Weeklong Runs & Special Events
Two Week run!
- IS THE MAN WHO IS
- TALL HAPPY?:
- AN ANIMATED CONVERSATION
- WITH NOAM CHOMSKY
- 2013, Michel Gondry, France, 89 min.
"Entrancing, vibrant...This is a movie that celebrates the life of a great mind."
—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"A documentary-like dazzler...This is a film to see and then see again, to soak in and marvel at."
—Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice
Philosopher, linguist, logician and political activist Noam Chomsky would seem an unlikely subject for an animated film, which is what makes this imaginative and ultimately profound gem such a delightful and thoroughly entertaining surprise. Oscar-winning director Gondry (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND) plays the naïve layman to Chomsky’s erudite but patient professor, posing a series of questions that wander through the labyrinth of ideas and theory, of life, work, love and afterlife, their conversation animated in hand-drawn interpretive doodles which spark with the vitality of colorfully firing synapses. DCP digital. (BS)
- 20 FEET FROM STARDOM
- 2013, Morgan Neville, USA, 91 min.
“Just about everything in this movie is right…it’s 90 minutes of pure satisfaction.”
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Infectious and irresistible…moving and joyous.”
—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Backup singers emerge from the shadows of the stars they support and into the spotlight in this year’s most spellbinding documentary sensation. “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones wouldn’t pack the same punch without the unforgettable wail of Merry Clayton, and stars including Bruce Springsteen, Sting, James Brown, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, and Ray Charles have relied on the powerhouse contributions of unidentified but immensely talented African American female vocalists in the background. Director Neville focuses on the careers of five of these backup artists, revealing their stories, their memorable performances, and the legends they helped create. DCP digital. (BS)
- IN A WORLD…
- 2013, Lake Bell, USA, 93 min.
- With Lake Bell, Fred Melamed
“One of the funniest, smartest and most winning comedies in recent years.”
—Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
“Smart, generous…a perfect blend of diffidence, goofiness and charm.”
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
As writer, director, and star, Lake Bell, previously seen in film and TV supporting roles, vaults into the big time with a madcap tour-de-force comedy that is as subversively feminist as it is funny. In the cutthroat world of Hollywood voiceovers, where women take a backseat to men with deep, authoritative baritones, Carol (Bell), a voice coach and goofball underachiever who still lives at home, challenges the status quo. Going head-to-head with her sexist dad (Melamed), a legend in the biz, and his sleazy protégé (Ken Marino), she stands to snatch the plum gig of narrating the trailer for a studio blockbuster in the making. DCP digital. (BS)
- 2012, Haifaa Al-Mansour, Saudi Arabia, 98 min.
- With Waad Mohammed, Reem Abdullah
“A stunningly assured debut, a slyly subversive delight, and one of my favorite movies of the year so far."
—Dana Stevens, Slate
“A must-see…a groundbreaking film in more ways than one.”
—Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times
This gently rebellious movie has broken down barriers and is winning hearts worldwide, and just may be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. The first-ever film made in Saudi Arabia (a country with no movie theaters), and directed by a woman to boot, WADJDA tells the tale of a spunky ten-year-old girl whose desire for a gleaming green bicycle sparks an entrepreneurial spirit that brings her into conflict with the plethora of rules by which her culture limits women. With everyone in her life telling her no, independent-minded Wadjda is blithely and boldly sly in working the system. In Arabic with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
- WHITE REINDEER
- 2013, Zach Clark, USA, 82 min.
- With Anna Margaret Hollyman, Laura Lemar-Goldsborough
“Among the most striking and original American films to emerge in some time…charts its own strange course toward the sublime.”
—Calum Marsh, Village Voice
“Full of laughs and full of heart…a star-making performance from Hollyman.”
—Ryland Aldrich, Twitch.com
This poignant comedy is subversive to its core, as real estate agent Suzanne (Hollyman), gearing up for her annual fix of holiday cheer, has her ordered life run off the rails by an unexpected stroke of fate. Director Clark (VACATION!) has a knack for the kinky mix of hilarious suburban camp and heart-tugging drama with a startlingly dark underbelly. Suzanne seeks relief from her woes in sex, drugs, binge-shopping, and strangely-motivated friendships with a stripper named Fantasia and the swingers down the block (the husband played with bare-all élan by Chicago’s own Joe Swanberg). DCP digital. (BS)
Q&A with John Sayles via Skype!
- GO FOR SISTERS
- 2013, John Sayles, USA, 123 min.
- With LisaGay Hamilton, Yolanda Ross, Edward James Olmos
“A return to form for John Sayles…arthouse appeal is solid.”
—John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
“Classical, involving human drama...Sayles gives us vibrant, complex characters inhabited by actors who burrow deep.”
—Scott Foundas, Village Voice
John Sayles (AMIGO, LONE STAR) brings a neo-noir edge to this tale of a missing son, an unsolved murder, and human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexican border. In an intriguingly dark take on the buddy movie, Bernice (Hamilton), a tough L.A. parole officer, renews an old friendship while leveraging a favor from Fontayne (Ross), a new parolee determined to go straight. Dangerously risking career and freedom, respectively, the two embark on an off-the-grid search for Bernice’s missing son, a murder suspect, in the underworld haunts of Tijuana and Mexicali, with Suarez (Olmos), a disgraced L.A. cop, as their guide. DCP digital. (BS)
Director John Sayles will participate in an audience Q&A via Skype, moderated by Newcity film critic Ray Pride following the Friday show.
Two week run!
- FOLLOWING THE NINTH:
- IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF
- BEETHOVEN’S FINAL SYMPHONY
- 2013, Kerry Candaele, Germany/USA/UK, 78 min.
“A majestic sonic travelogue... Each anecdote builds upon the next to create that rarest of films: a documentary as ineffable and transformative in its reach as it sets out to be."
—John Oursler, Village Voice
“Thrilling... all the film’s segments are smartly assembled and gracefully paced. Oh, and the score’s pretty good, too.”
—Daniel M. Gold, The New York Times
In the more than 180 years since Beethoven completed his Ninth Symphony, written in 1824 when he was completely deaf, the hauntingly uplifting “Ode to Joy” choral finale has transcended its place in the world’s concert halls to become the rallying anthem of struggling and oppressed people around the globe. Director Candaele follows the artistic, cultural, and political impact of the Ninth across five continents and ten countries, from Tiananmen Square to the Berlin Wall to the prisons of Pinochet’s Chile and the townships of South Africa, tracing the ways in which its grand, soaring melody and inspiring words of peace, tolerance, and love have sustained hope in a manner that few works of art have ever achieved. DCP digital. (BS)
Back by popular demand!
- ANTONIO GAUDÍ
- 1985, Hiroshi Teshigahara, Japan, 72 min.
Our holiday tradition, we bring back the ever-popular cult film by Hiroshi Teshigahara (WOMAN OF THE DUNES), inspired by the wild, undulating, joyously erupting forms of Barcelona architect Antonio Gaudí. Teshigahara's eye for texture, shape and sensual detail meets Gaudí's whimsy in the cinematic exploration of such masterpieces of visionary architecture as the cathedral of the Sagrada Familia. The contemporary of artists such as Picasso and Joan Miró, Gaudí drew on Barcelona's medieval Romanesque architecture and ancient Arab culture for his inspiration. This film reveals the intricacy and hallucinatory richness of his concepts through camerawork alone. Forgoing narration, Teshigahara accompanies his images with a brilliantly eclectic selection of music, ranging from baroque harpsichord to glass orchestra. 35mm. (BS)
- THE GRANDMASTER
- (YI DAI ZONG SHI)
- 2013, Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong/China, 108 min.
- With Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi
“May well be the definitive illustration of kung fu in all its arcane schools and intricate styles...There's never been anything like it--a seemingly endless flow of spectacular images.”
—Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
“Venturing into fresh creative terrain…boasting one of the most propulsive yet ethereal realizations of authentic martial arts onscreen.”
—Maggie Lee, Variety
Arthouse favorite Wong Kar-wai (IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE) long dreamed of reinventing the martial arts film. Framed as a biopic of Bruce Lee’s master Ip Man (Leung), THE GRANDMASTER boasts the visual daring of ASHES OF TIME, the director’s 1994 venture into kung fu territory, but with accelerated speed and sweep and a new emphasis on technique and lore. Fans of Wong’s mood-drenched style won’t be disappointed with this alluring mix of historical tragedy and unrequited passion, featuring a ravishing Zhang Ziyi as the young fighter Gong Er. The martial arts choreography is by the great Yuen Woo-ping (THE MATRIX; CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON). In Mandarin, Cantonese, and Japanese with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)
- I’M SO EXCITED!
- (LOS AMANTES PASAJEROS)
- 2013, Pedro Almodóvar, Spain, 90 min.
- Javier Cámara, Pepe Charro
“Buoyant and bawdy…the mix of the absurd and the acerbic is often sublime.”
—Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York
“It’s a hoot...a pleasant reminder of the joyfully kinky comedies that made Almodóvar famous.”
—Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times
After hits pairing comedy with deep pathos (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, VOLVER, the Oscar-winning TALK TO HER), Almodóvar throws caution to the winds, literally, with this frothily airborne farce. Three high-spirited gay airline stewards in business class enliven a wackily jinxed flight from Madrid to Mexico City with shenanigans that include sex, drugs, and musical numbers. The roster of passengers includes a psychic, a dominatrix, a hit man, an aging Lothario, a banker on the run, and a pair of woozy newlyweds. Cameos by Almodóvar superstars Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. In Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. (BS)
- INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO
- 2013, Julian Jones, UK/Canada, 85 min.
- With Peter Capaldi
“An atmospheric, gripping and beautifully dramatized documentary...wonderful and unmissable.”
—Julia Raeside, The Guardian
“Visually stunning...the artist’s thoughts, imaginings and irreverences are brought to life via animation and, particularly, superb cinematography.”
Masterpieces including the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper have their place in this visually sumptuous documentary, but they take a back seat to the most revealing work of Leonardo da Vinci’s career: the 6,000 wondrous pages of his private journals. The discoveries, the musings, the grudges and gripes, the frustrations and troubles of this self-educated bastard son of a peasant woman leap into life, as award-winning actor Capaldi (IN THE LOOP) shifts between characterization and narration of Da Vinci’s own words. The film is set against the distinctive landscape of Tuscany, with eye-popping graphics and animations of the master’s drawings and inventions. DCP digital. (BS)
UPDATE: November 21, 2013
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the previously scheduled shows of INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO on Saturday at 6:30, Sunday at 4:45, Monday at 7:45 and Thursday at 6:00, have ben cancelled. We deeply regret this and apologize for any inconvenience.
We will be adding shows of FOLLOWING THE NINTH: IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF BEETHOVEN'S FINAL SYMPHONY in place of the cancelled shows.
- COLD TURKEY
- 2013, Will Slocombe, USA, 84 min.
- With Alicia Witt, Peter Bogdanovich
“A solid cast, led by a wry and heartbreaking Peter Bogdanovich…most affecting.”
—Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter
A major holiday is only the excuse for the long-simmering black-comic implosion of a high-living Pasadena clan headed by government-policy wonk Poppy (Bogdanovich in an impressively nuanced performance) and his trophy wife (Cheryl Hines). The sins come home to roost and all the ugly secrets come out to play when married daughter Lindsay, her half-brother Jacob, and hellion-on-wheels sister Nina (Witt) and her truck-driver boyfriend show up for Thanksgiving, dishing up a mélange of troubles that range from overdue interest on a juice loan to a needy love-child. DCP digital. (BS)