One-hundred-thirty people turned out for Saturday's members-only free showing of WOMAN AT WAR, and the movie was a resounding hit with the audience. It will be returning Friday, April 5th for a regular engagement. But what began as a thank you to our members, became a valuable reminder to me about the challenge of promoting and the pleasure of discovering great independent cinema from around the world. Great reviews and a good trailer are no guarantee of a film finding an audience. Sometimes it takes a little extra encouragement to consider that quirky, audacious environmental fable from Iceland.
STYX, like WOMAN AT WAR, is an equally accomplished independent film from Germany, featuring another great performance from a relatively unknown actress, unknown to American audiences that is. So in the spirit of a little extra encouragement, I make the following offer. The first 25 people who present their membership cards at the box office this coming Friday (3/29) for the first showing of STYX will get in free. The only thing I ask in return is that if you like the movie, please tell others about it.
Inspired by true events, STYX is an astute modern-day parable about a strong woman torn from her contented world when on a solo sailing adventure she comes across a boat of refugees. Carrying practically the entire film, Suzanne Wolff is riveting as a woman pushed to her physical, psychological and moral limits.
"A blunt, breathless, astoundingly unsentimental morality play that's
told with the intensity of a ticking-clock thriller." -IndieWire
"...brisk, efficient and thrillingly dynamic. This is 'All is Lost' with a
spinning moral compass and a topical dimension that proves even
more gripping than its brilliantly achieved visceral action." -Variety
*In the mood for a mini-festival of three great films? Then I have the perfect ticket(s) for you. This coming Saturday and Sunday film scholar Ted Walch returns to the Starlight Room for an in-depth look at the work of the great director Sidney Lumet. The weekend begins with 12 ANGRY MEN (1957), which may be the most radical courtroom drama in cinema history. A behind-closed-doors look at the American legal system that is as riveting as it is spare, with an all-star cast - Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley Jr, E.G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, and Jack Klugman. If you've never seen this movie, then this is one not to miss. 12 ANGRY MEN is followed by NETWORK, with a brilliant script by Paddy Chayefsky, and another stellar cast - Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight. This Academy Award winner is as gripping today as when it came out in 1976. The weekend concludes with RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988). It was written by Naomi Foner who also happens to be the mother of actors Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal. Foner won a Golden Globe Award for her screenplay. This powerful, bittersweet movie about antiwar activists on the run stars Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch, Martha Plimpton and River Phoenix.
"If Lumet is not among the most famous of American directors, that
is only because he ranges so widely he cannot be categorized. Few
filmmakers have been so consistently respectful of the audience's
intelligence." -Roger Ebert
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are irresistible costars in Alfred Hitchcock's romantic thriller TO CATCH A THIEF. It plays next Wednesday, April 3rd in the Starlight at 7:30.
From the Department of Synchronicity: Our next film in the Community Arts Film Series is FOREVER, a beautiful film about the enduring nature of art from director Heddy Honnigman. Honnigman's newest film, BUDDY will opening at the Rose very soon. Dog lovers take note.
*The Starlight kitchen will be closed for the 11:00 AM showing Saturday, but fresh-baked Silverwater pastries will be available.