Cinema Explorations

Dedicated to fostering the voices and choices of our community of film lovers, our winter film series is programmed by a volunteer steering committee to present works of cinema from around the world and encourage the shared experience of communal film viewing and thoughtful discussion.


Ramen Shop
Jan. 12 & 13 | 10 a.m.

Masato, an ambitious young aspiring Ramen chef, after his embittered father dies making him an orphan leaves his hometown in Japan to embark on a culinary journey to his late mother’s hometown of Singapore to find the truth about his past and discover why he is so disconnected from her side of the family.  He uncovers a lot more than family secrets of delicious recipes. “The way to the heart is always through the stomach.” – Allan Hunter, Screen International

What price hollywood?
Jan. 26 & 27 | 10 a.m.

Directed by George Cukor and adapted from the same Adela Rogers St. John story that has also inspired four films entitled “A STAR IS BORN,” this tells the story of aspiring actress Mary Evans who waits on tables until meeting and befriending famous, yet seldom-sober director Max Carey. Soon she is a big-time star. She marries millionaire Lonnie Borden, but he soon tires of playing second fiddle to the Hollywood biz. Life gets complicated as Mary tries to save Max from the abyss in his bottles of booze.



hale county this morning, this evening
Feb. 2 & 3 | 10 a.m.

RaMell Ross offers an inspired and intimate portrait of a place and its people observing the lives of two African-American men over five years. Daniel attends college searching for opportunity while Quincy becomes a father to an energetic son. The audience experiences the mundane and monumental, birth and death, the quotidian and the sublime. These moments combine to communicate the region’s deep culture and provide glimpses of the complex ways the African American community’s collective image is integrated into America’s visual imagination. Pure cinematic poetry... poses a quietly radical challenge to assumptions about race, class and the aesthetics of filmmaking. —A.O. Scott, New York Times

The third wife
feb. 16 & 17 | 10 a.m.

In 19th century rural Vietnam, 14-year-old May becomes the third wife of a wealthy landowner. Her new home seems idyllic, her husband favors her, and she quickly becomes pregnant with what she hopes will be the prized male progeny. But trouble is brewing: she witnesses a forbidden tryst that will spark a chain reaction of misfortunes — and stir in May dormant urges. May learns women have few options. A prize-winner at Toronto and four other festivals, “this gorgeously intimate, evocative, and melancholy debut (from Ash Mayfair) derives its freshness from a balance between compassion and restraint that most filmmakers take decades to achieve. — Variety



budapest noir
March 2 & 3 | 10 a.m.

Based on Vilmos Kondor’s thrilling best-selling crime novel, Éva Gárdos’ film is set in 1936. The Prime Minister returns to Budapest from Germany in a coffin. His dream of a fascist state snuffed out—for now. Cynical reporter Zsigmond Gordon has other concerns. A tip leads to a curious scene—a beautiful young woman lies dead a Jewish prayer book in her purse. Investigating the mystery girl’s murder, Gordon finds pornographers, brothels and Communists leading to the highest echelons of power. Despite efforts to scare him, he digs deeper not knowing who to trust or what ulterior motives are at play.

march 16 & 17 | 10 a.m.

5300 years ago, a Neolithic clan settles in the Ötztal Alps. Kelab keeps their holy shrine Tineka. While Kelab is hunting, the settlement is attacked. Except for one newborn, everyone in the village is brutally murdered—including Kelab’s wife and son—and Tineka is gone. Kelab seeking vengeance follows the murderers on a grand odyssey fighting constantly—for the infant’s survival; against the immense forces of nature; against others he encounters; and, amidst his loneliness, against doubt over the morality of his mission. Dialogue in an archaic language eschewing subtitles, Felix Randau’s film is “... a visceral thrill ride.” —The Hollywood Reporter