Miriam, Part II: In all the years that we have been posting Rose events on Facebook, Instagram, our website and in this newsletter, nothing has generated nearly as much response as the post last week about my mother's 100th birthday and her gift from George Clooney. Well over one thousand of you "liked," commented and sent emails congratulating her. She sends heartfelt thanks, and in true Miriam fashion, gently told me that I was remiss in not sharing with the world that she also does the daily crossword puzzle. In ink.
And for those of you who were wondering, yes, Mr. Clooney also saw the post about Miriam, and it made him smile.
"Good Evening, Welcome to the Rose Theatre." It's likely to be a while before you hear those words actually spoken in the Rose again, but through our generous friends at Magnolia Pictures, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Greenwich Entertainment, and Icarus Films, we're able to bring you some new films for home viewing through the Rose's virtual screening room. Fifty percent of the online viewing fee is returned to the Rose by the distributor. This arrangement allows you to continue seeing new films, and to support the Rose in what is obviously a challenging time for countless small businesses.
I thoroughly enjoyed SAINT FRANCES. It tackles a potential mind-field of subjects with honesty and authenticity. "Turns out there are a lot of things that have gone unsaid in movies until now, and SAINT FRANCES goes there in a way that's not only enlightening, but entertaining as well." -Variety
"SLAY THE DRAGON is the most important political films of the year, and it may prove to be one of the key political films of the decade." - Variety. A secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy. SLAY THE DRAGON follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter. THE TIMES OF BILL CUNNINGHAM was previously scheduled to open at the Rose, but now it's opening in your home.
And just added to the virtual line-up, THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS, from director Patricio Guzmán. This film is a follow-up to Guzmán's 2010 film NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT, which I played at the Rose. "A stunning achievement." -Variety. "Extraordinary. A quiet coup de cinema that completes one of modern documentary's most eloquent acts of testimony." -Film Comment
A free treasure trove of online movies is now available courtesy of the Library of Congress. And speaking of treasure troves, I highly recommend The Criterion Channel for classic films and new discoveries from around the world. They offer a free 14-day trial period. And on Netflix recently I watched (twice) and thoroughly appreciated UNORTHODOX, a four-part drama about a young woman who leaves her Hasidic community in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It features an outstanding performance by Israeli actress Shira Haas.
The third Port Townsend Dance Film Festival was to have taken place last weekend. Just as soon as we reopen it will be rescheduled. In the meantime, you can find a lot of wonderful dance performance online. Madrona MindBody Institute, our premiere dance festival sponsor, is now offering online-at-home classes via Zoom. Check it out.
"With social-distancing, quarantines and self-isolation, many of us are now physically alone. I am fervently hoping for the best for us all. When at last we can go out again and be with one another, I hope that we flood cinemas, watching every single movie, from the most rarefied art film to the silliest Hollywood offering. The movies can be exasperating and worse, but they have seen us through a lot, including economic bad times and wars. And there is nothing like watching a movie, leaving the world while being rooted in it alongside friends, family, and everyone else. I miss that. I miss you." -Manohla Dargis, The New York Times