Fall 2017 Schedule

All films begin at 7:15 pm

9/11   Colossal  (2016, Canada/USA/Spain/South Korea, d. Nacho Vigalondo) 109 min R

In Nacho Vigolando's Colossal, Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed New York City party girl who is forced to move back home. At the same time in Seoul, a giant kaiju monster starts ravaging the city. To Gloria's dismay, she slowly realizes that the destruction of Seoul is somehow connected to her. Sporting an all star cast that also includes Jason Sudeikis and Tim Blake Nelson, Newsday called Colossal "a brilliant concept... with a perfect balance of pop-culture irony and sincere storytelling."   (language, some violence)

9/18  Neither Wolf Nor Dog  (2016, UK/USA, d. Steven Lewis Simpson) 110 min NR

When a Lakota elder calls upon a white author to write his life story, the writer faces a crisis of self worth as he is submerged in the Native American experience and landscape in Neither Wolf Nor Dog. Based upon Kent Nerburn's novel of the same name, the film has long been gestating in Hollywood as one of the "great unmade[s]." Now, director Steven Lewis Simpson brings to life a story that he promised the author he would make by any means necessary. Caroline Grebbell of the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine said that "Neither Wolf Nor Dog... is a funny, deeply moving and extremely important film. This is a beautifully shot, fragile film which avoids cliche and is never patronising." (thematic material)

9/25 Tickling Giants  (2016, USA, d. Sara Taksler)  111 min NR

What would drive a man to leave a career as a successful heart surgeon and become a professional satirist? Tickling Giants is the compelling story of Bassem Youssef, who became one of the most powerful dissenting voices against the oppressive Egyptian regime when he started his political comedy television show in 2011. Youssef and his crew are subjected to threats, protests, and lawsuits by the Egyptian government - but provide a necessary voice for the people, as they garner some 25% of the total population to view each episode. This story of the "Egyptian Jon Stewart" is a reminder that "laughter will always be one of the essential ways to keep power in  check" (Owen Gleiberman, Variety). (thematic material)

10/2  Their Finest (2016, UK/Sweden, d. Lone Scherfig) 117 min R

During the London Blitz, the British Ministry of Information recruits Catrin Cole to contribute “a woman’s touch” to scripts for propaganda films. She sets out to make a film about two women who purportedly piloted a boat during the evacuation of Dunkirk. She teams up with the lead screenwriter and a vain leading man has-been to make a film that will “warm the hearts of a nation.” The trio contends with sexism, jealous relatives and government interference as they work to create something meaningful. Peter Keough of the Boston Globe says, “At its best, which is often, Their Finest manipulates appearance and reality, relief and recognition, with exquisite finesse. As befits a film about making a film.” (language, scene of sexuality)

10/16  I Am Not Your Negro (2016, Switzerland/France/Belgium/USA, d. Raoul Peck) 93 min PG-13     

Samuel L. Jackson narrates this documentary extension of James Baldwin’s unfinished work Remember This House. Baldwin explores the history of racism in the United States through his reminiscences of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, and his own experiences. Writing for the Globe and Mail, Durga Chen-Bose says the film is “an astonishing, often challenging and sharp examination of race in the United States, confronting how the country's history repeats and how Baldwin insisted we must remember, relentlessly question, remain conscientious and resist.” (violent images, thematic material, language, brief nudity)

                                                       *****post film discussion*****                    

10/23    The Salesman / Forushande (2016, Iran/France,  d. Asghar Farhadi)  124 min PG-13

An Iranian couple, Emad and Rana, are actors who are rehearsing Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. When they must leave their collapsing apartment, they rent a new place from a fellow actor. Rana is raped in the apartment, sending Emad on a journey of revenge. Director Farhadi’s Oscar-winning exploration of the dark side of the soul ends “in a knock-out finale that leaves the viewer tense and breathless.” (Deborah Young, Cannes Review). (mature thematic elements, brief bloody image)

10/30   Personal Shopper (2016, France/Germany/Czech Republic, d. Olivier Assayas) 105 min R

Kristen Stewart stars in the inimitable Personal Shopper, a one of a kind ghost story about a grieving woman trying to make contact with her recently deceased twin brother. Stewart works as a personal shopper for a celebrity in Paris, buying clothes and jewelry, all the while waiting for a sign from her brother who died from the same genetic heart problem she has. When her celebrity employer is murdered, her life takes a complicated turn. Receiving awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, Personal Shopper has drawn comparisons to Alfred Hitchcock; the Guardian called the film "uncategorisable yet undeniably terrifying." (language, sexuality, nudity, bloody violent image)

11/6   Last Men In Aleppo / De sidste mænd i Aleppo (2017, Denmark/Syria, d. Firas Fayyad, Kareem Abeed) 110 min  NR

Last Men in Aleppo is the harrowing tale of the White Helmets, a citizens brigade who act as first responders during military strikes in their war torn city. Following three of the group's founders into chaos, this documentary has been praised for its "heart-pounding suspense and improbable beauty," and won the Grand Jury Documentary Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Displaying acts of heroism and the senselessness of war, Last Men in Aleppo "is the best and worst of humanity all in one story." (Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune). (scenes of war including violence against children)

11/13       Band Aid (2017, USA,  d. Zoe Lister-Jones) 91 min NR

Married couple Anna and Ben, who can’t stop fighting, are advised by a therapist to find an unconventional way to handle their problems. With the help of their somewhat eccentric neighbor, Dave, who happens to be a percussionist, they start a band and turn all their arguments into songs.  “A magical, intimately compelling story pulsating with invigorating music and refreshing emotional insights, this is a smart, delicately lissome little drama [. . . ]. A beautiful meditation on romance, marriage and family, this captivating gem is one of the year’s most joyfully electric and cathartically alive achievements, and for Lister-Jones it shows a level of narrative maturation that caught me by surprise” (Sara Michelle Fetters, Movie Freak). (language, nudity)

11/27      Signature Move (2017, USA, d. Jennifer Reeder) 80 min NR

Zaynab is a thirty-something Pakistani Muslim immigration lawyer who shares her Chicago apartment with her newly-widowed, TV addicted mother. While her mother works to find her a husband, Zaynab works through the complexities of her new romance with Alma, an out of the closet bookstore owner whose mother was once a pro-wrestling star. Alex Heeney, in Seventh Row, says, “The film finds its sweet spot in how the pair navigate their relationships with each other and their families, finding common ground as outsiders in American culture." (sexuality)