May approaches—we’ve been here before. We can anticipate the exams, the essays, the frantic reading and re-reading of a semester’s texts, a violent, sleepless orgy of liberal arts. What are we to make of the calm before the storm? How are we to spend our time? The answer, as always, is to come down to the Goldsmith Family Cinema for a lovably mismatched group of films that, depending on your taste, will remind you of “The Dirty Dozen,” “The Breakfast Club,” or “The Rules of the Game.” Will this week’s films overcome their quirky differences to provide you with a satisfying and enlightening viewing experience? Yes.
MONTY PYTHON’S THE MEANING OF LIFE
1983. UK. Dir. Terry Jones. With: Graham Chapman, John Cleese. 107 minutes.Wednesday, April 25. 8pm. $5.
The groundbreaking surrealist comedy troupe returns to is sketch comedy roots by taking on and taking apart the big questions that hang above us like loose chandeliers. What is the meaning of life? Is there life after death? Is every sperm sacred? The Pythons will definitely answer at least one of these questions through inventive gags, rousing musical numbers, and some of their very greatest set pieces.
HABIBI RHASAK KHARBAN with DIRECTOR SUSAN YOUSSEF
2011. Palestine/USA/UAE. Dir: Susan Youssef. With: Kais Nashif, Maisa Abd Elhadi.
Thursday, April 26. 8pm. FREE.
Based on a revered seventh century epic, this film examines the intersection of young love and contemporary geopolitics. Taking a hard look at youths in the present day West Bank, director Susan Youssef tells the story of a young couple struggling against political oppression and cultural upheaval. Youssef will be on hand afterward to discuss filmmaking, the Middle East, and whatever else you please.
2012. USA. Dir: Joe Carnahan. With: Liam Neeson, Dermot Mulroney. 117 minutes.
Friday, April 27. 8pm. $5.
This harsh tale of survival became the surprise critical hit of the season. After their plane crashes, Liam Neeson and a pack of men fight the cold and a pack of wolves. Up-and-coming director Carnahan builds an existential allegory out of his primal narrative and draws out its deeper implications in the grand B-movie tradition. Also, Liam Neeson, now enjoying a second career as a frowny action hero, will fight some fucking wolves.
1954. Italy. Dir: Federico Fellini. With: Giulietta Masina, Anthony Quinn. 108 minutes.
Saturday, April 28. 8pm. FREE.
Containing both the tradition of neorealism from which he sprung and the heartfelt whimsy toward which he was headed, La Strada is a consummate Fellini film. The Italian auteur tells the story of a brutish strongman, his girlfriend, and the trapeze artist who loves her. Balancing grit with imagination and humor with sadness, Fellini’s tender fable still holds its place among history’s great films.