Started by renowned film critic Harlan Jacobson, the Talk Cinema series screens award-winning indie and foreign films before their theatrical release.
Expert guest speakers -- including Jacobson, who moderated this past January's screening of Declaration of War, and Arizona Republic critic Bill Goodykoontz, who moderated the November screening of Melancholia -- introduce each film and lead a discussion with audience members after the credits.
That means guests are treated not just to a sneak-preview of one of the year's great films, but also to a real-life Rotten Tomatoes forum mixed with the opinions of critics, scholars, and everyday film fans.
Past years' screenings have included suchcritical darlings
asAn Education, Casino Jack
, and the documentaryPage One: A Year in the Life of The New York Times
The films are kept hush-hush until the screening, though for those of you who can't wait, the website posts a link to a preview of the upcoming film (behind a big warning) a couple weeks before the date.
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Co-writer and director Gianni Di Gregorio stars in The Salt of Life as Gianni, a 60-year-old retiree with saggy under-eyes coming to terms with his revised status among women - and reviving the dream of living up to classic Italian masculinity (the swagger, the dames!). Stumbling through his aging journey with self-deprecating humor, Gianni is the sort of underdog you can't help but root for. Chrix Hazletine moderates this screening Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m.
The remaining screenings in the 2011-12 Talk Cinema series will take place on March 20, April 17, and May 8. Tickets are $19 each, $10 for students with a valid ID. Click here to learn about discount ticket packages.