Dear Laemmle Fans,
Regardless of who you supported in the November election, I sincerely hope that we can all feel thankful and honored to be Americans today. Though tumultuous, recent weeks have proven the stability and resilience of our union, even under great stress. Our nation’s sacred streak of peaceful transfers of power remains unbroken – a remarkable fact which many Americans take for granted, but nevertheless leaves me proud. I’m also thankful (albeit less confidently so) about the apparent drop in local Covid-19 case rates, and hopeful that the accelerating vaccine rollout will help to maintain those diminished numbers. Perhaps the light on the horizon really is the sunrise this time… in any case, with less drama on TV, you should have plenty of time to catch up on new Laemmle Virtual Cinema releases.
We begin today’s new offerings with the documentary Notturno, from Oscar nominated maestro del cinema Gianfranco Rosi (Fire at Sea). Notturno seeks to capture the everyday realities of those struggling to survive the violent civil wars, dictatorships, and foreign occupations that besiege the Middle East. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, the film’s painful beauty renders it essential viewing. Another terrific documentary is Coming Clean, an investigation into the personal impact of the ongoing heroin epidemic, from Sundance Grand Jury Winner Ondi Timoner. And for art aficionados, there’s My Rembrandt, which explores the widespread fascination with the work of its namesake painter.
Next up is the drama Cowboys, an empathetic and heartfelt neo-western addressing nature, transgenderism, and childhood in the United States (starring an outstanding and complex Steve Zahn). Other coming-of-age titles include the historical Lebanese film 1982, the French romance The Salt of Tears, and the contemplative Sudanese drama You Will Die at Twenty. There’s also the subtly thrilling Mexican indie Identifying Features, as well as the striking and Kaufman-esque melodrama Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time, from Hungarian filmmaker Lili Horvat. On the classic side, we’re re-opening the seminal 1968 work Mandabi (the first film ever made in the Wolof language).
And for those who might have missed a recent email, other popular titles from previous weeks include Some Kind of Heaven, which analyzes the inhabitants of American’s largest retirement community, and Acasa, My Home, a thoughtful Romanian documentary tracing a family’s adjustment to life in the city. Lastly, if you are a member of AMPAS, or any other major industry guild, you may be eligible to watch certain Laemmle Virtual Cinema releases free of charge (click here to sign up or learn more about our guild accreditation process). And if you aren’t a guild member, don’t worry… you can still catch a free screening of 76 Days tomorrow – just sign in, and head to the film’s virtual cinema listing at any time on January 3.
All the best,