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We’ve got a fantastic line-up of films for our second week of in-person screenings, so if you haven’t already purchased your All-Access Pass, you might want to take care of that right now! Single tickets are, of course, available, but you get the most bang for your buck with the pass.
We continue our Experimental Landscapes series on Tuesday with a new digital restoration of Scottish director Lynne Ramsay’s (You Were Never Really Here, Morvern Callar) extraordinary feature debut, Ratcatcher, “a haunting evocation of a troubled Glasgow childhood, set during Scotland’s national garbage strike of the mid-1970s. Utilizing beautiful, elusive imagery, candid performances, and unexpected humor, Ramsay deftly contrasts urban decay with a rich interior landscape of hope and perseverance, resulting in a work at once raw and deeply poetic.” (The Criterion Collection) We can’t recommend it highly enough. The screening will be introduced by Patty Keller (Comp Lit/Romance Studies).
We feature another digital restoration of a noted filmmaker’s feature debut on Wednesday: the late Melvin Van Peebles’ The Story of a Three Day Pass, part of our Francophone Film Festival. When the pioneering Black director was unable to break into a segregated Hollywood, he decamped to France in the late 60s, learned French, wrote several novels and then adapted one for the screen, influenced by the French New Wave. We’re happy to offer the film during Black History Month.
Our Sub-Saharan Cinema series, cosponsored with the Institute for African Development (IAD), kicks off on Thursday with the wonderful Lingui, the Sacred Bonds (pictured), which will be introduced by the Director of IAD, N’Dri Assié-Lumumba (ASRC). Chad’s official submission for Academy Award consideration, the film is currently showing at New York’s prestigious Film Forum, so we’re excited to offer the Ithaca premiere.
Lingui is also part of the Francophone Film Festival and kicks-off our Women’s Bodies/Women’s Lives series, as it tells the story of a Muslim mother and her adolescent daughter navigating a crisis in a country where abortion is both illegal and forbidden in Islam. Justin Chang of the LA Times describes it as “A blistering attack on patriarchy and a warm reaffirmation of ‘the sacred bonds’ (the meaning of the film’s title) among women…etched in fully felt performances and beautifully hued compositions.“
Our Satoshi Kon series continues later on Thursday with a recent digital restoration of Millennium Actress that will be introduced by Andrew Campana (Asian Studies), who is teaching the film as part of his Introduction to Japanese Cinema course; and our Saturday Night Noir series offers a 35mm film print of Jacques Tourneur’s definitive film noir, Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas & Jane Greer. It’s a doozy and one of our staff's favorite films!
The week is rounded out by two 2021 powerhouses: Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, nominated for a whopping twelve Academy Awards, and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, nominated for ten. Both demand big screen viewing, so even if you’ve seen at home, it’s well worth coming out for the big screen/big sound experience.
Finally, for Valentine’s Day, we offer two cinematic bonbons:
For experimental/art film fans: Media City Film Festival presents more than 70 film and digital artworks from 30+ countries over the course of its 25th anniversary virtual celebration: February 8 – March 1. Audiences can experience new films and restorations by artists, including Sergei Parajanov, Carolee Schneemann, Tracey Moffatt, Ulysses Jenkins, Tony Cokes, Luther Price, Karpo Godina, Sky Hopinka, and many more. All screenings and events are FREE.
For political/documentary fans: Heads up about our just added FREE virtual screenings of HBO’s three-part documentary, Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union, which will be available for viewing from Monday, February 21 (Presidents Day) through Sunday, March 6.