Not only one of the best reviewed films of the year, with recent events in the news HAPPENING is quite suddenly among the most important. In this clear-eyed, harrowing tale, set in 1960s France, but feeling acutely timely, Anne (Anamaria Vartolomei) is a bright young student with a promising future. But when she becomes pregnant, she sees the opportunity to finish her studies and escape the constraints of her background slipping away. With her final exams fast approaching and her belly growing, Anne resolves to act, even if she has to confront shame and pain, even if she must risk prison to do so. Audrey Diwan's thoughtful, angry and masterfully executed film shows the terrible consequences of denying a woman her right to choose.
HAPPENING won top honors at the Venice Film Festival, and Vartolomei took home a César for her portrayal of a college student facing a life-threatening decision.
Armed with a clear vision and a brazen plan to take the adult film industry by storm, a determined and self-confident 19-year-old woman (an uncompromising, powerful performance by Sofia Kappel) leaves behind her small Swedish town for a career in Los Angeles. However, in a world where friendships are rare and pleasure is ephemeral, she soon learns that fame won't come easy as she harnesses her ambition and cunning to rise to the top of this mesmerizing and singular world, only to witness first-hand the high cost of fame and success.
Writer-director Ninja Thyberg explores questions of complicity and consent in the face of fierce coercion, while Kappel's jaw-dropping and fearless performance blurs fiction and reality. Provocative on more than one level, PLEASURE peels back the curtain on unsavory aspects of the adult film industry, but it's more than an exposé on what pornography does to women. It is as also a character study that more closely resembles a universal parable about exploitation, a harrowing examination of what the workplace expects and allows in our culture. PLEASURE is less interested in giving it than in taking it back.
Please note PLEASURE contains scenes of explicit sexual content
30TH ANNIVERSARY 4K RESTORATION COURTESY JANUS FILMS
The vibrant cultures of India, Uganda, and the American South are blended and simmered into a rich and fragrant fusion feast in Mira Nair’s luminous look at the complexities of love in the modern melting pot. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda by the dictatorship of Idi Amin, twentysomething Mina (Sarita Choudhury) finds herself helping to run a motel in the faraway land of Mississippi. It’s there that a passionate romance with the charming Black carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington) challenges the prejudices of their conservative families and exposes the rifts between the region’s Indian and African American communities. Tackling thorny issues of racism, colorism, culture clash, and displacement with big-hearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and radical celebration of love’s power to break down the barriers between us.
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