Blog . 4/16-19: Hard To Be A God, Beloved Sisters, Taipei Story & more!
Aleksei German's HARD TO BE A GOD is a visionary Russian sci-fi spectacular
The 2013 Russian sci-fi epic HARD TO BE A GOD is the final assault on small-minded, middlebrow cinema by the recently deceased Russian master and rebel Aleksei German (My Friend Ivan Lapshin; Khrustalyov, My Car!). A 30-year dream project 14 years in the actual making, Hard To Be a God is a visionary, Boschian sci-fi spectacle based on a novel by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (whose novels were also the inspiration for Tarkovsky’s Stalker and Sokurov’s Days of Eclipse.) The film tells of a scientist from Earth who is living on a distant Earth-like planet during its own Dark Ages. Regarded as a god by the human-like natives who wallow in perpetual rain, smoke, mud, muck, waste, and decay, this scientist (one of a group of earthlings sent to observe this feudal “civilization”) is forbidden to intervene in the planet’s intellectual and technological development. But as he witnesses the best minds of this barbaric world being stifled and silenced, he finds it difficult to remain neutral. The NY Times calls Hard To Be a God"a final opus that is hard to shake." Adults can see this 170-min. movie on Thursday or Sunday night! Here's the trailer.
BELOVED SISTERS both love German poet Friedrich Schiller in romantic costume epic
Germany’s official submission for this year’s foreign film Oscar, BELOVED SISTERS, is a gorgeously mounted costume drama about an unconventional love affair. Set in late 18th-century Weimar, the movie chronicles how two aristocratic sisters both loved German poet and playwright Friedrich Schiller, carrying on a carefree ménage à trois—for a while at least. Film Comment writes that Dominik Graf's 170-min. movie "pushes heritage cinema in new, aesthetically bold directions," calling it "the modern film about the German Enlightenment" and "a romantic national epic." Catch its exclusive Cleveland premiere on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. Watch the trailer here.
TAPEI STORY, 1985 film by the late Edward Yang, receives rare theatrical screening
In addition to Hou Hsiao-hsien (whose films we are showing through June), Edward Yang was the other great director to emerge from the New Taiwanese Cinema movement of the 1980s. TAIPEI STORY (1985), the second of Yang's seven features and “the film that introduced Yang's prodigious talent to the West” (Time Out Film Guide), was co-written by Hou Hsiao-hsien. He also stars in the movie, playing a failed businessman who was once a promising baseball prospect and whose relationship with a longtime girlfriend is also on the verge of collapse. Their story unfolds in a fast-modernizing Taipei that threatens to leave its more traditional citizens behind. Yang’s astute sense of space, his emotional cool, and his crisp, immaculate compositions and camerawork explain why he is frequently likened to Antonioni. See this modern masterpiece in an imported 35mm color print on Friday at 9:10pm. Special admission is $10; members, CIA I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners will be accepted.
Hou Hsiao-hsien series continues with director's third feature THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME
Hou Hsiao-hsien’s third feature THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME, the final and most sophisticated part of his “Kenny Bee” trilogy, is another musical romance starring the Cantonese pop singer. This time Bee plays a Taipei teacher working as a substitute instructor at a rural school, where his feelings for a fellow teacher upset his uppity urban girlfriend, who comes to retrieve him. See this 1983 rarity in an imported color and scope print on Saturday at 5pm. Special admission is $10; members, CIA I.D. holders, and those age 25 & under $8; no passes, twofers, or radio winners will be accepted.
Late Hungarian master Miklós Jancsó remembered with rare screening of his 1965 WWII drama MY WAY HOME
Though justly celebrated in the 1960s and early 1970s, Hungary’s Miklós Jancsó (who made over 80 films in a 60+ year career) is now a largely forgotten modernist master. Heralded for the serpentine camera movements, virtuoso blocking of actors, and breathtaking long takes in his powerful and poetic historical dramas, Jancsó was a major influence on his countryman Béla Tarr (who called him “the greatest Hungarian film director of all time”) and on Greece’s Theo Angelopoulos. On Friday at 7pm we remember Jancsó (who died last year at age 92) with a rare screening of his first masterpiece MY WAY HOME, which showcases his signature theme and style. The movie follows a young Hungarian soldier at the end of WWII who is detained and imprisoned by the Russians as he heads home. Eventually he befriends one of his captors. This program supported by the Cinematheque’s George Gund III endowment. Print this email and present it at the box office and see My Way Home for only $7 ($6 if you're a Cinematheque member). It's our Deal of the Week! (Limit two discount admissions per print-out.)
Thu., April 16, at 6:45pm
Sun., April 19, at 7:00pm
Russian sci-fi epic
HARD TO BE A GOD
Fri., April 17, at 7:00pm
MY WAY HOME
Fri., April 17, at 9:10pm
Edward Yang's New Taiwanese Cinema classic
Sat., April 18, at 5:00pm
THE GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME
Sat., April 18, at 6:50pm
Sun., April 19, at 3:30pm
Germany's official 2014 Oscar submission
Thu., April 23, at 6:45pm
Thu., April 23, at 8:35pm
THE SANDWICH MAN
Fri., April 24, at 7:30pm
Sun., April 26, at 8:40pm
MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE
Fri., April 24, at 9:20pm
Sun., April 26, at 6:30pm
Sat., April 25, at 5:00pm
Sun., April 26, at 4:15pm
FROM MAYERLING TO SARAJEVO
Sat., April 25, at 7:30pm & 9:40pm
A Special Event!
Dan Savage introduces
18 & over!