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:
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Runtime: 1hr 58min
Starring: Reneé Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon
Directed By: Rupert Goold
Written By: Tom Edge
Showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in London to perform a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town 30 years after she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz (1939). If her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has not, but after working in the industry for 45 of her 47 years, Judy is haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and gripped by a desire to return home to her children. Through it all, her wit and strength still shine through as she battles with management, charms musicians, and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Even Judy’s dreams of romance continue as she embarks on a courtship with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband.
Director Rupert Goold saw something in the script for Judy that set itself apart from typical biopics. “One of the things that really drew me to the script was that it was very specifically about two moments in Judy’s career: the beginning and the end, and I felt there was an opportunity there to avoid the pitfalls of the linear ‘then this happened next’ biopic,” says Goold. Focusing in-depth on specific moments from Judy Garland’s career is a large part of what drew Reneé Zellweger to the leading role. “I thought there was an opportunity to explore something that isn’t often considered when you’re thinking about this larger than life personality – what it was that she delivered in her work and what it cost her,” says Zellweger. “This was a period in her life when she was working because she needed to work, but physically needed to rest. Her voice, the thing that gives her value and self-worth, is also the thing that she’s destroying in order to be able to take care of her children.”
Screenwriter Tom Edge points out the significance of Judy Garland’s time in London: “London was one of the last places that still had fond memories of Judy that were relatively unclouded. For Judy it was both a rare lifeline and an opportunity to stare down her critics and prove to herself and others that she still had what it took.” Judy features some of the legend’s best-known songs, including “Over the Rainbow,” in addition to a behind-the-scenes look at the physical demands of a career in showbiz. “Most people put on a veneer when they’re in front of a camera or an audience,” says Zellweger. “I think with Judy, you got the real person.”
NOTHING TO LOSE 2
Genre: Biography, Drama
Runtime: 1hr 40min
Starring: Petrônio Gontijo, Day Mesquita, Beth Goulart
Directed By: Alexandre Avancini, Sylvie Yarza (voice director)
Written By: Emílio Boechat, Stephen P. Lindsey, Edir Macedo (book), Douglas Tavolaro (book)
Nothing to Lose 2 is the second and final movie based on journalist Douglas Tavolaro’s series of books on the life of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God founder Edir Macedo. While the first movie, Nothing to Lose (2018), focused on Macedo’s spiritual search from childhood to the emergence of the Church, the sequel focuses on the growth of the Church for the world. Betrayal and politics intertwine as controversial cases and attacks test Macedo’s faith while he simultaneously must cope with the death of his mother and collapse of the temple in Osasco. Macedo preserves to lead the proliferation of his Faith and the construction of new temples.
Nothing to Lose director Alexandre Avancini returns to lead the continuation of Edir Macedo’s story of faith in Nothing to Lose 2. Petrônio Gontijo reprise his role as Edir Macedo, leading a returning cast that includes Day Mesquita as Ester Bezerra, Beth Goulart as Dona Geninha, and Dalton Vigh as Juiz Ramos. The sequel features locations around the world with filming taking place in Brazil, Israel, and South Africa.