The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

Finding Yingying

Finding Yingying

December 11th – December 31st

Yingying Zhang, a 26-year-old Chinese student, comes to the U.S. to study. In her detailed and beautiful diaries, the aspiring young scientist and teacher is full of optimism, hoping to also be married and a mother someday. Within weeks of her arrival, Yingying disappears from the campus.

Through exclusive access to Yingying’s family and boyfriend, Finding Yingying closely follows their journey as they search to unravel the mystery of her disappearance and seek justice for their daughter while navigating a strange, foreign country. But most of all, Finding Yingying is the story of who Yingying was: a talented young woman loved by her family and friends. […]

Read More…

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The Twentieth Century

November 20th – December 17th

“Grade: A.  Rankin’s treatment, combining Super-8 and 16-mm film, tinting, animation, puppets, cross-dressing performances, and theatrical sets, is a pyrotechnical tribute to a famously charisma-free bachelor politician.” – Original Sin

5/5. This rapturously surreal romp through fascism, propaganda, and the perils of love delights in its arch embrace of retro-futuristic artifice and vintage melodrama.” – Killer Movie Reviews

A 2019 Toronto International Film Festival premiere, writer-director Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century is an uproariously hilarious, dizzyingly stylish, and wholly original fictionalized telling of the rise of Mackenzie King, the longest-serving Prime Minister in Canadian history.

Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Québécois mystic before facing one, final test of leadership. Culminating in an epic battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment may be the defining characteristic of the twentieth century! […]

Read More…

The Changin’ Times of Ike White

The Changin’ Times of Ike White

December 4 – December 24

Coming from Kino Lorber, The Changin’ Times of Ike White from Dan Vernon explores the musical talent of a man who could’ve been huge been instead remained an enigma. 

Serving a life sentence for murder in the early 1970s, music prodigy Ike White had plenty of time to perfect his musical talent, but no hope of putting it to use in the outside world. Ike’s skills were exceptional enough, though, that his story captured the media’s attention. From this notoriety, he was able to record an album inside the prison with big-time producer Jerry Goldstein (War, Sly and the Family Stone). Superstar Stevie Wonder lobbied successfully for Ike’s early release from prison. With an acclaimed album under his belt and the support of Wonder and others in the industry, Ike was poised for stardom. But, instead, he went off the grid for over 40 years. Daniel Vernon’s mesmerizing new documentary is unpredictable and moving, echoing the strange journey of Ike White.

[…]

Read More…

Smooth Talk

Smooth Talk

December 4th – December 31st

Janus Films presents a brand new restoration of Joyce Chopra’s debut narrative feature, Smooth Talk!

Suspended between carefree youth and the harsh realities of the adult world, a teenage girl experiences an unsettling awakening in this haunting vision of innocence lost. Based on Joyce Carol Oates’ celebrated short story “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” and produced for PBS’ American Playhouse, the narrative debut from director Joyce Chopra features a revelatory breakout performance from Laura Dern as Connie, the fifteen-year-old black sheep of her family whose summertime idyll of beach trips, mall hangouts, and innocent flirtations is shattered by an encounter with a mysterious stranger (a memorably menacing Treat Williams). Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Smooth Talk captures the thrill and terror of adolescent sexual exploration as it transforms the ingredients of a standard coming of age portrait into something altogether more troubling and profound. Restored in 4K by the Criterion Collection.

[…]

Read More…

ENCORE!! — MANUAL CINEMA’S CHRISTMAS CAROL: Streaming LIVE Theater!

MANUAL CINEMA’S CHRISTMAS CAROL: Live Stream Event!

 

Join us for a night of live theater —
beamed into your home from Chicago!

The Frida Cinema is proud to join interdisciplinary performance collective Manual Cinema in presenting their World Premiere online event Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol! Created for audiences of all ages, this live event is a visually and musically inventive adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Holiday classic, specially staged and produced to broadcast directly to your home!

An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe’s famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her studio apartment, she reconstructs his annual Christmas Carol puppet show – over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s classic ghost story! […]

Read More…

Tailgate

Starts May 27th

Hans is a self-confident man, driving across the country with his wife and two daughters by his side. His ego gets the better of him when he gets into an argument with another driver. […]

Read More…

Flowers of Shanghai

Flowers of Shanghai

November 27th – December 24th

Janus Films presents a brand new 4K Restoration of Hou Hsiaou-hsien’s 1998 Flowers of Shanghai!

An intoxicating, time-bending experience bathed in the golden glow of oil lamps and wreathed in an opium haze, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s gorgeous period reverie traces the romantic intrigue, jealousies, and tensions swirling around a late 19th century Shanghai brothel, where the courtesans live confined to a gilded cage, ensconced in opulent splendor yet forced to work to buy back their freedom. Among the regular clients is the taciturn Master Wang (Tony Leung Chiu-wai), whose relationship with his longtime mistress (Michiko Hada) is roiled by a perceived act of betrayal. Composed in a procession of entrancing long takes, Flowers evokes a vanished world of decadence and cruelty, an insular universe where much of the dramatic action remains tantalizingly offscreen—even as its emotional fallout registers with quiet devastation.

Restored in 4K from the 35mm original negative in 2019 by Shochiku in collaboration with Shanghai International Film Festival with funding provided by Jaeger-LeCoultreat L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory.

[…]

Read More…

Minor Premise

Minor Premise

December 4th – December 24th

Attempting to surpass his father’s legacy, a reclusive Indian American neuroscientist becomes entangled in his own experiment, pitting ten fragments of his consciousness against each other. 

Ethan Kochar is a young neuroscientist, whose brilliance is overshadowed by the legacy of his father, Dr. Paul Kochar. Following his father’s death, Ethan recedes into his basement laboratory to complete his R10 machine, an invention designed to go beyond recording memories, as his father’s machine did, and push the limits of brain capture to their zenith – true consciousness control. 

Facing funding pressure from Department Chair, Dr. Malcolm Blume, Ethan utilizes an apparent missing link – an equation in a mysterious notebook, seemingly from his late father – and turns the experiment on himself. The experiment doesn’t go as intended.

[…]

Read More…

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

December 4th – December 31st

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is a re-imagining of the most classic of all childhood fantasies, and is a darkly comic gem soon to be required perennial holiday viewing.

It’s the eve of Christmas in northern Finland, and an ‘archeological’ dig has just unearthed the real Santa Claus. But this particular Santa isn’t the one you want coming to town. When the local children begin mysteriously disappearing, young Pietari and his father Rauno, a reindeer hunter by trade, capture the mythological being and attempt to sell Santa to the misguided leader of the multinational corporation sponsoring the dig. Santa’s elves, however, will stop at nothing to free their fearless leader from captivity. What ensues is a wildly humorous nightmare – a fantastically bizarre polemic on modern day morality.

[…]

Read More…

JINGLE BELL ROCKS!

JINGLE BELL ROCKS!

December 4th – December 31st

In JINGLE BELL ROCKS!, director Mitchell Kezin delves into the minds of some of the world’s most legendary Christmas music fanatics and hits the road to hang with his holiday heroes – including hip hop legend Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons of RUN-D.M.C., The Flaming Lips’ frontman Wayne Coyne, filmmaker John Waters, bebopper Bob Dorough, L.A. DJ and musicologist Dr. Demento, and Calypso legend The Mighty Sparrow.

[…]

Read More…