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Anywhere But Here / A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

Actors Susan Sarandon and Natalie Portman
September 24, 2022 - 7:30 pm
Q&A with filmmaker Wayne Wang, Archive Director May Hong HaDuong.

Restoration world premiere!

Anywhere But Here

U.S., 1999

“The screenplay is by Alvin Sargent, who is gifted with stories of troubled kids (The Sterile Cuckoo, Ordinary People)... These kids, and a richer high school classmate who is not, in fact, a snob, give the movie a reality; we sense teenagers trying to construct rational lives from the wreckage strewn by their parents.”—Roger Ebert, 1999

In this adaptation of the Mona Simpson novel, single mother Adele August (Susan Sarandon) is bad with money, and even worse when it comes to making decisions. Her straight-laced daughter, Ann (Natalie Portman), is a successful high school student with Ivy League aspirations. When Adele decides to pack up and move the two of them from the Midwest to Beverly Hills, Calif., to pursue her dreams of Hollywood success, Ann grows frustrated with her mother's irresponsible and impulsive ways.

DCP, color, 114 min. Director: Wayne Wang. Screenwriter: Alvin Sargent. Based on the novel by Mona Simpson. With: Susan Sarandon, Natalie Portman, Hart Bochner, Eileen Ryan, Ray Baker. New digital restoration by Disney.

New restoration!

A Thousand Years of Good Prayers

U.S., 2007

“A gentle, pleasantly unrushed piece of moviemaking. There’s a tonic simplicity to how it gets the job done, A Thousand Years studies the subtle day-to-day tensions between Mr. Shi and Yilan before building, in its circumspect way, to a big emotional resolution. A more ambitious film might have forgone this predictable denouement; a less accomplished one would have fumbled its touching sincerity.”—Nathan Lee, New York Times

"Wayne Wang has come full circle, returning to the small, intimate films like Chan Is Missing, Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart and Eat a Bowl of Tea that established the Hong Kong-born Chinese American writer-director, best known for his deft screen adaptation of The Joy Luck Club. Wang's staging of the inevitable climactic scene is inspired. Rich in revealing detail and apt in its use of everyday Spokane settings, Wang remains a master explorer of the landscape of the human heart.”—Kevin Thomas, L.A. Times

DCP, color, in English, Mandarin and Persian with English subtitles, 83 min. Director: Wayne Wang. Screenwriter: Yiyun Li. Based on a novel by Li. With: Henry O, Pasha D. Lychnikoff, Feihong Yu, Vida Ghahremani, Megan Albertus. New digital restoration by Patrick Lindenmaier.