The Hope College Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland is continuing its tradition of showing contemporary and independent films through its 2013 winter film series.
The series is featuring three films in January and February, and one in April. The series includes “Robot and Frank” (Jan. 7-12), “Searching for Sugar Man” (Jan. 14-19), “Hitchcock” (Jan. 28-Feb. 2) and “Amour” (April 1-6). All films are rated PG-13 and will be shown at 7:30 p.m.
“Robot and Frank,” running Monday-Saturday, Jan. 7-12, is about Frank, a retired cat burglar, with two grown kids who are concerned that he can no longer live alone. They are tempted to place him in a nursing home until Frank’s son chooses a different option: against the old man’s wishes, he buys Frank a walking, talking humanoid robot programmed to improve his physical and mental health. What follows is an often hilarious and heartwarming story about finding friends and family in the most unexpected places. “Robot and Frank” features an award-winning cast including Academy Award-nominee Frank Langella, James Marsden, Liv Tyler and Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon.
“Searching for Sugar Man,” running Monday-Saturday, Jan. 14-19, is an award-winning documentary about two South African men seeking to find out what happened to Rodriguez, an American musician rumored to have committed suicide on stage. His only recording, “Cold Fact,” was critically acclaimed, but a commercial flop in the 1960s and the artist slowly faded out of sight. However, a bootleg recording of the album appeared in South Africa in the early 1970s and developed a large cult following and became a voice for the white resistance movement in the country. The government banned the recording, which only ensured its growing fame. Now, decades later, two of those fans seek to find out what is behind the myth, and result is completely unexpected. “Searching for Sugar Man” won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award for best international documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. The film also won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
“Hitchcock,” running Monday-Saturday, Jan. 28-Feb. 2, is a drama about legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, and his wife, Alma, during the filming of Hitchcock’s masterpiece, “Psycho.” Forced to self-finance the film, Hitchcock’s creative wife tires of the strain and his roving eye when it comes to actresses, creating tension in the marriage. The story behind one of the greatest films of all times is nearly as fascinating as the film itself. Featuring two Academy Award-winners in the main roles, Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, the film is winning critical praise.
“Amour,” running Monday-Saturday, April 1-6, has a simple premise. Georges and Anne, who are in their eighties, are cultivated, retired music teachers whose daughter, who is also a musician, lives abroad with her family. One day, Anne has an attack and the couple’s bond of love is severely tested. The Michael Haneke film teams up two of the leading French actors, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva, along with Isabelle Huppert. This film was given the prestigious Palme d’Or for best film at the Cannes Film Festival. “The New York Times,” “Los Angeles Times,” “Time Magazine” and several other outlets have named it the top picture of the year. The film is in French with English subtitles.
Tickets for all of the films are $6 for regular admission and $5 for senior citizens, Hope College faculty, and children. Updated information may be obtained by visiting hope.edu/arts/knick.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.