The Film Society’s Fall 2017 season is set with “The Lost City of Z” (Sep. 28 & 30)—an epic journey
into the jungles of South America—and “A Quiet Passion” (Oct. 20-21) and “Cézanne et Moi” (Nov. 15 & 17)—two transcendent journeys into the souls of three artistic geniuses.

Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett in

Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett in “The Lost City of Z”

LAKE PLACID, NY — Real-life historical figures from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, all of whom are in passionate pursuit of something—be it artistic truth and beauty or a geographic find that would upend the current scientific establishment—is a common link among the three powerful, critically acclaimed films that form the Fall 2017 lineup of the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA).

On Thursday (a new night for the series) and Saturday, September 28 and 30, at 7 p.m., the season opens with “THE LOST CITY OF Z,” the epic true story of British explorer Percy Fawcett’s two-decade search for a lost city in the Amazon. October (Friday-Saturday, 10/20-21, at 7 p.m.) brings “A QUIET PASSION,” in which Cynthia Nixon, who is probably best known for her work in the film and TV versions of “Sex in the City,” delivers a triumphant performance as the great American poet Emily Dickinson. The fall season concludes with “CÉZANNE ET MOI,” a compelling foreign-language drama (in French, with English subtitles) that traces the lifelong friendship between the two renowned nineteenth-century French artists—painter Paul Cézanne and writer Emile Zola. The foreign-language film (in French, with English subtitles) will be screened on another new night for the series, Wednesday, November 15, as well as Friday, November 17, both at the special time of 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to each screening are $10 per person, available at the door as well as in advance from the LPCA box office—518-523-2512, lakeplacidarts.org—located at 17 Algonquin Drive, just off NYS Route 86 at the intersection near the Quality Inn, the Dack Shack and Desperados Mexi-Quinn Restaurant in the internationally fabled resort village of Lake Placid. To learn more about the AFS, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 523-3456 or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org.

Robert Pattinson as aide-de-camp Henry Costin

Robert Pattinson as aide-de-camp Henry Costin

A Tribute to the Exploratory Spirit

Based on author David Grann’s nonfiction bestseller of the same name, “THE LOST CITY OF Z” tells the astounding tale of Percy Fawcett (played by Charlie Hunnam), who journeys into the Amazon at the dawn of the 20th century and discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by a scientific establishment that regards indigenous populations as “savages,” the determined Fawcett—supported by his devoted wife (Sienna Miller), son (Tom Holland) and aide-de-camp (Robert Pattinson)—returns time and again to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case, an ongoing saga that comes to a head in 1925. Also featured in the cast is Angus Macfadyen (who portrayed Robert the Bruce in “Braveheart”) as James Murray, a fellow explorer who accompanies Fawcett on one of his later trips.

An epically scaled tale of courage and passion, told in classic filmmaking style by writer/director James Gray—whose previous films include “We Own the Night” (2007) and “The Immigrant” (2013) — “THE LOST CITY OF Z” is a stirring tribute to the exploratory spirit and to a conflicted adventurer driven to the verge of obsession.

Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller

In her review in The New York Times, Manohla Dargis described the film as “a lush, melancholic story of discovery and mystery, with a mesmerizing Charlie Hunnam.” David Sims of The Atlantic magazine called “THE LOST CITY OF Z” “a mysterious, enthralling masterpiece and “the best work” of James Gray’s career. The film, Sims writes, “is a miraculous movie, at once moving, intimidating, and gorgeous to behold. It’s a tale of colonial exploration that’s aware of the sins of the past, and a portrait of a driven, obsessive, flawed male protagonist that avoids the clichés of the genre. It feels like a work of classic Hollywood cinema, but without the arch, mannered quality that can come with a contemporary director trying to harken back to the past. Gray’s film is beguiling and poetic, capable of gluing you to the screen for every second of its languorous… running time and lingering in the brain for weeks after.”

“THE LOST CITY OF Z” has a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes and is rated PG-13.

Father & son: Charlie Hunnam (left) and Tom Holland

Father & son: Charlie Hunnam (left) and Tom Holland

 

Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson

Cynthia Nixon as Emily Dickinson

A Luminous Universe

In “A QUIET PASSION,” Cynthia Nixon personifies the wit, intellectual independence and pathos of Dickinson, whose genius only came to be recognized after her death. Celebrated British director Terence Davies (“House of Mirth,” “The Deep Blue Sea”) exquisitely evokes the poet’s deep attachment to her close-knit family along with the manners, mores and spiritual convictions of her time that she struggled with and transcended in her poetry.

The film reunites Davies, who also wrote the screenplay, with his “Deep Blue Sea” cinematographer Florian Hoffmeister to create a luminous rendering of Dickinson’s universe. The cast features Jennifer Ehle (of “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Pride and Prejudice”), Duncan Duff and Keith Carradine.

Critical raves for “A QUIET PASSION”:

  • New York Times Critics’ Pick: “Visually gorgeous.” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
  • Critics’ Pick: “Lovely!” — Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
  • “A fiercely intelligent, handsome and affecting rendering of Dickinson’s extraordinary, ordinary life.” — Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press
  • “An absolute drop-dead masterwork.” — Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  • “Cynthia Nixon is marvelous.” — Keith Ulrich, Slant
  • “A richly idiosyncratic portrait of Emily Dickinson…played with steely wit and piercing vulnerability by Cynthia Nixon.” — Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times
  • “One of the most unique and mesmerizing films of the year.” — Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair
  • “Enrapturing! The work of a master craftsman.” — Ty Burr, The Boston Globe

A QUIET PASSION” has a running time of 2 hours and 6 minutes and is rated PG-13.

 

9_tAn Electrifying Portrait

“CÉZANNE ET MOI” charts the parallel paths of the lives, careers and passionate friendship of the post-impressionist painter Cézanne and the novelist Zola. The two boys grew up in Aix-en-Provence. Emile was fatherless and poor. Paul came from a wealthy family. As young men, dreaming of glory and beautiful women, they left the south to conquer the art scene in Paris. Soon Emile had it all — success, money and the perfect wife— and he embraced the very bourgeoisie he mocked in his books. Meanwhile, Cézanne rejected the Parisian scene to focus only on his work, ignored by his peers and the establishment.

The film was written and directed by Danièle Thompson (“Avenue Montaigne”) and stars Guillaume Gallienne of the Comédie-Française as Cézanne and Guillaume Canet as Zola, with Alice Pol as Alexandrine Zola, Emile’s wife; Déborah François as Hortense Cézanne, Paul’s wife; and Sabine Azéma as Anne-Elisabeth, Paul’s mother.

Guillaume Gallienne as Paul Cézanne

Guillaume Gallienne as Paul Cézanne

Stephen Holden of The New York Times wrote, “The film, an intimate, searching portrait of the turbulent friendship between the two geniuses…completely avoids the tone of pious reverence typically adopted in stories about famous artists and writers. Instead it focuses on the insecurity, competitiveness and complicated love lives of these two ambitious men of opposite temperament.”

He goes on to state that “Mr. Gallienne, who dominates the film, gives an electrifying portrait of Cezanne as a scruffy, driven wild man….Charismatic but scary, flashing a furious, wide-eyed glare that could turn people to stone….”

“CÉZANNE ET MOI” has a running time of 1 hour and 53 minutes and is rated R (for language, sexual references and nudity).