FELIZ AÑO TIJUANA
HAPPY NEW YEAR TIJUANA
2017, 73 min, Mexico/USA, Dir: Andrew van Baal

Alejandro Serna (Luis Deveze), a Chicano studies professor in the U.S., finds himself alone in Tijuana on New Year’s Eve after missing his flight to his Mexican hometown of León. During a walk, he has a surprise encounter with Ana (Kristine Veta), an attractive American and one of his former students. She invites Alejandro to spend New Year’s with her Mexican friends, a celebration that unleashes an overwhelming flood of emotions - some of them new and very dangerous. This unique look at how luck and chance can change one’s outlook on life is buoyed by outstanding performances and an engaging, dramatic story with plenty of comedic undertones.


ARABIAN NIGHTS
IL FIORE DELLE MILLE E UNA NOTTE
1974, Park Circus/MGM, 130 min, Italy/France, Dir: Pier Paolo Pasolini

One of Pasolini’s greatest achievements, ARABIAN NIGHTS is a shimmering, golden dream of a film, drunk on its own beauty, where story after story unfolds like leaves in an ancient Persian manuscript. Equaled only by Wojciech Has’ THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT in its exquisite, otherworldly tone and intricate, puzzle-box structure, ARABIAN NIGHTS is simply unforgettable. With Tessa Bouche, Ines Pellegrini, Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti and Franco Merli.


THE BIG BLUE
LE GRAND BLEU
1988, Gaumont, 138 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Sea lover Luc Besson lets his devotion to all things oceanic, particularly the experience of diving, run the full gamut of emotions here, making the water a character in and of itself. His very personal film is part mystical quest, part bittersweet romantic comedy, with Jacques (Jean-Marc Barr), who lost his diver father to the ocean, obsessed with proving himself more dolphin than man. Johanna (Rosanna Arquette) meets and falls in love with him while she is on a trip to Peru. She begins to follow Jacques on his mission, journeying to Taormina, Italy, where he will compete against childhood friend Enzo (Jean Reno) for a deep-sea free-diving championship (diving without oxygen tanks). “The real star of the film, however, is the third corner of the love triangle, the sea itself. Sumptuously captured by Besson's camera, and brought to life by Eric Serra's haunting score, it is sometimes beautiful and calm, other times dark and threatening. … There are so many reasons to love this film, and an opportunity to catch it in all its soaring majesty on the big screen should not be missed.” – Ben Stephens, Edinburgh University Film Society.


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