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Director's Film Series
This series of films are shown every Thursday at 1PM unless otherwise noted. Each movie is selected by Mitch Freedman, Director of the New City Library.
Bread & Roses
A grim contemporary drama about office cleaners in L.A. Maya is reuniting with her older sister Rosa after a harrowing journey from Mexico. After being groped as a barmaid and then extorted as a janitor, she happens upon a muckraking lawyer and union agitator. Together the two sisters fight for their right to unionize. Winner of the Phoenix Prize. Nominated for the Golden Palm Reward in 2000. 2000, Rated R, 110 minutes
With gritty realism, this film focuses on three car plant assemblymen who are living paycheck to paycheck. Their frustration with corporate bureaucracy and union corruption provokes them into planning a desperate heist of the union’s safe. A surprise take in the robbery is information they can use to bribe the union. However, they soon discover just how powerfully malevolent this organization is. 1978, Rated R, 114 minutes
I’m All Right Jack
Set in Britain in the 1950s, this comedy is about a naïve aristocrat who unlike others in his social circle, actually wants to work. Stanley’s uncle hires him to work in his munitions factory, and he soon becomes caught up in the struggles between his profit-minded uncle and an aggressive labor union. Peter Sellers won the 1959 Best British Actor Award for his role in this film. The film itself also won the Best British Screenplay Award. 1959, Not Rated, 105 minutes
In the 1920s, the coal town of Matewan, West Virginia is controlled by the powerful Stone Mountain Coal Company. When the company introduces immigrants and minorities as cheaper labor, union organizer Joe Kenehan must somehow unite all miners in a strike -- igniting a powder keg of racial hostility, corruption and betrayal. Won 1987 Best Cinematography Independent Spirit Award. Nominated for Independent Spirit Awards for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Screenplay and James Earl Jones and David Strathairn were nominated for Best Supporting Actor. 1987, Rated PG-13, 130 minutes
Argentina’s economy went into a tailspin in the late 1990s, forcing much of its industry to shut down. This documentary follows former employees of an Argentinean auto plant as they return to the abandoned factory where they once worked and announce their plans to run it as a business cooperative. This action sets up a standoff between the displaced laborers and the private and public forces uniting against them. Won the Grand Jury Prize of the AFI Film Festival, Best Documentary of the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Best Justice & Human Rights Film of the Vermont International Film Festival. 2004, Not Rated, 84 minutes
October 10- Bonjour Monsieur Shlomi
A feel-good coming-of-age Israeli movie about a teen trying to make sense of his world. This 16-year-old underachiever doing so poorly in school is actually a genius, but his interests are focused on his dysfunctional family and the beautiful girl next door. Not rated.
October 17- Watermarks
A documentary about a group of Jewish women swimmers who escaped from Nazi Austria and not only lived to tell the tale, but go back for a visit. These athletes are as extraordinary as their triumphant tales. Not Rated.
October 24- Close to Home
Contemporary Israel is seen through the eyes of two former Israeli Defense Forces women soldiers who actually wrote and directed this fictional film in order to make sense of their military experience. Not Rated.
October 31- Kadosh
Concerned with the struggle between secular and religious Jews, this film questions what will become of a marriage between two people who love each other but cannot conceive. Not Rated.
November 7 -Adam Resurrected
A story of Holocaust survivors living in a sanitarium in the Israeli desert. Jeff Goldblum performs the best acting of his career as a former Berlin vaudeville performer and later a degraded captive of a Nazi concentration camp director (Willem Dafoe). Rated R.
November 14- Stranger Among Us
Melanie Griffith, a NYPD detective, goes undercover in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn to find a murderer. Rated PG-13.
November 21- Weapons of the Spirit
The saga of the tiny French village of Le Chambon that defied the Nazis and provided a safe haven for thousands of Jews. Not Rated.
December 5- Primo
A one-person play based on Primo Levi’s writings about his Auschwitz experience. Not Rated.
December 12 - My Favorite Year
This charming comedy is loosely based on the Sid Caesar show and its Hall of Fame staff of writers. Rated PG.
January 9 - You're a Big Boy Now
Teen Peter Kastner undergoes his coming-of-age rites when he strikes out on his own and moves to New York City, where his father is a philandering rare books librarian and the New York Public Library. Not rated. 97 minutes.
January 16- Only Two Can Play
Welsh library John Lewis (Peter Sellers) is bored with his job and his marriage, but after a series of comic complications ultimately concludes that adultery simply isn't worth the bother. Not rated. 96 minutes.
January 23- Party Girl
Free-spirited, irresponsible Mary throw parties to cover her rent. When one is broke up by the cops, she calls her librarian godmother to borrow bail money. To pay her back she takes a job as a library clerk. Not rated. 96 Minutes.
January 30 - Desk Set
Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn team up in this romantic comedy about the computerization of a television network's research department. Not rated. 103 minutes.
February 6- The Organizer
With a documentary-like approach, this film looks at the appalling working conditions in Italy at the turn of the 19th century. When Professor Sinigaglia visits a friend in Turin, he is confronted with the horrors of the local textile mill. Despite hostilities and violence, he rallies the exploited workers into a powerful union. Nominated for Oscars for the Best Foreign Film and Best Original Screenplay in 1964. 1963, Not Rated, 130 minutes. Italian w/English subtitles