YULI
2018, The Match Factory, 115 min, Spain/Cuba/UK/Germany, Dir: Icíar Bollaín

Ballet interludes punctuate a story of ascent in this biopic of Cuban danseur Carlos Acosta. From humble origins as the youngest of a truck driver’s 11 children to center stage at Britain’s Royal Ballet, filmmaker Icíar Bollaín sketches Acosta’s life with fire and honesty. Not to be overlooked are the film’s treatment of parental expectation and its effect on budding talent. “The genius in the film is in how each section feeds each other, and indeed needs each other (the dance comments on the drama, and vice versa), and produces a wholly original and deeply affecting movie.” - Kevin Maher, Times (U.K.).


GUNDERMANN
2019, Pandora Filmproduktion, 128 min, Germany, Dir: Andreas Dresen

With six wins at the prestigious German Film Awards, including Outstanding Feature, Best Direction and Best Performance by a lead actor, GUNDERMANN is a thoughtful biopic about the celebrated East German folk singer-songwriter. A man of wildly conflicting interests in music, blue-collar work and the politics of the GDR, Gerhard Gundermann (Alexander Scheer) mirrors an equally tumultuous East German regime in the 1970s. With a documentary-like style, director Andreas Dresen examines his main character impartially, giving equal attention to moments of beautiful musical inspiration and reprehensible acts of betrayal.


PAGANINI HORROR
1989, 88 min, Dir: Luigi Cozzi

The devil isn’t fiddling around with this one! Director Luigi Cozzi (CONTAMINATION, HERCULES) opens the gates of hell with this blast of supernatural heavy-metal horror. When an all-girl rock group uses an infamous piece of sheet music written by Paganini for their new album, they unknowingly activate a portal to the underworld and find themselves trapped. Co-written by and starring Daria Nicolodi (DEEP RED) and featuring a guest appearance by Donald Pleasance.


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