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SHALL WE KISS (France)
A chance encounter, turned romantic date, between a local art restorer (Michael Cohen) and a Parisian designer (Julie Gayet) launches the telling of a complicated, cautionary tale about falling for all the wrong people. Directed by Emmanuel Mouret – Cast Includes Virginie Ledoyen, Emmanuel Mouret, Julie Gayet, Michaël Cohen, Frédérique Bel, Stefano Accorsi
THE CLASS (France)
Winner of the 2008 Golden Palm award at Cannes, THE CLASS stars real-life teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau, in his big screen debut. Focused on a junior high school classroom brimming with social and racial differences, this swift journey explores both Bégaudeau’s boisterous, conflicted experience and that of his students. Directed by Laurent Cantet – Cast Includes Francois Begaudeau
Gomorrah (Italy) – Directed by Matteo Garrone – With Toni Servillo, Salvatore Cantalupo.
Based on Roberto Saviano’s incendiary book about the Camorra, the mafia organization gripping the city of Naples, Gomorrah exposes a criminal entity that penetrates every aspect of daily life. The film reveals the system from the bottom up: from the poor adolescent getting initiated into his local gang to the Camorrah’s funding of the fashion industry. Described by its director as a “war movie,” the film is littered with gritty, eroding cityscapes and sudden eruptions of violence. Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. In Italian with English subtitles.
Directed by Steve McQueen – With Michael Fassbender, Stuart Graham.
This harrowing, hauntingly beautiful film takes place inside the prison in Northern Ireland where, in 1981, Bobby Sands led incarcerated IRA members in protests against British authorities which culminated in a hunger strike. Visual artist McQueen is startlingly unconventional in his storytelling: point of view shifts between prison officers and inmates instead of remaining with a single protagonist, while bold stylistic flourishes, including a 20-minute static shot of a conversation with a priest, surprise.
SHALL WE KISS (France) See Above
Modern Life (La Vie moderne) (FRANCE)
Directed by Raymond Depardon
Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and filmmaker Depardon (subject of a 2004 BAMcinématek retrospective) completes his trilogy on rural life in France with his final reflection on the isolated farming region of his birth. Revisiting the subjects of the previous entries, Depardon patiently reveals a once dominant culture now withering into the ground—octogenarian brothers declining in health, an elderly couple whose dairy farm has dwindled to one solitary cow, a middle-aged man resentful of his attachment to the family farm. Remarkable for the empathy and compassion it reveals for these people and their fading way of life, Modern Life is a masterful coda to the trilogy. Winner of the 2008 Prix Delluc.
Diary of a Country Priest (Journal d’un curé de campagne)
Directed by Robert Bresson – With Claude Leydu
Bresson’s understated adaptation of the great Catholic novelist George Bernanos’ study of the spiritual anguish of a young priest alienated from his worldly parishioners is a work of austere dignity—hushed, bleak, sad, and unforgettable. It won the 1951 Grand Prize at the Venice Festival, established Bresson’s international reputation, and confirmed him as one of the truly great directors. Cinemachat with film critic Elliott Stein following 6:50pm screening.
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THE COUNTRY TEACHER (CZCH REPUBLIC)
A gifted and well-qualified young teacher takes a job teaching science at a grammar school in a Czech village. He soon meets a woman and her troubled 17-year old son. The teacher has no romantic interest in the woman but they soon form a strong friendship. When the teacher’s ex-boyfriend comes to visit, he quickly realizes that nobody in the village knows the teacher is gay. More upsetting, the teacher harbors a secret affection for the teenage boy. The friend’s jealous actions will now set in motion a series of events that will test the inner strength and compassion of the teacher, the woman and her son to the breaking point.
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