Feb. 23: Moonlight

Thursday Feb. 23 @ 7:00 pm / GALAXY CINEMAS / Sault Ste. Marie

Director: Barry Jenkins
USA 2016
English / 110 minutes
Rating: R (some sexuality, drug use, brief violence, and language)

Despite a harsh home life and being bullied at school, Chiron is
a survivor. As he gets older, it becomes clear that his real battle
isn’t on the streets, it’s an internal one – reckoning with his complex
love for his best friend. We follow Chiron from childhood (Alex R.
Hibbert) to his teens (Ashton Sanders) to adulthood (Trevante
Rhodes) as he navigates the dangers of homophobia, drugs, and
violence. An impressionistic vision of Chiron’s psyche in which
sensuality, pain, and unhealed wounds take centre stage with
staggering power, Moonlight explores the profoundly human need
to feel connected.

Moonlight is both a disarmingly, at times almost unbearably, personal film and an urgent social document, a hard look at American reality and
a poem written in light, music and vivid human faces.

A.O. Scott, New York Times

Jenkins gives us a sensitive chronicle of growth, maturation and self-
acceptance. A remarkable film.
Ernesto Diezmartinez, Cine Vértigo

The indie drama touches on themes of race, sexuality and isolation in ways that are rarely depicted in cinema. Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

Feb. 16: Julieta

Thursday Feb. 16 @ 7:00 pm / GALAXY CINEMAS / Sault Ste. Marie

Director: Pedro Almadóvar
Spain 2015
Spanish with English subtitles / 99 minutes
Rating: R  (for some sexuality/nudity)

Mining three of Alice Munro’s short stories and relocating them to Spain, Almodóvar creates this marvelously textured tale examining the strained relationship between a mother and daughter.
Moving backward and forward through time, the film chronicles the relationship between Julieta (played by Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte) and her daughter Antía (played by Priscilla Delgado and Blanca Parés). A stylish melodrama with an engaging story, Julieta reflects on the magic of chance encounters and the fragility of
relationships in the face of secrets.

Straightforward and yet emotionally complex, the film is
Almodóvar’s most sobering work to date, a mystery about a daughter’s abandonment of her mother without explanation.
Steve Davis, Austin Chronicle

The stylistic amalgam is remarkable: a bold, painterly camera
and a Nobel Prize-winning writer’s ideas come together in a
melodrama about the unspoken
.
Chance Solem-Pfeifer, Willamette Week

It’s no surprise that Julieta is marvelous to look at, but it possesses just as much substance as style. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Jan. 26: Jean of the Joneses

Thursday Jan. 26 @ 7:00 pm / GALAXY CINEMAS / Sault Ste. Marie

Director: Stella Meghie
Canada 2016
English / 82 minutes

The lives of Jean (Taylour Paige) and her multi-generational, middle-class family of strong-minded, stubborn women, come to an
arresting stop when the estranged patriarch of the family literally dies on their doorstep. Tensions rise, old conflicts come to a boil,
and chaos ensues as Jean seeks to uncover the family’s buried
secrets while at the same time coming to terms with her own
mistakes. A savvy comedy exploring three generations of vibrant and unforgettable women, Jean of the Joneses is one of the best-
written and most entertaining films of the year.

Introducing both a fresh new voice and a fresh new face to independent filmmaking, Jean of the Joneses is a crisply urbane comedy from first-time writer-director Stella Meghie, boasting a sparkling lead performance by Taylour Paige. Michael Rechtshaffen, Hollywood Reporter

Takes its cues from both Woody Allen’s self-indulgent worlds and the
literary panache of Zadie Smith, but remains original in its darkly funny perspective
. Julia Cooper, Globe & Mail

Highly visually controlled, snappily edited, and beautifully acted, Jean of the Joneses is a clever New York comedy about the Caribbean diaspora. Sean L. Malin, Austin Chronicle

Jan. 19: The Eagle Huntress

Thursday Jan. 19 @ 7:00 pm / GALAXY CINEMAS / Sault Ste. Marie

Director: Otto Bell
USA 2016
Kazakh with English subtitles  and English / 87 minutes

For centuries, the Kazakh people have hunted with golden eagles
in a tradition that has been handed down from father to son. This
riveting documentary follows Aisholpan Nurgaiv, a 13-year-old girl
that becomes the first female in twelve generations of her family to
become an eagle hunter. Featuring stunning  cinematography, this is
a rare look at one of the world’s last true wildernesses. Set against
the breathtaking expanse of the Mongolian steppe, this intimate
tale of a young girl’s quest has the dramatic force of an epic
adventure. An empowering story of an incredible journey.

Along with Aisholpan’s enduring spirit, The Eagle Huntress excels in portraying the beauty and respect the people here have for both the animals and environment. With Simon Niblett’s soaring cinematography, using a mix of eagle-mounted GoPro cameras and drone footage, there’s both an expansive and intimate sensory rush when we see Aisholpan in action. Jordan Raup, The Film Stage

The outline of a modern feminist epic is always there in the background. What’s surprising is how fresh and charming the movie manages to be. John Hartl, Seattle Times

Factor in the feel-good story, Bell’s bracing cinematography, and his meticulous observance of the villagers’ customs and environments, and the film becomes a multilayered exploration of dignity, perseverance, and progress. Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader