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Films & Schedules - Thursday, February 20, 2014

AMERICAN DREAMS IN CHINA

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 5:45 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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AMERICAN DREAMS IN CHINA

DIRECTOR: Peter Ho-Sun Chan - HONG KONG

In 1985, in the midst of China’s economic reform period, three college students in Beijing—an overzealous country boy who refuses to accept his destiny of being a farmer, a cynical intellectual with a superiority complex, and a romantic idealist who wants to be a movie star—bond through a shared fascination with Western literature, music, and movies and an ambition to live the American dream. This sets the three on a roundabout course toward the foundation of a wildly successful English-language tutorial institute—but fame, enormous fortune, and lawsuits test the bonds of ambition. Shot by superstar cinematographer Christopher Doyle and dubbed...

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I AM YOURS

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 6 PM (Fox Tower)
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I AM YOURS

DIRECTOR: Iram Haq - NORWAY

Mina is a young single mother living in Oslo with her six-year-old son Felix. A Norwegian-Pakistani, she has a troublesome relationship with her family, who blame her for her divorce. Understandably: she’s a natural flirt, and while she has plenty of male companions, they tend not to hang around for long. One day, Mina meets Jesper, a Swedish film director, and they fall head over heels in love, but boy and man don’t exactly see eye to eye.... “I wanted to make a very naked and true story.... Often we see female characters being as good a person as possible....

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Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 6 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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SHORT CUTS IV: INTERNATIONAL TIES

SHORT CUTS

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THE SNOW ON THE PINES

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 6 PM (Cinemagic)
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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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VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 6 PM (OMSI)
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VILLAGE AT THE END OF THE WORLD

DIRECTOR: Sarah Gavron, David Katznelson - GREAT BRITAIN

This rich, real-life human drama, full of humor and hope, is set against the backdrop of steadily melting ice that portends larger ecological changes for the whole planet. The Inuit village of Niaqornat in spectacular northern Greenland grapples with many  of the same challenges as other small communities around the world: a dwindling population, a lack of industry and jobs, the traditional giving way to modernity. It also happens to be one of the most remote human habitations on Earth. The film focuses on four townsfolk—Lars, the only teenager, who dreams of another life; Karl, the huntsman who has never...

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BOY EATING THE BIRD’S FOOD

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Fox Tower)
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BOY EATING THE BIRD’S FOOD

DIRECTOR: Ektoras Lygizos - GREECE

Based on Norwegian writer Knut Hamsun’s 1890 novel Hunger, Lygizos fashions a confronting, visceral take on contemporary Greece’s stultifying economic and spiritual condition. Yorgos is an educated loner, estranged from his family and friends, keeping counsel only with his pet canary. Unemployed and destitute after being evicted from his decrepit apartment, he seeks to placate his hunger rummaging through dumpsters for scraps. But this is only the beginning of his descent into morally bankrupt and flagrantly indecent levels of desperation. “[So] intensely corporeal that it can be almost painful to watch. An unforgettable experience, Lygizos’s debut feature marks him as...

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THE DON JUANS

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Cinemagic)
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THE DON JUANS

DIRECTOR: Jirí Menzel - CZECH REPUBLIC

A lovingly observed valentine for opera fans, Czech New Wave master Jirí Menzel’s sex farce gently lampoons the opera world’s eccentricities, egomania, abiding passions, and workaday realities. We watch a small town opera company’s efforts to mount a production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The eccentric director Vitek has unusual views on opera—he confides to the audience that he’s a great lover of sopranos, opera not so much—and uses the production as an excuse to seduce every woman he meets. Passions flare onstage and behind the scenes as the company prepares for a wholly unique adaptation of the Mozart classic. This...

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NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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NOBODY’S DAUGHTER HAEWON

DIRECTOR: Hong Sang-soo - SOUTH KOREA

Why does Seoul student Haewon keep dozing off? Is she depressed by her mother’s departure for Canada? Tired of her relationship with her teacher, the fickle—and married—filmmaker Seongjun? Will the events of the coming weeks rouse her from her listlessness, or will she carry on dreaming? With its focus on fraught male-female relationships, mix of gentle comedy and meditative melancholia, and playful way with narrative repetition and fragmentation, this is clearly a Hong Sang-soo film. In Hong’s view of human foibles, the various men hitting on Haewon are again prone to bathos and self-delusion, while she herself is as insecure...

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THY WOMB

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 8:30 PM (Cinema 21 (small theaters))
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THY WOMB

DIRECTOR: Brillante Mendoza - PHILIPPINES

Following the fortunes of a humble Muslim fisherman and his wife, this lyrical tale of love and beauty questions how far someone will go to fulfill their social destiny and dreams. Shaleha, an aging midwife unable to bear her own child, embarks on a quest to find a second wife for her husband who can bear him the child they so desperately want. Set in the remote archipelago of Tawi-Tawi, Shaleha’s quest provides a backdrop for an intimate portrait of a Bajau community that survives off the sea that surrounds them. The daily rituals of the women weaving colorful straw...

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WALESA: MAN OF HOPE

Thu, Feb 20, 2014
at 8:30 PM (OMSI)
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WALESA: MAN OF HOPE

DIRECTOR: Andrzej Wajda - POLAND

This remarkable historical epic, tracing Lech Walesa’s rise from simple shipyard electrician to leader of Poland’s Solidarity movement and Polish president, is the last part of venerable director Andrzej Wajda’s trilogy about how worker disillusionment with Communism helped to bring about the system’s demise. Centering on Walesa and his wife Danuta, the screenplay, built around a 1981 interview he gave to Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, chronicles two decades of high stakes events while, in Wajda’s words “...making a movie about a people’s hero...a politician who came from the social lows and rose to his position purely and only thanks to...

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