Who doesn’t love a good blockbuster? Big budgets, thrilling action, and entertaining set pieces will continue to drive audiences to the movies, and for good reason. However, cinema art can also provide us with great moments that capture our curiosity and spark our imagination. In fact, some of the most critically acclaimed movies of all-time, and many Academy Award® winners, could be labeled as “cinema art.”
So, what is “cinema art?” Frequently produced and distributed outside the major studio system on a relatively small budget, cinema art movies typically handle serious matters in an artistic and often experimental way, geared towards more of a niche market rather than for a mass audience. In an artform where social realism takes precedence, on-location filming is favored over studio sets and sometimes amateur actors are even used.
Stretching back to the origin of movies, the genre has provided some of the most recognizable and talented filmmakers in cinema who have put their uncompromising visions onto the screen with a unique flare and style that is all their own. Foreign language movies are also included in this genre, recognizable by many of the same features with the addition of subtitles, although rarely referred to as “cinema art” in their respective countries. Instead, they are more commonly known as “auteur” or “national” cinema, the former originally coined in France to distinguish filmmakers of the French New Wave (a movement and form of European cinema art from the 1950s and 1960s).
Below are a few cinema art movies to keep an eye on this week as they debut in select Regal theatres nationwide:
HIGH STRUNG FREE DANCE
Runtime: 1hr 43min
Starring: Jane Seymour, Thomas Doherty, Juliet Doherty, Ace Bhatti
Directed By: Michael Damian
Written By: Janeen Damian, Michael Damian
A dazzling, young choreographer, Zander (Thomas Doherty), casts a stunning contemporary dancer, Barlow (Juliet Doherty), and innovative pianist, Charlie (Harry Jarvis), in New York’s most-anticipated new Broadway show, Free Dance. The casting throws off the show’s delicate creative balance, however, when Charlie falls hard for Barlow, whom Zander embraces as his muse.
Michael and Janeen Damian’s High Strung Free Dance is the sequel to their 2016 movie, High Strung. Jane Seymour, the English actress made famous by her portrayal of Solitaire in the Bond movie Live and Let Die (1973), reprises her role as Oksana, joining newcomers Thomas Doherty, Juliet Doherty, and Ace Bhatti.
PAIN AND GLORY (DOLOR Y GLORIA)
Sony Pictures Classics
Runtime: 1hr 53min
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Asier Etxeandia, Leonardo Sbaraglia
Directed By: Pedro Almodóvar
Written By: Pedro Almodóvar
An aging movie director, Salvador Mallo, reflects on his life through a series of experiences, both actual and remembered: emigrating with his parents to a village in Valencia during his childhood in the 1960s, his first adult love in Madrid during the 1980s, the pain of that love’s breakup, writing as therapy to forget the unforgettable, the early discovery of cinema, and the infinite void that comes with the incapacity to continue making movies.
Pain and Glory marks writer/director Pedro Almodóvar’s 21st feature-length movie as director and completes an unintentionally trilogy thirty-two years in the making. All three movies—Law of Desire (1987), Bad Education (2004), Pain and Glory—center around male movie directors and deal with desire and cinematic fiction.
Antonio Banderas reunites with fellow Spaniard Pedro Almodóvar for their eighth collaboration, a working partnership that began with Almodóvar’s 1982 movie, Labyrinth of Passion. Academy Award ®-winner Penélope Cruz makes her sixth appearance in an Almodóvar movie and second alongside co-star Antonio Banderas. The two Spaniards previously stared together in Almodóvar’s 2013 movie, I’m So Excited!
THE BATTLE OF JANGSARI
Well Go USA Entertainment
Genre: Action, Drama, War
Runtime: 1hr 48min
Starring: Megan Fox, Kim Myung-Min, Minho Choi, George Eads
Directed By: Kyung-taek Kwak
Written By: Brian Chung (English Scenes written by), Cory Gustke (English Scenes written by)
Based on a true story of forgotten heroes, a small, inexperienced, and poorly armed battalion of student soldiers head for the frontlines of Jangsari Beach after being tasked with liberating the strategic location of Incheon during the Korean War.
Korean director Kyung-taek Kwak has worked on action, drama, noir, and melodrama movies during his storied career that includes the first R-rated movie, Friend (2001), to surpass 8.18 million admissions in Korea. Kim Myung-Min, a Korean actor from box office hits like Pandora (2016) and the Detective K series (2011, 2015, 2018), stars as Captain Lee Myung-Joon. A member of the K-pop group SHINee, Choi Min-ho, portrays the leader of the student movement, Choi Sung-Pil. American actress Megan Fox stars as the firm and courageous war correspondent, Marguerite Higgins, who serves as an emotional center for the movie.