It’s become a common complaint of many a film critic that movies “aren’t as good as they used to be,” that “film culture is dead,” and that things just haven’t been the same since the heyday of Bergman. To be blunt, that’s simply not true, as anyone who’s bothered to look beyond the mainstream and out into the world of foreign and independent film can tell you. Filmmakers as diverse as Cristi Puiu, Claire Denis, Nuri Bilge-Ceylan, Béla Tarr, Jia Zhangke, and Pedro Costa—just to name a few—have delivered many a game-changing masterpiece over the last decade or so, and it’s thanks to the efforts of smaller, risk-taking companies like Cinema Guild (who distribute works by all six of the filmmakers cited above) that stateside audiences are able to see these films. Founded in 1968 by Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel, who later went on to produce the acclaimed Robert Duvall film Tender Mercies, Cinema Guild has consistently taken on quality films that other distributors might deem “uncommercial” and turned them into critical and commercial successes. With films like The Turin Horse and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, they’ve been on quite a roll, and when we realized that almost every new release we hoped to screen for this calendar was part of their catalog, we decided to make it formal and offer a brief tribute showcasing the company’s most recent acquisitions. Special thanks to Ryan Krivoshey and Graham Swindoll of Cinema Guild.
Wednesday, March 6, 8 p.m.
(Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, US 2012, 87 min., Blu-ray)
Wednesday, March 13, 8 p.m.
The Last Time I Saw Macao
(A última vez que vi Macau, João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata, Portugal/France 2012, 85 min., Portuguese w/subtitles, Blu-ray)
Wednesday, March 20, 8 p.m.
(O som ao redor, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil 2012, 131 min., Portuguese, English, and Mandarin w/subtitles, Blu-ray)
Wednesday, March 27, 8 p.m.
Planet of Snail
(Dalpaengiui Byeol, Yi Seung-jin, Finland/Japan/South Korea 2011, 88 min., Korean w/subtitles, Blu-ray)