Friday, June 6

Premieres ArchiveSpecial Engagements ArchiveWhat is Cinema?

What Is Cinema?

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Director in Person at Tonight’s 7:30 Show!

(2013) dir Chuck Workman w/Mike Leigh, James Franco, David Lynch, Yvonne Rainer, Bill Viola, Costa-Gavras, Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs, Michael Moore, Kelly Reichardt, J. Hoberman, Michael Winterbottom [80 min; Digital]

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Chuck Workman’s documentary WHAT IS CINEMA? tackles the question of its title through over 100 clips and new interviews with Mike Leigh, Jonas Mekas, Yvonne Rainer, David Lynch, video artist Bill Viola, Robert Altman, Kelly Reichardt, Costa-Gavras, Ken Jacobs, Michael Moore, critic J. Hoberman, and others, and with archival interviews from Robert Bresson, Alfred Hitchcock, Chantal Akerman, Akira Kurosawa, Abbas Kiarostami, and more. The film also includes commissioned sequences from experimental artists Lewis Klahr and Phil Solomon. WHAT IS CINEMA? not only asks a poignant question, but chronicles the best of filmmaking today and proposes where cinema will go, and should go, in the future.

Each day during its run, WHAT IS CINEMA? will be paired with a film by one of the directors interviewed including David Lynch’s MULHOLLAND DRIVE, Chantal Ackerman’s JEANNE DIELMAN, and Akira Kurosawa’s RASHOMON, among others. Click here for the full lineup!

“A compelling, enriching look at visionaries old and new, who continue to forge fascinating new paths in a medium that shows no signs of stagnating. Indeed, WHAT IS CINEMA? isn’t really about where film has been, but where it goes next.” – The Playlist

“Workman, who has created opening sequences for 10 Academy Award shows, casts a spell by combining over 200 gorgeous film clips with filmmaker interviews, music and quotations to create dynamic and evocative montages that deepen the exploration of a question for which there is no definitive answer.” –Kaj Wilson, WBUR’s The Artery

“A moving — in both senses of the word — meditation on the art of the cinema.” – James Verniere, The Boston Herald


Click a showtime to purchase tickets:

  • Friday, June 6 at 5:30, 7:30* PM (*Director Q+A)
  • Saturday, June 7 at 2:30, 7:15 PM
  • Sunday, June 8 at 12:00, 6:00 PM
  • Monday, June 9 at 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday, June 10 at 5:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 11 at 5:30 PM
  • Thursday, June 12 at 5:30 PM

Brattle passes accepted.