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Cinematheque to Present First Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest

July 05
August 30 2013

Where George Gund Building, Aitken Auditorium

Cinematheque to Present First Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
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Between July 5 and August 30, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will present the first Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest, consisting of ten international feature films representing some of the nationalities and ethnic groups with cultural gardens in Rockefeller Park. All movies will show from 35mm film prints in Aitken Auditorium of the Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Unless noted, admission to each film is $9; Cinematheque members $7; age 25 & under $6. For more information, call 216.421.7450 or visit

The Cleveland Cultural Gardens, which flank Martin Luther King Blvd. (and part of East Blvd.) in Rockefeller Park between East 105th St. and I-90, comprise one of the city’s unique attractions. The Cultural Gardens are approximately 30 landscaped public plots of land that commemorate the various ethnic and nationality groups that have settled Cleveland—and America for that matter. Since the Cultural Gardens constitute one of the gateways to University Circle, with many passing them on their way to and from our movies, we thought it would be appropriate (and neighborly) to pay tribute this often overlooked regional asset. So we have assembled a nine-week film series consisting of ten features representing some of the nations and ethnic groups with gardens in the park. Most of the ten movies are recent or older classics, but two are new to Cleveland, including Federico Fellini’s ultra-rare final film The Voice of the Moon starring Roberto Benigni. All of these films speak well for the cultures and individuals that created them, and they have enriched cinema history.

On Sunday, August 25, the first Cleveland One World Festival will take place in the Cultural Gardens. Founded by James Levin, this all-day outdoor event will feature a smorgasbord of authentic ethnic foods and beverages, music, and performances. Visit for details.

Film Schedule

Friday, July 5, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, July 6, at 7:35pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Serbia/Slovenia/Croatia/Montenegro/Macedonia, 2011, Srdjan Dragojević
In this wry Balkan take on The Seven Samurai, a homophobic Serbian gangster and war vet recruits some former soldiers from enemy ex-Yugoslavian factions—a Croat, a Bosnian, a Kosovan Albanian—to help him provide security for Belgrade’s Gay Pride parade. This daring black comedy, a spoof of Balkan machismo and prejudice, was a huge hit in the former Yugoslavia, which is heartening since Belgrade’s 2010 Gay Pride parade was marred by violence and the 2011 event was canceled altogether. From the director of Pretty Village, Pretty Flame. “Hilarious, raunchy comedy… Laugh-out-loud funny, brilliantly acted and, towards the very end, also deeply moving.” –The Hollywood Reporter. Cleveland premiere. Subtitles. 35mm. 115 min. This film is co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and is part of the Global Lens 2013 film series. For more information, visit Print from GFI.

Saturday, July 6, at 5:15pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Imported 35mm Color Print!
Italy/France, 1990, Federico Fellini
Roberto Benigni stars in Federico Fellini’s final film, the only Fellini movie never released in North America. (We will show a rare 35mm print from Europe that is temporarily in the U.S.) A hit in Italy, where it was nominated for nine David di Donatello Awards (Italy’s Oscar) and won three (including Best Actor), The Voice of the Moon is a surrealistic comedy/drama in which a former mental patient obsessed with the moon (a true lunatic) and an ex-prefect team up to traverse a cultural landscape peppered with pagans, pompous fools, beauty queens, grotesques, and other eccentrics. “A cockeyed lament on a world gone haywire, where traditions are dismissed and sensitive souls—what’s left of them—look to the moon for magic and nourishment.” –San Francisco Chronicle. Adults only! Ohio premiere. Subtitles. 120 min. Special admission $12; members and age 25 & under $10; no passes, twofers, or radio winners. Print courtesy of Istituto Luce – Cinecittà (Rosaria Folcarelli); special thanks to BAMcinématek (Florence Almozini, David Reilly).

Thursday, July 11, at 6:00pm &
Saturday, July 13, at 7:25pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Ireland/UK, 1989, Jim Sheridan
Daniel Day-Lewis won his first of three Academy Awards for his amazing performance as Christy Brown (1932-81), an Irishman with cerebral palsy who was born into a working-class family and became a writer and painter, despite having use only of his left foot. As Brown’s mother, Brenda Fricker also won an Oscar, and the film was nominated for three others, including Best Picture and Director. 35mm. 103 min.

Thursday, July 18, at 5:30pm &
Saturday, July 20, at 7:05pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Germany, 2006, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (as well as the European Film Award for best picture), this gripping romantic thriller tells of a Stasi agent in 1984 East Germany who becomes personally involved in the lives of a playwright and his actress lover on whom he eavesdrops. Subtitles. 35mm. 137 min.

Friday, July 26, at 7:35pm &
Saturday, July 27, at 5:15pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Czech Republic/UK/France, 1996, Jan Svĕrák
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, this funny, charming, and touching drama is set in 1980s Soviet bloc Czechoslovakia, where a blacklisted, middle-aged cellist who has lost his philharmonic gig decides to earn some money by marrying a Russian woman seeking Czechoslovak citizenship. But she comes with a five-year-old child who causes considerable complications. Subtitles. 35mm. 105 min.

Friday, August 2, at 5:30pm &
Saturday, August 3, at 5:15pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Finland/Sweden, 1990, Aki Kaurismäki
The deadpan proletarian fables of Finland’s master filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki walk a fine line between tragedy and comedy. This is well seen in this droll but affecting blue collar masterpiece, about a shy, lonely factory worker (Kaurismäki’s muse Kati Outinen) who has a dull job, a pathetic home life, and a drab social life. Nevertheless, she prevails. “Just about perfect.” –David Denby. Subtitles. 35mm. 68 min. Preceded at showtime by Kaurismäki’s 6-min. music film Those Were the Days, starring his outlandish rock band, the Leningrad Cowboys.

Friday, August 9, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, August 10, at 9:45pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
USA, 1977, Michael Schultz
Richard Pryor plays three different roles in this raunchy but hilarious American remake of Lina Wertmüller’s The Seduction of Mimi. It tells of a poor California orange picker who has trouble with labor relations and human relations at work, marital relations and sexual relations at home. With Lonette McKee and Margaret Avery. Adults only! 35mm color print from the Universal Pictures studio archive! 94 min.

Friday, August 16, at 5:15pm &
Saturday, August 17, at 9:30pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Romania, 2007, Cristian Mungiu
The winner of the top prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival remains perhaps the most acclaimed work of the Romanian New Wave: a gripping, suspenseful drama about a young woman in Ceauşescu’s Romania who tries to help her college roommate get an illegal abortion. The film’s overall score (97 out of 100) was the highest of 2008! Subtitles. 35mm. 113 min.

Thursday, August 22, at 9:10pm &
Friday, August 23, at 7:30pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
Poland, 1958, Andrzej Wajda
Andrzej Wajda's fourth feature is one of the greatest Polish films ever made. At the close of WWII, Maciek, a young Polish Resistance fighter, is ordered to kill the new Communist district leader. But a budding love affair makes him realize he has grown weary of violence and bloodshed. Wajda imbues his war movie with baroque imagery and film noir style. Maciek is played by Zbigniew Cybulski, an iconic star of post-WWII Polish cinema who is often called the "Polish James Dean" because of his rebel persona and accidental death at age 39. Subtitles. 35mm. 104 min.

Thursday, August 29, at 6:45pm &
Friday, August 30, at 7:30pm
Cleveland Cultural Gardens Film Fest
France/Greece/Italy, 2004, Theodoros Angelopoulos
Greece’s Theo Angelopoulos, one of the world’s greatest filmmakers, died unexpectedly in 2012 when he was struck by a motorcycle while shooting a new movie. This 2004 epic, the first part of a projected (and now unfinished) trilogy about 20th-century Greece, is one of his best. Spanning the years 1919-49, the movie focuses on Eleni, a Greek orphan girl taken in by another Greek family. Eleni eventually marries her new father, a widower, though she really loves her adoptive brother Alexis. So when she and Alexis run away together, they set in motion a father-and-son conflict with mythic overtones – an elemental drama of patriarchy and rebellion set against a backdrop of floods, fascism, war, and civil strife. Angelopoulos tells his allegorical tale in his usual grand fashion, with stunning cinematography, stately long takes, monumental set pieces, and haunting music. “There are moments of such breathtaking grace and artistry that you’d be forgiven for thinking you’re watching the most beautiful movie ever made.” –TV Subtitles. 35mm. 170 min.

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George Gund Building
Aitken Auditorium
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106

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