Our full upcoming schedule is available online:
Friday & Saturday, February 11 & 12
These pre-Oscar days that start off every new year are often considered dog days when it comes to the Hollywood release schedule. Studios tend to dump their least promising product in January and into February, allowing filmgoers to catch up with the big releases left over from Christmas that are likely to garner awards attention. The New Beverly is playing catch-up too with three 2010 releases that barely made a splash theatrically in Los Angeles but are well worth seeing on the big screen before they make their way to the various home theater formats. Friday and Saturday you can see the swansong of the late, great, some might even say underappreciated nouvelle vague master Claude Chabrol along with the latest from one of modern international cinemas most vital and celebrated filmmakers, which just happens to star an actress who herself sports more than a passing familiarity with Chabrol's pensively perverse universe. First, Gerard Depardieu is Inspector Bellamy, a French detective on vacation with his wife who ends up knee-deep in a crime case involving infidelity and issues of familial loyalty. Chabrol worms his way into the suspense through character, not plot machinations, and the movie has a lovely, rambling ease that sets it apart from more typical policiers of the French and American varieties. Second on the bill is Chabrol favorite Isabelle Huppert (Violette, Story of Women) in the latest from acclaimed director Claire Denis (Beau Travail, Trouble Every Day and last year's smashing 35 Shots of Rum). White Material
reunites the director with the biographical roots of her life in Africa to tell the story of a white French family embroiled in racial and civil conflict while trying to save their coffee plantation. Denis' startling visual sensibility and Huppert's fearlessness save the film from accusations of ignorant colonialism, forcing the viewer to confront, without judgment, the conscience of a woman who attempts to live out her connection to the continent in the way that reflects her deep emotional connection to it. While everyone else is scrambling to tick the last titles off their Oscar to-do list, take this opportunity to soak in two of the year's finest, least heralded achievements.