With its explicit references to Marine Le Pen and the Front National, THIS IS OUR LAND quickly became the most controversial film of the year in France, although its convincing depiction of how right-wing "populist" movements soft-pedal their extremist positions has much wider relevance. The story centers on Pauline (Dequenne, who debuted in the Dardenne Brothers' ROSETTA), a well-liked nurse in a northern French town who is recruited by the "Renewed Nation Party" as an ideally inoffensive candidate to run for mayor. Flattered, the essentially apolitical Pauline goes along, submitting to an image makeover that includes dyeing her brown hair a more electable blonde. But her burgeoning political career begins to conflict with her personal life - when her left-wing union-loyalist father disowns her, and when her image-conscious political handlers try to quash her rekindled romance with an old high-school sweetheart who, unbeknownst to her, has ties to a neo-Nazi movement. In French with English subtitles. Courtesy of Distrib Films. DCP digital widescreen. (MR)
This Is Our Land
2017, Lucas Belvaux, France/Belgium, 118 min. With Émilie Dequenne, André Dussollier.
"The poisonous playbooks of populist politics are compellingly dramatized." - Neil Young, Hollywood Reporter
"Solidly made...a film that deserves to be seen, thought about, and learned from." - Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily
Wednesday, March 28: This screening is a Movie Club event, facilitated by Alison Cuddy, Artistic Director of the Chicago Humanities Festival.
Tom of Finland
2017, Dome Karukoski, Finland/Sweden, 115 min. With Pekka Strang, Lauri Tilkanen.
- Fri, Jan 5th 6:00pm
- Sat, Jan 6th 3:00pm
- Sat, Jan 6th 8:00pm
- Sun, Jan 7th 5:00pm
- Mon, Jan 8th 8:00pm
- Tue, Jan 9th 6:00pm
- Wed, Jan 10th 8:00pm
- Thu, Jan 11th 6:00pm
- Fri, Jan 12th 7:45pm
- Sat, Jan 13th 8:00pm
- Sun, Jan 14th 4:45pm
- Mon, Jan 15th 7:45pm
- Tue, Jan 16th 7:45pm
- Wed, Jan 17th 7:45pm
- Thu, Jan 18th 6:00pm
"One of the 10 best films of 2017...I hope it wins [the Oscar]." — John Waters
“Immersive…entertainingly recounts an intriguing and vital chapter of 20th-century gay history with style and deference.” — Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
The life behind the legend is the subject of this biopic of artist Touko Laaksonen (Strang), who became world famous under the pseudonym Tom of Finland for his erotic drawings of hunky leather-clad men, influencing the direction of gay culture in the process. Director Karukoski doesn’t stint on provocative glimpses of Touko’s art, as the former army lieutenant endures waves of Fifties and Sixties oppression that keep homosexuality illegal in Europe, even as he maintains a furtive nocturnal life cruising in parks and committing his muscular, mightily endowed fantasies to paper. The work of Tom of Finland reaches an apex in hedonistic Los Angeles, where Touko’s acclaim by “his people” coincides with the challenge of the AIDS epidemic. Finland’s official submission for 2018 Oscar consideration. In Finnish, German, and English with English subtitles. DCP digital widescreen. (BS)
On Sunday, January 7, director Dome Karukoski will be present via Skype for audience discussion, joined by Leather Archives & Museum executive director Gary Wasdin and Windy City Times publisher and executive editor Tracy Baim in person.
The Thursday, January 11 screening is a Movie Club event facilitated by Richard Knight Jr., filmmaker, film programmer, and former film critic.