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Friday, March 3, 2017

Cleveland International Film Festival Releases the Schedule for This Year's Event

Posted By on Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 11:30 AM

Earlier today, the folks at the Cleveland International Film Festival announced their schedule for this year’s event, which takes place from March 29 to April 9 at Tower City Cinemas. The festival will also include select neighborhood screening locations.

In all, CIFF will showcase 202 feature films and 216 short films from 71 countries.  Tickets go on sale to members at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 10, and to the general public at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 17.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Cedar Lee Theatre Partners with Local Cat Shelters for 'KEDI' Screenings

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 3:57 PM

Set to open on March 10 at the Cedar Lee Theatre, the documentary film KEDI centers on a handful of the hundreds of thousands of cats that roam the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. For thousands of years, Istanbul street cats have wandered in and out of people's lives, and the film documents those wanderings.

To help Cleveland’s street cats, the Cedar Lee Theatre has just announced that it will partner with area shelters who will bring cats in need of homes to the Cedar Lee during select screenings.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

The Nightlight Cinema in Akron to Host a Special Screening of the New Comedy/Drama 'All Nighter'

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 4:53 PM

As part of the New York Film Critics Film Series, a regular series of ongoing preview screenings that takes place in about 50 selected major markets, All Nighter, a new comedy/drama starring Emile Hirsch, Analeigh Tipton and J.K. Simmons, will screen on March 20 at the Nightlight in Akron.

The movie centers on the hijinks that take place when when a “globe trotting, workaholic father” (Simmons) discovers his daughter (Tipton) has gone missing. He then forces her banjo-playing ex-boyfriend (Hirsch) to help him find her over the course of one “increasingly crazy” night.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Upcoming Short. Sweet. Film Fest to Screen 96 Films

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 2:57 PM

In 2012, local film aficionado Michael Suglio successfully launched his Short. Sweet. Film Fest at Ohio City's Market Garden Brewery.

Over the years, the festival has grown bigger and bigger, so Suglio moved it to the Alex Theater at the Metropolitan at the 9, where it’s set to return the first weekend of March.

From Friday, March 3, through Sunday, March 5, the fifth annual festival will showcase some 96 films. In addition, musical acts will perform after the films on Friday and Saturday nights and on Sunday afternoon.

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Cinematheque to Screen Four of the Worst Movies Ever Made

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 11:41 AM

A scene from Showgirls.
  • A scene from Showgirls.
Generally speaking, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque presents a discriminating selection of films carefully curated by director John Ewing.

Often, the Cinematheque will screen obscure foreign movies, new prints of classic films and arthouse movies too arty for Cleveland Cinemas.

But for the Cleveland Cult Film Festival, which takes place at the Cinematheque from April 1 to 8, it will screen “four of the worst movies ever made.” And in a press release, Ewing assures us “it’s not an April Fool’s Joke.”

Along with the descriptions Ewing has provided, here’s the festival’s schedule.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Toni Erdmann, Marvelous Foreign-Language Oscar Nom, Opens Friday at Cedar Lee

Posted By on Tue, Feb 14, 2017 at 1:08 PM

Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller in Toni Erdmann.
  • Peter Simonischek and Sandra Huller in Toni Erdmann.
Toni Erdmann, an Oscar-nominated German film about a no-nonsense businesswoman and her prankster father, premiered at Cannes in 2016 and has been generating buzz ever since. It opens Friday at the Cedar Lee.

Ines Conradi (Sandra Hüller) is an overworked business consultant who is currently working through the biggest project of her career. Her father Winfried (Peter Simonischek) is a happy-go-lucky music teacher who loves play-acting as different characters to pull off practical jokes. Winfried spontaneously visits Ines in an attempt to repair their relationship, and after he fails to help her, he transforms himself into the bumbling life coach ‘Toni Erdmann’ in order to infiltrate his daughter’s professional life.

The film presents a familiar, almost cliché situation — Ines is way too serious about her work and her life, rebelling against her father’s whimsy. At first, it seems that Ines just needs to lighten up, and that her father has come to bring carefree cheer and childlike wonder back into her life. The film runs deeper than the clichés, though, and explores a nice ambiguity about which character is really the one in need of repair. The stellar acting from Hüller and Simonischek brings a dimensionality to the two characters that, in lesser hands, could have ended up being tropes.

The film’s subtext plays with issues of gender equality in the workplace and modern fears of globalization. In addition to dealing with the emergence of her father’s ‘Toni’, Ines has to navigate the subtleties of being a high-powered female in various rooms full of chauvinist men. Director Maren Ade slips these
microagressions into scenes the same way that they might be dropped into a casual conversation.

Tonally, the film takes sharp turns and moves unpredictably. A dramatic scene may turn comic in an instant, or vice versa. Large portions of the film leave the viewer somewhat disoriented or unprepared for what’s going to happen next. There’s a certain thrill in watching a movie that can surprise at each turn, though some scenes can be puzzling. The film’s comedy is often unexpected and usually compounds upon its own awkwardness.

Despite having elements of comedy, it’s one of the more realistic films I’ve seen during this Oscar season. Refreshingly, it does not resolve neatly or suggest that either character has had a personal epiphany. There are no wild narrative shifts or big plot twists. There are some notable scenes involving a Whitney Houston song and a strange Bulgarian folk costume, but otherwise, the film feels very true to life.

Though it’s nearly three hours long, the length allows the film to breathe, alternately manic and melancholy. In a shorter movie, the complexity of the characters would not emerge in quite the same way. Ultimately, it’s a touching piece that realistically portrays the strains of dealing with family in the midst of forging one’s own life, and one of the best films from the Oscar pool.
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Monday, February 13, 2017

Local James Baldwin Scholar to Introduce ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ at Nightlight

Posted By on Mon, Feb 13, 2017 at 1:41 PM

Hyper-aware of the extent to which James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript Remember This House remains relevant, veteran director Raoul Peck creates a compelling documentary with his latest film, I Am Not Your Negro. A personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three Civil Rights-era activists — Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. — Baldwin's book as well as the resulting film feature his complex observations about racism.

The Nightlight Cinema in Akron has just announced that Dr. Philathia Bolton, an Associate Professor of English at the University of Akron whose research on 20th century African American literature, black women writers and race studies make her a Baldwin scholar, will deliver a pre-film introduction and post-film Q&A at the theater when the film screens there on March 3.

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