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Films & Schedules - Friday, February 24, 2012

ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 3 PM (Cinema 21)
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ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA

DIRECTOR: Nuri Bilge Ceylan - TURKEY

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes, Ceylan’s story begins as a small caravan of cars snakes its way through the nocturnal countryside looking for where a murdered man was buried. Yet every time the confessed killer points out the grave, the gravediggers come up empty. Much of the landscape looks alike, it’s dark out, and anyway the killer claims he was drunk. As the increasingly frustrating investigation wears on, far more is revealed than where the body is buried. Through quick looks, furtive gestures, and offhand bits of dialogue, Ceylan reveals in this seemingly pacific Turkish outback a...

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FIRST POSITION

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 3:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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FIRST POSITION

DIRECTOR: Bess Kargman - UNITED STATES

Just as Spellbound certified that spelling bees are akin to gladiatorial combat, Kargman proves that ballet is not for the faint of heart either. The film follows six ballet students, aged 9-19, as they prepare for the Youth America Grand Prix, a top competition at which the world’s leading dance companies and schools prospect for new talent. Some of the delightful youngsters featured include Michaela DePrince, an orphan from Sierra Leone nurtured by her American mom; Aran Bell, a boy dance wonder from a US military family; and Joan Sebastian Zamora, a Colombian youth with aspirations for a career with...

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BONSAI

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Cinema 21)
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BONSAI

DIRECTOR: Cristián Jiménez - CHILE

Reading Flaubert and Proust with your girlfriend after passionate lovemaking—what more could a young intellectual want? Adapting the award-winning novel by Alejandro Zambra, Jiménez’s effortlessly shimmering, sensually Latin story chronicles the lengthy love affair between two college students, Julio and Emilia. The two initially meet after a class in which Julio lies about reading Proust; fast-forwarding eight years into the future, Julio is still spinning tales about his literary prowess to his latest lover, Blanca, while staying up each night writing a novel about his love affair with Emilia. With a structure that revolves loosely around Proust’s Remembrance of...

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DARLING COMPANION

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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DARLING COMPANION

DIRECTOR: Lawrence Kasdan - UNITED STATES

In Darling Companion, Beth (Diane Keaton) saves a bedraggled lost dog from the side of the freeway on a wintry day in Denver. Struggling with her distracted, self-involved doctor husband Joseph (Kevin Kline) and an empty nest at home, Beth forms a special bond with the rescued animal. When Joseph loses the dog after a wedding at their vacation home in the Rockies, a distraught Beth enlists the help of the few remaining guests and a mysterious young woman (Ayelet Zurer) in a spiritual search for her new canine soul mate. Each member of the search party is affected by...

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THE ISLAND PRESIDENT

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 6:15 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE ISLAND PRESIDENT

DIRECTOR: Jon Shenk - UNITED STATES

The Maldives—200 tiny inhabited islands and 1,200 coral reefs in the middle of the Indian Ocean—are “the height of the good life, a cross between paradise and paradise,” says Mohamed Nasheed, the country’s president. Nasheed endured years of imprisonment, torture, and exile as a result of combating an often brutal dictatorship, but he now faces a worse evil than dictators: climate change. If sea levels continue rising at present rates, the Maldives will cease to exist. Shenk captures the beauty of the Maldives and Nasheed’s charm and charisma, following Nasheed as he navigates intricate backroom diplomatic battles, trying to forge...

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SNOWTOWN

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 6:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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SNOWTOWN

DIRECTOR: Justin Kurzel - AUSTRALIA

During the 1990s, a dozen people were murdered in an area north of Adelaide. All were killed by the same group of people, under the leadership of John Bunting, Australia’s most notorious serial killer. With harrowing authenticity, Kurzel’s account of how this happened and what brought the killings to an end is disturbingly memorable. The central character is 16-year-old Jamie, who is taken under the charismatic Bunting’s wing and gradually manipulated into becoming one of his gruesome gang. Jamie has been a victim in the past, and although he is in a sense still a victim, Bunting manages to make...

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EXTRATERRESTRIAL

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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EXTRATERRESTRIAL

DIRECTOR: Nacho Vigalondo - SPAIN

“Nacho Vigalondo’s second feature solidifies his status as one of the most creative and exciting young filmmakers around. His first feature Timecrimes told the story of a man who stumbles into a time machine and the improbable events that followed. Vigalondo’s new film takes a similarly high concept premise but veers into wildly different territory. Extraterrestrial begins by announcing the arrival of massive alien spaceships above modern-day Madrid. But instead of a sci-fi space opera, we are treated to a fanciful romantic comedy. The alien invasion is only the catalyst for human deception, betrayal, and suspicion on an intergalactic scale....

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GRANDMA, A THOUSAND TIMES

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 8:45 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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GRANDMA, A THOUSAND TIMES

DIRECTOR: Mahmoud Kaabour - LEBANON

Grandma, A Thousand Times is filmmaker Mahmoud Kaabour’s poetic cinematic tribute to his feisty, larger-than-life grandmother. Teta Kaabour is an 83-year-old family matriarch and sharp-witted queen bee of an old Beiruti quarter. In the apartment where she raised six children and 13 grandchildren, she now spends her days smoking Argileh and drinking endless cups of coffee, alone with memories of her beloved violinist husband (who’s been dead for 20 years). Bearing his grandfather’s name as well as his likeness, the filmmaker is clearly his grandmother’s favorite. This affection allows for an intimate portrait comprised of recollections, revelations of closely guarded...

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THE LONELIEST PLANET

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Cinema 21)
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THE LONELIEST PLANET

DIRECTOR: Julia Loktev - GERMANY

Nica (Hani Furstenberg) and Alex (Gael García Bernal), a few months away from their wedding, are on a backpacking trip in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. With their guide Dato, the two appear to be completely in control of their environment and wildly attracted to each other. But as they journey through the deserted landscape, they are suddenly taken by surprise. A momentary mistake is made, an involuntary gesture. Brief though this is, it threatens everything the couple believed about themselves and each other. With looks and glances, no words are needed to uncover the toxic, erosive effects of disappointment...

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KILL LIST

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 11:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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KILL LIST

DIRECTOR: Ben Wheatley - GREAT BRITAIN

A truly unique crime thriller that unravels into terrifying horror. Jay, a retired hitman, is trying his hand at a normal family life. But when the money starts to dry up and he can’t keep up with his wife’s spending, he decides to take on one last high-paying job and enlists his old partner Gal. The mysterious client only gives them a short list of names, no whys, and they set out to execute the “kill list.” It doesn’t take long before they realize that they are involved in something far more sinister than simple assassinations. The increasingly bizarre job...

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