The Bama Theatre has stood vigilantly at the corner of Greensboro Avenue and 6th Street for more than 80 years and, like any good southern octogenarian, it’s always ready for patrons to pay it a visit.
“The experience at the Bama Theatre is so great, honestly,” said Taylor Coffey, a junior majoring in Spanish. “The design of the theater itself is dreamy. I automatically felt relaxed and ready for a film.”
This semester, the Bama commences its 20th year of screening movies, publicity representative Kevin Ledgewood said. The theater announced their plans to screen four critically-lauded independent films as well as a slate of Academy Award-nominated shorts scheduled five days ahead of the awards ceremony.
“Our films are selected by a committee composed of our Bama Theatre manager, plus two members of our Board of Directors,” Ledgewood said.
All of the Bama Art House films screen Tuesdays nights at 7:30 p.m.
“The Wife” stars Glenn Close in a Golden Globe-winning performance as Joan Castleman, a woman who creates a literary legacy by writing bestsellers under her husband’s name. Her story spans more than three decades and finally comes to a head when her husband is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In her Golden Globe acceptance speech, Close first thanked Meg Wolitzer, the novelist whose book was adapted for the film, and went on to say that the experience of making “The Wife” made her realized that women “have to find personal fulfillment.” The film screens Jan. 15.
“Wildlife” is actor Paul Dano’s directorial debut featuring Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal as a married couple whose relationship disintegrates in 1960 Montana. The couple’s dissolution is witnessed by their son, portrayed by Ed Oxenbould in his first American role since starring in M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit.” The screenplay, written collaboratively by Paul Dano and actress and writer Zoe Kazan, is based on the 1990 Richard Ford novel of the same name. The film has an approval rating of 94 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. It shows Jan. 22.
“Colette” is a historical drama following Keira Knightley as the titular Colette, a young writer whose husband convinces her to write novels under his name, propelling him to stardom in early-1900s Paris. As Colette becomes trapped in a claustrophobic marriage, she challenges the norms of sexuality and gender, demanding the spotlight she knows she deserves. Colette is based on the life of Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, who is most famous for writing “Gigi,” a novel whose 1958 adaptation for the screen would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film screens Jan. 29.
“Three Identical Strangers” documents the true story of three identical siblings separated at birth. Born to a single mother whose fourth quadruplet died at birth, the three brothers were placed with families at different income levels as part of a never-published study on nature versus nurture. In 1980, the three coincidentally meet, changing their lives forever. Their story, which was broken by The New Yorker in 1995, raises questions about ethics, identity and mental health.
The Bama will also host a screening of Oscar-nominated short films on Feb. 19. Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 22.
This semester will also see the return of the Strode Film Series, sponsored by the English department’s Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies.
“We try to choose films that will represent the depth and breadth of Shakespeare on film, from indie arthouse films to classic films to big blockbusters,” UA English professor Natalie Loper said. “This spring we’ll have a zombie romance for Valentine’s Day and a film that won seven Oscars. We’re really excited about this year’s lineup and have been pleased with the turnout so far.”
Two of the series’ four films will be shown at the Bama Theatre, while the others will be screened on campus in Morgan Hall.
“Warm Bodies,” which features Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Dave Franco and John Malkovich, is a 2013 zombified adaptation of “Romeo & Juliet.” The film transforms the traditional Montague-Capulet rivalry into a brain-hungry, post-apocalyptic war between zombies and survivors. As human Julie and zombie “R” fall in love, both come to realize it may be possible for the zombie population to return to their human existences, further complicating the conflict between the living and the dead. The movie is an adaptation of Isaac Marion’s 2010 novel and screens Feb. 11.
“Shakespeare in Love” is an Academy Award-winning period romance starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Judi Dench. The film details a love affair between William Shakespeare and the fictional Viola de Lesseps during the writing of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.” The movie is full of historical almost-accuracies, references to literature of the time and a mix of famous and fictional characters. Both Judi Dench and Gwyneth Paltrow were awarded Oscars for Best Actress for their performances in this 1998 classic. The film screens Apr. 15.