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(Opening Night Film) NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER
Norman (Richard Gere) is a fixer. He lives to connect people. He always claims to “know a guy.” He ingratiates. Sometimes he irritates.
When Israeli Foreign Minister Eshel visits New York, Norman buys him outrageously expensive shoes and cements a gold-star connection. When Eshel later becomes Israel’s Prime Minister a scandal develops, and Norman, accustomed to flailing on high society’s periphery, suddenly finds himself precariously occupying its center.
Writer-director Joseph Cedar, whose Beaufort and Footnote garnered Oscar nods, has crafts a mysterious character study while brilliantly capturing a cloistered milieu. Norman’s astonishing cast includes Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Steve Buscemi, but it’s Gere, never better, who draws us close and keeps us guessing.
AN EVENING WITH ROSSY DE PALMA
Join actress, musician, fashion icon and Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma for a wild night of laughter, style, art and music—a night as unique as Rossy herself!
Rossy stars in Travelling Lady, Colombian-born artist Jessica Mitrani’s daring exploration into the pioneering spirit of Nellie Bly, the 19th century American journalist known for her record-breaking 72-day trip around the world, a journey that memorialized her as a woman ahead—and yet very much of—her time.
Mitrani will lead an onstage conversation about Rossy’s film career and the Travelling Lady project. A musical surprise and a screening will round out a perfectly eclectic, glamorous evening.
Set within the milieu of Britian’s wartime film industry, this stirring and delightful new film from An Education director Lone Scherfig follows a screenwriter (Gemma Arterton) who experiences both an emotional blitzkrieg and unexpected liberation while shooting on location for the British Ministry of Information’s Film Division.
Based on the novel by Lissa Evans, Their Finest is deeply satisfying and utterly entertaining. It boasts a marvelous cast that includes Bill Nighy, Richard E. Grant and Jeremy Irons, yet its richest, subtlest, most moving performance comes from Arterton, who imbues her inspiring heroine with vulnerability and grace.
THE HISTORY OF LOVE
Based on American author Nicole Krauss’ bestseller, The History of Love is a sprawling saga of undaunted ardor and merciless twists of fate. Spanning decades and continents, the film’s central narrative begins in prewar Poland and follows Leo Gurski and Alma Mereminski, neighbours and sweethearts whose romance is thwarted by the rise of fascism. Before the war Alma is sent to America; after the war Leo tries to find her, oblivious to the surprises that await him.
Aided by a brilliant cast that includes Gemma Arterton and veteran actors Derek Jacobi and Elliott Gould, director Radu Mihăileanu deftly weaves the many threads of Krauss’ novel into a soaring epic that touches on the duties of Jewishness, literature and love.
A CHANGE OF HEART
Frustrated with the cards life has dealt him, Hank (Jim Belushi) is man whose circumstances have driven him to fear diversity, yet his Central Florida town is adhering less and less to the white, straight profile with which he’s comfortable. After suffering a heart attack, Hank’s life is saved by a transplant—but will Hank’s body accept a donation from a Puerto Rican drag queen?
Playing on both the literal and symbolic significance of that most treasured of organs, A Change of Heart conveys the sort of story America needs right now, reminds us that even the most hardened among us can learn to embrace difference, accept love, and move on with life.
NOBODY SPEAK: HULK HOGAN, GAWKER AND TRIALS OF A FREE PRESS
When Hulk Hogan sued Gawker in a Florida state court for releasing a sex tape, it opened a can of worms concerning the limits of the First Amendment. Hogan’s case was funded by Silicon Valley libertarian Peter Thiel, who had his own vendetta against Gawker. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger digs deep into this case and others to reveal a burgeoning battle over free speech in America.
Besides Hogan’s case, Nobody Speak also looks at casino owner Sheldon Adelson’s purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal to influence its coverage. For billionaires who want to shape the media according to their wishes, money is no object. For the rest of us, this film is a bracing wake-up call.
HOT GIRLS WANTED: TURNED ON
Former Miami Herald writer Jill Bauer and former staff photographer Ronna Gradus team up with writer-actor-filmmaker Rashida Jones to create this new Netflix series that spins off from their feature documentary Hot Girls Wanted (2015), which was set in South Florida. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is an anthology series with each episode examining a different aspect of the intersection of sex and technology and how Internet pornography and social media have changed us in the 21st century. This special festival preview features “Women on Top,” directed by Jones, that looks at the idea of feminist pornography. The screening will be followed by an extended conversation with Jones, Bauer and Gradus discussing what they’ve learned over the last 10 years of covering modern day sexuality.
SYMPHONY IN D
This soaring documentary from Dennis Scholl and Miami native Marlon Johnson—whose Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound world premiered at the Festival in 2014—tracks the highly unusual and inspired collaboration between Pulitzer Prize-nominated musician Tod Machover and the people of Detroit.
Machover received over 15,000 individual contributions; bars of music, but also field recordings capturing the everyday sounds of the city. Over 13 months Machover assembles the material and shapes it into a symphony for the Motor City, to be performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Leonard Slatkin and accompanied by Detroit citizens. Symphony in D is the awe-inspiring profile of this unique celebration of a great American metropolis.