Film Columbia 2014

birdman michael keaton screengrab

Birdman, starring Michael Keaton, is on this year's slate.

Film Columbia -- the annual autumn film festival in Chatham -- returns October 22-26. As in years past, the festival slate includes a bunch of films that are already getting attention because of screenings at other festivals and/or they're eagerly awaited because of stars or directors involved.

A few of this year's selections that caught our eye are after the the jump.

Tickets for the festival go on sale October 4 online, and October 3 in person . Individual screenings are $12 (day) and $16 (evening). An all-festival pass (screenings + events) is $250 / an all-screenings pass is $225.

Many of the screenings sell out, so if you'd like to attend, it's probably better to buy earlier rather than later.

The Imitation Game
October 22, 7 pm, Crandell Theater
All you need to know: Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the genius mathematician and crpytanalyst who helped the Allies crack the Enigma code during WWII -- and then was prosecuted for being gay.

Birdman
October 23, 8:30 pm, Crandell Theater
A dark comedy in which Michael Keaton plays a faded movie star trying to regain the spotlight by mounting a play. It's been getting fantastic reviews.

Soul of a Banquet
October 24, 6 pm, Crandell Theater
Festival blurbage: "Wayne Wang is well known for films like Chan Is Missing and The Joy Luck Club. In this documentary, he delivers a bouquet to Cecilia Chiang. Chiang, now 94, grew up in Chiang Kai-Shek's China, the daughter of an upper class family that loved food. She eventually made her way to San Francisco, where she was befriended by Alice Waters. Pre-Chiang, the Chinese food served in this country was most often a hodgepodge of Chinese and American approaches, prepared by untrained cooks. In her famous San Francisco restaurant, The Mandarin, Chaing introduced Americans to authentic Chinese cuisine, and the rest, as they say, is history-provided by Waters and Ruth Reichl on camera. Wang and Reichl will appear with the film."

The Throwaways
October 24, 7:30 pm, Morris Venue
Festival blurbage: "When Ira McKinley got out of jail in Albany, N.Y., he couldn't find a job. Finally, he picked up a movie camera, and in this urgent account, tells his own story as well as that of his world, whose inner city residents are victims of poverty, police brutality, and runaway drug use. Because McKinley is a participant-observer, he is uniquely able to get up close and personal with friends, neighbors, activists, and dealers in this film that brings Ferguson, Missouri home to New York State."

Foxcatcher
October 24, 8:30 pm, Crandell Theater
Festival blurbage: "A stunning performance by Steve Carell, playing John Du Pont who killed an Olympic wrestler in his employ in 1996, lies at the heart of this remark- able movie based on the crime, and directed by Bennett Miller who has given us two superlative films,Capote and Moneyball. This picture unravels the tangle of excessive wealth, sexual repression, mental illness, and drugs that lies behind the murder. Foxcatcher is a lock for an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Miller won Best Director at Cannes."

Animation for Grownups
October 25, 12:30 pm, Morris Venue
Festival blurbage: "The 10th anniversary of an international array of cutting-edge animation, a FilmColumbia audience favorite. Hosted by animatorGary Leib (American Splendor). Animators will discuss their work after the screening."

Sneak Preview
October 25, 8 pm, Crandell Theater
The annual secret sneak preview screening. "A major film by a world-class director that has played all of this year's prestigious film festivals."

Wild
October 26, 6:45 pm, Crandell Theater
Starring Reese Witherspoon, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas Buyer's Club). Festival blurbage: "Based on Cheryl Strayed's powerful memoir recounting her 1,100 mile trek over the Pacific Crest Trail, Witherspoon plays a woman who, after her mother's death from cancer, loses her marriage as well, and tumbles into the an abyss of sex and heroin. The film boasts of a sensational script by novelist Nick Hornby, laced with cutting humor that plays against the agonies Witherspoon experiences over the course of her journey."

screengrab: Fox Searchlight

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