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In this light-hearted musical comedy with a message, a North African pop group called Rap Oriental uses music to triumph over the bigotry and violence in their housing project on the outskirts of Paris. The band and their devoted fans are pitted against religiously conservative elders who want to stop the music. The film features Khaled and Cheb Mami, two real-life stars of rai music--a combination of North African sounds and western-style rap. The pair offers a message with a beat as they rock, groove, and ultimately soothe their 'hood with their unique sound. In French with English subtitles.

Mahmoud Zemmouri---France/Belgium/Switzerland---1997---85 mins.

A slapstick fantasy about a scientist who invents a machine that enables a sleeping person's dreams to be viewed through a projector...before coming to life.

"The most frightening art film you will ever see," wrote Michael Atkinson about this banned sci-fi epic by controversial Polish director Andrej Zulawski.

"Slickly produced and chock full of whiz-bang effects" (Variety), this Polish spoof concerns a mob boss who wants to finance a film production for his bimbo girlfriend.

Nathalie Baye (The Return of Martin Guerre, Godard's Detective) and Sergi Lopez (Western) star in this intelligent account of erotic fantasy turning to emotional attachment. What begins as a deliberately anonymous sexual affair becomes more complex and meaningful as the participants realize the growing love between them. " much of Affair's understated power is derived from its mastery of small details, its grasp of how seemingly insignificant gestures and comments can have life-altering ramifications" (Nathan Rabin, The Onion A.V. Club). In French with English subtitles.

Frederic Fonteyne---France---1999---78 mins.

Don't let the clunky title fool you. This set of hard-to-find works from the midcareer of French director Andre Techine was long overdue. It contains Hotel America (Hotel des Ameriques, 1981, 95 mins.), his first of many collaborations with the beautiful Catherine Deneuve. She was nominated for a Cesar Award for her role as a nurse who enters into a thorny romance with Patrick Dewaere. I Don't Kiss (J'embrasse Pas, 1991, 115 mins.) stars Manuel Blanc in the tale of a naive aspiring actor who is reduced to selling his body on the streets of Paris, where he fruitlessly falls for a high-end call girl (Emmanuelle Beart). Reuniting with Deneuve, My Favorite Season (Ma Saison Preferee, 1993, 124 mins.) is Techine's fascinating, dark, and somber story of an estranged brother and sister (Deneuve and Daniel Auteuil) who must come to terms with what they've become professionally and personally when their aging mother falls ill. Lastly, in the 1962-set Wild Reeds (1995, 110 mins.), a group of teenagers confronts emotional, sexual, and political turmoil provoked by their own personal lives and the larger social framework of a provincial town.

Andre Techine---France---1981-1995---454 mins.

Julien Duvivier's poignant story about "Carrot Top," an unloved boy who is mistreated by his mother, ignored by his father, and tormented by his siblings.

Peter Sellers plays a French soldier who's trapped with five other men in an underground German blockhouse during WWII. Although the prison is well stocked with food and supplies, their ordeal proves mentally and physically trying when it stretches to a period of more than six years. Based on a novel by Jean Paul Ciebert (which was inspired by real events). With Charles Aznavour, Nicholas Jones, Peter Vaughan, Jeremy Kemp, and Leon Lissek.

Clive Rees---Great Britain---1973---93 mins.

The sequel to the romantic comedy hit Bridget Jones's Diary picks up where its predecessor left off: with the heroine (Renee Zellweger) still in the arms of Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), her handsome lawyer boyfriend. However, it isn't long before Bridget senses romantic competition from Darcy's gorgeous, doting intern and begins to worry that their relationship can't last. Cue the arrival of the dashing, womanizing Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant), and Bridget has a mess on her hands. "On a performance level, the movie is practically flawless" (Variety).

Beeban Kidron---Great Britain---2004---108 mins.

Shinji Aoyama's hip detective thriller follows private eye Mike Yokohama as he dons Elvis-esque attire and agrees to help a wealthy businessman find his daughter.

Superb acting and an incisive screenplay bring to life the story of an aging and embittered boarding schoolteacher's painful last day of lessons. Once a brilliant scholar, he is now the target of his pupils' ridicule. His cruel wife's affair with a younger colleague only adds to his agony as he awaits a new--albeit undesirable--teaching position.

Anthony Asquith---Great Britain---1951---90 mins.

This highly enjoyable silent swashbuckler went largely forgotten for decades, but now this lavish adventure film can be seen again. Transferred from a restored, 35mm tinted print, it is unlikely a better quality version will ever resurface. Pierre Blanchar stars as a chivalrous nobleman who comes to the aid of a damsel in distress being pursued by a dastardly duke, played by no less than Charles Boyer. The first of three versions of the novel by Theophile Gautier. Features new English titles.

Alberto Cavalcanti---France---1929---92 mins.

After travelling to her mother's home village in Spain in 1938, Carol changes the family in unexpected ways and grows into adulthood through friendships with a local teacher and a young local boy. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Imanol Uribe---Spain---2002---100 mins.

Boguslaw Linda stars in this gripping "Kielbasa Eastern" about former secret police agents who attempt to remain friends and find their identities in the new state.

This Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated production remains one of the most watched and beloved television holiday specials ever broadcast.

Oliver Stone delves into the passion, greed, deception and outsized egos that make up the world of professional football in this gritty, "in-your-face" drama.

Anthony Asquith directed this literate period thriller in the late silent era long before his more recognized stage-to-screen works like Pygmalion. A Cottage on Dartmoor (1929, 87 mins.) is a prime example of the sophisticated narrative and cinematic techniques--expressive camera angles, eerie lighting, rapid editing--Asquith borrowed from earlier German and Soviet masters and wielded to great effect. While this picture helped raise the esteem Britons held for moviemaking in the thirties, the companion BFI documentary Silent Britain (David Thompson, 2006, 88 mins.) connotes the current reevaluation of British silent cinema, a veritable golden age. Written and presented by Matthew Sweet, it covers the early works of George Albert Smith, Cecil Hempworth, Maurice Elvey, Asquith, and Alfred Hitchcock.

Anthony Asquith/David Thompson---Great Britain---1929/2006---175 mins.

An insightful portrait of the compound in Bombay called Pavanpul where young women entertain men who come searching for the escape of eroticism. "By night the caged birds sing in the pleasure palace" (Jan Hoffman).

James Ivory---Great Britain/India---1985---74 mins.

Daniel Percival's tense, post-9/11 thriller is both an entertaining exercise in suspense and an adroit political commentary on the current state of the "War on Terror". When word reaches Scotland Yard that fanatical Islamicist terrorists are planning to launch a nuclear "dirty bomb" attack, the city springs to high alert while undercover detectives and government agents scour London for clues. As the minutes tick down to the impending cataclysm, Percival's film offers a sobering look at the power of mass-fear, and how prepared we really are for an attack of that magnitude.

Daniel Percival---Great Britain / USA---2004---90 mins.

On the eve of her wedding to a wealthy fiance (James D'Arcy), a young Spanish dancer (Natalia Verbeke) finds herself aroused by a single kiss from a Brazilian actor (Gael Garcia Bernal) in this erotic thriller from Great Britain. As the young woman works desperately to cover up her betrayal, she finds herself questioning her emotions, her loyalty, and reality itself. "Satisfies and disturbs in just about equal measure" (Washington Post).

Matthew Parkhill---Great Britain---2003---92 mins.