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Harpur Cinema kicks off spring season
February 24, 2014Tweet
Harpur Cinema’s 2014 spring season will offer some new titles from independent and international filmmakers.
Films are shown at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Sundays in LH- 6. Ticket are: $4, single admission; Harpur Cinema membership: $22 for general public; $20 for students and senior citizens. Memberships are available at the door before each screening or in the Cinema Department office, SW-203B.
• Feb. 28 and March 2: “Reality,” 116 min (Matteo Garrone, 2012; Italy/France)
Anyone familiar with Garrone’s gritty and relentless mafia drama “Gomorrah” (2008) might be surprised at this film about a humble Neopolitan fish-monger who becomes obsessed with appearing on reality-TV show “Big Brother.” Garrone’s signature roving camera ushers Luciano on an inexorable and delirious journey across the boundary that separates his mundane life from the Fellini-esque world of television fantasies of celebrity and luxury. The style is both neo-realist and fantastic, poignant and absurd, but always profoundly human. Winner: Cannes, 2012 (Grand Jury Prize); Nominated: Cannes, 2012 (Palme d’or), Golden Globes-Italy (Best Cinematographer, Actor, 2012. Olivia Holmes, associate professor, English and Medieval Studies, will introduce the film on Friday, Feb. 28.
• March 7 and 9: “Like Someone in Love,” 109 min. (Abbas Kiarostami, 2012; Japan/France)
This film finds one of Harpur Cinema’s favorite globe-trotting Iranian filmmakers in Japan, telling the story of a young hooker rescued by an older man. As A. O. Scott in the New York Times suggests “sentimental fantasies hover [over the couple]...and it’s not impossible that both Takashi and Akiko have seen Pretty Woman.” But the resemblance ends there. Kiarostami, as ever, is more interested in what lies outside the frame than what is within it and; as Scott continues, “every shot—everything you see, and everything you don’t—imparts a disturbing and thrilling sense of discovery,” refreshing a well-worn fairy-tale as only Kiarostami can do. Nominated: Cannes, 2012 (Palme d’or); Asian Film Awards (Best Director 2013). Tomonari Nishikawa, associate professor of cinema, will introduce the film on Friday, March 7.
• March 14 and 16: “Farewell My Queen,” 100 min. (Benoît Jacquot; France, 2012).
The story of Marie Antoinette’s ruin has been told many times on the screen (at least as far back as 1922), but never from the perspective taken in this film. Based on a novel by Chantal Thomas who won the 2002 Prix Femina, viewers see the Queen and the fall of French royalty from the viewpoint of a domestic, Sidonie Laborde. Running up and down the drab hallways that contrast starkly with the gleaming royal spaces, Léa Seydoux depicts Sidonie’s devotion in all its breadth and subtlety, from loyal subject, to adoring and even erotic admirer of a woman who is rapidly falling apart before her eyes. Winner: César, 2013 (Cinematography), Prix Louis Delluc, 2012 (Best Picture); Nominated: Golden Bear Berlin, 2012 (Best Director); Cesar, 2013 (Best Director, Best Film) Dora Polachek, visiting associate professor of romance languages and literature, will introduce the film on Friday, March 14.
• March 21 and 23: “The Angels’ Share,” 101 min. (Ken Loach, 2012; Great Britain).
The angels’ share is the amount of whiskey that evaporates in the process of distilling. ... It is a charming metaphor Ken Loach uses as a symbolize for the last shot at the good life for a young petty criminal. The adventure begins when Robbie and his rough and tumble crew of mates go on a field trip to a distillery. New York Times critic Stephen Holden describes the film as a comic farce mixed with sobering observations about living in a world where hopes and dreams are as likely to be thwarted by angry peers as want of opportunity. Winner: Cannes, 2012 (Jury Prize); Nominated: Scottish BAFTA, 2012 (Best Feature) Cannes, 2012 (Palme d’or), César, 2013 (Best Foreign Film) Joyce Jesionowski, lecturer in cinema, will introduce the film on Friday, March 21.
• March 28 and 30: “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” 96 min. (David Lowery, 2013; USA).
Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara shine in this latter-day “western” about an outlaw who breaks out of prison to rejoin his wife and infant daughter. The conventional tale is distinguished by the tough and subtle performances, as well as the rich atmosphere. The award-winning cinematography makes a kind of visual poem of the barren Texas hill country, mixing romance with grit and violence that entangles the viewer in contradictory emotional responses. Mark Kermode of the Guardian notes that the film confirms that the ghosts of “the western still haunt the landscape of modern cinema ... like a distant song—half forgotten, yet still remembered and very much loved.” Winner: Sundance: Special Jury Prize, 2013 (Cinematography); Nominated: Sundance: Grand Jury Prize, 2013 (David Lowery). Chantal Rodais, adjunct lecturer in cinema, will introduce the film on Friday, March 28.
• April 4 and 6: “Cutie and the Boxer,” 82 min. (Zachary Heinzerling, 2013; USA).
Alternately rueful and whimsical, this documentary looks in on Ushio Shinohara, “a pugilist Jackson Pollock, jabbing his canvases into being” and Noriko Shinohara, the “cutie,” “who put her own artistic ambitions on hold to raise their son and support her husband’s ‘genius.’ Struggling to translate his counter-culture cachet on the New York scene into liquid cash, negotiating with a Guggenheim potentate, 80-year-old Ushio is laboriously boxing artistic shadows. But Noriko’s feisty drawings – a displaced account of her marital struggles – ingeniously rope-a-dope her husband. Her confidence, and her independence…visibly flourish as the two prepare for a joint show, but his good humor hardly wanes. Heinzerling’s film is ...a portrait of how mannerisms, in art and life, are built up and challenged; his camera, peeks into the couple’s flat and studios…a silent member of the family.” (Phil Hoad, The Guardian) Winner: Sundance, 2013 (Directing), Grierson Award, London, 2013 (Special mention); Nominated: Oscar, 2014 (Best documentary); Director’s Guild, 2014 (Outstanding Director, Documentary)