Film-goers will experience both a historic venue and 21st-century technology when the Hope College Knickerbocker Fall Film Series continues with the German thriller “Phoenix” on Monday-Saturday, Sept. 21-26, at 7:30 p.m.
“Phoenix” will be the first full run using the Knickerbocker Theatre’s new 4K digital projector, which was installed this summer. Located in downtown Holland and operated by Hope since 1988, the 536-seat Knickerbocker was built in 1911 and throughout the year hosts multiple film series as well as a variety of live events.
A historical drama directed by Christian Petzold, “Phoenix” is a mystery of identity, illusion and deception set in post-World War II Germany. Nelly, played by Nina Hoss, survived a concentration camp. However, due to bullet wounds to her face, she needs to have reconstructive surgery. After the surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, one that is similar but different enough that her former husband, Johnny, played by Ronald Zehrfeld, does not recognize her. While trying to figure out whether or not Johnny betrayed her to the Nazis, Nelly immerses herself into a dangerous game of disguise and duplicity. With the haunted mood of post-war Berlin, “Phoenix” weaves the tale of a nation’s tragedy and a woman’s search for answers.
“Masterful. A complex mystery of disguise and deceit,” Ryan Gilbey of “The Guardian” has said of the film. “Nina Hoss is astonishing.”
Jordan Mintzer of “The Hollywood Reporter” has called “Phoenix” “An absolute knockout. A powerful allegory for post-war regeneration and a rich Hitchcockian tale of mistaken identity.”
The film is rated PG-13, and is in German with English subtitles.
The theatre’s new 4K digital projector gives Hope one of the highest-resolution digital projectors in the area, resulting in a dramatically improved visual experience. The projector will not only help with a higher film quality for the theatre, but allows the Knickerbocker to show a wider range, since new films are released in a format that requires more sophisticated projectors. The projector will also improve graphic quality for the other visual displays in the theatre, which is used for both academic and community events. However, as a historic theatre, the Knickerbocker Theatre will also retain its circa-1940 35mm projector.
Following “Phoenix,” the Knickerbocker Fall Film Series will continue with “Meet the Patels,” showing Monday-Saturday, Oct. 12-17, and “A Brilliant Young Mind,” showing Monday-Saturday, Nov. 30-Dec. 5. All films begin at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the individual films are $7 for regular admission and $6 for senior citizens, Hope College faculty and children. Tickets will be sold at the door but are also available in advance at the Events and Conferences Office located downtown in the Anderson-Werkman Financial Center (100 E. Eighth St.). The office is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be reached at (616) 395-7890.
The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St.