May 2016

The Innocents

Poland  1hrs 40mins  Drama  NR

Warsaw, December 1945: the second World War is finally over and Mathilde is treating the last of the French survivors of the German camps. When a panicked Benedictine nun appears at the clinic one night begging Mathilde to follow her back to the convent, what she finds there is shocking: a holy sister about to give birth and several more in advanced stages of pregnancy. A non-believer, Mathilde enters the sisters’ fiercely private world, dictated by the rituals of their order and the strict Rev. Mother (Agata Kulesza, Ida). Fearing the shame of exposure, the hostility of the new anti-Catholic Communist government, and facing an unprecedented crisis of faith, the nuns increasingly turn to Mathilde as their belief and traditions clash with harsh realities.

A complex social allegory, delivered in a film of masterful restraint and great compassion. Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

 

 

Hearing Is Believing

USA Music

“Hearing Is Believing”, the new feature documentary from award-winning Ventura producer/director Lorenzo DeStefano, introduces the world to the astonishing young musician and composer, and Oxnard resident, Rachel Flowers. Filmed primarily in Oxnard and elsewhere in Ventura County, DeStefano and his team have created a dynamic and engaging portrait of a year and a half in the life of a tight knit American family, a single mom and her two kids, living paycheck to paycheck, with Rachel’s stunning music as the soundtrack. Hearing is Believing revels in Rachel’s joyous and free-flowing love of song, illuminating the bonds of family and the divine mysteries of creativity.

Among the great musicians appearing with Rachel in the film are Grammy winners Stevie Wonder, Dweezil Zappa, Arturo Sandoval, two-time Grammy nominated jazz pianist, Taylor Eigsti, Progressive Rock icon Keith Emerson, and 50 members of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony.

Q/A with Director, Lorenzo DeStefano and Rachel Flowers after screening.

 

 

IXCANUL

Guatemala  1hrs 31mins  Drama  NR

The brilliant debut by Guatemalan filmmaker Jayro Bustamante is a mesmerizing fusion of fact and fable, a dreamlike depiction of the daily lives of Kaqchikel speaking Mayans on a coffee plantation at the base of an active volcano. Immersing us in its characters’ customs and beliefs, Ixcanul chronicles with unblinking realism, a disappearing tradition and a disappearing people.

**** (Four stars) “A fascinating blend of modernity and ritual.” -The Guardian

Guatemala’s entry for the Academy Awards, Best Foreign Language Film

 

 Italy  2hrs 4min  Drama/Suspense   Rated R

In A BIGGER SPLASH, rock legend Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is recuperating on the volcanic island of Pantelleria with her partner Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts) when iconoclast record producer and old flame Harry (Ralph Fiennes) unexpectedly arrives with his daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson) and interrupts their holiday, bringing with him an A-bomb blast of nostalgia from which there can be no rescue. A BIGGER SPLASH is a sensuous portrait of desire, jealousy and rock and roll, under the Mediterranean sun.

“A tale of love and jealousy, obsession and seduction, A Bigger Splash takes its time getting where it’s actually going … but that’s all right.” – Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer