The Spotlight Series at the Alamo will present independent and limited-release films that have been requested by our guests. We are proud to bring several films that have played only a handful of theaters around the country and that are sure to offer an early glimpse at this year’s Oscar race. Tickets for each screening are only $5, including the 3D presentations!
We kick off the series with a very special opening night celebrating the arts in Virginia. In the lobby from 5 pm – 7 pm, we will have special guest Mark Thompson, founder and master brewer of Starr Hill Brewery. We will also have entertainment from very special guest Dean Fields, an amazing singer/songwriter from Richmond. Check out Dean on iTunes, and see him in our lobby for free!
At 7 pm, we will featured a ticketed event of shorts from three filmmakers with ties to Virginia.
Katherine Vondy will present her short film The Broken Heart of Gnocchi Bolognese. Katherine grew up in Winchester, VA and graduated from James Wood High School in 1998. After receiving her undergraduate degree from Amherst College, she earned an MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California. She currently lives in Los Angeles and works at ABC Studios.
Handley graduate and Richmond resident Mike Buchbauer will debut Tomorrow, When the Sky Falls Down, which is an anthology of amazing shorts that includes his brand new film The Donors.
We will also screen a film made by our very own Zack Clegg, entitled The Modern, Post-Modern Man; or An Idealistic Phenomenon. Zack works at the Alamo Drafthouse in Winchester and is a recent graduate of George Mason University.
Tickets for opening night are available here.
Feature films presented in the Spotlight Series will include:
MIDNIGHT IN PARIS – PG-13, 1 hour 34 minutes
Directed by Woody Allen
Starring Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Marion Cotillard, and Kathy Bates
Midnight in Parisis a romantic comedy about a family that goes to Paris because of business, and about two young people who are engaged to be married that have experiences there that change their lives. It's about a young man's great love for the city and the illusion people have that a life different from theirs would be much better.
“Woody Allen's unhurried tribute to the art, passion and power of the written word and to Paris is fabulous. His best film in a decade.” – Gary Walcott, Tri-City Herald
September 2 – 15
THE TREE OF LIFE – PG-13, 2 hours 18 minutes
Directed by Terrence Malick
Starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn
The Tree of Lifeis the impressionistic story of a Midwestern family in the 1950's. The film follows the life journey of an eldest son, Jack, through the innocence of childhood to his disillusioned adult years as he tries to reconcile a complicated relationship with his father. Jack finds himself a lost soul in the modern world, seeking answers to the origins and meaning of life while questioning the existence of faith.
“It reminds one of the vividness life held in youth, and it may very well go down as one of the great works of human art.” – Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
September 2 – 8
CONAN O’BRIEN CAN’T STOP – R, 1 hour 29 minutes
Directed by Rodman Flender
Starring Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter
After a much-publicized departure from hosting NBC's Tonight Show - and the severing of a 22-year relationship with the network - O'Brien hit the road with a 32-city music-and-comedy show to exercise his performing chops and exorcise a few demons. Filmmaker Rodman Flender's resulting documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop, is an intimate portrait of an artist trained in improvisation, captured at the most improvisational time of his career.
“Conan O'Brien should take some satisfaction in the thought that Jay Leno will never earn as much laughter in half an hour as he and his crew does in the first third of Conan O'Brien Can't Stop.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter
September 3 – 5
BUCK – PG, 1 hour 28 minutes
Directed by Cindy Meehl
Starring Buck Brannaman
Buck Brannaman is a sage on horseback who travels the country helping horses with people problems. BUCK, a richly textured and visually stunning film, follows Brannaman from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach to horses. A real life "horse-whisperer", he eschews the violence of his upbringing and teaches people to communicate with horses through leadership and sensitivity, not punishment. Buck is about an ordinary man who has made an extraordinary life despite tremendous odds.
“You don't have to be a horse nut to fall for "Buck," one of those rare documentaries whose subject is so inherently fascinating that a fictional character could hardly compete.” – John DeFore, Washington Post
September 6 & 7
BEGINNERS – R, 1 hour 42 minutes
Directed by Mike Mills
Starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer
Beginners imaginatively explores the hilarity, confusion, and surprises of love through the evolving consciousness of Oliver (Ewan McGregor). Oliver meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent) only months after his father Hal (Christopher Plummer) has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who - following 44 years of marriage - came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energized, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life.
“Beginners is both touching and life affirming, qualities that many movies aim for but few truly achieve.” – Ed Whitfield, The Ooh Tray
September 8 – 11
DAYLIGHT – UR, 1 hour 13 minutes
Directed by David Barker
Starring Aidan Redmond and Alexandra Meierhans
On their way to a wedding, Danny and Irene are kidnapped by a trio of strangely polite criminals. Alexandra Meierhans - pregnant as the character Irene, and pregnant in real life - delivers an astonishing performance as the simultaneously vulnerable and dangerous female lead. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Winchester is proud to become one of only a handful of theaters in the country to screen this exceptional film.
“A slow burn of a thriller that ultimately packs a far greater wallop than many flashier examples of the genre.” - Maitland McDonagh, Film Journal International
September 8 & 9
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS(3D) – G, 1 hour 30 minutes
Directed by Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.
“To call "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" a great movie isn't just an understatement, it's a wildly inaccurate way to describe an experience that, in its immersive sensory pleasures and climactic journey of discovery, more closely resembles an ecstatic trance.” – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post
September 9 – 11
CERTIFIED COPY – UR, 1 hour 46 minutes
Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche won the Best Actress prize in Cannes for her performance in this playful and provocative romantic drama. In Tuscany to promote his latest book, a middle-aged British writer meets a French woman who leads him to the village of Lucignano. While there, a chance question reveals something deeper.
“So absorbing a work of such obvious mastery on all levels that one comes away immediately certain that the medium has just clicked up another notch.” – Rob Humanick, Projection Booth
September 12 – 14
ATLAS SHRUGGED PART I – PG-13, 1 hour 37 minutes
Directed by Paul Johansson
Starring Taylor Schilling and Grant Bowler
Ayn Rand’s 1957 bestseller comes to life as Atlas Shrugged finally makes it to the big screen with Part I of a planned trilogy. Dagny Taggart runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers. She is drawn to industrialist Henry Rearden, one of the few men whose genius and commitment to his own ideas match her own. Rearden's super-strength metal alloy, Rearden Metal, holds the promise that innovation can overcome the slide into anarchy. Using the untested Rearden Metal, they rebuild the critical Taggart rail line in Colorado and pave the way for oil titan Ellis Wyatt to feed the flame of a new American Renaissance. Hope rises again, when Dagny and Rearden discover the design of a revolutionary motor based on static electricity - in an abandoned engine factory - more proof to the sinister theory that the "men of the mind" (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists, and other innovators) are "on strike" and vanishing from society.
“…contains a fire and a fury that makes it more compelling than the average mass-produced studio item.” – Kyle Smith, New York Post
September 12 – 15
THE LAST MOUNTAIN– PG, 1 hour 34 minutes
Directed by Bill Haney
Bill Haney's ecological documentary The Last Mountain traces the horrific ecological fallout from the practice of mountain-top removal that has been employed throughout West Virginia. The filmmakers show how local communities stand up to industries that are making decisions harmful to their lives.
“A troubling but inspiring David vs. Goliath story that's probably one of the better films to explore the current ecological problems with a more personal touch.” – Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
September 14 & 15
BEATS, RHYMES AND LIFE: THE TRAVELS OF A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – R, 1 hour 35 minutes
Documentary / Music
Directed by Michael Rapaport
Starring Q-Tip and Phife Dawg
A documentary film about the history and status of one of the most influential and groundbreaking musical groups in hip-hop history. Having released five gold and platinum selling albums within eight years before breaking up suddenly in 1998, A Tribe Called Quest was one of the most commercially successful and artistically significant musical groups in recent history, and regarded as iconic pioneers of hip hop.
“A hip-hop version of The Rolling Stones' 'Gimme Shelter' and one of the best music docs to come out in recent years. Whether you love hip hop or not, this is a documentary not to be missed and one that will not be forgotten.” – Clay Cane, BET.com
September 15 & 16