Just Booked at The Nightlight: Spirited Away (2001), Opens 5/27

When released, Spirited Away became the most successful film in Japanese history, grossing over $274 million worldwide. It won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards, the Golden Bear at the 2002 Berlin International Film Festival and is among the top ten in the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14.

Spirited Away (2001), Opens May 27th

Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a sullen ten-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighborhood, enters an alternate reality inhabited by spirits and monsters. After her parents are transformed into pigs by the witch Yubaba, Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba’s bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and escape to the human world.

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese manga artist and prominent film director and animator of many popular anime feature films. Through a career that has spanned nearly fifty years, Miyazaki co-founded Studio Ghibli, a film and animation studio. The success of Miyazaki’s films has invited comparisons with American animator Walt Disney, British animator Nick Park and Robert Zemeckis.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: The Meddler (2016), Opens 6/10

Susan Sarandon delivers one of her most richly satisfying performances in this insightful and winning comedy-drama about an incessantly doting mother who, after her husband passes away, follows her daughter (Rose Byrne) to Los Angeles and makes an unexpected connection with a local cop (J.K. Simmons).

The Meddler (2016), Opens June 10th

Striking a winning balance of insight, heart, and laugh-out-loud hilarity, Lorene Scafaria’s second feature stars the magnificent Susan Sarandon in one of her most richly satisfying roles. Foregrounding a character typically relegated to cinema’s sidelines, The Meddler is about that force of nature known as the doting mother.

For Marnie Minervini (Sarandon), motherhood is not a familial duty. It’s a vocation. A compulsive advice-giver, the recently widowed but ceaselessly cheerful Marnie cannot stop texting, calling, and showing up unannounced at the home of her daughter, Lori (Rose Byrne) — always with bagels to offer. Desperate to gain some control over her life following a messy breakup, Lori attempts to draw boundaries, but that only serves to unleash Marnie’s meddling upon the greater Los Angeles area.

She starts to chauffeur the nice young Apple Store clerk to his college classes. She gives thousands of dollars to a not-especially-close friend of Lori’s so she can have her dream wedding. Whether out of habit or in an unconscious avoidance of grief, Marnie can’t stop being a mom to everyone she meets. But a chance encounter with a charismatic chicken-raising rent-a-cop (a suprisingly adorable J.K. Simmons) could spark a chance for Marnie to leave her characteristic supporting role behind and finally become the star of her own life.

Scafaria is a smart storyteller on so many levels: her observations on relationships, ethnic ties, and the difficulties of navigating romance after sixty are uniformly spot-on. Yet this film’s greatest triumph is Marnie — maddening, lovable, and so very fun. This is a role worthy of Sarandon’s tremendous talents.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Lost Colony (2015), Single Screening 6/4

Christopher Holmes, the director of Lost Colony grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Immediately after graduating from the University of Akron, he took a road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina that would eventually inspire the story of which Hammer to Nail said, “there are deep riches in these waters, sharks notwithstanding.”

Lost Colony (2016), Single Screening, June 4th

One-time special screening!

While navigating life with his hyper-protective mother along the enigmatic Outer Banks of North Carolina’s coast, a conflicted teen must reassemble his broken pieces after a near tragic accident. A searchlight cast upon the earliest traces of America and the mystery of settlers vanished. Lost Colony scans a once virgin watershed for signs of life.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016), Opens 5/20

In The Man Who Knew Infinity, Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons elevate the true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics to beyond mere biopic formula.

The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016), Opens May 120th

A self-taught Indian prodigy from Madras arrives in Cambridge to revolutionize the field of mathematics in this biopic starring Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons, which follows such films as A Beautiful Mind and The Theory of Everything in its inspirational look at the struggles—and triumphs—of genius. The life of mathematics revolutionary Srinivasa Ramanujan (Patel, Slumdog Millionaire; The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) is as eye-opening as his work: born into a poor family, he drops out of college to follow his obsession with math, and in 1914, writes of his theories to the Cambridge scholar G.H. Hardy (Irons), who takes a chance and brings the young man to the UK. Overcoming racism, class issues and the overwhelming cultural gap between Colonial India and its colonizer, England, Ramanujan sets about transforming the traditional world of mathematics, not to mention the even more formal world of Cambridge. A moving and star-studded tale of genius and culture, The Man Who Knew Infinity is most of all a tribute to the remarkable relationship between Ramanujan and Hardy, which grew from student/teacher to friends and peers.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Opens 7/15

The director of 2015’s hilarious vampire mockumentary, What We Do in the Shadows, is back to tell the uproarious story of a ten year old boy who’s left his orphanage and gone rogue in the New Zealand bush.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), Opens July 15th

The gorgeous New Zealand landscape is but one of many treasures to behold in Taika Waititi’s irresistible comedy-drama about what truly constitutes a family. A farmer and rugged outdoorsman, Uncle Hec (Sam Neill) is unenthused about becoming foster dad to trouble-prone, chatterbox Ricky (Julian Dennison), but tragic circumstances force him to take greater responsibility for the boy. When a series of mishaps triggers the ill-prepared Ricky to flee into the wilderness, Hec follows suit. That’s just the start of the trouble in what turns into a freewheeling, energetic adventure that blends humor with pathos and teems with film references. Affectionate and funny, this adaptation of a novel by late New Zealand writer Barry Crump gets a further boost from a scene-stealing turn by Rachel House as an overzealous child-services worker. Writer/director Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows) showcases the mastery of his craft with a film different in style and approach from his previous efforts—one that warms hearts even as it tweaks authority.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Phantom Boy (2016), Opens 8/12

An 11-year-old boy becomes an unlikely superhero when he discovers that he has the ability to leave his body and fly through walls, in this marvellously animated adventure from the creators of the Academy Award-nominated A Cat in Paris.

Phantom Boy (2016), Opens August 12th

Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli, the writing-directing team behind the Academy Award-nominated A Cat in Paris, are back with their highly anticipated follow-up. Phantom Boy is a stylish animated film about a young boy who — with the help of some new friends and a mysterious new ability — has to rescue New York City from a sinister crime boss.

Hospitalized with a serious illness, eleven-year-old Leo discovers that he is able to leave his body and fly around the city, passing through walls just like a phantom. One day, Leo has a chance meeting with police officer Alex, confined to a wheelchair after his injury at the hands of an evil mob kingpin — a villain who has just taken control of New York City’s power supply and given the Mayor a twenty-four-hour ultimatum. When Alex learns of Leo’s abilities, they partner to become the swiftest duo in the business. Along with Alex’s love interest, fearless reporter Mary, they will race against time to thwart the criminal’s plan and save the city.

Gagnol and Felicioli spent five painstaking years making the Phantom Boy, and their effort shows in every delightfully detailed frame. Continuing their fascination with the “animated film noir,” the film pays shadowy homage to classic gangster movies and captures the energy of New York City in a beautifully illustrated skyline. But the heart and soul of this thrilling adventure is young Leo, who must battle not only the evil gangster but also his own illness — and when Leo’s unique gift requires him to make some difficult choices, he learns what it really means to be a hero.

Recommended for ages 10 and up.

N.B. Animated comic book violence; guns and gunplay; explosions; brief scene in adult entertainment club; brief scene of dog knocked out.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: High-Rise (2016), Opens 5/13

Ben Wheatley’s clever adaptation of JG Ballard’s ‘unfilmable’ book offers a creepy, future-retro vision of a society riven by wealth.

~~ Mark Kermode, The Guardian

High-Rise (2016), Opens May 13th

Based on J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name, and brought to life in harrowing and stylish detail by visionary director Ben Wheatley, High-Rise centers on Dr. Robert Laing (Tom Hiddleston), a newcomer to a luxury high-rise building where the inhabitants are stratified by social class. Opening on trash bags piled high, with men roasting a dog over a spit fueled by detritus, and dead bodies lurking in the background, Wheatley rewinds three months to a period of relative peace to chart the descent into anarchy and violence. Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, and Elisabeth Moss co-star as residents of the dystopian complex, while Jeremy Irons reigns above it all as its chief architect and penthouse resident. An allegorical fever dream of class division and human nature, Wheatley’s fully realized vision of a brutal and stylized self-contained world is destined for cult status.

~~ Tribeca Film Festival

Just Booked at The Nightlight: The Lobster (2016), Opens 6/3

Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly star in the deliciously bizarre new film from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, ALPS), about a curious hotel where the residents are charged with finding a new mate within 45 days — under penalty of being transformed into animals should they fail.

The Lobster (2016), Opens June 3rd

Winner of the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes, the new film from Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, ALPS) is another journey into one of his singular universes governed by absurd laws that provoke bizarre behaviour by its inhabitants. David (Colin Farrell) has just been left by his wife, which means that — as with all those in this society who are without a partner — he must report to a secluded hotel and search for a new mate amongst the other residents. If the guests fail to find a partner within 45 days, they are promptly transformed into animals and sent out into the wild. (As he likes the sea, David registers to become a lobster in case of failure to hook up.) Though David at first tries to abide by the rules, he soon becomes appalled by the hotel’s rigidly enforced regime and escapes into the woods, where he finds shelter with a band of runaways and is drawn to a fellow outcast (Rachel Weisz). Making his first English-language feature and working with a star-filled international cast — which also includes John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, and his marvellous past collaborators Ariane Labed and Angeliki Papoulia — Lanthimos not only preserves but enhances the unique mood, tone, and imaginative freedom of his previous works.

~~ Demitri Epides, TIFF

Just Booked at The Nightlight: The Measure of a Man (2016), Opens 5/7

The Measure Of A Man’s beating heart is Lindon’s performance, for which he deservedly won Best Actor at Cannes last year (and, earlier this year, the César in the same category).”

~~ Mike D’Angelo, A.V. Club

The Measure of a Man (2016), Opens May 7th

Vincent Lindon gives his finest performance to date as unemployed everyman Thierry, who must submit to a series of quietly humiliating ordeals in his search for work. Futile retraining courses that lead to dead ends, interviews via Skype, an interview-coaching workshop critique of his self-presentation by fellow jobseekers—all are mechanisms that seek to break him down and strip him of identity and self-respect in the name of reengineering of a workforce fit for a neoliberal technocratic system. Nothing if not determinist, Stéphane Brizé’s film dispassionately monitors the progress of its stoic protagonist until at last he lands a job on the front line in the surveillance and control of his fellow man—and finally faces one too many moral dilemmas. A powerful and deeply troubling vision of the realities of our new economic order.

Just Booked at The Nightlight: Green Room (2016), Opens 5/13

Sir Patrick Stewart may have been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, but all that British virtue is set aside for his new movie, “Green Room.” … Fans of genre films should appreciate the fast pace and edge-of-your-seat moments that don’t pull punches.

~~ Edward Douglas, New York Daily News

Green Room (2016), Opens May 13th

A punk band on the road find themselves besieged by neo-Nazis in a backwoods Oregon club, in this nail-biting thriller from the director of the cult hit Blue Ruin.

Life on the road is tough for The Ain’t Rights. Broke, tired, and at each other’s throats after a cancelled gig, the DIY punk band accepts one more sketchy matinee show, at a compound in the backwoods of Oregon, just so they won’t have to keep siphoning gas for the long drive home to Virginia. The booker assures them things will go fine as long as they “don’t talk politics” — which seems easy enough, until they take the stage facing an audience of neo-Nazi skinheads. The Ain’t Rights’ decision to kick off the set with a cover of the Dead Kennedys’ “Nazi Punks F* Off” does not go over well. Amazingly, the rest of their set does.

It’s not until they’re backstage that our plucky punk quartet — bassist Pat (Anton Yelchin), guitarist Sam (Alia Shawkat, also at Midnight Madness in The Final Girls), singer Tiger (Callum Turner), and drummer Reece (Joe Cole) — stumbles upon something truly gruesome. Ensnared in a deadly standoff with club owner/​​Gruppenführer Darcy (Patrick Stewart, relishing the chance to play a baddie), his steely eyed fixer (Macon Blair), and some very nasty white supremacists, it’s clear that the band — joined by an unexpected ally with a Chelsea haircut (Imogen Poots) — will need their wits, and whatever weapons they can scrounge, in order to stay alive.

On the heels of his acclaimed revenge drama Blue Ruin, writer-director Jeremy Saulnier shifts gears for this nail-biter of a siege thriller. Spattered throughout with sharp dialogue, toggling between wry humour and sledgehammer bombast, Green Room elevates a deceptively simple cat-and-mouse premise into a terrifying and beautifully constructed odyssey.