“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Statement from the Cinema Theater: We at the Cinema Theater were shocked, angry, and deeply saddened by the tragic death of Daniel Prude. We stand in solidarity with all who insist that racial justice finally becomes a reality. We support those members of our community who engage in non-violent demonstrations, and we look forward to a day when people of all races can be treated with equal justice.
We have a new virtual screening this week: Out Stealing Horses (not rated). We’re also keeping a number of movies from previous weeks: Critical Thinking (NR), Robin’s Wish (NR), The 24th (NR), Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine (NR), Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind (NR), Sunless Shadows (NR), Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly (NR), Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, Waiting for the Barbarians (NR), My Stupid Dog (NR), and Flannery (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, Sunless Shadows, is being screened in Persian 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.
Out Stealing Horses is directed by Hans Petter and stars Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg and Tobias Santelmann. November 1999: 67-year-old Trond (Stellan Skarsgård), lives in self-imposed isolation and looks forward to welcoming in the new millennium alone. As winter arrives he meets one of his few neighbors, Lars (Bjørn Floberg), and realizes he knew him back in the summer of 1948. 1948 — the year Trond turned 15. The summer Trond grew up. Out Stealing Horses is based on the bestselling novel by Norwegian author Per Petterson. Film critic Deborah Young writes that the movie is “…a hugely accomplished meditation on life, guilt and responsibility.” Immediately following the film there will be a pre-recorded discussion between Stellan Skarsgård and director Hans Peter Moller. You can rent the movie for $12. You’ll have three days in which to watch it.
Critical Thinking was directed by and stars John Leguizamo. Also starring Rachel Bay Johns and Michael Kenneth Williams. Based on a true story from 1998, five LatinX and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher. The movie earned a rating of 89% from Rotten Tomatoes. Movie critic Anita Katz wrote, “Leguizamo’s storytelling features lively interactions, embraceable characters and credibly depicted struggles. The tournament scenes contain sports-movie adrenaline.” You can rent the movie for $7. You’ll have two days to watch it.
Robin’s Wish is a documentary that was directed by Tylor Norwood, starring Susan Schneider Williams and Shawn Levy. Robin’s Wish tells the powerful true story of actor/comedian Robin Williams’ final days. For the first time, Robin’s fight against a deadly neurodegenerative disorder, known as Lewy body dementia, is depicted in detail. Through a gripping journalistic lens, this incredible story sheds an entirely new light on the tragedy, beauty and power behind the mind of one of the greatest entertainers of all time. You can rent Robin’s Wish for $7. You’ll have two days to watch it.
The 24th was directed by Kevin Willmott and stars Trai Byers, Bashir Salahuddin, and Aja Naomi King. This movie tells the incredibly powerful and timely true story of the all-black Twenty-Fourth United States Infantry Regiment, and the Houston Riot of 1917. The Houston Riot was a mutiny by 156 African American soldiers in response to the brutal violence and abuse at the hands of Houston police officers. The riot, which lasted two hours, led to the death of nine civilians, four policemen and two soldiers and resulted in the largest murder trial in history, which sentenced a total of 60 men. You can rent the movie for $7, and you will have two days to watch it.
The documentary Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine was directed by Scott Crawford and stars Alice Cooper, Cameron Crowe and Joan Jett. Capturing the messy upheaval of the ’70s just as rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores CREEM Magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to national powerhouse — spotlighting iconic features, interviews, and anecdotes along the way — then bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later. Fifty years after publishing its first issue, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” remains a seditious spirit in music and culture. This documentary earned a rating of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent the movie for $10. You’ll have three days to watch it.
Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind is a documentary directed by Joan Tosoni and Martha Kehoe. It stars Gordon Lightfoot, Sarah McLachlan and Steve Earle. This documentary is an exploration of the career, music, and influence of legendary Canadian musical icon Gordon Lightfoot. With unprecedented access to the artist, the documentary follows Lightfoot’s evolution from Christian choirboy to troubled troubadour to international star and beloved Canadian icon. The movie received a rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent the movie for $10. You’ll have three days to watch it.
Sunless Shadows is an Iranian documentary that was directed by Mehrdad Oskouei. Sunless Shadows, filmed in a small juvenile detention center, steps into the world of five young Iranian women, all accomplices in the murders of their abusive husbands, fathers or brothers-in-law. Each of the film’s subjects is serving time for the murder of a male family member. One by one, the director invites them to go into a room alone, push the red button on the camera and address their accomplices or their victims. This documentary presents a picture of the disenfranchised in an aggressively male-dominated society and of the prison that is their shelter from it. This movie earned a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent the movie for $12. You’ll have three days to watch it. In Persian with English subtitles.
Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly was directed by Cheryl Haines and stars the artist Ai Weiwei. Human rights become profoundly personal when dissident artist Ai Weiwei’s monumental exhibition on Alcatraz inspires thousands of visitors to connect with prisoners of conscience worldwide. We can all be agents of change. But sometimes the challenges that surround us make it hard to know where to begin. This film aims to inspire viewers to take action in the struggle for human rights, both at home and abroad. It starts with a simple and direct expression of empathy: the sending of a postcard. This documentary earned a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent the movie for $10. You’ll have three days to view it.
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets was directed by Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross. Co-directors Bill Turner Ross’s genre-bending docudrama focuses on a Las Vegas dive bar named “The Roaring 20s” as it prepares to close its doors forever. Its longtime bartenders and patrons come together for one last night of alcohol-charged camaraderie, commemoration and consolation as they contemplate their place in a fracturing and downcast late-2016 America. This docudrama earned a rating of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes. You can rent the movie for $9 (use promo code “rochester”). You will have two days to view it. The studio sent these instructions: “Customers need to first create an account on Altavod and enter their credit card info. But then once that’s done, they can simply proceed to rent the film. At checkout, they should enter promotional code ‘rochester’ (minus the quotes) and receive a $1 discount to get a ticket for $9.”
Waiting for the Barbarians was directed by Ciro Guerra and stars Johnny Depp, Robert Pattinson, and Mark Rylance. The Magistrate (Mark Rylance) of an isolated frontier settlement on the border of an unnamed empire looks forward to an easy retirement until the arrival of Colonel Joll (Johnny Depp), whose task it is to report on the activities of the “barbarians” and on the security situation on the border. Joll conducts a series of ruthless interrogations, which leads the Magistrate to question his loyalty to the empire. Adapted by Nobel Prize-winning author J.M. Coetzee from his own book. You can rent Waiting for the Barbarians for $12. You’ll have three days to view it.
My Stupid Dog was directed by and stars Yvan Attal. Other actors are Charlotte Gainsbourg and Eric Ruf. Henri is a middle-aged writer in crisis. Just at a time when he assesses of his life, an enormous gray dog, impolite and smelly, sneaks into Henri’s house. Despite the attempts of the whole family to throw him out, this dog (whom they decide to call “Stupid”), becomes Henri’s best friend. In French with English subtitles. Variety ran a positive review of the movie, calling it “A well-played and melancholic remarriage dramedy”. You can rent My Stupid Dog for $10. You’ll have three days to view it.
Flannery was directed by Mark Bosco and Elizabeth Coffman. The movie stars Mary Steenburgen and Richard Rodriquez. Winner of the first-ever Library of Congress / Lavine Family / Ken Burns Prize for Film, Flannery is the lyrical, intimate exploration of the life and work of author Flannery O’Connor, whose distinctive Southern Gothic style influenced a generation of artists and activists. With her family home at Andalusia (the Georgia farm where she grew up and later wrote her best known work) as a backdrop, a picture of the woman behind her sharply aware, starkly redemptive style comes into focus. Including conversations with those who knew her and those inspired by her (Mary Karr, Tommy Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams, Hilton Als and more), Flannery employs never-before-seen archival footage, newly discovered personal letters and her own published words (read by Mary Steenburgen) alongside original animations and music to examine the life and legacy of an American literary icon. You can rent Flannery for $12. Once you start streaming it, you will have 24 hours to complete the viewing.
An update from the Cinema Theater: Most of you are probably wondering when the Cinema will re-open. We’ve been wondering too! Unfortunately, New York State recently ruled that movie theaters must remain closed indefinitely. But over the past few months, we have made many changes in anticipation of our eventual re-opening. We’ve installed new Plexiglass dividers at the concession counter. We’ve replaced all our air filters with specialized MERV-13 filters that are used in hospitals and are designed to filter-out very fine particles. We’ve placed distancing markers on the floor in the ticket lobby and the concession lobby. We’ve also purchased special disinfecting cleaners as well as battery-powered, touch-less dispensers for hand sanitizer. We’re ready to re-open whenever we get the green light. Thank you for your patience and your ongoing support. We love all our customers. We hope you are staying safe, and we look forward to seeing you at a movie sometime in the future. (And our three theater cats – Bo, Cal, and Genny – are also eager to see you again.)
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.