Rfor language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material.
15 new animated short films from six different countries—including four movies that qualified for Academy Award consideration, six by student filmmakers, and two by Columbus animator Nancy Kangas—comprise the latest edition of this popular program. For 20 years now, the Animation Show of Shows has been presenting new and innovative short films to appreciative audiences around the world. 38 of the films showcased in the ASOS over the years went on to receive Academy Award nominations; 11 of them won the Oscar. For detailed program information, visit animationshowofshows.com.
Biopic of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, the author of numerous children's books and creator of Pippi Longstocking.
Ten-year-old Flynn transforms his living room into a supper club using his classmates as line cooks. With sudden fame, Flynn outgrows his bedroom kitchen, and sets out to challenge the hierarchy of the culinary world.
Ray Bradbury, Douglas Trumbull, Richard Edlund, and others appear in this new documentary about the life and work of Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986), an American artist and designer whose visionary, pre-NASA paintings of planets and space travel influenced sci-fi art, illustration, and movies. They also helped to inspire the U.S. space program.
In this controversial STD drama that was originally censored in Ohio, a young businessman returns from a debauched night on the town and transmits VD to his fiancée.
From the gutters of Poverty Row came a movie that, perhaps more than any other, epitomizes the dark fatalism at the heart of film noir. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist (Tom Neal) finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the most vicious femme fatale in cinema history, Ann Savage’s snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera. Working with no-name stars on a bargain-basement budget, B auteur Edgar G. Ulmer turned threadbare production values and seedy, low-rent atmosphere into indelible pulp poetry. Long available only in substandard public domain prints, Detour haunts anew in its first major restoration.
A beautifully composed and magical documentary, Distant Constellation introduces us to the colorful residents of a Turkish retirement home, a community made up of pranksters, historians, artists and would-be Casanovas. An Independent Spirit Award nominee, Mizrahi’s playful, dreamy film is one of the most unforgettable cinematic experiences of the year(2017).
A married couple grieving the recent death of their young daughter are in Venice when they encounter two elderly sisters, one of whom is psychic and brings a warning from beyond.
Dr. Silas Brenton is fired from his position at a large hospital, primarily for a lack of ethics, and goes to Chicago and sets himself up as a plastic surgeon and seducer of women; his quack methods lead to an operating-room failure that leads to tragedy for many others.
Frantz Fanon: Black Skin, White Mask explores for the first time on film the pre-eminent theorist of the anti-colonial movements of this century. Fanon's two major works, Black Skin, White Masks and The Wretched of the Earth, were pioneering studies of the psychological impact of racism on both colonized and colonizer. Jean-Paul Sartre recognized Fanon as the figure "through whose voice the Third World finds and speaks for itself." This innovative film biography restores Fanon to his rightful place at the center of contemporary discussions around post-colonial identity.Isaac Julien, the celebrated black British director of such provocative films as Looking for Langston and Young Soul Rebels, integrates the facts of Fanon's brief but remarkably eventful life with his long and tortuous inner journey. Julien elegantly weaves together interviews with family members and friends, documentary footage, readings from Fanon's work and dramatizations of crucial moments in Fanon's life. Cultural critics Stuart Hall and Françoise Verges position Fanon's work in his own time and draw out its implications for our own.
A silent fisherman in Texas, a blazing oil field in North Dakota, a mysterious community in Virginia, a women’s prison in Oregon, and a modernist home in California are the ostensible subjects of Austin Lynch and Matthew Booth’s new feature, Gray House. But these explorations of sound, image, and cinematic time seamlessly blend documentary and narrative form, meditating upon nature, isolation, decadence, and destitution. Mysterious and elusive, yet possessing an aesthetic and sensory unity (appearances by Denis Lavant, Aurore Clément, and Dianna Molzan mix with direct addresses from real-life laborers and inmates), Gray House quietly recalibrates one’s sense of the world and our place within it.
An inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people, Hale County This Morning, This Evening looks at the lives of Daniel Collins and Quincy Bryant, two young African American men from rural Hale County, Alabama, over the course of five years. Collins attends college in search of opportunity while Bryant becomes a father to an energetic son in an open-ended, poetic form that privileges the patiently observed interstices of their lives. The audience is invited to experience the mundane and monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime. These moments combine to communicate the region’s deep culture and provide glimpses of the complex ways the African American community’s collective image is integrated into America’s visual imagination.
In his directorial debut, award-winning photographer and director RaMell Ross offers a refreshingly direct approach to documentary that fills in the gaps between individual black male icons. Hale County This Morning, This Evening allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South, trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously offering a testament to dreaming despite the odds.
Grammy-nominated filmmaker John Anderson’s Horn From the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story is a feature-length documentary about the life and career of legendary blues musician Paul Butterfield. Through his music and words, along with first‐hand accounts of his family, his band mates and those closest to him, Horn From the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story tells the complex story of a man many call the greatest blues harmonica player of all time.
They talk about the beautiful game, but for Laurentiu Ginghina, it's not enough. Football must be modified, streamlined, freed from restraints; corners are to be rounded off, players assigned to zones and subteams, norms revised. In retrospect, he first realized that the rules of football were wrong when he was tackled during a game in his youth, in the summer holidays, on another pitch now covered in snow, but in Vaslui, not Bucharest. The tackle hit so hard it fractured his fibula, a year later his tibia broke too, on New Year's Eve 1987, he had to walk home in the snow and no one helped him. Today he's a local bureaucrat with an uninspiring job, it's no wonder he prefers to talk about the game, his own version of it, to Porumboiu, his friend, the director, who's always listening, asking questions, nearly always in frame. Ginghina's monologues are so rich you might think someone wrote them in advance, they proceed from the same old subject, but never stay in one place.
In 1968, two founders of Chicago’s pioneering documentary film cooperative Kartemquin Films (Hoop Dreams) enlisted earnest young nuns to travel around the Windy City asking passers-by, “Are you happy?” The varied responses provide a fascinating snapshot of a volatile era riven by Vietnam and racial unrest.
Sicilian fishermen battle nature and unscrupulous wholesalers in this operatic neorealist rarity by Luchino Visconti. Shot on location with a non-professional cast, this epic drama is loosely based on Giovanni Verga’s novel The House by the Medlar Tree.
Anna, an accomplished filmmaker (played by Aurore Clément), makes her way through a series of European cities to promote her latest movie. Via a succession of eerie, exquisitely shot, brief encounters—with men and women, family and strangers—we come to see her emotional and physical detachment from the world.
This two-strip Technicolor rarity is a tale of crazed colonialism. Set in German East Africa, it tells of a rich, sadistic, villainous plantation owner (Jean Hersholt) who imports an aristocratic bride (Eleanor Boardman) from the old country, only to find her falling instead for a British officer.
A young man disappears amid talk of violence and demagoguery, leaving behind an obscure cache of letters, postcards, and notebooks.
This unauthorized adaptation of James M. Cain’s crime classic The Postman Always Rings Twice was both Luchino Visconti’s debut feature and the first film to be labeled as “Italian neorealism.” Banned and ultimately destroyed by the Fascist government (Visconti retained a duplicate negative), this downbeat drama tells of a drifter who falls in love with the wife of a Po Valley gas station owner, whom they proceed to murder.
Eddie Warmack, an African American jazz musician, is released from prison for the killing of a white gangster. Not willing to play for the mobsters who control the music industry, including clubs and recording studios, Warmack searches for his mentor and grandfather, the legendary jazz musician Poppa Harris. Director Larry Clark theorizes that jazz is one of the purest expressions of African American culture, embodying the struggles of generations of Blacks going back to slavery times, but now hijacked by a white culture that brutally exploits jazz musicians for profit. The opening seven-minute credit sequence is accordingly an homage to jazz and jazz musicians, privileging the raw energy of the music, while the concert footage appears virtually abstractly as a riot of blues, reds and whites. The film repeatedly returns to scenes of various musicians improvising jazz, as well as flashback scenes (in black-and-white) in which Poppa teaches Warmack to play saxophone, leading a French critic to call Passing Through “the only jazz film in the history of cinema.”
It is the Africanism of Poppa, as the spiritual center of Passing Through, that ties together Black American jazz and the liberation movements of Africa and North America. In the early flashback sequences in sepia, Clarence Muse appears in African dress and teaches saxophone under the sky. Poppa teaches Warmack that the music comes from the soil, from the earth, leading Womack to bury his saxophone to improve his playing. The film’s final montage incorporates shots of African leaders with a close-up of Poppa’s eye and close-ups of Black hands holding the soil, thus semantically connecting jazz, Africa and the earth in one mystical union, and by extension justifying the liberation of the earth through violent struggle, whether in Africa or Los Angeles.
Clark completed the film while participating in the fellows program at the American Film Institute. The film’s world premiere took place at “Filmex,” the Los Angeles Film Festival in 1977, subsequently won a special jury prize at the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and played film festivals in Edinburgh (1978), Perth (1978) and Moscow (1979).
A troubled and neurotic Italian Countess betrays her entire country for a self-destructive love affair with an Austrian Lieutenant.
The late Claude Lanzmann’s last-released feature consists of four long interviews with four female Holocaust survivors, all conducted during the 1970s. He was unable to include them in his monumental, nine-hour 1985 epic Shoah, which chronicles, in granular detail, the mass extermination of European Jews during WWII. Lanzmann’s “four sisters” come from four different regions of Eastern Europe, but they are united in their willingness to share the horrors they witnessed, experienced, and, improbably, lived through.
Edgar G. Ulmer (Detour) transposes Hamlet to a Los Angeles sanitarium, where a young man whose father has recently died has visions that his widowed mother’s new suitor (oily Warren William) is not to be trusted.
The last and most elaborate Claymation feature by the late Oscar- and Emmy-winning animator Will Vinton (creator of the California Raisins) finds Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, and Becky Thatcher joining their creator, Mark Twain, on an airship headed for Halley’s Comet. Numerous Twain stories are brought to life en route.
A Dutch doctor, haunted by grueling childhood memories of World War II, struggles to find peace as he spends his life looking for answers about the tragic night that shaped him.
The warmth and wit of celebrated playwright turned auteur Marcel Pagnol (The Marseille Trilogy) shines through in this enchanting slice-of-life comedy. Returning once again to the Provençal countryside he knew intimately, Pagnol draws a vivid portrait of a close-knit village where the marital woes of a sweetly deluded baker (the inimitable Raimu, heralded by no less than Orson Welles as “the greatest actor who ever lived”) snowball into a scandal that engulfs the entire town. Marrying the director’s abiding concern for the experiences of ordinary people with an understated but superbly judged visual style, The Baker’s Wife is at once wonderfully droll and piercingly perceptive in its nuanced treatment of the complexities of human relationships.
Set in Paris during the May ‘68 uprising. Sensuously shot, the film tells of an American student (Michael Pitt) who goes to live with an affluent, free-spirited brother and sister (Louis Garrel, Eva Green) who are fellow film enthusiasts but also have a predilection for mind games and kinky sex.
Rfor language throughout, disturbing behavior, sexual references and some drug material.
Warm, winning, and gloriously alive, Sean Baker’s The Florida Project is a deeply moving and unforgettably poignant look at childhood.
Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows six-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince in a stunning breakout turn) and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite, another major discovery) over the course of a single summer. The two live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (a career-best Willem Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion.
Despite her harsh surroundings, the precocious and ebullient Moonee has no trouble making each day a celebration of life, her endless afternoons overflowing with mischief and grand adventure as she and her ragtag playmates—including Jancey, a new arrival to the area who quickly becomes Moonee’s best friend—fearlessly explore the utterly unique world into which they’ve been thrown. Unbeknownst to Moonee, however, her delicate fantasy is supported by the toil and sacrifice of Halley, who is forced to explore increasingly dangerous possibilities in order to provide for her daughter.
The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. The couple's children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely idiosyncratic ways. But as the family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they find themselves growing more alert to the hurt, humor, warmth, and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.
Alarm dispatcher and former police officer, Asger Holm, answers an emergency call from a kidnapped woman. When the call is suddenly disconnected, the search for the woman and her kidnapper begins. With the phone as his only tool, Asger enters a race against time to save the endangered woman. But soon he realizes that he is dealing with a crime that is far bigger than he first thought.
The movie is an elegant, sumptuous adaptation of a Gabriele D’Annunzio novel, about a 19th-century Italian aristocrat who neglects his wife for his mistress—until his spouse takes her own lover.
The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.
“A sublimely beautiful, deeply romantic film for our times” is what Variety called Wim Wenders’ exhilarating, magical tale of an angel (Bruno Ganz) whose love for a beautiful trapeze artist (Solveig Dommartin) allows him to become human. One of the most beloved modern movies, Wenders’ haunting love story, filmed in a richly expressive mix of black and white and color, is a serene hymn to humanity. With Peter Falk; co-written by Peter Handke. Cleveland revival premiere. Subtitles. DCP. 130 min. www.janusfilms.com Special admission $10; members, CIA I.D. holders, age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners.