Our web site is still down, Three Billboards is almost over and The Shape of Water is just around the corner.

Hello, everyone.

Yes, our web site is still down. We are working hard to resolve this, so thank you for your patience. There are still two parts of our web site you can still use—You can still donate online to our ongoing Annual Fund here, and you can still buy tickets online here

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, which has proven to be one of our most popular films in recent memory, ends on Thursday. The remaining showtimes are listed below and on our Facebook event here.

The Shape of Water, which IndieWire just named the likely Best Picture nominee to beat this year, opens on Friday. Showtimes for that are listed below too, as well as on our Facebook event here.

And coming up? Phantom Thread starts on Friday, Feb. 2, I,Tonya starts Friday, Feb. 16 and Call Me by Your Name starts Friday, Feb. 23.

Thanks.

Tuesday, Jan. 16onesheet
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…

 

Wednesday, Jan. 17
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…

 

Thursday, Jan. 18
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards..
9:15pm: Three Billboards…

 

Friday, Jan. 1937081374211_13eac00f3c_o
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

Saturday, Jan. 20
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

Sunday, Jan. 21
3:00pm: The Shape of Water
5:30pm: The Shape of Water

 

Monday, Jan. 22
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

Tuesday, Jan. 23
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

Wednesday, Jan. 24
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

Thursday, Jan. 25
2:10pm: The Shape of Water
4:30pm: The Shape of Water
7pm: The Shape of Water
9:20pm: The Shape of Water

 

The Shape of Water will continue at Images through Thursday, Feb. 1.

 

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Our website is down. So here is a temporary website

Our website is down, so we’ve created a direct link to our (often unused) blog so our film schedule can be found. Thank you for your patience with us while we work on fixing the problem. In the meantime, here’s what we are currently showing, and have coming up next:

Now Playing through Thursday, January 18: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Full schedule listed below, and also here:   https://www.facebook.com/events/1583266605093711/

Friday, January 19 through Thursday, February 1: The Shape of Water
https://www.facebook.com/events/1362158700573778/

Friday, February 2 through Thursday, February 15: Phantom Thread

Friday, February 16 through Thursday, February 22: I, Tonya

Friday, February 23 through Thursday, March 1: Call Me By Your Name

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Playing through Thursday, January 18

Wednesday, 1/10
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Thursday, 1/11
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Friday, 1/12
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Saturday, 1/13
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Sunday, 1/14
3pm: Three Billboards…
5:30pm: Three Billboards…
Monday, 1/15
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Tuesday, 1/16
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Wednesday, 1/17
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards…
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
Thursday, 1/18
2:15pm: Three Billboards…
4:30pm: Three Billboards…
7pm: Three Billboards..
9:15pm: Three Billboards…
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Fire and Ice

manchesterbythesea_trailerOne should never assume to completely know a person’s story. We meet Lee Chandler, a janitor for a block of apartment buildings played by Casey Affleck, and the audience immediately assesses the various dead-end facets of his life. Lee’s days consist of shoveling snow, fixing pipes, arguing with tenants, and feeling generally down about himself.

This is how Manchester by the Sea, directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan, begins—with us perhaps assuming too much about Lee’s state of affairs. Then, one day, Lee gets a call. His brother, Joe Chandler, played by Kyle “Coach Taylor” Chandler, has passed away after an unsuccessful fight with a heart condition. Lee—and the audience—is dragged back into a life that he thought he had left behind, while simultaneously being pushed forward, as he scrapes together some semblance of a future for those around him.

Lee returns to his old home of Manchester-by-the-Sea, the scenic seaside Massachusetts town from which the movie takes its name, to take care of his sixteen-year-old nephew, Patrick, played by Lucas Hedges. Once there, Lee finds heartache seemingly around every corner of the town, whether it’s his estranged ex-wife, played by Michelle Williams, or simple physical reminders of by-gone and better times. As a series of flashbacks reveal, the past few years have been filled with death, tragedy, and substance abuse for Lee and his family, the specifics of which I’ll leave for you to find out. In spite of this, Lee must figure out how he will deal with his teenaged nephew.

The movie moves deftly between heated arguments and moments of icy coldness. The tension and chill can be felt in your head and your heart. A shared pain intensifies leads to several shouting matches between Lee and Patrick, often immediately solidifying into moments of sincere and gripping silence. Heat or the lack of it is a theme throughout the movie, whether it’s the cold storage of a body, Lee’s horrific scorched past, or days when it’s just plain too cold out and you can’t find the car.

Still yet, there are moments of endearing humor that keep you smiling. Patrick is at heart a teenage boy, with all the unsavory behavior in pursuit of teenage girls that one might expect, but also with an unmistakable ingratiating, but tortured quality. And Lee, a father figure of necessity, is unwilling to take on any of the sentimentality that comes with being a parent. Their duo is the one that drives the movie, even if they go kicking and screaming.

Yes, there is plenty of grief to be had. The movie is not an easy watch, and it finishes by admitting that some problems cannot be overcome, even when the ones we love call on us. But, what shines through in Manchester by the Sea are simple moments of warmth that break through it all and remind us to keep going.

— Ryan Fajardo

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Tender Loving and Caring

festivals_loving-2The Civil Rights Movement is often depicted on film with a dramatic, momentous, and purposeful tone. While this is effective and appropriate for many of the important moments of the movement, these movies often do not leave much space for everyday instances of continued daily resistance that were not initiated as part of a larger political strategy. This is where Loving excels. The movie offers a compelling take on the fight for equality by providing a personal and intimate story of a family disrupted by racism.

Loving, directed by Jeff Nichols, tells the true story of Richard Loving, played by Joel Edgerton, and Mildred Loving, played by Ruth Negga, the white husband and black wife whose interracial marriage became the subject of the Supreme Court Case Loving vs. Virginia, the decision of which would prohibit all anti-miscegenation laws in the United States.

In 1958, after Mildred becomes pregnant, she and Richard cross state lines to Washington D.C., where, unlike their home state of Virginia, mixed-race marriage is legal. The two return home to begin their shared lives, hoping to one day settle down next to their families in a house Richard is set on building himself. When law enforcement officials learn of the marriage, the Lovings are arrested and eventually released on the terms that, under threat of a lengthy prison sentence, they cannot both be in the state at the same time. The two are forced to move to D.C., but they long to return home, and soon they begin illegally crisscrossing between D.C. and Virginia, a risk they continue to take for the next 10 years. Eventually, and then only at the continued request of an ACLU lawyer, played by Nick Kroll, and a constitutional lawyer, played by Jon Bass, who both seem a little distant from the reality that the Lovings live in, do they eventually reach the Supreme Court.

Loving focuses on the husband and wife and the prejudiced gazes directed at them and the acts of violence done upon them. The court case itself is prominent within the film, but is by no means the center of attention. The Lovings in the movie flip-flop between wanting to see justice writ large and simply wanting to get on with the lives they have pledged to each other. Richard is primarily concerned about whether or not he can truly “take care” of his wife, and Mildred is set on doing what’s best for her children. The court case, and the unwanted attention of their neighbors that comes with it, sometime seems to bring more trouble on them than they would like.

But to say that this couple, somewhat reluctant of exposing themselves for political action, were not becoming of Civil Rights heroes would be a grave error. Every day is a fight for them, as the violence and prejudice of their communities and the police arm of the state try to dissolve their bond. They care so deeply for each other and try to do justice to each other. They truly earn the full meaning of their coincidentally perfect last name.

Negga offers a particularly soft and contained, but strong-willed performance as Mildred. Though she risks much by continuing their fight, Mildred eventually allows and pushes the legal battle to continue and graciously, but shyly accepts the media attention baring down on her family. Edgerton, who plays Richard, also excellently inhabits his restrained and laconic character who does not wish for much at all—just a good home and a family. This comes through in a particularly tense scene where a black friend, over a round of drinks, asks Richard why he married a black woman in the first place.

It is the first time this question is explicitly confronted, and Richard Loving does not have an eloquent answer that tackles the ideological or structural character of racism. But he does not need one. Why should he? He and his wife both love each other, and it often is only simple and true acts like this that can change a nation.

— Ryan Fajardo

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Ordinary Women, Extraordinary Filmmaking

 

ukr_9mar150186_rgb-0-2000-0-1125-cropNot often is there a movie that can so firmly hold a viewer’s attention through subtlety and empathy, rather than action and intrigue. Certain Women is such a movie, offering a series of simple and quick vignettes that give a lingering, bare portrait of the lives of three women. One might say that these women, by comparison to other movie subjects, are unremarkable, but that in no way means their stories cannot touch both the mind and the heart. Better yet, the movie does not unjustly attempt to give a false sense of resolution. It succeeds in simply creating a somber mood, hinting towards everyday instances of inevitable persistence, despite sadness.

Certain Women is directed by Kelly Reichardt and based on a series of short stories by Malie Meloy. More or less centered around the town of Livingston, Montana, the film follows three protagonists whose stories rather abruptly shift from one to another:

Laura Dern is Laura Wells, a lawyer who must deal with an insistent client (Jared Harris) who tries to move forward with a failed work-injury suit. Laura tries to console her client, but is constantly doubted and undermined by him simply for being a woman. Eventually, when her client decides to take action into his own hands and takes part in a hostage situation, Laura is called in to defuse the tension. This section of the movie reassures the viewer of what will come. Though this part of the story leads up to potential violence, it does not devolve into gore and explosion. It simply passes on, not relenting in its slow, but steady pacing.

On to the next story. Michelle Williams plays Gina Lewis, a middle-aged wife with a marriage that has soured and a teenage girl who treats her mother as most teenagers do. Gina is overseeing the construction of a country house for her family and wants to acquire a pile of sandstone from a solitary elderly man whom the family knows. Though she is the lead on the project, Gina is not taken seriously. She must constantly defend herself against slights from all around. No climax here, life just goes on.
certainwomen1Lily Gladstone appears as Jamie, a lonely ranch hand who falls for a young lawyer named Beth (played by Kristen Stewart) who comes into town to teach a night class on school law. Jamie is equal parts unsure and eager to make a connection with the intelligent, but beleaguered Beth. Their relationship is tentative and you are never quite convinced what will come of it. In the end, Jamie must go on a journey to try to realize the feeling even she is not certain of.

For me, the movie always succeeded in efficiently and economically staging a scene. I was never lost as to where the director was pointing me, even in intricate layouts of off-centered subjects and mirrors. Several instances struck a particular chord. Gina (Williams) has a somber monologue in the passenger seat of a car as the camera films from outside the window. Reflecting against her face is the silhouette of the passing landscape. Her frustrations enter and then get lost in the surrounding hills. In another scene, Jamie and Beth (Gladstone and Stewart) ride a horse to a nearby diner. The light from a lamp post emanates from behind the faces of Jamie and Beth. Joy and splendor come through for a just brief moment, as ephemeral as the halo of light that surround them. Each scene is worth your silent and undivided attention.

Certain Women is achingly emotional, undoubtedly feminist, and a movie you must see.

—Ryan Fajardo

 

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The View from the Road

American Honey is a film that occupies the open road. But this is a term that is much less glamorous than it sounds. In parking lots, gas stations, superstores, and trailer parks, the movie brings meaning to the empty and pointless spaces of America. It does so by focusing in on those simple details that construct lived-in moments. Whether it is a simple touch on the leg or a smirk that you want to trust, the film makes you think that you are there.

When we first meet Star (played by Sasha Lane), she is a young and lost girl who wants to leave behind the brutal reality of her day-to-day life in a dead-end town in Oklahoma—struggling with an abusive situation at home while attempting to care for her two younger siblings. When she meets Jake (played by Shia LaBeouf), he offers an opportunity to hit the road and join a traveling magazine sales crew. There’s a promise of wealth, but as the layers of that promise are removed, we return to a reminder of the previous reality, in a dead-end town in North Dakota. In between, Sasha struggles with her romantic feelings for Jake, her failure as a traveling salesperson, and dealing with the debauchery of the crew of salespeople with whom she traverses the country. It’s a classic setup: the novice joins the motley crew and is initiated into a new way of life, drastically different from what came before.

The Midwest—a forgotten, yet often invoked part of America—is the backdrop for the group’s wanderings. As a road trip movie, it’s all about movement. The gang of kids fly through the landscapes all looking for something. Around them, everyone seems to be moving. This usually means upwards, in the get-rich-quick oil fields of North Dakota, or the upper-middle class of Kansas City, or forward, as the trains and airplanes scream by their white van. The film allows you to witness an exhilarating piece of Americana. As always, it isn’t pretty, but it’s just a bit hopeful.

The soundtrack of the film is chock-full of contemporary rap and R&B hits which convincingly (at least for this young writer) evoke the popular music of the present moment, while also somewhat justifying their own appeal even to the most “square” moviegoer. Despite their heavy-hitting beats and profanity-laced lyrics, the message of the songs is the optimistic, successful, sexy dream every one of these salespeople is desperately trying to realize throughout the movie.

American Honey asks Lane’s Star to be its emotional centerpiece, and she proves herself more than up to the task: her performance is confident, naturalistic, and brimming with the explosive energy of youth the film seeks to celebrate and contemplate. LeBeouf brings his now-typical brand of immersive, bizarre acting to the table, to great effect. Everyone in this movie is a little crazy, and LeBeouf knows how to be crazy while also being compelling, which is a delight.

Since premiering in the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, where it eventually won the Jury de Prix, American Honey has garnered an outpouring of critical acclaim for director Andrea Arnold and has been praised as a testament to the youth of today. Granted, it’s a long testament—clocking in at two hours and forty minutes—but the film’s length ultimately proves to be a strength: despite a few lulls, the pacing is sharp, and the vignettes are always interesting. At times, the movie goes for surprising switches of tone – a lighthearted barbecue that Star stumbles upon starts as the movie’s happiest scene but then becomes one of its darkest – but mostly, the emotional landscape changes gently, like the view through the window on the open road, allowing you to process the contour of a mood before gradually showing you another. And like anyone who has taken a long road trip knows, sometimes you return to where you started without returning to the same place, because the way you see is different, and so the place is different, and that is how you know you have changed.

—Paul Lindseth and Ryan Fajardo

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