Many ways to watch: from old school drive-ins to virtual screenings
We have announced prizes for our Roc on PAWS Film Festival! The winner will receive $100 cash and 10 movie passes to the Cinema Theater. Second prize will be $50 and five movie passes. Third prize is $25 and one movie pass. We’re also extending the submission deadline until Mon July 27. The film festival will consist of short videos submitted by you! Capture a video of your pets doing… whatever it is they do best (or worst) and submit it. Feel free to be creative by adding sound effects, voice-overs, and special effects. Proceeds will benefit the Cinema as well as several animal-rescue groups. Details are on our website, and we also have a short video “teaser” that was created by the talented Frances Andreu, one of our staunch supporters. Have fun with the contest! Once the Cinema re-opens for business, we’ll hold a special screening of selected submissions.
Announcing our new initiative: The Roc’n Drive-In! We’re collaborating with the City of Rochester and the Rochester Red Wings to hold a pop-up drive-in movie theater at Frontier Field! We’ll be showing movies for four weekends in a row, starting next week. Thursday nights, or “date nights” will feature more mature titles, while Fridays and Saturdays will showcase movies for all ages. Admission is $25 per car, and tickets need to be purchased online, in advance. There will be no ticket sales at the door. The movies for next Thurs July 2 are: The Big Lebowski (1998) and This is Spinal Tap (1984). The movies for Fri July 3 and Sat July 4 are: The Lego Movie (2014) and The Karate Kid (1984). If you come to the drive-in on Thursday, you might see us (Alex and Audrey) there!
We’re continuing our virtual screenings this week. Starting Fri 6/26, we have Mr. Jones (NR) and Fisherman’s Friends (PG-13). We’ll continue with Picture of His Life (NR) and Phoenix,Oregon (R). We also have two excellent and very timely movies (and they’re both completely free): King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (NR) and Let The Fire Burn (NR). We’ll be keeping: American Trial: The Eric Garner Story (NR), Mr. Topaze (NR), In My Blood It Runs (NR), and Marona’s Fantastic Tale (NR). We’re also keeping Shirley (rated R), Someone, Somewhere (NR), The Perfect Nanny (NR), Balloon (NR), and The Infiltrators (NR). We regret that the virtual screenings do not come with the option to view the movies with captions, except for movies where the dialogue is in a foreign language. This week, Marona’s Fantastic Tale, Someone, Somewhere and The Perfect Nanny are all in French, with English subtitles. If you have any technical issues with the virtual screenings, please reach out to us at 585.271.1786 or email us.
Mr. Jones was directed by Agnieszka Holland and stars James Norton, Vanessa Kirby and Peter Sarsgaard. This thriller, set on the eve of WWII, sees Hitler’s rise to power and Stalin’s Soviet propaganda machine pushing their “utopia” to the Western world. Meanwhile an ambitious young journalist, Gareth Jones (James Norton) travels to Moscow to uncover the truth behind the propaganda, but then gets a tip that could expose an international conspiracy, one that could cost him and his informant their lives. Jones goes on a life-or-death journey to uncover the truth behind the façade that would later inspire George Orwell’s seminal book Animal Farm. The movie earned a critics’ score of 83% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent Mr. Jones for $12. You’ll have three days to view it.
Fisherman’s Friends was directed by Chris Foggin and stars Daniel Mays, James Purefoy and David Hayman. A fast-living, cynical London music executive (Danny Mays) heads to a remote Cornish village on a stag weekend where he’s pranked by his boss (Noel Clarke) into trying to sign a group of shanty singing fishermen (led by James Purefoy). He becomes the ultimate ‘fish out of water’ as he struggles to gain the respect or enthusiasm of the unlikely boy band and their families (including Tuppence Middleton) who value friendship and community over fame and fortune. As he’s drawn deeper into the traditional way of life, he’s forced to re-evaluate his own integrity and ultimately question what success really means. You can rent Fisherman’s Friends for $12. You’ll have three days during which you can view the movie.
Picture of His Life was directed by Barnabas Toth. World-renowned wildlife photographer Amos Nachoum has one final photographic dream remaining — to photograph a polar bear underwater, while swimming alongside it. The film follows Amos in the Canadian Arctic, as he prepares for his ultimate challenge. As the journey unfolds, so does an intimate and painful story of dedication, sacrifice and personal redemption. The movie features some stunning underwater photography. You can rent the movie for $10. You’ll have three days to watch it.
Phoenix, Oregon was directed by Gary Lundgren and stars James Le Gros, Lisa Edelstein and Kevin Corrigen. Defying midlife haze, two friends seize an unlikely opportunity to reinvent their lives, quitting their jobs to restore an old bowling alley and serve the “world’s greatest pizza”. Filled with warmth and populated with likable characters, Phoenix, Oregon is well worth a visit. You can rent the movie for $6.50. You’ll have two days to watch it.
King: A Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis (1970) is a FREE documentary we’re showing this week. It’s directed by Sidney Lumet and stars Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Ruby Dee. King: A Filmed Record looks at the place that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holds in American history. Having gone from a relatively unknown preacher in the early 1950s to national prominence as a result of Rosa Parks’ breaking the segregation barrier on transit buses in Montgomery Alabama, King became one of the great figures of our history by making it his mission in life to see that all men, women, and children in America would be judged by what’s in their heart and not by what their skin color was. In the original uncut form that had gotten it an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 1970. You can stream the movie at no charge.
Let The Fire Burn (2013) is another FREE documentary we’re offering. In the astonishingly gripping Let the Fire Burn, director Jason Osder has crafted that rarest of cinematic objects: a found-footage film that unfurls with the tension of a great thriller. On May 13, 1985, a longtime feud between the city of Philadelphia and controversial radical urban group MOVE came to a deadly climax. Eleven people (MOVE founder John Africa, five other adults, and five children aged 7 to 13) died in the resulting fire, and more than 250 people in the neighborhood were left homeless. Ramona Africa, one of the two survivors, said that police fired at those trying to escape. Let the Fire Burn earned a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and you can stream the movie at no charge.
American Trial: The Eric Garner Story was directed by Roee Messinger. This very timely documentary is an unprecedented film event, an unscripted courtroom drama that presents the trial that never happened against the NYPD officer who was videotaped putting Eric Garner in the choke-hold that led to Garner’s death in 2014. American Trial employs real-life prosecutors and defense attorneys to conduct a totally unscripted mock trial using the real-life evidence, witnesses (including Esaw Snipes-Garner, Eric’s widow), expert testimony, and rules of criminal procedure. The only actor in the film is the man who plays the defendant, Officer Daniel Pantaleo. In this movie, the audience is the jury, and viewers decide whether Pantaleo should be found guilty or innocent – a verdict the Garner family never had the chance to hear. You can rent American Trial for $10. Note that you will have only 24 hours to view the film.
Mr. Topaze was directed by Peter Sellers and stars Peter Sellers, Nadia Gray and Herbert Lom. Honest French teacher Auguste Topaze (Peter Sellers) is fired after refusing to alter the bad grades of a baroness’s grandson. Sensing an opportunity, actress Suzy (Nadia Gray) convinces her lover, corrupt city council member Castel Benac (Herbert Lom), to hire Topaze as a managing director for one of his businesses, arguing that Topaze’s well-known honesty will protect the company from suspicion. When Topaze learns he is being used, he decides to swindle his manipulators. You can rent Mr. Topaze for $12. You will have three days to view the film.
In My Blood it Runs is another timely movie. This is an Australian film, directed by Maya Newell, is an intimate and compassionate documentary from the perspective of a 10-year-old Aboriginal boy in Alice Springs, Australia – a boy struggling to balance his traditional Aboriginal upbringing with a state education. Ten-year-old Dujuan is a child-healer and speaks two Indigenous languages, but he is failing in school. His grandmother Carol is fighting a loving battle to give him a strong traditional education alongside his western education lest he become another statistic in juvenile detention or the welfare system. This documentary earned a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent In My Blood it Runs for $10. You will have three days to watch the film.
Marona’s Fantastic Tale was directed by Anca Damian and stars Lizzie Brochere and Bruno Salomone. Marona is a half-breed Labrador whose life makes a big impact on the humans she encounters. After an accident, she reflects on all the homes and different experiences she’s had. As Marona’s memory journeys into the past, her unfailing empathy and love brings lightness and innocence into each of her owners’ lives. This movie earned a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. The dialog is in French with English subtitles. You can rent Marona’s Fantastic Tale for $9.99. You will have three days to watch the film.
Shirley was directed by Josephine Decker and stars Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg and Odessa Young. Renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson is on the verge of writing her masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds upends her meticulous routine and heightens tensions in her already tempestuous relationship with her philandering husband. The middle-aged couple, prone to ruthless barbs and copious afternoon cocktails, begins to toy mercilessly with the naïve young couple at their door. The movie earned a rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. Shirley is available for rental for $5.99, and you will have three days to view it.
Someone, Somewhere is a delightful romantic comedy from France. It was directed by Cédric Klapisch and Jean-François Fontanel and stars François Civil and Ana Girardot. Rémi and Melanie may be perfect for each other. They live in Paris in the same building, separated from each other by the thinnest of walls. They shop at the same convenience store and take the same public transport, passing each other on the street. But in a city of millions, will these two have a chance to meet? Director Cedric Klapisch specialises in romanticising Paris. Here it is practically a love letter to the city, and partly a guidebook to what it is to be a Parisian. The movie earned a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. In French with English subtitles. You can rent Someone, Somewhere for $10. You’ll have three days to view it.
The Perfect Nanny is directed by Lucie Borleteau and stars Karin Yiard, Leila Bakhti and Antoine Reinartz. When Myriam, the mother of two children, decides to go back to work despite her husband’s initial reluctance, the couple starts looking for a nanny. After a very selective process, they finally find the perfect candidate: Louise, a poised 40-year old woman who is an instant hit with both kids and parents. But as Louise makes herself indispensable to the family, she starts revealing her true self and her behavior becomes more and more unsettling to those around her. In French with English subtitles. You can rent The Perfect Nanny for $10. You’ll have three days in which to view it.
Balloon was directed by Michael Herbig and stars Fredrich Mucke, Karoline Schuch and David Kross. In the summer of 1979, the Strelzyk and Wetzel familie try to flee East Germany in a self-made hot-air balloon. But after the balloon crash-lands just before the West German border, the Stasi find traces of the attempted escape and immediately launch an investigation. In a nerve-wracking race against the clock, the two families attempt to build a new escape balloon as the Stasi get closer and closer each day. You can purchase the movie here for a rental fee of $10. Balloon earned an audience score of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Infiltrators was directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra and stars Maynor Alvarado, Chelsea Rendon and Manuel Uriza. The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center — on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical Dreamers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, The Infiltrators tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language. The movie is available here for a rental fee of $10.
You don’t have to live in the Rochester area to enjoy these movies. Tell your family and friends they can watch a movie and it will benefit Rochester’s oldest theater. Ready, set, watch!
We have suspended our membership program for the time being. But if you wish to support us, please consider purchasing some books of movie passes, or perhaps making an outright gift to the Cinema. There is no expiration date on the movie passes, but we regret that they are not valid for the online “virtual” screenings that we are now offering.
– Audrey Kramer and Alex Chernavsky
Co-owners of the Cinema Theater
The Cinema community has been incredibly supportive, and we thank everyone who has purchased books of movie passes or made an outright donation to us. We love our customers! We fully intend to return to business-as-usual as soon as we can do so safely.