A Fish Called Wanda (under the stars@Cucina)

View Trailer Roger Ebert's 1988 rave
A FISH CALLED WANDA had audiences rolling in the aisles before becoming one of the most rented titles back in the days of, dare we say, home video. Decades later, the Oscar-winning ensemble movie about a clueless weapons expert, a bumbling barrister, a quick-witted femme fatale, and a stuttering con artist remains a cult favorite indebted as it is to the Ealing Studio comic tradition, courtesy of its director Charles Crichton & co-collaborator Monty Python alum, John Cleese. Starring Cleese, Kevin Kline (won Oscar for Supporting Actor), Michael Palin, Jamie Lee Curtis, and of course, the eponymous fish, the film boasts some of the strongest comic performances of its actors’ careers. 
UK, 1988, directed by Charles Crichton, R, 109 mins.

“And comedy this outrageous needs a soft spot at its heart, to offset its lust, brutality and cheerful disregard for propriety. Fortunately for all concerned, not one of these needs seems to go unmet.”
-Sheila Benson, L.A.Times

OUTDOORs at Cucina – Dinner & A Movie SCREENING

Thursday, Aug 27  (rain date Sunday Aug 30)
7pm @Cucina in Woodstock  9pm A FISH CALLED WANDA under the stars

Ticket – $65 Upstate Films Members / $75 others

… includes CUCINA’S Summer House BBQ w/ lobster rolls, chicken, pasta. Eat at socially distanced picnic tables before the movie. Bring blanket or portable seating. Only 45 spaces available. We appreciate your support for this Upstate Films’ fundraising show. 



View Trailer NYTimes Critics Pick

A great cast meets a great screenplay and are directed with a perfect touch. The stars align as Loretta (Cher), a young widow, has resigned herself to marry Johnny Cammareri (Danny Aiello), a man she does not love… until she meets his younger brother (Nicolas Cage) and sparks fly.


Thursday, Aug 13th (raindate Sunday Aug 16th)

7pm @Cucina in Woodstock  9pm MOONSTRUCK under the stars

Ticket – $45 Upstate Films Members / $50 others

… includes Cucina’s Summer House BBQ w/ lobster rolls, chicken, pasta. Eat at socially distanced picnic tables before the movie. Bring blanket or portable seating. Only 45 spaces available.
Please support this Upstate Films’ fundraising show.


Cher won Best Actress, the great Olympia Dukakis won Best Supporting Actress, and the writer, John Patrick Shanley, the Bard of the Bronx, took home an Oscar for Original Screenplay at the 1988 Academy Awards. Although Nicolas Cage didn’t win, he’s perfect in the role as younger brother Ronny. The film centers on Loretta Castorini (Cher), a Brooklyn bookkeeper who has agreed to  marry the best friend of her late husband who died seven years earlier. While Johnny’s out of town visiting his sick mother who controls his life, Loretta hand delivers an invite to the upcoming wedding to her soon to be brother-in-law, Ronny (Nicolas Cage). Sparks fly and Loretta becomes involved with Ronny, who tries to persuade her to break up with Johnny: “Love don’t make things nice. It ruins your life. It ain’t perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. We’re here to love the wrong people and break our hearts.” Or at least meet him at the Met for a performance of La Boheme. As the title song declares, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”  

PG / 102 mins / US / dir by Norman Jewison / 1987

“Reviews tend to make it sound like a madcap ethnic comedy, and that it is. But there is something more here, a certain bittersweet yearning that comes across as ineffably romantic, and a certain magical quality.” – Roger Ebert, The Chicago Sun-Times 


View Trailer Review

Now a modern classic this comedy is loosely based on Jane Austen’s 1815 novel Emma but here transposed to Beverly Hills where a wealthy, good-looking fashion forward high school girl, Cher Horowitz, is happy to orchestrate her friends’ lives, even as she dabbles in her own affairs of the heart, and all the while adding to the lexicon. Totally! Whatever!

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Thelma and Louise

Best friends – one, Thelma, a bored housewife, the other, Louise, a straight-laced waitress at a coffee shop –  have grown sick and tired of what they’ve settled for, and decide they need to take a break.
OUTDOOR SCREENING Saturday Aug 24 at Greig Farm, Red Hook (243 Pitcher Ln) … Bring a Picnic or Enjoy Papa’s Best Batch incredible edibles. (Online tickets will be available until the morning of the show. Tickets will also be on sale evening-of at Greig Farm.)  GET ADVANCE TICKETS ON LINE here

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The Secret Garden

This summer, you can read the book, watch the film, and see a live performance of The Secret Garden! The live production is currently running at the Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck (click here for details). And on Sunday, July 14th at 12:30pm, Upstate Films and Oblong Books will co-present a special screening of the 1993 film adaptation starring Maggie Smith, followed by an informal book group discussion. Click here to purchase film screening tickets in advance. Click here to purchase the book online through Oblong Books.
Following a silent film version in 1919 and a dramatic rendition in 1949, Agnieszka Holland’s The Secret Garden became the third, and to date the most definitive, adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel for the big screen. Both a critical and a commercial success at the time of its release, Maggie Smith received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the film, and the British Film Institute today includes it in their list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.
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Back in the mid-1940s in the heyday of the studio system a tug of war throw-down between a studio and its head – Fox and Darryl Zanuck – and a director – Otto Preminger- miraculously resulted in a hit film noir that decades later, in 1999, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”, and was chosen by the American Film Institute as one of the 10 best mystery films of all time.
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Dirty Dancing

Released in 1987 with little fanfare, DIRTY DANCING, the musical/love story set in the Catskills in the early ’60s, became a mega-hit film that later spawned a stage musical seen by millions world-wide.
OUTDOOR SCREENING Friday Aug 31st (Tonight!) at Greig Farm, Red Hook (243 Pitcher Ln) … Bring a Picnic or Enjoy Papa’s Best Batch incredible edibles. Click here to purchase tickets in advance. (Online tickets will be available until 12 hours before the event. Hard tickets will also be on sale day-of at Greig Farm.)
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Ingmar Bergman’s 100th Birthday Screenings

Ingmar Bergman (1918–2007), the father of the art house movement, stands as one of the giants of world cinema. Suffice it to say that the sixty plus films in his lauded career guarantee him a comfortable box seat in the pantheon of great filmmakers. For our tribute, we’ve chosen a mix of titles that give a sense of his powers to provoke, entertain, enthrall, and flat-out wow. Come see new digital restorations courtesy of Janus Films and the Swedish Film Institute. Each title will play in Rhinebeck on a Sunday at 1pm with an encore on Wednesday, and then will repeat in Woodstock a weekend later for a Saturday or Sunday matinee.
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Big Night – the classic film followed by a scrumptious dinner at Cucina

Enjoy dinner and a movie and help fundraise for Upstate Films!
See the culinary classic BIG NIGHT, followed by a sumptuous dinner cooked by the chef who designed the food in the film. Seated family style at long farm tables in Cucina‘s renovated 19th century barn, attendees will taste dishes chef Gianni Scappin orchestrated for Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott’s film, including the show-stopping timpano. Movie admission, dinner, and wine are included in the price of the ticket. SOLD OUT! Click here for tickets ($75 per person)
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Upstate Films and Oblong Books Present: Witness for the Prosecution

Read the story, then watch the movie! Upstate Films and Oblong Books co-present this screening, followed by a book group discussion — Sunday, November 12th at 1pm in Rhinebeck. To purchase tickets to the screening online in advance, click here.
Based on a short story and play by Agatha Christie, Billy Wilder’s WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION stars Charles Laughton as a British lawyer who gets caught up in a couple’s tangled affairs when he defends the husband for murder.
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Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo – Live at the Fisher Center

Named the “Greatest Film of All Time” by the British Film Institute’s Sight and Sound, this romantic, psychological thriller hypnotizes audiences on the big screen, accompanied by Bernard Herrmann’s haunting score. The score will be performed live at the Fisher Center by the Bard College Conservatory Orchestra on September 16th at 8pm and September 17th at 2pm.

Tickets are on sale now, ranging from $25 – $125. The top ticket price includes an Upstate Films Membership. Click here to purchase online in advance (Ticketing is only available through the Fisher Center website).
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Stop Making Sense

Jonathan Demme, who passed away this past April, was a great friend to arthouses nationwide. He first came to Upstate Films in the late ’70s after making Citizens Band and returned two more times – to present Cousin Bobby and a special show of Philadelphia along with writer Ron Nyswaner. July 19th, in tandem with arthouse theaters across the country, Upstate will screen Demme’s concert film Stop Making Sense in celebration of his life and work.
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This winter, George Orwell’s 1984 once again made the best sellers list, 68 years after its initial publication. On April 9th, Upstate will partner with Oblong Books to present the film followed by a book group discussion. The screening will also include a recorded introduction and post-screening discussion with director Michael Radford. 
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Staff pick! Sunday at 8:00, join us in Rhinebeck for a special presentation of BRAZIL, presented by staff member Joel Griffith. (Also showing without discussion on Friday January 20th at 11:30am). 
33 years ago Terry (Monty Python, Time Bandits, Fisher King) Gilliam organized private screenings for critics and powerful movie folks to get his dystopian vision released, and it’s proven to be one of the most trenchant looks at a fascistic society overwhelmed by bureaucratic control mechanisms.
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The Sunday Nov 1st 2pm show ($12/$10/$8) will be accompanied with live music performed by the Andrew Alden Ensemble, a contemporary and electronic chamber music group whose influences include Steve Reich, Philip Glass, David Lang, Radiohead, Velvet Underground and Krzysvtof Penderecki. Eisenstein’s classic, commissioned by the Soviets to mark the uprising of 1905, focusses on how the revolt of the battleship Potemkin’s crew inspired the “people” to join with them. It includes one of the most memorable sequences ever filmed – the Odessa Steps.
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Celebrate Italian Cinema with Prof. Joseph Luzzi

In Rhinebeck 
Sept 28
Sunday 1:30 pm $35 includes signed copy of My Two Italies or $20 without book… either way there’s a post-screening reception at Market St restaurant 
(This event is a fund-raiser for our classic cinema series)
Please join us for this excursion into Italian classic cinema with Professor Luzzi who will explore some of the greatest works ever to appear on the Italian screen, showing clips from masterpieces by Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellinim and others.
Tickets ($35 with a signed copy of Luzzi’s new memoir, My Two Italies or $20 without book), include
 a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres at Rhinebeck’s Market St. Restaurant (around the corner) where the celebration and discussion continues with Prof. Luzzi. Don’t miss out – the event promises to be an enjoyable celebration of Italy’s remarkable cinematic traditions as well as great conversation and fun. 
Joseph Luzzi is a writer and professor of Italian at Bard College. The first child in his Calabrian family born in the U.S., his recently published memoir, My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is the dramatic story of his Italian family’s immigration and an insider’s look at the turbulence of life in Italy today, especially during the Berlusconi years.
He is a frequent contributor of essays and reviews to publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, the London Times Literary Supplement, and many others. His first book, Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale Univ. Press 2008), received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association, and he is the author of the forthcoming A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014). His work has been translated into Italian and Portuguese, and he has lectured throughout the world on art, film, literature, and Italian culture. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We’ve enjoyed his previous film and discussion sessions here at Upstate Films Rhinebeck, and welcome him back. I love Luzzi.
Visit Prof Luzzi’s website
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I Vitelloni

Fellini's I VITELLONI coming to Upstate Films
In Rhinebeck
Jan 22
Wednesday 2:00
(Italy/1953/Federico Fellini)
unrated/103 mins
IN PERSON: Joseph Luzzi, Associate Professor of Italian at Bard College, author of the forthcoming memoir My Two Italies,  introduces and leads post-screening discussion
The popularity of Fellini’s second film, a tale of arrested development, made the title, which literally means “fattened calves”, enter the Italian vernacular while helping secure the maestro’s career as a director.
In the seacoast town of Rimini, five young layabouts live in a post-adolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape. They hang out at the pool hall spending lira provided by their indulgent families on drink and women. Originally released in the U.S. as THE YOUNG and THE PASSIONATE, it is a semi-autobiographical masterpiece of sharply drawn character sketches: Skirt-chaser Fausto, forced into marriage; Alberto, the perpetual child; Leopoldo, a writer thirsting for fame; and Moraldo, the only member of the group troubled by a moral conscience. Nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, I VITELLONI became the template for young male ensemble films such as MEAN STREETS, AMERICAN GRAFFITI, DINER… (Also – this was the start of Fellini’s collaboration with Nina Rota as music composer for his films.)
View TrailerRead J.Hobeman’s Village Voice rave