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The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

Sep 22 to Sep 26
Friday to Tuesday 6pm ONLY!

Dir. Errol Morris - 2017 - 76m - No Matinees

Portrait photographer Elsa Dorfman found her medium in 1980: the larger-than-life Polaroid Land 20x24 camera. For the next thirty-five years she captured the "surfaces" of those who visited her Cambridge, Massachusetts studio: families, Beat poets, rock stars, and Harvard notables. As pictures begin to fade and her retirement looms, Dorfman gives Errol Morris an inside tour of her backyard archive.

In The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography, Errol Morris explores the life of a gifted analog photographer facing a digital present. Dorfman, with whimsical charm and wit, gives her longtime friend a tour of her backyard garage-turned-archive.

Dorfman pulls out portraits one by one and holds them up for Morris—for the first time in recent years without his trademark Interrotron. The result is a surreal show-and-tell, as Dorfman shares the stories behind her photographs and her spontaneous musings on life. "I think one thing about having all the pictures," she says, "is you sort of search for the narrative. But there probably is no narrative. It’s just what happened. It doesn’t go by a script."

The B-Side begins with Dorfman’s personal narrative of her struggle to find an identity as a young woman coming of age in the 1960s. When a colleague presented her with a Hasselblad camera on a whim, Dorfman quickly declared, "I’m a photographer!" Armed with her new camera, she began to photograph her friends at the Grolier Book Shop in Harvard Square—including such writers and luminaries as Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, Robert Lowell, and Charles Olson.

But it wasn’t until 1980 that Dorfman found her ultimate medium: a rare large-format camera devised by the Polaroid Corporation. The instant photographs it produced were enormous—20 inches wide and 24 inches tall—with saturated colors and unparalleled detail. Dorfman was bewitched by the scale and clarity of this magical camera. The B-Side traces Dorfman’s love affair with the 20x24, while also presenting the wide range of formats Dorfman’s portraits and self-portraits haven taken over the years—from early 2-¼" negatives to prints produced by Polaroid’s even larger-format 40x80 instant camera.

Dorfman’s approach to portraits—large or small—is simple. She doesn’t want to plumb the depths of her subject’s souls or "to take more than they’re willing to give." Instead, she and her camera celebrate the people who step into her studio—their surface appearances, personalities, idiosyncrasies, and everyday triumphs. "Life," Dorfman says, "is hard enough. You don’t need to walk around with a picture of it."

Dorfman ultimately reveals a neglected section of her archive in The B-Side. She always took at least two 20x24s per portrait session, but her clients only purchased one. The remaining portrait was "the B-side." Like the flipside of 45s, Dorfman’s B-sides are hidden treasures when revisited. Now, she reflects, her B-sides look "perfectly wonderful."

The B-Side is a loving portrait of a unique artist too often overlooked in considerations of 20th century photography. It revels in the intimate beauty of Dorfman’s portraits and in her singular appreciation for the ordinary aspects of human life. As photographs begin to fade and Dorfman’s retirement looms, Morris’s film reminds us of a bygone era of analog photography and the extraordinary life of one of its champions.

“A fine-grained (no photography pun intended) look at the way that the development of an artist's style is usually intertwined with the technology and materials that she chooses to embrace.”- Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

“As warmly affectionate as its subject, a close friend and neighbor of the director.” - Ella Taylor, NPR

“[An] enjoyable but also profound movie.” - Glenn Kenny, New York Times

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The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography  poster

The Midwife

Sep 22 to Sep 26
Friday to Tuesday 3:30, 7:45

Dir. Martin Provost - 2017 - 117m - France - In French with English subtitles

Two of French cinema’s biggest stars shine in this bittersweet drama about the unlikely friendship that develops between Claire (Catherine Frot), a talented but tightly wound midwife, and Béatrice (Catherine Deneuve), the estranged, free-spirited mistress of Claire’s late father. Though polar opposites in almost every way, the two come to rely on each other as they cope with the unusual circumstance that brought them together in this sharp character study from the César-award winning director Martin Provost (Séraphine).

"Catherine Deneuve is in one of her best roles of her career." – Ben Croll, Indiewire

"A stellar cast with terrific performances...a crowd-pleaser!" – Justin Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter 

“A bittersweet delight. Rich, thoughtful, and funny.”  – Lisa Nesselson, Screen Daily

StarStarStarStarStar "Closely observed, intelligently imagined...Frot is superb." – Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle 

“Never a dull moment, thanks to the stellar performances by the two Catherines.” – Kristen Yoonsoo Kim, Village Voice 

"Deneuve is a force of nature… her visceral performance will leave you gobsmacked." – Thelma Adams, Observer

“Unexpectedly funny and sweet…. a celebration of life and its pleasures, big and small.” – Kimber Myers, The Playlist

“Bristles with romance and truth.” – Brandon Judell, The Huffington Post

StarStarStarStar – Cath Clarke, Time Out

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The Midwife poster

Alibi Midnight Madness Presents

Dave Made A Maze poster

Dave Made A Maze

Sep 29 to Sep 30
Friday and Saturday 10:30pm ONLY!

Dir. Bill Watterson - 2017 - 80m - An ALIBI MIDNIGHT MOVIE MADNESS presentation - $8 general / $6 students

DOOR PRIZES COURTESY OF BUBONICON 50 !

Starring Nick Thune, Meera Rohit Kumbhani, James Urbaniak, & Adam Busch!

Dave, an artist who has yet to complete anything significant in his career, builds a fort in his living room out of pure frustration, only to wind up trapped by the fantastical pitfalls, booby traps, and critters of his own creation. Ignoring his warnings, Dave’s girlfriend Annie leads a band of oddball explorers on a rescue mission. Once inside, they find themselves trapped in an ever-changing supernatural world, threatened by booby traps and pursued by a bloodthirsty Minotaur.

“Wildly inventive…an impressively crafted feature that’s full of frequent surprises” ~The Hollywood Reporter

“Exploding with creativity…a ridiculously fun and absurd romp” ~ Film Pulse

“Epic and fantastic…absurd, hilarious and filled with a sense of wonder”

~ Las Vegas Review-Journal

“…the most spectaculous independent film I’ve seen in some years…A triumph of design and creativity…Dave Made A Maze is the kind of film that only comes around once in a decade…” ~ AMFM

“…one of the most original and entertaining films in recent memory” ~ Bloody Disgusting

“Dave Made A Maze is the kind of film that makes someone a believer in the power of cinema…do whatever you must to see it on the biggest screen available as soon as humanly possible. You can thank me later.” ~ Substream

“The epic art design and ingenious sets provide a never-ending treat for the eyes” ~ Screen Anarchy

“A visually inventive tour-de-force of anarchic glee…a marvelous gem of an indie comedy, its cinematic treasures a treat for all.” ~ Hammer To Nail

“One of the most vivid, imaginative, and original movie worlds in recent cinema…We have the makings of a stone-cold cult classic with this one.” ~ The Young Folks

“…a quirky, absurd comedy with a touch of horror-movie antics” ~ Slug

“…wildly inventive and slyly funny” ~ Unseen Films

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