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Love is Strange

Starts Friday
in Woodstock 
Sept 19 – 25
Fri 5:45 8:00
Sat 5:45 8:00
Sun 5:45 8:00
Mon – Thur 7:30 
(USA, France / 2014 / Directed by Ira Sachs)
R / 94 mins. 
After 39 years together, Ben (John Lithgow) and George (Alfred Molina) finally tie the knot in an idyllic wedding ceremony in lower Manhattan. But when news of their marriage reaches the Catholic school where George works, he is fired from his longtime job, and the couple can no longer afford their New York City apartment.
As a temporary solution, George moves in with two cops next door, while Ben moves to Brooklyn to live with his nephew, Eliot; Eliot’s wife, Kate; and their teenage son. As Ben and George struggle to secure a new apartment, the pain of living apart and their presence in two foreign households test the resilience and relationships of all involved. Propelled by exquisite performances from John Lithgow, Alfred Molina, and Marisa Tomei, this subtle drama is suffused with gentle humor. From distinguished indie filmmaking veteran Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On, Forty Shades of Blue), Love Is Strange blends the romance of New York City’s streets and skyline with a delicate Chopin piano score, poignantly capturing a modern day love story. In English and Russian with subtitles. 
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Woodstock Comedy Festival

Sept 19 – 21
Fri Sat Sun Events all over town
SUNDAY Sept 21st FILM SCREENINGS at Upstate Films 132 Tinker St Woodstock
Sunday at 12:30 IRWIN & FRAN and Sunday at 3:00 A NIGHT AT WHIPLASH
Woodstock Comedy Festival is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation with a mission: Comedy for a Cause. Each year our net profits will be donated to our charity partners Polaris Project and Family of Woodstock for the battle against human trafficking and domestic violence. Our second-annual festival is a three-day weekend event (Sept. 19-21) in the little town with a lot to laugh at, with everything from stand-up comedy to sketch comedy, improv to panels, films and more. 
Irwin & Fran Screening September 21st at 12:30 PM
Life with Professor Irwin Corey and his wife Fran. Irwin is 98 years old and is a well known comedian, entertainer and political satirist. Fran is 95 and his wife of 71 years. Dick Gregory summarizes Irwin’s contributions and family friend Susan Sarandon narrates.
*Q&A to follow with Writer/Producer/Director Jordan Stone. 83 Minutes
A Night at Whiplash Screening September 21st at 3:00 PM
Whiplash is a weekly standup show at the UCB Theatre in New York. Every Monday night at 11pm, people have a chance to see some of the best stand ups in the world today performing ten to twenty-minute sets. Hosted by Leo Allen, Whiplash has become one of NYC’s premiere standup shows. Film includes sets from comedians such as Janeane Garafolo and Eugene Mirman. *Q&A to follow with Director/Host Leo Allen, producer Jeremy Levenbach, and producer/DP Vincent Peone. 86 Minutes 
 AFAD6F5C-7B52-4D50-81D8-DF5021871CAE-150x200WCF was founded in 2011 by Chris Collins, a semi-retired psych professor who believes in a good laugh and a good cause. Either that or he had nothing better to do other than enlist the aid of the funniest people around to spread laughter in the town of Woodstock, while gaining some good karma. Chris and his team of modestly attractive producers will make the Woodstock Comedy Festival a good time (for good causes) this year, and for many years to come.
Click for WCF’s website 


In Rhinebeck 
Sept 21
Sun 8:15
(Poland / 1965 / Directed by Jerzy Kawalerowicz)
Unrated / 153 mins.
An epic production, including battle scenes featuring thousands and refined choreography, Pharaoh focuses on the young Egyptian ruler, Ramses XIII who, with his young passions, love and idealism, has to face the cold pragmatism of dealing with the country’s external enemies and internal struggles.
His position reduced to but a figurehead, Ramses fights to regain power, ultimately falling to absolute control of knowledge by his priests. Riddled with psychological, moral, and philosophical questions on the nature of power, Pharaoh forgoes large battle scenes and romantic kisses in favor of a deeply meaningful artistic creation. Unfortunately, the German releasing firm that acquired the distribution rights to Pharaoh shortened the film for international release and then went bankrupt when there was little interest in the truncated version. Now restored to its original form, Pharaoh brandishes its heroism as a weapon — teaching all that noble defeat is better than silence in the face of morally corrupt politics. 1967 Academy Awards®, USA – Oscar® – nomination. 1966 Cannes Film Festival – Palme d’Or – nomination.
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Celebrate Italian Cinema with Prof. Joseph Luzzi

Sept 28
Sunday 1:30 pm $35
(This event is a fund-raiser for our classic cinema series)
Please join us for this excursion into Italian classic cinema with Professor Luzzi who will explore some of the greatest works ever to appear on the Italian screen, showing clips from masterpieces by Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellinim and others.
Tickets include a signed copy of Luzzi’s new memoir, My Two Italies,
plus a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres at Rhinebeck’s Market St. Restaurant (around the corner) where the celebration and discussion continues with Prof. Luzzi. Don’t miss out – the event promises to be an enjoyable celebration of Italy’s remarkable cinematic traditions as well as great conversation and fun. 
Joseph Luzzi is a writer and professor of Italian at Bard College. The first child in his Calabrian family born in the U.S., his recently published memoir, My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is the dramatic story of his Italian family’s immigration and an insider’s look at the turbulence of life in Italy today, especially during the Berlusconi years.
He is a frequent contributor of essays and reviews to publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, the London Times Literary Supplement, and many others. His first book, Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale Univ. Press 2008), received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association, and he is the author of the forthcoming A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014). His work has been translated into Italian and Portuguese, and he has lectured throughout the world on art, film, literature, and Italian culture. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We’ve enjoyed his previous film and discussion sessions here at Upstate Films Rhinebeck, and welcome him back. I love Luzzi.
Visit Prof Luzzi’s website
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Black Maria Film and Video Festival: Documentary Shorts

In Rhinebeck 
October 2
Thursday 8pm
Tickets $12/$11/$10
Thursday October 2nd, Upstate Films will host The Black Maria Film Festival, along with three guest speakers — Festival Director Jane Steuerwald and film directors Theresa Loong and Jay Weichun. We will screen four short documentary films, followed by a q&a at the theater and drinks at Liberty Restaurant (cash bar).
The films that form the centerpiece of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture. The cutting edge work that makes up the festival’s touring program focuses on exceptional short films that are not presented as sidebars to feature length films; they are the heart and soul of the festival.
The program will include the following shorts:

  • A Place of Spirit (Natalie Conn and Jay Weichun, Brooklyn, NY) The story of Andrea Phillips, a Staten Island based artist facing eviction from her home after 44 years.
  • Families Are Forever (Caitlin Ryan and Vivian Kleiman, San Francisco, CA.) Tom and Wendy are devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community when they discover that their son is gay.
  • The Apothecary (Helen Hood Scheer, Palo Alto, CA.) In an impoverished former mining town in the American Southwest, a beloved druggist runs the community’s main hub: the sole pharmacy within 4,000 square miles. He eagerly plays multiple roles as surrogate doctor, life counselor, and community benefactor. His sanguine public persona, however, belies a long-suffered private pain for which there is no drug, no cure, and no relief.
  • Every Day is a Holiday (Theresa Loong, New York, NY.) Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. One day, she discovered his diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make ‘every day a holiday’ if he survived. “Every Day is a Holiday” tells the painful but life-affirming story of her father’s unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States.
This project is made possible in part with public funds from NYSCA’s’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (
Click here for the Black Maria Film Festival website

London National Theatre: MEDEA

Coming Oct 5
(UK / 2014 / Directed by Carrie Cracknell)
Unrated / 105 mins.
Terrible things breed in broken hearts. Medea is a wife and a mother. For the sake of her husband, Jason, she’s left her home and borne two sons in exile. But when he abandons his family for a new life, Medea faces banishment and separation from her children. Cornered, she begs for one day’s grace.
It’s time enough. She exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. Helen McCrory (The Last of the Haussmans) takes the title role in Euripides’ powerful tragedy, in a new version by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell, with music written by Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp.
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London National Theatre: A Streetcar Named Desire

Coming Soon
(UK / 2014 / Directed by Benedict Andrews)
Unrated / Length tba
The fastest-selling production in the Young Vic’s history, Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire will be broadcast from their London home by National Theatre Live… with Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) as Blanche DuBois, Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings) as Stanley, and Vanessa Kirby (BBC’s Great Expectations, Three Sisters at the Young Vic) as Stella.
As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. Visionary director Benedict Andrews returns to the Young Vic following his Critics’ Circle Award-winning Three Sisters.
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Coming Soon
(US, Serbia, and Montenegro / 2013 / Directed by the Meerkat Media Collective)
Unrated / 88 mins.
As half a million people descend upon a tiny Serbian village for the 50th anniversary of the world’s largest trumpet festival, every competitor seeks to win. Brasslands chronicles the personal journeys of three competitors participating in the festival for very different reasons.
As 25-year-old master trumpeter Dejan Petrovic – the reigning champion – returns to defend his title, Demiran Ćerimović – a world-class Roma Gypsy trumpeter – struggles against deeply ingrained racism for the opportunity to make money for his family. Through it all, an unlikely American band must also win over an audience that still resents America’s role in the NATO bombings of Serbia two decades earlier. As tensions simmer below the festival’s carnivalesque, alcohol-fueled surface, Brasslands bears witness to deeper resonances. From the staccato snares to the euphoric brass chorales and electrifying trumpet solos, the film attests to the fact that even amidst fractured ethnic and political divides, there remains in Serbia a universal human desire for identity, joy, and belonging that – if only momentarily – can be heard.
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Coming Soon
(Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark / 2013 / Directed by Alex van Warmerdam)
Unrated / 113 mins.
This awesomely bizarre home-invasion movie rests on a crafty, trickster-ish screenplay, always staying two steps ahead and making you question characters’ motivations.
The title refers to the main character, Camiel Borgman (Jan Bijvoet), a bearded and disheveled vagrant who shows up at a wealthy family’s front door asking for a bath. When her husband Richard (Jeroen Perceval) refuses him entry, Marina (Hadewych Minis) takes pity on the man and offers him a place to stay. But Marina gradually falls under Borgman’s mysterious spell. As the visitor shifts between the roles of victim and aggressor, strange things begin to happen. A pack of potentially shape-shifting dogs roams the property, a dancer in a gray costume spins around in the yard, and a clan of shifty forest-dwellers moves in, toying with the family and uprooting their garden before their eyes. With hints of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games or Giorgos Lanthimos’ Dogtooth, Borgman is a film that will chill and fascinate in equal measure. In Dutch with subtitles.
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Mood Indigo

Coming Soon
(France, Belgium / 2013 / Directed by Michel Gondry)
Unrated / 131 mins. 
A powerful and accomplished film from director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep), Mood Indigo tells the surreal and poetic tale of Colin (Romain Duris), an idealistic and inventive young man, and Chloé (Audrey Tautou), the stunning and quick-witted gal who captures his heart.
In a world where you can travel around on a pink cloud or be swept off an ice-skating rink into an inexplicable hole, Colin, a wealthy young man and inventor of the cocktail-mixing piano wants to fall in love. With the help of his cook Nicolas (Omar Sy) and his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh), he meets and falls for Chloé. But soon after their wedding, a water lily starts growing in Chloé’s chest and she falls ill. Ruined by medical expenses, Colin resorts to increasingly desperate methods to save his beloved’s life. Spiced by a cascade of surprising visual effects, Gondry’s fertile imagination summons the ghosts of Tex Avery, Jacques Tati, and Rube Golderg in this starry-eyed fantasia, pitched somewhere between the jazzy airiness of the French New Wave and the freewheeling nuttiness of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Delicatessen or Amélie. Unrated / 131 mins. In French with subtitles.
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Coming Soon
(UK, Ireland /  2014 / Directed by Lenny Abrahamson)
R / 95 mins.
Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) receives a stroke of luck when he’s invited to play a show with an avant-garde band fronted by the musical genius Frank (Michael Fassbender), an eccentric performer who wears a giant expressionless fake head.
After a rocky start, Jon ingratiates himself with the band, and the crew retreats to record an album in the woods. There, the passive-aggressive percussionist (Carla Azar), the aloof French bassist (Francois Civil), and the ice-cold theremin player (Maggie Gyllenhaal) unite around Frank’s creative energy. But as Jon tries to fit into the mix, creative tensions mount and the band’s entire raison d’être is called into question. While film parodies the tortured process of trying to reinvent music from the ground up, it simultaneously critiques those who seek mainstream success while contributing little to the culture at large. Featuring a performance by Fassbender (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave) as you’ve never seen him before, Frank’s wit, audacity, and thought-provoking observations make it a true original.
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Coming this fall
Date tba
(USA / 2014 / Directed by Robert Greene)
In Person: Director Robert Greene and actress Brandy Burre
With luxurious slow-motion sequences and staging worthy of a ‘50s melodrama, Robert Greene’s celebrated new film follows Brandy Burre, an actress (HBO’s The Wire) who gave up working to start a family and decided to re-start her career years later.
With glimpses of her stint on The Wire and a funny peek at Burre sifting through paltry royalty checks while her daughter plays nearby, Actress presents a sharp contrast between the allure of the spotlight and the dull rhythms that continue once it recedes. But as she returns to work, the affirmative aspect of her careerism is juxtaposed with conventional expectations about what a woman in her late 30s is supposed to want. Pivoting on an off-screen event that feels as impactful as the drama that takes place on camera, it becomes unclear how much Brandy is sacrificing the feelings and futures of her loved ones on the altar of self-interest. Acting, in the end, is not only Brandy’s profession; it’s something that she does all the time, whether interacting with her restaurateur husband Tim, her children, or Greene’s camera. With a dramatic, affective, and polyvalent ending, Greene’s film is documentary portraiture at its finest, taking on the resonance of a densely packed short story. Unrated / 86 mins. 
This project is made possible in part with public funds from NYSCA’s’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (
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Reviews forthcoming