La Casa Lobo (The Wolf House)

View Trailer The Wrap Review

Combing stop-motion techniques, painting and photography, this exquisitely handcrafted animation feature tells the story of a girl who escapes a cult colony of religious fanatics during Chile’s darkest years under Pinochet.

Maria, a girl finds refuge in a house in the south of Chile after escaping from a sect of German religious fanatics. She is welcomed into the home by two pigs, the only inhabitants of the place. Like in a dream, the universe of the house reacts to Maria’s feelings. The animals transform slowly into humans and the house becomes a nightmarish world. Inspired by the actual case of Colonia Dignidad, “The Wolf House” masquerades as an animated fairy tale produced by the leader of the sect in order to indoctrinate its followers. In Spanish & German with English subtitles. (Via KimStim) 

Either before or after you watch the film, enjoy this Q&A with the filmmakers moderated by film critic Carlos Aguilar.

Chile / 2018 / Directed by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña / 75 mins.


“The film surprises, with incredible force, in every one of its 75 minutes.” – Glenn Kenny 
The New York Times
“In both concept and execution, The Wolf House will render you awestruck.” – Carlos Aguilar 

Berlinale Forum: Caligari Prize / Monterrey Film Festival: Best International Animated Feature Film


A Hidden Life

Trailer Review

Shot on location in the alps of Austria and Italy, the latest film from Terrence Malick (BADLANDS, THE TREE OF LIFE, DAYS OF HEAVEN) is based on the true story of Franz Jägerstetter, an Austrian conscientious objector during the second world war.
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JoJo Rabbit

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Winner of the Audience Award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival… And yet, not everyone will like JoJo Rabbit, and at times you’ll wonder if you should. A coming-of-age comedy whose hero is a 10 year-old German boy during World War II who wants to be a Nazi/Adolf Hitler as comic relief? As it walks some precarious high wires, Taika Waititi’s latest (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok) takes a risky premise and delivers a piece of grandly entertaining provocation.
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Aquarela takes audiences on a deeply cinematic journey through the transformative beauty and raw power of water. A visceral wake-up call that humans are no match for the sheer force and capricious will of Earth’s most precious element.
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A struggling Mumbai street photographer who’s pressured to marry by his grandmother convinces a shy stranger to pose as his fiancée during a family visit in the new film by writer/director Ritesh (The Lunchbox) Batra.
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Sky and Ground

This powerful film gives voice and body(ies) to the term “refugees” as it accompanies a family on foot from Aleppo, Syria on their trek to reach relatives in Germany. Join us Saturday, April 13th at noon for a screening and discussion with filmmaker Joshua Bennett; Lea Matheson, senior advisor on migration and humanitarian issues in the Office of the President at the UN; Vassar College professor Maria Höhn, co-founder of the Mid-Hudson Refugee Solidarity Alliance and Director of the Consortium on Forced Displacement, Migration, and Education; and Ahed Festuk, an activist from Aleppo who is now living in NY, and who was one of the pioneering women demonstrators against Bashar al-Assad. This event is being presented for FREE. Donations taken at the door will benefit the Refugee Welcome Corporation in Albany (suggested donation $10).
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In Christian (Barbara) Petzold’s brilliant and haunting modern-day adaptation of Anna Seghers’s 1942 novel, Transit Visa, a German refugee assumes the identity of a recently deceased writer and flees to Marseille.
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Never Look Away

Academy Award Nominee – Best Cinematography, Best Foreign Film
Inspired by the early life and career of renowned contemporary artist Gerhard Richter, Academy Award-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) delves into the dark corners of postwar East Germany to explore the role art can play in times of political chaos and moral confusion.
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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts – Documentary

For the 14th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films. This is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A hit with audiences around the country, don’t miss this year’s selection of Documentary Shorts. Click below for information on the program. (Estimated Running Time: 137 mins)
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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts – Live Action

For the 14th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films. This is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A hit with audiences around the country, don’t miss this year’s selection of Live Action Shorts. Click below for information on the program. (Estimated Running Time: 108 mins)
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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts – Live Action

For the 14th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films. This is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A hit with audiences around the country, don’t miss this year’s selection of Live Action Shorts. Click below for information on the program. (Estimated Running Time: 108 mins)
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2019 Oscar Nominated Shorts – Documentary

For the 14th consecutive year, Shorts HD and Magnolia Pictures present the Oscar-Nominated Short Films. This is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A hit with audiences around the country, don’t miss this year’s selection of Documentary Shorts. Click below for information on the program. (Estimated Running Time: 137 mins)
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The House That Jack Built

Wednesday, November 28th at 8:20 in Rhinebeck
Boundary-pushing cinema-provocateur Lars von Trier’s (BREAKING THE WAVES, DANCER IN THE DARK, MELANCHOLIA, ANTICHRIST, etc) latest, THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT, has its North American premiere Wednesday, November 28, with a special one-night-only show of the director’s cut – the version shown at this year’s Cannes Film Festival where the director was greeted with a 10-minute standing ovation and where the film, the tale of a serial killer, prompted many to walk out. Not for the faint-hearted.
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Isle of Dogs

Academy Award Nominee – Best Animated Feature, Best Original Score
Golden Globe Nominee – Best Motion Picture (Animated), Best Score

Director Wes (Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Royal Tennenbaums, Rushmore…) Anderson’s second animated film – the first being the Academy Award nominated FANTASTIC MR. FOX – is set in Japan where it follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog.
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In The Fade

This year’s Golden Globe winner for best foreign language film is a kinetic tour-de-force, a story of love and revenge that features the Cannes Film Festival’s best actress award winner Diane Kruger who is out for blood.

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The 36th Annual Black Maria Short Film Festival

The Black Maria Film Festival returns to Upstate Films Friday July 21st! The program features a collection of award-winning works; including animation, narrative, and documentary films chosen by the festival jury. Immediately following the screening, Festival Director Jane Steuerwald & short film director Nathan Pancione will conduct a Q & A with the audience. July 21st at 8:15 pm in Rhinebeck.
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Karl Marx City

“Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein’s unsettling new documentary, is a smart, highly personal addition to the growing syllabus of distressingly relevant cautionary political tales” – A.O. Scott NY Times
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The new film by the director of BARBARA is a spellbinding mystery of identity, illusion, and deception, set soon after the end of WWII in Germany.
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Hannah Arendt

July 26 – 28
Fri 5:30
Sat 5:30
Sun 5:30 (last show)
(Germany / 2012 / Directed by Margarethe von Trotta)
Unrated / 113 mins. 
Hannah Arendt is an attempt, in director Margarethe von Trotta’s words, to transform “thought into a film.” Fittingly, the film focuses on one of the crucial moments in Arendt’s life and career: her visit to Jerusalem in 1961 to cover the trial of Adolf Eichmann, where Arendt begins to formulate what would be her most controversial contribution to contemporary political thought, the concept of the banality of evil.
“The greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons,” says Arendt. In the mousy, petty-bourgeois beaurocrat Eichmann, she sees the face of this uniquely modern malevolence. Introduced sitting alone, silent and smoking, Barbara Sukowa fully inhabits the role of Arendt. Without speaking a word she conveys the isolation, the spirit and the fierce intellect of this formidable woman — one who sought to bring what her mentor and lover Heidegger once described as “the lonely business of thinking” directly into the public realm, to transform philosophy from intellectual abstraction into practical political action. Using footage from the actual Eichmann trial and weaving an involving narrative that spans three countries, von Trotta turns the often invisible passion of thought into immersive, dramatic cinema. 
View TrailerClick here for a Review


Mar 4 – 7
Mon 6:00 8:10
Tues 6:00 8:10
Wed 6:00 8:10
Thur 6:00 8:10 (last show)
(Germany, 2012, director/co-Writer: Christian Petzold)
PG-13 / 105 mins
Winner of Best Director prize at the Berlin Film Festival, this well-acted Cold War thriller is set during the 1980s when the stand-off between East and West, Capitalism and Communism was in full bloom, and when asking to emigrate was considered an offense against the people and the state.

Such is Barbara’s (Nina Hoss) “crime.” She’s a Berlin physician who’s exiled to a small town hospital in the provinces where she’s watched closely by the Stasi and by a colleague, the lead doctor (Ronald Zehrfeld). With her patients the guarded, cool blonde doctor is kind, warm, and protective, even risking her own safety for one of her charges. She finds herself torn between the promise of escape across the border and her growing love for her colleague – who may be planning to betray her to the secret police. Masterfully controlled and totally absorbing, this Cold War thriller expertly dramatizes the push/pull between the individual and the collective, and the power of the bourgeois notion of romantic love. In German with subtitles.
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Oct 17

Wed  8:30
$12 (adults)
$11 (seniors/students)
$10 (members/under 16)
unrated/94 mins
F.W.’s Murnau’s German expressionist horror film, shot in the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania during the early days of film, with Max Schreck as the grotesque Count Orlock, is revered as one of the scariest Dracula adaptations ever made.
LIVE MUSIC BY THE 5 piece ANDREW ALDEN ENSEMBLE brings an exciting new score to this iconic film.
The new score by the Andrew Alden Ensemble compliments the horror of the film and the classic story of Dracula, with the sensibilities of classical chamber music and the distinct edge of rock. The music – featuring piano, strings, synthesizers, percussion and electric guitars – will be performed in person during the showing of the film, giving us a new experience of this memorable classic.
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Rabbit à la Berlin

Tues May 22 at 6:00

(Germany & Poland / 2009 / dir by Bartosz Konopka)
Unrated / 51 mins.
Narrated with the wonder and genteelness of a storybook, this Oscar nominated documentary – a fascinating look at history through the eyes of animals – explores the world of the thousands of wild rabbits who lived in the Death Zone of the Berlin Wall.
For 28 years, the strip of earth enclosed between the two walls was a safe enclave for rabbits. Full of grass, the zone had no predators and guards to ensure that no one disturbed them. But while the dismantling of the Wall in 1989 may have been a source of great joy for some, it had a catastrophic effect on the population. “For the rabbits, it was like an exodus. It was very dramatic and terrifying for those animals,” the 37-year-old Polish director says. “In the fate of those rabbits, there was some kind of prediction: a bad weather forecast for people.” Serving as an allegorical tale of a totalitarian system, Rabbit à la Berlin ingeniously captures a historical moment from a vantage rarely seen.

“If Werner Herzog remade WATERSHIP DOWN, this would be his template…a lovely modern mini-myth, sarcastic and Beatrix Potter-y in turn.”
– Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

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Gerhard Richter Painting

Apr 13-19
Mon 6:00
Tue 8:15
Wed 6:00 8:15
Thu 6:00 8:15 (last show)
(Germany/2012/Dir. by Corinna Belz)
UR / 97 mins
True to its title, this documentary follows the legendary German painter in his studio while he prepares for a retrospective of his past and current paintings.
Painter of figurative and abstract works, Richter’s work has always defied a consistent form, despite undeniable visual trademarks (i.e. the “blur” effect).  Richter discusses the nature of his work and his process with the filmmaker and is also captured in candid discussions with colleagues and gallerists.  The films most satisfying moments, however, are the plentiful scenes of the artist in his cavernous studio working the materials into new pieces and the camera patiently watches and allows the audience into the process. 
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Feb 25 – 26
Sat 3:00
Sun 3:00

(Germany 2011 dir by Wim Wenders)
Unrated / 104 mins
“Dance, dance, or we are lost.” Pina Bausch’s final words summarize her life and provide the inspiration for acclaimed director Wim Wenders’ (WINGS OF DESIRE, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB) breathtaking tribute to the legendary choreographer.
 Please Note: This is a 2-D 35mm version, not the 3-D digital, BUT it works. PINA was the first film I saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Fest., and I watched enough of it without the 3-d glasses to know it works in 2-D and is a wonderful film.
Bausch and her Tanztheater Wuppertal reached brilliantly subversive new expressive realms, and in his exhilarating film, Wim Wenders captures the raw, heart-stopping intensity of the movement. PINA features interviews with and performances by Bausch’s beloved original company members, and offers an indelible image of an artist. An official selection of the Berlinale, Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals, and now Germany’s official entry for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
May 3 – 6
Mon 7:30
Tues 7:30
Wed 5:30
Thurs 5:30 – Last Show

(Germany, Denmark, Sweden / 2009 / dir by Niels Arden Oplev)
Based on the late Stieg Larsson’s best-selling mystery novels, this tale of serial murder and corporate trickery won the Audience Award at the European Film Awards.
International financial fraud and the dark past of a wealthy Swedish industrial family are intertwined. A disgraced investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist is shocked when he’s summoned by a legendary industrialist Henrik Vanger. He wants him to investigate the mysterious disappearance many years earlier of his beloved niece Harriet. Mikael joins forces with the brilliant, if highly unorthodox, private investigator Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace). She’s the young, tattooed, diminutive, violent, antisocial, bisexual detective with a very personal sense of morality and a highly troubled past. The two of them soon begin to uncover a tangled web of dysfunction, fanaticism, and misogyny. In Swedish with English subtitles.

Stieg Larsson was a well-known Swedish journalist and magazine editor with a love for mystery novels. In his spare time, he began to write his own series of mysteries. Larsson finished three books before he died tragically of a heart attack at age 50, and never lived to see his amazingly entertaining books become an international phenomenon with over 12 million copies sold.

Unrated / 152 mins.
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The Last Station

The Last Station
March 15 – 18
Mon 7:30
Tues 7:30
Wed 7:30
Thurs 7:30 – Last Show
(Germany-Russia-UK / 2009 / dir by Michael Hoffman)
After almost fifty years of marriage, the Countess Sofya (Helen Mirren), Leo Tolstoy’s (Christopher Plummer) devoted wife, lover, muse and secretary, suddenly finds her entire world turned upside down.
In the name of his newly created religion, the great Russian novelist has renounced his noble title, his property and even his family in favor of poverty, vegetarianism and celibacy. When Sofya discovers that Tolstoy’s trusted disciple, Checkov (Paul Giamatti) — whom she despises — may have secretly convinced her husband to sign a new will, leaving the rights to his iconic novels to the Russian people rather than his very own family, she is consumed by righteous outrage. This is the last straw. Using every bit of cunning, every trick of seduction in her considerable arsenal, she fights for what she believes is rightfully hers. The more extreme her behavior becomes, however, the more easily Checkov is able to persuade Tolstoy of the damage she will do to his glorious legacy. A complex, funny, rich and emotional story about the difficulty of living with love and the impossibility of living without it.
R / 112 mins.
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The White Ribbon

The White Ribbon
March 19 – 25
Fri 3:30 6:30
Sat 3:30
Sun 2:30 5:30
Mon 5:30
Tues 5:30
Wed 8:25
Thurs 8:25 – LAST SHOW
(Germany / 2009 / dir by Michael Haneke)
Set in a German farming village on the brink of World War I, Haneke’s (THE PIANO TEACHER, CACHE) Cannes prizewinner examines how mistrust can breed violence.
Amidst the sun-dappled fields of Eichwald, a horseman has a strange accident, a worker is killed in a sawmill, a young boy is kidnapped, and a barn is torched. As children gravitate toward the violent incidents, village elders grow fearful, and longtime neighbors start to distrust one another. Though “whodunnit” is revealed at the very last moment, the film remains a mystery not of suspense but of suspicion, the saga of a society that admits to nothing while hiding everything. In German with subtitles.
R / 145 mins.
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August 16
Sun 8pm
(Germany / 2005 / dir by Fatih Akin)
Joel Griffith, long a stalwart at Upstate Films writes about his Staff Pick:  After thirteen years working at UPSTATE and many superb films, it was surprisingly easy to select my picture for our STAFF PICK SERIES: Fatih Akin’s HEAD ON (Gegen die Wand.)
UPSTATE screened it in 2005 and this dense, powerful film was a cinematic experience that has stayed with me ever since. HEAD ON is a gripping, provocative catharsis; where pain, beauty, humor, and tenderness intertwine. Akin deftly envelops us through all the tools of cinema in this gritty, compressed epic about two Turkish-German lovers who riot against society’s restraints and their own self-destructiveness. From the grunge bars and night clubs of Hamburg, to the cobbled streets and cafes of Istanbul, we follow the improbable love story of Cahit and Sibel, two failed suicides whose marriage of convenience unexpectedly becomes the real deal. But no simple plot summary can do justice to this beautifully filmed, polythematic, punk-rock fable whose existential truths cut hard and deep. Come and see for yourself.
unrated/2 hours
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