The Frida Cinema

Orange County's Year-Round Film Festival

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Coded Bias

Coded Bias

November 18th – December 11th

Coded Bias is a documentary that explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.

Modern society sits at the intersection of two crucial questions: What does it mean when artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly governs our liberties? And what are the consequences for the people AI is based against? When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify darker-skinned faces and the faces of women, she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms. As it turns out, artificial intelligence is not neutral, and women are leading the charge to ensure our civil rights are protected. […]

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The Pit

The Pit

November 20th – December 17th

It Came from the ’80s! – Rawhead Rex, Link, The Pit, and Parasite. Purchase a Series Pass to gain access to all 4 films for $20, or individually for $8 a film!

Twelve-year old Jamie is an outcast in his small town—he is bullied, he shows signs of being a sexual deviant, and he has no friends aside from his demonic teddy bear, Teddy.

Influenced by commands he hears from Teddy, Jamie lures his unsuspecting tormentors one by one to a forest pit that he has discovered on the outskirts of town, so that they can be devoured by the man-eating troglodytes that dwell at the bottom of THE PIT! […]

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Rawhead Rex

Rawhead Rex

November 20th – December 17th

It Came from the ’80s! – Rawhead Rex, Link, The Pit, and Parasite. Purchase a Series Pass to gain access to all 4 films for $20, or individually for $8 a film!

Ireland will never be the same after Rawhead Rex, a particularly nasty demon, is released from his underground prison by an unwitting farmer. The film follows Rex’s cross country rampage, while a man struggles to stop it. […]

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Link

Link

November 20th – December 17th

It Came from the ’80s! – Rawhead Rex, Link, The Pit, and Parasite. Purchase a Series Pass to gain access to all 4 films for $20, or individually for $8 a film!

BRAND NEW 4K RESTORATION! An Experiment in Terror! Elisabeth Shue (The Saint, Leaving Las Vegas) and Terence Stamp (The Limey, The Real McCoy) co-star in this suspenseful horror film directed by Richard Franklin (Road Games, F/X2) and featuring a chilling score by legendary composer Jerry Goldsmith (The Omen, The Satan Bug, 100 Rifles).

Young graduate student Jane Chase (Shue) becomes the new assistant to an eccentric zoology professor (Stamp) at the remote home he shares with two brilliant chimpanzees and an elderly orangutan butler named Link. But when one of the chimps is found dead and the professor mysteriously disappears, Link becomes dangerously aggressive towards Jane. Now, the time for “monkey business” is over and the true terror is about to begin. […]

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Parasite

Parasite

November 20th – December 17th

It Came from the ’80s! – Rawhead Rex, Link, The Pit, and Parasite. Purchase a Series Pass to gain access to all 4 films for $20, or individually for $8 a film!

Paul Dean, a scientist, discovers a deadly parasite which can be used for the good of mankind. But some unscrupulous people have other uses in mind.

To prevent his discovery from being put to ill use, Dean destroys his lab and flees, taking two parasites with him, one he keeps in a tin but the other he keeps on his stomach – with potentially fatal consequences. Dean not only has to escape from his pursuers, but he also has to find an antidote to save his life. Featuring Demi Moore.
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Divine Love

Divine Love

November 13th – November 26th

Divine Love is an amped up, sexy and witty take on a future full of dance parties, ritualistic orgies, cults and fundamentalist Christianity, and a critique of today’s right-wing led Brazil.

It’s the year 2027 in this dystopian, fluorescent sci fi story of Joana (Brazilian star Dira Paes), who uses her bureaucratic job to convince divorcing couples to stay together. Her secret weapon is Divine Love, an evangelical cult she belongs to that mixes in a little swinging and group fun into its more traditional prayers and services. Joana herself can’t seem to get pregnant by her own husband, but in an attempt to save her own marriage, she prays regularly at a very unusual religious drive-in, looking for a miracle to help her conceive.

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