A program of

First Love

Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Violet Crown Charlottesville
7:30 PM

Takashi Miike, the prolific Japanese director of over 100 films, returns with a hysterically absurd crime thriller.  Set against the Japanese underworld of the Yakuza and blending romance and slapstick with his signature over-the-top action and ultra-violence, Miike’s First Love follows Leo, a boxer who has just been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and Yuri, whose father has sold her to pay off his debts, as they passionately fall in love over the course of one night in Tokyo. When the two go on the run after a chance meeting, they find themselves at the center of a gang war and must rely on each other in order to survive the night in Miike’s wildly inventive and hilarious take on the gangster genre. First Love first screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Introduction by Miyabi Goto (UVA)

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Spirited Away

Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Violet Crown Charlottesville
7:30 PM

Perhaps the most widely acclaimed of animator Hayao Miyazaki’s iconic films, Spirited Away received the Academy Award for Best Animated Film at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003, and remains the highest grossing Japanese film in history. When her parents are transformed into animals, ten-year-old Chihiro must navigate a spirit world to win back their freedom. Put to work in a magical bathhouse for spirits and demons, Chihiro must use all her wits to survive in this strange new place, and to find a way to free her parents and return to the normal world. Hayao Miyazaki’s wondrous fantasy adventure is a dazzling masterpiece from one of the most celebrated filmmakers in the history of animation. Introduction and post-screening book signing by Susan Napier, author of Miyazakiworld: A Life in Art

This screening is part of our 2020 VAFF at Violet Crown series presented in collaboration with the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Photo credit: © 2001 Studio Ghibli – NDDTM

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21st Annual Animation Show of Shows

The Animation Show of Shows returns for its 21st year to present 10 thought-provoking, poignant, and very funny animated shorts from around the world. This year’s works explore the facets of personal relationships, as well as the diverse challenges we all face. Among the program highlights is the puppet animation Daughter, winner of a 2019 Student Academy Award International Animation, is a moving exploration of the relationship between father and daughter. The computer animated The Fox and the Bird is a beautifully observed fable chronicling the friendship between the title figures. Hounds is a story by Amit Cohen and Ido Shapira about a dog who undergoes a change when a pack of wild hounds gathers near his house. The very funny Rubicon, by Gil Alkabetz, explores the classic riddle about how to ferry a wolf, a sheep, and a cabbage across a river without something getting eaten.

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He Dreams of Giants

Tuesday, May 19, 2019
Violet Crown Charlottesville
7:30 PM

From the team behind Lost in La Mancha and The Hamster Factor, He Dreams of Giants is the culmination of a trilogy of documentaries that have followed film director Terry Gilliam over a twenty-five-year period. For over thirty years, Terry Gilliam has dreamed of creating a screen adaptation of Don Quixote. When he first attempted the production in 2000, Gilliam already had the reputation of being a bit of a Quixote himself: a filmmaker whose stories of visionary dreamers raging against gigantic forces mirrored his own artistic battles with the Hollywood machine. The collapse of that infamous and ill-fated production only further cemented Gilliam’s reputation as an idealist chasing an impossible dream. The film picks up Gilliam’s story seventeen years later as he finally mounts the production once again and combines immersive verité́ footage of Gilliam’s production with intimate interviews and archival footage from the director’s entire career, He Dreams of Giants is a meditation on the value of creativity in the face of mortality.

And Then We Danced

Tuesday, June 16, 2019
Violet Crown Charlottesville
7:30 PM

A passionate tale of love and liberation set amidst the conservative confines of modern Georgian society, And Then We Danced sparked violent anti-protests when screened in Georgia due to its themes of homosexuality set against the conservative and traditional culture of Georgian dance. The film follows Merab, a devoted dancer who has been training for years with his partner Mary for a spot in the National Georgian Ensemble. The arrival of another male dancer, Irakli—gifted with perfect form and equipped with a rebellious streak—throws Merab off balance, sparking both an intense rivalry and romantic desire that may cause him to risk his future in dance as well as his relationships with Mary and his family.

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July Screening

Tuesday, July 21, 2019
Violet Crown Charlottesville
7:30 PM

Additional title to be announced.