SUMMER-FALL 2017 DAVIDSON FILM CLUB SCREENINGS
Directed by Gabriel Axel (Denmark, in Danish w/English subtitles), 1987, 1h42)
In a remote 19th-century Danish village, two sisters lead a rigid life centered around their father, the local minister, and their church. Both had opportunities to leave the village: one could have married a young army officer and the other a French opera singer. Their father objected in each case, and they spent their lives caring for him. Many years later–their father is now deceased–they take in French refugee, Babette Hersant, who agrees to work as their servant. After winning the lottery, Babette wants to repay the sisters for their kindness by cooking a gourmet French meal for them and their friends on the 100th anniversary of their father’s birth. This is one of the great classical movies about food, but it is full of surprises too!
Directed by Jayro Bustamente (Guatemala, in Maya and Spanish w/English subtitles), 2015, 1h33.
The title is the Mayan word for “volcano” and ostensibly refers to the dormant volcano that looms over the impoverished Mayan village where the inhabitants eke out a living harvesting coffee beans at the nearby plantation and farming the inhospitable fields hewn out of the jungle. The parents of Maria, a beautiful, hard-working young woman, have arranged a marriage with the plantation foreman, who has been generous to the family. But Maria has plans to run off to America with Pepe, a fellow worker her own age who talks big and drinks his wages away at the local dive . . .
*SEPTEMBER 9 LOCAL FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE (FREE FOR MEMBERS):
Directed by Shea Sizemore (USA, in English), 2017, 1h29. *Presented by the director and followed by Q&A.
Tough, no nonsense, Marine vet, Alden Rockwell has lost his bid for re-election as sheriff of Maksville County. Reluctantly, he settles into retirement. Alden’s wife has passed, and still grieving he spends much of his time tending to the chickens, pigs, and house pets she loved on their farm. Alden’s good friend Sheriff Clint Thorne has been re-elected in neighboring York County. While investigating a mysterious symbol that’s appearing in more and more places in the county, Clint gets a little too close to the truth and pays for it. Now, Alden jumps into action alone, poking around for answers. As Alden works to find the truth and render justice to his friend, he’s drawn deeper into a web of crime, deceit, corruption, and evil threatening to take over the town . . .
Directed by Michael Haneke (France/Austria, in French w/English subtitles), 2012, 2h07.
Georges and Anne are a couple of retired music teachers enjoying life in their eighties. However, Anne suddenly has a stroke at breakfast and their lives are never the same. That incident begins Anne’s harrowingly steep physical and mental decline as Georges attempts to care for her at home, as she wishes. In the end, George, with his love struggling against his own weariness and diminished future on top of Anne’s, is driven to make some critical decisions for them both.
Directed by Maren Ade (Germany, in German w/English subtitles), 2016, 2h42.
Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The now student-less music teacher decides to surprise her by visiting her in Romania. It’s an awkward situation because Ines, an intensely serious career woman, is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. Practical joker Winfried loves to annoy his daughter with corny pranks, but what’s worse are his little jabs at her lifestyle . . . Father and daughter soon reach an impasse, but then “Toni Erdmann,” Winfried’s flashy smooth-talking but very weird alter ego arrives—and Ines just has to deal with the consequences.
Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven (France/Turkey, in Turkish w/English subtitles), 2015, 1h37.
*FILM PRESENTED AND DISCUSSION LED BY AWARD-WINNING CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILM CRITIC LAWRENCE TOPPMAN.
Early summer in a remote village in Northern Turkey. Five free-spirited, orphaned, teenage sisters splash about on the beach with their male classmates. Though their games are merely innocent fun, a neighbor passes by and reports what she considers to be illicit behavior to the girls’ family. The family overreacts, removing all “instruments of corruption,” like cell phones and computers, and essentially imprisoning the girls, subjecting them to endless lessons in housework in preparation for them to become brides. As the eldest sisters are married off, the younger ones bond together to resist the same fate. . . Ergüven’s feature film debut is a powerful portrait of female empowerment.