From a super-sized documentary to comedy, the Knickerbocker Summer Film Series continues to show some of the top independent films available.The series will feature five films between Friday, July 23, and Friday, Sept. 3: "Bon Voyage," "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "The Clay Bird," "Barn Red" and "Super-Size Me."
The series opens with "Bon Voyage," showing on Friday-Saturday, July 23-24, and Monday-Thursday, July 26-29, with shows at 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. The comedy is set in France in the 1940s, as the nation is about to fall to the Germans. As the government prepares to move to Bordeaux, the story unfolds with comedy, romance, and some tongue-in-cheek melodrama. The film pays impeccable attention to period style and details.
With three Academy Award nominations, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" has caught the attention of fans and critics alike. It runs Monday-Saturday, Aug. 2-7, and Monday-Thursday, Aug. 9-12, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Based on the best-selling novel by Tracy Chevalier, the film is focused around Vermeer's 1665 painting by the same name. When Griet, a young woman who must support herself, comes to work in the Vermeer household, she is noticed by Vermeer's patron, van Ruijven. He commissions a portrait of her, which creates tension in the household. "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is rated PG-13.
"The Clay Bird" runs Friday-Saturday, Aug. 13-14, and Monday-Thursday, Aug. 16-19, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The film studies a young boy's reaction to his father's Islamic zealotry. Set in Bangladesh in the 1960s, the story follows Anu, who is sent off to a strict religious school by his father. Just as Bangladesh struggles against rule by Pakistan, Anu must find his own truth. The film explores religious tolerance, cultural diversity, and free thought in an intelligent and touching way. "The Clay Bird" is not rated and does not contain any objectionable material. It is in Bangli with English subtitles.
Filmed near Traverse City by a local film company, "Barn Red" runs Friday-Saturday, Aug. 20-21, and Monday-Thursday, Aug. 23-26, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. The film addresses the increasing urban sprawl and the plight of the small farmer in the United States. Ernest Borgnine plays Michael Bolini, whose small fruit farm is threatened by taxes and developers. As developers close in and his family encourages him to sell, Bolini is determined to be a good steward of the land. He is joined in his fight by friends uniting in this dramatic struggle. "Barn Red" is not rated and does not contain any objectionable material.
The summer series closes with the acclaimed documentary "Super-Size Me" on Monday-Thursday, Aug. 30-Sept. 2 and Sept. 6-11 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. On Sept. 8 there will only be a 9 po.m. showing. Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock's documentary follows him on a month-long exploration of fast food. Spulock commits to eating three meals a day for 30 days at McDonalds, and examines the effects on his health. Spurlock also looks at the culture that supports "fast food" and the effect it may have on future generations. "Super-Size Me" is unrated and does contain some profanity.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for senior citizens, and will be sold at the door. Additional information may be obtained by calling the Knickerbocker Information Line at (616) 395-7403 or visiting the Summer Film Series website.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. 8th St.