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Films & Schedules - New Directors

ABU, SON OF ADAM

Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 3 PM (Cinemagic)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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ABU, SON OF ADAM

DIRECTOR: Salim Ahmed - INDIA

This year’s Indian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is a quiet, contemplative film in which one man’s sincerity and virtue shine through. Aging Abu and his wife share the lifelong dream of devout Muslims to go on a religious pilgrimage to Mecca before they die. They register their names with a travel agent but soon realize that their ambition will require severe sacrifices. They sell everything they have of any value, including the jackfruit tree in front of their house. Although the tree is found to be hollow and the timber merchant is willing to take the...

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ALMANYA—WELCOME TO GERMANY

Fri, Feb 10, 2012
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 3:15 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 8 PM (Lake Twin Cinema)
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ALMANYA—WELCOME TO GERMANY

DIRECTOR: Yasemin Samdereli - GERMANY

Winner of the Audience Award at the Chicago Film Festival and German Film Prizes for Best Film and Best Screenplay, Almanya is a breezy culture clash comedy centering on multiple generations of a German-Turkish clan. After working for 45 years in Germany as a Turkish “gastarbeiter” or guest worker, Hüseyin Yilmaz, now in his 70s and a citizen, announces to his family that he has bought a house in Turkey and wants everyone to go back with him to renovate it. After some convincing, the family is Anatolia-bound. Cross-cutting between Hüseyin and his young family’s migration to Germany (Almanya) in...

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BEYOND THE ROAD

Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 5)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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BEYOND THE ROAD

DIRECTOR: Charly Braun - BRAZIL

On the ferry from Buenos Aires to Montevideo, twenty-something Argentine banker Santiago meets Juliette, a free-spirited Belgian tourist. He is headed to claim some inherited property, she to meet up with her boyfriend at a hippie commune. The materialist opposites impulsively decide to road trip together up the Uruguayan coast—falling in love with it and each other along the way. Braun captures the airy restlessness of youth in his beguiling road movie, as well as gorgeous panoramic coastal vistas and backcountry punctuated with an agglomeration of whimsical roadside attractions and quirky Uruguayan locals. “Like all good road movies, this one...

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BREATHING

Fri, Feb 10, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 8 PM (Cinemagic)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 6 PM (Lake Twin Cinema)
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BREATHING

DIRECTOR: Karl Markovics - AUSTRIA

Nineteen-year-old Roman Kogler lives in a grim juvenile detention center on the outskirts of Vienna for having accidentally killed a minor. After a series of disastrous job tryouts, his compassionate parole officer finds him a place driving a truck for the city morgue, working on the team that collects cadavers—a job that gives Roman a sense of purpose for the first time in his life. After a surprising turn of events on the job, Roman is compelled to seek out the birth mother who abandoned him as a child. Perhaps the years of holding his breath for life to start...

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BULLHEAD

Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 12:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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BULLHEAD

DIRECTOR: Michael R. Roskam - BELGIUM

In an unlikely setting for organized crime—the farmlands of Flanders—Bullhead plunges us into the corrupt underbelly of a mafia-run meat industry, where illegal use of growth hormones on cattle runs rampant. After a detective is murdered, Jacky, a grotesquely muscular man supped up on steroids, becomes suspicious of a potential partnership with a rival manufacturer. Compounding his weariness is the presence of Diederik. Flashbacks into Jacky’s childhood soon reveal the two men are linked by a physically traumatic, life-altering tragedy. A fascinating genre mash-up—a gritty, gonzo crime thriller with quirky humor, harrowing suspense, and elements of Frankenstein and Dr....

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A CAT IN PARIS

Fri, Feb 10, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 3:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 6:30 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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A CAT IN PARIS

DIRECTOR: Jean-Loup Felicioli, Alain Gagnol - FRANCE

An enchanting fable about looking past appearances and cultivating unlikely loyalties in times of need, A Cat in Paris turns the streets of Paris into a delicately animated watercolor study. Dino, a cat, lives a double life. By day he lives with Zoe, whose mother is a police detective; by night he sneaks out the window to work with Nico, a slinky cat burglar. Dino’s two worlds collide when he has to team up with Nico to save Zoe from a team of bumbling thieves plotting to steal the so-called Colossus of Nairobi. A humorous love letter to classic noir...

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CLOWN: THE MOVIE

Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Sat, Feb 18, 2012
at 5:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
at 8 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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CLOWN: THE MOVIE

DIRECTOR: Mikkel Nørgaard - DENMARK

Frank and Casper have a plan. A canoe trip—with tents and minimal personal hygiene—that the women won’t possibly want to go on. The trip’s agenda can then be to find as much sex as possible. But when Frank discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant and, doubting his capabilities as a father, hasn’t told him, he brilliantly takes her young nephew on the trip to bond and prove his parental capabilities. Based on a popular Danish television comedy, Clown was a massive commercial and critical hit in Denmark, a sort of ribald fusion of The Office and The Hangover. “This is...

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CORPO CELESTE

Sun, Feb 19, 2012
at 2:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Thu, Feb 23, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012
at 6 PM (Cinema 21)
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CORPO CELESTE

DIRECTOR: Alice Rohrwacher - ITALY

After a decade in Switzerland, 13-year-old Marta moves back to her family’s impoverished hometown in Calabria in southern Italy. Although Marta was born there, the local customs seem strange to her, a feeling of dislocation and confusion that only increases after she enrolls in her local church’s confirmation class. Rohrwacher’s sensitive and perceptive debut feature ironically pits a young girl’s crisis of faith and adolescence against a community struggling for survival and the ancient traditions of the Catholic Church facing waning influence. “In Italy nowadays, there’s a feeling that people don’t ask themselves questions, and the idea of community is...

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ETERNITY

Wed, Feb 22, 2012
at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012
at 8:15 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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ETERNITY

DIRECTOR: Sivaroj Kongsakul - THAILAND

A middle-aged man rides his motorcycle through the silent landscape. He is a ghost who has returned to “walk the footsteps” of his youth. His name is Wit, and he died three days ago. Soon the silence gives way to the sound of a young woman’s laughter. It is now the past and this memory recalls the days when Wit fell in love with Koi, his future wife. He has brought her home to meet his parents, and though she is at first wary of rural life, she soon accepts that this will be her future. Finally the past fades...

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FIRST POSITION

Thu, Feb 23, 2012
at 6 PM (Cinema 21)
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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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FOUND MEMORIES

Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Mon, Feb 13, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Cinemagic)
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FOUND MEMORIES

DIRECTOR: Julia Murat - BRAZIL

Invested with elements of magic realism, Found Memories (“Stories only exist when remembered”) is a fable set in a forgotten town steeped in a forgotten time. Every morning, Madalena makes bread for Antonio’s old coffee shop, crosses the railways where no trains have passed for years, cleans the cemetery gate, and listens to the priest’s sermon before sharing lunch with the other old villagers. Clinging to the image of her dead husband and living in her memories, Madalena is awakened by the arrival of Rita, a young photographer attracted to a ghost village where time seems to have stopped. They...

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HABANASTATION

Sun, Feb 26, 2012
at 10 AM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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HABANASTATION

DIRECTOR: Ian Padrón - CUBA

Cuban director Ian Padrón presents his first feature-length film as “a fictional story about reality.” Tracing the lives of two Cuban classmates with contrasting lives, Padrón follows Mayito, a young boy whose wealthy jazz pianist father showers him with privilege, who gets lost and wanders blindly into the dangers of Carlos’ West Havana neighborhood, La Timba. What follows is a heartwarming journey of friendship and inspirational discovery as the selfish Mayito learns there are other joys than having the latest PlayStation. Featuring members of the internationally renowned children’s theater company La Colmenita, Padrón’s stylish film offers a telling portrait of...

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HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?

Sat, Feb 11, 2012
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Cinemagic)
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Thu, Feb 16, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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HELLO! HOW ARE YOU?

DIRECTOR: Alexandru Maftei - ROMANIA

The antithesis of the grim naturalism of the best known new Romanian cinema, this rare romantic comedy tells a story full of humor and recognition. Gabriel and Gabriela have been happily married for years, but all desire has waned. As they lead their almost separate lives, they each can’t help but notice that everyone around them seems to be getting it on just fine. Even their teenage son, whose hilarious voiceover commentary intermittently provides important narrative information, prides himself on being the high school stud. Facing an “is this all life has to offer?” moment, they each turn to the...

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JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI

Fri, Feb 10, 2012
at 6:15 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Sun, Feb 19, 2012
at 12 PM (Cinema 21)
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JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI

DIRECTOR: David Gelb - UNITED STATES

Jiro Dreams of Sushi is the story of 85-year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef. He is the proprietor of Sukiyabashi Jiro, a 10-seat, sushi-only restaurant inauspiciously located in a Tokyo subway station. Despite its humble appearances, it is the first restaurant of its kind to be awarded a prestigious three-star Michelin review, and sushi lovers from around the globe make repeated pilgrimage, calling months in advance and shelling out top dollar for a coveted seat at Jiro’s sushi bar. For most of his life, Jiro has been mastering the art of making sushi,...

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LAS ACACIAS

Mon, Feb 13, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Lloyd Mall 5)
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Wed, Feb 15, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Lake Twin Cinema)
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LAS ACACIAS

DIRECTOR: Pablo Giorgelli - ARGENTINA

Rubén is a lonely, middle-aged truck driver who has been hauling timber from Asunción, Paraguay to Buenos Aires for years. But the journey he’s about to make today will be different. At the behest of his boss, he is to pick up Jacinta—who arrives with Anahí, her eight-month-old daughter—and take them to a new life in Argentina. Used to his solitary journey, he is not looking forward to the company. But as the miles go by, despite their difficulties in communicating, they come to know each other until, arriving at their destination, both share the same desire: they don’t want...

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MAN WITHOUT A CELL PHONE

Sun, Feb 26, 2012
at 12 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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MAN WITHOUT A CELL PHONE

DIRECTOR: Sameh Zoabi - PALESTINE/ISRAEL

When he’s not working in his cousin’s concrete business, aimless college dropout Jawdat, who lives in the quiet Palestinian town of Iksal inside West Bank Israel, spends most of his free time looking for new women—Muslim, Christian, or even Jewish, it makes no difference—and working his cell phone. When Jawdat’s father, Salem, an olive farmer as intense as his son is laidback, decides that an Israeli cell phone tower is poisoning their village with radiation, he draws the townspeople—and his reluctant son—into a fight with the Israelis. Through their interactions and struggles, writer/director Sameh Zoabi addresses complicated issues of second-class...

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MORGEN

Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 2 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Tue, Feb 14, 2012
at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
at 2:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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MORGEN

DIRECTOR: Marian Crisan - ROMANIA

Nelu lives on an isolated farm near the city of Salonta, not far from the Romanian-Hungarian border. He loves fishing each morning in the canals near the border before heading to work. One day he catches something unusual: a Kurdish immigrant attempting to cross the border to Hungary on his way to Germany. Nelu is a massive, slow-thinking, seldom speaking man who, if upset, is capable of unsuspected resoluteness. His quiet determination is a clear standout in this subtle satire that attacks the absurdity of any kind of borders. This charming fish-out-of-water tale about a supermarket security guard who defies...

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THE ORATOR

Wed, Feb 15, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Lloyd Mall 5)
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Sat, Feb 18, 2012
at 2:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
at 2:30 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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THE ORATOR

DIRECTOR: Tusi Tamasese - NEW ZEALAND

While The Orator’s status as Samoa’s first feature film makes it a native landmark, writer/director Tusi Tamasese’s deft command of atmospherics, tone, and rhythm transforms it into a genuinely noteworthy achievement. Primarily employing first-time actors to bring this delicately wrought tale to life, Tamasese centers his film on Saili, a diminutive taro farmer who lives with his wife Vaaiga and her willful daughter at the outskirts of a remote jungle village. When Vaaiga’s estranged family suddenly demands her return, Saili must settle the dispute through the Samoan tradition of oration. As he prepares, we witness a sense of self-worth being...

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SNOWTOWN

Fri, Feb 24, 2012
at 6:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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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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TOLL BOOTH

Thu, Feb 23, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012
at 3:30 PM (Lloyd Mall 6)
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TOLL BOOTH

DIRECTOR: Tolga Karaçelik - TURKEY

Kenan is a taciturn 35-year-old tollbooth attendant shuffling between a suffocating home with his ailing but domineering father and the monotony of the traffic-hounded box where he spends his working life. Desperate to resist his father’s attempt to marry him off to a neighbor and equally determined to prove his worth by fixing his father’s idle old car, the pressure on Kenan drives him to the edge of a nervous breakdown. Temporarily reassigned to a tollbooth on a desolate country road, Kenan begins a flirtation with a beautiful woman who drives by at the same time each day—in a car...

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TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!

Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 8 PM (Lloyd Mall 5)
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Wed, Feb 15, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sun, Feb 19, 2012
at 12 PM (Cinemagic)
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TURN ME ON, DAMMIT!

DIRECTOR: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen - NORWAY

Only a woman could tell this wry, astonishingly candid tale of a teenage girl with an unbridled sexual appetite. Fifteen-year-old Alma is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from sweetly romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody she lays eyes on. Alma and her best friend Saralou live in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands of Norway. After Alma has a highly perplexing encounter with Artur, she makes the mistake of telling her incredulous friends, who ostracize her at school. At home, Alma’s mother is overwhelmed and...

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VOLCANO

Sun, Feb 12, 2012
at 2:15 PM (Lake Twin Cinema)
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Sat, Feb 18, 2012
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
at 8 PM (Cinemagic)
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VOLCANO

DIRECTOR: Rúnar Rúnarsson - ICELAND

This year’s Icelandic submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is a “coming-of-age story about a 67-year-old man.” It opens with elegiac images of a volcanic eruption that devastated a coastal town before fast-forwarding to the present—when Hannes, a survivor of the disaster, is retiring from his job as a school custodian. He advises his successor that it’s best if the students fear him; at his sparsely attended retirement party, Hannes responds to the principal’s gently teasing farewell by saying, “My skin is thicker than a shark’s. I can take it.” But can he? Hannes attempts suicide; upon failing,...

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THE WATER AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Tue, Feb 21, 2012
at 6:15 PM (Pioneer Place 5)
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Thu, Feb 23, 2012
at 6:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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Sat, Feb 25, 2012
at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 5)
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THE WATER AT THE END OF THE WORLD

DIRECTOR: Paula Siero - ARGENTINA

Sisters in their twenties, Laura and Adriana live together in a dingy Buenos Aires apartment. When Adriana is diagnosed with a terminal illness that gives her only weeks to live, she makes a final request of her sister, namely that she travel with her to the literal end of the earth—Ushuaia, at the southern tip of Argentina. The problem is that the paltry income Laura earns by working at a pizzeria isn’t enough to pay for the trip. Then she hooks up with Martín, an alcoholic accordion player, and the two embark on an intense liaison while scheming to raise...

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WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME?

Mon, Feb 13, 2012
at 8:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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Sun, Feb 19, 2012
at 5 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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WHERE ARE YOU TAKING ME?

DIRECTOR: Kimi Takesue - UGANDA/US

“My work often expresses the process of ‘looking’ cross-culturally and the interplay between the observer and the observed.”—Kimi Takesue. A high society wedding, a movie set, a beauty salon, bustling city streets, a center for former child soldiers, a nightclub full of music and laughter: these are the many images that form Takesue’s vivid portrait of today’s Uganda, a country at work dealing with the aftermath of years of civil war. Whether exploring the pulsating energy of Kampala or contemplating quiet moments in the country, lyrical pacing, disarming sights and sounds, and the unadorned honesty of an outsider’s perspective offer...

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WOMAN IN THE SEPTIC TANK

Fri, Feb 17, 2012
at 6:15 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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Mon, Feb 20, 2012
at 8 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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WOMAN IN THE SEPTIC TANK

DIRECTOR: Marlon Rivera - PHILIPPINES

Woman in the Septic Tank chronicles a comic day in the life of three ambitious, passionate, but misguided filmmakers determinedly intent on making an award-winning film. Their screenplay will show the real essence of Philippine culture: poverty. The story will follow Mila, a mother from the slums who out of desperation has sold her child to a pedophile. As they discuss the possible ways to do the film, the movie-within-a-movie gets reborn: as a gritty, no-frills, neo-realist film; a glossy musical; an over-the-top melodrama; and a docudrama using non-actors. Visiting the dump, excitement sets in when they see the “beauty”...

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