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One Day Only; 2/25
Ousmane Sembène was one of the greatest and most groundbreaking filmmakers who ever lived, as well as the most renowned African director of the twentieth century—and yet his name still deserves to be better known in the rest of the world. He made his feature debut in 1966 with the brilliant and stirring Black Girl. Sembène, who was also an acclaimed novelist in his native Senegal, transforms a deceptively simple plot—about a young Senegalese woman who moves to France to work for a wealthy white family and finds that life in their small apartment becomes a prison, both figuratively and literally—into a complexly layered critique of the lingering colonialist mind-set of a supposedly postcolonial world. Featuring a moving central performance by M’Bissine Thérèse Diop, Black Girl is a harrowing human drama as well as a radical political statement—and one of the essential films of the 1960s. (source)
(a.k.a. The Singer) An Iranian family who goes to Istanbul, Turkey. Ibrahim is a nightclub singer who, like other singers of that era, is being removed from the scene with the 1979 revolution. But since Abraham was not well-known at the time, he cannot become a Los Angeles singer. Eventually he becomes the singer of various ceremonies. They just don’t agree with us and tell us Motreb.
(Written by Mahyar Piran, IMDb)
José (magnetic newcomer Enrique Salanic) lives with his mother (Ana Cecilia Mota) in Guatemala City, where they survive on her selling sandwiches at bus stops and with him working at a local restaurant. It is a poor and sometimes dangerous country where, dominated by conservative Catholic and Evangelical Christian religion, living one’s life as an openly gay man is hard for José to imagine. His mother has never had a husband, and as her youngest and favorite child, though at the edge of manhood at 19-years old, she is determined to hold on to him. Reserved and private, José fills his free moments playing with his phone and random sex with other men arranged on street corners and dating apps. When he meets attractive and gentle Luis (Manolo Herrera), a migrant from the rural Caribbean coast, they pursue an unexpected relationship with more emotion than José has ever felt. He is thrust into new passion and pain, and self-reflection, that push him to rethink his life even as he is reluctant to take a leap of faith.
Winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Featuring some of her best-known songs, the film celebrates the voice, the capacity for love, and the sheer pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.”
The Royal Opera House
One Day Only; Wednesday, 2/26, 7:30 p.m.
The Sleeping Beauty holds a special place in The Royal Ballet’s repertory. It was the ballet with which the Company reopened the Royal Opera House in 1946 after World War II, its first production at its new home in Covent Garden. Margot Fonteyn danced the role of the beautiful Princess Aurora in the first performance, with Robert Helpmann as Prince Florimund. Sixty years later, in 2006, the original 1946 staging was revived by then Director of The Royal Ballet Monica Mason and Christopher Newton, returning Oliver Messel’s wonderful designs and glittering costumes to the stage. The masterful 19th-century choreography of Marius Petipa is combined with sections created for The Royal Ballet by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. Together they create an enchanting sequence of gems in the ballet repertory – from the iconic Rose Adage, when Aurora meets her four royal suitors, and the lilting Garland Waltz to the Vision Pas de deux, as Florimund sees Aurora for the first time, and the celebratory divertissements and final pas de deux that bring the ballet to its glorious close. Throughout, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky’s masterful score takes ballet music to a height of passion, sophistication and intensity that arguably has never been surpassed. (ROH.org)
Acclaimed at film festivals including Karlovy Vary, Toronto, Chicago and Doc NYC, The Cordillera of Dreams completes Guzmán’s monumental new landscape and memory trilogy which, with Nostalgia for the Light (2010) and The Pearl Button (2015), investigates the relationship between historical memory, political trauma and geography in his native country of Chile. It’s the second cinematic trilogy that Guzmán has created, following The Battle of Chile, his definitive three-part film documenting the overthrow of Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, in a military coup led by general Augusto Pinochet. The Cordillera of Dreams centers on the imposing landscape of the Andes, which run the length of the South American country’s eastern border. At once protective and isolating, magisterial and indifferent, the cordillera of mountains serves as an enigmatic focal point around which Guzmán contemplates the enduring legacy of the 1973 military coup d’état. Looking at both the past and future, the filmmaker considers how the neoliberal policies introduced under the Pinochet regime have continued to stratify Chilean society. The cordillera is not merely landscape or a metaphorical divide, as it contains much of the country’s natural resources—wealth that is privately owned and inaccessible to the vast majority of Chileans. The film’s theatrical release coincides with a new era of political upheaval in Chile, one marked by massive street protests and a demand for a new constitution to replace the current one, which was written under the Pinochet regime. Unflinching in its presentation of contemporary Chile, The Cordillera of Dreams looks towards the possibilities of political change by drawing a line between the ideological struggles of the past and the inequalities of the present. (CinemaTropical.com)
The highly-anticipated new film from director Makoto Shinkai and producer Genki Kawamura, the creative team behind the critically-acclaimed, global smash hit Your Name. The summer of his high school freshman year, Hodaka runs away from his remote island home to Tokyo, and quickly finds himself pushed to his financial and personal limits. The weather is unusually gloomy and rainy every day, as if to suggest his future. He lives his days in isolation, but finally finds work as a writer for a mysterious occult magazine. Then one day, Hodaka meets Hina on a busy street corner. This bright and strong-willed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky . . .
From visionary director Masaaki Yuasa (The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, Devilman Crybaby) comes a deeply emotional new film that applies his trademark visual ingenuity to a tale of romance, grief and self-discovery.Hinako is a surf-loving college student who has just moved to a small seaside town. When a sudden fire breaks out at her apartment building, she is rescued by Minato, a handsome firefighter, and the two soon fall in love. Just as they become inseparable, Minato loses his life in an accident at sea. Hinako is so distraught that she can no longer even look at the ocean, but one day she sings a song that reminds her of their time together, and Minato appears in the water. From then on, she can summon him in any watery surface as she sings their song, but can the two really remain together forever? And what is the real reason for Minato’s sudden reappearance?
Goldie is a star – well, not quite yet, but at least in the eyes of her little sisters Sherrie and Supreme she is. The rest of the world is bound to take note soon too. Her big break surely awaits, she’s just got to pick up that golden fur coat she’s had her eye on first. And land a role as a dancer in a hip-hop video. And keep child welfare services from separating her from Sherrie and Supreme, after their mother is locked up. Holding onto those dreams isn’t easy when fate has placed such daunting obstacles in her path. With Goldie, Dutch director Sam de Jong has delivered a real New York film: raw and glamorous, unflinchingly realistic and relentlessly optimistic, with a ton of heart and at least as much attitude.
(formerly titled Radegund) Based on real events, from visionary writer-director Terrence Malick, A HIDDEN LIFE is the story of an unsung hero, Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to fight for the Nazis in World War II. When the Austrian peasant farmer is faced with the threat of execution for treason, it is his unwavering faith and his love for his wife Fani and children that keeps his spirit alive.
Nousha Hassani wants to marry the perfect Persian husband for her perfect Persian family. But her plans are derailed when she falls in love with Alex Talbot, an eccentric artist. When her traditional Muslim parents discover the two living together as domestic partners, they insist they officially get married. Nousha reluctantly agrees and the Talbots and the Hassani’s come together for a big Persian wedding. Over the course of one weekend, buried family wounds come rocketing to the surface, disaster ensues, and the couples relationship is tested. (IMDb)