8 Grandma (2015, USA, d. Paul Weitz)When seventeen-year-old Slade (Julie Garner) approaches her acerbic grandmother (Lily Tomlin) for money for an abortion, the two take a road trip through California to raise the funds any way they can. Mirror critic David Edwards says, “ . . . it’s the film’s intelligent and amusing exploration of family rifts and relationships between women that make it a must see.”
(79 min; R for language and drug use)
15 Taxi Tehran (2015, Iran, d. Jafar Panahi)Banned from making movies by the Iranian government, Panahi masquerades as a taxi driver in Tehran, filming his passengers as they speak about what’s on their minds. Inquirer critic Steven Rea says, “ . . . Janfar Panahi’s Taxi looks onto a world where the social order and the spiritual order are at odds, in flux, where the conversations are sometimes comic, sometimes troubled, sometimes profound.”
(82 min; NR; mature subject matter, some blood)
22 Chi-raq (2015, USA, d. Spike Lee)In this adaptation of Aristophanes' antiwar satire, Lysistrata, director Spike Lee takes on gun violence in present-day Chicago. When an eleven-year-old girl is accidentally killed in a drive-by shooting, Lysistrata and other girlfriends of gang members have had enough. They stage a sit-down, pledging, like their Greek sisters, to grant no sex until things change. Lee’s stellar cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Jennifer Hudson, Dave Chappelle, and Teyonah Parris (Dear White People). Critic David Edelstein says the film is "sexy, brash and potent—a powerful weapon in its own right."
(118 min; R for strong sexual content, language, some violence and drug use)
29 Mustang (2015, Turkey/France/Qatar/Germany, d. Deniz Gamze Ergüven)In a village in northern Turkey, five teen-aged sisters are accused of indecent behavior for playing with some boys on their way home from school. This accusation results in home confinement, arranged marriages and other constraints which the sisters try to circumvent. Farran Smith Nehme (The New York Post) called Mustang “a gripping mix of comedy, tragedy, political anger and, despite everything, hope.”
(97 min; PG-13 for mature themes, sexual content, a rude gesture)
14 Tangerine (2015, USA, d. Sean Baker)Tangerine presents a compassionate portrait of life on the L.A. margins in this big-hearted tale of two transgender prostitutes off on a Christmas Eve quest across the city. “Tangerine's a comedy,” writes Stephanie Zacharek in The Village Voice. “But by the end, Baker and his actors have led us to a place beyond comedy—you may still be laughing, but your breath catches a little on the way out.” Justin Chang (Variety) adds, “It’s the bigger-picture compassion, born of an impulse to place the unique struggles of sexual and ethnic minorities in conversation with each other, that elevates Tangerine to a generous and surprisingly hopeful vision of humanity.”
(88 min; R for strong sexual content, nudity, language, drug use)
21 Timbuktu (2014, France/Mauritania. d. Abderrahmane Sissako)Kidane and his family have been spared the ills of terror and conformity imposed by Jihadists in their small patch of land in Timbuktu. But when a dispute over cattle turns deadly, Kidane's life is thrown into upheaval. Timbuktu explores the violent occupation of rebellion-torn Mali in hauntingly beautiful ways. It has been praised for its stunning cinematography, despite the bitter viciousness the characters are forced to endure. Timbuktu is “culturally deep, visually ravishing, utterly heartbreaking work” (Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune).
(97 min: PG-13 for terrible violence, discreetly presented)
28 Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015, USA, d. Marielle Heller)Director Marielle Heller was the hit of the Sundance Film Festival with this frank look at a precocious teen’s emerging sexuality, “a film with the stuff of life coursing through its veins and sex very much on its brain,” notes Todd McCarthy (The Hollywood Reporter). The girl is Minnie, who is 15 and drawing constantly, her comic strips often becoming full-on animation. As Minnie engages in explicit sexual activity and clashes with her hippie mother, “this is the rare movie that realises that individuals are the sum of formative experiences–-some good, some bad, and some productive in their devastation” writes Brian Moylan in The Guardian.
(102 min; R for scenes of sex between a minor and an adult, drug and alcohol use)
4 You're Sleeping Nicole/Tu Dors Nicole (2014, Canada, d. Stéphane Lafleur)Nicole finds herself in a hazy standstill after her brother comes home for the summer to record an album during a heatwave. There's no easy course to follow--especially with no break from the heat, growing insomnia, or a ten year old boy who's head over heels in love with her. Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival put Tu Dors Nicole in their Top Ten list for Canadian Films of 2014. The film treats small town life for twenty-somethings with a delicacy that is mesmerizing without being grandiose. This black and white picture “is funny, heartfelt, and gorgeously shot . . . an excellent film." (Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com).
(93 min; NR; nudity)
18 Finding Fela! (2014, USA, d. Alex Gibney)Dangerous. Visionary. Immortal. Fela Kuti paved the way for a musical and cultural revolution and had no fear of exposing government injustice. Using music as his weapon, Fela broke down barriers and faced the possibility of getting thrown in jail every time a single came out. Finding Fela! uses the man's music as the score for the oral history of one of the most important musical icons of the 70s. Director Alex Gibney builds "a modern myth while simultaneously deconstructing it . . . [with] a great beat you can dance to." (Tim Campbell, Minneapolis Star Tribune).
(119 min; NR;drug use)
25 Only Yesterday/Omohide poro poro (1991, US release 2015, Japan, d. Isao Takahata)Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies; The Tale of Princess Kaguya) brings the clear-eyed grace of his animation to the breathtakingly beautiful and quietly moving tale of a 27-year-old office worker, Taeko, who plans to spend her vacation going home to harvest safflowers and, in the process, finds she has been joined by her fifth grade self. As the two stories of Taeko become intertwined, her adult reflections “are interwoven with childhood flashbacks wrought with heart-catching immediacy: a formative school play, a first crush, a bittersweet meal of pineapple, her relationship with her caring but old-school father,” notes Nicholas Rapold (The New York Times).
(118 min; PG; in Japanese with English subtitles)
Cinema 10 is made possible by
the New York State Council on the Arts,
with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature