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The Salt of the Earth

Starts Friday
in Rhinebeck
May 1 – 7
Fri-Sun 3:15 5:50
Mon-Tue 5:50
Wed 3:15 5:50
Thur 5:50
(France, Brazil, Italy / 2015 / Directed by Wim Wenders & Juliano Ribeiro Salgado)
PG-13 / 110 mins. 
“For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been traveling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity.
He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project, which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty. Sebastião Salgado’s life and work are revealed to us by his son, Juliano, who went with him during his last travels, and by Wim Wenders, himself a photographer.” – Sony Pictures Classics. In French, Portuguese, and English with subtitles. 
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Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

In Rhinebeck 
May 3 – 5
Sun-Tue 8:15 
(US / 2015 / Writer/Director David & Nathan Zellner)
unrated / 105 mins
One of the most loved of the Coen brothers’ films, FARGO has not only been re-screened but re-invented over the years. In this latest tip of the hat, the Zellner brothers spin the classic as an underdog fable, casting a visual and auditory spell with their inspired cinematography and an intelligent score by the Octopus Project.
Academy Award nominee Rinko Kikuchi (Babel, Pacific Rim) stars as Kumiko, a frustrated office lady whose imagination transcends the confines of her mundane life. Mistaking a battered VHS tape of FARGO for a documentary, Kumiko fixates on the scene where Steve Buscemi buries a suitcase of stolen cash in the desolate, frozen landscape of North Dakota. Believing this treasure to be real, she leaves Tokyo behind to recover it.  A supple blend of storybook adventure, ironic road film, and cross-cultural disorientation, the Zellner brothers have crafted a film about the way images and stories infect our imaginations in bizarre and mysterious ways. 
View Trailer Read NY TImes Critics Pick

Mommy

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In Rhinebeck 
May 1 – 7
Fri-Sat 8:15
Sun-Tue no show
Wed-Thur 8:15
 (Canada/2015/Writer/Director Xavier Dolan)
R / 139 mins
When fifteen year old Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) is booted out of a special-care institution, his mother, single parent 46 year old widow Diana “Die” (Anne Dorval), is forced to tend to her violently hyperactive, often charismatic,  son  whose anarchic instability leads to emotional and physical chaos.
A.O.Scott, NY Times, nails it: “it seethes and howls with unchecked feeling… it is a pocket opera of grandiose self-pity, a wild and uncompromising demand for attention, a cri de coeur from the selfie generation.” 
It sucks us in to root for peace and understanding. Mommy herself is nearly as mercurial as her son, ping-ponging between hurtfully lashing out at her strapping son and smothering him with love. Early on she  loses her job, tries home schooling, and looks for free-lance work. Luckily, Kyla (Suzanne Clement), a stammer-afflicted neighbor from across the street who has her own hidden wound, comes into their lives. A former teacher on leave, she’s is able to work with Steve once she wins his respect in an amazing scene. The film is shot in a square format as if on a phone, and the ’90s pop soundtrack and the assured filmmaking style in tandem with the performances make it hard to turn away.  25 year old Xavier Dolan has already made 5 features, and this, his latest, won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. 

Mommy is an exhilarating 139 minutes of cinema. Xavier Dolan has that enfant-terrible attitude of a young Lars von Trier or Leos Carax, the flair for melodrama of a Northern Almodóvar, and a fearlessness in plumbing the depths of ordinary people that evokes even Cassavetes.”
—  Joumane Chahine, Film Comment

View Trailer Read Review

Clouds of Sils Maria

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Starts Friday
in Woodstock 
May 1 – 7
Fri 6:15
Sat 5:15 8:00
Sun 2:30 5:15
Mon-Thur 7:30
 (France/2014/dir by Olivier Assayas)
R / 124 mins
Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloë Grace Moretz light up this exhilarating, behind-the-scenes look at art, acting and aging. 
Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is an actress at the peak of her international career who is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years earlier. Back then she played the role of Sigrid, an alluring young woman who disarms and eventually drives her boss Helena to suicide. Now she is being asked to step into the other role, that of the older Helena. She departs with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps. A young Hollywood starlet with a penchant for scandal (Chloë Grace Moretz) is to take on the role of Sigrid, and Maria finds herself on the other side of the mirror, face to face with an ambiguously charming woman who is, in essence, an unsettling reflection of herself. (C) Sundance Selects
View Trailer Read NYTimes critics pick review

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

In Woodstock 
May 1
Fri 9:15
(US / 2015 / Directed by Brett Morgen)
A special presentation by the Woodstock Film Festival. Tickets $10 in advance, $15 at door. To purchase online, click here
Experience Kurt Cobain like never before in the first fully authorized portrait of the famed rock music icon. Director Brett Morgen expertly blends Cobain’s personal archive of art, music, and never-before-seen home movies with animation and revelatory interviews with his family and closest confidants.
Following Kurt from his earliest years in Aberdeen, Washington, through the height of his fame, a visceral and detailed cinematic insight of an artist at odds with his surroundings emerges. While Cobain craved the spotlight even as he rejected the trappings of fame, his epic arc depicts a man who stayed true to his earliest punk rock convictions, always identifying with the “outsider” and ensuring the music came first. Fans and those of the Nirvana generation will learn things about Cobain they never knew while those who have recently discovered the man and his music will know what makes him the lasting icon that he is. —H.C. for Sundance Film Festival.
Unrated / 145 mins. 
View Trailer
Woodstock Film Festival Site

Man from Reno

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Coming May 8
Please check back
(US/2014/dir by Dave Boyle/wr by Boyle, Joel Clark, Michael Lerman )
unrated/110 mins
 In Person: co-writer Joel Clark times TBA
Nominated for the John Cassavetes Prize given by the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards to the best feature made for under $500,000 this is Dave Boyle’s fifth feature and it was co-written by a couple of former Upstate Films’ staffers, Joel Clark and Michael Lerman. 
This is a neo-noir mystery film set in California’s Bay Area that stars Pepe Serna (the veteran character actor – Scarface, The Black Dahlia, The Jerk) as a small-town sheriff of a town south of San Francisco and Ayako Fujitani as a Japanese crime novelist named Aki who bails out of her book tour and comes to San Francisco looking for refuge and peace. Soon, however, Aki finds herself mixed up in a real-life murder mystery involving ambiguous MacGuffins, amorphous identities, and exhilarating new takes on genre conventions. Ultimately it’s an alluring l’homme fatal who supplies Aki with the breadcrumb trail of clues that lures her into a labyrinthine plot of sinister dealings. In turn, the aging sheriff who should rightfully be riding to her rescue, proves to be equally out of his depth. The game is afoot, the chase is exhilarating and the stakes are high in this inspired neo-noir. (Courtesy of Los Angeles Film Festival).
View film’s website and trailer Read NYTimes review

Merchants of Doubt

Coming Soon
(US / 2014 / Directed by Robert Kenner)
PG-13/ 96 mins.
Inspired by the acclaimed book by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, Merchants of Doubt takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin.
It’s rare these days for someone to say something like “there’s no evidence pesticides are harming us” as they once did, and that’s where the concept of “merchanting doubt” comes in. Today, it’s more common to say “the jury is out” or “we need more study.” By seeding public discourse in such ways, pundits-for-hire can help stall government action due to “lack of consensus.” In Merchants of Doubt, filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver tongued pundits, who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities, yet who have the contrary aim of spreading confusion about well-studied public threats — ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. What the film makes clearest is that these issues shouldn’t be political, but the strategy works with almost maddening perfection in America’s hyper-partisan, spin-addicted 24-7 news cycle.
View Trailer Read a Review

Welcome to Me

Coming Soon
(US / 2015 / Directed by Shira Piven)
R / 105 mins.
Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig — Bridesmaids, The Skeleton Twins) suffers from borderline personality disorder, and she manages it — and the accompanying medications and therapeutic care — fairly well. Finding grounding in her daily routine, she obsessively watches Oprah and carefully monitors her protein-laden diet. But when her numbers come up in the state lottery, suddenly her focus shifts toward eighty million dollars’ worth of possibilities… 
In quick succession, Alice buys a stretch of hours at a local television company, eschews her medication and therapy, moves into a casino, and creates her own talk show about — what else? — herself. On its surface, Welcome to Me is a parable about how wish fulfillment doesn’t always lead to happiness, but screenwriter Eliot Laurence layers in perceptive observations about the hollowness of fame and our current culture of confession. Surrounded by wonderful performances from a supporting cast including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, and Joan Cusack, Wiig shines at the center in her one-woman-show. 
View Trailer Read a Review

Far From the Madding Crowd

Coming Soon
(UK, US / 2015 / Directed by Thomas Vinterberg)
PG-13 / 119 mins. 
Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), a resilient young woman who comes into property in Victorian England’s West Country.
Desiring to maintain her independence in a patriarchal world, Bathsheba sees no reason to settle down with a man she doesn’t truly love. Yet her willfulness is fetching, and Bathsheba captivates the hearts of three suitors — Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a neighboring sheep farmer; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless Sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (THE CELEBRATION, THE HUNT), the film is a calm and stately rendition of Hardy’s timeless story. Relying mostly on natural light and spacious widescreen frames to capture Dorset in all its rugged, forbidding beauty, Vinterberg evokes the sense of a hard-working society where function trumps lavishness and where human passions must often be bottled-up to protect social order.
View Trailer Film site

The Apu Trilogy

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Beginning May 15
Days and times tba
(India/1955,’56,’59)/Writer/Director Satyajit Ray)
Frequently listed as one of the top accomplishments in the history of cinema, the APU TRILOGY ushered India into the golden age of international art-house cinema, and now, two decades after its original negatives were burned in a fire, Satyajit Ray’s breathtaking milestone of world cinema rises from the ashes in a meticulously reconstructed restoration. 
PATHER PANCHALI – APARAJITO – APUR SANSAR – 3 films – each will have shows & it will be possible to see all 3 on Sunday May 17th – more to come so please check back soon
The Apu Trilogy follows one indelible character, a free-spirited child in rural Bengal who matures into an adolescent urban student and finally a sensitive man of the world. Based on two books by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee, these delicate films — PATHER PANCHALI (Song of the Little Road), APARAJITO (The Unvanquished), and APUR SANSAR (The World of Apu) — were shot over the course of five years, and each stands on its own as a tender, visually radiant journey. They are among the most achingly beautiful, richly humane movies ever made—essential works for any film lover.
PATHER PANCHALI (Song of the Little Road), the self-made filmmaker’s naturalistic first feature in 1955, was made after the young Ray saw the films of Jean Renoir and was inspired by such Italian neorealist films as THE BICYCLE THIEF. PATHER PANCHALI (Song of the Little Road) won the prize “Best Human Document” at Cannes in 1956, and later played in New York for eight months, winning Best Foreign Film from the National Board of Review in 1957. 125 mins.
APARAJITO (The Unvanquished) came the next year, following the maturing Apu from the country to the city and his studies in Kolkata (Calcutta). It won three prizes at the Venice Film festival in 1957 including the Golden Lion–the only sequel to do so.  109 mins.
APUR SANSAR (The World of Apu) takes budding writer Apu (Ray regular Sumitra Chatterjee) into his 20s, his romantic awakening with a woman (Sharmila Tagore) and parenthood. It won Best Foreign Film from the National Board of Review in 1959. 105 mins. All three films were scored by Ravi Shankar, later friend of The Beatles and father of Norah Jones.

 Martin Scorsese called watching the Apu Trilogy “One of the great cinematic experiences of my life,” and the great filmmaker Akira Kurosawa said, “Never having seen a Satyajit Ray film is like never having seen the sun or moon.”

View Trailer Read Roger Ebert on APU trilogy

Pathur Panchali

Pather Panchali (1955 India) Directed by Satyajit Ray Shown: Subir Bannerjee
Coming May 15
please check back for dates/times 
 (India/1955/dir by Satyajit Ray)
ur / 125 mins
PATHER PANCHALI (Song of the Little Road) was made after the young Ray saw the films of Jean Renoir and was inspired by such Italian neorealist films as THE BICYCLE THIEF. Overcoming many obstacles, Ray’s PATHER PANCHALI won the prize “Best Human Document” at Cannes in 1956, and later played in New York for eight months, winning Best Foreign Film from the National Board of Review in 1957.
Apu (Subir Bannerjee) is born to a poor but proud Brahmin family. When his father, Harihar Ray (Kanu Bannerjee), loses his treasury job, he sets out to find work elsewhere dreaming of a better life, but in his absence, their condition deteriorates. Alone, his wife, Sarbojaya (Karuna Bannerjee), looks after her rebellious daughter, Durga (Uma Das Gupta), and her young son, Apu, as well as Harihar’s elderly aunt Indir (Chunibala Devi). The children enjoy the small pleasures of their difficult life, while their parents suffer the daily indignities heaped upon them. Months later, Harihar returns to face the tragedy that forces the family to leave their ancestral home.
View Trailer Read Roger Ebert

Seymour: An Introduction

Coming Soon
(US / 2014 / Directed by Ethan Hawke)
PG / 84 mins. 
Meet Seymour Bernstein: a virtuoso pianist, veteran New Yorker, and true original who gave up a successful concert career to teach music.
In this wonderfully warm, witty, and intimate tribute from his friend, Ethan Hawke, Seymour shares unforgettable stories from his remarkable life and eye-opening words of wisdom, as well as insightful reflections on art, creativity, and the search for fulfillment. A “poignant guide to life” (Indiewire) and an engaging exploration on the dedication, perseverance, and fortitude essential to creating both art and a rewarding life, SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION will leave you uplifted and inspired. – IFC Films
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