Greetings from the snow globe, friends,
I write you today from a hectic and well-stocked home—provisions secured, kiddos going wild, and streets still untouched. And yet, Hittsville is open. Intrepid souls in search of caffeine and culture will be rewarded for their bravery today, as the show must go on!
Today only, we—and cinemas across the continent—are running shows of Poly Styrene: I am a Cliché. Celeste Bell, the daughter of Black punk-rock-icon Poly Styrene, crafts (alongside co-director Paul Sng) an incredibly vulnerable piece of work from a woman seeking to understand her mother. Set on a backdrop swinging from music to mental illness, from an overclocked industry to an England overflowing with vitriolic misogyny and racism, the film is ultimately about generational trauma, discovery, and forgiveness.
Tomorrow, as the storm abates, we offer the final entry in our Passport: Todo Sobre Almodóvar series, All About my Mother, for two shows on 35mm. Pedro Almodóvar’s exuberant polychromatic 1999 melodrama follows a woman through a rapid transfer of social and familial feminine roles. Beginning with the death of her only son, Manuela quits her job as a nurse in Madrid to return to Barcelona in search of the boy’s father. There she rediscovers her past life—in both the theatre and on the street—as well as new roles with new women. The film is a complicated cocktail of humor, heartrending sadness, and liberation that wrestles with the complexities of faith, queerness, and existence.
Finally, I would be remiss not to mention Friday’s opening of Drive My Car. Japan’s entry to the 94th Academy Awards and multi-award winner at Cannes is a stunning adaptation of the Murakami short story of the same name, as well as the latest of only 6 films (and the first international title) ever to be unanimously named Best Picture by all three major US critics groups. But please, take my word for it, the hype is real.