Vienna, winter: Johann, a guard at the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum encounters Anne, a foreign visitor called to Austria because of a medical emergency. Never having been to Austria and with little money, she wanders the city, taking the museum as her refuge. Johann, initially wary, offers help ,and they’re drawn into each other’s worlds. Their meetings spark unexpected explorations—of their own lives, of the life of the city, and of the way art can reflect and shape daily experience.
Written, directed by, and starring Lake Bell, who won the Sundance 2013 Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award for the script-- In a World is a hilarious and heart-felt comedy about a struggling vocal coach who strikes it big in the cutthroat world of movie-trailer voiceovers, only to find herself in direct competition with the industry’s reigning king—her father. (Rated R, 1hr. 33min.)
Written and directed by Woody Allen, Blue Jasmine is one of the premier cinematic releases of the year. After everything in her life falls to pieces, including her marriage to wealthy businessman Hal (Alec Baldwin), elegant New York socialite Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) moves into her sister Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins) modest apartment in San Francisco to try to pull herself back together again. This must-see film is considered by many one of Woody Allen’s best. (Rated PG-13, 1hr. 38min.)
[music in] The great pianist Marian McPartland passed way this week. Although she had not made any new recordings in recent years, her program Piano Jazz was the longest-running music show on NPR, and one that we carried for several years. Mary Virginia Swain posted on our website:
I listened to this show religiously when WHQR carried it. Such a delightful show, and Marian McPartland was a gem of a creative talent.
We’re pleased to present a film from North Carolina’s David Green (graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts; director of George Washington and All the Real Girls). Driven by striking performances from Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch, Prince Avalanche is an offbeat comedy about two men painting traffic lines on a desolate country highway that’s been ravaged by wildfire. Against this dramatic setting, beautifully shot by frequent Green collaborator Tim Orr, the men bicker and joke with each other, eventually developing an unlikely friendship.
Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species' treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature. (Rated PG-13, 1hr. 20min.)
Based on true events and laced with wry humor, Still Mine is a heartfelt love story about an 89-year-old New Brunswicker (James Cromwell) who comes up against the system when he sets out to build a more suitable house for his wife (Geneviève Bujold) whose memory is fading. Although Craig Morrison is using the same methods his father, a shipbuilder, taught him, times have changed. Craig quickly gets on the wrong side of an overzealous government inspector, who finds just about everything unacceptable, including the unstamped wood Craig has milled from his own trees.
The Hunt is a disturbing depiction of how a lie becomes truth when gossip, doubt and malice are allowed to ignite a witch-hunt that soon threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life. Mads Mikkelsen won the Best Actor Award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his penetrating portrayal of Lucas, a former school teacher who has been forced to start over after overcoming a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered when an untruthful remark throws his small community into a collective state of hysteria.
Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film Twenty Feet From Stardom, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.