arts & education council


AEC Independent Film Series

Fall 2003 Films Join the Film Series Club!

About the Independent Film Series
Twice a year, the Arts & Education Council offers a series of twelve independent films to the Chattanooga community, films that would otherwise be unavailable on the city's big screen. Shown each fall and spring at the downtown Bijou Theatre, the films are chosen carefully to create a diverse series of thought-provoking and award-winning independent films.

A discount card may be purchased for this fall series for $5 and will entitle cardholders to discounted prices on evening shows. All proceeds from discount cards benefit the Arts & Education Council. Cards will be sold at the Bijou Theatre or by calling 267-1218.

The following films will be shown for one week each starting August 29, 2003. Call the Bijou Theatre at 423-265-5220 for times.

The Bijou 7's Web Site

Click below for more info on the Spring Series films

Spellbound The Housekeeper
Swimming Pool Masked & Anonymous
Russian Ark Northfork
The Secret Lives of Dentists L'Auberge Espanole
Marooned in Iraq September 11
Mondays in the Sun Sweet Sixteen


August 29 - September 4
Director: Jeffrey Blitz, USA
Rated G

This documentary follows eight children of various ages and backgrounds as they compete their ways through regional finals, with their eyes on going to the 1999 Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., and hopefully, winning. Nine million kids try each year, but only 250 make it to the Nationals. This award-winning film proves why the National Spelling Bee is one of the highest rated specials on ESPN -- a nail-biting face-off among hundreds of teens who train as rigorously as any Olympic athlete on their heroic quest for glory.

return to top

Swimming Pool

September 5 - September 11
Director: Francois Ozon (8 Women), FRANCE
In English, Rated R

Sarah Morton (Charlotte Rampling) is a famous British mystery author. Tired of London and seeking inspiration for her new novel, she accepts an offer from her publisher John Bosload (Charles Dance) to stay at his home in the South of France. It is the off-season, and Sarah finds that the beautiful country locale and unhurried pace is just the tonic for her - until late one night, when John’s indolent and insouciant French daughter Julie (Ludivine Sagnier) unexpectedly arrives. Sarah’s prim and steely English reserve is jarred by Julie’s reckless, sexually charged lifestyle. Their interactions set off increasingly unsettling dynamics and begin to unduly influence Sarah’s creative process, as Sarah finds herself drawn into a real-life mystery that Julie embodies.

return to top

Russian Ark

September 12 - September 18
Director: Aleksandr Sokurov, RUSSIAN with English subtitles

This unique panorama of the most famous palace in Russia proves that the Hermitage is a living entity, a fabric that breathes Russian history and culture. Shot in a single 96-minute take on High Definition digtal video, this film weaves through 33 rooms and past 2,000+ actors and extras, following a disembodied voice (our narrator) as he's given a tour by a 19th century French diplomat (Sergei Dontsov) through both the Hermitage and the Russian history of the past 300 year. Shifting back and forth through time, the film shows us historical figures like Catherine the Great, Nicholas I, Nicholas II, Peter the Great and others.

return to top

The Secret Lives of Dentists

September 19 - September 25
Director: Alan Rudolph, USA, Rated R

In Alan Rudolph's marital drama, a suburban dentist (Campbell Scott) who shares his practice with his wife (Hope Davis) suspects her of having an affair. Scott's character is a model of repression -- he doesn't want to know anything about his wife's infidelity that would cause him to act -- and the film plays out as a maddening rush of imaginary fantasies. Steeped in a queasy emotional containment, this film nails the experience of true domestic dread.

return to top

Marooned in Iraq

September 26 - October 2
Director: Bahman Ghobadi, in Farsi with English subtitles
First Kurdish film ever to screen in Baghdad, May 17, 2021

Set during the final days of the war between Iran and Iraq, this is the story of an elderly Iranian Kurd, Mirza (Shahab Ebrahimi) who ventures off with his two sons into the dangerous territory of Kurdish Iraq in search of his ex-wife, Hanareh, fearing she may be in danger there after she ran away with the old man's best friend. Saddam Hussein turns his wrath and his air force loose against the Iraqi Kurds, who are victimized by repeated bombings and extensive use of chemical weapons. Mirza and his sons embark on a journey through refugee camps, encountering robbers, local militia, and mourners of mass graves.

return to top

Mondays in the Sun

October 3 - October 9
Director: Fernando Leon de Aranoa, Spanish with English subtitles, Rated R

Javier Bardem stars in this film about a group of recently unemployed dock workers and the laconic lives they lead in gritty northern Spain. The longtime friends end up spending their days with little to do but drink and talk, and maybe pick up women, as they also search for something new in their lives to help them retain a sense of personal dignity. The director Fernando Leon de Aranoa conveys the texture of slow-motion existence, and the cast around Bardem inhabit their idle fates with an affecting ease. In Spanish.

return to top

The Housekeeper

October 10 - October 16
Director: Claude Berri, French with English subtitles
Rated R

In this romantic comedy based on the novel by Christian Oster, a lonely sound engineer, Jacques (Jean-Pierre Bacri), hires a housekeeper, Laura (Emilie Dequenne), to take care of his Paris apartment after his wife leaves him, even though she's never done a day of housework in her life. As the two spend more time together (as he is there while she's cleaning), they become close, and so Laura turns to him when she needs a place to stay.

return to top

Masked & Anonymous

October 17 - October 23
Director: Larry Charles, USA

Set in a fictional America torn by civil war with unclear battle lines, impresario Uncle Sweetheart is scheming to find a headliner for a benefit concert. The purpose of the concert is unclear and the charity that the profits go to is its promoter's pockets. The stage is set for tumult when Uncle Sweetheart manages to get the iconic cult star Jack Fate (Bob Dylan) released from prison to perform. Directed with the black humor Larry Charles brought to Seinfeld, the film also stars John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Angela Basette, Giovanni Ribisi, Val Kilmer, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris and Bruce Dern.

return to top


October 24 - October 30
Director: Michael Polish, USA
Rated PG-13

The final film in a trilogy of movies named after towns in the western half of the United States by the Polish Brothers, including Twin Falls Idaho and Jackpot. In the next two days the city of Northfork will cease to exist. The year is 1955 and Northfork, Montatna is literally about to be "dammed," flooded to make way for a new hydroelectric project. Most citizens are headed for higher ground, but the exceptional few resistors must face the Evacuation Committee, a team of six trench-coated men charged with removing the last few stragglers before it's too late. Blending surreality and history, this beguiling story of loss and resurrection is spun in the manner of a true American fairytale. Starring Nick Nolte, Anthony Edwards, Daryl Hannah.

return to top

L'Auberge Espanole

October 31 - November 6
Rated R

In French slang, the title means "free-for-all," and that's exactly what Xavier (Romain Duris) finds during while living with a polyglot mix of students during an exchange program in Spain. The 25-year old French graduate student finds all seven of his fellow apartment dwellers are in suspension, studying and dawdling in delicious bohemian squalor before taking the government and corporate jobs that will, as the movie suggests, bring the bourgeois prison walls down around them. The playful use of digital graphics and sound punch up the subject of youthful indeterminacy —a quick glance at the young people of the new, unified Europe as they noodle their way to adulthood.

return to top

September 11

November 7 - November 13
Directors include Sean Penn, Amos Gitai, Samira Makhmalbuf, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, Danis Tanovic, Mira Nair, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Shohei Imamura, Youssef Chahine

A reaction piece to the United States' terrorist attack on September 11 2001, this controversial film calls upon 11 directors from various countries to contribute an 11-minute 9-second film about the event. One short is composed entirely of sounds; another is seen through the eyes of Iranian children. Variously political, violent, disturbing, abstract, opinionated, angered, or forgiving, each film is drastically different from the next.

return to top

Sweet Sixteen

November 13 - November 20
Director: Ken Loach, UK, (English with English subtitles due to thick Scottish/Glasweigan accents)
Rated R

This film-within-a-film follows the production of a historical epic about the holocaust (1915-1923) of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, focusing on how it changes the life of a young man (David Alpay) working as a driver on the set. The estranged members of a contemporary Armenia family are faced both with Turkey's denial of their catastrophic past and with their own complicated present: a mother who only wants peace, a young woman who wants nothing but retribution, and a young man whose journey to uncover his roots is jeopardizing his future. Told in Egoyan's trademark elliptical style, Ararat is at once a mysterious and powerful story about demanding truth, and may be his most provocative film yet.

return to top

Additional AEC Independent Film Series
sponsors include
ddN Group
Marquee Movies





Arts & Education Council | PO Box 4203, Chattanooga, TN 37405
Email | Phone: (423) 267-1218 | Fax: 423-267-1018