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Films & Schedules - Thursday, February 17, 2011

AFTERSHOCK

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 5:30 PM (WH)
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AFTERSHOCK

DIRECTOR: Feng Xiaogang - CHINA

This year’s Chinese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar also reigns as the most popular film in Chinese box office history. Feng Xiaogang tells the epic story of the survivors of one of China’s greatest natural disasters, the Tangshan Earthquake of 1976, which killed nearly 250,000 people. What starts as a disaster movie of Titanic proportions—with impressive special effects—moves to a deeply moving family melodrama that has wrung billions of tears from Chinese audiences. When the earthquake strikes, father Daqing is killed, and mother Yuanni (Xu Fan) is forced to make an impossible choice involving her two children...

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BARBERSHOP PUNK

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 6 PM (B1)
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BARBERSHOP PUNK

DIRECTOR: Georgia Sugimura Archer, Kristin Armfield - UNITED STATES

While trying to share his collection of rare, turn-of-the-century barbershop quartet recordings over the internet (legally), a software engineer named Robb Tolposki living in Hillsboro, Oregon, found that his uploads were being secretly blocked by his service provider, Comcast. His response soon made him the unlikeliest of heroes in the “net neutrality” debate, compelling the Federal Communications Commission to focus on Comcast’s—and other large media corporations’—efforts to control free expression and, of course, internet profits. Filmmakers Archer and Armfield expertly interweave Tolposki’s—self-described as a “social liberal, fiscal conservative, Republican Libertarian”—inspiring personal battle against censorship with opinions on both sides of...

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YOUNG GOETHE!

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 6:15 PM (B3)
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YOUNG GOETHE!

DIRECTOR: Philipp Stölzl - GERMANY

Before Germany’s most famous literary genius wrote the hugely influential The Sorrows of Young Werther, the book that launched a thousand broken-hearted suicides, he lived its story of love lost. In Stölzl’s engaging historical drama, Alexander Fehling plays Goethe, who, having failed his law exams in 1772, takes a job clerking for Judge Kester (Moritz Bleibtreu). Bored, he continues to defy his father’s wishes by persisting in his writing, and one day he meets the lovely Lotte. Sparks fly, a courtship blossoms, love blooms—but Lotte is betrothed to another. “Sparkling cinematography, gorgeous costumes and sets, and a story of star-crossed...

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BOY

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 6:45 PM (B2)
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BOY

DIRECTOR: Taika Waititi - NEW ZEALAND

Lightly blending quirky comedy and gentle naturalism, Waititi’s heart-tugging story explores the elusive moment when a boy starts to make the choices that determine the man he will become. Inspired by Waititi’s Oscar-nominated short, Two Cars, One Night (PIFF 31), this coming-of-age tale is set in 1984. “Michael Jackson is king—even in Waihau Bay, New Zealand. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy’s father, Alamein (Waititi), appears out of the blue. Having...

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ILLEGAL

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 7 PM (B4)
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ILLEGAL

DIRECTOR: Olivier Masset-Depasse - BELGIUM

Tania (Anne Coesens), a Russian immigrant residing illegally in Belgium with her teenage son, lives in constant terror. Willing to do whatever it takes to survive and prevent their deportation, the fear of being caught becomes reality when she’s stopped in a routine police check, arrested, and sent to a detention center. Unable to be with her still free son and witness to the persecutions of other illegals from many countries struggling to stay in Belgium, things soon spiral out of control when she claims a false name and finds herself in the limbo of complex deportation policies. This year’s...

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THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 8:30 PM (WH)
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THE PRINCESS OF MONTPENSIER

DIRECTOR: Bertrand Tavernier - FRANCE

When the ravishing Marie de Mézières (Mélanie Thierry) is betrothed to the Prince of Montpensier (Lambert Wilson), a fateful chain reaction commences. Whisked away to the Montpensiers’ castle, she is entrusted to the Count of Chabannes, the prince’s confidante and a tormented deserter, whose task is to educate her on everything from penmanship to astronomy. But as she struggles to adjust to her new life, she becomes ensnared in a passionate struggle of jealousies and desires between her husband’s suspicions, the still-burning ardor of her beloved Duke of Guise, and the flirtations of the roguish Duke of Anjou. Set against...

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STEAM OF LIFE

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 8:30 PM (B1)
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STEAM OF LIFE

DIRECTOR: Mika Hotakainen, Joonas Berghäll - FINLAND

Men in general, and especially Finnish men, are notorious for keeping their feelings bottled up. But in the almost dreamlike environment of a steam-filled sauna, Finnish men’s deepest feelings about life, love, and family are easily liberated. Steam of Life allows the viewer to become a fly on the wall as it listens in on (naked) men talking to each other and sharing like girls in the sanctuary of the country’s ubiquitous saunas. From the rusted interior of an old converted camper to beautifully appointed wooden steam rooms and even a roadside phone booth fashioned into an impromptu hotbox, the...

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LA PIVELLINA

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 8:45 PM (B3)
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LA PIVELLINA

DIRECTOR: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel - AUSTRIA

In a muddy trailer park on the outskirts of Rome, Patty and husband Walter, performers in a poor traveling circus, wait out the dreary winter. One day at a nearby park, Patty finds a two-year-old girl standing alone in the rain. She brings little Asia home to dry her off and discovers a note in her pocket saying the girl will be picked up in due course by her troubled mother. As the days turn into weeks with no sign of the mother, a new family is formed that offers unexpected joy to everyone in the itinerant community. Bringing a...

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LAST REPORT ON ANNA

Thu, Feb 17, 2011
at 9:15 PM (B2)
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LAST REPORT ON ANNA

DIRECTOR: Márta Mészáros - HUNGARY

A vivid political drama based on true events, Last Report on Anna is set in the 1970s and tells the story of Anna Kéthly, a minister in the government of Imre Nagy who went into exile following the failure of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. A stalwart who railed against both Fascist and Communist dictatorships, Kéthly was one of the few politicians to oppose Hungary’s discriminatory measures against Jews. Living in Belgium but continuing to fight for the ideals of the revolution from afar, Kéthly is visited by Péter, the nephew of an old lover who had been unable to leave...

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