Spring Screen Sampler

Roxy will screen 25 films - 17 not yet released - over seven days.

Posted: April 12, 2014

Why wait?

If you're the group that oversees the Philadelphia Film Festival, the annual fall movie marathon, and you've Kickstarted and fundraised, restored and retrofitted an old Center City moviehouse, why not throw a festival there whenever you want? Why just October?

No reason. And so, to show off the Roxy Theater near Rittenhouse Square, and bring to town top-tier titles whose release schedules don't jibe with the main fall program, the Philadelphia Film Society offers its first Spring Showcase - 25 films in seven days.

That's 17 brand-new, not-yet-released features straight from their bows at Sundance, South by Southwest, and other premier fests, all showing this weekend, plus a career retrospective for Alfonso Cuarón throughout the week. The Mexican helmer just won an Oscar for directing that little space ditty called Gravity, and his work in his homeland, and in Hollywood, has proven innovative and inspiring.

Running Friday to Thursday, the festival rolls out a diverse sampling of films, foreign and domestic, doc and not, big stars and new discoveries, envelope-pushing and sealed-with-a-kiss. Here's a quick look (in alphabetical order):

Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory - A documentary about music therapy for elderly dementia patients. Friday, 12:30 p.m.

Belle - The 18th-century tale of the illegitimate daughter of a British navy officer and a Caribbean slave. With Gugu Mbatha-Raw as the mixed-race progeny, Dido Elizabeth Belle, and Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Emily Watson, and Matthew Goode. Friday, 5 p.m.

Club Sandwich - A coming-of-age, mother-and-son comedy from Mexican director Fernando Eimbcke. Saturday, 2:40 p.m.

The Double - Jesse Eisenberg stars as dueling doppelgangers in this surreal, seriocomic take on the Dostoevsky story. Friday, 9:15 p.m.

Felony - Joel Edgerton and Tom Wilkinson in a Down Under thriller. Friday, 2:30 p.m.

Frank - Michael Fassbender wears a giant cartoonish papier mache head as the frontman in a rock band in this Irish comedy. Sunday, 6:50 p.m.

God Help the Girl - Belle & Sebastian's Stuart Murdoch's rock musical, starring Emily Browning. Sunday, 2:25 p.m.

Hellion - Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul gets to play dad this time - to two messed-up boys. Juliette Lewis also stars in this American indie out of Sundance. Saturday, 2:15 p.m.

The Keeper of Lost Causes - Scandinavian girl-gone-missing mystery. Saturday, 9:10 p.m.

Moebius - No picnic in the park, Kim Ki-duk's Korean shocker was briefly banned in its home country. Brace yourself. Saturday, 11:30 p.m.

Mood Indigo - A French love story from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's Michel Gondry, with Amelie's Audrey Tautou. Sunday, 4:45 p.m.

Obvious Child - Stand-up comic Jenny Slate stars as a stand-up comic in the aftermath of a one-night stand. Friday, 7:15 p.m.

The One I Love - Mark Duplass and Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss in a couples therapy tale. Saturday, 4:45 p.m.

Supermensch - Mike Myers directs this documentary portrait of famous music biz impresario Shep Gordon. Saturday, 7 p.m.

Wetlands - Cutting-edge (so to speak) German rom-com about a teenage girl and her shaving mishaps. Sunday, 9 p.m.

Whitey: United States v. James J. Bulger - Documentarian Joe Berlinger's profile of the notorious Boston mobster. Sunday, noon.

Witching and Bitching - Satanic Spanish heist comedy. Friday, 11:30 p.m.

Alfonso Cuarón Retrospective:

Solo Con Tu Pareja (1991), the director's feature debut. Monday, 6 p.m.

A Little Princess (1995), Cuarón's adaptation of the children's classic. Monday, 8 p.m.

Great Expectations (1998), with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow in a modern take on Dickens.

Y Tu Mamá También (2001), the menage a trois road-trip pic that put Cuarón on the map. Tuesday, 9 p.m.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), the third installment, the one that set the Hogwarts franchise on its proper path. Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Paris, je t'aime (2006), an omnibus of City of Light shorts from different directors, each visiting a different neighborhood. Cuarón's "Parc Monceau" stars Nick Nolte and Ludivine Sagnier. Wednesday, 9 p.m.

Children of Men (2006), with Clive Owen in the daring, dystopian sci-fi thriller. Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Gravity (2013), the multiple Oscar winner, isn't just a technological marvel - it's a story of survival, of spirit, of Sandra Bullock showing what's she made of. Clear skies with a chance of satellite debris. Thursday, 9 p.m.

Philadelphia Film Society's Spring Showcase,

Friday through Thursday at the PFS Theater

at the Roxy, 2023 Sansom St.

For schedule and ticket info: 267-639-9508,

or filmadelphia.org.






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