Cinema Chat: National Theater Live presents ‘No Man’s Land,’ ‘Beast,’ ‘A Love Song,’ and more

OPENING THIS WEEK

“Beast” — OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 19 AT THE MULTIPLEX

Idris Elba (“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” “The Suicide Squad”) stars in a pulse-pounding new thriller about a father and his two teenage daughters who find themselves hunted by a massive rogue lion intent on proving that the savannah has but one apex predator. Elba plays Dr. Nate Daniels, a recently widowed husband who returns to South Africa, where he first met his wife, on a long-planned trip with their daughters to a game reserve managed by Martin Battles (Sharlto Copley, “Russian Doll” series, “Maleficent” ), an old family friend and wildlife biologist. But what begins as a journey of healing jolts into a fearsome fight for survival when a lion, a survivor of blood-thirsty poachers who now sees all humans as the enemy, begins stalking them.

“A Love Song” — OPENS FRIDAY, AUGUST 19 AT THE MICHIGAN

A 2022 American drama film written, directed, produced, and co-edited by Max Walker-Silverman in his feature directorial debut. It stars Dale Dickey (“Winters Bone,” “Breaking Bad”) and Wes Studi (“Dances with Wolves,” “Avatar”) as two childhood friends who spend a night together by a lake in the mountains. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2022. Faye (Dale Dickey) is a lone traveler biding her time fishing, birding and stargazing at a rural Colorado campground as she awaits the arrival of Lito (Wes Studi), a figure from her past who is navigating his own tentative and nomadic journey across the rugged West. Like the country music that has traditionally channeled the heartbreak and resilience of Americans in search of themselves and others, A Love Song weaves a lyrical and ultimately joyful refrain out of the transformative act of being alone — and reminds us that love can nourish and mystify at any age.

“Inu-oh” — OPENS FRIDAY AUGUST 19 AT THE MICHIGAN WITH ADVANCE SCREENINGS TODAY

A 2021 Japanese animated film directed by Masaaki Yuasa and based upon the novel “Tales of the Heike: INU-OH” by Hideo Furukawa, the film is set in 14th century Japan and centers on the friendship between Inu-Oh, a dancer born with unique physical characteristics, and Tomona, a blind musician. The film premiered at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 9, 2021.

In 14th century Japan, political instability reigned. Three hundred years earlier, a terrible civil war between two powerful clans led to devastation and the annihilation of the Heike clan. In the centuries since, Japan was rocked by aftershocks of conflict, and legends began to grow of the ghosts of the Heike, who would curse anyone who inadvertently dishonored their memory. Despite the ever-looming threat of conflict and the lurking danger of ancient ghosts, artistic culture flourished and unique forms of Japanese art, including noh dance and drama, were born. In this cultural context, while ostracized by society due to their physical differences, Inu-Oh and Tomona nonetheless utilize their artistic abilities to propel themselves to stardom.

SPECIAL SCREENINGS DOWNTOWN

Summer Classics

Sundays at 1:30 PM and Tuesdays at 7:30 PM at the Michigan.

NYICFF Kid Flicks Two — PLAYS SUNDAY, AUGUST 21 AT 11 AM AT THE MICHIGAN

“Viva Kid Flicks” celebrates the best Spanish-language short films from around the globe, with a range of kids’ perspectives that speak volumes in any tongue. NYICFF jury-award winner 3Feet kicks things off in style with Gonzálo, who tries his hilarious best to keep things clean to stay in the game; then orbit around Ailin and her mom, who work through love and challenges in the charming stop motion Ailin on the Moon. And see things grow curiouser and curiouser in a moving take on magical realism in the gorgeously filmed tale The Size of Things. Presented in partnership with New York International Children’s Film Festival.

Catch the best Spanish-language short films from around the world for ages 8+!

NT Live: “No Man’s Land” — PLAYS THURSDAY, AUGUST 25 AT 7:30 PM AT THE MICHIGAN

Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart lead the cast in this glorious revival of Harold Pinter’s comic classic.

One summer evening, two aging writers, Hirst and Spooner, meet in a Hampstead pub and continue their drinking into the night at Hirst’s stately house nearby. As the pair becomes increasingly inebriated, and their stories increasingly unbelievable, the lively conversation soon turns into a revealing power game, further complicated by the return home of two sinister younger men.

Following a hit run on Broadway, the performance was captured from the West End in London in 2016.

CONTINUING DOWNTOWN

“Emily the Criminal”

A 2022 American crime drama film written and directed by John Patton Ford. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2022. Emily (Aubrey Plaza) is saddled with student debt and locked out of the job market due to a minor criminal record . Desperate for income, she takes a shady gig as a “dummy shopper,” buying goods with stolen credit cards supplied by a handsome and charismatic middleman named Youcef (Theo Rossi). Faced with a series of dead-end job interviews, Emily soon finds herself seduced by the quick cash and illicit thrills of black-market capitalism, and increasingly interested in her mentor Youcef. Together, they hatch a plan to bring their business to the next level in Los Angeles.

“Bullet Train”

This is a 2022 American action-comedy film starring Brad Pitt as an assassin who has to deal with enemies while riding a Japanese bullet train. The film is directed by David Leitch based on a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz that adapts the Japanese novel “Maria Beetle” by Kōtarō Isaka. In addition to Pitt, the film also stars Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A. Martínez Ocasio, and Sandra Bullock.

“nop”

A 2022 American science fiction horror film written, directed, and co-produced by Jordan Peele under his Monkeypaw Productions banner. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, and Steven Yeun. The plot follows residents of an isolated town who witness a mysterious and abnormal event.

After random objects falling from the sky with the mysterious ability to affect human and animal behavior, ultimately results in the death of their father. Ranch-owning siblings OJ and Emerald Haywood attempt to capture video evidence of an unidentified flying object with the help of tech salesman Angel Torres and documentarian Antlers Holst.

“Where the Crawdads Sing”

A 2022 American mystery drama film based on the novel of the same name by Delia Owens. It is directed by Olivia Newman from a screenplay written by Lucy Alibar and produced by Reese Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter. The film stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith, Harris Dickinson, Michael Hyatt, Sterling Macer, Jr., and David Strathairn. The film tells the story of Kya, an abandoned girl who raised herself to adulthood in the dangerous marshlands of North Carolina. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, isolating the sharp and resilient Kya from her community. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world; but when one of them is found dead, she is immediately cast by the community as the main suspect. As the case unfolds, the verdict as to what actually happened becomes increasingly unclear, threatening to reveal the many secrets that lay within the marsh.

CONTINUING WITH SELECT AND SPECIAL SCREENINGS (CHECK MICHTHEATER.ORG FOR SHOWTIMES)

“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, A Journey, A Song”

This documentary explores the struggle and artistry of singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen through his internationally renowned hymn “Hallelujah.” its journey from record label reject to chart-topping performance. Created by documentary filmmakers Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine and based on Alan Light’s 2012 book “The Holy or the Broken.”

Besides Cohen himself, various people affiliated with Cohen or associated with the song appear in the film, including Rufus Wainwright, Brandi Carlile, Regina Spektor, Amanda Palmer, Eric Church, and other artists who recorded their own versions. The film draws from numerous unpublished conversations with Cohen collaborators Judy Collins, Dominique Issermann and others.

“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”

A 2021 American mockumentary film directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jenny Slate and Nick Paley. It is based on the 2010 short film of the same name written by Slate and Fleischer-Camp. Slate reprises her voice role as Marcel, an anthropomorphic shell living with his grandmother Connie. Rosa Salazar, Thomas Mann, and Isabella Rossellini also star. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Marcel is an adorable one-inch-tall shell who ekes out a colorful existence with his grandmother Connie and their pet lint, Alan. Once part of a sprawling community of shells, they now live alone as the sole survivors of a mysterious tragedy. But when a documentary filmmaker discovers them amongst the clutter of his Airbnb, the short film he posts online brings Marcel millions of passionate fans, as well as unexpected dangers and a new hope at finding his long-lost family. A beloved character gets his big-screen debut in this hilarious and heartwarming story about finding connection in the smallest corners.

“Everything Everywhere All at Once”

Directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (“Swiss Army Man”), collectively known as Daniels, the film is a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman (Michelle Yeoh) who can’t seem to finish her taxes.

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