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This February, Philadelphia’s longest-running arthouse cinema resumes programming with an exciting roster of films, now at its new home at the University of the Arts (401 S. Broad St.). Lightbox will continue to enchant audiences with a wide array of screenings and events.
This month’s offerings include Redoubt, the latest feature film by contemporary artist Matthew Barney; a just-released restoration of Bela Tarr’s 1994 epic masterpiece Sátántangó; and Punk the Capital, a new documentary on the early years of Washington D.C.’s punk music scene. Looking ahead to March, Lightbox will present the touring film program The Romanians: 30 Years of Revolution, featuring seven extraordinary examples of the Romanian New Wave which formed in the wake of the 1989 Romanian revolution and the fall of Communism.
Unless otherwise noted, individual tickets range from $8 for students to $10 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased by visiting lightboxfilmcenter.org. Lightbox members and UArts students receive free admission. Memberships are available by visiting lightboxfilmcenter.org/become-
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
The new film by artist/director Matthew Barney, creator of the Cremaster Cycle and the film opera River of Fundament, unfolds in the wilderness of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The characters relay a mythological narrative through dance, letting movement replace language as they pursue their prey. Real-life sharpshooter Anette Wachter stars as Diana, who is accompanied on her wordless wolf hunt by two nymphs (one of whom is played by choreographer Eleanor Bauer). Barney’s meditation on the American West unfolds as a dreamlike tale that feels both timeless and deeply grounded in the current moment. (Matthew Barney, USA, 2019, 134 min.)
Saturday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m.
Sátántangó (New 4K restoration)
One of the greatest achievements in recent arthouse film and a seminal work of “slow cinema,” Sátántangó has been justly lauded by critics and audiences as a masterpiece. Based on the book by László Krasznahorkai, the story follows members of a small, defunct agricultural collective living in a post-apocalyptic landscape after the fall of Communism, when a large financial windfall spurs them to venture into the wider world. As a few of the villagers secretly conspire to take off with all of the earnings for themselves, a mysterious character—long thought dead—returns to the village, altering the course of everyone’s lives forever. Shot in stunning black-and-white by Gábor Medvigy and filled with exquisitely composed long takes, Sátántangó unfolds in 12 distinct movements, alternating forward and backward in time and echoing the structure of tango dance. Tarr’s film, aided by a longtime partner and collaborator Ágnes Hranitzky, portrays a rural Hungary beset by boozy dance parties, treachery and near-perpetual rainfall with both transfixing and uncompromising vision. (Béla Tarr, Hungary, 1994, 439 min.) In Hungarian with English subtitles
Friday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.
Punk the Capital: Building a Sound Movement (Philadelphia premiere)
When punk invaded our nation’s capital in the mid-late 1970s, it incited a culture clash—a collision between the music of anarchy and a city known for its conservatism. This recipe for potential disaster resulted in a powerful movement that flamed, ruled and burned out all in the space of seven exciting years. Punk the Capital covers the transformative period from 1976 to 1983 and situates D.C. punk and its exports, like Bad Brains and Minor Threat, within the larger narrative of rock ‘n’ roll. It not only redefined a genre but created a new model for social and political engagement. With a recently unearthed trove of Super-8 footage, the film explores why the sounds and ideas from this highly influential music scene continue to inspire fans around the world. (James Schneider, Paul Bishow and Sam Lavine, USA, 2019, 88 min.)