Spring programming for The Belcourt Theatre is highlighted by the March 22 Nashville premiere of the much-anticipated Nicole Kidman feature Stoker. The locally-shot movie is billed as a haunting, Hitchcockian tale as unsettling as it is stunning.
The film garnered rave reviews when it screened at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Directed by visionary Korean director Park Chan-wook, Stoker features scenes filmed at recognizable Nashville landmarks, including Cheekwood and Hillsboro High School, as well as a cast that includes such Nashville actors as Peg Allen and David Alford.
As a lead-in to this new release, the Belcourt has programmed midnight screenings of Oldboy, Park Chan-wook’s earlier film which was awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2004, March 15-16. The Belcourt’s full Spring schedule will feature outstanding new releases, Universal Pictures’ 100th Anniversary classics, Saturday Kid Shows, The Films of Pierre Étaix presented by Janus Films and more.
“There’s always something for everyone, but this Spring lineup is a particularly strong batch of films,” says Toby Leonard, the Belcourt’s director of programming. “From significant new releases like Stoker and Upstream Color to a host of lesser known gems, genre-hopping picks from Universal Pictures’ rich history, a return of Studio Ghibli to our Saturday Kid Shows slot, and the rare chance to show films from a forgotten master, Pierre Étaix, this season is going to keep us on our toes.”
Shot in Nashville in 2011, Stoker is director Park Chan-wook’s first film in English. Mia Wasikowska stars as India, a teen whose life is upended after her father’s death and the arrival of her uncle (Matthew Goode) who comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother (Kidman). Armed with an inspired script, a world-class cast, and a wickedly playful nature, the director subverts audience expectations by employing delightful visual trickery and placing a magnet over the moral compass of the film, giving complex and sympathetic motivations for the characters’ violent actions.
The Belcourt’s new releases kick off March 1 with three films: Tabu, the award-winning film by world cinema filmmaker Miguel Gomes, described as an intoxicating mix of formal daring, political commentary, haunting romance and exquisite beauty; the comedy/fantasy/horror film John Dies at the End; and A Place at the Table, a documentary that examines the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity. Films opening March 8 include Koch, a documentary about the famous NYC mayor, and Lore, a thriller that follows orphaned siblings who trek across Germany as WWII declared over. Leviathan, opening March 14, is an experimental documentary shot in the North Atlantic that focuses on the commercial fishing industry. Films opening March 15 include The Gatekeepers, a potent documentary that features insights from six former heads of Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, who were each at the crossroads of decisions made on Israel’s war on terror; and Like Someone in Love, by master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. Set in the bustling world of Tokyo nightlife, Kiarostami weaves a story where the sum of deceptions might just equal truth itself.
April’s line-up kicks off with the Chilean film No, opening April 5, a fascinating drama about an ad executive who comes up with a campaign to defeat Augusto Pinochet in Chile’s 1988 referendum. Additional April films (exact screening dates will be announced soon) include Room 237, a documentary that explores conspiracy theories about hidden meanings within the classic film The Shining; Shane Carruth’s hypnotic Upstream Color which opened at Sundance this year; and Terence Malick’s To The Wonder that stars Ben Affleck. In May, new releases include From Up on Poppy Hill, the latest from Studio Ghibli; The Source Family; and Frances Ha.
The Belcourt’s weekend classics salute the Universal Pictures’ 100th Anniversary with new and archival prints of classics as part of an ongoing centennial celebration of Universal Pictures’ rich film history. Each weekend from March 2 to May 26, audiences will enjoy films made between the 1940s and 1980s, with highlights including To Kill a Mockingbird, March 2-3; Spartacus, March 9-10; Pillow Talk, April 13-14; Do the Right Thing, April 27-28; The Sting, May 4-5; Jaws, May 18-19; and more.
Saturday Kid Shows feature kid-friendly films at 10 a.m. Saturday mornings. The latest slate kicks off March 2 at 10 a.m. with Wreck-It Ralph, followed by Adventures of Tintin on March 9. The Saturday morning films continue through April with the much-loved animated films from Studio Ghibli, including favorites Spirited Away, March 23; My Neighbor Totoro, March 30; Princess Mononoke, April 20; and others.
The Films of Pierre Étaix presented by Janus Films, from March 17-21, offers an unprecedented opportunity to discover a neglected master of comic filmmaking. Comedian, illustrator, gagman, film director, Pierre Étaix has done it all, and yet he remains largely unknown outside his homeland. Janus Films presents eight new prints: five features and three shorts produced between 1961 and 1971, all beautifully restored in 35mm. Praised by directors as diverse as François Truffaut, Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, and David Lynch, Étaix’s films combine exquisite physical comedy with inventive sight gags and a slightly surreal visual sensibility.
The always popular Midnight Movies continue in March with The Big Lebowski, March 1-2; Oldboy, March 15-16; The Boondock Saints, March 29, featuring special guests Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flannery and David Della Rocco; and The Devil’s Rejects, March 30, featuring special guests Sid Haig and Bill Mosely.
About the Belcourt
The Belcourt Theatre is a nonprofit cultural institution that engages, enriches and educates audiences through innovative film programming. Housed in Nashville’s only historic neighborhood theater, the Belcourt presents the best of independent, documentary, world, and repertory cinema 365 days a year, while promoting visual literacy and providing opportunities for people of all ages to experience the power of film. First opened in 1925 as a silent movie house, the theatre was home to the Grand Ole Opry from 1934-35. Since the re-opening of the theatre as a nonprofit arthouse in 1999, over a half million people have visited the Belcourt to see more than 1,000 films from every corner of the globe.
SPRING 2013 SCHEDULE AT THE BELCOURT THEATRE
(For tickets and additional info visit www.belcourt.org)
New Releases March 1-May 31
Opens March 1
JOHN DIES AT THE END
Opens March 1
A PLACE AT THE TABLE
Opens March 1
Opens March 15
LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE
Opens March 22
Opens April 5
TO THE WONDER
FROM UP ON POPPY HILL
THE SOURCE FAMILY
Opens May 24
Opens May 31
Weekend Classics: Universal 100th Anniversary
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962)
WINCHESTER ’73 (1950)
THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN (1957)
NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941)
—double feature with—
COBRA WOMAN (1944)
MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION (1954)
PILLOW TALK (1959)
DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER (1973)
Saturday Kid Shows
Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m.
ADVENTURES OF TINTIN
Saturday, March 9, 10 a.m.
CASTLE IN THE SKY (dubbed version) Ages 7+
Saturday, March 16, 10 a.m.
SPIRITED AWAY (dubbed version) Ages 9+
Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (dubbed version) All ages
Saturday, March 30, 10 a.m.
KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (dubbed version) All ages
Saturday, April 6, 10 a.m.
HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (dubbed version) Ages 8+
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.
PRINCESS MONONOKE (dubbed version) Ages 11+
Saturday, April 20, 10 a.m.
NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (dubbed version) Ages 8+
Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.
The Films of Pierre Étaix presented by Janus Films
Sunday, March 17 and Thursday, March 21
THE SUITOR, with short film Rupture
Monday, March 18
LE GRAND AMOUR, with short film Happy Anniversary
Tuesday, March 19
LAND OF MILK AND HONEY
Wednesday, March 20
AS LONG AS YOU’RE HEALTHY, with short film Feeling Good
Wednesday, March 20
Midnight Movies March 1-30
THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Friday-Saturday, March 1-2
Friday-Saturday, March 15-16
Friday, March 29
Featuring special guests Norman Reedus, Sean Patrick Flannery and David Della Rocco
THE DEVIL’S REJECTS
Saturday, March 30
Featuring special guests Sid Haig and Bill Mosely
*Stoker photos by Macall Polay courtesy Fox Searchlight; To Kill a Mockingbird photo courtesy Universal Studios Entertainment; Wreck-It Ralph image courtesy Disney Animation Studios; Le Grand Amour photo courtesy Janus Films; The Big Lebowski photo courtesy Universal Studios Entertainment.