Talking Pictures Festival

Block Cinema is pleased to continue its partnership with Evanston’s own annual film festival. Now in its third year, the 2011 Talking Pictures Festival takes place April 14–17 in various locations around Evanston, including the Block Museum. Block Cinema has selected and will co-present three international features for the festival, including the opening night film, Old Cats, which exposes the comic dysfunction of a modern Chilean family. Also included—the acclaimed Russian film Silent Souls, a lyrical meditation on love, loss, and culture; and the brilliant low-key comedy Winter Vacation, which follows four teenage slackers in Northern China.

To purchase tickets in advance and to see the complete festival line-up, please consult the festival website at No Block Cinema passes or vouchers accepted for festival screenings.

Thursday, April 14, 7:30 pm

Old Cats

Thursday, April 14, 2011 7:30 PM
(Pedro Peirano and Sebastián Silva, 2010, Chile/US, 35mm, 99 min.)

In their eagerly awaited follow-up to 2009 Sundance winner The Maid, co-directors Silva and Peirano take a cinematic scalpel to the contemporary nuclear family. Elderly couple Isadora and Enrique live comfortably in their high-rise apartment until their lives are disrupted by a malfunctioning elevator. Further trouble arrives in the form of Isadora’s lesbian daughter, Rosario, who drops in with her girlfriend to push their latest get-rich-quick scheme. Old Cats uses astute observation and sly humor to paint an incisive yet moving portrait of complex family dynamics. Opening night tickets are $12. No discounts, Block Cinema passes or vouchers accepted.

Winter Vacation

Friday, April 15, 2011 7:30 PM
(Li Hongqi, 2010, China, DigiBeta, 91 min.)

Poet-turned-filmmaker Li Hongqi’s low-key comedy follows a group of slacker teens in Northern China. As their school holiday draws to a close, Zhou Zhixin and his young friends gather to enjoy one final afternoon of doing absolutely nothing. Their idleness, however, is far from uneventful, and Li’s able cast illustrates how the awkwardness, absurdity, and hilarity of growing up transcend national and cultural boundaries. The film, which has received favorable comparisons to the work of Jim Jarmusch, won the coveted Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival. Tickets are $10 general, $8 seniors, $5 NU Students. No Block Cinema passes or vouchers accepted.

Silent Souls

Sunday, April 17, 2011 3:30 PM
(Aleksei Fedorchenko, 2010, Russia, 35mm, 75 min)

Set among western Russia’s ethnic Merja community, Silent Souls is a lyrical meditation on loss, love, and culture. Miron, a recently widowed factory manager, enlists the aid of Aist, his favorite employee, for a very personal mission: to give Miron’s late wife a traditional funeral on the shores of a sacred lake. As men and corpse begin their long journey into the rural Merja heartland, personal memory and national mythology collide in striking ways. Director Fedorchenko’s thoughtful, elegiac drama won accolades from critics and audiences at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. Tickets are $10 general, $8 seniors, $5 NU Students. No Block Cinema passes or vouchers accepted.