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Ruby in Paradise / Strange Weather

Two women smiling on the beach.
July 29, 2022 - 7:30 pm

Ruby in Paradise

U.S., 1993

Looking for a better future, Ruby (Ashley Judd) leaves her small rural town in Tennessee for the Florida coast. “I got out without getting beaten or pregnant so I’m doing okay,” she tells a coworker, after arguing her way into an off-season retail job. Ruby’s journal entries, recounted in voiceover, provide a loose throughline to her episodic experiences, warily building new relationships—some supportive, some not—on the way to leaving the past behind and discovering herself on her own terms. A pioneering regional filmmaker, writer-director Victor Nunez tells Ruby’s story through quiet rhythms of drift and reflection, in tune with Ruby’s new hometown, itself a liminal space of seasonal workers and tourists, lives all heading somewhere else.

35mm, color, 114 min. Director: Victor Nunez. Screenwriter: Victor Nunez. With: Ashley Judd, Todd Field, Bentley Mitchum, Allison Dean, Dorothy Lyman.

Strange Weather

U.S., 1993

Shot on the Fisher Price Pixelvision toy camera that used audio cassettes for tape, Strange Weather chronicles the daily lives of four listless crack addicts hanging out in a Miami apartment at the onset of a hurricane. This is a different spin on neorealism: many who viewed it thought it was pure documentary, even though Peggy Ahwesh adapted it from co-director Margie Strosser’s stories of her sister’s down-and-out life. The cast—including noted filmmaker Cheryl Dunye—doesn’t play themselves per se, so one could say it’s a fiction based on truth. But amidst the gray swirl of the toy camera’s video snow, one finds a direct path to the tragic lives it depicts.

DCP, b&w, 50 min. Director: Peggy Ahwesh, Margie Strosser. Screenwriter: Margie Strosser. With: Jenny Key Baker, Cheryl Dunye, Dierdre Lewis.