A UNITED KINGDOM

A UNITED KINGDOM is based on extraordinary true events. In 1947, Seretse Khama, the King of Botswana, met Ruth Williams, a London office worker. They were a perfect match, yet their proposed marriage was challenged not only by their families but by the British and South African governments. The latter had recently introduced the policy of apartheid and found the notion of a biracial couple ruling a neighboring country intolerable. South Africa threatened the British: either thwart the couple or be denied access to South African uranium and gold and face the risk of South Africa invading Botswana.

PATERSON

Written and Directed by Jim Jarmusch. Paterson is a bus driver in the city of Paterson, New Jersey–they share the name. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him; he writes poetry into a notebook; he walks his dog; he stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer; he goes home to his wife, Laura. By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily. Paterson loves Laura and she loves him. He supports her newfound ambitions; she champions his gift for poetry. The film quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details.

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. 

At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript.

Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

SONG TO SONG

Written and directed by Terrence Malick.  In this modern love story set against the Austin, Texas music scene, two entangled couples—struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress whom he ensnares (Natalie Portman)—chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.

FRANTZ

 Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, (1914-1918), Frantz recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation”: Anna (Paula Beer), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks. [Music Box Films]

20TH CENTURY WOMEN

Directed by Mike Mills. Set in Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann, in a breakout performance) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor.

PERSONAL SHOPPER

Following her César Award-winning performance in ‘Clouds of Sils Maria,’ Kristen Stewart reteams with acclaimed director Olivier Assayas for this mesmerizing 21st-century ghost story. By day, American in Paris Maureen (Stewart) works as a personal shopper, motor-biking around the city buying up deluxe couture for a jet-setting celebrity client. By night, she attempts to channel the spirits of the dead, hoping to make contact with her recently deceased twin brother. When Maureen begins receiving a series of chilling, increasingly sinister text messages, it seems she may have made contact—but with whom? And what do they want? This seductive, mind-scrambling mystery is a riveting showcase for one of this generation’s most adventurous actresses.

DONALD CRIED

Director/writer/star Kris Avedisian expertly deconstructs the contemporary obsession with the “man-child” in this darkly funny story about former childhood best friends who reconnect decades later in their working-class Rhode Island neighborhood. Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) left his childhood home of Warwick, Rhode Island to reinvent himself as a slick, Wall Street mover and shaker. When he’s suddenly forced to return home to bury his grandmother, he loses his wallet on the trip and ends up at loose ends. Stranded and broke, Peter looks to the only person he can think of to help him out – his next door neighbor and former childhood friend Donald (played by Avedisian). The ever-eccentric Donald hasn’t changed a bit, and what starts as a simple favor turns into a long and unhinged van ride into their past. Painfully awkward moments and increasingly bizarre – and dangerous – hijinks ensue, as the friends rediscover their stifled aggression and teenaged rebelliousness. Avedisian’s pitch-perfect first feature is a brilliant twist on the family-reunion melodrama and the classic buddy comedy.

ELLE

Directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Isabelle Huppert. Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a successful video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game-a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.

THE COMEDIAN

An aging comic icon, Jackie (Robert De Niro) has seen better days.  Despite his efforts to reinvent himself and his comic genius, the audience only wants to know him as the former television character he once played.  Already a strain on his younger brother (Danny DeVito) and his wife (Patti LuPone), Jackie is forced to serve out a sentence doing community service for accosting an audience member. While there, he meets Harmony (Leslie Mann), the daughter of a sleazy Florida real estate mogul (Harvey Keitel), and the two find inspiration in one another resulting in surprising consequences.

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