COCO CHANEL & IGOR STRAVINSKY
The audience practically rioted during the first performance of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in a Parisian opera house in 1913. The Russian composer knew he was taking a chance with the modern orchestration, foreign rhythms, and odd beats — not to mention the tribal dancers in Russian peasant patterns and wigs. Clothing designer Coco Chanel was at least one audience member who, rather than scandalized by Rite's raw energy, was intrigued. Having spent her career pushing modernity through the lines on her dresses and the shape of her hats, she knew a thing or two about risks. The gorgeous Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky opens with this failed performance. Seven years later, Coco (Anna Mouglalis) is grieving the loss of her lover, and Igor (Mads Mikkelsen) is a starving artist who lives in a tiny apartment with his four young children and wife, who is sick with consumption. Igor finally accepts Coco's offer to work and live with his family at her country villa outside of Paris. Mouglalis is almost cheerless in her role, but the elegance is all there. And she's a good match for Mikkelsen, who wears Igor's healthful habits of exercise and raw eggs for breakfast very well. And when the movie ends, it is with another performance, another gown of perfection, and another audience reaction. Opens Friday at the Cedar Lee Theatre. *** (Wendy Ward)
Michael Fassbender and Dominic West star in this period piece about the second-century conquest of Britain. Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 7.
The Marx Brothers' first film features their famous "viaduct" routine. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 9, and at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10.
Here and There
A struggling jazz musician who can't seem to find the motivation to pick up his instrument, Robert (David Thornton) is so desperate for money that he agrees to go to Serbia, marry a woman, and bring her back to her boyfriend Branko (Branislav Trifunovic), a roughneck Serbian barely making a living in the U.S. Things don't go as planned, and Robert ends up stranded in Belgrade. There, he meets Olga (Mirjana Karanovic) and falls in love with her and the city, so the trip isn't a total waste. Meanwhile, back in the U.S., Branko is trying to find the money to pay Robert so that he'll follow through on his promise to marry his girlfriend. Writer-director Darko Lungulov has been compared to Jim Jarmusch, but Here and There doesn't have Jarmusch's level of character development. It's charming to a point, since Robert is the kind of antihero you want to root for. Producer David Nemer will be on hand to discuss the film after its Saturday screening. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 6:15 p.m. Thursday, July 8, and at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10. ** 1/2 (Jeff Niesel)
The Mighty Uke
A documentary about the ukulele, which is unfathomably popular again. Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall. At 7 p.m. Friday, July 9.
Trash HumpersSince emerging as the talented young writer who penned Kids, Harmony Korine has taken an increasingly nonlinear approach to moviemaking. Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, and Mr. Lonely embrace a stream-of-consciousness aesthetic and possess a certain grotesque beauty. The same goes for his latest. As its title implies, Trash Humpers is about people who dry-hump trashcan containers. Really. Wearing masks that make them look like creepy old people, hooligans rampage through suburban Nashville, breaking into houses and smashing furniture ... when they're not in alleyways looking for ways to get off. Often violent, the movie could very well be Korine's most disturbing film. That's saying a lot. It's an ugly, disturbing picture that borders on pornography. Thankfully, its running time is a relatively short 78 minutes. Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque. At 8 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 9, and at 9:15 p.m. Saturday, July 10. * (Niesel)
Two in the Wave
This documentary presupposes an interest in French New Wave cinema. Still, it's a fascinating overview of a significant cultural movement that begins with footage from the premiere of the seminal 400 Blows. It then recreates New Wave's early days, chronicling the relationship between critics-turned-filmmakers Jean-Luc Godard and Francois Truffaut. The pair collaborated on Godard's breakthrough film, 1960's Breathless, and old clips, featuring interviews with contemporary filmgoers, show just how controversial it was at the time. Interviews with Godard and Truffaut reveal the extent to which they were immersed in cinema and could articulate their philosophies. But after Godard becomes involved in politics, he and Traffaut go their own ways. Two in the Wave takes too long to get to this dramatic turn, but it doesn't really suffer because of it. New Wave cinema is a heady topic, but this captivating doc clearly spells out its nuances and dense history. CWRU's Strosacker Auditorium. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 13. *** (Niesel)