***** unmissable**** excellent*** good/average** poor* avoid
piazza Strozzi 2, tel. 055/295051
April 30, May 1–3, 14, 16–17THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL ***
Now that The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is fully occupied with its regular long-term residents, co-managers Muriel Donnelly and Sonny Kapoor dream of expansion, and they’ve found just the place for an Indian wedding. ‘An entirely charming extension of the most unlikely franchise, gently handling big themes and dissolving cynicism with laughter. Maggie Smith is superb’ (Empire). ‘It’s not so common to find an ensemble of this caliber so enthusiastic to work together, and that chemistry comes across’ (Variety). ‘Luckily, there are just enough truths about ageing beneath its corny, farcical surface. Also, it’s hard not to enjoy two hours in the company of this cast’ (Time Out).
May 11-13THE GUNMAN *
‘I did some bad things …’ Former special-ops agent James Terrier, having taken out the Congolese minister of mines on a secret mission years before returns to the Congo. Now working for a nongovernmental organization, he is suddenly targeted by mysterious hit men seeking savage retribution. Dismal action thriller—a rare Sean Penn turkey. ‘For meat-headed incoherence, a badly written, poorly directed and confusingly acted muddle of global nonsense, The Gunman is another ill-conceived entry in the latest dopey trend of middle-aged men blowing up stuff’ (New York Observer). ‘A dumb, loud action movie that aspires to forcibly entertain and provoke thought but fails miserably’ (The Playlist). ‘“Bad” is not sufficient to capture the idiot glory of this motion picture’ (Salon.com).
May 19, free entrySPARTACUS ***
In the last century before the birth of the new faith called Christianity, which was destined to overthrow the pagan tyranny of Rome and bring about a new society, the Roman Republic stood at the very center of the civilized world… In that same century, in the conquered Greek province of Thrace, an illiterate slave woman added to her master’s wealth by giving birth to a son whom she named Spartacus.
A proud, rebellious son who was sold to living death in the mines of Libya before his thirteenth birthday. There, under whip and chain and sun, he lived out his youth and his young manhood dreaming the death of slavery two thousand years before it finally would die. Stanley Kubrick’s film about the Roman slave revolt still has an epic grandeur about it, although there are dated elements that detract from its impact. It is also not authentic Kubrick—he was engaged after the project had already started and never seems to quite get a grip on the subject matter. Promising early film.
BRITISH INSTITUTE of Florence
Lungarno Guicciardini, 9
May 6 – 8pmPULP FICTION ****
The Los Angeles underworld exposed in three intertwining, fragmented crime narratives that brilliantly benchmark the techniques and methods of the postmodern filmmaker, reflecting its director’s compendious pop-culture credentials. ‘Like “Citizen Kane,” Pulp Fiction is constructed in such a nonlinear way that you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next’ (Roger Ebert). ‘[Tarantino’s] ability to take what seem like minor conversational themes and dovetail them onto later exchanges for maximum comic effect is close to genius. And the action can be literally heart-stopping’ (Entertainment Weekly).
May 13 – 8pmMULHOLLAND DR. *****
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality. ‘By surrendering any semblance of rationality to create a post-Freudian, pulp-fiction fever dream of a movie, Mr. Lynch ends up shooting the moon with Mulholland Drive (New York Times). ‘Likely as not, these things mean nothing in a conventional plot sense, but as powerful images, as pictures from a dreamlike world, they are unforgettable. And that, David Lynch would probably say, is exactly the point’ (Los Angeles Times).
May 20, 8pmDEAD MAN ****
Jim Jarmusch’s pastiche western. On the run after murdering a man, accountant William Blake encounters a stranger called Nobody, who prepares him for a spiritual journey. ‘The mordant, deadpan humor that streaks through Dead Man is echt Jarmusch, but it’s in the service of his most mysterious and deeply felt movie, a meditation on death and transfiguration that, by the end, has thrown off the protective veil of irony’ (Newsweek). Its characters are as entertainingly quirky as any he’s given us before, and his familiar themes—strangers in a strange land, lives reformed by chance encounters—are played out with much higher stakes and with greater purpose’ (Los Angeles Times).
Dates may be subject to change. We recommend double-checking schedules with the venues listed.