WhatIsCinema2Winter Film Series 2014 at Railroad Square Cinema

About Cinema Explorations Cinema Explorations is a venture of the Maine Film Center dedicated to fostering the voices and choices of our community of film lovers. Our winter film series (formerly known as MIFF in the Morning) is programmed by a volunteer steering committee drawn from this community. Our goals are to present works of cinema from around the world that can enrich, educate and entertain filmgoers as well as to encourage the expression and sharing of the experience of cinema.

Showtimes and screenings All screenings will be held at Railroad Square Cinema with complimentary bagels provided by Bagel Mainea! Each film will screen on the specified Saturday (see below) with the first showing at 10:00 a.m. and the second showing at 12:15 p.m. (with the exception of The Auction, the second screening of which will be held at 12:30 p.m.).

Tickets and passes Individual tickets are $8 each; Festival passes (admit one to all 6 films) are $36.  Tickets may be purchased at the door or online in advance at


WhatIsCinemaWhat is Cinema? January 11, 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
Destination: Human Experience…Past, Present, and FutureCE Ads
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman’s documentary What Is Cinema? tackles the question of its title through over 100 clips and new interviews with Mike Leigh, Jonas Mekas, Yvonne Rainer, David Lynch, video artist Bill Viola, Robert Altman, Kelly Reichardt, Costa-Gavras, Ken Jacobs, Michael Moore, critic J. Hoberman, and others, and with archival interviews from Robert Bresson, Alfred Hitchcock, Chantal Akerman, Akira Kurosawa, Abbas Kiarostami, and more. The film also includes commissioned sequences from experimental artists Lewis Klahr and Phil Solomon. What Is Cinema? not only asks a poignant question, but chronicles the best of filmmaking today and proposes where cinema will go, and should go, in the future. Unrated. 80 Min. View the trailer.

InBloomIn Bloom
January 25, 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
Destination: Republic of Georgia…Girls, Guns, Love, and Marriage This acclaimed film by Nana Ekvtimshvili and Simon Gross is set in the early ‘90s in Tbilisi, the capital of the newly independent Republic of Georgia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The country is facing escalating violence with war on the Black Sea coast (Abkhazia) and vigilante justice plaguing society. But for 14-year-old inseparable friends Eka and Natia life just continually unfolds around them: in the street, at school, at home, with friends or relatives dealing with men’s dominance, early marriage and disillusioned love. For these two girls in bloom in a hostile world, they need to find what they want in life and figure out how to grasp it. Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter describes the film as “…an impressive coming-of-age feature about female friendship, fatal feuds and family friction in post-Soviet Georgia.” Variety’s Leslie Felperin notes “Georgia’s reputation as the latest cinematic hotspot for emerging talent is enhanced further by In Bloom.” Submitted as the Republic of Georgia’s representative in the 2014 Foreign-language Oscar competition, the film as already accumulated more than two dozen awards and nominations at film festivals. In Georgian with English subtitles. Unrated. 102 Min. View the trailer.

BroadwayIdiotBroadway Idiot
February 8, 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
Destination: From Punk Rock to the Great White Way Doug Hamilton’s electrifying documentary goes behind the scenes to follow Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong as he pensively observes and then begins to participate in the transformation of Green Day’s mega-hit album, “American Idiot,” into a staged Broadway musical. Allowing access to rehearsals and more, “Broadway Idiot” provides a unique window into the art of theater as raw and visceral rock music become characters and story for the stage. Unrated. 80 Min. View the trailer.

IloIloIlo Ilo
February 22, 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
Destination: Singapore…Immigration, Service, and Family Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo, winner of the prestigious Camera d’Or as best first feature at Cannes, is set in Singapore during the 1997 Asian financial crisis and chronicles the day-to-day drama of the Lim family with troublesome grade-schooler Jiale and his overstressed parents, Heck and Leng. Comfortably middleclass and with another baby on the way, they hire a Filipino immigrant, Teresa, to be a live-in maid and nanny. An outsider in both the family and Singapore itself, Teresa initially struggles to manage Jiale’s antics and find her footing in her new community. Eventually the nanny and her charge form a unique bond, but just as Teresa becomes an unspoken part of the family, unforeseen circumstances in an uncertain economy will challenge the new normal yet again. Maggie Lee of Variety describes it as “brimming with love, humor, and heartbreak” and Tim Grierson of Screen Daily calls it “…a small gem about how families persevere in the toughest of times.”  Ilo Ilo is representing Singapore for the 2014 Foreign-language Oscar. In Mandarin, Tagalog, Hokkien, and English with English subtitles throughout. Unrated. 99 Min. View the trailer.

TheAuctionThe Auction
March 8, 10:00 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Destination: Quebec…Farm and Family
A man of few words, Gaby (Gabriel Arcand) manages the family’s Quebec farm on his own, despite his advancing age. He spends his days tending to the animals and the land that surround him, eschewing modern technology and most social interactions. When the eldest of his two daughters, Marie, appears at the family homestead to share the news that she is getting divorced and is in desperate need of money in order to keep the home where she and her children live, Gaby’s quiet life begins to unravel. In an effort to tend to his children much the way he has steadfastly tended to his farm, he makes decisions about the farm and his own life that he never intended for the sake of those closest to him. With echoes of Honoré Balzac’s Père Goriot, director and screenwriter Sébastien Pilote has created a gentle, yet hard-hitting film about confronting decisions about who one is and what is truly important. “An elegantly simple family drama… beautifully shot and impressively performed.”- Mark Adams, Screen Daily. In French with English subtitles. Unrated. 111 Min. View the trailer.

artist-and-the-modelThe Artist and the Model
March 22, 10:00 a.m. & 12:15 p.m.
Destination: France…Wartime…Art and Life
Fernando Trueba’s (Oscar-winner Belle Epoque) film is set in France during 1943. Elderly sculptor Marc Cros (Jean Rochfort) lives in a small town close to the Spanish border disillusioned by the world around him. One day his wife Léa (Claudia Cardinale) brings home a young woman she has seen sleeping in the streets. Her name is Merce (Aida Folch) and she is a refugee on the run from Franco’s army. The couple offer to shelter her in the sculptor’s workshop in exchange for modelling for Cros. As Cros grasps for inspiration, slowly a beautiful rapport emerges between the young woman, whose life is just beginning, and the old man, who senses the end of his is near. Submitted by Spain for the 2013 Foreign-language Oscar, the film is in French with English subtitles. Rated R. 105 Min. View the trailer.

Special thanks to the Cinema Explorations Steering Committee:
Laurie Graves, Clif Graves, Bill Jefferson, Alice Johnson, Joel Johnson, Alan Sanborn, Sam Sanborn, Serena Sanborn Phipps, Julia Sidelinger


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