This poetic documentary movingly evokes the life and career of the charismatic Rudolf Nureyev, the Russian dancer who singlehandedly transformed the stuffy image of ballet with an athleticism and airborne grace that was unprecedented in the history of the art. Front and center is a previously unseen trove of early and rare VHS performance footage from the collection of the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, plus extended dance sequences charting the artist’s relationship with the Danish dancer Erik Bruhn, and career-changing partnership with the London Royal Ballet’s prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn, a made-in-heaven pairing that imbued classics including "Swan Lake" with a new and daring eroticism and passion. The filmmakers structure Nureyev’s personal history around the dance, utilizing interpretive modern ballet sequences to trace the details of a life that begins with an impoverished childhood in the postwar Soviet Union and early training under the great A.I. Pushkin, and explodes artistically with stardom in the West, the political bomb of defection, celebrity notoriety, and a tragically early death from AIDS. DCP digital. (BS)
2018, David Morris and Jacqui Morris, UK, 109 min.
“A meticulous, heartbreaking tour de force…more than just essential viewing for anyone interested in ballet and dance.”—Leslie Felperin, Guardian
The Wednesday, May 29, screening is a Movie Club event, facilitated by The Joffrey Ballet's Mary B. Galvin Artistic Director, Ashley Wheater.
Between the Lines
1977, Joan Micklin Silver, USA, 101 min.
With John Heard, Lindsay Crouse, Jeff Goldblum
"More timely than ever. A zippy, lived-in dramedy."--Kate Erbland, Indiewire
"An American independent film classic...Micklin Silver's expertise at balancing humor and heartbreak in this adult coming-of-age story keeps the vibrant '70s portrait timeless."--Maya Montañez Smukler, Women and Hollywood
In the 1970s, Joan Micklin Silver established herself as one of leaders of an emerging group of independent women filmmakers, with a special aptitude for capturing subcultures and gender tensions in changing times. BETWEEN THE LINES, her second film (following the sleeper hit HESTER STREET), functions as both a time-capsule snapshot of the pre-Internet era and a prescient barometer of cultural trends that are still relevant today. This lively ensemble comedy-drama traces the workplace and bedroom conflicts among the staff of a Boston alt-weekly newspaper as it faces a corporate takeover. Silver provides a nuanced view of the declining counterculture, with an astute take on its marginalization of women who balk at being camp-followers in their boyfriend's career arcs. The film boasts a dazzling cast of up-and-comers about to make marks of varying duration, including Jeff Goldblum as a flakey rock critic, John Heard as a disillusioned star reporter, Lindsay Crouse as the talented photographer who is his off-and-on girlfriend, Stephen Collins as an arrogant would-be novelist, Marilu Henner as a stripper with substance, and Bruno Kirby as an over-eager cub reporter pursuing a dangerous story. New 2K DCP digital restoration. (MR);
The Wednesday screening is a Movie Club event where Tracy Baim, publisher of the Chicago Reader newspaper, will be facilitating conversation.
Bauhaus Spirit: 100 Years of Bauhaus
Vom Bauen der Zukunft - 100 Jahre Bauhaus
2018, Niels Bolbrinker and Thomas Tielsch, Germany, 90 min.
The most comprehensive film on the subject to date, BAUHAUS SPIRIT celebrates the 100th anniversary of the German art school whose fusion of utopianism and functionalism has had an enormous influence on modern life. The history of Bauhaus is
explored--from its founding in 1919 by Walter Gropius through its relocations in Dessau and Berlin to its closure in 1933 under pressure from the Nazi regime--but the film's primary focus is on the Bauhaus's methods and principles. Although associated mainly with architecture, the Bauhaus approach was radically interdisciplinary, with architects and designers instructed in dance and theater in order to understand how space is created by movement. Bauhaus is shown to be more than a museum, and much of the film is set in the present day, where its principles continue to impact housing, design, and urban planning, from a "school without classrooms" in Stockholm to a barrio in Medellin. In German, English, and Spanish with English subtitles. DCP digital. Courtesy of Icarus Films. (MR)
The Wednesday, March 27 screening is a Movie Club event, with a conversation led by Michelangelo Sabatino, Professor and Dean, College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology.