We’re very pleased to open NICKY’S FAMILY July 19. Today the L.A. Times published a piece about Sir Nicholas Winton, a very modest hero whose life-saving accomplishments went unacknowledged for decades: “Winton said he didn’t talk about his accomplishments because ‘there were more important things going on than to dwell in the past.'”
Actresses Virginia Madsen, Daryl Hannah and Camryn Manheim will participate in a Q&A following the 7:30 screening of THE HOT FLASHES and will introduce the 10 PM screening at the Music Hall on Friday, July 12th. Please join them for a lively conversation about women, film, basketball….. and lots of other interesting things.
Fill the Void by first time writer/director Rama Burshtein has been playing at Laemmle for a while now. And there’s a simple reason for that – it’s an exquisite piece of filmmaking.
The movie is foremost a loving portrayal and homage to haredi culture in Israel (ultra-religious Jews). Burshtein brings her hasidic community to life in rich, warm tones. Everything, specially interior space, is suffused in a welcoming, other-worldly light, as if she and talented cinematographer Asaf Sudry had uncovered a place where heaven and earth meet.
With such clear affection for her subject (Burshtein is deeply religious herself), you might think the film is one long sop to Ultra-Orthodox Judaism. You’d be wrong. In fact, Burshtein illuminates this world with nary a comment. The role of women, for instance, comes into clear focus, including the many aspects that would normally scandalize a modern, liberal audience – persistent segregation, cumbersome modesty rules, arranged marriages, etc. But Burshtein neither endorses such practices nor critiques them. This approach holds true for the film as a whole. Judgment is put to the side; in its place, the director gifts us with a profound sense of grace and acceptance.
If that’s not all, Burshtein has a knowingly deft and gentle touch when it comes to interpersonal relations. Though not lacking in passion or conviction, her characters bring us into the story with remarkable subtlety and restraint. It’s one of those films that you can see three times (and I have!) and discover it anew each time; an unseen gesture, a motivation not previously considered, an underlying theme freshly revealed. Still, despite repeat viewing, Fill the Void stubbornly defies pat summations, preserving a delicious sense of ambiguity up until (literally) the very last instant.
The sublime performance of Hadas Yaron, who won Best Actress at the Awards of the Israeli Film Academy for her lead role as the younger sister Shira, is emblematic of the cast as whole. It’s hard to imagine anyone not being moved by her performance, especially in the final scenes.
Sometimes a film shines such an intense, brilliant light upon its subject that all we can do as an audience is open our mouths in grateful wonder and appreciation. Fill the Void is such a film. You may see it (for the first or third time) at the Royal or Town Center 5 through July 11.
– Marc Horwitz
THE ROOM director/star Tommy Wiseau and co-star Greg Sestero in person at the NoHo 7 June 28 and 29 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of this midnight movie phenomenon.
Beginning June 28 at the Music Hall we’ll screen BIDDER 70, the new documentary about environmental activist Tim DeChristopher, who was jailed for two years for protesting an auction of gas and oil drilling rights in Utah. He disrupted the proceeding in a novel way: by bidding on and winning leases he could never pay for.
Tim was recently released and Bill Moyers interviewed him.
FAME HIGH director Scott Hamilton Kennedy will participate in Q&A’s after the 5 PM screening at the Music Hall on Friday, June 14 and after the 6 PM screening Saturday, June 15 at the Playhouse 7.