RBG: Middle way house benefit screening

We wish we were not writing this. Or at least that the circumstances were different. We’ve had requests to bring back the documentary, RBG, which we screened when it was released in 2018. Beginning Friday, RBG will be shown in our virtual theater. We are donating 100% of our share of the ticket sales (our share is approximately 50%) to Middle Way House.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg created a breathtaking legal legacy for women’s rights while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. The personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior’s rise to the nation’s highest court during a hostile time for women, is revealed in this inspiring and multidimensional portrait. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last week at the age of 87; her voice is more essential than ever (97 min)

The idea that women are equal citizens — that barring them from certain jobs and educational opportunities and treating them as the social inferiors of men are unfair — may not seem especially controversial now. RBG uses Justice Ginsburg’s own experiences to emphasize how different things were not so long ago. The movie’s touch is light and its spirit buoyant, but there is no mistaking its seriousness or its passion. Those qualities resonate powerfully in the dissents that may prove to be Justice Ginsburg’s most enduring legacy, and RBG is, above all, a tribute to her voice. –A.O. Scott, The New York Times

WHY THE RYDER NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT TODAY

Through the years, The Ryder has been generously supported by local shops and restaurants, many of them purchasing ad space simply because they wanted to support a community magazine. Their support has benefited not just the magazine, but also, indirectly, the Film Series.
When the pandemic struck in March we decided that it was our turn to step up. Rather than suspend publication, we made the decision to publish the magazine without ad revenue. Ads would be run for free. We thought the pandemic would be under control by September and we could then make up for some of the lost funds. Clearly, we were wrong about that. Today, with the end of the pandemic nowhere in sight, we are asking for your support to publish The Ryder into the spring.
Read more

Vinyl Nation, coup 53 and more

Did you have a stamp collection when you were growing up? Or maybe you collected baseball cards. Or bottle caps. You don’t have to be a vinyl enthusiast to appreciate Vinyl Nation, just one of the films playing this week in our virtual cinema.

The vinyl record renaissance over the past decade has brought new fans to a classic format and transformed our idea of a record collector: younger, both male and female, multicultural. Vinyl Nation digs into the crates of the record resurgence in search of truths set in deep wax: Has the return of vinyl made music fandom more inclusive or divided? What does vinyl say about our past here in the present? How has the second life of vinyl changed how we hear music and how we listen to each other? Directed by Christopher Boone and Kevin Smokler, Vinyl Nation is at once a provocative look at the vinyl renaissance and a love letter to the secret delights of collectors of everything, everywhere. (92 minutes)

There’s lots more playing this week:

from Iran: COUP 53: This twisty documentary takes a deep dive into the secret history behind the 1953 CIA-MI6 led coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Iran, and changed the course of the Middle East. There are many surprises in Coup 53, including Ralph Fiennes in an unexpected role. The filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but also uncover dark secrets that have been buried for 67 years.

from Japan: We Are Little Zombies: Alone in the world with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, four 13-year-olds dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense, they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

from France: My Dog Stupid: A middle-aged writer takes in an enormous stray dog against the wishes of his wife and four spoiled adult kids. (The family dynamic is amazing.) The dog, affectionately named “Stupid,” serves as both literary muse and a remembrance of lost, youthful rebellion.

from Germany: Bungalow: A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, Bungalow is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle.

from Portugal: Paulo Rocha Long un-screened in the United States, Paulo Rocha’s ​The Green Years​ and ​Change of Life​ are two key entries in the Portuguese New Wave. Both have been restored by the Portuguese Cinematheque and are showing this week in our virtual cinema.

WE’RE SHOWING LOTS OF OTHER EXCITING FILMS: HERE IS A COMPLETE SCHEDULE:

The August/September issue of The Ryder magazine is also our annual fiction issue. Some great short stories by local storytellers as well as several non-fiction features.

Opens Sept 4th: Coup 53

This twisty documentary takes a deep dive into the secret history behind the 1953 CIA-MI6 led coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Iran, and changed the course of the Middle East. There are many surprises in Coup 53, including Ralph Fiennes in an unexpected role.

While making a documentary about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and legendary editor Walter Murch) (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover extraordinary never-before-seen archival material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but also lead to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. What begins as a history documentary about 4 days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters.

The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with Britain and America has never been so forensically and dramatically exposed. Twists and reveals that would make John le Carré smile. – Financial Times

There are lots of other films that you can see this week in our virtual cinema including . . .

from Japan: We Are Little Zombies: Alone in the world with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, four 13-year-olds dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense, they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

from France: My Dog Stupid: A middle-aged writer takes in an enormous stray dog against the wishes of his wife and four spoiled adult kids. (The family dynamic is amazing.) The dog, affectionately named “Stupid,” serves as both literary muse and a remembrance of lost, youthful rebellion.

from Germany: Bungalow: A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, Bungalow is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle.

from Portugal: Paulo Rocha Long un-screened in the United States, Paulo Rocha’s ​The Green Years​ and ​Change of Life​ are two key entries in the Portuguese New Wave. Both have been restored by the Portuguese Cinematheque and are showing this week in our virtual cinema.

WE’RE SHOWING LOTS OF OTHER EXCITING FILMS: HERE IS A COMPLETE SCHEDULE:

Don’t forget to check out the new issue of The Ryder magazine

The Ryder is normally distributed free throughout Bloomington and supported by local advertising. That is not the case during the pandemic. The display ads in this issue have been offered to restaurants and community organizations at no charge. So if you read an article that you like or just want to support locally produced, independent journalism, please consider making a donation.

New film from germany, bungalow, opens this week

A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, the debut of Ulrich Köhler (In My Room) is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle. With Köhler’s penchant for deadpan humor and subtle performances, Bungalow becomes a quiet mockery of militarism, familial estrangement, and youthful ennui. New 4K Restoration.

Critic’s Pick! Köhler’s first film, newly available in the U.S., is a secretive and beautifully observant study of teenage disaffection. The New York Times

Our annual fiction issue is on the stands. Special thanks to Fiction Editor Justin Chandler who read through the many submissions we received and chose the six that we have published. “Fiction is often most celebrated when it is most individualistic,” Justin says, “presenting an experience that is unlike any other, equating privacy and originality with authenticity. If that’s the case, is fiction capable of presenting life as a collective exercise? How do you tell the story of a pandemic? Of a divided populace? Of indifferent or even malevolent elected officials? It’s a year like no other and I hope that each of these stories offers you something new—if nothing else, the pleasure of reading, the opportunity to briefly step away from the endless barrage of information and to think newly and differently about the world.”

From France: My Dog Stupid opens tonight

Henri is a middle-aged writer in crisis. He wrote one great novel 25 years earlier but not much since. Just at a time when he assesses of his life, an enormous gray dog, impolite and smelly, sneaks into his house. Against the wishes of his wife and four spoiled kids, he decides to keep the dog, whom he names, affectionately, Stupid. Merging elements of John Cassavetes and the Coen Brothers, My Dog Stupid is a refreshingly honest look at the ups-and-downs of love and aging starring iconic real-life couple Charlotte Gainsbourg & Yvan Attal, who also wrote and directed. Based on a story by American cult novelist John Fante. Although his books were championed by the likes of Charles Bukowski, considered precursors to the Beats and adapted into several movies, John Fante remains a fairly unknown quantity in the U.S., whereas in France he’s an author whose work can be found at any local bookstore. (France / subtitled / 105 min / 2020)

Here are some of the other films on our calendar:

Aria In 1987, ten of the world’s most creative and celebrated directors (Robert Altman, Jean Luc Godard) were each given the same brief: to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music with complete artistic freedom. “Ten directors work magic!” – Critics Choice, Time Magazine

HELMUT NEWTON – THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL One of the great masters of photography, Helmut Newton made a name for himself exploring the female form. Did he empower his subjects or treat them as sexual objects?

The 11th Green An investigative reporter, a post World War II government conspiracy, and extraterrestrials — what more could you ask for? “Wildly inventive . . . a work of meticulous historical reimagination. . .” – The New Yorker

CREEM Some consider Creem to be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll magazine ever published (with an iconic mascot designed by cartoonist, Robert Crumb). Started in Detroit in 1969 by Barry Kramer, the magazine aimed to be the anti-Rolling Stone. Alice Cooper, Cameron Crowe, and Michael Stipe talk about the magazine’s take-no-prisoners rock authenticity both in print and in real life.

We Are Little Zombies: Alone in the world with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, four 13-year-olds dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense, they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

Don’t forget to check out the new issue of The Ryder magazine

The Ryder is normally distributed free throughout Bloomington and supported by local advertising. That is not the case during the pandemic. The display ads in this issue have been offered to restaurants and community organizations at no charge. So if you read an article that you like or just want to support locally produced, independent journalism, please consider making a donation.

Pandemic update: 8/24

With IU reopening, we’ve received a number of emails asking when we will be screening films in person on campus. When we stopped showing films face-to-face in March we thought there was a fairly good chance that by late August the pandemic would be under control and we could resume in-person screenings. Clearly, that is not the case. And although the screening rooms on campus are open for limited classroom use, we would not be able to screen films in person and follow IU’s guidelines. We wish we could give you an expected date as to when we could watch a movie together again but (let’s face it) it’s really anybody’s guess.

We will be continuing with our virtual film program. You’re right – it’s not the same. But it’s still a nice alternative while we shelter-in-place.

Stay safe and be smart.

We Are Little Zombies

One sunny day, four young strangers meet by chance at a crematorium. They have all recently lost their parents, but none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies, devoid of all emotion. Alone in the world at 13 years of age with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, our protagonists dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. They call themselves LITTLE ZOMBIES. This is a story about their quest to retrieve their ability to feel.

Directed by Makoto Nagahisa, We Are Little Zombies bursts with hyper pop style and unbridled imagination. Mixing inspiration from film, television, music, and, most importantly, video games, Nagahisa dazzles with a myriad of cinematic tricks, and he pushes his script in zany directions while never losing sight of its sympathetic exploration of grief and loss. (Japan / subtitles / 120 min) We/Are Little Zombies premieres tonight in The Ryder Film Series.

CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense (the splendid cinematography is by Hiroaki Takeda), they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

Don’t Forget: We are hosting a free screening of O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? on August 8th in Bryan Park. Socially Distanced Seating is limited – reserve seats today.

Check out our full film calendar here.

T

O’Brother, Where art thou? August 8th in Bryan Park

Bring a blanket. Bring a snack. Bring the dog. Bring hand sanitizer. O Brother, Where Art Thou? will be screened under the stars in Bryan Park on August 8th.

A trio of escaped prisoners embarks on the adventure of a lifetime as they set out to pursue their freedom and discover buried treasure in the rural South in the 1930s. Endlessly surprising and as giddily and defiantly unclassifiable as all other Coen Brothers films, O Brother, Where Art Thou?  is, among many other things, a celebration of American music. With a score curated and produced by T-Bone Burnett, the movie sings with voices and sounds of some of the best musicians in the country, including Ralph Stanley, the Fairfield Four, Alison Krauss, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, and Gillian Welch, and the melodies of classics like “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” “I’ll Fly Away,” and the film’s touchstone, “Man of Constant Sorrow.” George Clooney, Tim Blake Nelson and John Turturro star.

Masks are required and seating is limited. Tickets of course are free. Our recent outdoor screening of Toy Story 4 sold out so you should reserve your tickets more or less right away. Here is the link.  He who hesitates is … how does that expression go? No matter. Reserve your seats today.

This week’s ryder films

Sexy, audacious, thought-provoking and funny: these are all good things, right? And that’s what we get from Aria which opens this Friday in our virtual cinema. In 1987, ten of the world’s most creative and celebrated directors were each given the same brief: to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music with complete artistic freedom. The result: ten short pieces directed by ten different filmmakers, each interpreting a particular an aria (Vivaldi, Bach, Wagner). These are freewheeling interpretations so if you are looking for something traditional, you might be disappointed. But if you’re OK with sexy, audacious, thought-provoking and funny, well, then, this just might be your cup of tea.

The 10 filmmakers are Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, Bill Bryden, Jean Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Franc Roddam, Nicolas Roeg, Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, and Julien Temple.

Aria includes Bridget Fonda’s electrifying film debut, a breathtaking performance from Elizabeth Hurley, as well as performances by Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Theresa Russell as the trigger-happy King Zog of Albania.

Also opening this weekend: The 11th Green. An investigative reporter, a 1950s government conspiracy, and extraterrestrials — what more could you ask for? The 11th Green is “Wildly inventive . . . a work of meticulous historical reimagination.” – The New Yorker

There’s more: most notably John Lewis: Good Trouble. John Lewis, who died earlier this week, led an extraordinary life highlighted by his 60- plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health care reform and immigration. The new film, John Lewis: Good Trouble,tells the story of this national treasure so that generations to come can continue to learn from Mr. Lewis’ remarkable story.

We’re thrilled to present Peter Sellers’ “lost” comedy (and his only directorial effort) Mr. Topaze. Sellers stars as Auguste Topaze, a poor but proud schoolteacher. Unwilling to sacrifice his principles, he loses his job after refusing to alter the failing grades of one of students. Chances are there are at least a few of you who have found yourselves in similar situations (we’ll leave it to you to decide how to take that).

Guest of Honour: This is the new film by Canadian filmmaker Adam Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). Acclaimed British actor David Thewlis stars as a Toronto health inspector who spends his days frequenting family-owned restaurants and wielding the power to shutter their dreams at the slightest provocation. But serving as a guardian angel for unsuspecting diners can’t begin to ease the conscience of a confused and conflicted man.

We’re featuring a pair of films about mid-20th century American writers: Shirley Jackson and Flannery O’Connor. Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her short story, The Lottery (although her novel, The Haunting of Hill House, is widely considered a master class in how to write a ghost story). Elizabeth Moss gives an uncanny performance as the unconventional writer in the new movie, Shirley. Set in a small Vermont college town (Bennington), in the summer of 1964, Shirley and her husband (the influential literary critic and philandering college professor Stanley Hyman) offer to share their house with a young graduate student and his pregnant wife. The newly married couple have no idea what they’re in for.

In a small town you can lie… you can commit adultery, you can even murder somebody, but you can’t not go to church.” Here, Louise Abbott evokes the social hypocrisy and harsh realism that inspired the stories of her friend, the celebrated Southern writer Flannery O’Connor. Flannery is the lyrical, intimate exploration of her life and work. Her distinctive Southern Gothic style influenced a generation of artists and activists.

If you’re like us, then you like to spend some of your pandemic induced down time solving crimes. We are featuring two delicious murder mysteries: one from Italy and one from France. Both will keep you guessing who is the true murderer until the very end.

THE INVISIBLE WITNESS:  A young, successful entrepreneur wakes up in a hotel room locked from the inside next to his dead lover. He becomes the chief suspect, While awaiting trial under house arrest, he enlists the aid of a defense attorney who has never lost a case. Largely told in flashback, this noirish thriller from director Stefano Mordini recreates the days of intrigue that lead up to that fateful night. Characters’ motivations begin to blur until no one is quite who they seem to be, leading to a pulse-pounding conclusion that will leave you guessing until the final shot.  (in Italian with subtitles; 102 minutes; 2020)

THE GIRL WITH A BRACELET: Lise is 18 years old and is accused of murdering her best friend two years earlier. She’s been under house arrest, wearing an ankle bracelet to monitor her whereabouts, hence the film’s title. As her trial starts, her parents stand by her side. But once her secret life is revealed in court, her innocence is far from certain and her parents’ faith begins to unravel. Directed by Stéphane Demoustier (in French with subtitles; 96 minutes; 2020)

Here’s a film for the young and the young-at-heart

Marona’s Fantastic Tale: Marona is a mixed-breed Labrador whose life leaves deep traces among the humans she encounters. After an accident, she reflects on all the homes and different experiences she’s had. As Marona’s memory journeys into the past, her unfailing empathy and love brings lightness and innocence into each of her owners’ lives, in this beautiful and deeply emotional story of an average dog and her extraordinary life. (92 min / in Romanian and French with subtitles)
Critic’s Pick! Buoyant! A beautiful and original animated film. – The New York Times

Check out TheRyder.com for even more films.

The July edition of The Ryder magazine is on the virtual newsstands.
This month’s issue features some great reads:  Spike Lee’s new movie, K-pop fans as Political Activists, travel stories on Bulgaria and Ecuador, and a profile of IU student Jewher Ilham, whose father is a political prisoner in China.

Toy Story 4 – Friday Night in Bryan Park

Bring a blanket. Bring popcorn. Bring the dog. Bring hand sanitizer. Our summer outdoor screening series begins on Friday, July 17th with Toy Story 4 in Bryan Park. Seating is limited to 150. Social distancing and masks will be required. Since seating is limited, you might want to  register and reserve seats.

The gang is back. Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip in Toy Story 4 with Bonnie and a new toy named Forky. The adventurous journey turns into an unexpected reunion as Woody’s slight detour leads him to his long-lost friend Bo Peep. Think of this as a more contemporary, family-friendly version of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road.

Toy Story 4 begins at dusk and is co-presented by the City of Bloomington Department of Parks and Recreation

There are lots of other good films playing in our virtual cinema. Bio-pics: Flannery O’Connor, Shirley Jackson, John Lewis, Joan of Arc. Murder mysteries: from France, The Girl With the Bracelet and from Italy, The Invisible Witness. And more – read short snappy descriptions of all of them right here

The July edition of The Ryder magazine is on the virtual newsstands.
This month’s issue features some great reads:  Spike Lee’s new movie, K-pop fans as Political Activists, travel stories on Bulgaria and Ecuador, and a profile of IU student Jewher Ilham, whose father is a political prisoner in China.

Click HERE to read the July edition!

1 2 3