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July 5
No film–Happy summer weekend.

July 12
At Eternity’s Gate 1 hour 51 minutes

First, the cast—Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Mads Mikkelsen, Matheu Amalric, Emmanuel Seigner, and Oscar Isaac. Dafoe won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in this film.

Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate is a journey inside the world and mind of a person who despite skepticism, ridicule, and illness, created some of the world’s most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not based on a forensic biography, but the scenes are based on Vincent van Gogh’s letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: “Willem Dafoe gives an extraordinary performance.”

July 19
Il Postino (Italian) 1 hour 48 minutes

Certain films need to be seen every five or ten years just to remind us how wonderful they are, like Seven SamuraiSome Like It Hot, orCasablancaIl Postino is another such film.

Funny, charming, touching.

The postman, Il Postino, loves the most beautiful woman in town, but he is too shy to tell her. Then a world famous poet arrives in town, Pablo Neruda, and with Neruda’s help, he finds the right words to win her heart.

With Massimo Troisi, the great Phillippe Noiret, and Maria Grazia Cucinotta.

Directed both by Michael Radford and Massimo Troisi. Troisi postponed heart surgery to make this film and suffered a fatal heart attack the day after finishing the film.

Chicago Tribune: “A marvelous romantic comedy!”

Siskel and Ebert: “Two thumbs way up!”

July 26
Zelary (Czech) 2 hours 28 minutes

The second or maybe the third time we’re showing this film because it is so good.

From director Ondrej Trojan:

A medical student first meets an injured sawmill worker in a Prague hospital where she donates blood to save his life. Working with the Czech resistance, she’s betrayed to the Gestapo so he agrees to hide the young woman in his remote mountain village of Zelary. Forced to marry the rough-hewn peasant and pose as his wife, the sophisticated young woman at first is defiant and angry, but with the passing of time she comes to realize that there’s more to the man.

David Ansen, Newsweek: “Zelary has epic scope…a strong tale…the filmmaking is traditional and it pulls on the heartstrings.”