September 11 FADING GIGOLO, Dir: John Turturro, USA, 2014 90min
Bookseller Murray (Woody Allen) encounters hard times, and hits upon the novel idea of playing the pimp to his unexpectedly charming friend Fioravante's (Turturro) gigolo. As the business takes off, Fioravante encounters women both adventurous and shy. As Fioravante makes his rounds through bedrooms, Murray discovers it's not so easy to be a pimp and finds out that the secular and the Orthodox must come to a head sooner or later. As moving as it is funny, John Turturro's fifth film) is about people's endless and never fully satisfying quest to find happiness through sex and love.
September 18 THE CAPTIVE, Atom Egoyan, Canada 2014, 112min
Cassandra was a local girl who was kidnapped eight years ago, with many not knowing why. The film follows Matthew and Tina, a couple torn apart by the circumstances behind the mysterious disappearance of their daughter, who seems to be alive in captivity eight years later with her unknown location being broadcast online, leaving officials perplexed as they attempt to find her. A tale of lost children and grieving parents unfolding under wintry gray skies,
September 25 BOYHOOD, Richard Linklater, USA 2014, 165min
Filmed over 12 years with the same cast, BOYHOOD is a groundbreaking story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a child named Mason (Ellar Coltrane), who literally grows up on screen before our eyes. Starring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as Mason's parents and newcomer Lorelei Linklater as his sister Samantha, BOYHOOD charts the rocky terrain of childhood like no other film has before. Snapshots of adolescence from road trips and family dinners to birthdays and graduations and all the moments in between become transcendent, set to a soundtrack spanning the years from Coldplay's Yellow to Arcade Fire's Deep Blue.
October 2 TRACKS, John Curran, Australia 2013, 112min
It is an adaptation of Robyn Davidson's memoir of the same name, chronicling the author's nine-month journey on camels across the Australian desert. In 1977, Robyn Davidson travels from Alice Springs across 2,700 kilometres (1,700 miles) of Australian deserts to the Indian Ocean with her dog and four camels. National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan documents her journey.
October 9 LAND HO, Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens, Iceland/USA 2014 95m
Back when they were brothers-in-law, married to two sisters, Mitch and Colin were close friends, but they drifted apart. Mitch recruits a reluctant Colin on a holiday to Iceland. For both men, aging, loneliness, and disenchantment are silent adversaries to be countered with gumption. Women are much on the radar during their travels. As their rented SUV pilots them deeper into the Icelandic hinterlands, they encounter fellow adventurers, get on each others' nerves, play movie trivia games, get lost on the moonless moors, grouse about their sons, smoke pot, speak of regrets, and marvel at Iceland's otherworldly beauty. A testament to the fact that joie de vivre can replenish us at any age.
October 16 ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, Jim Jarmusch, UK/Germany/Greece, 2013, 123 min
The tale of two fragile and sensitive vampires, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton), who have been lovers for centuries. Both are cultured intellectuals, who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness. Adam, a reclusive underground musician hiding out in the ruins of contemporary Detroit, despairs about human civilization's decline, and worries about future survival. Eve, who is perhaps 3000 years old to Adam's 500, takes a longer view of history and is more optimistic. She leaves her home in the ancient city of Tangier to come to his side. Adam and Eve's precarious footing is threatened by the uninvited arrival of Eve's carefree and uncontrollable little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska). Unlike Adam and Eve, Ava hasn't yet learned to tame her wilder instincts, and her recklessness concerns Adam. Driven by sensual photography, trance-like music, and droll humor, this is a meditation on art, science, memory, and the mysteries of everlasting love.
October 23 FOR NO GOOD REASON, Charlie Paul, UK/USA, 2014 89min
Ralph Steadman is the last of the original Gonzo visionaries. Made over the course of fifteen years, the film explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Through Johnny Depp's lead we are able to reach the heart of what makes this atrist tick. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, this is a study in honesty, friendship and the ambition that drives an artist. Ralph's rise to prominence began in the early 1970's during the fallout from the love and hope that had swept the western world during the 1960's. This legendary time for music, literature, art and philosophy was the catalyst, along with his developing relationship with writer Hunter S Thompson, for Ralph to express and chart the wreckage that followed; a large-scale disintegration of a demoralized counter-culture. His art gained recognition in the press and popular-culture publications, both in the U.K. and U.S., for its bold comment on his fiercely heart-felt politics. The film is a richly creative, visual feast about the power and importance of art to achieve Steadman's aim "I learnt to draw...to try to change the world".
October 30 THE 100-YEAR OLD MAN, Felix Hergren, Sweden, 2013, 114min
Based on the bestselling 2009 debut novel by Jonas Jonasson, the wildly whimsical narrative follows the misadventures of Allan Karlsson (Robert Gustafsson) who escapes from an old people's home just in time to miss his own centenary birthday party. Shambling to the nearest bus stop in cork-soled slip-ons, Allan buys a ticket to nowhere, accidentally purloining en route a suitcase full of money. Pursued by an incompetent motorcycle gang, and variously teaming up with an ageing rogue, an incomplete man and a feisty woman with a pet elephant, Allan follows a trail of unintentional destruction through which the haphazard cataclysms of his past are refracted. One minute, he's attempting to dispose of a deep-frozen body in the dreamily chaotic present; the next, he's flashing back to a life in which his undying desire to blow things up saw him killing a neighbour as a child, becoming embroiled in both sides of the Spanish civil war as a young man and casually helping to invent the atom bomb as a fully grown destroyer of worlds.
November 6 LOVE IS STRANGE, Ira Sachs, USA/France, 2014, 94min
After nearly four decades together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when George loses his job soon after, the couple must sell their apartment and - victims of the relentless New York City real estate market - temporarily live apart until they can find an affordable new home. While George moves in with two cops (Cheyenne Jackson and Manny Perez) who live down stairs, Ben lands in Brooklyn with his nephew (Darren Burrows), his wife (Marisa Tomei), and their temperamental teenage son (Charlie Tahan), with whom Ben shares a bunk bed. While struggling with the pain of separation, Ben and George are further challenged by the intergenerational tensions and capricious family dynamics of their new living arrangements.
November 13 FINDING VIVIAN MAIER, John Maloof, Charlie Siskel, USA 2014, 83min
Finding Vivian Maier is the critically acclaimed documentary about a mysterious nanny, who secretly took over 100,000 photographs that were hidden in storage lockers and, discovered decades later, is now among the 20th century's greatest photographers. Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, Maier's strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never before seen photographs, films, and interviews with dozens who thought they knew her. Maier's massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago's Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof. Currently, Vivian Maier's body of work is being archived and cataloged for the enjoyment of others and for future generations. John Maloof is at the core of this project after reconstructing most of the archive, having been previously dispersed to the various buyers attending that auction. Now, with roughly 90% of her archive reconstructed, Vivian's work is part of a renaissance in interest in the art of Street Photography.
November 20 112 WEDDINGS, Doug Black, USA 2014, 95min
For the past two decades, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Doug Block (51 Birch Street, The Kids Grow Up) has helped support himself by shooting weddings. Hired for his intimate documentary style, he found himself emotionally bonding with his wedding couples on their big day, only to send off their videos and never see them again. Many years and 112 weddings later, having long wondered what's become of their marriages, Block begins to track down some of his favorite couples. Are they still together? Is married life what they thought it would be? How have they navigated the inevitable ups and downs of marriage over the long haul? Juxtaposing rapturous wedding day flashbacks with remarkably candid present-day interviews, 112 Weddings explores timeless themes of love and marital commitment.
November 27 WHIPLASH, Damien Chazelle, USA 2014, 106min
Whiplash opened the 30th anniversary edition of Sundance and electrified the spirits of everyone who saw it. It stars Miles Teller and Whiplash confirms that he's truly a spectacular actor, with a slightly damaged glamour and a face you can't stop watching because of all the feelings it registers. He plays Andrew Neiman, a brilliant, driven young jazz drummer who is attending the Schaffer Academy in Manhattan, a (fictional) performing-arts institution that, as presented, is one of the best music schools in the country. There, he comes under the tutelage of the school's fearsome and legendary taskmaster - a scarily exacting maestro of jazz named Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons). he relationship that develops between Neiman and Fletcher is a vintage love/hate mentor/protégé sadist/victim psychodrama, but there's an original complexity to it, since the reason that Neiman gets so drawn into Fletcher's world in the first place is that the kid is an obsessive, neurotic perfectionist himself. Can he live up to his dreams of jazz greatness and hold on to his sanity? Whiplash is the second feature written and directed by Damien Chazelle with all the gifts and instincts of a born filmmaker: the rhythms, the feelings for punchy organic dialogue, the visual panache, and the ability to keep surprising an audience without contrivances.
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