|A talented writer who’s hired to ghostwrite the memoirs of a controversial former British P.M. becomes a hunted man when he uncovers some explosive secrets in Roman (Chinatown, Knife in the Water, Rosemary’s Baby, Tess, The Pianist, etc) Polanski’s latest film.|
|When a successful British writer (Ewan McGregor) agrees to ghost write the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), his agent assures him it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But the project seems doomed from the start-not least because his predecessor on the project, the P.M.’s long-term aide, died in a puzzling and unfortunate accident. As he researches and writes, he uncovers clues suggesting his predecessor may have stumbled on a dark secret linking the prime minister to the CIA, and that somehow this information is hidden in the manuscript he left behind. Was the ghostwriter’s predecessor murdered because of the appalling truth he uncovered?|
“This movie is the work of a man who knows how to direct a thriller. Smooth, calm, confident, it builds suspense instead of depending on shock and action.” –ROGER EBERT
|PG-13 / 128 mins.|
|Winner of the Grand Prize at Cannes and nominated for an Academy Award, this sensational crime saga is the latest from a new star of international cinema, the talented director Jacques (THE BEAT MY HEART SKIPPED, READ MY LIPS) Audiard.|
|A scared street kid – Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim) – enters prison without friends or any real sense of the complex and brutal rules that govern his new world. Easy prey, he’s given an ultimatum by the ruthless Corsican crime lord César Luciani (Niels Arestrup): kill or be killed. The Corsicans take advantage of Malik’s Arab background in an attempt to assassinate a political prisoner who’s under the protection of the prison’s Arab gangs. Malik, a fast learner, soon navigates the intricacies of the lethal alliances and hatches his own schemes that propel his rise to power. The film’s visual style counterpoints and highlights the movement of the plot.|
“Sweeping and precisely observed…with transparent compassion but none of the sentimentalizing that softens and cheapens too many mob stories.” (New York Times)
|R / 149 mins.|
|For legendary auteur François Truffaut, childhood was not an easy time; his experiences influenced some of his best films (THE 400 BLOWS, THE WILD CHILD) including this serio-comic view.|
|Filmed during the summer of 1975 in collaboration with the people of Thiers, a beautiful French hill town, SMALL CHANGE is a series of loosely connected vignettes about young people from toddlers to teens. Truffaut noted “I never tire of filming with children; all that a child does on-screen, he seems to do for the first time,” and that “nothing is small when it comes to childhood.”|
|unrated / 104 mins.|
|Winner Best Screenplay, Cannes 2008. From Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (La Promesse, Rosetta, L’Enfant) comes this austere yet hopeful tale about an Albanian woman trying to make a new life for herself in Belgium.|
|Lorna (Arta Dobroshi) works in a dry cleaning shop and is prepared to do anything to secure EU citizenship so she can open a snack bar with her boyfriend, Sokol (Alban Ukaj). Commiting to an elaborate scheme concocted by Russian mobster Fabio (Fabrizio Rongione), Lorna’s motivations initially appear determinedly ruthless. But what starts as an economic arrangement changes as Lorna develops a conscience. In French and Albanian with subtitles.|
|R. / 105 mins.|
|This sumptuous biopic looks at the early life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, when the future queen of couture began to formulate a style that would change the world.|
|Audrey Tautou (AMELIE) plays the young Coco, working days as a seamstress and nights at a cabaret while dreaming of a life in fashion. One evening, a rich older man spies beautiful Coco at the bar, and before long she arrives at his villa and enters high society. While she enjoys the good life, she finds the social and gender mores foisted upon her oppressive. She rejects the overblown women’s styles of the day, and instead begins experimenting with her lover’s clothes. It is then that we get to see the seeds of a revolution in the way women dress and live.|
|PG-13 / 110 mins.|
|Yolande Moreau gives a brilliant performance as Seraphine de Senlis, a turn-of-the-century maid who spends her evenings painting wild, inspired visions.|
|Though her gifts are transcendent, Seraphine’s social class prevents her work from being discovered until German collector Wilhelm Uhde (Ulrich Tukur) notices one of her paintings at her employer’s home. Uhde, who hides his homosexuality in order to continue his public life as a critic, understands how it feels to lead a double life, and his ability to empathize with the painter leads him to show her an uncharacteristic respect. But as a poignant relationship develops between the two, he and others begin to worry that Seraphine is mad; at night she sings hymns ecstatically in her apartment, and she insists that her paintings are guided by God. A stunning rumination on the lines between genius and madness. Winner of 7 Cesar Awards, including Best Film and Best Actress. In French and German with subtitles.|
|Unrated / 121 mins.|
|In this rediscovered masterwork, a love triangle is set against a backdrop of political turmoil in 1960s France.|
|French icon Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as Clément, a member of a right wing terrorist group who’s married to Anne (Romy Schneider), a lovely young actress. Clément manages to keep his activities secret until Anne finds his carefully wrapped bazooka (!) in the hall closet. When Clément takes off to find and punish a turncoat in his paramilitary group, he leaves Anne with Paul (Henri Serre), an old school friend, and a pacifist and leftist to boot. That turns out to be a mistake on several different counts. In French with subtitles.|
|Unrated / 104 mins.|
|This extraordinary French drama about generational differences in a changing Europe, by writer-director Olivier Assayas (IRMA VEP, DEMONLOVER), serves as a strong reminder that film’s magic doesn’t have to be loud to be compelling.|
|Hélène Berthier (Edith Scob) is a silver-haired matriarch enthroned among her children at the beginning of the film. When she passes away and leaves behind a country house and a cherished art collection featuring works by Corot, her heirs must decide what to do with it. As each of her children – including Frederic (Charles Berling), an economist in Paris, Adrienne (Juliet Binoche), a designer in New York, and Jeremie (Jeremie Renier), a marketer in Asia – wrestles in his or her own way with their mother’s memory and their responsibility to the artist’s legacy, Assayas lets the passing of the home reflect everything from modern globalization to the transparency of familial ties and the inevitable fade of a French lifestyle. Enhanced by the refreshing camerawork of Eric Gautier (A CHRISTMAS TALE, INTO THE WILD) the dramatic conflict in this evocative film comes from tensions between the past, which must be honored, and the present, which must be lived. In French with subtitles.|
|Unrated / 103 mins.|
|Unraveling as a film-within-a-film, this layered tale of friends who become lovers against their better judgment is a treat for all who appreciate the charm, wit, and romance of French cinema.|
|When Gabriel (Michael Cohen) meets Emilie (Julie Gayet), an immediate attraction forms. But at the end of the night, she refuses to give him a farewell kiss. To explain why, she tells him the story of Judith (Virginie Ledoyen) and Nicolas (Emmanuel Mouret), a couple she knows in Paris. Committed to other partners, Judith and Nicolas are longtime friends who tell each other everything. That is, until Nicolas confesses he lacks “physical affection” in his relationships with women and asks Judith if she can help. At first, their story borders on light farce, but as it intertwines with Gabriel and Emilie’s dilemma, it moves seamlessly toward something more consequential. Directed with finesse by Emmanuel Mouret, SHALL WE KISS is full of comically rueful musings about fidelity and true love. In French with subtitles.|
|unrated, in French with English sub-titles / 96 mins|
(France / 2008 / dir by Abdellatif Kechiche)
An authentic and engrossing living portrait of French immigrant culture.
When Slimane (Habib Boufares) is laid off from the shipyard after 35 years, he conceives a plan to turn a derelict boat into a restaurant featuring his cantakerous ex-wife’s renowned couscous. With his girlfriend’s teen daughter (Hafsia Herzi) in tow, Slimane scrambles to put everything together in time for the gala opening, when the entire family chronicle, along with four decades of French social and economic history, explodes as a lavish, hectic dinner, complete with music and belly dancing. Rich and immersing. In French with subtitles.
unrated / 151 mins
(France /1967 / dir by Jacques Tati)
* SAT. APRIL 18th @ 1:45pm – IN PERSON: Tati-obsessed Upstate staffer Carl Hoyt
** SPECIAL MEMBER BONUS! The film is open to all, but any member coming to see PLAYTIME will receive a free small popcorn and be entered in a raffle to win a dvd copy of Tati’s MON ONCLE! Upstate loves our members!
Made in 1967, PLAYTIME is the much-appreciated but rarely-shown masterpiece by Jacques Tati, who won several international awards for his films featuring Monsieur Hulot.
Hulot, one of the few modern comic characters in the mold of Chaplin and Keaton, is a bridge between the silent and sound eras’ approach to film comedy. Ostensibly documenting a group of American tourists and Hulot as they wander aimlessly through a simulacrum of Paris, PLAYTIME is (to quote Roger Ebert) “one of a kind, complete in itself, a species already extinct at the moment of its birth…Instead of plot it has a cascade of incidents, instead of central characters it has a cast of hundreds, instead of being a comedy it is a wondrous act of observation. It occupies no genre and does not create a new one.” In French with subtitles.
unrated / 124 mins