Outdoor Films at Featherstone
"Fellag, a comedian and himself an exile from Algeria, makes Lazhar both a sensitive and an amusing figure. And the kids are just terrific, especially Emilien Neron as a boy who carries the guilt of the whole school on his shoulders."
2012 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Picture
In Montreal, an elementary school teacher dies abruptly. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly hired to replace the deceased, he finds himself in an establishment in crisis, while going through his own personal tragedy. The cultural gap between Bachir and his class is made immediately apparent when he gives them a dictation exercise that is beyond their reach. Little by little,
"A nature-lover's doc whose appeal is somewhat broader than it sounds"
"We Have a Pope" has great heart.
Nanni Moretti joins forces with the great French actor Michel Piccoli to tell the story of Melville, a cardinal who suddenly finds himself elected as the next Pope. Never the front runner and completely caught off guard, he panics as he's presented to the faithful in St. Peter's Square. To prevent a world wide crisis, the Vatican's spokesman calls in an unlikely psychiatrist who is neither religious or all that committed, played by Moretti, to find out what is wrong with the new Pope. As the world nervously waits outside, inside the therapist tries to find a solution. But Cardinal Melville is adamant: he does not want the job, or at least needs time to think it over. What follows is a marvelous insight into the concept of a human being existing behind the title of God's representative on Earth.
“George Plimpton was about as good of a friend as a man can have in this world. He lived his life like a work of fine art.”
Plimpton! tells the story of writer, editor, amateur sportsman and friend to many, George Plimpton. Using Plimpton’s own narration – along with thoughts and stories from friends, family and contemporaries – the film is a joyful celebration of a life lived fully, richly, strangely, and, at times, a life that is hard to believe was actually lived by just one man.
Plimpton hung out with U.S. Presidents, played quarterback for the Detroit Lions, got Willie Mays to pop out in Yankee Stadium, photographed Playboy models, played goalie for the Boston Bruins, struck the triangle for the New York Philharmonic and acted alongside John Wayne, Warren Beatty and Matt Damon.
He also co-founded The Paris Review, which became one of the most influential literary magazines in history, launching the careers of generations of writers, from Philip Roth and Terry Southern to William Styron and Jay McInerney.
Filmmakers Tom Bean and Luke Poling have researched and catalogued Plimpton’s life and his work. They have interviewed people from every aspect of Plimpton’s life in order to tell the story of this one-of-a-kind person.
Both The Paris Review and Plimpton’s family have generously collaborated to support the production of the film and they have provided a bounty of previously unseen material, which will surprise even the most die-hard Plimpton fans.
“MASTERFUL. A wickedly funny allegory about the American dream, greed, and privilege, the film is packed with quotable one-liners and is entertaining and engrossing throughout.” – Liliana Greenfield-Sanders, The Huffington Post
Directed by lauded filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield, who won the U.S. Directing Award for Documentary Film at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for this film, The Queen of Versailles is a character-driven documentary about a billionaire family and their financial challenges in the wake of the economic crisis. 2012 Sundance Film Festival Opening Night Film!
With the epic dimensions of a Shakespearean tragedy, The Queen of Versailles follows billionaires Jackie and David’s rags-to-riches story to uncover the innate virtues and flaws of the American dream. We open on the triumphant construction of the biggest house in America, a sprawling, 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles. Since a booming time-share business built on the real-estate bubble is financing it, the economic crisis brings progress to a halt and seals the fate of its owners. We witness the impact of this turn of fortune over the next two years in a riveting film fraught with delusion, denial, and self-effacing humor.
“life is never guaranteed to be safe”
Ai Weiwei is known for many things—great architecture, subversive in-your-face art, and political activism. He has also called for greater transparency on the part of the Chinese state. Director Alison Klayman chronicles the complexities of Ai’s life for three years, beginning with his rise to public prominence via blog and Twitter after he questioned the deaths of more than 5,000 students in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The record continues through his widely publicized arrest in Beijing in April of 2011. As Ai prepares various works of art for major international exhibitions, his activism heats up, and his run-ins with China’s authorities become more and more frequent.
In this unprecedented look at Ai and those close to him, Klayman’s camera captures his forthrightness and unequivocal stance. She gives a larger picture of the artist as an individual, a symbol of China’s oppression, and a powerful voice against a country that still denies its citizens many basic freedoms.