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Volume 24, Number 9 — September 2017

Fall's Arts Array Film Series announces lineup

Bryan Cranston stars in
Bryan Cranston stars in "Wakefield."

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | September 30, 2017

Virginia Highlands Community College kicks off the Fall 2017 Arts Array Film Series. Show times are every Monday and Tuesday evening at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Abingdon Cinemall, Abingdon, Virginia.

Admission is free for all students and staff members of VHCC, Emory & Henry College, King University and Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center, including participants in the College of Older Adults who purchase an Arts Array pass. Community admission is $7.75.

"Lion" (Sept. 4 and 5):
In this adaptation of the memoir "A Long Way Home" by Saroo Brierley, a 5-year-old Indian boy is adopted by an Australian couple after he gets lost in Calcutta. Years later, he struggles with his memories of his birth family and decides to begin a search for them. Dev Patel stars as the adult Brierley in this drama directed by Garth Davis. Nicole Kidman, David Wenham and Rooney Mara co-star.

"The Lost City of Z" (Sept. 11 and 12): During an expedition in the Amazon in 1906, British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) grows obsessed with finding a lost city that could be the key to understanding the origins of human civilization. Over the next two decades, he returns to the Amazon multiple times in the hope of unearthing its location. Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller and Angus MacFadyen co-star in this adaptation of David Grann's 2009 nonfiction novel. Directed by James Gray.

"Certain Women" (Sept. 18 and 19): A lawyer (Laura Dern) deals with a hostage crisis in this ensemble drama about women living in Montana. Elsewhere, a wife and mother (Michelle Williams) tries to build a cottage home, and a female ranch worker (Lily Gladstone) falls for a young woman (Kristen Stewart) who teaches adult-education classes. Written and directed by Kelly Reichardt, "Certain Women" made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

"Wakefield" (Sept. 25 and 26): Television legend, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") stars in this character study about the triumphs and tragedies of personal isolation. A lawyer and family man (Cranston), unable to deal with life's frustrations any longer, starts living in the attic of his suburban home. He then spies on his wife (Jennifer Garner) and children, who believe he has vanished without a trace. Written and directed by Robin Swicord.

"A Monster Calls" (Oct. 2 and 3): A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) befriends a wise tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) while coping with bullying and the terminal illness of his mother (Felicity Jones). He moves in with his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) as his mom's condition deteriorates, and uses his imagination and friendship with the monster to escape reality. J.A. Bayona directed this fantasy drama.

"The Founder" (Oct. 9 and 10): This biopic of businessman Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) chronicles his work transforming McDonald's from a small burger chain in 1950s California to a global franchise. Along the way, he wrests control of the company from its actual founders, the McDonald brothers (Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch), who believe that Kroc's business decisions are stripping the restaurant of its heart and soul. Directed by John Lee Hancock.

"My Cousin Rachel" (Oct. 16 and 17):
A dark romance, "My Cousin Rachel" tells the story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin (Rachel Weisz), believing that she murdered his guardian. However, his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. Based on the 1951 novel by British author, Daphne du Maurier. Written for film and directed by Roger Mitchell.

"The Big Sick" (Oct. 23 and 24):
A Pakistani-American standup comedian (Kumail Nanjiani) falls for a white grad student (Zoe Kazan), and decides to keep their uncertain romance a secret from his traditionalist, Muslim family. However, their relationship gets more serious when she develops a mysterious illness, which in turn forces him to bond with her parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano). Emily V. Gordon and Nanjiani wrote this romantic comedy, which is based on their real-life courtship. Directed by Michael Showalter, "The Big Sick" made its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

"Personal Shopper" (Oct. 30 and 31):
In this Hitchcock-esque thriller, Director Olivier Assayas reunites with Kristen Stewart in this drama about a young woman who works as a personal shopper to an egotistical celebrity in Paris. While spending much of her time buying expensive clothes and jewelry for Kyra (Nora von Waldstätten), Maureen (Stewart) is also a spiritual medium trying to make contact with her twin brother, who recently died of a congenital heart condition that affects her as well.

"Silence" (Nov. 6 and 7): In this passion project from director Martin Scorsese (who spent nearly three decades trying to get it made), a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit priest (Andrew Garfield) receives word that his mentor (Liam Neeson) has renounced his faith while on a mission in Japan. Concerned, he travels to the island nation with another clergyman (Adam Driver) to investigate, only to find that the country's Christian population are being systematically exterminated. Witnessing the inglorious reality of torture and martyrdom committed against Japanese Christians rocks his faith to the core. Based on Shusaku Endo's acclaimed 1966 novel.

"T2: Trainspotting" (Nov. 13 and 14):
Directed by film icon Danny Boyle, this sequel to the seminal "90s indie smash "Trainspotting" catches up with its quartet of Scottish junkies 20 years later. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) finally returns to Edinburgh after a long exile in Amsterdam, and he soon reunites with his old pals Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Spud (Ewen Bremner). As he tries to help Spud kick his heroin addiction and gets caught up in a scheme to open a brothel with Sick Boy, Renton is targeted by the sociopathic Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who wants revenge for his past misdeeds. Contains extremely mature content. Viewer discretion advised.

"Beatriz at Dinner" (Nov. 20 and 21): A medical caregiver (Salma Hayek) is invited to have dinner at the home of a wealthy client, and she soon interrogates a fellow guest over the morality of how he's earned his money. John Lithgow, Chloë Sevigny, Connie Britton and Jay Duplass co-star. Directed by Miguel Arteta, "Beatriz at Dinner" made its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

With a selection of pictures that range from Oscar-winners to instant cult classics from across multiple genres, this line-up has something for film-viewers of all tastes. For additional information about the Arts Array Film Series, contact program coordinator Phil Ferguson, pferguson@vhcc.edu.

Topics: Film