We will show movies on the third Tuesday of June, July and August at 6 pm in the downstairs meeting room, which is delightfully cool on a hot summer evening.

The Hedgehog on Tuesday, June 19 is inspired by the popular New York Times bestseller, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, The Hedgehog is the timely story of Paloma (Garance Le Guillermic) a young girl bent on ending it all on her upcoming twelfth birthday. Using her father’s old camcorder to chronicle the hypocrisy she sees in adults, Paloma begins to learn about life from the grumpy building concierge, Ren‚e Michel (French Twist’s Josiane Balasko). When Paloma’s camera reveals the extensive secret library in Ren‚e’s back room, and that the often gruff matron reads Tolstoy to her cat, Paloma begins to understand that there are allies to be found beneath the prickliest of exteriors. As the unlikely friendship deepens, Paloma’s own coming of age becomes a much less pessimistic prospect.

A Dangerous Method on Tuesday, July 17, is an adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s play detailing the deteriorating relationship between Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender), a disciple of Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), is using Freudian techniques to treat Russian-Jewish psychiatric patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) at Burgh”lzli Mental Hospital. But the deeper Jung’s relationship with Spielrein grows, the further the burgeoning psychiatrist and his highly respected mentor drift apart. As Jung struggles to help his patient overcome some pressing paternal issues, disturbed patient Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) sets out to test the boundaries of the doctor’s professional resolve.

The Flowers of War on Tuesday, August 21 is a deeply moving study of how ordinary people behave in extraordinary–and inhuman–circumstances. The Flowers of War, by Chinese-born director Zhang Yimou, is set during the Rape of Nanking, the epic 1937 battle of the Japanese invasion of China. The sense of place is immediate and raw, though most of the dialogue is in English. That bit of disbelief is easily suspended, however, as the depth of the performances carries the story easily. Christian Bale is an unlikely hero, an American mortician who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or is it the right time? As the battle intensifies, Bale’s John Miller takes refuge inside a battered church, where a small group of terrified schoolgirls has been ushered by Chinese soldiers before reengaging in battle. (The Flowers of War is narrated by one of these young girls.) Suddenly a group of Nanking’s infamous, glamorous prostitutes arrives at the church, also seeking sanctuary. Miller is torn, wanting only to leave, and knowing his white skin likely will grant him free passage out of the battle zone, but deciding to stay to help the young women. As a war film, The Flowers of War is not especially graphic, and yet it’s gruesome and intense and drenched in sorrow. Death and cruelty and rape and torture are inflicted, as they always seem to be in wartime. And yet it’s the tentative human connections made among Miller and the young women that prove to be a strong force–perhaps even capable of facing down a battalion. Bale is riveting in the role of Miller, a conflicted and imperfect hero. The lovely Chinese actress Ni Ni is also excellent, and heartbreaking, as Yu Mo, the steely prostitute who sees the world as it is, while wishing it might yet become what she hopes. The Flowers of War is an emotional, moving experience, and a must-see for any fans of war or historical dramas.

Summer Film Series on 3rd Tuesday
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