What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann
It’s pretty unusual for a documentary to take over the main screen at the Tropic. Michael Moore’s provocative films manage it, and the only other documentarian to make that claim is Davis Guggenheim, the filmmaker behind Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.
Now Guggenheim is back with a film of his own, WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”, and it’s attracting even more attention than the last one. The subject this time is public education, not only what’s wrong with it, but what might be done to make it right. It’s hard to think of anything more timely, because education reform may be the only subject that might bridge the yawning right-left divide in American politics. That is to say, the only thing where there’s some hope of public policy progress over these next two years of divided government.
So come see the movie, and pay attention, folks. The Monroe County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Burke will introduce the 7:00pm screening on Friday, and he hopes to generate discussion. “Waiting for Superman” focuses on the charter school movement, showing with case studies how 222 some of the least hopeful students can be groomed to excel. And he exhibits a strong bias in favor of “good teachers” and against the tenure system that tends to entrench teachers with little regard for quality.
Like any good film, documentary or otherwise, the power of the narrative comes from the story the filmmaker wants to tell. Guggenheim clearly has a message. Like it or not, it’s worth listening to.
NOWHERE BOY, isn’t a documentary, but it’s the next thing to one, a true-to-life biopic, based on a memoir written by John Lennon’s half-sister. The subject is the youth of the iconic Beatle, and how he came from a nowhere Liverpool to the top of the world. Lennon was raised by an aunt (played by Kristin Scott-Thomas) and uncle until his teen years, when his previously absent party-girl mother returned to the scene. She gave him a guitar, and …. the rest is history. It’s “an elegantly rendered surprise…. a classic British family melodrama,” says Salon.com.
For those of you who want something less real, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE, the second in Steig Lawsson’s Millennium Trilogy about the adventures of computer whiz and feminist hero Lisbeth Salander comes back to the screen. The theater is also rerunning the original THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. See them both and get ready for the final film, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, coming next week. The wonderful Noomi Rapace continues in the title role, as does Michael Nyqvist as her male foil.
As a special treat for Millennium Trilogy fans, the Tropic will be running a one-hour portrait of Lawsson. As most of you know, he was a crusading journalist who poured his soul into the trilogy, only to die at 50, before it was published. This special extra will be free, to Tropic members only. A great reason to join and begin saving $4 on every movie , every day, all year long.
Special Events include the Bolshoi Ballet performance of THE FLAMES OF PARIS (one performance only on Tuesday), and a Red Cross Veteran’s Day Celebration on Thursday, with coffee and donuts and a free screening of the movie RUSSKIES.
[from Key West, the newspaper - www.kwtn.com]