We’re asking you, our loyal patrons and fellow lovers of cinema to pitch in, for us to be able to re-open The Plaza once the COVID-19 virus order is over.
We’re asking you, our loyal patrons and fellow lovers of cinema to pitch in, for us to be able to re-open The Plaza once the COVID-19 virus order is over.
Gillian (Gillian Wallace Horvat) is one of those many struggling filmmakers in L.A. who just can’t seem to get the money for their first feature. Feeling like her friends and her partner (Keith Poulson) are losing faith in her abilities, she decides to resurrect her abandoned documentary based on a pseudo-compliment she once received that she would make a good murderer. But while she documents what makes “the perfect murder” a hitherto unseen dark side of Gillian emerges and grows. Furthermore the problem with being a successful serial killer, she discovers, is keeping the whole thing stealth, denying her the recognition that she craves… and that unhinges her even more. After accidentally-ish killing her best friend (Chase Williamson), Gillian goes on a killing spree culminating with a final bloody act that nobody would dare deny her credit for.
This second feature by Ousmane Sembène was the first movie ever made in the Wolof language—a major step toward the realization of the trailblazing Senegalese filmmaker’s dream of creating a cinema by, about, and for Africans. After jobless Ibrahima Dieng receives a money order for 25,000 francs from a nephew who works in Paris, news of his windfall quickly spreads among his neighbors, who flock to him for loans even as he finds his attempts to cash the order stymied in a maze of bureaucracy, and new troubles rain down on his head. One of Sembène’s most coruscatingly funny and indignant films, Mandabi—an adaptation of a novella by the director himself—is a bitterly ironic depiction of a society scarred by colonialism and plagued by corruption, greed, and poverty.
Middle-aged Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him—and to know whether or not he’s even alive—she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel (David Illescas) has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually his path converges with Magdalena’s. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion. Winner of the Gotham Award for Best International Film and the Audience Award and Best Screenplay prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Max Fist (Joe Manganiello) is a local drunk who claims to be a superhero from the planet Chromium. He tells anyone who will listen that he was pulled into a wormhole, falling through time and space, and dropped to earth without any of his powers. No one pays any attention to Max except a teenager named Hamster (Skylan Brooks) who can’t get enough of Max’s stories. When Hamster and his sister (Zolee Griggs) get in trouble with a vicious drug syndicate led by The Manager (Glenn Howerton), Max takes to the streets as a brutal vigilante hellbent on proving himself as the hero no one believes him to be.
Veteran filmmaker Philippe Garrel once again fashions a pinpoint-precise and economical study of young love and its prevarications, which ever so gradually blossoms into an emotionally resonant moral tale. Handsome Luc (Logann Antuofermo), following in his aging father’s footsteps to study the craft of furniture joining, doesn’t appear to have any trouble meeting and dating women; as the film opens he’s aggressively courting Djemila (Oulaya Amamra) at a Paris bus stop. Skeptical yet ultimately trusting, Djemila will not be Luc’s one and only. Constructed and composed with crystalline austerity, and co-written with Jean-Claude Carrière and Arlette Langmann—who collaborated on Garrel’s last two films, In the Shadow of Women (NYFF53) and Lover for a Day (NYFF55)—The Salt of Tears is a pocket portrait that demonstrates the persistent vitality of one of French cinema’s great observers of the callowness of youth.
Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, THE REASON I JUMP is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window for audiences into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.
Moments in the lives of each of the characters are linked by the journey of a young Japanese boy through an epic landscape; narrated passages from Naoki’s writing reflect on what his autism means to him and others, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps. The film distills these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.
There has never been a face quite like that of Giulietta Masina. Her husband, the legendary Federico Fellini, directs her as Gelsomina in La Strada, the film that launched them both to international stardom. Gelsomina is sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La Strada Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide.
It’s the year 2027 in this dystopian, fluorescent sci fi story of Joana (Brazilian star Dira Paes ), who uses her bureaucratic job to convince divorcing couples to stay together. Her secret weapon is Divine Love, an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes in a little swinging and group fun into its more traditional prayers and services. Joana herself can’t seem to get pregnant by her own husband, but in an attempt to save her marriage, she prays regularly at a very unusual religious drive-in, looking for a miracle to help her conceive. Divine Love is an amped up, sexy and witty take on a future full of dance parties, ritualistic orgies, cults and fundamentalist Christianity, and a critique of today’s right-wing led Brazil.
Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Québécois mystic before facing one, final test of leadership. Culminating in an epic battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment may be the defining characteristic of the twentieth century!
Danish film master Carl Theodor Dreyer’s homoerotic classic is a mature and visually elegant period romance decades ahead of its time. Michael takes its place alongside Dreyer’s better known masterpieces as an unusually sensitive and decorous work of art and is one of the earliest and most compassionate overtly gay-themed films in movie history.
One of the great masters of photography, Helmut Newton made a name for himself exploring the female form, and his cult status continues long after his tragic death in a Los Angeles car crash in 2004. Newton worked around the globe, from Singapore to Australia to Paris to Los Angeles, but Weimar Germany was the visual hallmark of his work. Newton’s unique and striking way of depicting women has always posed the question: did he empower his subjects or treat them as sexual objects? Through candid interviews with Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini, Anna Wintour, Claudia Schiffer, Marianne Faithfull, Hanna Schygulla, Nadja Auermann, and Newton’s wife June (a.k.a. photographer Alice Springs), this documentary captures his legacy and seeks to answer questions about the themes at the core of his life’s work – creating provocative and subversive images of women. The film also features Newton’s own home movies, archival footage (including a pointed exchange with Susan Sontag) and, of course, scores of iconic Newton photographs. The result: a wildly entertaining portrait of a controversial genius.
In the heart of Chinatown, New York, an ornery, chain-smoking, newly widowed 80-year-old Grandma (Tsai Chin) is eager to live life as an independent woman, despite the worry of her family. When a local fortune teller (Wai Ching Ho) predicts a most auspicious day in her future, Grandma decides to head to the casino and goes all in, only to land herself on the wrong side of luck… suddenly attracting the attention of some local gangsters. Desperate to protect herself, Grandma employs the services of a bodyguard from a rival gang (Corey Ha) and soon finds herself right in the middle of a Chinatown gang war.
Director Sasie Sealy brings to life a dark comedy about immigrant life, the vulnerabilities of aging, and an unexpected friendship. Set in alleyways and underground mahjong parlors with a cast of richly drawn characters (including Taiwanese movie star Corey Ha), Lucky Grandma is a love letter to Chinatown and an homage to all the badass elderly women who inhabit it.
Best known for his avant-garde meta-documentary Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, William Greaves (1926–2014) was also the director of over 100 documentary films, the majority focused on African American history, politics, and culture. NATIONTIME—GARY is a report on the National Black Political Convention held in Gary, Indiana, in 1972, a historic event that gathered black voices from across the political spectrum, among them Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory, Coretta Scott King, Richard Hatcher, Amiri Baraka, Charles Diggs, and H. Carl McCall. Narrated by Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, the film was considered too militant for television broadcast at the time and has since circulated only in an edited 60-minute version. This new 4K restoration from IndieCollect, with funding from Jane Fonda and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, returns the film to its original 79-minute length and visual quality.
Abel Ferrara’s first dramatic feature since 2014’s Pasolini reteams the filmmaker and his frequent lead Willem Dafoe, who delivers a career-best performance as the title character, an older American expat living in Rome with his young wife and their daughter. Disoriented by his past misgivings and subsequent, unexpected blows to his self-esteem, Tommaso wades through this late chapter of his life with an increasingly impaired grasp on reality as he prepares for his next film. Tommaso is easily Ferrara and Dafoe’s most personal and engrossing collaboration to date, a delicately surrealistic work of autofiction marked by the keen sensitivity of two consummate artists.
Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and produced for PBS’ American Playhouse, the narrative debut from director Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance from Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Smooth Talk captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the ingredients of a standard coming of age portrait into something altogether more troubling and profound.
Flailing thirty-four-year-old Bridget (Kelly O’Sullivan) finally catches a break when she meets a nice guy and lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by a scene-stealing Ramona Edith-Williams). But an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication. To make matters worse, she clashes with the obstinate Frances and struggles to navigate a growing tension between Frances’s moms. Amidst her tempestuous personal relationships, a reluctant friendship with Frances emerges, and Bridget contends with the inevitable joys and shit-shows of becoming a part of someone else’s family.
Produced in the final days of the Weimar Republic, this dazzling, gender-bending musical romance about a female singer posing as a man performing in drag received limited exposure in the United States, and is today best known by Blake Edwards’s 1982 remake and the 1995 Broadway production. Viewers will be delighted to discover that the original is every bit as charming and outrageous, reminiscent of the sly sex comedies of Ernst Lubitsch and Billy Wilder.
When you purchase a ticket to VASULKA EFFECT, fifty percent of the proceeds will directly support the Plaza Atlanta. Your ticket will let you view the film from now through May 31st. Pioneers of video art, The Vasulkas are lifetime hackers and grandparents of the “YouTube” generation. They are struggling in their retirement years to archive their body of work. By a fluke they are rediscovered by the art world that had forgotten them. People and institutions are all of a sudden fighting over who will represent them when they are gone.
The 1981 Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Language Film MEPHISTO, by Hungarian master István Szabó, concerns a passionate but struggling actor (Klaus Maria Brandauer) who remains in Germany during the Nazi regime and reaps the rewards of this Faustian pact by finally achieving the stardom he has long craved. Sparkling new 4K restoration by the Hungarian Film Fund.
As a new student at an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with the compassionate teacher Fräulein von Bernburg, and her feelings are requited. Experiencing her first love, lonely Manuela also discovers the complexities that come with an illicit romance. This artfully composed landmark of lesbian cinema – and an important anti-fascist film – was the first of just three films directed by Leontine Sagan.
Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan paint a detailed and astonishing portrait of Pahokee, a rural village in the Everglades, Florida. Very close-knit, its inhabitants fight to face fragile financial situations and an uncertain
future. Through a precise observational approach, the film captures the daily life of this city restoring a rich palette of nuances. From sporting events to beauty contests at school, the filmmakers explore social and
community rituals, and how gender and identity are portrayed as new stories are created. Going well beyond the teaching of Wiseman, which Lucas and Bresnan have perfectly integrated, the film seems to bathe in the
singular atmosphere of a song of Gil Scott Heron, with lingering hints of rural blues tinged with urban echoes. A complex multi-faceted work that recalls both the raw social realism of the new American cinema and the
neorealist style. Pahokee is the powerful portrait of a forgotten America, absent from the current political discourse.
Several undocumented youths deliberately get detained by the Border Patrol to infiltrate a for-profit detention center.
When world-famous conductor Eduard Sporck accepts the job to create an Israeli-Palestinian youth orchestra, he is quickly drawn into a tempest of sheer unsolvable problems. Having grown up in a state of war, suppression or constant risk of terrorist attacks, the young musicians from both sides are far from able to form a team. Lined up behind the two best violinists – the emancipated Palestinian Layla and the handsome Israeli Ron – they form two parties who deeply mistrust each other, on and off-stage alike. Will Sporck succeed and make the young people forget their hatred, at least for the three weeks until the concert? With the first glimmer of hope, however, the political opponents of the orchestra show them how strong they are…
In celebration of the release of the new documentary Capital in the Twenty-First Century based on Thomas Piketty’s acclaimed book, The New Republic and Kino Lorber present a live, virtual roundtable discussion with Piketty, Gillian Tett, and Ian Bremmer, moderated by Chris Lehmann.
Serving countless newlyweds in Hong Kong’s go-to one-stop-shop of cheap wedding supplies doesn’t exempt Fong from social pressure to marry. Since nodding to Edward’s proposal, she has been pushed beyond limits by unaffordable housing, archaic customs, and intrusive in-laws. What befuddles her further is the reappearance of Shuwei, a mainlander she’s supposed to be divorced from out of a sham marriage that solved her coming-of-age hardship. Zeroing in on nuts and bolts of modern marriage, My Prince Edward pokes around fixated correlations of freedom with relationship status and geographic residence. Like a breath of fresh air out of the breathless space it navigates, the whimsical gem contributes a rare humane take on the worldly metropolis’s divisions with humor and wisdom.
As Fong redefines her best life and writer-director Norris Wong reclaims her home city’s narrative from outsiders in this debut, their courage sparks thrills and will make you wholeheartedly cheer for a woman’s independence and a new age in Hong Kong cinema.
One of the most revolutionary and influential fashion designers of his time, Martin Margiela has remained an elusive figure the entirety of his decades-long career. From Jean Paul Gaultier’s assistant to creative director at Hermès to leading his own House, Margiela never showed his face publicly and avoided interviews, but reinvented fashion with his radical style through forty-one provocative collections. Now, for the first time, the “Banksy of fashion” reveals his drawings, notes, and personal items in this exclusive, intimate profile of his vision.
Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival and directed by world-renowned photographer Bert Stern, Jazz on a Summer’s Day features intimate performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O’Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition or The Lord’s Prayer by Mahalia Jackson at midnight to usher in Sunday morning. The film has been beautifully and extensively restored in 4K from the best surviving vault elements by IndieCollect.
Set just prior to the start of the 21st century, this vaguely futuristic story follows two residents of a quickly crumbling building who refuse to leave their homes in spite of a virus that has forced the evacuation of the area. As rain pours down relentlessly, a single man is stuck with an unfinished plumbing job and a hole in his floor. This results in a very odd relationship with the woman who lives below him. Combining deadpan humor with an austere view of loneliness and a couple of unexpected musical numbers, Tsai Ming-Liang crafted one of the most original films of the 1990s.
Epicentro is an immersive and metaphorical portrait of post-colonial, “utopian” Cuba, where the 1898 explosion of the U.S.S. Maine still resonates. This Big Bang ended Spanish colonial dominance in the Americas and ushered in the era of the American Empire. At the same time and place, a powerful tool of conquest was born: cinema as propaganda. In his latest film, Academy Award nominee Hubert Sauper (Darwin’s Nightmare) explores a century of interventionism and myth-making together with the extraordinary people of Havana—who he calls “young prophets”—to interrogate time, imperialism and cinema itself.
Wild Daze wades audiences gently through Africa’s murky and complex corruption to see how human activity takes a huge toll on the wild. Part nature documentary, part transnational crime journalism, part action thriller, Wild Daze breaks hearts, engages and amazes, educates and alarms …but most importantly viewers morph from audience members into environmental activists.
BORN TO BE follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting (he/him) at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. There, for the first time ever in New York City, transgender and gender non-binary people have access to quality gender-affirming care. With extraordinary access, this remarkable documentary offers an intimate look at how one doctor’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming specialist has led to his own transformation.
Serving a life sentence for murder in the early 1970s, music prodigy Ike White had plenty of time to perfect his musical talent, but no hope of putting it to use in the outside world. Ike’s skills were exceptional enough, though, that his story captured the media’s attention. From this notoriety, he was able to record an album inside the prison with big-time producer Jerry Goldstein (War, Sly and the Family Stone). Superstar Stevie Wonder lobbied successfully for Ike’s early release from prison. With an acclaimed album under his belt and the support of Wonder and others in the industry, Ike was poised for stardom. But, instead, he went off the grid for over 40 years. Daniel Vernon’s mesmerizing new documentary is unpredictable and moving, echoing the strange journey of Ike White.
On January 23rd, 2020, China locked down Wuhan, a city of 11 million, to combat the emerging COVID-19 outbreak. Set deep inside the frontlines of the crisis, 76 DAYS tells indelible human stories at the center of this pandemic—from a woman begging in vain to bid a final farewell to her father, a grandpa with dementia searching for his way home, a couple anxious to meet their newborn, to a nurse determined to return personal items to families of the deceased. These raw and intimate stories bear witness to the death and rebirth of a city under a 76-day lockdown, and to the human resilience that persists in times of profound tragedy.
Attempting to surpass his father’s legacy, a reclusive neuroscientist becomes entangled in his own experiment, pitting ten fragments of his consciousness against each other.
Another Round is a fun, moving, life-affirming and thought-provoking drama about friendship, freedom, love – and alcohol.