Sundance Cinemas Fall Screening Room Calendar features “The Innocents,” “Mia Madre,” “Starving the Beast”

innocents-1

As a film critic, you sense the change of seasons before you actually feel the change in temperature.

A month ago, in the middle of the summer, I was writing one or two reviews a week, at least one of them a big blockbuster. Now I’m juggling five or six reviews a week, mostly of independent films, as the fall season gets underway. Believe me, I am not complaining.

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Sundance Screening Room series returns with “Krisha,” “Born to Be Blue” and “The Family Fang”

krisha

With all the ownership news going on around Sundance Cinemas, any signs that things haven’t changed is a welcome one. The Madison theater was bought by the Carmike Cinemas chain in October, but the theater’s new owners seemed willing to let the popular arthouse continue as it was.

But the news that AMC Theatres, the largest chain in the country, was buying Carmike is a little more troubling. AMC tends to own large urban and suburban theaters (like the 16-screen AMC Fitchburg) showing mainstream movies, and what they’ll do with a six-screen theater focused on independent movies is anybody’s guess.

But both Carmike and AMC says nothing will change until the deal is finalized, probably close to the end of 2016. In the meantime, things at Sundance look to stay as they are, and movie lovers that want to keep it that way might want to consider voting with their dollars and supporting the theater, and the kind of movies they want to see there, whenever they can.

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Sundance Screening Room Calendar returns in 2016 with “Mustang,” “Viva” and “A Perfect Day”

Mustang

The purchase of the Sundance Cinemas chain by Carmike Theaters in October doesn’t seem to have had much of a visible effect on the Madison theater. Which is a good thing for fans who have been flocking to the Hilldale Mall theater during this very busy winter movie season.

And now comes word that another favorite Sundance tradition will survive the change-over — the Sundance Screening Room calendar returns on January 29 with a new slate of foreign, documentary and independent films. The calendar locks in some terrific films on the schedule through mid-March, and I’m planning to return to do some post-show chats after some of the films. Stay tuned.

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Sundance Screening Room extends into November with “Goodnight Mommy,” “The Amazing Nina Simone” and “Coming Home”

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Sundance Cinemas will extend its fall Screening Room Calendar of independent, foreign and documentary films into mid-November, starting off with one of the most talked-about horror movies of 2015.

The current calendar finishes up with “Testament of Youth” opening this Friday. (And I should mention that I’m doing hosting a post-show talk after the 7 p.m. show on Tuesday — come by and chat!) Then the next one kicks in on Oct. 9, and it’s the Austrian horror film “Goodnight Mommy,” about a violent war of wills between a mother covered in bandages and her two young sons, who don’t believe she’s really their mother.

Here’s the remainder of the screening room calendar:

Oct. 16: “Meet the Patels” — In this affable personal documentary, a first-generation Indian-American man tries to find the woman of his dreams while still keeping his parents happy.

Oct. 23: “The Amazing Nina Simone” — The second documentary of 2015 about the enigmatic and tumultous jazz/soul singer (after “What Happened Miss Simone?“) looks at Simone’s life and legacy, with extensive interviews with friends and associates.

Jimmys Hall - Written by Paul Laverty, Directed by Ken Loach, Produced by Rebecca O'Brien

Jimmys Hall – Written by Paul Laverty, Directed by Ken Loach, Produced by Rebecca O’Brien

Oct. 30: “Jimmy’s Hall” — The great director Ken Loach makes another film about Ireland’s past, this time set in a 1921 dance hall that becomes a flashpoint of controversy from both local politicians and the Catholic Church.

Nov. 6: “Coming Home” — A Chinese man returns home after years in a forced labor camp, only to find his wife no longer remembers him in the latest from director Zhang Yimou (“Raise The Red Lantern”).

Nov. 13: “Labyrinth of Lies” — In 1960s Germany, a young prosecutor stirs the buried guilt of the nation when he prosecutes a former Auschwitz guard turned schoolteacher.

 

 

Post-show Sundance chats set for “Phoenix” and “Testament of Youth”

August .2013 Dreharbeiten zum CHRISTIAN PETOLD Film PHÖNIX mit Nina Hoss , Ronald Zehrfeld und Nina Kunzendorf Verwendung der Fotos nur in Zusammenhang mit dem Film PHÖNIX von Christian Petzold ( Model release No ) © Christian Schulz Mobil 01723917694

August .2013
Dreharbeiten zum CHRISTIAN PETOLD Film PHÖNIX
mit Nina Hoss , Ronald Zehrfeld und Nina Kunzendorf
Verwendung der Fotos nur in Zusammenhang mit dem Film PHÖNIX von Christian Petzold
( Model release No ) © Christian Schulz
Mobil 01723917694

Just a quick update that I’ve scheduled the post-show chats for the next Sundance Cinemas Screening Room Calendar for September and October. The full Screening Room calendar is here. The chats have been really fun this year, and I’m looking forward to talking about these movies after the lights go up.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, I’ll be doing a post-show chat after the evening performance of “Phoenix,” Christian Petzold’s Hitchcockian World War II drama starring Nina Hoss. And then on Tuesday, Oct. 5, we’ll be talking after “Testament of Youth,” a World War I drama starring Alicia Vikander of “Ex Machina” and Kit Harington of “Game of Thrones.”

The talks are free — just hang around in the theater after the lights go up. I think they’re both movies that will give us a lot to talk about. Hope to see you there!

Sundance Screening Room returns with “Infinitely Polar Bear,” “Phoenix” and “Uncle John”

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After the usual summer break to make room for all those superheroes, Sundance Cinemas will launch its next Screening Room Calendar next week.

The series, for the uninitiated, sets aside Cinema 2 at the theater for a scheduled list of independent, foreign and documentary films. One of the nice things about the calendar is that it locks in some of these smaller films that have less publicity behind them, so you can see them coming and plan accordingly. And, unlike other Sundance offerings, the Screening Room movies are exempt from Sundance’s amenities fees.

Here’s a rundown of what’s coming, starting next week. I’m looking forward to doing post-show chats with a couple of these films — I’ll get back to you soon when I know which one, and when.

Aug. 14 — “Infinitely Polar Bear” — Writer-director Maya Forbes’ warm and personal film is based on her own experiences growing up in a biracial family in 1970s Boston with a bipolar father (wonderfully played here by Mark Ruffalo). Here’s my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.

Aug. 21 — “Lambert and Stamp” and “Saint Laurent” — A real-life two-fer, one a documentary and the other a biopic. Rockists will enjoy learning how aspiring filmmakers Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert ended up managing The Who, while fashionistas will want to see how the famous designer Yves St. Laurent transformed style in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition, Sundance says they’ll be showing the Jennifer Connelly drama “Aloft” during the week, and have down on their online calendar that James Ponsoldt’s David Foster Wallace biopic “The End of the Tour” also opens this week. Busy!

August .2013  Dreharbeiten zum CHRISTIAN PETOLD Film PHÖNIX mit Nina Hoss , Ronald Zehrfeld und Nina Kunzendorf Verwendung der Fotos nur in Zusammenhang mit dem Film PHÖNIX von Christian Petzold ( Model release No ) © Christian Schulz Mobil 01723917694

August .2013
Dreharbeiten zum CHRISTIAN PETOLD Film PHÖNIX
mit Nina Hoss , Ronald Zehrfeld und Nina Kunzendorf
Verwendung der Fotos nur in Zusammenhang mit dem Film PHÖNIX von Christian Petzold
( Model release No ) © Christian Schulz
Mobil 01723917694

Aug. 28 — “Phoenix” — Director Christian Petzold reteams with “Barbara” star Nina Hoss in this tense World War II drama about a Jewish-German nightclub singer who tries to uncover whether her husband betrayed her to the Nazis.

Sept. 4 — “Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine” — Michael Fassbender is nowhere to be found in documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney’s look at the world of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

Sept. 11 — “Queen of Earth” — Writer-director Alex Ross Perry reteams with Elisabeth Moss from “Listen Up Philip” in this tale of a grieving woman who falls into delusion and madness.

Sept. 18 — “Uncle John” — I’m really excited that this Wisconsin-made film, about a farmer (Josh Ashton) trying to cover up a deadly crime, is getting a theatrical run in Madison. Here’s an interview with the filmmakers from this year’s Wisconsin Film Festival.

Sept. 25 — “Listen to Me Marlon” — A documentary about Marlon Brando would be interesting enough, but this film draws from a wealth of private audio and video recordings Brando made that have never been shown before.

Oct. 2 — “Testament of Youth” — Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”) and Kit Harington (Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones”) star in this luminous World War I drama.