The Boedecker Cinema Blog
The Films and Events For The Week of December 5th
NY Film Critics Series
Directed by Ian Olds, Starring Dominic Rains, Melissa Leo & James Franco, 1hr 42min
The New York Film Critics Series is back with a screening of Burn Country, a film about an exiled Afghan journalist, who moves to Northern California. The film will be followed by an on screen interview with stars Melissa Leo and James Franco, moderated by Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers. A young Afghan journalist (Dominic Rains), who worked as a fixer in his home country, settles in a small Northern California hamlet, but gets sucked into the backwoods subculture of violence and crime. Ian Olds directed this crime drama, with James Franco, Rachel Brosnahan and Melissa Leo co-starring. Loosely inspired by his prior documentary about an Afghani guide to Western journalists (2009’s Fixer: The Taking of Ajmal Naqshbandi), Ian Olds’ new film is a culture-clash drama in which an exotic new arrival quickly becomes enmeshed in the less savory undersides of a rural Northern California town. The mystery’s investigation and resolution take a back seat to the revealing eccentricities of characters and communities encountered en route. Come early and enjoy special pre-show informational content with film critic Alison Bailes.
SHOWTIMES: Tuesday December 6 7:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
BOE BLOG XTRA! You can check out past and future New York Film Critics series trailers & behind the scenes videos on Vimeo!
For the Love of Spock
Directed by Adam Nimoy, 1hr 51min
Filmmaker Adam Nimoy approached his dad, Leonard Nimoy, about the possibility of working together on a film about Mr. Spock. He had skimmed through some of the books on the making of Star Trek and felt there was so much more to explore about the creation and development of Mr. Spock. Leonard agreed, citing the upcoming 50th anniversary of the series as perfect timing. This film is more than just catnip for Trekkies. It’s also an often painful examination of the rocky father/son relationship that existed between filmmaker and his famous father. Nimoy originally planned to focus specifically on the show’s Vulcan character, Mr. Spock, but when Leonard died in 2015, Adam widened the scope of his film to encompass Leonard’s entire life and career. The result is a lively, often hilarious collection of talking heads that includes fans and actors from the original and current incarnations of Star Trek, plus footage of Leonard Nimoy in the numerous roles that were overshadowed by his most famous creation.
Join Bruce Kessler, a frequent Star Trek panelist, a sci-fi prop maker and SFX make up expert, and one of the original 12 founding members of the Klingon Trek fan club, for a talkback on Wednesday December 7 following the screening at 7:00 PM.
SHOWTIMES: Wednesday December 7 7:00 PM, Thursday December 8 4:30 PM, Friday December 9 1:30 PM & 6:00 PM, Saturday December 10 2:30 & 7:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
REVIEW by Odie Henderson of RogerEbert.com
BOE BLOG XTRA! If you need to brush up on your Spock trivia before the film, the Star Trek Database provides an in depth profile on the beloved character as well as this Youtube playlist of greatest Spock moments.
Then come catch the film celebrating the man behind the character who was truly fascinating.
Coming Through the Rye
Directed by James Steven Sadwith, starring Chris Cooper, 1hr 37min
Set in 1969, the film is a touching coming of age story of sensitive, 16 yr. old Jamie Schwartz, who is not the most popular kid at his all boys’ boarding school. Disconnected from students and teachers, he believes he is destined to play Holden Caulfield, the main character of The Catcher in the Rye and has adapted the book as a play. After a series of increasingly hostile altercations with the boys at school, Jamie runs away to search for J.D. Salinger. On his way he picks up Deedee Gorlin, a quirky townie. Their odyssey to find Salinger becomes a journey of sexual awakening, the discovery of love and of the meaning of one’s life.
Join filmmaker James Steven Sadwith via Skype for a Q&A session on Thursday December 8 following the screening at 7:00 PM.
SHOWTIMES: Wednesday December 7 4:30 PM, Thursday December 8 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM, Friday December 9 4:00 PM, Saturday December 10 5:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
REVIEW by Andy Webster of the New York Times
Glenn’s Pick of the Week
“I’ll ask Glenn what I should see” is a phrase we overhear almost every day at the Boedecker and we couldn’t be happier to hear how much you trust in the Boe’s programming and value the opinion of those who make it happen! So as a new feature, we’ll have Glenn’s personal pick for you to see each week. If you can only make it to one film, this is the one. Or even if you plan on coming to everything, maybe this is the one you’ll plan your schedule around for the talkback or bring some friends because you know it’s going to be a great film. Make sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets in advance because this is the film you don’t want to miss.
Glenn Webb, Cinema Manager
“For all of us who identify with “outsider” characters, Salinger has been a notoriously private and unwilling messiah. But he also speaks to a deeper social critique, one which questions the requirement to become selfish and inauthentic in order to succeed. “Coming Through the Rye” is not only a celebration of these things about Salinger, and about idealistic youth, but also a call to hold oneself to a standard of humanity that is all too easy to forget as we make the myriad of compromises of life. And a Skype with the filmmaker after the Thursday evening screening will be a great opportunity to find out how much of the movie comes from James Sadwith’s own life.”
BOE BLOG XTRA! While Coming Through the Rye may be one of the most literal adaptations inspired by the book and Salinger, himself (despite the fact that Salinger vehemently opposed the notion of adapting his work to film, famously writing a letter in 1957 to a “Mr. Herbert” outlining his thoughts on why Catcher in the Rye was unfit for the screen), director James Sadwith is by no means the first to feel like Salinger and Catcher in the Rye spoke directly to him. Catcher in the Rye is one of the most referenced works in television, film, music and art in general. And if you don’t believe us, just check out this list of Catcher in the Rye in popular culture.
Friday Night Weird Sponsored by Terrapin Care Station
Santa Claus (Mexico, 1959)
Directed by René Cardona & K. Gordon Murray, 1hr 37min
Yet another oddball Mexican fantasy brought to American audiences by cut-rate exploitation titan K. Gordon Murray, this seasonal tale concerns Santa Claus (Jose Elias Moreno), whom we discover doesn’t work out of the North Pole after all. Instead, Santa and his friend and associate Merlin the Magician have a base of operations in a castle orbiting the Earth on a small satellite, upon which they observe the activities of children both good and bad through an elaborate surveillance system. While kids all over the globe (most of whom apparently wear stereotypical native costumes at all times) are trying to be good, the Devil wants to increase youthful misbehavior. With this in mind, he sends his emissary Pitch (Cesareo Quezadas, aka Pulgarcito), a demon with a digestive problem, to Earth and Pitch starts his reign of terror by attempting to goad a little girl from a poor family into stealing the doll that she wants. Eventually, Santa and Merlin catch up with Pitch for a final battle of Good vs. Evil. Santa Claus also offers new insight into St. Nick’s weight, eating habits, and mode of transportation.
SHOWTIMES: Friday December 9 8:45 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
New York International Children’s Film Festival Shorts
Recommended ages 3–7, approximately 1hr
This year’s selection from the 2016 New York International Children’s Film Festival features more than a dozen dazzling animated and live-action films from New Zealand, France, Russia, Japan, Italy, Iran, the UK, Lebanon, and the USA. Films are either in English or have no dialogue and are appropriate for children ages 3 and up, as well as adults.
SHOWTIMES: Saturday December 10 1:00 PM, Saturday December 17 1:00 PM, Saturday December 24 1:00 PM, Saturday December 31 1:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
Royal Opera House: Les Contes D’Hoffman
Approximately 3hr 30min
Vittorio Grigòlo and Leonardo Capalbo share the title role and lead an excellent cast including Thomas Hampson, Sonya Yoncheva, Christine Rice and Sofia Fomina in Offenbach’s fantastical operatic drama The Tales of Hoffmann. The story involves the poet Hoffmann, who is in love with Stella, the star singer of the opera. Lindorf, a rich counselor, also loves her and has intercepted a note she has written to Hoffmann. Lindorf is confident he will win her for himself. Entering with a group of students, Hoffmann sings a ballad about a disfigured dwarf named Kleinzach. During the song, his mind wanders to recollections of a beautiful woman. When Hoffmann recognizes Lindorf as his rival, the two men trade insults. Hoffmann’s Muse, who has assumed the guise of his friend Nicklausse, interrupts, but the encounter leaves the poet with a sense of impending disaster. He then begins to tell the stories of his three past loves.
SHOWTIMES: Sunday December 11 1:00 PM & Wednesday December. BUY TICKETS HERE
REVIEW by Tim Ashley of the Guardian
BOE BLOG XTRA! “The Royal Opera’s production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann was created in 1980 by the award-winning director John Schlesinger, best known for his work in film (Midnight Cowboy, Sunday Bloody Sunday) and television (Cold Comfort Farm, An Englishman Abroad). Schlesinger’s production sets Hoffman’s tales in the 19th century, drawing on styles from both Hoffmann and Offenbach’s times. William Dudley’s magnificent set designs and Maria Björnson’s sumptuous costumes realize to brilliant effect the extravagant flourishes of Hoffmann’s imaginative world.” — The Royal Opera House
Classics: Meet Me in St. Louis
Directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Judy Garland, 1hr 53min
This classic MGM romantic musical comedy focuses on four sisters (one of whom is Judy Garland) on the cusp of the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. The film spotlights the sisters’ education in the ways of the world, which includes, but isn’t limited to, learning about life and love, courtesy of the prototypical boy next door. In the end, love — accompanied by song, dance and period costumes, all in glorious Technicolor — conquers all. The movie was adapted by Irving Brecher and Fred Finklehoffe from a series of short stories by Sally Benson, which were originally published in The New Yorker, and later in a novel titled Meet Me in St Louis. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli, who met Garland on the set and later married her. Garland debuts songs such as “The Trolley Song,” “The Boy Next Door,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” all of which became hits after the film’s release. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and has been deemed culturally significant by the Library of Congress.
SHOWTIMES: Sunday December 11 5:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE
REVIEW by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times (published in 1944)
BOE BLOG XTRA! Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is one of the most iconic and enduring Christmas songs of all time. It has a universal melancholic sound that touches everyone who listens to it- making it one of the most covered Christmas tunes as well. BBC’s Soul Music dedicates an entire episode to the importance of the song and stories of those with especially strong connections to it.
Additional Showtimes for the Week of December 5
Art & Architecture in Cinema: St. Peter’s and the Papal Basilicas of Rome
SHOWTIMES: Wednesday December 7 1:00 PM. BUY TICKETS HERE