Season Archive: Spring 2017
30 Don’t Think Twice (2016, USA, d. Mike Birbiglia)
From the director of the award winning Sleepwalk With Me, comes a film about the true cost of fame. In Don't Think Twice, two members of an improv comedy troupe get a big break to audition for a scripted weekend comedy series, while the others are left behind. New-found success will test friendships and strain lifelong dreams. Writer-director Mike Birbiglia is joined on screen by Gillian Jacobs and Keegan-Michael Key in a film that famed critic Leonard Maltin called Birbiglia's Annie Hall.
(92 min; R, for language, some drug use )
6 Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016, New Zealand, d. Taika Waititi)
In this road comedy/adventure, Ricky, a defiant city kid, gets a new foster family in the New Zealand countryside. A tragedy makes it likely that he will have to go to another foster home, so he goes on the run, followed by his cantankerous foster uncle. A series of adventures and mishaps requires them to adjust their attitudes toward each other, ultimately resulting in what LA Weekly’s April Wolf calls “one of the most sincere and funny portraits of family life to come along in a while.”
(101 min; PG-13, for thematic elements, violent content, language)
13 The Eagle Huntress (2016, UK/Mongolia/USA, d. Otto Bell)
Aisholpan is a thirteen-year- old girl who lives with her nomadic family in Mongolia when she is not attending boarding school, preparing for her future education to become a doctor. A hit at Sundance and Telluride, this documentary follows her in her quest to become the first female eagle hunter in twelve generations. Kate Erbland of IndieWire says the film is “a soaring, sweet documentary that welcomes its audience into an unexpected new arena [. . .] with a leading lady who has something to share with everyone.”
(87 min; G, though several animals are killed and eaten)
20 American Honey (2016, UK/USA, d. Andrea Arnold)
Star, a young girl on the run from a troubled home, takes up with a magazine sales crew that travels across the country selling subscriptions door-to- door. In this coming of age story, replete with drugs, alcohol and sex, and somehow, love, Star comes to understand what is really being sold. Matthew Lukona, of the San Diego Reader, says, “Writer-director Andrea Arnold artfully manages one of the best endings in recent memory.”
(162 min; R, for sexual content, graphic nudity, language, drug/alcohol abuse, all among teenagers)
27 Moonlight (2016, USA, d. Barry Jenkins)
Barry Jenkins’ beautifully nuanced film, winner of the Golden Globe for Best Picture—Drama, takes us into the life of a boy growing from boyhood to manhood in a rundown Miami neighborhood. Critics have universally praised the film for its insightful and complex portrayal of growing up African American and male in the contemporary U.S. “Jenkins’ film is confident in every single aspect of the way that a critic can use that word,” Brian Tallerico, editor of RogerEbert.com, writes. “Every performance, every shot choice, every piece of music, every lived-in setting—it’s one of those rare movies that just doesn’t take a wrong step.”
(111 min; R, for some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, language)
6 Tower (2016, USA, d. Keith Maitland)
A one of a kind documentary blending animation, personal testimony, and archival footage, Tower chronicles the killing of 16 people by Charles Whitman at the University of Texas in August of 1966. The film is both a memorial to the victims and a look at how one heinous act could rock a nation to its core. Hailed as "immersive, immediate, and essential," by SlashFilm, Tower has received nearly universal praise and was awarded the Grand Jury and Audience Prizes at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
(96 min; NR, contains animation of shootings, dead bodies, blood; archival footage of bodies)
13 The Innocents/Les Innocentes (2016, France/Poland, d. Anne Fontaine)
Set in the wake of World War II, Anne Fontaine's The Innocents is a gripping, difficult film that explores the fine line between morality and devotion to God. When the war concludes, a young Red Cross doctor is sent into Poland to help survivors of German death camps, only to discover a convent of pregnant nuns determined to keep their secret from the world. An official selection of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, The Innocents has been hailed for its striking beauty and has been described as a "powerful, brave film that will stay with you for days." (Ellen Brait, Globe and Mail)
(115 min; PG-13, for disturbing thematic material including sexual assault, blood)
3 20th Century Women (2016, USA, d. Mike Mills)
The central consciousness of 20th Century Women is the son of one of them, 15-year-old Jamie, whose coming of age in the summer of 1979 is essentially defined by the women surrounding him. His single mother, Dorothea (Annette Bening), is equally driven by the counterculture and the stock market, “a rigid free spirit, a control freak in Birkenstocks,” Owen Gleiberman (Variety) writes. “1979 was the last moment of calm before the counterrevolution—the takeover of the culture by money fever, fashion, and Reaganite unreality . . . the dawn of the era when both sexes were striking down barriers but, at the same time (and maybe in reaction against that), working their way toward the idea that they really inhabit different planets.”
(118 min; R, for sexual material, language, nudity, brief drug use)
10 The Handmaiden/Ah-ga-ssi (2016, South Korea, d. Chan-wook Park)
The visionary director of the dark and shocking Oldboy brings us another tale of sex and deceit in The Handmaiden. Told from multiple points of view (like a modern Rashomon), the story defies summary: its complex and shifting plot focuses on a Japanese heiress, a petty thief who becomes her handmaiden, and her much-older uncle; beyond that, prepare for tectonic shifts of perspective and character in a story marked by pervasive sexuality. James Beradinelli, Reel/Views calls it "deliciously perverse, delightfully twisty, and unapologetically erotic."
While farm-to-table restaurants, farmer's markets and CSAs are booming and new farmers are celebrated, traditional dairy farmers are often left out of the local food celebration. New England has lost over 10,000 dairy farms in the past 50 years, and fewer than 2,000 farms remain. Through conversations with farmers and policy experts, the film reconsiders the role of these vital but forgotten farmers. Forgotten Farms gives us a glimpse into the past and a vision for a future regional food system, highlighting the need to examine differences, develop mutual understanding, and find common ground. Director Dave Simonds will join us.
(65 min; NR)
***The film will be followed by a Q & A with director and panel***