June Films at the High Spotlight Don Cheadle
Summer films at the High heat up in June with Close Up: Don Cheadle and the final two films from May's series Starring Javier Bardem. Cheadle has been nominated for nearly 60 awards and has won 15, including three Black Reel awards and two Screen Actors Guild awards. Close Up: Don Cheadle features the actor’s intense, highly focused performances in four powerful films that articulate African and African American history. Close Up is presented in coordination with the exhibitions Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956–1968 and After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, both opening on June 7. Close Up: Don Cheadle runs June 7–28, and Starring Javier Bardem continues through June 26.
"Don Cheadle is an extraordinary actor who has chosen complex and varied roles during his career," said Linda Dubler, the High's Curator of Media Arts. "As director Stephen Soderberg observed in Entertainment Weekly, 'Don has this energy, like he could do or say anything at any moment. Movie stars in general make us feel safe, but that’s not where he operates from.'"
Close Up: Don Cheadle
The series opens on June 7 with "Talk to Me," Kasi Lemmons’s funny, moving and affectionate film featuring Don Cheadle in the lead role as DJ "Petey" Greene. In the late 1960s and 1970s, Greene blended biting humor and edgy social commentary to become an iconic radio personality in Washington, D.C. The award-winning cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Cedric the Entertainer, Vondie Curtis Hall and Martin Sheen.
"Devil in a Blue Dress" on June 14 brings to the screen director Carl Franklin's adaptation of Walter Mosely's noir novel. Denzel Washington is Easy Rawlins, a WWII vet trying to make it in south central L.A. in 1948. Don Cheadle stars in a supporting role as Mouse, Rawlins's volatile friend, as they navigate a plot of power and corruption. Washington Post reviewer Desson Howe called Cheadle the "real show-stopper. . . . With a mouth full of gold teeth, a deadpan voice and wildly expressive eyes, he steals every scene he’s in."
Ernest Gaines’s bestselling novel "A Lesson Before Dying" is retold on June 21 in the Emmy-winning adaptation from director Joseph Sargent. Set in post-WWII Louisiana, Don Cheadle stars as a teacher in a small plantation town and Mekhi Phifer as Jefferson, a young field hand who has been wrongly convicted of murder. This HBO movie won numerous Black Reel and Emmy awards in 1999 and 2000. Admission for this film is free.
Closing the series on June 28 is "Hotel Rwanda," from director Terry George. This wrenching political thriller tells the true-life story of Paul Rusesabagina, a luxury-hotel manager who sheltered and saved more than a thousand Tutsi refugees from the Hutu militia. New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden called Cheadle’s performance "magnificent" and "understated." The film won audience awards at festivals around the world and was nominated for three Oscars.
Starring Javier Bardem
This series continues from May with Alejandro Amenábar’s "The Sea Inside" on June 19. This 2005 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film focuses on Ramón Sampedro, who is petitioning for the right to euthanize himself after 28 years of paralysis. Sampedro's relationships with family, a lawyer and a young neighborhood mother stand out in the story, bringing to the table diverse ideas of what it means to be alive. Roger Ebert called Bardem's performance full of "charm and masculine force" in his 2004 review.
Starring Javier Bardem closes on June 26 with "Mondays in the Sun," from director Fernando León de Aranoa. A Spanish shipyard closes down, and five friends find themselves with nothing. Even their self-esteem has left them in a lurch. The feeling of being at a dead end permeates the film, which won 5 out of 8 Goya awards in 2003, including Best Film. Bardem picked up seven international awards for his performance as Santa, the most rebellious and reckless of the group.
Film Series Schedule
All films are screened in the Richard H. Rich Theatre, located in the Memorial Arts Building, adjacent to the High at Peachtree and 15th Streets in midtown Atlanta. All films are screened at 8 p.m. in the Rich Theatre unless otherwise noted.
Close Up: Don Cheadle
"Talk to Me," Saturday, June 7
(U.S., 2007, 118 minutes)
"Devil in a Blue Dress,"
Saturday, June 14
(U.S., 1995, 102 minutes)
"A Lesson Before Dying,"
Saturday, June 21
(U.S., 1999, 105 minutes)
Admission to this film is free.
Saturday, June 28
(U.K./U.S./Italy/South Africa, 2004, 121 minutes)
In English and French with subtitles
Starring Javier Bardem
"The Sea Inside," Thursday, June 19
(Spain/France/Italy, 2004, 125 minutes)
In Spanish, Catalan and Galician with subtitles
"Mondays in the Sun," Thursday, June 26
(Spain/France/Italy, 2002, 113 minutes)
In Spanish with subtitles
Organization and Support
35mm projection facilities in the Rich Auditorium were provided by a gift from George Lefont. “Close Up: Don Cheadle” is presented in coordination with Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956–1968 and After 1968: Contemporary Artists and the Civil Rights Legacy, which open concurrently at the High on June 7.
New Ticketing Information
Beginning June 1, tickets are $7 for the public and $6 for Museum members, students and seniors. Patron-level members enter free. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.High.org, by visiting the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office or by calling 404-733-5000. Tickets also may be purchased at the door on the night of the screening. Phone and internet orders will incur a $1-per-ticket service fee.
Note: Admission to the Saturday, June 21 screening of “A Lesson Before Dying” will be free of charge.
The public may call the High’s film hotline at 404-733-4570 for up-to-the-minute information about visiting directors, receptions, changes or cancellations and for a free subscription to the quarterly film calendar. The Museum’s website is www.High.org.
High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. In October 2006, the High launched an unprecedented three-year partnership with the Musée du Louvre in Paris to bring hundreds of works of art to Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.High.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. A not-for-profit center for performing and visual arts, its campus comprises the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse.
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DIGITAL IMAGES FOR THE FILMS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST