This Month's Feature Films
Alike is a 17-year-old African-American woman who lives with her parents and younger sister in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. She has a flair for poetry, and is a good student at her local high school. Alike is quietly but firmly embracing her identity as a lesbian. At home, her parents' marriage is strained and there is further tension in the household whenever Alike's development becomes a topic of discussion. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, Alike strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor, and tenacity - sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward. Winning 14 awards and receiving 27 more nominations, Pariah is one of the most acclaimed LGBTQ themed films of recent years.
Inspired by actual events, director Matthew Warchus' Pride details the unlikely friendship forged between a small community of striking miners in Wales and the London-based gay and lesbian activists who raise funds to feed their families in the summer of 1984. With no end to the strike in sight, the urban activists venture into the countryside to deliver their donation in person, and find they have more in common with the people of this struggling community than anyone on either side could have expected. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, and Paddy Considine star.
Yves Saint Laurent
Pierre Niney stars as Yves Saint Laurent in this biopic tracing the career of the legendary French fashion designer, from his first meeting with future lover and partner Pierre Bergé in 1958 to the height of fame. Niney won the Best Actor César for his role, and the film was nominated for best costume and production design. In French with English subtitles.
2001: A Space Odyssey
A mind-bending sci-fi symphony, Stanley Kubrick's landmark 1968 epic pushed the limits of narrative and special effects toward a meditation on technology and humanity, based on Arthur C. Clarke's story The Sentinel. With assistance from special-effects expert Douglas Trumbull, Kubrick spent over two years meticulously creating the most realistic depictions of outer space ever seen, greatly advancing cinematic technology for a story expressing grave doubts about technology itself. Despite some initial critical reservations that it was too long and too dull, 2001 became one of the most popular films of 1968, underlining the generation gap between young moviegoers who wanted to see something new and challenging and oldsters who didn't get it.
Gangs of New York
The violent rise of gangland power in New York City at a time of massive political corruption and the city's evolution into a cultural melting pot set the stage for this lavish historical epic, which director Martin Scorsese finally brought to the screen almost 30 years after he first began to plan the project. In 1846, as waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New York neighborhood of Five Points, a number of citizens of British and Dutch heritage who were born in the United States began making an open display of their resentment toward the new arrivals. William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), better known as Bill the Butcher for his deadly skill with a knife, bands his fellow Native Americans into a gang to take on the Irish immigrants; the immigrants in turn form a gang of their own, The Dead Rabbits, organized by Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson). After an especially bloody clash between the Natives and the Rabbits leaves Vallon dead, his son goes missing; the boy ends up in a brutal reform school before returning to the Five Points in 1862 as Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio).
From first rehearsal to world premiere, BALLET 422 takes us backstage at New York City Ballet as Justin Peck, a young up-and-coming choreographer, crafts a new work. BALLET 422 illuminates the process behind the creation of a single ballet within the ongoing cycle of work at one of the world's great ballet companies. New York City Ballet, under the artistic direction of Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins, boasts a roster of more than 90 elite dancers and a repertory of works by many of the greatest choreographers in the history of the art form. When 25-year-old NYCB dancer Justin Peck begins to emerge as a promising young choreographer, he is commissioned to create a new ballet for the Company's 2013 Winter Season. With unprecedented access to an elite world, the film follows Peck as he collaborates with musicians, lighting designers, costume designers and his fellow dancers to create Paz de la Jolla, NYCB's 422nd new ballet. BALLET 422 is an unembellished verite portrait of a process that has never before been documented at New York City Ballet in its entirety.
Inside Llewyn Davis
Idealistic young folk singer Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) struggles to make a name for himself in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early 1960s in this fictional period drama from Joel and Ethan Coen. As the harsh winds of winter blow through the streets of New York City, the homeless singer/songwriter drifts from couch to couch in search of his big break. Feeling that he's finally burned his bridge with longtime friends and fellow folk singers Jim (Justin Timberlake) and Jean (Carey Mulligan), and convinced that his recent work on a novelty song will lead him nowhere, Llewyn hitches a ride to Chicago with the mysterious Roland Turner (John Goodman) and his taciturn valet Johnny Five (Garrett Hedlund) on a mission to audition for famed impresario Bud Grossman (F. Murray Abraham). Meanwhile, Llewyn discovers that he himself may be the biggest obstacle on his arduous road to success. Also featured is an adorable ginger cat.
One artist who came to be part of Warhol's scene was Jean Michel Basquiat, an antisocial street-bum who went from writing graffiti on alley walls to being the toast of New York City's art world. This film biography chronicles the progression of Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright) and his progression from living in cardboard boxes to penthouses, his romances, his drug use, and his death in 1988 at age 27. Along the way, he never stopped detesting the rich, including art agent Bruno Bischofberger (Dennis Hopper), and he never lost his naivete. Warhol (David Bowie) picks up some of the pieces as Basquiat lurches through the art scene. Cameo appearances by Tatum O'Neal and Courtney Love add spice to this interesting film.