(George Cukor, 1940) · How to stage a comeback after years as "box office poison": 1) Help Phillip Barry write play just for you 2) Nail part on Broadway 3) Have lover Howard Hughes buy you film rights 4) Sell rights to studio on condition that you play lead 5) Make audiences laugh at your character until they sympathize with her! Women did not do such things, but Hepburn did it all on purpose. It worked audiences fell back in love with her and never turned against her again.
runtime: 112 min format: 35mm
(George Cukor, 1938) · Johnny (Cary Grant) arrives at a mansion to see his new fiancee and runs into her sister Linda (Hepburn) instead. While some might claim "The Philadelphia Story" is Hepburn's greatest romance, there's a case to be made that the honor actually belongs to "Holiday". The moment when Johnny falls in love with the free-spirited, unassuming Linda on New Year's Eve is surpassed only by Linda and Johnny's puppet show and Grant's joyous handstand to end the film.
runtime: 85 min format: 35mm
(Chang Cheh, 1974) · Lau's authentic choreography and a unique structure distinguish this entry in Cheh's renowned "Shaolin Cycle", which emphasized action over epic grandeur. The three heroic defenders of the Ming fight off the foreign, non-Han Manchus to protect their dynasty. Each Shaolin hero is introduced separately in 15-minute segments, offering different perspectives on the Manchu invasion. Eventually, they unite in an extended, gruesome battle.
runtime: 92 min format: 35mm
(Dee Rees, 2012) · A stirring coming-of-age story about Alike, a lesbian teenager in Brooklyn whose conflicting identities risk heartbreak and threaten her ties with friends and family in her desperate search for sexual expression. Investors dismissed the film as "too black and too gay", but Rees self-funded her semi-autobiographical first feature, going so far as to sell her own apartment.
runtime: 86 min format: 35mm
(Brian De Palma, 2002) · Beginning with a rapturous set piece at the Cannes Film Festival, and ending with a statement not only of cinematic aesthetics but also of ethics, "Femme Fatale" is De Palma's most ambitious, vexing, and confounding work. It is also beautiful, drawing from a more vibrant and painterly palette than earlier films. Starring Rebecca Romijn as a jewel thief and Antonio Banderas as an opportunistic photographer, this film calls to be seen and seen again.
runtime: 114 min format: 35mm
(Ava DuVernay, 2012) · Ruby is forced to put med school on hold when her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison. At the same time, volatile emotional fault lines among Ruby, her mother Ruth, and her sister Rosie set the stage for some of the year's best big-screen acting in this often untold story of the sacrifices of the incarcerated's loved ones. As Ruby writes in the film's third act, "The past has disappeared. And the future, it doesn't exist until we get there."
runtime: 97 min format: 35mm
(Werner Herzog, 2009) · Terrence McDonagh (Nicolas Cage), a particularly immoral police lieutenant, turns progressively less moral while trying to get his fix for a back pain-inspired narcotics addiction. He solves a brutal murder all while navigating drug dealers, his bookie, his hooker girlfriend, Val Kilmer, and iguanas. The pairing of Herzog and Cage recaptures the manic glory of the director's famed Kinski Kollabs, producing Cage's most focused insanity in years.
runtime: 122 min format: 35mm
(Tim Burton, 2012) · "Frankenweenie" follows young Victor Frankenstein who, unable to get over the untimely death of his beloved dog Sparky, revives the pooch with SCIENCE. But what happens when such powerful technology falls into the wrong hands? A remake of the 1984 short that got Burton fired from Disney for "wasting company resources," this incarnation's black-and-white stop-motion goodness is filled with references to the Vincent Price era of horror films.
runtime: 87 min format: 35mm
(Alfonso Cuarón, 2013) · After seven years away from the cameras, Cuaron returns with a bang with this unforgettable sci-fi extravaganza. Sandra Bullock stars as astronaut Ryan Stone, who's left floating in deep space after an unlucky collision with a cloud of debris. With their shuttle destroyed and their contact with Houston cut off, she and a lone colleague (George Clooney) set off in desperation for the International Space Station but their oxygen supply is running low...
runtime: 90 min format: 35mm
(Sebastián Silva, 2009) · Before his recent collaborations with Michael Cera, Juno Temple and Gaby Hoffmann brought him into the international spotlight, Chilean Sebastian Silva was turning heads with this subversive low-budget, black comedy. Catalina Saavedra's performance as the eponymous maid is a tour de force that manages to be sympathetic while boiling with repressed envy and rage. Silva's deadpan naturalism and handheld technique defy the genre of domestic drama.
runtime: 95 min format: 35mm