Friday, April 29, 2016

AFI Silver Theatre Weekly Update (4-29-16)

Matthias Schoenaerts & Tilda Swinton (r) star in A Bigger Splash

From our friends at the AFI Silver Theatre...

AFI Silver Theatre Weekly Programming Update (as of Friday, April 29, 2016)

Tickets and full calendar at

Just Announced...


Friday, April 29, 9:45 PM; Saturday, April 30, 9:45 PM; Thursday, May 5, 7:30 PM

In A BIGGER SPLASH, rock legend Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is recuperating on the volcanic island of Pantelleria with her partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) when iconoclast record producer and old flame Harry (Ralph Fiennes) unexpectedly arrives with his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) and interrupts their holiday, bringing with him an A-bomb blast of nostalgia from which there can be no rescue. A BIGGER SPLASH is a sensuous portrait of desire, jealousy and rock and roll, under the Mediterranean sun.


Now in its ninth year, the traveling Festival of New Spanish Cinema features a selection of outstanding films that reflect the breadth of styles and talents at work in Spain today. Some of the featured directors are established auteurs, while others have recently emerged on the international festival scene, earning top prizes and critical acclaim.

Organized by PRAGDA, SPAIN arts & culture. Presented by AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. With the support of Secretaría de Estado de Cultura - Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte - Gobierno de España, ICAA (Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales.) With the collaboration of Cinelandia.

No passes accepted

Opening Night:
Thursday, June 16, 7:15 PM, post-screening reception sponsored by SPAIN arts & culture; (also showing Sunday, June 19, 4:30 PM)
Actor Daniel Guzmán (who can be seen playing a cop in MY BIG NIGHT) makes an auspicious directing debut with this high-spirited tale of disaffected youth that won Goya Awards for Best New Director and Best New Actor. Bright, rebellious teenager Darío (Miguel Herrán) expelled from school and estranged from his battling parents (María Miguel and Luis Tosar) runs away from home. He forms a surrogate family on the streets of Madrid with his hefty best friend Luismi (Antonio Bachiller), the avuncular auto mechanic Justo (Felipe García Vélez) and the nonagenarian junk-dealer Antonia (beautifully played by the director’s own grandmother, Antonia Guzmán.) When Justo gets into trouble with the law, Darío launches a series of ill-fated schemes to bail him out. Upbeat but not sappy, Guzmán's film is a love letter to Madrid, and his acting background shines through in the infectious rapport among the performers. (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.) Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Critics Award, 2015 Málaga Film Festival. DIR/SCR Daniel Guzmán; PROD Álvaro Begines, Ignacio Fernández-Veiga Feijóo. Spain, 2015, color, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Friday, June 17, 7:15 PM; Saturday, June 18, 10:15 PM.
The latest from pulp maestro Álex de la Iglesia (WITCHING AND BITCHING, THE PERFECT CRIME) may be his most deliriously over-the-top film yet. The troubled taping of a television New Year’s Eve variety special devolves into chaos, beset by a fatal accident, an attempted assassination, outsized egos and raging libidos. Wannabe actor Jose (Pepón Nieto) gets his big break when he is called to replace a recently deceased extra; he takes a seat next to bombshell Paloma (Blanca Suárez) who may or may not be a femme fatale. The veteran crooner Alphonso (real-life crooner Raphael, in a slyly magnetic feat of self-parody) longs for his heyday in the halcyon '70s, while seething at having to share a stage with today’s performers like the lunkheaded Adanne (Mario Casas.) But these pop stars inspire dangerous passions in their public: Alphonso’s long-suffering adopted son and assistant Yuri (Carlos Areces) hires a former Alphonso super-fan and failed songwriter (Jaime Ordonez) to assassinate their fallen idol, while two gorgeous gold-diggers (Marta Castellote and Marta Guerras) scheme to blackmail him. As the party revs up and the cameras roll on the studio floor, an angry mob of protestors outside threatens to break down the doors. Official Selection, 2015 Toronto and San Sebastián film festivals; Opening Night, 2016 Miami Film Festival. DIR/SCR Álex de la Iglesia; SCR Jorge Guerricaechevarría; PROD Enrique Cerezo. Spain, 2015, color, 100 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Friday, June 17, 9:20 PM
This powerfully visualized drama of generational conflict signals the emergence of a vital Basque regional cinema in Spain. The crux of the film is a farm - spectacularly situated in the mountainous northeast of Spain - which has remained in the same family for countless generations. But when the eldest son and heir apparent, like so many of the region’s young people, decamps to the city, the burden passes to his sister Amaia (Iraia Elias), an artist whose progressive ways place her at odds with her rigidly traditionalist father (Kandido Uranga). The film’s title, which means “Grandma” in Basque, refers to the family matriarch who will play a pivotal role in Amaia’s attempt to bridge the divide between tradition and evolution. (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.) Official Selection, 2015 San Sebastián Film Festival. DIR/SCR Asier Altuna. Spain, 2015, color, 103 min. In Basque with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Saturday, June 18, 6:00 PM; Sunday, June 19, 9:10 PM
Conventional rom-com elements get an imaginative twist in this sprightly meta-movie in the vein of STRANGER THAN FICTION and ADAPTATION. Spanish producers hire Argentinian screenwriter Pablo (because “he won’t charge us in euros”) to write a romantic comedy set in Madrid. Pablo (Ernesto Alterio) supplies all the expected genre ingredients - meet-cute, best friends, shared preference (gin-and-tonic) - but complications set in as he becomes increasingly aware of the contrast with his own deteriorating marriage, and his real and fictional worlds begin to bleed into each other. Will Pablo's movie have a happy ending? Will Pablo? (Note courtesy of Gene Siskel Film Center.) DIR/SCR Alejo Flah; PROD Alejandro Cacetta, Juan Pablo Galli, Juan Pablo García, Juan Vera. Spain/Argentina, 2014, color, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Saturday, June 18, 8:00 PM; Sunday, June 19, 7:00 PM
On the eve of her 40th birthday, Elia (Maribel Verdú, PAN'S LABYRINTH, Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN) invites a group of close family and friends to a luxury Canary Islands getaway to tell them some extraordinary news: she’s won a 140-million-euro jackpot. But while they all feign excitement to the birthday girl’s face, behind closed doors they quickly begin to plot their way into a piece of the fortune. With a star-studded cast including Antonio de la Torre (MARSHLAND, VOLVER) and Eduard Fernández (THE SKIN I LIVE IN) filmmaker Gracia Querejeta has crafted a noir-tinged, darkly comedic thriller. Official Selection, 2015 Montreal and San Sebastián film festivals; 2016 Miami International Film Festival. DIR/SCR Gracia Querejeta; SCR Santos Mercero; PROD Gerardo Herrero. Spain, 2015, color, 98 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Current First Run:
SING STREET takes us back to 1980s Dublin as seen through the eyes of a 14-year-old boy named Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo.) Looking for a break from a home strained by his parents’ relationship and money troubles, he is also trying to adjust to his new inner-city public school, where the kids are rough and the teachers are rougher. He finds a glimmer of hope in the mysterious, cool and beautiful Raphina (Lucy Boynton) and with the aim of winning her heart he invites her to star in his band’s music videos. There’s only one problem: he’s not part of a band…yet. She agrees, and now Conor must deliver what he’s promised. Assuming the stage name "Cosmo," Conor immerses himself in the vibrant rock music trends of the decade, forms a band with a few lads and the group pours their heart into writing lyrics and shooting videos. Inspired by writer/director John Carney’s (BEGIN AGAINONCE) life and love of music, SING STREET shows a world where music has the power to take us away from the turmoil of everyday life and transform it into something greater.

Inspired by events in his life, this is a wildly entertaining, impressionistic, no-holds-barred portrait of one of 20th-century music’s creative geniuses, Miles Davis, featuring a career-defining performance by Don Cheadle in the title role. Working from a script he co-wrote with Steven Baigelman, Cheadle makes his bravura directorial debut. 

In the midst of a dazzling and prolific career at the forefront of modern jazz innovation, Miles Davis (Cheadle) virtually disappears from public view for a period of five years in the late 1970s. Alone and holed up in his home, he is beset by chronic pain from a deteriorating hip, his musical voice stifled and numbed by drugs and pain medications, his mind haunted by unsettling ghosts from the past. A wily music reporter (Ewan McGregor) forces his way into Davis’ house and, over the next couple of days, the two men unwittingly embark on a wild and sometimes harrowing adventure to recover a stolen tape of the musician’s latest compositions. 

Davis’ mercurial behavior is fueled by memories of his failed marriage to the talented and beautiful dancer Frances Taylor (Emayatzy Corinealdi.) During their romance and subsequent marriage, Taylor served as Davis’ muse. It was during this period that he released several of his signature recordings, including the groundbreaking "Sketches of Spain" and "Someday My Prince Will Come." The idyll was short-lived; their eight-year marriage was marked by infidelity and abuse, and Taylor was forced to flee for her own safety as Miles’ mental and physical health deteriorated. By the late ‘70s, plagued by years of regret and loss, Davis flirts with annihilation until he once again finds salvation in his art.

90th Anniversary!
Silent with live musical accompaniment by the Columbia Orchestra; score by Andrew Simpson
Sat, April 30, 7:00 PM; Sun, May 1, 2:00 PM
When the Civil War breaks out, railroad engineer Buster Keaton tries to join the Confederate Army to make his fiancée proud. Deeming his profession a valuable Southern asset, the Army rejects him for service as a soldier - and so does she. But after Union spies steal his beloved locomotive (and his girl along with it) Keaton springs into daring action. Keaton's deadpan drollery, pitch-perfect comedic timing and his incredible physical talent and bravery make this one of the greatest silent-era comedies. DIR/SCR/PROD Buster Keaton; DIR/SCR Clyde Bruckman; PROD Joseph M. Schenck. U.S., 1926, B&W, 75 min. NOT RATED

About the Columbia Orchestra:
Founded in 1977, the Columbia Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra that rehearses and performs primarily in Howard County, Maryland. The orchestra performs four classical concerts each year, plus a Young People's Concert, Symphonic Pops Concert, three chamber concerts and a host of community performances. See more info at

Sunday, May 1, 9:30 PM; Monday, May 2, 9:30 PM
This is the story of iconic, renegade cult band The Residents. From the group's formation in Shreveport, Louisiana, to their success in San Francisco's burgeoning avant-garde music scene in the '60s and '70s, The Residents redefined what a rock band could be. With the advent of music videos in the 1980s, these masked musicians gained global fame as MTV darlings and serious art world figures. The film features interviews with Les Claypool, Matt Groening, Penn Jillette and more. (Note courtesy of Film Movement.) DIR/SCR/PROD Don Hardy, Jr.; PROD Barton Bishoff, Josh Keppel. U.S., 2015, color, 87 min, DCP. NOT RATED

See The Residents at The 9:30 Club on April 29!

10th Anniversary!
Tickets $5.00
Friday, April 29, 9:30 PM; Saturday, April 30, 9:30 PM
Like his 1999 film OFFICE SPACE, Mike Judge's satirical comedy IDIOCRACY has become a bona fide cult classic since its original theatrical release. An army experiment places two exceedingly average test subjects - Army Corporal Luke Wilson and prostitute Maya Rudolph - in suspended animation. They awake 500 years in the future to discover that America has become exponentially dumber, a dystopian world of commercial oppression, junk food diets, overflowing garbage and crass anti-intellectualism. They are now the two smartest people alive. Recently, journalists have cited IDIOCRACY in light of certain mind-boggling statements made during the 2016 presidential campaign. Screenwriter Etan Cohen tweeted, "I never expected #idiocracy to become a documentary," and, "I thought the worst thing that would come true was everyone wearing Crocs." DIR/SCR/PROD Mike Judge; SCR Etan Cohen; PROD Elysa Koplovitz Dutton. U.S., 2006, color, 84 min, 35mm. RATED R