May 27 2015 01:44 PM

Satyajit Ray's great series of dramas lead our rundown of movies screening around town

Pather Panchali

Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray began his career by making one of the great triptychs of all time. The Apu Trilogy, which consists of 1955's Pather Panchali, 1957's Aparajito and 1959's The World of Apu, is a moving portrait of human endurance and growth under the pressure of generational and social divide.

Traversing the life of Apu (Subir Banerjee) from his younger years as a mischievous child to a tumultuous adulthood, Ray's trilogy functions both as an extensive portrait of Indian history and a tender summation of universal themes like dignity, endurance and joy. Ravi Shankar's haunting sitar score provides a consistent musical interlude despite all of the change in Apu's life.

Pather Panchali remains one of the best debut films in cinema history. Its rhythmic style is in tune with the protagonist's inquisitive view of the world, and at odds with the way real world problems constantly thwart economic and familial growth. Ray introduces the important image of the locomotive, which will become the trilogy's central visual motif.

Aparajito picks up when Apu is entering young adulthood, and now the tragedies of life begin to hit home harder. It's a stunning film about the tenuous relationship between a teenager and parent, showing how each reacts to the changing nature of the family dynamic and the consequences/ benefits of their mutual evolution as human beings.

The World of Apu follows Apu as he enters adulthood, experiencing the trials and tribulations of getting married, raising children, and coming to grips with failure. Despite the ups and downs, Ray ends the film with a hopeful reflection about endurance.

Restored prints of The Apu Trilogy will play for one week at the Ken Cinema beginning Friday, May 29. See them and get a glimpse of what compassion looks like.


24 Days: A young Jewish man is kidnapped for ransom in Paris, leaving his parents in a grip of fear as the police try to negotiate with the anti-Semitic perpetrators. Screens through Thursday, June 4, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.

Aloha: Cameron Crowe tries to resuscitate his career with this long-delayed (not a good sign) drama about a military man based in Hawaii trying to rediscover love.

17th Annual San Diego LGBT Film Festival: Presented by FilmOut San Diego, this three-day film festival showcases the best in LGBT content, provides Q&As with filmmakers, and hosts engaging discussions about relevant social issues. Runs Friday, May 29, through Sunday, May 31, at The Observatory in North Park.

San Andreas: "What a disaster." - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

The Apu Trilogy: Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1957) and The World of Apu (1959) make up this stunning cinematic achievement from one of India's greatest filmmakers, Satyajit Ray. Screens through Thursday, June 4, at the Ken Cinema.

The Seven Five: In the drug-riddled landscape of New York City in the 1980s, a group of corrupt cops take advantage of the chaos. This documentary tells their story. Screens through Thursday, June 4, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.

One Time Only

Fading Gigolo: John Turturro stars and directs this romantic comedy about a 50-something who decides to make some side money by becoming a gigolo for older women. Screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at Mission Valley Public Library. 

Sleep Dealer: Alex Rivera's sci-fi film tells the story of a world hindered by an immigration police destined for failure. Screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at The Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination at UCSD.  

Pray the Devil Back to Hell: This documentary covers a group of women that rise up to bring peace to Liberia and help bring to power the country's first female head of state. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at the Women's Museum in Liberty Station. 

The Heat: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy star in this buddy cop movie with a feminist spin. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police: Andy Summers' journey from his early days in the psychedelic '60s music scene, when he played with The Animals, to chance encounters with drummer Stewart Copeland and bassist Sting, which led to the formation of the punk trio, The Police. Screens at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at the Reading Town Squares Cinema in Clairemont. 

Suspicion: Joan Fontaine marries Cary Grant (because who wouldn't!) and then realizes he might be trying to kill her. Alfred Hitchcock was one messed up filmmaker. Screens at 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

The Sound of Music: The hills are alive with the sound of child singers melodically fighting against those pesky Nazis. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30, and Sunday, May 31, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills. 

My Week With Marilyn: A young industry professional (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with the iconic screen star played by Michelle Williams. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, at the Point Loma / Hervey Branch Library. 

The Spectacular Now: A teenage alcoholic (Miles Teller) romances a fellow student (Shailene Woodley) and then realizes the difficulties of hatching a relationship. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at the San Diego Public Library in East Village. 

Almost Famous: A young rock journalist gets his first taste of the business in this great dramedy from Cameron Crowe. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. 

Now Playing

In the Name of My Daughter: André Téchiné's melodrama is set in the South of France and follows the sordid relationships of a casino owner (Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter. 

Poltergeist: In this remake, the youngest daughter of a suburban family is captured by ghosts, leaving her family scrambling for ways to rescue her. 

The Hand that Feeds: This documentary follows deli employee Mahoma López and his co-workers as they rally together to fight for fair wages and improved working conditions against their ruthless employer. Screens through Thursday, May 28, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park. 

Tomorrowland: George Clooney and Britt Robertson star in Brad Bird's space adventure about a young girl who finds a ring that opens up an alternate universe. 

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window and Disappeared: An elderly man escapes his nursing home immediately before his 100th birthday hoping to rekindle his sense of adventure. Opens on Friday, May 15, at the Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.

Felix and Meira: Two lost souls attempt to find a romantic connection despite the obstacles presented by the neighborhood they inhabit. 

Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller's infamous policeman-turned-road-warrior returns to the big screen in what looks like one long bonkers chase through a dystopic desert. Tom Hardy reprises the role made famous by Mel Gibson.

Saint Laurent: A strange and beguiling biopic about the famous French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, portrayed with unflinching vulnerability by Gaspard Ulliel. Bertrand Bonello directs.

About Elly: While on a picnic in the north of Iran, a kindergarten teacher disappears, leaving her friends distraught with panic. From director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).  

Black Souls: Based on Gioacchini Criaco's novel of the same name, this gripping mafia tale explores the tension and conflict between three brothers fighting for control of an Italian crime family. 

Far From the Madding Crowd: Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's sweeping romance about a fiercely independent woman who struggles to choose between three suitors. 

Hot Pursuit: An uptight cop played by Reese Witherspoon tries to protect the vivacious widow of a Mexican drug boss while being pursued through Texas by a collective of bad guys.. 

Noble: A feature film based on the true story of Christina Noble, an Irish children's rights campaigner who traveled to Vietnam to make a difference. 

The D Train: Jack Black and James Marsden are quite a pair in this dark comedy about the head of a high school reunion committee who travels to Los Angeles, hoping to convince the most popular guy from his graduating class to attend the event. 

Welcome to Me: A psychotic woman (Kristen Wiig) wins the lottery and decides to stop taking her meds and creates her own talk show. Opens Friday, May 8, at the Reading Gaslamp Cinemas. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron: The brood of Marvel superheroes are back to battle the nefarious Ultron, who has plans to take over the world.  

Clouds of Sils Maria: A middle-aged actress decides to star in a reboot of the play that made her famous 20 years before. Starring Juliette Binoche, Kristin Stewart and Chloë Grace-Moretz. 

Dior and I: Documentary that takes you behind the scenes of the storied world of the Christian Dior fashion house. 

Ex Machina: Set in the near future, Alex Garland's sci-fi film tells the story of an Internet mogul who convinces one of his employees to conduct a Turing test on his newest A.I. creation.  

Little Boy: With his father away in WW II, a young boy goes to great lengths to restore stability to his family. 

The Age of Adaline: Rendered ageless after a fateful accident, a young woman born at the turn of the 20th century lives a lonely life of immortality until she finally meets a stranger who may be worth dying for. 

The Road to Juarez: An ex-con recruits his friends to pull off a daring heist against a powerful Mexican drug cartel. 

The Water Diviner: After the battle of Gallipoli, an Australian man travels to Turkey hoping to locate his three missing sons. 

Desert Dancer: An ambitious young man risks everything to start a new dance company despite the politically volatile climate of his home country of Iran. 

Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter: A young Japanese woman travels to America searching for a briefcase full of cash that was hidden in the snow during 1996's Fargo

Lambert and Stamp: This documentary looks at the unlikely partnership between two aspiring filmmakers who ended up producing one of the greatest rock bands in history: The Who. 

Monkey Kingdom: A documentary about one newborn monkey and its mother attempting to survive the social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a group of monkeys who live in a series of ruins deep in the jungles of South Asia. 

True Story: James Franco stars as a murder suspect who has stolen the identity of a disgraced New York Times reporter played by Jonah Hill. Weird casting. 

Unfriended: The Facebook horror film you knew was coming but didn't think would be here quite this soon. 

Havana Curveball: A young and enthusiastic teenager decides to create a grand plan of supplying Cuba with baseballs after being inspired by the holy words associated with his Bar Mitzvah. 

Kill Me Three Times: After a botched assignment, a professional hitman  played by Simon Pegg gets wrapped up in three different tales of murder, blackmail and revenge.


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