Academy Award Winner Parasite Is at the Esquire

No one had Parasite slated to win an Academy Award. For one thing the movie, which is showing at the Esquire Theatre on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, is a foreign-language film, and until now not a single non-English film brought home a trophy for best film.

And we all know how the Academy Awards prefer huge,  blockbuster movies with big stars and lots of special effects.

Yet it won Academy Awards for best film, best director, best screenplay, and best international feature.

The movie has been showing at the Esquire for a couple months, so obviously it’s found an audience. But winning the Academy Awards means it will continue to show there – in fact, the crowds will increase.

Parasite is one more reason to visit the Esquire Theatre – which, don’t forget, has classic “special event” films every night – and, while you’re in the neighborhood, roam around a bit; you’ll find plenty more to do.

Here’s a trailer for Parasite:

 

November Is Film Noir Month at the Esquire Theatre


November will be film noir month at the Esquire Theatre, which means that, along with a half-dozen new films showing on a daily basis, the theater will be hosting a steady stream of special events with the majority focusing on classic film noir.

You could not plunge into the genre with a finer and more twisted film than Touch of Evil, a 1958 release that Orson Welles starred in and directed. This dark and thoroughly warped piece of cinema has become a cult classic. Tom Waits is a huge fan of it, and two of the scenes from it were mentioned in his list of all-time favorite movie scenes. For all the big names in the film – the actors include Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Marlena Dietrich, Dennis Weaver, and Orson Welles, and Henry Mancini recorded the soundtrack – it feels like a project where a B-movie script was handed to a film genius who both played by the rules and played with the rules, which is kind of what happened. Touch of Evil is playing November 1, 2, and 3; you do not want to miss it.

Wonderfully, Touch of Evil is paired on all three nights with Double Indemnity, a 1944 noir classic starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. The film was directed by Billy Wilder, and Raymond Chandler co-wrote the screenplay with Wilder. Fans of old-school TV shows will recognize MacMurray as the father on My Three Suns and Stanwyck as the grand matriarch on The Big Valley. Those are two very wholesome roles, but Double Indemnity reveals the real Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck, back  before TV came along and cleaned ’em up. In the black-and-white movie days they weren’t afraid to kill somebody for a little money, even if that somebody was a spouse. Again, Double Indemnity will be playing back to back with Touch of Evil on November 1, 2, and 3.

Other old-school noir classics showing in November include the original The Postman Always Rings Twice and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing. Nicely, the Esquire is also showing noir of more recent vintage, including Goodfellas, Mean Streets, and Body Heat. Also, two Coen Brothers films, Fargo and The Man Who Wasn’t There, will put their own particular spin on the genre much as Orson Welles did with Touch of Evil. The Esquire will also host some classic movies about elections, including Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring Jimmy Stewart. To learn more about the upcoming special event films coming to the Esquire, click this link to the Special Event Calendar for the Esquire Theatre. We’ll see you at the movies!

Science Fiction Month at the Esquire Theatre

It’s Science Fiction Month at the Esquire Theatre, with classic science fiction films showing almost every night. The special events calendar includes early classics like The Thing From Another World (1951) and the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).
The series will include some of the most well-known science-fiction films – 2001: A Space Odyssey, for example – but the Esquire will also be showing some lesser-known but equally interesting films like  George Lucas’ directorial debut, THX-1138. That’s a great film that’s so striking visually, you really need to see it on the big screen.

Also, the series offers a rare chance to see the David Lynch film Dune, which is based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert.

The Esquire Theatre now posts online an events calendar you can click on the website’s home page; the events calendar is on the right side, near the top. Here’s the home page for the Esquire’s website:
http://www.esquiretheatre.com/

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Weekly Specials at the Esquire Theatre

The Esquire Theatre has been an integral part of Clifton since opening in 1911. It’s movie choices are better than ever now, with six screens and special events ranging from this week’s Indian Film Festival 2018 to classic old Hollywood movies.  On top of that, the Esquire Theatre has weekly specials that movie lovers should know about. Here’s how you can save some money and see a movie during the weekdays:
Mondays:  Every Monday is boomer night, with tickets only $6 for customers 60 years of age and older.

Tuesdays: Every Tuesday is the perennially popular “Cheap Movie Night,” where tickets are only $6 for all customers.

Wednesdays: Every Wednesday the Esquire offers wine at half-price.

Thursdays: Also a weekly event, “Thirsty Thursday” offers $3 beers until 9pm.

Remember, if you’ve walked past the Equire and seen the movies on the marquee, you’re only getting part of the story, as the theatre has special events every week. To keep up with the Esquire, bookmark its website, www.esquiretheatre.com, and  while you’re there take advantage of one other bargain: if you sign up for their weekly email address, you get free popcorn.  See you at the movies!

 

 

Miles Ahead Comes to The Esquire

Miles Davis Miles Ahead imageThe Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead opens at the Esquire Theatre on Friday, April 15. Cincinnati should feel privileged and proud that it’s the backdrop for the film, in large part because it built—and preserved, more than most cities–the classic architecture that has film makers lining up to shoot movies here. And the story should be as colorful as the threads that Miles sports as he hops around in a sports car trying to recover a purloined reel of tape, gun ready, dark shades covering his eyes. I don’t know that a movie could have picked a better period in the life of Miles Davis to examine. It was the one time he disappeared. No records, no concerts, and a whole lot of silence. Miles had entered that limbo where Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, and other great jazz musicians once resided, with drugs, drinking, artistic burnout, jail time, and asylum visits sometimes playing a role in such matters. What weighed down Miles was a combination of drugs, health problems that weren’t lifestyle related, and the fact that the music he was playing wasn’t connecting with an audiences because it was too far ahead of its time; now all people can do is rave about albums like Agharta and Dark Magus. So he disappeared. Away from the stage and the studio, a jazz musician who had been so busy reinventing himself and his music that reflecting on the past was not on his list of options looked back. Those flashbacks in the film seem like they’ll be more than a device, then: for once, during that period between 1975 and 1979, Miles could take stock of his life to date – and get that damn tape back.

Photos of the Miles Ahead Premier at the Esquire Theatre

Big doings on Ludlow Avenue last night, what with the premier of Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s tribute to Miles Davis that is based on a period when his career (and his life in general) were kind of in limbo. Folks were dressed in their finest, as only befits a film devoted to a musician who, no matter what decade you’re talking about, was known for his stylish threads. I haven’t seen the film yet, but when it opens on April 15th at the Esquire, I’ll forsurely check it out then, as I’ve got good feelings about this one. Shot in Cincinnati, it promises to be both a visual and musical delight.

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Only Yesterday at The Esquire

Only Yesterday at Esquire 1

The other day I arrived at the Esquire Theatre before the trailers had started for Only Yesterday, a Japanese animated film directed by Isao Takahata. At that point there were only two people in the room, and the person two rows in front of me asked if the movie was overdubbed or used subtitles. “You got me,” I said. “If there’s an animated movie on the big screen, that’s all I need to know.” He told that the movie was done with hand-drawn animation, which sounded even better. Only Yesterday has a simple and realistic plot wherein a vacation the main character, Taeko, launches a flood of memories…as well as some major life decisions. Visually a lovely film, Only Yesterday charms with its indoor school and family scenes and awes with its depictions of the woods and fields and the sky—this is definitely one for the big screen. Just as important, the story rings true. It’s fascinating how the tale unfolds piece by piece, leading we’re not sure where…but hang in there, because the ending is both subtle and powerful. I was glad to learn that the Esquire held this for another week, but it won’t be there forever—get there before it’s gone.

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Esquire Theatre Hosts Live Music Every Wednesday

Esquire Theatre Live Music Every Wednesday

There’s no need to do suffer from cabin fever this winter, as there’s plenty of live entertainment on Ludlow Avenue. As you may have heard, Live at Ludlow Garage is up and running, already hosting sold-out shows by artists as esteemed as Rickie Lee Jones. Also, Lydia’s on Ludlow has open mics and featured readings three Thursdays a month; there are more details at this link.

And on top of that, the Esquire Theatre recently started hosting live music every Wednesday from 7pm to 9pm. The series features some of Cincinnati’s most popular musicians, including Ricky Nye, the Faux Frenchmen, and the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs. If you’re not aware already, the Esquire serves alcohol, including cocktails, so you can have a drink while you’re listening to the music (and popcorn!). The cover for each event is five dollars.  Here’s a link with more information about the series, and here’s the schedule:

JAN 27 -RICKY NYE & vocalist BEKAH WILLIAMS

FEB 3 – CHUCK & DEB WIGGINS with YVAN VERBESSELT on percussion

FEB 10 – RICKY NYE & CHRIS DOUGLAS on upright bass

FEB 17 – LAGNIAPPE

FEB 24 – THE FAUX FRENCHMEN

MAR 2 – HONEY AND HOUSTON

MAR 9 – THE LESS MOORE BAND

MAR 16 – THE CINCINNATI DANCING PIGS

MAR 23 – RICKY NYE & vocalist KATIE LAUR

MAR 30 – BUFFALO WABS & THE PRICE HILL HUSTLE

If you haven’t heard Rickie Nye before, check out this YouTube performance where he pays tribute to another Cincinnati blues musician; now that’s what I call the blues:

 

Leviathan is a New Movie at The Esquire

LEVIATHAN

During the bitter cold winter weather seeing a good movie in a theater is one of the few recreational activities we all can enjoy, and there’s a great one at the Esquire. Leviathan is a Russian movie that won the 2014 Golden Globe Award for best foreign language film. The Russian have a flair for creating deeply depressing novels, movies, and even symphonies that make you feel the weight of history. Leviathan succeeded on those fronts and goes a step further, as there’s an element of the film that precedes recorded history—and that’s nature, red in tooth and claw (and, on the sea coast where the main character and his family live, gray and craggy and bleak, yet beautiful in its own haunting way). The story is set in the present, but by the time the first human appears—the main character walking out to his car, which makes that alien “beep-beep” sound that confirms we’re in the modern age—you already feel the tension between the present and the past and small and big. Too much plot analysis can ruin a film, so let me just say that the dark, depressing tone I hoped for when I walked in the theater was there in spades. During this Arctic-like weather, the longer the movie the better, and Leviathan clocks in at two hours and twenty minutes. On Sunday afternoon there was a decent-sized crowd, which leads me to suspect it’ll be around a little longer—but don’t lollygag, as there are no guarantees.

Come Meet The National at The Esquire Theatre!

Mistaken for StrangersIn the next few days the Esquire Theatre will be hosting two special events in connection with the premier of Mistaken for Strangers, the new rockumentary about Cincinnati’s own The National. Subtitled “A year on tour with my brother’s band,” the movie had been referred to as a comedic documentary for reasons that – judging by the trailer – have to do with the tensions that result when one member of the band is a rock star (Tom Berninger) and one member isn’t (the film director, Matt Berninger). Both the rock star and his brother will discuss the outcome of their year on the road together during the Q&A events taking place at the Esquire this Friday, March 28th, and next Monday, March 31st.

Friday’s live Skype Q&A with Matt Berninger and Tom Berninger will take place after the 7:30pm screening. The event will be hosted by Jeff Thomas from the Jeff & Jen show on Q102. Tickets for the event can be purchased here or at the Esquire’s ticket office.

After Monday’s 7:30pm screening Jim Blase from Shake-It Records will host a live Q&A with Matt Berninger, Tom Berninger and the drummer for The National, Bryan Devendorf. Tickets for this event can be purchased here or at the Esquire ticket office.Both events are being presented in conjunction with Shake It Records. I should note here that Mistaken for Strangers will be a full-run movie at the Esquire, so if you can’t make it to one of the Q&A events, you’ll have plenty of other times to see it. Also, ticket’s for Monday’s event are going FAST, but there are still plenty of seats for Friday’s event.  The trailer suggests the film will have plenty of backstage humor along with exciting live footage: