by Jim Ridley
For months, we've been getting asked when Nashville would get a chance to see Pariah, the acclaimed debut feature by former Middle Tennessee resident Dee Rees that received a lot of year-end notice. Thanks to The Belcourt's March-April schedule, just released yesterday afternoon, we've got an answer: March 9. That's when Pariah opens for a week's run, part of a strong spring lineup that includes multiple Oscar nominees, selections new and old by international masters, and one movie rescued from near-oblivion.
Pariah, a coming-out drama with a knockout performance by Adepero Oduye as a Brooklyn teen embracing her sexual identity, has earned excellent notices for writer-director Rees — a Nashville native who left to pursue a film career, including a stint as an assistant to Spike Lee (a Pariah executive producer). "[What] we're seeing here is the emergence of a promising writer-director, an actor and a cinematographer who are all exciting, and have cared to make a film that seeks helpful truths,” Roger Ebert wrote. No word yet on whether Rees will participate in any way.
As for other standouts, it's easier just to print the entire list, as we've done below. But mark your calendars particularly for The Turin Horse, which, if you believe the announcements, will be the last film of Satantango director Bela Tarr (whose astonishing Werckmeister Harmonies gets a return Nashville screening also); The Kid with a Bike, the latest film by Belgium's invaluable Dardenne brothers; a pair of surprise Oscar nominees in the animated Cuban romance Chico & Rita and Belgian psychological drama Bullhead; and — yes! — the Nashville premiere of Kenneth Lonergan's Margaret, the superb drama rescued by concerted critical effort from its disastrous initial release, with Anna Paquin and Mark Ruffalo.
The full list:
ONCE UPON A TIME IN ANATOLIA
Wed-Sun, Feb 29-Mar 4 - Winner of the 2011 Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, it is the story of a group of men who set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.
Opens Fri, March 2 - Transcending cultural and religious barriers to present a fascinating portrait of contemporary Iran, it’s a compelling drama about more than a dissolution of a marriage.
Opens Fri, March 9 - Living in Brooklyn with her family, a 17-year old girl navigates lives in and out of the closet in this strikingly perceptive debut feature from writer/director and Nashville native Dee Rees.
Fri-Thu, March 16-22 - Starring Anna Paquin as a guilt-ridden witness to a bus accident, Kenneth Lonergan's long-anticipated film is a vibrant, expansive look at modern life and the process of emotional maturity.
JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI
Opens Friday, March 23 - This thoughtful and elegant meditation on work, family, and the art of perfection chronicles 85 year-old Jiro Ono, considered by many to be the world’s greatest sushi chef, who holds court over his 10-seat restaurant in a Tokyo subway station.
THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD
Opens Friday, March 23 - The powerful and richly textured second feature from Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace) focuses on an Albanian teenager whose life is up-ended as a result of his father's involvement in a murder and a centuries-old code of retribution.
CORMAN'S WORLD: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
Wed-Thu, March 28-29 - In this star-packed new documentary, luminaries including Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro and Jonathan Demme offer their reflections on the legacy of B-movie maestro Roger Corman.
THE TURIN HORSE
Fri-Sun, March 30-April 1 — Three Days Only - The final statement from the great Hungarian director Béla Tarr is a haunting fable about the end of days. (Note: See Werckmeister Harmonies on 3/22)
Coming Soon - A domineering cattle farmer with a taste for his animal's steroids initiates a shady deal with a notorious mafioso meat trader in this Oscar-nominated Belgian export.
LAST DAYS HERE
Wed-Thu, April 4-5 - Documentary filmmakers Don Argott and Demian Fenton (The Art of the Steal) follow the triumphs and deep downfalls of frontman Bobby Liebling of the long-running 70s metal band Pentagram.
THE KID WITH A BIKE
Opening Friday, April 6th - Abandoned by his father, a young boy is left in a state-run youth farm. In a random act of kindness, the town hairdresser agrees to foster him on weekends. The latest from Belgian filmmakers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
CHICO & RITA
Opens Friday, April 6 - Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque, Calle 54) and Spain’s legendary illustrator Javier Mariscal celebrate their passion for the music and culture of Cuba with an epic story of love, passion, and heartbreak.
THIS IS NOT A FILM
Mon-Thu, April 9-12 - Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.
Opens Friday, April 13 - A game of generational one-upmanship marks a great rivalry between a father and son, both professors in the Talmud department of Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
March 9 - April 8 - This spring, we celebrate the work of French director Robert Bresson, one of the most perceptive and fiercely independent film artists of all time, with this nine-film series of touring 35mm prints, many of them recently struck and/or imported from Europe.
Thu, March 23 - 8pm - As a warmup to our 3-day run of Bela Tarr's latest film ,The Turin Horse, we offer a screening of his 2000 film in which the curiosities of and tensions within a small Hungarian town are stirred up by the arrival of a sinister traveling circus.
A TRIP TO THE MOON with THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY
Sat-Mon, March 31-April 2 - A landmark event: the restored hand-painted color version of George Méliès’s legendary film, unseen for 109 years, followed by a documentary that charts the film’s voyage from the production in 1902 to rediscovery to the premiere of the new restoration at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Note: See HUGO (Saturday Kid Show on Mar 31)
TIM & ERIC'S BILLION DOLLAR MOVIE
Fri-Sat, March 2-3 at Midnight
THE HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY
Fri-Sat, March 16-17 at Midnight -
ARMY OF DARKNESS
Fri-Sat, March 30-31 at Midnight
Fri-Sat, April 13-14 at Midnight
Saturday Kid Shows
Sat, March 3 at 10am - $5
WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Sat, March 10 at 10am - $5
Sat, March 17 at 10am - $5
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Sat, March 24 at 10am - $5
Sat, March 31 at 10am - $5
**See A TRIP TO THE MOON with THE EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY