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Films & Schedules - Saturday, February 14, 2015

CORN ISLAND

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 12:30 PM (Fox Tower)
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CORN ISLAND

DIRECTOR: GEORGE OVASHVILI - GEORGIA

The Inguri River forms Georgia’s border with the breakaway Republic of Abkhazia, and tensions between the nations run high. Every spring the river brings fertile soil from the Caucasus, creating tiny islands: small clusters of no man’s land. An old Abkhaz farmer and his teenage granddaughter build a hut on one of the islands, plowing the earth to sow corn. When the corn has shot up, the girl, herself blossoming, finds a wounded Georgian soldier hiding among the stalks as border patrol boats look for trouble in a no-man’s land. “An astonishing feat of cinema presented with the utmost...

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LIFE IN A FISHBOWL

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 12:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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LIFE IN A FISHBOWL

DIRECTOR: BALDVIN ZOPHONÍASSON - ICELAND

Director Baldvin ZophonÍasson explores the roots of the 2008 Icelandic economic collapse with an emotionally-gripping ensemble piece focusing on the lives of three characters, each leading a surprising double-life and all in search of redemption: a gifted poet haunted by his past, a debt-ridden young mother making ends meet through illicit ‘moonlighting,’ and a former soccer star-turned-international-banker. In the ‘fishbowl’ of their lives, they navigate the dark and shark-infested waters, hoping to survive. One of the biggest domestic critical and box-office hits in Iceland, Fishbowl is this year’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.

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COWBOYS

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 1 PM (Moreland Theater)
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COWBOYS

DIRECTOR: TOMISLAV MRŠI? - CROATIA

Based on a popular, award-winning Croatian play, Cowboys mixes social drama and dark comedy as it puts a fresh spin on a lovingly familiar cinematic scenario. Offered an opportunity to re-start the neglected community theatre in his hometown, big-city director Saša reluctantly returns to the dull industrial town of his youth. Without any experienced actors, Saša is forced to cast a group of eight lovable misfits, his troupe wildly unprepared for the rigors of show business. Settling on a classic Hollywood Western, the underdogs must come together and give it their all if they want to make it to...

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I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 1 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY

DIRECTOR: DAVE LAMATTINA, CHAD WALKER - UNITED STATES

One of the most recognizable and beloved children’s television characters in history, Big Bird has been entertaining and educating children around the world for over 40 years. But few fans know about the man who brings Big Bird (and Oscar the Grouch) to life: Caroll Spinney. A delightfully sweet examination of the power of following your dreams, I Am Big Bird chronicles a fascinating life journey with epic loves and losses, those of a man who has brought joy to millions by never losing his childlike sense of wonder. Even at age 79, he is Big Bird. “If your heart...

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Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 1 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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SHORT CUTS 4: FRESH FRENCH SHORTS

DIRECTOR: VARIOUS - SHORT CUTS

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MAIDAN

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 3:15 PM (FOX TOWER)
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MAIDAN

DIRECTOR: SERGEI LOZNITSA - UKRAINE

Loznitsa, whose My Joy and In the Fog have screened in recent PIFFs, brings his distinctively vision to a remarkable eye-witness account of the protests in Kiev’s Independence (Maidan) Square, which led to the departure of pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych. Filmed between December 2013 and February 2014 in long, fixed-point takes, we watch the ebb and flow of actual events, from celebration and community to violent conflict with armed riot police. Without commentary and only occasional identifying inter-titles, Loznitsa paints a timeless portrait of protest and change that will grip anyone interested in what it takes to stand for...

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IRIS

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 3:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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IRIS

DIRECTOR: ALBERT MAYSLES - UNITED STATES

The great documentarian Albert Maysles’s (Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter) latest film is about fashion and interior design maven Iris Apfel, now 93 years old, as she celebrates the late wave of career popularity enjoyed on the heels the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2006 exhibition “Rare Bird of Fashion” featuring her collection of often affordably priced fashion accessories. Maysles, himself 89, who pops up from time to time as a cheerful on-camera presence, follows Iris as she makes selections for the touring exhibition, advises young women on their fashion choices, and bargains with store owners, usually in the company of...

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RED ARMY

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 3:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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RED ARMY

DIRECTOR: GABE POLSKY - UNITED STATES

Whether or not you know anything about hockey, or US-Soviet cold war history, you’ll be entertained by Polsky’s fascinating story of the intersection of sports and politics. Played out on Olympic ice, Red Army chronicles the rise and fall of the dynastic Soviet Army Hockey Team, revisiting the era using an incredible collection of archival material from both sides of the Iron Curtain. Featuring revealing commentary from the players themselves, including one of Russia’s greatest players Slava Fetisov, the film skillfully balances the personal and political drama behind one of hockey’s greatest stories, revealing the thin line between national hero...

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ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 4 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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ON THE WAY TO SCHOOL

DIRECTOR: PASCAL PLISSON - FRANCE

Plisson’s César-winning documentary extols the true worth of getting, and getting to, an education. Shot in Kenya, Patagonia, Morocco, and the Bay of Bengal, the film follows the perilous journeys of four children on their ways to school: Jackson crosses the savannah on foot, avoiding elephants; Carlito rides on horseback across lonely plains and rushing rivers; Zahira treks over treacherous Atlas Mountain passes; Samuel, in his antediluvian wheelchair, is pushed by his brothers over sand dunes and through swamps. While the breathtaking cinematography reveals the splendor of their homelands and the dangers of these voyages keep you on the edge...

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SORROW AND JOY

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 4 PM (Moreland Theater)
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SORROW AND JOY

DIRECTOR: NILS MALMROS - DENMARK

In Malmros’s moving autobiographical film, a meditation on the limits of human law and the infinite possibilities of kindness, Johannes, a filmmaker, is married to Signe, a schoolteacher. Together, they experience the biggest sorrow and misfortune one can ever imagine. When Johannes returns from a trip, he discovers that Signe—not out of spite or hate but out of a sense of despair and loneliness and psychosis—has killed their infant child during a psychotic fit. Johannes doesn’t judge her but tries to come to grip with all the ways he has failed her without ever meaning any harm. Her students and...

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AFTERLIFE

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 6 PM (Fox Tower)
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AFTERLIFE

DIRECTOR: VIRÁG ZOMBORÁCZ - HUNGARY

Mózes, a rather neurotic young man in his twenties, is unable to meet his domineering father’s expectations. So when his father suddenly has a heart attack and dies, Mózes is almost relieved; the pressure on him has been lifted. But at the funeral he notices his father’s disoriented ghost, which, although it cannot speak, follows him around, confused and searching. Mózes panics at first, then decides to complete his father’s unfinished tasks because, according to a spiritualist car repair man, this is the only way to get rid of a ghost. This energetic coming-of-age story from female director Virág Zomborácz...

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CHARLIE'S COUNTRY

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 6:30 PM (Cinema 21)
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CHARLIE'S COUNTRY

DIRECTOR: ROLF DE HEER - AUSTRALIA

This year’s Australian submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar features a soulful performance from David Gulpilil, who received the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. Gulpilil is Charlie, a restless elder in alcohol-free Arnhem Land reservation who feels the government’s growing grip on his culture while he decries the rapid disappearance of Yolngu traditions. Although well past his prime, Charlie decides to “go bush” and sets out into the wild to practice the old ways, without reckoning how much things really have changed and exactly where he might be going. Eloquently depicting the daily indignities endured...

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JALANAN

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 6:30 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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JALANAN

DIRECTOR: DANIEL ZIV - INDONESIA

Part music documentary and part examination of the frenetically paced megacity of Jakarta (10 million people), Jalanan (“Streetside”) tells the captivating story of Boni, Ho, and Titi, three gifted, charismatic street musicians, over a tumultuous five-year period. The film deftly uses their experiences as a lens on Indonesia’s teeming capital, conjuring up a striking, moody, and intimate portrait of a place caught in the grip of globalization. Using the powerful soundtrack of the musicians’ original compositions to drive the film, Ziv traces their elusive quest for identity and love in the day-to-day of a city overrun by the effects...

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ROCKS IN MY POCKETS

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 6:30 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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ROCKS IN MY POCKETS

DIRECTOR: SIGNE BAUMANE - LATVIA

Latvian-born, New York-based animator Signe Baumane’s charming film is a witty and moving examination of the director’s battle with depression, narrated by Baumane herself. Combining both papier-mâché stop-motion and hand-drawn animation, the film is also a history of her family and how their lives have been touched by the sting of depression. “People assume one makes a personal film to get rid of one’s own demons . . . as some kind of psychotherapy. I make films to entertain, to engage people in a conversation, at times provoke—but mainly to offer my point of view on the world”—Signe Baumane. “Sharp,...

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BELOVED SISTERS

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 7 PM (Moreland Theater)
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BELOVED SISTERS

DIRECTOR: DOMINIK GRAF - GERMANY

In this sumptuous costume drama set in late-18th-century Germany, two aristocratic sisters find themselves drawn inexorably to the young ‘Sturm und Drang’ poet Friedrich Schiller and daringly forge a lifelong secret triangle. When younger sister Charlotte first meets Schiller in 1788, he is a penniless dramatist whose early controversial writings and penury render him an unsuitable husband. But Charlotte and her married sister Caroline discover an intoxicating kinship with Schiller and his Romantic ideals of universal knowledge and the transformational power of literature. The sisters’ pact of loyalty to each other and Schiller is tested as their private intrigues—revealed through...

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CRACKS IN CONCRETE

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 8:30 PM (Fox Tower)
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CRACKS IN CONCRETE

DIRECTOR: UMUT DAG - AUSTRIA

After a decade in prison for second-degree murder, hardened but broken 35-year-old Ertan is intent on making a new start by staying away from the criminal world, but nobody really believes him. Returning to the grim streets of Vienna, he seeks out his son Mikail, now a teenager and unaware that his father even exists. Mikail dreams of being a rapper, but has turned to drug dealing and stealing to get his career started. To try and save his son from the life that ruined his own, Ertan works his way into his son’s quickly spiraling world without letting...

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AUGUST WINDS

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 9 PM (Whitsell Auditorium)
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AUGUST WINDS

DIRECTOR: GABRIEL MASCARO - BRAZIL

Shirley has left the big city to live in a small seaside town and look after her elderly grandmother. She drives a tractor on a local coconut plantation, loves rock music, and wants to be a tattoo artist, but she feels trapped in the tiny coastal village. She is involved with Jeison, who free dives for lobster and octopus in his spare time. During the month of August, when tropical storms pound the coastline, a researcher registering the sound of the trade winds arrives in their village. The high tides and the growing winds mark the following days of the...

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EYES OF A THIEF

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 9 PM (World Trade Center Theater)
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EYES OF A THIEF

DIRECTOR: NAJWA NAJJAR - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

This taut political thriller weaves a tale of love and loss, revealing the suspicions and sacrifices lurking beneath the surface of contemporary Palestinian society. At the height of the 2002 Palestinian Uprising, Tareq, an enigmatic man bearing fresh wounds, is tended to by local nuns who help him to escape. He is soon arrested by Israeli soldiers. Ten years later, Tareq is released from prison and returns to his town, a place drastically transformed and filled with secrets, to find his daughter. As secrets are uncovered, Tareq’s hidden past is revealed, and as moral certainty is replaced by questionable...

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MATEO

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 9 PM (Cinema 21)
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MATEO

DIRECTOR: MARIA GAMBOA - COLOMBIA

Sixteen-year-old Mateo works with his uncle extorting local small business owners and is about to be expelled from school. The only way he can save himself is to join a theater group led by the town’s priest. Mateo’s uncle views this as an opportunity for Mateo to spy on the priest, who is extolling people to resist the extortion and the gangs of kids involved in petty crime. To his uncle’s surprise, Mateo begins to enjoy the eccentric bunch of performers and begins to fall for star pupil Ana. Trapped between two worlds, Mateo must choose which path he really...

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WYRMWOOD

Sat, Feb 14, 2015
at 10:30 PM (HOLLYWOOD THEATRE)
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WYRMWOOD

DIRECTOR: KIAH ROACHE-TURNER - AUSTRALIA

Routine family life comes to an abrupt end for outback mechanic Barry, who, armed with a nail gun, finds little comfort in having resisted an airborne contagion that’s kicked off an Australian zombie apocalypse. Quickly joining forces with other survivors, he and his merry band of zombie slayers hit the road looking to rescue his punk rock sister from the hands of the sadistic, gas-mask wearing government officials who have kidnapped her. Harvesting more than a smidgeon of that old Mad Max energy, first-time feature director Roache-Turner pushes this tale of the walking dead into audacious new territory, producing a...

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