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Acropolis Cinema at the Downtown Independent

What Means Something  /  Le Paradis

Le Paradis
January 14, 2019 - 8:00 pm

This screening takes place at the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles.

Los Angeles premieres!

Optimism (2018)

DCP, color, 15 min. Director: Deborah Stratman.

What Means Something  (U.K., 2016)

In the spirit of his previous explorations of solitude (including Two Years at Sea and A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness), Ben Rivers shows painter Rose Wylie at work—in real time—inside her home. Neither passive nor overly styled, this intimate portrait of an artist truly illuminates her singular creative process. In lone sections of the film that acknowledge the camera’s presence, Wylie speaks about her past work while thumbing through a sketchbook and reads an extensive passage from an essay titled “What Are Masterpieces?” A treat for both fans of the artist and the director.

DCP, color, 67 min. Director: Ben Rivers.

Le Paradis  (France, 2014)

French director Alain Cavalier, now 83, may be best known for his fiction features (Thérèse, Le Combat dans l’île), but many of his recent—and best—movies have been deceptively modest, off-the-cuff personal essay-films. Voted one of the 10 best films of 2014 by Cahiers du Cinéma, Le Paradis, which Cavalier shot on digital video in his home, is a series of domestic sketches carefully arranged into a subtle, serene, and deeply touching meditation on how it feels to approach life’s end. The death and burial of a fledgling peacock, the carving of a watermelon, the buying and eating of a herring: one of Cavalier’s great gifts is his ability to translate broad abstractions into the concrete and the familiar. “God and I have separated,” he murmurs into the camera at one point, “but we run into each other again from time to time.”

DCP, color, in French with English subtitles, 70 min. Director: Alain Cavalier.