The EU Film Festival at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring begins this Thursday evening with the opening film The Woman in the Fifth, directed by Pawel Pawlikowski.
This post is about an upcoming adventure in the Silver Theater. I’ve been there once: in the summer of 2006 I saw Jaws there (for the first and only time- I was terrified and my friends were unsympathetic, but also- I was disappointed. I hate when people ruin the endings of things for me even when they ARE decades old, so I won’t vent here, but feel free to ask me about it slash convince me why it’s a great film).
So, among the films featured in this year’s showcase are:
The Woman in the Fifth - Pawel Pawlikowski (Poland)
-o- based on the novel by Douglas Kennedy, this film follows a desperate man searching for love and family in Paris. This film is billed on the site as a “moody existential thriller” and is an official selection of the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. It is shown in English and French with English subtitles. The opening night film will be followed by a reception.
Le Havre - Aki Kaurismäki (Finland)
-o- this is the Centerpiece Screening of the showcase. The masterful Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki weaves a tender story of a self-centered man whose perspective changes when his wife gets sick and he comes upon a stowaway in need of help. This 2011 Oscar selection, Finland merits two “primetime” showings at the AFI: Saturday Nov. 5 at 8:15pm and Sunday Nov. 6 at 7:15pm. It will be shown in Finnish and French with English subtitles.
The Deep Blue Sea – Terence Davies (England)
-o- Rachel Weisz plays a women far beyond the brink of desperation and her struggle for passion and companionship postwar Britain. This film is an adaptation of the 1952 Terence Rattigan play and is an official selection of the 2011 Toronto Film Festival.
A Dangerous Method – David Cronenberg (England)
-o- starring Viggo Mortensen, Kiera Knightley and Michael Fassbender and based on screenwriter Christopher Hampton’s play “The Talking Cure,” delves into the intellectual pursuits, fits of intense passion and daily lives of Carl Jung (Fassbender), Sigmund Freud (Mortensen), and a young woman treated by both doctors (played by Knightley). A Dangerous Method is an official selection of the 2011 Venice, Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festivals.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Thomas Alfredson (England)
-o- this new adaption of John le Carré’s 1974 Cold War spy novel stars Gary Oldman as George Smiley, the steady, brilliant ex-British spy who spearheads the search for a mole within his agency. Also starring Colin Firth and David Dencik, the trail of the mole has run cold until a younger spy, Ricki Tarr, surfaces and puts Smiley back on the track.
Gary Oldman and director Thomas Alfredson are both scheduled to appear at this closing night showing.
Other films this year include: Every Song is About Me (Todas las Canciones Hablan de Mi) directed by Jonás Trueba, Spain; Dreaming the Quiet Man directed by Merry Doyle, Ireland; Outbound directed by Bogdan George Apetri, Romania; and She Monkeys directed by Lisa Aschan, Sweden.
Finally, the best reason to go (not counting the cultural enrichment thing): this theatre does happy hour. For serious. You need to be attending the show, but still! From 5:30-7 pm, the theater features drink specials and complimentary finger food from local restaurants. During the EU Film Festival, happy hours will be held on November 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18.
I plan to be there Friday the 4th to see Every Song is About Me and Friday the 18th to see A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortensen as Sigmund Freud. I hope to see you there.