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Attention, New Yorkers: Julie Taymor, Alan Rickman and More Are Giving Free Talks This Summer

Attention, New Yorkers: Julie Taymor, Alan Rickman and More Are Giving Free Talks This Summer

This summer’s the Film Society of Lincoln Center returns with their annual FREE Film Society Talks series, sponsored by HBO. The events, free and open to the public, are held in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. The featured directors will lead discussions, sharing rare insight on their recent releases. The format will consist of the discussion and a combination of clips, trailers, extended conversations and questions from the audience. 

The talks kick off June 15 with the director, writer, and producer Julie Taylor, who will discuss the filmed version of her critically acclaimed stage production, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” On the following night, “Harry Potter” fans can take a walk down memory lane and come hear from Alan Rickman, in town to discuss “A Little Chaos,” which he directed and stars in. The film marks his second as director and stars Kate Winslet and Matthias Schoenaerts. Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, accompanied by the lead actress of one of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival favorites, “The Tribe,” will also be on hand for the series.
Here’s the full lineup courtesy of the Film Society. For more info go here.
Julie Taymor“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Julie Taymor is an Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning director, writer, and producer whose visionary work has also extended to the stage with The Magic Flute and the Broadway smash-hit The Lion King. Taymor’s big-screen credits include Titus, Frida, Across the Universe, andThe Tempest. Her latest project blends the worlds of cinema and theater, presenting a multi-camera film that captures a 2014 live performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Theatre for a New Audience’s Polonsky Shakespeare Center in Brooklyn. Starring David Harewood (Homeland, Blood Diamond), Kathryn Hunter (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), Tina Benko (The Avengers), and Max Casella (Blue Jasmine), Julie Taymor’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream opened to rave reviews at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and will hit select theaters June 22. 
Taymor’s production of Shakespeare’s most phantasmagorical play is visually breathtaking, funny, sexy, and darkly poetic. Ealing Studios, Londinium Films, in association with Theatre for a New Audience and producers Lynn Hendee (Ender’s Game, The Tempest) and Ben Latham-Jones (Nina, The D-Train) have joined forces with Taymor to create this exclusive filmed production. Featuring cinematography by Academy Award nominee Rodrigo Prieto (The Wolf of Wall Street, Argo) and music by Academy Award–winning composer Elliot Goldenthal (Frida, Heat), this immersive, inventive cinematic experience allows audiences from around the world to witness this critically lauded, sold-out show. Taymor will share her experiences about bringing A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the big screen. (Monday, June 15, 5:00pm)
Alan Rickman, “A Little Chaos”
British actor and filmmaker Alan Rickman will appear at the Film Society to discuss his second feature as a director, in which he appears opposite Matthias Schoenaerts, Kate Winslet, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Ehle, and Helen McCrory. Following a string of standout supporting roles in such films as Die Hard and Sense and Sensibility, Rickman won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his lead role in TV’s Rasputin in 1996. Since then, he’s appeared on the big screen in films on both sides of the Atlantic, playing such varied roles as the wizard Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, a corrupt judge in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and President Ronald Reagan inLee Daniels’ The Butler. A Little Chaos is a romantic drama following Sabine (Winslet), a talented landscape designer, who, while building a garden at Versailles for King Louis XIV (Rickman), struggles with class barriers as she becomes romantically entangled with the court’s renowned landscape artist (Schoenaerts). The film debuted at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and opens in the U.S. on June 26. (Tuesday, June 16, 6:30pm)
Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy and Yana Novikova, “The Tribe”
The Tribe packed the house when it screened earlier this year at New Directors/New Films, but Ukrainian director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy unfortunately wasn’t able to attend the festival. He will now be in town with lead actress Yana Novikova to talk about his crime-drama on the day of its release in the United States. Winner of multiple 2014 Cannes Film Festival Awards (including the coveted Critics’ Week Grand Prix), The Tribe is a silent film with a unique difference: its entire cast is deaf, non-professional actors and the “dialogue” is strictly sign language—without subtitle or voiceover. Set at a spartan boarding school for deaf coeds, the film follows new-arrival Sergey (Grigory Fesenko), who’s immediately initiated into the institution’s hard-as-nails culture with a beating before ascending the food chain from put-upon outsider to foot soldier in a criminal gang that deals drugs and pimps out their fellow students. With implacable camerawork and a stark, single-minded approach worthy of influential English director Alan Clarke, Slaboshpytskiy overcomes what may sound like impossible obstacles to tell an intense, but uncannily immersive story of exploitation and brutality in a dog-eat-dog world. (Wednesday, June 17, 6:30pm)
Matthew HeinemanCartel Land
Director Matthew Heineman won audience accolades and the Directing Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for his powerful documentary Cartel Land, and the film, which opens the Human Rights Watch Film Festival this week and opens July 3, has continued to impress on the festival circuit and will likely have a presence this coming Awards Season. Cartel Land is a classic Western set in the 21st century, pitting vigilantes on both sides of the border against the vicious Mexican drug cartels. With unprecedented access, this character-driven film provokes deep questions about lawlessness, the breakdown of order, and whether it is just for citizens to take up arms to fight violence with violence. Making a compelling documentary is never easy even under the most “ideal” situations; capturing the war that is right at the doorstep of the U.S. is nothing short of breathtaking. (Tuesday, June 30, 6:30pm)
Joshua OppenheimerThe Look of Silence
Texas-born filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer’s chilling Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing (New Directors/New Films 2013) has elicited its fair share of controversy. The film, which opens July 17, asked former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass killings using the cinematic genre of their choosing, resulting in lavish musical numbers and scenes in the style of classic Hollywood gangster flicks. Oppenheimer’s follow-up, The Look of Silence (New York Film Festival 2014), returns to Indonesia to view the genocide of 1965-66 through the eyes of one of its victims, Adi, who tracks down a number of retired torturers—under the guise of paying them medical visits—to confront them about their past deeds. And as Indiewire critic Eric Kohn observes: “The result is the opposite of the unnerving showmanship that dominated The Act of Killing. A soft-spoken, levelheaded interrogator, Adi is an object of continual fascination as he attempts to get real answers from unwitting and potentially dangerous men.” (Thursday, July 16, 6:30pm)

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