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Film Now Playing
Opening This Week
TAMARA DREWE—The spirit of Thomas Hardy hovers over this British comedy starring Gemma Arterton as a former ugly duckling who found success in the big city and returns to her rural home to sell her late mother’s house. With Roger Allam, Bill Camp, Dominic Cooper, Luke Evans, and Tamsin Greig. Directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons). Reviewed this issue. Eastern Hills
THE WARRIOR’S WAY—Cowboys and ninjas as a martial arts assassin hides out in an old West town after refusing an assignment to kill a baby. The lead is “Korean superstar” Dong-gun Jang, which brings to mind last year’s awful Ninja Assassin, though at least this one has a sense of film history by casting Shaw Brothers star Ti Lung. With Kate Bosworth, Danny Huston, and Geoffrey Rush. Directed by Sngmoo Lee. Market Arcade, McKinley, Regal Elmwood, Regal Transit, Regal Walden Galleria, Regal Niagara Falls
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (England, 1951)—Generally considered the best film version of the classic Charles Dickens story, with Alistair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Look for Patrick Macnee, “The Avengers’” John Steed, as the young Jacob Marley. Also starring Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns, Hermione Baddeley, Michael Hordern, Miles Malleson, Ernest Thesiger, and Hattie Jacques. Admission is free, but patrons are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Friendly Kitchen food pantry. 7pm Sat. Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church St. Fredonia (716-679-0891 / www.fredopera.org).
DIE WALKÜRE—The opening night of this new production of Wagner’s opera from the Teatro alla Scala in Milan will be shown in HD as the premiere event in a new series of fine arts programs. Starring Simon O’Neill, John Tomlinson, Vitalij Kowaljow, Waltraud Meier, and Nina Stemme. Conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Guy Cassiers. 11am Tues (encore screening 7pm. Dec. 15). Dipson Amherst Theater, 3500 Main St. (834-7655 / www.dipsontheatres.com).
THE EX-MRS. BRADFORD (1936)—A cheerfully successful attempt to duplicate the style of the Thin Man movies, with William Powell and Jean Arthur as a divorced couple who team up to solve a mystery. This was the last film by Stephen Roberts, a promising director who died of a heart attack at the age of 40. Co-starring James Gleason, Eric Blore and Robert Armstrong. 7:30pm Fri. The Old Chestnut Film Society, Philip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood (836-4757)
LOUIS SULLIVAN: THE STRUGGLE FOR AMERICAN ARCHITECTURE—New documentary about the career and tragic life of the American architect whose work includes Buffalo’s Guaranty Building. 7:15pm Tues. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376 / www.screeningroom.net).
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947)—Perennial Christmas favorite starring Edmund Gwenn as a New York department store Santa who claims to be the real deal. With Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart, William Frawley and a nine-year-old Natalie Wood. Directed by George Seaton (Airport). 7:30pm Sun. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376 / www.screeningroom.net).
THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES: THE RISE OF THE POLITICS OF FEAR—Three-part BBC documentary examining the use of fear by neoconservatives to move forward their agenda, which included the invasion of Iraq. Free and open to the public. 7:30pm Fri (part one); 1pm Sat (parts two and three). Pilgrim St. Luke’s Church, 335 Richmond Ave.
SABERFROG—This locally produced feature is a dark comedy about an aging slacker who is told by voices in his head to look up some old friends. Starring John Karyus and Liz Mariani. Writer-director Curt Markham will be in attendance. 7:30pm Weds. The Screening Room, Northtown Plaza in Century Mall, 3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst (837-0376 / www.screeningroom.net).
WATER (India, 2005)—Infamous as the film that sparked riots during production in India, the conclusion of Deepa Mehta’s trilogy (begun with Fire and Earth) is set in India of the 1930s, where a widow relegated to a life of poverty and prostitution falls in love with a man who tries to break the caste system to marry her. Presented as part of the Buffalo Film Seminar. 7pm Tues. Market Arcade Film and Arts Center, 639 Main St. (855-3022).
WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)—It hasn’t aged terribly well, the mawkishness of the plot is mitigated only by the film’s failure to pay much attention to it, and the title song (which first appeared over a decade earlier in Holiday Inn) is framed with the reverence of a visit from the Pope. But the urge to wallow in it this time of year is irresistable. Starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Dean Jagger. Directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca). 5:30pm, 7:30pm Sat, Mon, Weds, Thurs. HD Video Café, 5445 Transit Rd, Williamsville (688-4933 / www.hdvideocafe.com).
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