“Ferocious... extraordinary... deeply compelling... You often have to remind yourself to breathe... marks the undeniable arrival of Kantemir Balagov as major talent.” –Variety
In Kantemir Balagov’s second film, winner of two prizes at Cannes, Leningrad lies in ruins. Drawn from real stories collected by the Nobel Prize-winning author and historian Svetlana Alexievich, two women attempt to rebuild their lives in a city physically and emotionally destroyed from one of the largest sieges in the history of warfare. With rich, distinctive, and unforgettable cinematography, Balagov speaks to a new generation of Russians still trying to reconcile with its historical cataclysms. (2019, Russia, 130m)
“High class and wonderful. Demands to be seen” –Gramophone
Filmed over the course of four years, this inspiring documentary follows leading concert pianist Leif Ove Andsnes’s attempt to understand and interpret one of the greatest sets of works for piano ever written: Beethoven’s five piano concertos. Considered one of the top pianists of the age, Andsnes offers rare insights into his craft, and into Beethoven’s life and work. Phil Grabsky’s film is a must-see for anyone interested in the layers inherent in the most masterful of compositions. (U.K., 2015, 92m)
“A majestic sonic travelogue …inspires genuine awe … the rarest of films: ineffable and transformative.” –Village Voice
This cinematic journey across five continents explores the heart and soul of one of the world’s greatest works of art. Completely deaf and adrift from the people he loved, Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony as an act of transcendence near the end of his life, and it became an anthem of hope, from the protests in Tiananmen Square to the resistance movement in Pinochet’s Chile. Kerry Candaele’s film celebrates the possibilities of art to transcend, heal and connect across every boundary. (U.S., 2013, 90m)
Director Kerry Candaele in person!!
“A masterpiece” –Sydney Morning Herald
Chopin’s grave in Paris remains a place of pilgrimage and his music continues to sell out concert halls worldwide – but who exactly was Chopin? Terrified of public performance, he fled his Polish homeland for Paris, never to return, took up with the most notorious transvestite in France, rarely gave public performances and, despite a life of ill-health, wrote some of the deepest and most powerful music. Award-winning director Phil Grabsky travelled the globe for four years in his quest to understand Chopin’s life and music, recording with musicians including Leif Ove Andsnes, Daniel Barenboim, Ronald Brautigam and the Orchestra of the 18th Century. (U.K., 2014, 115m)
“Joyous, thrilling, informative and accessible” –Empire
A biographical account of Haydn’s life is a visual and aural extravaganza, including breathtaking performances by some of the world’s most celebrated musicians. Joseph Haydn’s life spanned from the end of the Baroque period to Napoleon’s invasion of Vienna, and he was one of the most prolific composers, producing more than 100 symphonies, 64 quartets, 16 extant operas, 51 piano sonatas and the oratorios The Creation and The Seasons. Through intimate and revealing interviews with experts and detailed extracts from Haydn’s personal recollections, Phil Grabsky’s film offers tremendous insight into the music and the artist who inspired Mozart and Beethoven. (U.K., 2012, 109m)
As Andras Schiff recently pointed out:
“The world needs to appreciate him much more: of all the really great composers, he is still the most underrated”.
By speaking to some of the greatest living exponents of Haydn’s music, this film redresses the balance and sheds light on the master and his work. Phil Grabsky hopes that Haydn will reach a wider audience who will be surprised, entertained and enthralled by Haydn’s wit, humanity and insatiable creativity.
Haydn’s life spanned from the end of the Baroque period to Napoleon’s invasion of Vienna, outliving his younger friend Mozart. He was one of the most prolific composers, producing more than 100 symphonies, 64 quartets, 16 extant operas, 51 piano sonatas and the oratorios ‘The Creation’ and ‘The Seasons’.
His seemingly light-hearted, placid temperament embraced the troubles and tribulations of life with casual humour and irony. Though blessed by an encouraging patron, running his own orchestra and opera company for some 30 years on the Esterhazy Estate, he was exposed to the usual upstairs-downstairs antics of an aristocratic household and follies of an artistic world. These years proved to be enormously productive, inspiring Haydn to write numerous works to please his patron and his eminent guests with witty theatrical evenings, jokes and the occasional prank.
Phil Grabsky follows the same format of presenting the composer’s biography and music chronologically. Through intimate and revealing interviews with experts and detailed extracts from Haydn’s personal recollections, the audience gains tremendous insight not only into Haydn’s music but an appreciation of the artist himself. The emphasis of the film, as with the previous films, is on the performance – and interpretation – of Haydn’s music, with performances from the world’s greatest musicians and orchestras.
“An assassin's actions can never be thoroughly explained, but this ragged, powerful film cogently indicts the dark, repressive voices in any society who can set the stage for violence." –The Hollywood Reporter
Israel's Oscar submission, this powerful film reimagines the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 by a young nationalist law student. Emboldened by the teachings of right-wing rabbis, who suggest someone who would give away an inch of sacred land should be killed according to “Jewish law,” the student takes to heart the inflammatory political rhetoric.Yaron Zilberman’s film suggests the contemporary rise of demagoguery took root in contemporary Israel. (Israel, 2019, 123m)
“One of the gentlest, most charming American movies of the past decade.” –The New Yorker
Frustrated with a soul-killing job, New Yorker Julie Powell (Amy Adams) embarks on a daring project: she vows to prepare all 524 recipes in Julia Childs' landmark cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Writer-director Nora Ephron weaves this story with that of Childs herself (played by Meryl Streep, who won a Golden Globe for her role) herself conquered French cuisine with passion, fearlessness, and plenty of butter. (U.S., 2009, 128m)
Rfor some language and drug references.
“Triumphant ... Robertson deeply dissects the Band’s magic and dysfunction, reckoning with the grudges, tragedies and incomparable musical bond.” –Rolling Stone
A confessional and cautionary documentary about Robbie Robertson’s young life, and the creation of one of the most enduring groups in the history of popular music – The Band. The film blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs, and interviews with Robertson’s friends and collaborators, including Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, and more. (U.S., 2019, 102m)
“This warm documentary uses one woman’s singular passion to fuel a tale of zoological discovery, blatant sexism and environmental alarm ... Her unmitigated joy is the movie’s secret sauce.” –New York Times
In 1956, four years before Jane Goodall ventured into the world of chimpanzees and seven years before Dian Fossey left to work with mountain gorillas, 23-year-old biologist Anne Innis Dagg made an unprecedented solo journey to South Africa to study giraffes in the wild. Anne, now 86, retraces her steps, and with letters and stunning, original 16mm film footage offers an intimate window into her life as a young woman, juxtaposed with a first-hand look at the devastating reality that giraffes are facing today.
A young Brazilian woman travels to indigenous quilombola (communities founded in the 19th century by runaway slaves), and rural communities, in search of the ancient wisdom of traditional midwives. Aje Unni & Irie Langlois’s film arises from a global project seeking to increase the visibility of women who play important social roles in their communities—midwives, faith healers, herbalists, shamans and community leaders. (Brazil, 2019, 71m)