: Srdjan Dragojević was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) in 1963. He studied clinical psychology at the University of Belgrade and film at the University of Arts in Belgrade. His debut feature, We Are Not Angels, won nine awards (out of fourteen nominations) at the 1992 Crystal Prism Awards, Yugoslavia’s Academy Awards. His fifth feature, Saint George Shoots the Dragon, won Best Artistic Contribution at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2009. The Parade is his sixth feature film.

A full “Study Guide” about the film, prepared by the Global Film Initiative, can be downloaded here PDF)

May
12
Sun
Highway @ North End Studios
May 12 @ 5:00 pm


Director: Deepak Rauniyar
Nepal | 2012 | Narrative | Nepali w/English subtitles
Narrative | 80 minutes
Highway

FREE SHOWING

The feature debut of Nepali filmmaker Deepak Rauniyar, marks the rise of a fresh new cinematic vision for the Himalayan nation. Decidedly different from the standard commercial product heavily influenced by Bollywood, the film takes an understated look at an increasingly common phenomenon: the bandhs, roadblocks caused by strikes or protests that often paralyze traffic and disrupt daily life.

The unusual road drama centers around an ill-fated journey on a highway from eastern Nepal to Kathmandu, the nation’s capital. A bus filled with passengers of various social and economic backgrounds gets repeatedly stuck in bandhs. Each passenger is desperate to get to Kathmandu for a different reason — a man needs to reach his wife quickly to try to conceive a baby or else the herbal fertility medicine he has taken will lose effectiveness, a young woman leaves her lover and is on her way to an arranged marriage, and a man hurries back home to see his boyfriend who is devastated by an attack on a transgender friend. They quickly put their heads together and transform the bus into a wedding vehicle — with a bride, a groom, and a wedding band in tow — to gain passage.

Crisscrossing this seemingly humorous adventure are fragments of each individual’s backstory, ironically filled with despair, hardship, and deceit. The non-linear narrative structure, which includes the main plot and disconnected subplots, offers a kaleidoscopic look at contemporary Nepali life, which has only recently emerged from 12 years of civil war.

Read the interview with Director Deepak Rauniyar

 

Jun
9
Sun
About 111 Girls (Darabre 111 Dokhtar) @ North End Studios
Jun 9 @ 5:00 pm

Director: Nahid Ghobadi and Bijan Zamanpira
Iraq | 2012 | Narrative | Farsi & Kurdish w/English subtitles
Narrative | 79 minutes
Film source: Global Lens

Global Film Series

FREE SHOWING

A government official, carrying a message from Iran’s president, travels across Iranian Kurdistan with his driver and a young guide on a mission to stop 111 young Kurdish women from committing suicide in protest against conditions that have left them spinsters. Racing against the clock, they travel into territory simmering with resentment at official neglect and the hardship it has sown among a proud people. Against a dramatically colorful physical and human landscape, wistful longing mingles with dreamlike desire and absurdist humor as the three travelers meander helplessly in a land riddled with contradictions.

About the Directors: Nahid Ghobadi was born in Baneh, Iran in 1964. She studied librarianship at Tehran University and film at Columbia College Hollywood, is a published poet and has directed nine short films and documentaries. About 111 Girls is her first feature film.

Bijan Zamanpira was born in Sanandaj, Iran in 1965. He studied Persian language and literature at Payame Noor University in Tehran and has directed eleven short films and documentaries. About 111 Girls is his first feature film.

A full “Study Guide” about the film, prepared by the Global Film Initiative, can be downloaded here PDF)

Jul
14
Sun
Beijing Flickers (You-Zhong) @ North End Studios
Jul 14 @ 5:00 pm

Director: Zhang Yuan
China | 2012 | Narrative | Mandarin w/English subtitles
Narrative | 96 minutes
Film source: Global Lens

Beijing Flickers

FREE SHOWING
San Bao is a young man left behind by Beijing’s fabulous new wealth, having just lost his job, his apartment and the woman he loves (who’s left him for a richer man). Even Happiness, his dog, has run away from him. Lovelorn, self-destructive and desperately aimless, San Bao nevertheless has moments of euphoria amid his own despair, as he roams the sleek, shifting city with other soulful, cash-poor dreamers and misfits. Such heavenly losers form the vital spirit of Beijing in acclaimed director Zhang Yuan’s gorgeously gritty, angst-ridden portrait of youthful disaffection and perseverance in the teeth of heartbreak, ruthless inequality and unfeeling ambition.

About the Director

Zhang Yuan was born in Nanjing, China in 1963. He studied cinematography at the Beijing Film Academy and began directing feature films in 1980. In 1994, TIME Magazine selected him as one of the 100 Young Leaders of the Next Century. A leading filmmaker of China’s Sixth Generation, his second feature, Beijing Bastards, received a Special Mention by the Official Jury at the Locarno Film Festival in 1993, and his fourth feature, Sons, won the Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 1996. Beijing Flickers is his eleventh feature film.

A full Study Guide about the film, prepared by the Global Film Initiative, can be downloaded here (PDF)
Aug
11
Sun
The Fantastic World of Juan Orol @ North End Studios
Aug 11 @ 5:00 pm

Director: Sebastián del Amo
Mexico | 2012 | Narrative | Spanish w/English subtitles
Narrative | 90 minutes
Film source: Global Lens

The Fantastic World of Juan Orol

FREE SHOWING

Move over Ed Wood! Mexico’s half-forgotten B-movie master, “involuntary surrealist” Juan Orol, receives a pitch-perfect tribute in this irresistible love letter to a self-made man of showbiz, whose career spanned nearly sixty films. In a glorious black-and-white flashback mingling movie-tainted memories of his Galician childhood, forced exile to Cuba and arrival in Mexico, intrepid “Juanito“ pursues failed careers as baseball player, boxer, bullfighter and gangster before landing in the movies—where failure kind of works for him. As Orol, Roberto Sosa exudes droll underdog charm, anchoring a fast-moving comedy where every frame is an infectious homage to a golden age of cinema, the wile of memory and the art of fantasy.

About the Director

About the Director Sebastián del Amo was born in Paris, France in 1971 and attended school in Mexico beginning at a young age. He studied filmmaking at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC) in Mexico City. He has worked as a director, writer and director of photography for numerous short films.The Fantastic World of Juan Orol is his first feature film.

A full Study Guide about the film, prepared by the Global Film Initiative, can be downloaded here (PDF)

 

When One Stops + VCAM shorts + Beetlejuice at Bike-In @ Arts Riot
Aug 11 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
When One Stops + VCAM shorts + Beetlejuice at Bike-In @ Arts Riot | Burlington | Vermont | United States

Director: Jenni Rahkonen |
Finland | 2012 | Animation |
Narrative | 6.5 minutes

VTIFF presents an award-winning animation film at each screening

Aug
18
Sun
Gates of Life + VCAM Shorts + movie to be confirmed at Bike-In @ Arts Riot
Aug 18 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Gates of Life + VCAM Shorts + movie to be confirmed at Bike-In @ Arts Riot | Burlington | Vermont | United States

Director: Hannes Vartiainen & Pekka Veikkolainen |
Finland | 2012 | Animation |
Narrative | 6″ minutes

VTIFF presents an award-winning animation film at each screening

Sep
8
Sun
Grey Matter (Matiere Grise) @ North End Studios
Sep 8 @ 5:00 pm

Director: Kivu Ruhorahoza
Rwanda | 2011 | Narrative | Kinyarwanda and French w/English subtitles
Narrative | 100 minutes
Film source: Global Lens

Grey Matter

FREE SHOWING
Set in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, this radiantly self-referential film-within-a-film describes the vision and trials of a determined filmmaker named Balthazar, as he tries to produce his first feature, The Cycle of the Cockroach. The trenchant drama, about a brother and sister dealing with the aftermath of genocide, finds no support from agencies only interested in funding upbeat policy-friendly films. As Balthazar borrows recklessly from a loan shark, the Cycle plays out on the screen, subtly measuring the horror and systematic madness of events hardly unique to Rwanda, while offering bracing insight into the nature of political violence.

About the Director: Kivu Ruhorahoza was born in Kigali, Rwanda in 1982. A self-taught filmmaker, he won the award for Best African Short at Montreal’s 25th Pan African International Film Festival and Best Short at the Kenya International Film Festival in 2009 for his short film, Lost in the South. He has also produced an experimental documentary, Rwanda 15, with New York saxophonist Jeremy Danneman for the Parade of One project. Grey Matter is his first feature film and the first feature-length narrative film produced in Rwanda by a native Rwandan filmmaker.

A full Study Guide about the film, prepared by the Global Film Initiative, can be downloaded here

 

Oct
12
Sat
Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase 2 @ Film House
Oct 12 @ 4:15 pm

FREE SCREENING
Screenings free, recommended donation of $5+
Sponsors: The Vermont Filmmakers’ Showcase is sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s and the Vermont Arts Council

PANCAKES
Director: Benjamin Kramer
6 minutes

Pancakes-web
They’re not just for breakfast.

IT’S FRESH!
Director: Stephen Maas
Fiction |6 minutes 

ItsFresh!.Still001

It’s time for dinner, but choosing the right meal isn’t as simple as it sounds. It’s Fresh! is a tongue in cheek look at the new food revolution and what it means to eat right.

THE OWNER
Director: Michael Fisher
Fiction | 10 minutes 

The Owner still

A hired man who worked for a wealthy reclusive woman is kept spellbound by an irresistible memory.

CHANGING COLOR
Director: Tim Joy
USA | 2013 | Fiction | 6 minutes 

Changing Colors

A man writes a letter to his sweetheart recounting their courtship.

FUCK YOU LUCY PICKENS (THE ORIENTATION)
Director: Matt Lennon
Fiction | 17 minutes 

Fuck You, Lucy Pickens (The Orientation) - Still 01

Bob Nichols gets ready for the last stage in the job interview process. This isn’t a normal interview, though.

 

Short Term 12 @ Film House
Oct 12 @ 8:15 pm

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
USA | 2012 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 96 minutes
Film source: Cinedigm
Sponsor: Lorna-Kay Peal & Michael Smolin

Short Term 12

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Winner of both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature and the Narrative Audience Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Short Term 12 is moving, honest, and emotionally revelatory. Focusing on the residents and caretakers at a residential foster care center for at-risk teenagers, Short Term 12 explores the difficult and extremely human realities of what it means to take care of another person. The story is told largely through the eyes of Grace (rising star Brie Larson, who won Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival for her performance), the facility’s supervisor, as she tries to find ways to deal with her own life as well as those of the residents. Grace is put to the test with the arrival of Jayden, a troubled new arrival with whom she finds a special connection. Shot in an unobtrusive, handheld style, Short Term 12 is raw, sincere, and, at times, unexpectedly funny, with terrific performances at every level.

Awards

Grand Jury Award SXSW, Best Actress Locarno Film Festival

Oct
13
Sun
It’s Such a Beautiful Day @ ECHO
Oct 13 @ 11:00 am
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
USA | 2013 | Fiction | Animation
Run Time: 62 minutes
Film source: Filmmaker 

It's Such a Beautiful Day

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Cult animator and Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt has seamlessly combined his three short films about a troubled man named Bill (Everything will be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011), into a darkly comedic, beautiful new feature film, captured entirely in-camera on an antique 35mm animation stand. Built in the 1940s, it is one of the last surviving cameras of its kind still operating in America, and was indispensable in the creation of the films’ unique visual effects and experimental images. “The film turns into an astonishing epic of the human experience with mortality and the frailty of the flesh, rendered in the combination of Hertzfeldt’s primitive stick figures, flashes of real-world pictures and a jaw-dropping sound design” - Scott Renshaw, SLC Weekly

Frances Ha @ Film House
Oct 13 @ 8:30 pm

Director: Noah Baumbach
USA | 2013 | Fiction
Run Time: 86 minutes
Film source: IFC Films

Frances Ha

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Buoyed up by a charming, winning performance by Greta Gerwig (who co-wrote the script), Frances Ha unfolds as a witty, enjoyable series of snapshots of the life of the title character, a young woman adrift in Manhattan. Though she’s funny, charming, and great fun to get drunk with, Frances can’t quite get her act together. But, unlike director Noah Baumbach’s previous, rather more serious films, The Squid and the Whale and Greenberg (also starring Gerwig), Frances Ha takes a lighter, even comical look at young, urban driftlessness, without ever glorifying it. Shot in black and white and set chiefly in New York City, Frances Ha’s tip of the hat to Woody Allen’s Manhattan suggests that the film is as much about that dynamic city as it is about its loose-knit story. More prominent an influence is that of the French New Wave, which crops up in the film’s use of music by Georges Delerue, the charming purposelessness of the main characters, the cinematography, and even offhand references to Jean-Pierre Léaud and François Truffaut’s Small Change. Baumbach’s film boldly asks viewers to consider it within the contexts of film history, yet remains a charming, modern-day, urban fable, with which we can all identify.

Oct
14
Mon
King Curling (King Curling) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 14 @ 6:00 pm
Director: Ole Endresen
Norway | 2013 | Fiction | Norwegian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 90 minutes
Film source: Films Boutique
Sponsors: Eyes On The World

King Curling (King Curling)

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King Curling is nothing less than The Big Lebowski of curling movies. If that’s not enough to intrigue you, consider that it’s also full of deadpan humor, pill-popping weirdos, and heavyset, gaudily attired Norwegians with emotional problems. A riot of color, comedy, and, yes, curling, King Curling slots itself neatly into the tradition of sports comedies about ne’er-do-well misfits (The Bad News Bears and Kingpin come to mind) who band together – in as awkward and bizarre a manner as possible – to win The Big Game. In this case, that game is the championship of curling, a sport often mocked tepidly in late-night monologues around Winter Olympics time, but the film, as a kind of bonus feature, reveals it to be more complex and entertaining than it appears. The inherent ridiculousness of the sport – ice brooms, really? – rests knowingly at the heart of this fun, outsized comedy that will have you laughing out loud and rooting for the underdog misfit loser oddball emotionally maladjusted gang of bizarro curlers.

Almayer’s Folley (La Folie Almayer) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 14 @ 8:00 pm

Director: Chantal Akerman
France | 2013 | Fiction | French & Khmer w/ English subtitles
Run Time: 127 minutes
Film source: New Yorker Films

Almayer's Folly

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La Folie Almayer (Almayer’s Folly)

As mysterious and dark as the Joseph Conrad novel from which it is freely adapted, acclaimed director Chantal Akerman’s latest film digs into the racial and sexual underpinnings of European colonialism. Told in oblique, introspective vignettes, La Folie Almayer follows the misguided exploits of Kaspar Almayer as he searches in vain for treasure in the Malaysian jungle, and labors ineffectually to safeguard his mixed-race daughter, Nina, the object of fascination of nearly every male character in the film. The film is lush and beautiful, with unforgettably odd and lovely images of decaying jungles, neon-lit karaoke clubs, and bizarre, floating temples. Akerman’s characteristic long takes encourage both contemplation and wonderment. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, La Folie Almayer is a puzzling and rewarding film that plunges into Conrad’s heart of darkness and brings the viewer along for the enigmatic ride.

About the Director: One of the boldest cinematic visionaries of the past quarter century, Akerman takes a profoundly personal and aesthetically idiosyncratic approach to cinema, using it to investigate geography and identity, space and time, sexuality and religion. Influenced by the structural cinema she was exposed to when she came to New York from her native Belgium in 1970, Akerman made her mark in the decade that followed, playing with long takes and formal repetition in her films, which include Hotel Monterey (1972), Je tu il elle (1975), News from Home (1976) and Les Rendez-vous d’Anna (1978). Her greatest achievement to date, however, is her epic 1975 experiment Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a hypnotic study of a middle-aged widow’s stifling routine widely considered one of the great feminist films.

Oct
15
Tue
A Hijacking @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 15 @ 6:00 pm

Director: Tobias Lindholm
Denmark | 2013 | Fiction | Various languages/subtitled when not English
Run Time: 99 minutes
Film source: Magnolia Pictures

A Hijacking

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Absolutely gripping from start to finish, A Hijacking eschews the action-packed histrionics one might expect from a Hollywood film with a similar premise, extracting incredible tension from the interpersonal relationships that underpin an international hijacking crisis. A Danish commercial ship is overtaken by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, plunging into turmoil the lives of hostages, families, negotiators, and even those of the pirates themselves. The film’s great strength is in its highly subtle insights into the lives and behaviors of everyone involved in an incredibly delicate situation. Some of the film’s most touching and realistic scenes are those of the interactions between the captors and the hostages, who strike up an uneasy, complicated coexistence. A Hijacking is directed with supreme confidence by Tobias Lindholm: the actions he chooses to not present directly on screen carry as much weight as those we do see.

Director’s statement: Director’s Statement: Before I was born my father was a seaman, but he never spoke to me about it. Maybe that is why the sea has always been on my mind. With the hijackings of the Danish-owned freighters DANICA WHITE and CEC FUTURE in 2007 and 2008, I became aware of a reality that I did not know existed. A reality where shipping companies are forced to negotiate directly with pirates. A reality where pirates earn millions of dollars and a reality where seamen are held hostage for months without any influence on their own fate. I couldn’t make a film about the truth of the hijackings in the Indian Ocean, because I don’t believe that truth exists. But I could make a film about seamen, pirates, CEOs and relatives. Because they do exist. And if A HIJACKING feels like it is about them, then I am very close to my goal.

8 1/2 @ Film House
Oct 15 @ 7:00 pm

Director: Federico Felini
Italy | 1963 | Fiction | Italian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 138 minutes
Sponsor: Movies at Main Street Landing

8 1/2 by Federico Felini

FREE SCREENING
“8 1/2 is one of the undisputed classics of modern international film. Fresh off of the international success of La Dolce Vita, master director Federico Fellini moved into the realm of self-reflexive autobiography with what is widely believed to be his finest and most personal work. Marcello Mastroianni delivers a brilliant performance as Fellini’s alter ego Guido Anselmi, a film director overwhelmed by the large-scale production he has undertaken. He finds himself harangued by producers, his wife, and his mistress while he struggles to find the inspiration to finish his film.”
~ Mariah Riggs, Main Street Landing

Introduced by Mariah Riggs.

In the House @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 15 @ 8:15 pm

Director: François Ozon
France | 2013 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 105 minutes
Film source: Cohen Media Group 

In The House

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Perhaps the most important and daring modern French filmmaker, François Ozon has created, in In the House, another in a series of provocative explorations of sexuality and desire. Claude (Umhauer, in a cryptic performance), a gifted student, impresses his teacher (Luchini) with uncommonly perceptive essays, thus beginning a surprising series of manipulations that reverberate throughout the lives of reader and writer alike. As Claude’s stories – all of which involve his classmate, Rapha, and his “perfect family” – get darker and stranger, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, and Ozon revels in this uncertainty, daring us to do the same. Winner of multiple international awards, this is a deceptively simple film that, once unraveled, becomes more and more challenging; in the end, it does nothing less than call into question the very nature of storytelling itself. The film’s jaw-dropping last shot is at once a summary, a question mark, and a challenge to anyone who thinks they understand the way stories “should” be told.

Oct
16
Wed
Hannah Arendt @ Film House
Oct 16 @ 6:00 pm

Director: Margarethe von Trotte
Germany | 2013 | Fiction | English and German w/English subtitles
Run Time: 113 minutes
Film source: Zeitgeist Films
Sponsor: Institute for Civic Engagement
Q&A with: Sandy Baird 

Hannah Arendt

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A complex and compelling biopic of one of the most original thinkers of the 20th Century, Hannah Arendt delves deeply into the philosophical and personal life of its title character. The film marks the sixth cinematic collaboration between director Margarethe von Trotta, one of the leading figures of the New German Cinema, and star Barbara Sukowa, one of that movements most important performers. Sukowa’s nuanced performance reveals the deeply personal emotions that underpin – sometimes complicatedly – Arendt’s groundbreaking philosophy. Hannah Arendt shuttles back and forth between Arendt’s middle age, when she developed and refined her theory of evil, and her youth, when she studied with Martin Heidegger, whose subsequent affiliation with the Nazi Party caused her to call her own work into question. In its early scenes of Arendt covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker, Von Trotta boldly blends actuality footage of the courtroom proceedings with her film’s “regular” fiction scenes, thereby encouraging the viewer to consider, as Arendt herself did, the links between past and present.

Director’s statement: This is a film that shows Arendt as a person caught between her thoughts and her emotions—one who often has to disentangle her intellect from her feelings. We see her as a passionate thinker and professor; as a woman capable of lifelong friendship—she was hailed as a woman who was a “genius at friendship”—but also as a fighter who courageously defended her ideas and never shied away from any confrontation. But her goal was always to understand. Her signature declaration, “I want to understand,” is the phrase that best describes her.

Tanta Agua (So Much Water) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 16 @ 6:00 pm

Director: Ana Guevara, Leticia Jorge
Uruguay | 2012 | Fiction | Spanish w/English subtitles
Run Time: 96 minutes
Film source: Film Movement

Tanta Agua

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Winner of multiple awards at several international film festivals, Uruguay’s Tanta Agua is the directorial debut of Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romero. Simple in premise but emotionally complex, Tanta Agua (roughly translated, “So Much Water”) takes us along on a “fun” resort vacation as a divorced father (Guzzini) tries to reconnect with his kids, 13-year-old Lucía (Chouza, in a terrific performance) and 10-year-old Federico (Castiglioni). But the constant, torrential rain and the awkwardness between the family members make any sort of reconnection nearly impossible. Rather than play this situation for pathos, Pose and Romero extract from it gentle comedy and true insight into adolescence, especially in the film’s latter half, which focuses on Lucía’s misguided attempts at a summertime fling. Tanta Agua is the exact opposite of heavy-handed, leaving it up to the viewer to process and reflect on its emotional genuineness, and on the kind of uncomfortable family situation with which we can all identify.

Awards

Knight Grand Jury Prize – MIFF; Best First Feature – Guadalajara Film Festival

Byzantium @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 16 @ 8:00 pm
Director: Neil Jordan
Ireland | 2013 | Fiction | English
Run Time: 118 minutes
Film source: IFC Films
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Byzantium

Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan returns to the world of the undead, which he visited to great success with Interview with the Vampire in 1994. His latest, Byzantium, plumbs the sexual and psychological effects of vampirism on two ageless-but-young women whose unhappy craving for blood has rendered them unstuck in time and space. Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Oscar-nominated for Atonement) and Clara (rising star Gemma Arterton), by choice or by fate, must either succumb to their condition or risk their lives by seeking a cure. The world of Byzantium (the title refers to the run-down guesthouse in the faded resort town where Eleanor and Clara hole up) is rain spattered and neon-hued, vibrant in its sordidness and reflective of the characters’ razor’s-edge existence. Moody and bleak, yet shimmeringly beautiful, Byzantium is, on the surface, a vampire film, but, deeper down, a meditation on the ways that one’s choices in the past resonate in and shape the present – often with dire consequences.

Oct
17
Thu
Lunchtime Shorts: Fictions? @ BCA
Oct 17 @ 12:00 pm

4 short fiction films from 4 continents.
Your ticket includes lunch. Come up to the Loraine B Goode room on the 2nd floor of BCA, grab your sandwich and drink, sit down and watch the films.

The Lunchtime Shorts Series is sponsored in part by Middlebury College

Program curated by: Orly Yadin

Cook Book

Directors: Martin Briggs-Watson & Andrew William Robb
USA | 2012 | Fiction | 11 minutes

Cook-Book_12

Shot without dialogue, Cook Book is a short comedy about the hazards of cooking a romantic meal.

La Hija (The Daughter)

Director: Jazmin Rada
Spain, Argentina | 2012 | Fiction | Spanish w/English subtitles | 5 minutes

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Challenging her father’s excuses not to play, Fatima uses her imagination and special balloons.

Meathead

Directors: Sam Holst
New Zealand | 2013 | Fiction | 11 minutes

Meathead

Michael is a seventeen year-old kid who gets a job at the local meat works. The place is challenging and his fellow workers aren’t exactly welcoming of new blood. It soon becomes clear that this day isn’t going to be about just trying to fit in.

The Mass of Men

Director: Jan Bednarz
UK | 2013 | Fiction | 17 minutes

Mass-of-Men-still-4

Inspired by the events surrounding the London Riots in 2011 and the subsequent infamous speech made by Prime Minister David Cameron, The Mass of Men gives harsh insight into the dangers of repression, disillusionment and apathy.

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Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 17 @ 6:00 pm

Director: Barmak Akram
Afghanistan | 2012 | Fiction | Persian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 86 minutes
Film source: Doc & Film International
Sponsor: The Caroline Baird Crichfield Fund

Wajma

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Achingly realistic and immediately affecting, Wajma relates an age-old story through a neotraditionalist lens. It offers a fascinating portrait of conflicting middle class family values in contemporary Afghanistan. The title character (Wajma Behar) is a young Afghan woman with a bright future ahead of her – a future that is immediately called into question when she becomes pregnant before marrying. Her boyfriend, Mustafa (Mustafa Abdulsatar), is charming and loving, but only to a point, and his insensitivity puts Wajma in a dangerous situation. As one character puts it, Afghan society is far too “outdated” to offer any decent options to an unmarried, pregnant woman. Beyond its emotional rawness and fly-on-the-wall cinematography (which deliberately echoes that of many of the films of the Iranian New Wave), Wajma’s major achievement occurs at the narrative level. Two-thirds through the film, the story shifts its focus from Wajma and Mustafa to the young woman’s father, who is faced with a crisis of his own: punish his daughter for shaming his family, or care for the daughter he loves? In presenting multiple sides of a complex issue, Wajma demonstrates its acute sensitivity to the emotional realities of everyday life.


About the Director: Barmak Akram was born in 1966 in Kabul. He received diplomas from three major art schools in France, including the École nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts. Besides directing several short films and documentaries and two full-length features (Kabuli Kid premiered in 2008 at the Venice Film Festival), Akram is also a musician, songwriter, and composer.

The Attack @ Film House
Oct 17 @ 7:30 pm
Director: Ziad Doueiri (read interview)
Lebanon | 2013 | Fiction | Hebrew, Arabic w/English subtitles
Film Source: Cohen Media Group
Sponsor: Barbara McGrew
Also: Film with discussion

The Attack

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This challenging film – a Lebanese-French-Qatari-Belgian coproduction – focuses on the seemingly small, interpersonal questions and connections which, in reality, underpin even the most dramatic political struggles. Set in present-day Israel, The Attack’s title refers not only to the Israel-Palestinian conflict but to a more metaphorical assault on the closest personal relationship of a doctor who, in the aftermath of a terrorist bombing, finds himself at the epicenter of the battle. The Attack, which has won festival awards and attracted great critical praise, asks two simple yet potentially harrowing questions of every one of its viewers: How well do you really know the people you love? And, furthermore, what are the consequences of truly knowing everything about them? The film walks the tightrope that just barely separates not only Arab and Jewish cultures, but love and hate, as well. It is the personalized approach that gives this film its universal focus.

Interview with Director Ziad Doueiri (PDF)

Laurence Anyways @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 17 @ 7:45 pm

Director: Xavier Nolan
Canada | 2013 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 161 minutes
Film source: Breaking Glass Pictures

Laurence Anyways

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Winner of several major festival awards, Laurence Anyways is the third film from Quebeçois enfant terrible Xavier Dolan, whose films I Killed My Mother (2009) and Heartbeats (2010) were both international sensations. Evoking Rainer Werner Fassbinder (via Douglas Sirk), Wong Kar Wai, and Pedro Almodóvar, Dolan, not yet 25, has created a rich brew of daring cinematic accomplishment. A love story rendered impossible by the fluid nature of sexuality and identity, Laurence Anyways takes us through the many-gendered permutations of the romance of Laurence and Frédérique (Suzanne Clément, winner of the Un Certain Regard award for her performance at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival). Laurence, living as a man, reveals to his lover Frédérique that his life has been a lie, and that to be true to himself, he must live as a woman. Unsurprisingly, this revelation changes the nature of the couple’s romance, but not in ways that either of them would ever have expected. Bold, ambitious, and frank, Laurence Anyways is a challenging statement about gender, love, and human nature.

Awards

Best Canadian Feature film; Suzanne Clément – best Actress

Oct
18
Fri
A Hijacking @ ECHO
Oct 18 @ 3:00 pm

Director: Tobias Lindholm
Denmark | 2013 | Fiction | Various languages/subtitled when not English
Run Time: 99 minutes
Film source: Magnolia Pictures

A Hijacking

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Absolutely gripping from start to finish, A Hijacking eschews the action-packed histrionics one might expect from a Hollywood film with a similar premise, extracting incredible tension from the interpersonal relationships that underpin an international hijacking crisis. A Danish commercial ship is overtaken by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, plunging into turmoil the lives of hostages, families, negotiators, and even those of the pirates themselves. The film’s great strength is in its highly subtle insights into the lives and behaviors of everyone involved in an incredibly delicate situation. Some of the film’s most touching and realistic scenes are those of the interactions between the captors and the hostages, who strike up an uneasy, complicated coexistence. A Hijacking is directed with supreme confidence by Tobias Lindholm: the actions he chooses to not present directly on screen carry as much weight as those we do see.

Director’s statement: Director’s Statement: Before I was born my father was a seaman, but he never spoke to me about it. Maybe that is why the sea has always been on my mind. With the hijackings of the Danish-owned freighters DANICA WHITE and CEC FUTURE in 2007 and 2008, I became aware of a reality that I did not know existed. A reality where shipping companies are forced to negotiate directly with pirates. A reality where pirates earn millions of dollars and a reality where seamen are held hostage for months without any influence on their own fate. I couldn’t make a film about the truth of the hijackings in the Indian Ocean, because I don’t believe that truth exists. But I could make a film about seamen, pirates, CEOs and relatives. Because they do exist. And if A HIJACKING feels like it is about them, then I am very close to my goal.

King Curling (King Curling) @ Film House
Oct 18 @ 3:00 pm

Director: Ole Endresen
Norway | 2013 | Fiction | Norwegian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 90 minutes
Film source: Films Boutique
Sponsors: Eyes On The World 

King Curling (King Curling)

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King Curling is nothing less than The Big Lebowski of curling movies. If that’s not enough to intrigue you, consider that it’s also full of deadpan humor, pill-popping weirdos, and heavyset, gaudily attired Norwegians with emotional problems. A riot of color, comedy, and, yes, curling, King Curling slots itself neatly into the tradition of sports comedies about ne’er-do-well misfits (The Bad News Bears and Kingpin come to mind) who band together – in as awkward and bizarre a manner as possible – to win The Big Game. In this case, that game is the championship of curling, a sport often mocked tepidly in late-night monologues around Winter Olympics time, but the film, as a kind of bonus feature, reveals it to be more complex and entertaining than it appears. The inherent ridiculousness of the sport – ice brooms, really? – rests knowingly at the heart of this fun, outsized comedy that will have you laughing out loud and rooting for the underdog misfit loser oddball emotionally maladjusted gang of bizarro curlers.

Almayer’s Folley (La Folie Almayer) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 18 @ 3:15 pm

Director: Chantal Akerman
France | 2013 | Fiction | French & Khmer w/ English subtitles
Run Time: 127 minutes
Film source: New Yorker Films

Almayer's Folly

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La Folie Almayer (Almayer’s Folly)

As mysterious and dark as the Joseph Conrad novel from which it is freely adapted, acclaimed director Chantal Akerman’s latest film digs into the racial and sexual underpinnings of European colonialism. Told in oblique, introspective vignettes, La Folie Almayer follows the misguided exploits of Kaspar Almayer as he searches in vain for treasure in the Malaysian jungle, and labors ineffectually to safeguard his mixed-race daughter, Nina, the object of fascination of nearly every male character in the film. The film is lush and beautiful, with unforgettably odd and lovely images of decaying jungles, neon-lit karaoke clubs, and bizarre, floating temples. Akerman’s characteristic long takes encourage both contemplation and wonderment. Acclaimed by critics worldwide, La Folie Almayer is a puzzling and rewarding film that plunges into Conrad’s heart of darkness and brings the viewer along for the enigmatic ride.

About the Director: One of the boldest cinematic visionaries of the past quarter century, Akerman takes a profoundly personal and aesthetically idiosyncratic approach to cinema, using it to investigate geography and identity, space and time, sexuality and religion. Influenced by the structural cinema she was exposed to when she came to New York from her native Belgium in 1970, Akerman made her mark in the decade that followed, playing with long takes and formal repetition in her films, which include Hotel Monterey (1972), Je tu il elle (1975), News from Home (1976) and Les rendez-vous d’Anna (1978). Her greatest achievement to date, however, is her epic 1975 experiment Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, a hypnotic study of a middle-aged widow’s stifling routine widely considered one of the great feminist films.

Byzantium @ ECHO
Oct 18 @ 6:00 pm
Director: Neil Jordan
Ireland | 2013 | Fiction | English
Run Time: 118 minutes
Film source: IFC Films
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Byzantium

Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan returns to the world of the undead, which he visited to great success with Interview with the Vampire in 1994. His latest, Byzantium, plumbs the sexual and psychological effects of vampirism on two ageless-but-young women whose unhappy craving for blood has rendered them unstuck in time and space. Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Oscar-nominated for Atonement) and Clara (rising star Gemma Arterton), by choice or by fate, must either succumb to their condition or risk their lives by seeking a cure. The world of Byzantium (the title refers to the run-down guesthouse in the faded resort town where Eleanor and Clara hole up) is rain spattered and neon-hued, vibrant in its sordidness and reflective of the characters’ razor’s-edge existence. Moody and bleak, yet shimmeringly beautiful, Byzantium is, on the surface, a vampire film, but, deeper down, a meditation on the ways that one’s choices in the past resonate in and shape the present – often with dire consequences.

Pyaasa (The Thirsty One) @ Film House
Oct 18 @ 6:00 pm
Directors: Guru Dutt, Abrar Alvi
India | 1957 | Fiction | Hindi w/English subtitles
Run Time: 146 minutes
Film source: Gala Global
Sponsor: VT Council on World Affairs
Introduction by: Ken Wade

Pyaasa (The Thirty One)

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VTIFF is delighted to present Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa as a tribute to mark the 100th anniversary of Indian cinema. Pyaasa, a film found in both Time magazine’s and Sight & Sound’s 100 best movie lists – uses two familiar tropes – that of the starving-struggling artist and that of the prostitute with a heart of gold. Yet, both these narrative devices are reworked so thoroughly that the film ultimately becomes a statement about the poverty of thought and the hypocrisy of a crassly materialist society. Several film scholars consider Guru Dutt as India’s Orson Welles, producing, directing and starring in his own films. His use of chiaruscaro and acute close-up in Pyaasa were very innovative and avant garde for his time. Almost all scenes are shot either in tight, enclosed spaces, or through doorways and windows and framed by gates, arches, pillars and columns. This gives a sense of claustrophobia and constriction and symbolizes the constraints faced by the protagonist. Like most Bollywoood films, Pyaasa is full of memorable songs. But unlike most mainstream directors, Dutt integrates the songs into his narrative. To maintain realism, some songs are part of fantasy (or phantasmatic) sequences or expressions of characters’ emotions; other songs are filmed as poetry readings. Pyaasa was a huge box-office hit when it was released achieving a rare balance between personal artistic aspirations and commercial concerns.

Escape From Tomorrow @ Film House
Oct 18 @ 9:30 pm

Director: Randy Moore
USA | 2013 | Fiction
Run Time: 89 minutes
Film source: PDA  Special Note: New England premiere
Sponsor: Main Street Landing & Burlington Film Society

Escape From Tomorrow

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Randy Moore’s directorial debut ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW is a bold and ingenious trip into the “happiest place on earth”, and one of the most provocative films to premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Drew McWeeny from Hitfix called it a “surrealist treat” adding “it is not possible this film exists.” An epic battle begins when a middle-aged American husband and father of two learns that he has lost his job. Keeping the news from his nagging wife and wound-up children, he packs up the family and embarks on a full day of park hopping amid enchanted castles and fairytale princesses. Soon, the manufactured mirth of the fantasy land around him begins to haunt his subconscious. An idyllic family vacation quickly unravels into a surrealist and darkly comic nightmare of paranoid visions, bizarre encounters, and an obsessive pursuit of a pair of sexy teenage Parisians. Chillingly shot in black and white, ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW dissects the mythology of artificial perfection while subversively attacking our culture’s obsession with mass entertainment

Night of the Living Dead @ Film House
Oct 18 @ 11:30 pm
Director: George Romero
USA | 1968 | Fiction
Presented by : Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: a ticket to this film gets you free entry to the screening (8:00pm, BB): Birth of the Living Dead
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Night Of The Living Dead

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The quintessential zombie movie, George A. Romero’s first film gave rise to myriad imitators, sequels, and remakes, and reanimated the horror genre. The 28-year-old Romero employed unpolished sound, harsh lighting, hand-held cameras, and non-professional actors, which gave the film a documentary feel, making the terror more realistic. With no budget for complicated dolly-track shots, Romero conveyed movement through editing—via the rapid succession of static shots. One of the key innovations of the film, and a key factor in the film’s realism, is the relocation of the monsters from some far-off land right into middle-American backyards. The monsters are now everyday people and the film’s protagonists can’t escape back into the “normal” world. Released at a time when disillusionment was running rampant in the country—spurred by the Vietnam War and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK—Americans identified with the film’s most shocking suggestion: death is random. No one dies for the greater good. Instead, people die to feed faceless, ordinary America. A metaphor for societal anxiety, the sight of America literally devouring itself and the representation of the desecration of the wholesome American family were “reflections of social hysteria” (J. Hoberman) and served as a release for the country’s repressed trauma.

Oct
19
Sat
It’s Such a Beautiful Day @ ECHO
Oct 19 @ 11:00 am
Director: Don Hertzfeldt
USA | 2013 | Fiction | Animation
Run Time: 62 minutes
Film source: Filmmaker 

It's Such a Beautiful Day

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Cult animator and Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt has seamlessly combined his three short films about a troubled man named Bill (Everything will be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011), into a darkly comedic, beautiful new feature film, captured entirely in-camera on an antique 35mm animation stand. Built in the 1940s, it is one of the last surviving cameras of its kind still operating in America, and was indispensable in the creation of the films’ unique visual effects and experimental images. “The film turns into an astonishing epic of the human experience with mortality and the frailty of the flesh, rendered in the combination of Hertzfeldt’s primitive stick figures, flashes of real-world pictures and a jaw-dropping sound design” - Scott Renshaw, SLC Weekly

Laurence Anyways @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 19 @ 12:00 pm

Director: Xavier Nolan
Canada | 2013 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 161 minutes
Film source: Breaking Glass Pictures

Laurence Anyways

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Winner of several major festival awards, Laurence Anyways is the third film from Quebeçois enfant terrible Xavier Dolan, whose films I Killed My Mother (2009) and Heartbeats (2010) were both international sensations. Evoking Rainer Werner Fassbinder (via Douglas Sirk), Wong Kar Wai, and Pedro Almodóvar, Dolan, not yet 25, has created a rich brew of daring cinematic accomplishment. A love story rendered impossible by the fluid nature of sexuality and identity, Laurence Anyways takes us through the many-gendered permutations of the romance of Laurence and Frédérique (Suzanne Clément, winner of the Un Certain Regard award for her performance at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival). Laurence, living as a man, reveals to his lover Frédérique that his life has been a lie, and that to be true to himself, he must live as a woman. Unsurprisingly, this revelation changes the nature of the couple’s romance, but not in ways that either of them would ever have expected. Bold, ambitious, and frank, Laurence Anyways is a challenging statement about gender, love, and human nature.

Awards

Best Canadian Feature film; Suzanne Clément – best Actress

Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 19 @ 3:15 pm
Director: Barmak Akram
Afghanistan | 2012 | Fiction | Persian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 86 minutes
Film source: Doc & Film International
Sponsor: The Caroline Baird Crichfield Fund 

Wajma

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Achingly realistic and immediately affecting, Wajma relates an age-old story through a neotraditionalist lens. It offers a fascinating portrait of conflicting middle class family values in contemporary Afghanistan. The title character (Wajma Behar) is a young Afghan woman with a bright future ahead of her – a future that is immediately called into question when she becomes pregnant before marrying. Her boyfriend, Mustafa (Mustafa Abdulsatar), is charming and loving, but only to a point, and his insensitivity puts Wajma in a dangerous situation. As one character puts it, Afghan society is far too “outdated” to offer any decent options to an unmarried, pregnant woman. Beyond its emotional rawness and fly-on-the-wall cinematography (which deliberately echoes that of many of the films of the Iranian New Wave), Wajma’s major achievement occurs at the narrative level. Two-thirds through the film, the story shifts its focus from Wajma and Mustafa to the young woman’s father, who is faced with a crisis of his own: punish his daughter for shaming his family, or care for the daughter he loves? In presenting multiple sides of a complex issue, Wajma demonstrates its acute sensitivity to the emotional realities of everyday life.


About the Director: Barmak Akram was born in 1966 in Kabul. He received diplomas from three major art schools in France, including the École nationale supérieure des Beaux Arts. Besides directing several short films and documentaries and two full-length features (Kabuli Kid premiered in 2008 at the Venice Film Festival), Akram is also a musician, songwriter, and composer.

Short Term 12 @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 19 @ 5:15 pm

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
USA | 2012 | Fiction
Run Time: 96 minutes
Film source: Cinedigm
Sponsor: Lorna-Kay Peal & Michael Smolin

Short Term 12

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Winner of both the Grand Jury Narrative Feature and the Narrative Audience Award at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, Short Term 12 is moving, honest, and emotionally revelatory. Focusing on the residents and caretakers at a residential foster care center for at-risk teenagers, Short Term 12 explores the difficult and extremely human realities of what it means to take care of another person. The story is told largely through the eyes of Grace (rising star Brie Larson, who won Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival for her performance), the facility’s supervisor, as she tries to find ways to deal with her own life as well as those of the residents. Grace is put to the test with the arrival of Jayden, a troubled new arrival with whom she finds a special connection. Shot in an unobtrusive, handheld style, Short Term 12 is raw, sincere, and, at times, unexpectedly funny, with terrific performances at every level.

Awards

Grand Jury Award SXSW, Best Actress Locarno Film Festival

In the House @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 19 @ 7:30 pm

Director: François Ozon
France | 2013 | Fiction | French w/English subtitles
Run Time: 105 minutes
Film source: Cohen Media Group 

In The House

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Perhaps the most important and daring modern French filmmaker, François Ozon has created, in In the House, another in a series of provocative explorations of sexuality and desire. Claude (Umhauer, in a cryptic performance), a gifted student, impresses his teacher (Luchini) with uncommonly perceptive essays, thus beginning a surprising series of manipulations that reverberate throughout the lives of reader and writer alike. As Claude’s stories – all of which involve his classmate, Rapha, and his “perfect family” – get darker and stranger, it becomes increasingly difficult to separate fact from fiction, and Ozon revels in this uncertainty, daring us to do the same. Winner of multiple international awards, this is a deceptively simple film that, once unraveled, becomes more and more challenging; in the end, it does nothing less than call into question the very nature of storytelling itself. The film’s jaw-dropping last shot is at once a summary, a question mark, and a challenge to anyone who thinks they understand the way stories “should” be told.

Oct
20
Sun
Hannah Arendt @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 20 @ 1:30 pm

Director: Margarethe von Trotte
Germany | 2013 | Fiction | English and German w/English subtitles
Run Time: 113 minutes
Film source: Zeitgeist Films
Sponsor: Institute for Civic Engagement

Hannah Arendt

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A complex and compelling biopic of one of the most original thinkers of the 20th Century, Hannah Arendt delves deeply into the philosophical and personal life of its title character. The film marks the sixth cinematic collaboration between director Margarethe von Trotta, one of the leading figures of the New German Cinema, and star Barbara Sukowa, one of that movements most important performers. Sukowa’s nuanced performance reveals the deeply personal emotions that underpin – sometimes complicatedly – Arendt’s groundbreaking philosophy. Hannah Arendt shuttles back and forth between Arendt’s middle age, when she developed and refined her theory of evil, and her youth, when she studied with Martin Heidegger, whose subsequent affiliation with the Nazi Party caused her to call her own work into question. In its early scenes of Arendt covering the trial of Adolf Eichmann for The New Yorker, Von Trotta boldly blends actuality footage of the courtroom proceedings with her film’s “regular” fiction scenes, thereby encouraging the viewer to consider, as Arendt herself did, the links between past and present.

Director’s statement: This is a film that shows Arendt as a person caught between her thoughts and her emotions—one who often has to disentangle her intellect from her feelings. We see her as a passionate thinker and professor; as a woman capable of lifelong friendship—she was hailed as a woman who was a “genius at friendship”—but also as a fighter who courageously defended her ideas and never shied away from any confrontation. But her goal was always to understand. Her signature declaration, “I want to understand,” is the phrase that best describes her.

Frances Ha @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 20 @ 4:00 pm

Director: Noah Baumbach
USA | 2013 | Fiction
Run Time: 86 minutes
Film source: IFC Films

Frances Ha

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Buoyed up by a charming, winning performance by Greta Gerwig (who co-wrote the script), Frances Ha unfolds as a witty, enjoyable series of snapshots of the life of the title character, a young woman adrift in Manhattan. Though she’s funny, charming, and great fun to get drunk with, Frances can’t quite get her act together. But, unlike director Noah Baumbach’s previous, rather more serious films, The Squid and the Whale and Greenberg (also starring Gerwig), Frances Ha takes a lighter, even comical look at young, urban driftlessness, without ever glorifying it. Shot in black and white and set chiefly in New York City, Frances Ha’s tip of the hat to Woody Allen’s Manhattan suggests that the film is as much about that dynamic city as it is about its loose-knit story. More prominent an influence is that of the French New Wave, which crops up in the film’s use of music by Georges Delerue, the charming purposelessness of the main characters, the cinematography, and even offhand references to Jean-Pierre Léaud and François Truffaut’s Small Change. Baumbach’s film boldly asks viewers to consider it within the contexts of film history, yet remains a charming, modern-day, urban fable, with which we can all identify.