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Friday, October 01, 2021

[À BOUT DE SOUFFLE]

The quintessential French New Wave film, BREATHLESS still seems fresh and innovative even after 60 years. Jazzy-cool crook Jean-Paul Belmondo, on the run after impulsively shooting a cop, kills time in Paris trying to convince his on-again, off-again American girlfriend Jean Seberg to run away with him to Italy. The deceptively carefree plot, abundant allusiveness to cinema, art and other culture (high and low), and the whimsically unorthodox, energetic editing are all hallmarks that would come to be known as "Godardian" — and all appear here, fully formed, in Godard's debut feature. Combined with Raoul Coutard's dynamic street photography and star turns by Belmondo and Seberg, BREATHLESS fairly bursts with verve and élan — an irresistible, abidingly influential film — and très cool. DIR/SCR Jean-Luc Godard, from the story by François Truffaut; PROD Georges de Beauregard. France, 1960, b&w, 90 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Restored in 4K from the original camera negative by Studiocanal and CNC at L'Immagine Ritrovata laboratory (Bologna).

No AFI Member passes accepted.

Friday, October 29, 2021

On the occasion of the death of its beloved Kansas-born editor Arthur Howitzer, Jr. (Bill Murray), the staff of The French Dispatch, a widely circulated American magazine based in the French city of Ennui-sur-Blasé, convenes to write his obituary. Memories of Howitzer flow into the creation of four stories: a travelogue of the seediest sections of the city itself; a tale of an imprisoned artist, his muse and his ravenous dealers; a chronicle of love and death at the height of a student revolt; and a suspenseful tale of drugs, kidnapping and fine dining. Director Wes Anderson's latest features a star-studded cast that includes Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet and more. DIR/SCR/PROD Wes Anderson; PROD Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson. U.S., 2021, color/b&w, 107 min. RATED R

No AFI Member passes accepted.

Friday, October 08, 2021

In the isolated depths of rural Iceland, a childless couple, Maria (Noomi Rapace) and Ingvar (Hilmir Snær Guðnason), make an alarming discovery one day in their sheep barn: a newborn unlike anything they've seen before. They decide to raise the girl, Ada, as their own, but sinister forces — including one very pissed-off ewe — seem determined to return Ada to the wilderness that birthed her. The masterful and terrifying debut feature from director Valdimar Jóhannsson, LAMB excavates primal fears — of parenting, loss and the vast and merciless wild — in a dark and unnatural folktale for the ages. DIR/SCR Vladimar Jóhannsson; SCR Sjón; PROD. Hrönn Kristinsdóttir, Sara Nassim. Iceland/Sweden/Poland, 2021, color, 108 min. In Icelandic with English subtitles. RATED R

No AFI Member passes accepted.

Friday, October 15, 2021

THE RESCUE chronicles the enthralling, against-all-odds story that transfixed the world in 2018: the daring rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from deep inside a flooded cave in northern Thailand. Academy Award®-winning directors and producers Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (FREE SOLO, MERU) keep viewers on the edge of their seats as they use a wealth of never-before-seen material and exclusive interviews to piece together the high stakes mission, highlighting the efforts of the Royal Thai Navy SEALs and U.S. Special Forces and detailing the expert cave divers' audacious venture to deliver the boys to safety. THE RESCUE brings alive one of the most perilous and extraordinary rescues in modern times, shining a light on the high-risk world of cave diving, the astounding courage and compassion of the rescuers and the shared humanity of the international community that united to save the boys. DIR/PROD Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin; SCR Wes Tooke; PROD P.J. van Sandwijk, John Battsek. U.S./UK, 2021, color, 107 min. In English, Thai, Korean and Norwegian with English subtitles. RATED PG

No AFI Member passes accepted.

Friday, October 01, 2021

TITANE, the sophomore feature from Julia Ducournau (RAW), is a high-octane experience that won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival — marking only the second time that a film directed by a woman has won the coveted prize. Alexia (Agathe Rousselle) is an exotic dancer with a titanium plate in her head, installed after a childhood car accident. Her routine atop a tricked-out Cadillac gives new meaning to the phrase "auto-eroticism." Alexia's sensuous moves are complemented by a penchant for murder, and as the bodies stack up, she goes on the lam, later assuming the identity of Adrien, a missing person who disappeared 10 years prior when he was a seven-year-old boy. But Vincent (Vincent Lindon), the heartbroken father who wholeheartedly believes he has now been reunited with his long-lost child, proves to be more than Alexia bargained for. Ducournau provocatively explores gender roles, parenthood and the extremities of the human body in this unrestrained thrill ride. DIR/SCR Julie Ducournau; PROD Jean-Christophe Reymond. France/Belgium, 2021, color, 108 min. In French with English subtitles. RATED R

No AFI Member passes accepted.

Friday, October 15, 2021

The Velvet Underground created a new sound that changed the world of music, cementing its place as one of rock 'n' roll's most revered bands. Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Todd Haynes (CAROL, I'M NOT THERE, VELVET GOLDMINE), THE VELVET UNDERGROUND shows just how the group became a cultural touchstone representing a range of contradictions: the band is both of their time, yet timeless; literary, yet realistic; rooted in high art and street culture. The film features in-depth interviews with the key players of that time combined with a treasure trove of never-before-seen performances and a rich collection of recordings, Warhol films and other experimental art. The result is an immersive experience into what founding member John Cale describes as the band's creative ethos: "how to be elegant and how to be brutal." DIR/SCR/PROD Todd Haynes; PROD Christine Vachon, Julie Goldman, David Blackman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn. U.S., 2021, color, 110 min. RATED R

No AFI Member passes accepted.