Now Playing • Jul 24–Aug 6

Mr. Holmes

An aged, retired Sherlock Holmes looks back on his life, and grapples with an unsolved case involving a beautiful woman.

Now Playing • Jul 31–Aug 6

Testament of Youth

A British woman recalls coming of age during World War I - a story of young love, the futility of war, and how to make sense of the darkest times.

Now Playing • Aug 1

Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World

Dark Star memorializes H.R. Giger, immortally infamous as the designer behind the Alien franchise's Xenomorph, among other techno-sexual nightmares. In between retrospective interviews with the artist and understated rhapsodies from his colleagues and friends, the camera drifts through his labyrinthine Zurich home, adorned with his own creations as an exorcism.

Coming Soon • Aug 7

Switchblade Sisters

Part of First Friday Lowbrow Cinema Explosion!

The Dagger Debs are the meanest, toughest girl gang on the block—or should we say, “toughest GANG on the block,” since they take on all rivals, male or female, and beat everyone’s ass in this exceedingly fun low budget film. It’s one of Tarantino’s favorite films if that means anything to anyone.

Coming Soon • Aug 8

Storytelling Through Film Workshop

Do you know how movies get made? Students in grades 4-9 to will join media educator Frank Baker for an engaging session designed to pull-back-the-curtain on how movies get made.

Coming Soon • Aug 12–Aug 13

Charlie's Country

David Gulpilil possesses one of the most inimitable screen presences in film, but too often he has been used as a guiding voice for white characters. Here, the Aboriginal Australian actor makes for himself a self-referential, if not autobiographical, role as "Charlie," wandering episodically through rural Australia. A sensitive depiction of colonialism's human effects, all the more powerful for its microscopic attention to an individual, Gulpilil delivers the performance he has, quite literally, lived for.

Coming Soon • Aug 17

I Am Big Bird

Part of our recurring Docs Now! series.

Caroll Spinney does not merely contain multitudes, he embodies them. He has puppeteered Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch for nearly 50 years, an unseen icon of feathers, shag, naiveté, and cynicism. This buoyant SXSWedu selection captures the texture of a common man’s remarkable life as he shows generations of children (and adults) the complexity and beauty of the world they live in.

Coming Soon • Aug 21–Aug 27

The End of the Tour

The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace's groundbreaking epic novel, 'Infinite Jest.'

Coming Soon • Aug 22–Aug 29

Children's Film Festival, Seattle

Animated Program: August 22
Live-action Program: August 29

The Children’s Film Festival in Seattle enters its 10th year of exhibiting agile, vibrant short films from all over the world to challenge the notion that films for children are little more than endurance tests for parents. The touring festival comes with two blocks, one for animated films and the other for live-action; every one of the films believes in the virtue of making movies for everyone and the cinematic potential of ageless, universal stories.

Coming Soon • Aug 26

Sundance Short Films

The short films section has always been the less-publicized wing of the Sundance Film Festival, mostly because no one gets to see the selections, no matter how bally-hooed. As a result, short-form films have suffered in prestige and publicity, even if their adventurousness has never waned. By collecting the award-winning shorts into a single, feature-length program, Sundance Shorts restores short films to their rightful place as bold and internally satisfying acts of cinema, as well as harbingers of independent film’s next voices.

Coming Soon • Aug 30–Aug 31

The Merchant of Venice

In the melting pot of Venice, trade is God. With its ships plying the globe, the city opens its arms to all, as long as they come prepared to do business and there is profit to be made.

With the gold flowing all is well, but when a contract between Bassanio and Shylock is broken, simmering racial tensions boil over. A wronged father, and despised outsider, Shylock looks to exact the ultimate price for a deal sealed in blood.

Coming Soon • Sep 4

Slaughter High

Part of First Friday Lowbrow Cinema Explosion!

Classic, but little-known, ‘80s slasher movie about a high school reunion which is stalked by “Marty,” who was the high school nerd, disfigured in a prank-gone-wrong. A high body count, weird murders, and stupid music (provided by Harry Manfredini of Friday the 13th “tch tch tch” fame) set this one apart from dozens of other Halloween imitators.

Coming Soon • Sep 7–Sep 16

The Apu Trilogy

The Apu Trilogy is composed of three Bengali films directed by Satyajit Ray: Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and The World of Apu. These films, released in the 1950s, create what is considered the great bildungsroman of Indian cinema—the coming-of-age story of a young boy in a conflicted and rapidly changing world.

Some cite these films as the greatest trilogy in the history of cinema, and Ray one of the foremost directors ever to have lived. Come and witness the films that inspired the likes of Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, and Akira Kurosawa, with a soundtrack that reportedly “changed George Harrison’s life.”

Coming Soon • Sep 7–Sep 14

Pather Panchali

The first film of the Apu Trilogy.

Translating to “Song of the Road,” the film drifts like wind through the mundane anguish and rural pleasures of the adolescent Apu and his sister. The siblings seek out visitors from distant parts of India while their parents consider the limitations of the family’s ancestral home.

Coming Soon • Sep 8–Sep 15

Aparajito

The second film of the Apu Trilogy.

Apu, older and continuing his studies in Calcutta, wanders from city to city when he can, while the last members of his family die. Though Ray suffuses Aparajito with deep loss as Apu’s urban future grows indistinct and his pastoral past dissolves, the film attends just as closely to the peculiar freedom finality brings.

Coming Soon • Sep 9–Sep 16

The World of Apu

The third film of the Apu Trilogy.

When a destitute Apu attends a wedding in the country, the village asks him to replace the groom at the last minute. Granted an interval of cosmically ordained domestic bliss, Apu is unprepared for a final twist of the knife. Though he abandons his family and friends, his responsibilities to the living soon seek him out.

Coming Soon • Sep 11–Sep 17

Do I Sound Gay?

Part of our recurring Docs Now! series.

After his boyfriend breaks up with him, David Thorpe sees a speech pathologist to change his stereotypically gay voice, its effeminate cadences and airy timbre. Worried that ambivalence toward his own voice might be a sign of internalized homophobia and self-hatred, he interviews linguists, speech therapists, and men both gay and straight, about the cultural place of the gay male voice.

This film will have a special post film discussion with the director on Sunday September 13.

Coming Soon • Sep 20

Those Who Feel the Fire Burning

As part of the new breed of unclassifiable documentaries, this encounter with the lives of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants in Europe is chaotic, vertiginous, and humane, tracing the communality, hope, and danger of immigrant life across Europe.

Coming Soon • Sep 21

Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll

Part of our recurring Docs Now! series.

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten either documents the Khmer Rouge’s atrocities through the changing music scene in Phnom Penh, or frames the rise and fall of Cambodian yé-yé and bubblegum pop against the backdrop of civil war and cultural genocide. Either way, this important revision to our idea of Cambodian trauma assembles rare recordings of these exuberant rock and rollers as a distant, powerful protest of their oppression.

Coming Soon • Sep 28

They Will Have to Kill Us First

Part of our recurring Docs Now! series.

Because Mali identifies itself by its rich musical history, jihadists delivered an existential blow when, in 2012, they occupied the country’s Saharan north and censored all music; exiled musicians still labor to retain their heritage while performing and recording outside of their homeland. This report from the diaspora, which premiered at this year’s SXSW, celebrates Mali’s singular musical traditions while articulating the political instability from which they developed.

Coming Soon • Oct 2

Blood Freak

Part of First Friday Lowbrow Cinema Explosion!

A biker gets turned, by a scientist, into a giant turkey monster who goes on a mad rampage after hippie drug dealers in this sex-and-violence filled mess of a Christian exploitation film. This one really needs to be seen to be believed.

Coming Soon • Oct 4

Othello

Othello is the greatest general of his age. A fearsome warrior, loving husband and revered defender of Venice against its enemies.

But he is also an outsider whose victories have created enemies of his own, men driven by prejudice and jealousy to destroy him. As they plot in the shadows, Othello realizes too late that the greatest danger lies not in the hatred of others, but his own fragile and destructive pride.

Coming Soon • Oct 5

Cléo from 5 to 7

Part of our Agnès Varda Retrospective.

At 5pm, Parisian pop singer Cléo has her fortune read; at 7, her doctor will call with life-altering test results. For the two hours between futures, she wanders the city, cutting ties with her past but unsure how to live under a deadline, as the camera captures her limbo. Varda’s second feature, Cléo from 5 to 7 is a fully-formed inquiry into human finitude and the pleasures to be found in a limited time.

Coming Soon • Oct 5–Oct 26

Agnès Varda Retrospective

On the occasion of Kung-Fu Master’s restoration and re-release, the first theatrical showings of the film since 1988, the Nick will play four films by Agnès Varda: from her early entry in the French New Wave Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), through her widely-held masterpiece, Vagabond (1985), the scandalous and resultingly little-seen Kung-Fu Master (1988), and her documentary masterwork, The Gleaners and I (2000). Equal only to each other in vitality, the diversity of their styles is astonishing. They all connect around women who, for one reason or another, society has marginalized: Cléo the narcissistic pop star, Mona the smelly vagrant, Mary-Jane the middle-aged divorcee, and Varda herself, whose male peers unfairly overshadowed her among the cinephile establishment.

Coming Soon • Oct 12

Vagabond

Part of our Agnès Varda Retrospective.

A snapshot of Mona during her final weeks, homeless and wandering rural France, ripped apart and glued together by posthumous interviews with the family and acquaintances of a woman who refused to be understood. Through elliptical editing and the fantasies Mona’s erstwhile companions project onto the deceased, Varda produces a daringly pessimistic rejection of life’s permanence or stability.

Coming Soon • Oct 19

Kung-Fu Master

Part of our Agnès Varda Retrospective.

Any description of Kung-Fu Master suggests something intensely sordid: a middle-aged divorcée falls in love with her teenaged daughter’s friend (for added scandal, they are played by Jane Birkin, her daughter, and Varda’s son, respectively). However, Varda both exploits and subverts such seediness by the tenderness with which she attends to the complexities of desire, difficulties of aging, and compromises of parenthood.

Coming Soon • Oct 26

The Gleaners & I

Part of our Agnès Varda Retrospective.

Playful and sprightly, yet attuned to the melancholy of transient experience, Varda the septuagenarian documentarian visits and works alongside urban, rural, and bohemian gleaners. Shot with camcorders when digital video was still a heresy, she explores gleaning as a metaphor for aging, a method of cinematic creation, and a pragmatic ethical practice for a world of environmental decay and uncontrollable inequality.

Coming Soon • Oct 27–Oct 28

Ann Arbor Film Festival Program

The 53rd AAFF Traveling Tour provides a condensed curation of the festival’s award-winners and audience favorites, each one an adroit exploration of film (and, often, the physical object of film stock itself) as a medium with unexplored artistic capacities. This program of short films encompasses diverse methods for capturing a world, a moment, or an emotion through cinema: some are animated, others live-action, some are hallucinatory documentaries, others obscure narratives.

Coming Soon • Nov 2

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Stanley Nelson returns to the origin and rise of the black militant defense group to set the record straight about its uncompromising demand of "All Power to the People." Nelson interviews nearly all of the living members, as well as journalists and even FBI informants, in order to contextualize the Party and draw out its acute relevance for contemporary movements like #BlackLivesMatter.