Iconoclastic composer and musician Frank Zappa was an unforgettable character, aggravating and fascinating, whose music never became “popular,” but who had an enthusiastic worldwide following, including in Lithuania where fans erected a statue of him. This engaging, intimate portrait reveals a 20th-century musical genius: a self-taught composer, musician, bandleader, producer and independent thinker who created blunt, eccentric and satirical compositions, moving freely between jazz and rock, penning electronic and orchestral works, as well as novelty music (“Valley Girl”). Zappa, who testified before Congress against music censorship, was for decades a brilliant and uncompromising voice of dissent; his provocative worldview reverberates to the present day. He combined acerbic, playful humor with political wit, tempered his borderline misanthropy with a high regard for human potential, and had a strong belief in free speech and the ideal of democracy. Told entirely through choice archival footage culled from the performer's 30-year career, the film explores Zappa's unconventional and irreverent handling of the media, his witty self-dramatization and his irrepressible quest for enlightenment.
Rated R, Run Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Set in the 1930s, writer/director Woody Allen’s bittersweet romance follows Bronx-born Bobby Dorfman (Jesse Eisenberg) to Hollywood, where he falls in love, and back to New York, where he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life. Bobby’s colorful Bronx family features his relentlessly bickering parents Rose (Jeannie Berlin) and Marty (Ken Stott); his casually amoral gangster brother Ben (Corey Stoll); his good-hearted teacher sister Evelyn (Sari Lennick); and his egghead brother-in-law Leonard (Stephen Kunken). Seeking more out of life, Bobby flees his father’s jewelry store for Hollywood, where he works for his high-powered agent uncle Phil (Steve Carell), and soon falls for Phil’s charming assistant Vonnie (Kristen Stewart). When he asks her to marry him and move to New York, she is tempted, but things do not go as smoothly as planned. With Café Society—a glittering valentine to the movie stars, socialites, playboys, debutantes, politicians and gangsters who epitomized the excitement and glamour of the age—Allen conjures up a 1930s world that has passed to tell a deeply romantic tale of dreams that never die.
Rated PG13, Run Time: 1 hr 36 mins