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Films & Schedules - Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 12:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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SHORT CUTS I: INTERNATIONAL TIES

SHORT CUTS

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THE LAST OF THE UNJUST

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 1 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE LAST OF THE UNJUST

DIRECTOR: Claude Lanzmann - FRANCE

In 1975, while making his landmark Holocaust documentary Shoah, Lanzmann interviewed Benjamin Murmelstein. Age 70 and living in exile in Rome, Murmelstein was the only surviving “Jewish Elder” appointed by the Nazis to run the “model ghetto” camp at Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia. Murmelstein’s interview wasn’t included in the film, but it’s the focus of this compelling postscript. Condemned after the war as a collaborator, he explains the terrible accommodation he had to strike with a murderous regime. Lanzmann returns to sites that marked Murmelstein’s wartime experiences and uncovers their savage history, but it’s the intelligent, witty, courageous Murmelstein who provides the...

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MY MOMMY IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 1 PM (Cinemagic)
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MY MOMMY IS IN AMERICA AND SHE MET BUFFALO BILL

DIRECTOR: Marc Boréal, Thibaut Chatel - FRANCE

Based on the award-winning book of the same name, this winner of the Special Jury Award at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival is a beautifully moving tale full of moments of sheer, simple, childish joy. Six-year-old Jean is starting first grade. He looks forward to learning to read and write so he won’t need Michelle, the girl next door, to read the postcards he gets from his mysteriously absent mother, who writes from around the world about her wild adventures. Even though they seem far-fetched at times, with his father so busy, the postcards bring comfort. A bittersweet, joyous,...

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TITO ON ICE

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 1 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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TITO ON ICE

DIRECTOR: Helena Ahonen, Max Andersson - SWEDEN

To promote their comic book Bosnian Flat Dog, Swedish artists Max Andersson and Lars Sjunnesson toured the countries of the former Yugoslavia with a mummified Marshal Tito in a refrigerator. Now comes the documentary, which takes Super-8mm footage of their tour and animates it with cardboard cutouts, garbage, and other recycled materials. The result is a surreal trip through the Balkans that is part promotion, part performance art, and part history of Marshal Tito and the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s. Through it all, there is a comics creator’s eye at work. Live-action interviews suddenly switch to animation,...

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THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 2:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM

DIRECTOR: Oeke Hoogendijk - NETHERLANDS

“The renovation of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum went on for 10 long, expensive years, so it is fitting that a documentary on this torturous (and often inadvertently hilarious) process should turn into not one but two feature-length movies. Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz have designed an ingenious new entryway, but the Dutch Cyclists Union won’t tolerate reduced access for the 13,000 bicyclists who ride through the passageway daily. The museum’s magisterial director, Ronald de Leeuw, and his successor, the younger, scrappier Wim Pijbes, battle with curators, politicians, designers, city bureaucrats, and the public as the price of construction soars to...

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THE SNOW ON THE PINES

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 3 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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THE SNOW ON THE PINES

DIRECTOR: Peyman Moaadi - IRAN

Roya (Mahnaz Afshar), a piano teacher about to turn 40, realizes that her marriage to her older husband Ali is in crisis when  a phone call reveals that there is much she does not know. Lost in fear and doubt, she tries to pull herself together and find her way out of the crisis, but an encounter with a charming neighbor changes her world in yet another unforeseen way and forces a painful choice. This directorial debut from writer and actor Peyman Moaadi (A Separation), evocatively filmed in black and white, scored a Best Actress Award for Afshar and Best...

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THE TOUGH GUYS

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 3 PM (Fox Tower)
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THE TOUGH GUYS

DIRECTOR: Christian Lo - NORWAY

Eleven-year-old Modulf fancies himself as something of a superhero, saving the other kids at his school from being bullied by “allowing” the tough kids to pick on him so they can escape. While he’s the one being soaked in the bathroom, the other kids are protected. Then one day Lise joins Modulf’s class, wreaking havoc with his plan. Lise doesn’t agree with his theories, and her interfering suddenly makes her a target for trouble, forcing him to reexamine his strategy and save her. Winner of the Best Children’s Film Prize at the Nordic Film Days. (74 mins.)

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WAJMA (AN AFGHAN LOVE STORY)

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 3 PM (Cinemagic)
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WAJMA (AN AFGHAN LOVE STORY)

DIRECTOR: Barmak Akram - AFGHANISTAN

It’s snowing in Kabul, and gregarious waiter Mustafa charms a bright, pretty student named Wajma. The pair begins a clandestine relationship—they’re playful and passionate but ever mindful of the societal rules they are breaking. When Wajma discovers she is pregnant, her certainty that Mustafa will marry her falters, and as word of their forbidden dalliance gets out, her father must decide between his culturally-held right to uphold family honor and his devotion to his daughter. Wajma (An Afghan Love Story), its title deliberately sardonic, takes an unblinking and unapologetic look at the modern reality of women caught in situations from...

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CHEATIN’

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 5:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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CHEATIN’

DIRECTOR: Bill Plympton - UNITED STATES

An adult tale of love, jealousy, revenge, and murder—infused with Plympton’s surreal sense of humor—Cheatin’ takes its inspiration from the work of such James M. Cain noir classics as Double Indemnity and The Postman Always Rings Twice. In a fateful bumper car collision, Jake and Ella meet and become the most loving couple in the long history of romance. But when a scheming “other” woman drives a wedge of jealousy into their perfect courtship, insecurity and hatred spell out an untimely fate. With only the help of a disgraced magician and his forbidden “soul machine,” Ella takes the form of...

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DISCIPLE

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 5:30 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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DISCIPLE

DIRECTOR: Ulrika Bengts - FINLAND

Finland, summer 1939: 13-year-old Karl is an eager-to-please orphan sent by the state to work at an isolated Baltic island lighthouse. But the lighthouse master Hasselbond already has his son Gustaf groomed for the job and refuses his help. Hoping to avoid returning to the orphanage, Karl works like a demon to prove his worth. Karl and Gustaf become friends, but their friendship changes to rivalry and hate when Hasselbond begins to favor Karl over his own son. There are issues in the Hasselbond family that Karl is only beginning to understand. Bengts’s beautifully shot, detail-rich period piece delves into...

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IDA

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 5:30 PM (Fox Tower)
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IDA

DIRECTOR: Pawel Pawlikowski - POLAND

Orphaned during World War II and raised in a rural convent, Anna is about to take her own vows. But before becoming a nun, the mother superior insists she visit her last remaining relative. Aunt Wanda, Anna discovers, is a worldly intellectual—an embittered ex-judge in Warsaw—and a woman who deals with her painful memories with liberal doses of sex and drink. An offhand revelation about Anna’s true identity sets in motion a road trip through the Polish countryside during which these two strikingly different women confront devastating family secrets and postwar demons. One of the most internationally acclaimed films of...

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A WORLD NOT OURS

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 5:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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A WORLD NOT OURS

DIRECTOR: Mahdi Fleifel - LEBANON

Drawing on a family history of videomaking, Fleifel offers an intimate glimpse into the crumbling Ain el-Helweh (“Sweet Spring”) refugee camp in Lebanon—a settlement of less than a square mile that has, for more than 60 years, been home to more than 70,000 people. Fleifel spent his formative years there in the 1980s, before his family settled in Denmark. For years he’s been returning and keeping a video diary, and in A World Not Ours, he provides a frank, funny, and nostalgic insider portrait of the community. The conversations with residents, friends, and family provide an unfiltered take on Palestinian...

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BACK TO 1942

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 6:30 PM (OMSI)
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BACK TO 1942

DIRECTOR: Xiaogang Feng - CHINA

In 1942, Henan province was devastated by the most tragic famine in modern Chinese history, resulting in the deaths of at least three million people. Although the primary cause was a severe drought, the situation was exacerbated by locusts, windstorms, earthquakes, epidemic disease, Kuomintang government corruption, and the chaos of the Sino-Japanese War. Like his epic Aftershock (PIFF 35), Xiaogang Feng’s sweeping saga is a gut-wrenching account told through the eyes of wealthy landlord Master Fan, forced to flee both famine and advancing troops, and a Time magazine journalist (Adrien Brody) investigating the misery. “Feng Xiaogang has been called China’s...

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THE GREAT PASSAGE

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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THE GREAT PASSAGE

DIRECTOR: Yûya Ishii - JAPAN

Mitsuya, a shy young bookworm, is the weakest salesman in his division at the Genbu Publishing Company. When transferred to the dictionary department to work on “The Great Passage,” a 240,000-entry, state-of-the-language dictionary, his passion for language blossoms. But he’s left speechless when he meets Kaguya, his landlady’s granddaughter, who moves into his building and beguiles him with her obsession with cooking knives and fine cuisine. Mitsuya soon finds that the words he has studied his whole life are inadequate to express his true feelings for Kaguya. Meanwhile, complications begin piling up as the dictionary department descends into chaos. Yûya...

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IT’S ALL SO QUIET

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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IT’S ALL SO QUIET

DIRECTOR: Nanouk Leopold - NETHERLANDS

Leopold takes a precise look at solitude and sexuality in this sensitive and delicate film, based on a novel by Gerbrand Bakker. Helmer is a single farmer in his 50s who lives with his aged, bedridden father in the Dutch countryside. Each day he is visited by Johan, a milk truck driver of his own age, who is clearly attracted to Helmer but is rebuffed. The relationship with his father is a difficult one, and Helmer lives in a state of solitude and frustration. The arrival of an attractive farmhand triggers complex feelings of desire and hesitation in Helmer and...

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LA ULTIMA PELICULA

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (Fox Tower)
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LA ULTIMA PELICULA

DIRECTOR: Raya Martin, Mark Peranson - MEXICO

“Film and digital, documentary and fiction all do battle as an egomaniacal director journeys to the Yucatán to prepare for his (the?) last movie to be shot on celluloid, just as the Mayan apocalypse threatens to bring forth the end of the world—and cinema. Schizophrenic in the best ways possible, this madcap-experimental-comedy-fever-dream is alternately hilarious, poetic, and beautiful. Inspired by Dennis Hopper’s infamous The Last Movie (1971), as well as the documentary shot during its editing on Hopper’s ranch, The American Dreamer, the film is a loving tribute to a great American artist—and to that sacred material known as celluloid—and...

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THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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THE SEARCH FOR EMAK BAKIA

DIRECTOR: Oskar Alegría - SPAIN

In 1926, avant-garde artist Man Ray, a legendary figure in the Dada and Surrealist movements, shot a cine-poem on Spain’s Basque coast. The film was called Emak Bakia, a title rumored to be obtained from a gravestone in a Biarritz cemetery—or perhaps it was the name of the house in which the artist stayed. But what did it really mean? Alegría, inspired by the whimsically inventive Ray, determines to uncover the truth behind the layers of myth. His journey is not, however, a straightforward one. At one point he decides to follow the path of a hare. He finds references...

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THE WISHFUL THINKERS

Sun, Feb 16, 2014
at 7:45 PM (Cinemagic)
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THE WISHFUL THINKERS

DIRECTOR: Jonás Trueba - SPAIN

Waiting for the green light on his next project, young filmmaker León (Francesco Carril) is in a state of limbo. So what’s he to do? Wander Madrid, get drunk, go on dates, meet up with friends, fall in love, and of course talk about movies. Shot on black-and-white 16mm film stock, writer/director Trueba’s film is a joyous love letter to cinema and the filmmaking process, in particular the French New Wave, whose vintage aesthetic the film consciously evokes. While a film about the craft of making work, it’s also a meditation on contemporary Spanish society, a boy-meets-girl tale, and a...

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