Reflections on the next Nevada Theatre Film Series by film programmer Mike Getz
Putting together these 8-week series is kind of like doing a puzzle without knowing what the picture’s going to look like until all the pieces are put together. For this Spring 2016 series, I notice themes involving art and music, family and strangers, and open and closed mindedness.
Let’s start with the first film, Where To Invade Next on Apr. 24. Michael Moore’s new film is not only funny but also shows that many countries have solved problems which, in our country, seem to continue to resist solutions. You have to see how school lunches are served in France and how prison sentences are dealt with in Norway. Compared to his previous films, Moore keeps his own presence at a minimum while highlighting humor and optimism.
Just as Moore travels to Europe in search of inspiration we follow up with three films featuring world famous museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy and The Louvre in Paris. Where else could you visit three of the greatest museums in the world in the space of 4 weeks without leaving town? The first is The First Monday in May which is showing not only on Sunday, May 1 but also on the first Monday in May, May 2. I couldn’t resist. It features the Met’s most exciting new exhibit “China: Through The Looking Glass.”
Sunday, May 8 is Mother’s Day. How about taking your Mom on an exclusive tour of Florence with an in depth visit to the Uffizi Gallery, home of masterpieces by Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Leonardo Da Vinci and Botticelli. This special visit also includes the breathtaking “Adoration of the Magi” by Leonardo Da Vinci, which, after several years of painstaking restoration, was brought back to its original splendor and unveiled in this worldwide premiere on the big screen. And then it’s on to Paris on Sunday May 22 for Francofonia where the extraordinary Russian director Alexander Sokurov will take you on a unique visit to the Louvre. It’s not just a walk through. It’s also an imaginative return to actual historical events highlighted by a reenactment of how art was saved from the Nazis during World War II.
On Sunday, May 15 join us for a benefit for CATS, the Community Asian Theater of the Sierra. CATS Jeannie Wood has come up with a documentary about how three black siblings from Harlem undertake a search for their long-lost Chinese grandfather with unexpected results. It’s called Finding Samuel Lowe and its director, Paula Williams Madison will be live on Skype after the showing for a Q&A with our audience.
The final three films on this series, although quite different from each other, do share themes having to do with the possibility of overcoming prejudice. On Sunday, May 29, Dough is a comedy about how an elderly Jewish baker deals with his newly hired young Muslim employee. Pot plays a role and everybody must get stoned. On Sunday June 5, Aferim! tells an unusual tale of how prejudices have been passed down from generation to generation. It’s shot in black and white and doesn’t shy away from depicting the harsh and often brutal life of early 19th century Romania. The critics give it high praise claiming it’s strange and familiar and even funny.
And finally on Sunday June, 12 Song of Lahore exhibits the unique joy that is created when excellent musicians from opposite ends of the world come together. In this case, the Pakistani sitar and tabla players of Sachal Studios found something in Dave Brubeck’s Take Five that brought them together with Wynton Marsalis on the stage at Lincoln Center in New York City. As the L.A. Times film critic Michael Rechtshaffen commented, “The unifying power of music is rewardingly demonstrated in Song of Lahore.”
So after eight Sundays, the puzzle takes shape and a picture of international striving and inspiration emerges from the films. I hope you enjoy them.