Calendar

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
Act of Killing @ Film House
Oct 14 @ 7:30 pm

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Denmark/Norway/UK | 2013 | Documentary | Indonesian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 120 minutes
Film source: Drafthouse Films
Sponsors: Planet Hardwood & Burlington College

Act of Killing

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You have never seen a film like this one. Director Joshua Oppenheimer interviews the leaders of Indonesian death squads, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of millions of Communists, leftists and ethnic Chinese in 1965 and 1966. But he doesn’t just interview them. As the ambiguous title of the film suggests, he lets them re-enact their crimes and even invites them to write, perform and film skits dramatizing their murders in the style of the American movies they love. This film is about the power of moviemaking and storytelling, sometimes cathartic, sometimes destructive, always illuminating. And, incredibly, you will also find yourself laughing occasionally.

Q&A with director via skype.
Director’s statement:
 The film is fundamentally about how we as human beings use storytelling to create our reality, to justify our actions, and to cope, or to escape from even our most bitter and painful truths. We can commit any kind of crime if we have a story to justify it.

AWARDS

Audience Award – Berlin Film Festival

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.

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.

Oct
17
Thu
Act of Killing @ ECHO
Oct 17 @ 1:00 pm

Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Denmark/Norway/UK | 2013 | Documentary | Indonesian w/English subtitles
Run Time: 120 minutes
Film source: Drafthouse Films
Sponsors: Planet Hardwood & Burlington College

Act of Killing

GET TICKETS
You have never seen a film like this one. Director Joshua Oppenheimer interviews the leaders of Indonesian death squads, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of millions of Communists, leftists and ethnic Chinese in 1965 and 1966. But he doesn’t just interview them. As the ambiguous title of the film suggests, he lets them re-enact their crimes and even invites them to write, perform and film skits dramatizing their murders in the style of the American movies they love. This film is about the power of moviemaking and storytelling, sometimes cathartic, sometimes destructive, always illuminating. And, incredibly, you will also find yourself laughing occasionally.

Director’s statement: The film is fundamentally about how we as human beings use storytelling to create our reality, to justify our actions, and to cope, or to escape from even our most bitter and painful truths. We can commit any kind of crime if we have a story to justify it.

AWARDS

Audience Award – Berlin Film Festival

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.

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

GET TICKETS
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.

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

GET TICKETS

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.

Birth of the Living Dead @ Black Box Theatre
Oct 18 @ 8:00 pm
Director: Rob Kuhns
USA | 2013 | Documentary | English
Run Time: 60 minutes
Film source: First Run Features
Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: This is a double bill with the late night screening of Night of the Living Dead (11:30pm, FH)- 1 ticket for both screenings
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Birth of the Living Dead

In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low-budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars. Birth of the Living Dead shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers – policmen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner – to shoot his seminal film. During that process Romero and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undeaded and feasted upon human flesh. The doc also immerses audiences into the singular time in which “Night” was shot – footage of the horrors of Vietnam and racial violence combined with iconic 1960s music puts the film in context.

 

Radio Unnameable @ ECHO
Oct 18 @ 8:30 pm
Directors: Paul Lovelace & Jessica Wolfson
USA | 2012 | Documentary
Run Time: 87 minutes
Film source: Kino Lorber
Note: This film has been specially selected by  Green Valley Media
Bob Fass will attend the screening and the post-screening Q&A

Radio-Unnameable

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Legendary New York disc jockey Bob Fass revolutionized late night FM radio by serving as a cultural hub for music, politics and audience participation for nearly 50 years. Long before today’s innovations in social media, Fass utilized the airwaves for mobilization, encouraging luminaries and ordinary listeners to talk openly, taking the program in surprising directions. Radio Unnameable is a visual and aural collage that pulls from Bob Fass’s immense archive of audio, film, photographs, and video that has been sitting dormant until now.
With archival audio and visual appearances by: Bob Dylan, Shirley Clarke, Jose Feliciano Kinky Friedman, Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman, Herbert Hunke, The Incredible String Band, Carly Simon, Dave Van Ronk, Holly Woodlawn, Karen Dalton.

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

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

The End of Time @ ECHO
Oct 19 @ 12:30 pm
Director: Peter Mettler
Canada | Experimental
Run Time: 114 minutes
Film source: First Run Features

The End of Time

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Canadian-Swiss filmmaker and photographer Peter Mettler’s stunning and provocative films combine elements of documentary, essay, and experimental cinema. The End of Time is a peripatetic exploration that challenges our conception of time, and perhaps the very fabric of our existence. With brilliant photography and a knack for capturing astonishing moments, The End of Time journeys from the CERN particle accelerator near Geneva to the lava flows in Hawaii that have overtaken all but one home on the south side of the Big Island; from the disintegration of inner-city Detroit to a Hindu funeral rite near the place of Buddha’s enlightenment to a transcendent final section that simply must be seen on the big screen.” Imagine Science Film Festival. Mettler is in the forefront of a new genre that involves mixing images much the way deejays mix sounds and beats, dissolving multiple frames to create fresh, unified designs; but in his case, it is with the purpose of asking big questions and making connections between the infinitesimally small and imponderably vast.

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

GET TICKETS
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.

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

GET TICKETS
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.