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To avoid all family squabbles this holiday weekend, we listed the best new releases and indie features for you to choose from.
Directed by Stephen Frears
Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, and Sophie Kennedy Clark
Winner of Best Screenplay at the Venice International Film Festival and the Audience Award at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Philomena is the perfect holiday film without shoving the holiday part in your face. It's based on a true story adapted in the book, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son, and a Fifty-Year Search by Martin Sixsmith. Played in the film by Steve Coogan (who also co-wrote it), Sixsmith, whose journalistic credentials are waining, is introduced to Philomena (Judi Dench), who has a fifty-year old secret. What the two uncover together changes their lives indefinitely.
Directed by Spike Lee.
Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Michael Imperioli, and Samuel L. Jackson
In an unhinged adaptation of Park Chan-wook's, Oldboy (2003) - based on the Japanese manga of the same name - Lee gives us the hyperviolent, psychosexual thriller we've been waiting for in his twisted (possibly Oscar worthy) rendition. Kidnapped and imprisoned for twenty years, then mysteriously released, Joe Doucett (Brolin) begins to unravel the dark conspiracy surrounding his life.
Bettie Page Reveals All
Village East Cinema
Directed by Mark Mori
Narrated by Bettie Page, starring Hugh Hefner
This fascinating documentary exposes the story of the disappearance of America’s most famous pin-up icon, Bettie Page. Mori (Building Bombs) uses interviews, news segments, and narration from Page (prior to her death in 2008) to uncover how and why the most influential pin-up model and actress of the 1950's suddenly dropped out of the spotlight just as she was reaching her prime.
The Punk Singer
Directed by Sini Anderson
Starring Kathleen Hanna, Joan Jett, and Adam Horovitz
What began as a Kickstarter campaign and now, an Official Selection of SXSW 2013, The Punk Singer delves into the world of rocker feminist, Kathleen Hanna – front woman of bands, Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. At a time when Nirvana and grunge rock were changing the music landscape of the 1990’s, Hanna broke barriers for young women in punk rock and was subject to heavy criticism from feminists and musicians alike. This intuitive documentary explores the then and now of Hanna’s one-of-a-kind journey. Director Sini Anderson recently talked with us about her filmmaking process and collaborting with Hanna.
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Directed by Justin Chadwick
Starring Idris Elba
Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) gives us another history lesson with Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Idris Elba (The Wire, Thor), embodies the role of the beloved South African president and takes us through Mandela's life from young adulthood through his rebellious movements and imprisonment, with all of the struggle and triumph in between.