A Year In Champagne at the Angelika Film Center

Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market With its reserved seating, gourmet concessions and interesting mix of blockbuster and special interest films, the Angelika Film Center & Cafe at the Mosaic District is one of my absolute favourite movie theater in the Washington area. Keyword: Washington area. It’s nowhere near the city and pretty inconvenient to get to if you don’t have a car. So I was thrilled when a smaller, albeit temporary version, of the art-house movie theater popped up behind Union Market. It became pretty handy when I was trying to catch up on my Oscar nominated films, showing Whiplash, Still Alice and a couple of other nominated flicks. Eventually, the pop-up Angelika Film theater at Union Market will transform into a full scale permanent location but until then, its three screens currently offers around 4-6 different indie and art-house films at various times throughout the day. You can reserve your seat in advance, meaning you can hang out in the lounge area or at Union Market until right about the time your film starts. The only downside is that the theater has NO incline, meaning you’re kinda screwed if someone tall sits in front of you…But on the plus side, there’s free drip coffee during matinee shows and you can purchase wine and beer to bring inside the movie.

Speaking of wine and beer… both Angelika theaters in the D.C. area are showing a great documentary on champagne on Wednesday March 4 2015. The film, A Year in Champagne, is part of a wine trilogy led by renowned wine importer Martine Saunier. If you haven’t seen it yet, you can catch the first chapter, A Year in Burgundy,  on Netflix where it’s streaming. The third chapter, a Year in Porto, will be released later. About the film: A Year in Champagne gives viewers a rare glimpse behind the scenes into the real Champagne by spending time with six houses, from a small independent maker like Champagne Saint-Chamant, where each and every bottle is still turned by hand in the cellars to the illustrious houses of Gosset and Bollinger, which have been instrumental in shaping the image of Champagne around the world.

Both Angelika theaters are throwing a champagne tasting party to go along the film screening on March 4, 2015!
At the Angelika Film Center & Cafe in Fairfax, happy hour will start at 6PM in the lounge with wine, beer and snacks available for purchase. Experts from nearby wine shop Swirl & Sip will also be on hand to talk about Champagne before the movie screening at 7pm (movie tickets available here.) In Washington, the screening will also take place on the 4th and start with a tasting at Cordial Fine Wines & Spirits from 4:30-6:30PM (advance movie tickets available here.)

Cheers!

French Offerings at the 25th Washington Jewish Film Festival

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Joyeux anniversaire to the Washington Jewish Film Festival (WJFF)! This year, the WJFF celebrates its 25th year with 11 days of film programming, and cultural events exploring the diversity of the Jewish experience across the globe. Between February 19 and March 1, 2015, D.C. audiences will be treated to some 100 movie screenings and related events across the DMV, including many premieres and an exciting roster of filmmaker and cast appearances. To honour the festival’s past, former festival directors have also selected a special line up of retrospective film screenings that includes the heartbreaking classic Louis Malle film Au Revoir les Enfants (on Feb 21 at the Goethe Institut and Feb 24 at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center.) Here are some of the French or French-language films that will be shown at this year’s festival:

Yidlife Crisis (episode 1 & 2 on February 21, 8:30PM and episode 3 & 4 on March 1 at 4:30PM, both screenings at the Goethe Institut)  ~ this series is actually in yiddish, but I wanted to include it in the list because it’s set in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood and is directed by/stars a McGill University graduate, like myself. Check out the first episode below. It’s about Yom Kippur and is set at la Banquise. Chaimie orders his poutine with sauce on the side to try and make it more kosher friendly…. and it’s hilarious!

 

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Belle et Sebastien (February 28, 12:30PM at DCJCC and March 1 at 11AM at the DCJCC) ~ I actually really want to see this heartwarming feature film adaptation of a sweet TV cartoon I used to watch as a kid. Belle et Sebastien tells the beautiful story of the friendship between a boy and dog, with the German occupation and the French Alps as backdrop. Actually, I don’t remember there being Nazis in the TV series… so I guess they changed a few things here and there… but there’s still a beautiful friendship between a boy and his dog and it’s you have kids, it’s probably one of the most family-friendly offering at the festival.

Qu'est-ce_qu'on_a_fait_au_bon_dieu-_posterQu’est qu’on a fait au bon Dieu/Serial (Bad) Weddings (February 21, 8:45PM at the DCJCC and February 24, 8:30PM at the Avalon) ~ this movie was a commercial hit in France and it looks really funny. I’m not sure it’s entirely PC since it plays off, and then upends, racial stereotypes of all stripes. It’s about parents who just want their youngest daughter to marry a catholic boy after the first three married successively a Jewish man, an Arab man and an Asian man.

images**Just added** A special screening of Felix et Meira (February 25, 8:45Pm at the DCJCC) ~ a Canadian drama also set in Montreal’s Mile End neighbourhood. It’s a forbidden love story that has explores love across cultural divides as a married Hasidic Jewish woman and a penniless, atheist francophone trying to find a meaningful connection despite all of their differences.

The Last Metro (February 24, 12:15PM at DCJCC and February 25, 7PM at the Goethe Institut) and Au Revoir les Enfants (February 21, 6:30PM at the Goethe Institut and February 24, 3PM at the DCJCC) ~ classic French films that are worth seeing over and over and are part of the special line up of retrospective films. You can actually stream Au Revoir on hulu as well.

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Beyond the films, there’s also some events happening in parallel to the film festival, like a special dinner at DGS delicatessen on February 21, following the screening of Deli Man.

Are you looking forward to seeing any films at the 25th Washington Jewish Film Festival? You can look up a full line up of all the movies showing right here.

Angelika Pop-UP at Union Market

Angelika Pop Up at union Market

The Angelika Film Center in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood is a cultural institution for arthouse cinema. Its affiliate at the Mosaic District in Fairfax is FABULOUS! It’s an elegant, state of the art, 8 screens theater where you can nibble on tadoori popcorn and reserve your seat in advance. If it weren’t so far in Fairfax, I’d go there all the time! Luckily, soon enough, there will be an Angelika movie theater near Union Market, right here in downtown, DC. Until then (then being 2015), Union Market is giving us a little preview of what it will be like with an Angelika pop-up.

The pop-up opens this weekend with screening of Queen Margot, a French period drama featuring Daniel Auteuil and Isabelle Adjani about the tension between the Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots fighting to control France in the late 16th Century.  You can watch the trailer here, but it’s basically full of love and murders… and blood. (Screenings 6/13 – 6/19 at 12:30pm, 3:45pm, 7pm as well as a 10:15p Friday and Saturday. Tickets here). It’s also showing Supermensh (more details here) and has a slew of great independent art-house films coming up for the rest of the summer.