Alice Winocour's Augustine

Augustine (Opens Friday!)
Writer/Director: Alice Winocour
Cast: Vincent Lindon, Soko, Chiara Mastroianni

Based on the true relationship between Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot, the renowned 19th century French neurologist and mentor to Sigmund Freud, and his prized teenage patient, Augustine darkly dazzles and intrigues.

Tomas Hachard of Slant Magazine gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, saying: “From the opening scene, Winocour sets a tense, physical tone. Augustine, at this point a kitchen maid for an aristocratic family, begins to feel ill while serving dinner. Her hands start to shake … she collapses into a brutal seizure, taking the entire tablecloth down with her. Using quick close-ups and precise editing, Winocour viscerally captures the anguished moment … [Augustine] is a period drama (the costumes, the dimly lit aristocratic mansions), but its perspective is entirely contemporary, offering a damning criticism of the abusive treatment that occurred in the hospital and, in the relationship between Charcot and his star patient, Augustine, a nuanced portrayal of power relations.”

Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle (Opens Friday!)
Director: Robbie Gemmel, John Kirby
Writer: Daniel Coffin

Humorous and tenacious, Cape Spin! An American Power Struggle shows 10 years of conflict over the first proposed offshore wind farm in the United States.

“If you want to see a classic case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), see Cape Spin: An American Power Struggle… showing people pushed out of their comfort zones, which causes great drama, often resulting in hilarity.” —Eddie Pasa, Reel Film News

The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear (Family Film, Saturday + Sunday)
Director: Jannik Hastrup
Writers: Bent Haller, Michel Fessler
Cast: Marlon Vilstrup, Joachim Boje Helvang, Otto Brandenburg, Paprika Steen

The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear tells the story of a young boy who must choose between being human with Mother Eskimo and being a bear with his adopted Mother Bear.

Not only does The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear portray exceptional “watercolor animation juxtaposing stark whites with rich hues (but also) offers several complicated similarities between the families: not only does Mother Bear’s grief match and Mother Eskimo’s (Carol Jacobanis), but all live in fear of the other… questions nature versus nurture… and speaks to human ignorance of the animal world.” —Nikki Tranter, Pop Matters

(To see the trailer dubbed in English go to The New York Times website.)

The Flame and The Arrow (Burt Lancaster, Monday)
Director: Jacques Tourneur
Writer: Waldo Salt
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Frank Allenby, and Nick Cravat

Lancaster stars as the incredible and suave archer Dardo, who faces off against the evil Hessian Count Ulrich, who has kidnapped Dardo’s wife and son. Often cited as one of Lancaster’s most acrobatic roles.

Richard Brody of The New Yorker says: “Tourneur makes exuberant use of his star’s acrobatic gifts, casting Lancaster’s former circus partner, Nick Cravat, as his sidekick, Piccolo, and incorporating their astounding leaps and catches, balancing acts and high-wire daring, into their revolutionary raids… capturing the spirit of revolt.”

The Leopard (Burt Lancaster, Saturday + Tuesday)
Director: Lucino Visconti
Writers: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (novel), Suso Cecchi D'Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Enrico Medioli, Massimo Franciosa, and Luchino Visconti (screenplay and adaptation)
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, Alain Delon

Winner of Cannes 1963 Palme d’Or, The Leopard takes place during Sicily’s social struggles in 1860 focusing on the Prince of Salina (Lancaster) and his family.

Roger Ebert said: “The Leopard was written by the only man who could have written it, directed by the only man who could have directed it, and stars the only man who could have played its title character. The first of these claims is irrefutable, because Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, a Sicilian aristocrat, wrote the story out of his own heart and based it on his great-grandfather. Whether another director could have done a better job thanLuchino Visconti is doubtful; the director was himself a descendant of the ruling class that the story eulogizes. But that Burt Lancaster was the correct actor to play Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina, was at the time much doubted; that a Hollywood star had been imported to grace this most European—indeed, Italian—indeed, Sicilian—masterpiece was a scandal.” For Ebert, Lancaster’s Prince of Salina reminds us “why we go to the movies.”

Lancaster narrates this Criterion Collection trailer himself: