OntheBigScreen: Superheroes & Jackie Chan

This weekend you can see Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni live on the big screen, as well as the human-drama Alone In Berlin, the action-adventure Max Steel, crime thriller Blood Father and the action-comedy Skip Trace.
Alone In Berlin

Two-time Academy Award-winner Emma Thompson, three-time Golden Globe-nominee and Emmy Award winner Brendan Gleeson, and Golden Globe-nominee Daniel Brühl star in Alone In Berlin, a powerfully moving, true-life drama-thriller set in Second World War Berlin, directed by acclaimed actor turned filmmaker Vincent Perez, based on the international bestseller Every Man Dies Alone / Alone In Berlin by revered German novelist Hans Fallada.

The film takes place in Berlin in 1940. The city is paralysed by fear. Otto and Anna Quangel are a working class couple living in a shabby apartment block trying, like everyone else, to stay out of trouble under Nazi rule. But when their only child is killed fighting at the front, their loss drives them to an extraordinary act of resistance. They start to drop anonymous postcards all over the city attacking Hitler and his regime. If caught, it means certain execution. Soon their campaign comes to the attention of the Gestapo inspector Escherich and a murderous game of cat-and-mouse begins. But the game serves only to strengthen Otto and Anna’s sense of purpose and a renewed love for each other. Slowly their drab lives and marriage are transformed as they unite in their quiet but profound rebellion…

Over 60 years after its initial publication, Hans Fallada’s novel, written directly after the Second World War, became a worldwide bestseller. Based on a true story, the powerful and redemptive novel was described by Primo Levi as “the greatest book ever written about German resistance to the Nazis.”

Mozart’s Don Giovanni from The Met Opera Live in HD

The much-anticipated 2016/17 Live in HD season from The Metropolitan Opera in New York returns to Cinema Nouveau screens this weekend with Mozart’s magnificent Don Giovanni.

Simon Keenlyside makes his Met role debut in the title role as the unrepentant seducer in Tony Award-winner Michael Grandage’s staging of Mozart’s masterpiece, Don Giovanni. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the cast that also includes Hibla Gerzmava as Donna Anna, Malin Byström as Donna Elvira, Serena Malfi as Zerlina, Adam Plachetka as Leporello, Matthew Rose as Masetto, Kwangchul Youn as the Commendatore, and Rolando Villazón in his Live in HD debut as Don Ottavio.

Mozart, aided by his ingenious librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte, approached his operatic retelling of the Don Juan myth from a point of view that is neither tragic nor entirely comic, but rather lighthearted, urbane and iconic.

Over the course of a night, a day and another night, we follow the title character, Don Giovanni, and his earthy sidekick, Leporello, through a series of encounters that begins with a fatal duet, moves back and forth between the humorous and the sentimental, and ends with the protagonist being dragged down to hell by a vengeful, ghostly reincarnation of the Commendatore. Buoyed by Mozart’s nuanced and insightful score, the opera still rings with psychological truth after more than two centuries. This production places the action in an unnamed Spanish city in the mid-18th century.

There’s an exciting intermission feature, hosted by Joyce DiDonato, who interviews Simon Keenlyside, Hibla Gerzmava, Malin Byström, Paul Appleby, Adam Plachetka, Serena Malfi and Matthew Rose.

Max Steel

Filled with high-octane action, Max Steel is a riveting coming-of-age story that will be identifiable for audiences worldwide. This live action feature-length origin story combines identifiable characters, familiar terrestrial settings and innovative use of technology to create a realistic re-interpretation of the traditional superhero film.

Teenager Max McGrath (Ben Winchell) and his mother have recently moved back to Copper Canyon, the town where Max was born and his scientist father died under mysterious circumstances. Adjusting to a new school is not easy for Max, and becomes even more complicated when his body starts to generate strange energy flare-ups that he can’t control. This unpredictable power surge grows too intense for Max to handle and he is forced to distance himself from those around him, including his new friend, Sofia. On the brink of fatal combustion, Max is rescued by Steel, a techno-organic extraterrestrial who has been secretly monitoring his progress. The two discover that when joined together they can control the energy and harness it into superhuman strength – but when apart, neither can survive.

As these unlikely friends learn to accept their connected fates, they begin to uncover secrets surrounding the death of Max’s father and, digging deeper, find themselves hunted by an unforeseen enemy bent on capturing Max and Steel for a sinister agenda of destruction. Uncertain who to trust, the two will have to work together to uncover the truth and find a way to defeat the mysterious force threatening their world.

The highly anticipated live action origin story of Max Steel, based on the popular Mattel franchise property of the same name, was written by Marvel vet Christopher L. Yost and was directed by award-winning director Stewart Hendler.

Blood Father

Mel Gibson plays an ex-con who reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter (Erin Moriarty) to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her. They go on the run from her drug-dealing boyfriend (Diego Luna) and his vicious cartel. This French action thriller was directed by Jean-François Richet, written by Peter Craig based on his novel of the same name