We present encore engagements of two recent animated hits that combine multicultural material, visual dazzle, and imaginative storytelling.
Buy a ticket at our regular prices to either AZUR AND ASMAR or SITA SINGS THE BLUES and get a ticket to any performance of the other film at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): General admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only.)
AZUR & ASMAR
2006, Michel Ocelot, Spain/Italy/Belgium/France, 99 min.
“Is it too early to announce the most beautiful film of 2009? Two days into the new year, it’s hard to imagine a more transporting cinematic experience coming our way than AZUR & ASMAR.”--Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
“Impossibly gorgeous…The year’s most beautiful animated film.”--Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
This new film from the director/animator of the celebrated KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS spins a fantastic tale of Medieval adventure for all ages in the sumptuous realm of Middle Eastern mythology. Raised as brothers, blue-eyed white-skinned Azur, son of a rich man, and brown-eyed brown-skinned Asmar, son of a maid, become cruelly separated until Azur, now grown, makes an arduous and punishing journey to the exotic land of his once-brother and his surrogate mother. Azur, now ragged and blind, and princely Asmar, are destined to meet again, this time as rivals in love for the hand of the Fairy of the Djinns. In English. 35mm. (BS)
Fri. at 6:00 pm;
Sat. at 2:45 pm and 6:30 pm;
Sun. at 4:45 pm and 8:30 pm;
Mon. at 3:00 pm;
Tue. and Thu. at 6:00 pm;
Wed. at 7:45 pm
SITA SINGS THE BLUES
2008, Nina Paley, USA, 82 min.
“I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original. It brings together four entirely separate elements and combines them into a great whimsical chord.”--Roger Ebert, SunTimes.com
“Captivating, mesmerizing, spellbinding--I’ll throw everything in the movie-critic book at this animated feature by Nina Paley.”--J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
When cartoonist/animator Nina Paley’s husband moved to India for his job and then dumped her via e-mail, she chose a unique way of exorcising the demons: creating this delightful, marvelously creative, millennium-hopping romp through the Indian mythic story The Ramayana. Goddess Sita, a Betty-Boopish vixen with big round eyes and sumptuous curves, is also cruelly dumped by her blue-skinned husband Rama, and therein lies a tale to parallel the telling of the director’s own. Paley populates the two-pronged story with bickering shadow-puppet narrators, monsters, warriors, rival deities, and winged creatures, all punctuated by blues ballads crooned by the late Annette Hanshaw. This is surely one of the don’t-miss movies of the year. 35mm. (BS)
Sat. at 4:45 and 8:30 pm;
Sun. at 3:00 pm and 6:45 pm;
Mon. at 5:00 pm;
Tue. and Thu. at 8:00 pm;
Wed. at 6:00 pm
From the director of IN SEARCH OF MOZART
Phil Grabsky in person!
IN SEARCH OF BEETHOVEN
2009, Phil Grabsky, UK, 139 min.
“One of the finest movies about a great musician I’ve ever seen.”--Philip French, The Observer
“Highly entertaining and informative…presenting Beethoven as a working artist rather than a caricatured grumpy genius.”--Jonathan Levine, Time Out London
Gripping…aims to debunk both the gossip of Beethoven’s contemporaries and the myths we’ve derived from it.”--Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal
From Phil Grabsky, director of the international hit IN SEARCH OF MOZART, comes a new documentary delving into the life and work of Ludwig van Beethoven for an in-depth portrait that is revealingly at variance with the composer’s longstanding romantic myth. The genius of Grabsky’s method lies in meticulously reconstructing the chronology of Beethoven’s life though his biography and letters in tandem with the chronology of his music. More than 55 performances and interviews by the world’s leading musicians and conductors, including Gianandrea Noseda, Sir Roger Norrington, Riccardo Chailly, Claudio Abbado, Fabio Luisi, and Emanuel Ax, among others, contribute to a breathtakingly intimate interpretation of the man and his music. DigiBeta video. (BS)
Special IN SEARCH OF BEETHOVEN sponsor and partner discounts:
WFMT-FM, WTTW-TV, and DANK Haus members pay $5 admission to any
Monday-Tuesday screening with current membership card. Chicago Symphony Orchestra subscribers pay 2-for-1 admission to any Monday-Tuesday screening.
Special four-week run! July 10--August 6
July 31--August 6
Special encore presentation!
IN SEARCH OF MOZART
2006, Phil Grabsky, UK, 128 min.
“Gives a much better and balanced sense of Mozart the person than any other work aimed at a general audience.”--Andrew Patner, Chicago Sun-Times
“A far more accurate, complete and endearingly human portrait of Mozart than any documentary has ever painted. . . It’s a must for tyros and cognoscenti alike.”--John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
One of the biggest hits in Film Center history, IN SEARCH OF MOZART is easily the most comprehensive and credible film ever made about the composer, serving as a corrective to the myths perpetrated by AMADEUS. Narration (by Juliet Stevenson), illustrations, present-day locales, excerpts from letters, and commentary from a host of historians (but no reenactments!) fluidly illuminate every aspect of Mozart’s life, including his stormy relationship with his father, his ardent marriage, his financial worries, his political infighting, and much more. The biography is seamlessly interwoven with the music, brought to life through the insights of celebrated performers and through a constant flow of selections from over 70 works performed by distinguished orchestras, ensembles, and opera companies. DigiBeta video. (MR)
Saturday, July 25, 5:30 pm
Monday, July 27, 5:30 pm
Wednesday, July 29, 5:30 pm
JUST ADDED! Saturday, August 1, 11:30 am
Saturday, August 1, 5:30 pm
Buy a ticket at our regular prices to either IN SEARCH OF BEETHOVEN or IN SEARCH OF MOZART, and get a ticket to any performance of the other film at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only.)
In the summer of 1966, Jean-Luc Godard, at the height of his powers, decided to film two movies simultaneously, shooting one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Godard even suggested that the two films might advantageously be shown together with alternating reels, in the manner of Faulkner’s The Wild Palms. (Despite the temptation, we will show them separately.) The two films form a fascinating stereoscopic image of Godard’s political, personal, and aesthetic concerns at this crucial point in this career, as seen from complementary perspectives--the documentary-like TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER grounded in sociology, the cartoon-like MADE IN U.S.A. grounded in pop culture.
Buy a ticket at our regular prices to either MADE IN U.S.A. or TWO OR THREE THINGS ABOUT HER, and get a ticket to any performance of the other film at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only.)
New 35mm print!
First Chicago run!
MADE IN U.S.A.
1966, Jean-Luc Godard, France, 85 min.
With Anna Karina, L‡szl— Szab—, Jean-Pierre LŽaud
“Beautiful, goofy, and explosive...MADE IN U.S.A. may well be the funniest and punchiest ‘new movie’ around.”--Jonathan Rosenbaum, Soho Weekly News (1981)
“The most quintessential movie of Godard’s great period finally gets a run...may not be the Holy Grail, but close to it.”--J. Hoberman, Village Voice
Never before released in the U.S., this key work from Godard’s golden period is described by its heroine as “just like a Walt Disney movie, only with blood.” The break-up of Godard’s marriage to Anna Karina and the disappearance of Moroccan revolutionary Ben Barka form the intersecting personal and political coordinates of a meta-thriller that casts Karina as a female Bogart searching for her missing lover (voiced by Godard) in a treacherous “Atlantic City” (strongly resembling Paris) peopled by characters with names like Richard Widmark, Donald Siegel, and Richard Nixon. The plot is deliberately, playfully indecipherable in homage to THE BIG SLEEP, and Raoul Coutard’s gorgeous cinematography is laced with bold splashes of pop-art color. In French with English subtitles. New 35mm widescreen print. (MR)
Fri., Mon., and Wed. at 6:15 pm;
Sat. at 4:30 pm and 8:00 pm;
Sun. at 2:45 pm;
Tue. and Thu. at 8:00 pm
TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER
(2 OU 3 CHOSES QUE JE SAIS D’ELLE)
1966, Jean-Luc Godard, France, 85 min.
With Marina Vlady, Anny Duperey
“Could be the single greatest work in the master’s entire career.”--J. Hoberman, Village Voice
“The richest of Godard’s films.”--James Monaco, The Movie Guide
“Perhaps Godard’s greatest feature.”--Susan Sontag
More ‘Scope, more color, more Godard. The “her” of the title refers to both Paris and the heroine (Vlady), a young mother living in a suburban high-rise who turns part-time prostitute to make ends meet: Belle de Jour in Alphaville. Mixing concrete social comment with dazzling phenomenological set pieces--a coffee cup becomes a universe, a cigarette tip glows like a planet--Godard fashions a caustic vision of consumerist society as a vast brothel. In French with English Subtitles. 35mm widescreen. (MR)
Fri., Mon., and Wed. at 8:00 pm;
Sat. at 2:45 pm and 6:15 pm;
Sun. at 4:30 pm;
Tue. and Thu. at 6:15 pm
Photojournalists Under Fire!
We present the Chicago premieres of two compelling new documentaries featuring intrepid photographers whose involvement is so close-range that they make history as well as record it.
Buy a ticket at our regular prices to either BURMA VJ or AN UNLIKELY WEAPON, and get a ticket to any performance of the other film at this discount rate (tickets must be purchased at the same time): General Admission $7; Students $5; Members $4. (This discount rate applies to the second film only.)
2008, Anders ¯stergaard, Denmark, 84 min.
“A rich, thought-provoking film not only because of the story it tells but also because of the perspective it offers on the role that new communications technologies can play in political change.”--A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“Suspenseful, harrowing...Filmmaking at its most fearless.”--Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Crushed under a brutal military regime, blacked out to foreign press, Burma’s beacon to the outside world is the Democratic Voice of Burma, a small band of renegade video journalists (aka VJs) who work under extremely hazardous conditions “to show that Burma is still here.” When protests erupt in August 2007, the VJs surreptitiously film the uprising and smuggle the footage to Norway for broadcast on CNN, the BBC, YouTube, Flickr, and other outlets. Inspiring, exciting, and tightly constructed (it won an editing award at Sundance), BURMA VJ uses reenactments and a focus on DVB leader “Joshua” to frame the events, but its core is the incredible undercover footage filmed literally at gunpoint. The jittery shots of unarmed crowds taking to the streets, red-robed monks marching past rifle barrels, a foreign reporter being shot point-blank, and long-sequestered Nobel-winner Aung San Suu Kyi emerging briefly from her confinement have a hair-raising immediacy that no fiction film can match. In Burmese and English with English subtitles. DigiBeta video. (MR)
Fri. at 6:15 pm;
Sat. at 7:15 pm and 9:00 pm;
Sun. at 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm;
Mon. and Thu. at 8:00 pm;
Tue. at 6:15 pm;
Wed. at 8:30 pm
BEING JEWISH IN FRANCE
(COMME UN JUIF EN FRANCE)
2007, Yves Jeuland, France, 185 min. total
Narrated by Mathieu Amalric
“Essential viewing...Jeuland has concocted something close to the final word on the subject.”--David Fear, Time Out New York
“An impressive piece of scholarship, full of fascinating interviews, rare news footage and photos, film clips and colorful graphics.”--Andrea Gronvall, World Jewish Digest
An invaluable companion-piece to both THE SORROW AND THE PITY and SHOAH, this epic two-part documentary traces the special relationship between France and its Jewish citizens from Napoleonic times to the present day. As the film demonstrates, it has been a profoundly double-edged relationship. France was the first European nation to grant Jews full citizenship, hosted a thriving Jewish culture after America closed its golden door in the 1920s, elected a Jewish Socialist prime minister in 1936, and wholeheartedly supported Israel during the Six-Day War. On the other hand, France also has an ignoble history of anti-Semitism stretching from the Dreyfus Affair through the Vichy period to the synagogue bombings of recent years.
Director Jeuland, whose award-winning histories of Parisian gay life (BLEU BLANC ROSE) and French Communism (CAMARDES) have established him as one of France’s leading documentarians, interweaves newsreels, classic films, pop songs, and other fascinating cultural artifacts with moving and insightful testimonies from French politicians, intellectuals and artists, including former Minister of Justice Robert Badinter, actor Jean Benguigui, Rabbi and author Daniel Farhi, playwright/screenwriter Jean-Claude Grumberg (THE LAST METRO), filmmaker Marceline Loridan, Resistance leader Theo Klein, and historian Annette Wieviorka.
Part I begins with the Dreyfus Affair and ends with the enduring shame of Vichy collaboration with the Nazis. The lengthier Part II tackles the more complex issues facing postwar French Jewry, including French denials of collaboration, the massive influx of Sephardic Jews from Africa in the 1950s, the rise of Jewish identity politics, and changing public attitudes toward Israel. In French with English subtitles. Beta SP video. (MR)
Part I: From the Dreyfus Affair to Vichy (73 min.)
Part II: Liberation to Today (112 min.)
The two parts are shown together as a single attraction at our regular prices. There will be a 15-minute intermission. Please note special early show times on weekdays.
Fri., Tue., and Thu. at 4:30 pm;
Sat. and Sun. at 2:45 pm;
Mon. and Wed. at 2:15 pm and 6:00 pm
ACT OF GOD
2009, Jennifer Baichwal, Canada, 76 min.
“Thematically adventurous and visually ravishing follow-up to MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES.”--Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly
Is being struck by lightning a random accident of nature, a sign summoned up by a shaman, or commentary by a displeased Almighty? Baichwal, director of the mesmerizing cult hit MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES, delves into the mysterious lore surrounding lightning strikes through seven stories from around the globe, for an eerie meditation on chance. Novelist Paul Auster kicks off this inquiry with his narrative of an indelible incident from his youth, but the stories become progressively more strange and life-altering: true but teetering on the brink of urban legend; moving but with an edge of The Twilight Zone. Awe-inspiring lightning-storm sequences were shot over locations including Lake of the Woods and Georgian Bay. In English, Spanish, Yoruba, and French with English subtitles. 35mm. (BS)