Here's what's playing at Cinema 10 this spring. We'll see you at the Roxy Theater (20 Main Street, Potsdam; 315-265-9630) on Mondays at 7:15 pm.

February
9    The Lunchbox   (2013, India/France/Germany/USA, d. Ritesh Batra)          
Start with a young wife (Nimrat Kaur) whose husband seems to prefer his cell phone to her, add a lonely, cynical government claims worker nearing retirement (Irrfan Khan of Life of Pi), and then add Mumbai’s legendary lunchbox delivery system, reputed never to make a mistake—and, finally, for seasoning, throw in a delivery mixup. In writer-director Ritesh Batra’s feature debut, the wife, advised by a friend, prepares her husband’s lunch with spices calculated to reignite his passion; the box is delivered to the wrong man at work, and the two begin a correspondence by lunchbox that shapes the rest of the film. Ty Burr of The Boston Globe calls it “the kind of character-rich heart-tugger they used to make in Hollywood and apparently now outsource to India.” 
(104 min; PG; thematic material, smoking)
 
16    Dear White People  (2014, USA, d. Justin Simien)
Justin Simein’s debut film, a sharp satire on race relations, won the 2014 Sundance Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent. When mixed-race activist Sam White, host of a controversial campus radio show called “Dear White People” and newly elected head of a traditionally-black residence hall, tries to prevent its diversification, and the college humor magazine hosts a Halloween party with an “Unleash Your Inner Negro” theme, mayhem ensues.  The New York Times’ A. O. Scott comments, “Seeming to draw equal measures of inspiration from Whit Stillman and Spike Lee, Mr. Simein evokes familiar campus stereotypes only to smash them and rearrange the pieces." (108 min; R; language, sexual content, drug use, nudity)

23    Citizenfour  (2014, USA, d. Laura Poitras) 
In 2013, filmmaker Laura Poitras was making a film about national security abuses when she began receiving encrypted messages from Edward Snowden, calling himself “Citizen Four.” He wanted to reveal what he knew about NSA and other agencies’ covert surveillance programs. Poitras and investigative reporter Glenn Greenwald went to Hong Kong for a series of meetings with Snowden to hear his story and make this award-winning documentary. The Washington Post’s Ann Hornaday says “'Citizenfour isn’t just a useful primer in the civil liberties and consent issues [Snowden’s] disclosures raised. It humanizes a man who almost immediately became controversialized as a naïve, self-important desk jockey or, worse, a handmaiden to terrorists everywhere.” (114 min; R; language)

March
9    The Skeleton Twins  (2014, USA, d. Craig Johnson)
When a pair of estranged twins unsuccessfully attempt suicide on the same day, the trauma drives them together, albeit reluctantly. Starring SNL alums Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, The Skeleton Twins has already received nearly universal acclaim and has garnered the Sundance Film Festival's award for best screenwriting. Although the dark subject matter might not always pair well with such comedic pros, this poignant piece has been called "warm, funny, heartfelt and even uplifting" (David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter) (93 min; R; language, some sexuality, drug use)

16   Rosewater  (2014, USA. d. Jon Stewart)
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with a dramatic take on the true story of Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari. When Bahari gave an interview for a seemingly throwaway bit on Stewart's show in 2009, Iranian forces used the footage as evidence of his communication with an American spy. Based on the memoir, Then They Came for Me, Rosewater follows Bahari's 118 day captivity and brutal torture at the hands of captors he never gets to glimpse. Stewart's directorial skills are already being hailed as of a veteran quality, and the film itself, while sometimes difficult to watch, "is also suffused with hope and even joy." (PopMatters) (103 min; R; language, gun violence, beatings)

23    Tale of The Princess Kaguya/Kaguyahime no monogatan  (2013, Japan, d. Isao Takahata)
Inspired by Eastern brush painting and based on one of most ancient of Japanese folk tales, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya tells the story of a magical girl found by a peasant in a shining bamboo shoot. As she grows, she becomes strikingly beautiful—and surprisingly independent for a 10th century character. Isao Takahata, who directed Grave of the Fireflies and co-founded Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki, weaves a tale of diaphanously subtle animation that unfolds like the scroll the Princess studies as a child; and, like those in the scroll, Takahata’s images are hand drawn. Maggie Lee of Variety calls the film “a visionary tour de force, morphing from a childlike gambol into a sophisticated allegory on the folly of materialism and the evanescence of beauty.” (137 min; PG; thematic elements, some violent action and partial nudity)

30    Whiplash   (2014, USA, d. Damien Chazelle)
Whiplash is a tale as entrenched in passion as it is in obsession. When Andrew Neyman enrolls at a cutthroat music conservatory, he aspires to rise to the top of his class—only to be beaten, abused, and terrified by a professor who will accept nothing short of greatness from the protege drummer. The film is "full of bravado and swagger," and is "informed by great performances" (James Rocchi, Indiewire), which has resulted in a Best Supporting Actor nod for J.K. Simmons, in addition to four other Academy Award nominations, as well as top prizes at Sundance. (105 min; R; language)
 

April

13    Two Days, One Night/Deux jours, une nuit  (2014, Belgium/Italy/France, d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne)
“The worker has become a solitary person, the member of a species on the road to extinction,” co-director Luc Dardenne writes. Sandra Bya (Marion Cotillard) returns to work after a medical leave to find that management has given her co-workers a choice: let her keep her job or receive a bonus of 1,000 euros each if they add her duties to their own. On Monday morning, the 16 members of Sandra’s team will vote on her fate, and she has the weekend to persuade them—face to face—to sacrifice their interests for her well-being. A.O. Scott of The New York Times describes Sandra’s quest: “For her and for us, the repetitiveness of these encounters is grueling and uncomfortable, but it is also crucial to the film’s emotional power. As Jean-Pierre [Dardenne] put it: ‘Each one is as important as Sandra. There are no secondary roles.’” (95 min; PG-13; mature thematic elements)

20    Pride  (2014, UK, d. Matthew Warchus)
Set in 1984, Pride documents an unprecedented alliance between gays and lesbians in London and a group of Welsh coal miners. Early in the film, we see a TV clip of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, smiling into the camera and vowing to crush the National Union of Mineworkers. At a gay pride march, Mark Ashton (Ben Schnetzer) begins recruiting friends to raise money for the strike, arguing that both groups are targets of repression by Thatcher’s government, the police and the media. What they collect, they then deliver to the miners. “The Londoners are smart, self-deprecating, ironic, and sometimes furious about their own wounds; the miners and their wives and widows can be hearty, even cheery, but, just below the surface, they carry a lifelong bitterness,” David Denby writes in The New Yorker. “The two groups are fused by anger, though divided by virtually everything else.” (120 min; R; language, brief sexual content)

27    Force Majeure/Turist  (2014, Sweden/France/Norway, d. Ruben Östlund)
Ruben Östlund’s unsettling psychological thriller opens with an affluent, seemingly perfect Swedish family vacationing at a posh ski resort. When a sudden avalanche threatens the gathered spectators, the mother gathers her children to try to save them, calling for the father, who has already fled the scene—alone. The avalanche—terrifyingly photographed—suddenly changes course, and all is well. Or maybe not. As the vacation continues, each person explores issues of anger, guilt and gender roles. Östlund’s question for us: What would you have done? “Östlund understands that so much of how we relate to one another is a charade, our roles collectively imposed — and he understands, too, that all it takes is an avalanche for all that order to come crashing down around us,” Calum Marsh writes in The Village Voice. (120 min; R;
language, brief nudity) 



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