Cinematheque . June 21-26: Chico & Rita, Gilbert Grape, Two Capitol Shows & More!
Latin jazz filled animated film CHICO & RITA conjures up vanished pre-Castro Havana. A bebop pianist and a sexy chanteuse in pre-Castro Cuba witness the blossoming of Cuban jazz in 1950s Havana, postwar New York, and other international entertainment hot spots in Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba's intoxicating, music-filled new animated feature CHICO & RITA . One of the five films nominated for this year's animated-feature Oscar, this sensuous, swaying, dreamy movie charts Chico and Rita's decades-long, on-again/off-again relationship while swinging to original music by Bebo Valdés. Don't bring the kids (this Spanish-language film has nudity, sex, drug use, and subtitles) but adults should not miss it on Friday or Saturday. Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio star in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? Johnny Depp and an unforgettable Leonardo DiCaprio star in WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? , Lasse Hallström's affecting 1993 drama about an unhappy young Iowa man (Depp) who must watch out for his mentally challenged younger brother (DiCaprio, an Oscar nominee for this performance) and provide for his family six years after his father's suicide. This funny, melancholy, poetic movie also stars Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen, John C. Reilly, and Crispin Glover. See it in a 35mm color print on Friday or Saturday. Here's the original trailer. World ends with a whimper in Abel Ferrara's apocalyptic 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH In his latest feature 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH , veteran maverick NYC indie filmmaker Abel Ferrara (MS. 45, BAD LIEUTENANT) imagines the final hours of life on earth for two New Yorkers, an actor (Willem Dafoe) and his much-younger painter girlfriend (Shanyn Leigh). The result is a unique end-of-the-world movie with no cataclysms, no mass panic, no big-budget special effects-just a mostly ordinary day spent waiting for the final depletion of the ozone layer. As Lars von Trier did in MELANCHOLIA, Ferrara has privatized the apocalypse. A 2011 New York Film Festival selection. The New York Times calls 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH "an eccentric and moving portrait of souls in extremis?Though he has the visual instincts of a born filmmaker, Mr. Ferrara may be more at home alongside writers like Henry Miller, Hubert Selby Jr., Charles Bukowski and the other hard-bitten, openhearted bards of macho excess, pulp eroticism and existential defeat." Don't miss your first (and last) chance to see it theatrically this Thursday or Saturday. KHODORKOVSKY investigates why Russia's richest man has been jailed for years Why is Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once the richest man in Russia, currently sitting in a Siberian prison? Is it because he committed fraud, embezzlement, and tax evasion, as the Russian government claims? Or is it because he was a vocal critic and opponent of Vladimir Putin? Khodorkovsky has long argued that he is a political prisoner deprived of human rights. Dogged German filmmaker and investigator Cyril Tuschi spent years trying to get to the bottom of the case, and his new documentary KHODORKOVSKY is the result. NPR called it "(a) blend of Greek tragedy, spaghetti western and judicial farce that defines business and politics in the New Russia." See it Thursday or Friday. See fully restored "A Trip to the Moon" during AN EVENING WITH GEORGES MÉLIÈS at the Capitol Theatre On Tuesday, June 26 at 7 pm, the Cinematheque returns to the Capitol Theatre on Cleveland's West Side to pay tribute to French film pioneer Georges Méliès (1861-1938), subject of Martin Scorsese's HUGO. The cine-magician who introduced fantasy and special effects to motion pictures will be spotlighted in two films during AN EVENING WITH GEORGES MÉLIÈS . First up is Serge Bromberg and Eric Lange's new documentary THE EXTRAORDINARY VOYAGE, in which famous directors like Scorsese, Tim Burton, Michel Gondry, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Michel Hazanavicius comment on Méliès and his legacy. Special attention is paid to the recent, painstaking color restoration of Méliès' most famous film "A Trip to the Moon" (1902), in which the moon gets a rocket ship in the eye! Then the complete, fully restored "A Trip to the Moon" will show. This gorgeous restoration, containing original color tinting and a new music score by AIR, opened the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. A.O. Scott in The New York Times called it "a cinematic highlight of the year, maybe the century." This program will show on the big screen at the Capitol Theatre, 1390 W. 65th St. at Detroit Ave. Regular Cinematheque prices apply, but no Cinematheque passes, twofers, or radio winners and no Cleveland Cinemas passes or discounts will be honored. $9 tickets can be purchased in advance at www.clevelandcinemas.com. Free parking is available next to the theatre and at other lots in the Gordon Square Arts District. Cinematheque brings CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME to Capitol Theatre on W. 65th St. On Tuesday, June 26, at 8:45 pm at the Capitol Theatre the Cinematheque presents Madeleine Olnek's CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME (teaser here ). This low-budget 2011 homage to cheesy 1950s sci-fi movies employs aluminum foil in ways that would make Ed Wood proud. A hit at Sundance, CLSASS follows a female alien from the environmentally depleted planet of Zots who travels to earth and hits it off with a lovelorn NYC stationery store clerk. Filmmaker Madeleine Olnek will answer audience questions via Skype after the screening. This "hilarious date movie for couples of all orientations" (Hollywood Reporter) will show on the big screen at the Capitol Theatre, 1390 W. 65th St. at Detroit Ave. on Cleveland's West Side. Regular Cinematheque prices apply, but no Cinematheque passes, twofers, or radio winners and no Cleveland Cinemas passes or discounts will be honored. $9 tickets can be purchased in advance at www.clevelandcinemas.com. Free parking is available next to the theatre and at other lots in the Gordon Square Arts District. THIS WEEKEND Thu., June 21, at 5:45 pm Fri., June 22, at 7:25 pm KHODORKOVSKY Thu., June 21, at 8:00 pm Sat., June 23, at 9:15 pm 4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH Fri., June 22, at 5:30 pm Sat., June 23, at 7:20 pm CHICO & RITA Fri., June 22, at 9:35 pm Sat., June 23, at 5:00 pm WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE? Special Offsite Event! The Cinematheque at the Capitol Theatre Tue., June 26, at 7:00 pm AN EVENING WITH GEORGES MÉLIÈS including fully restored "A Trip to the Moon" Special Offsite Event! The Cinematheque at the Capitol Theatre Tue., June 26, at 8:45 pm CODEPENDENT LESBIAN SPACE ALIEN SEEKS SAME Post-screening Q&A with filmmaker via Skype! NEXT WEEK Thu., June 28, at 6:00 pm Sat., June 30, at 9:15 pm POOTIE TANG Thu., June 28, at 7:45 pm Fri., June 29, at 5:30 pm THE FAIRY Fri., June 29, at 7:25 pm Sat., June 30, at 5:00 pm SURVIVING PROGRESS Fri., June 29, at 9:15pm Sat., June 30, at 6:50 pm HIPSTERS