February at the West Virginia International Film Festival

By RealWV Staff,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia International Film Festival (WVIFF) has something for everyone this February, from hard-hitting documentaries, to heartwarming-tearjerkers, to the offbeat macabre.

DRIVING MADELEINE

DESCRIPTION: Madeleine, 92 years old, calls a taxi to take her to the retirement home where she will be living. Charles, a disillusioned driver with a tender heart, agrees to drive by the places that affected Madeleine’s life. Through the streets of Paris, her extraordinary past is revealed. They don’t know it yet, but they will forge a friendship during this drive that will change their lives forever. 

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

“Madeleine is a showcase for its two leads; both are exceptional. So is the film, which gently reminds us to feel compassion for others since we never quite know where another person has been or where they might be going.”Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News 

“Renaud and Boon make a delightful couple, lovers of Paris will be thrilled as the cab passes various famous landmarks or drives down lesser-known suburban streets, and the sentimental ending jerks the tears.”David Stratton, The Australian 

Directed by Christian Carion, and staring Alice Isaaz, Dany Boon, Gwendoline Hamon, Hadriel Roure, and Line Renaurd, Driving Madeleine was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Driving Madeleine will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays through February, at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

COUNTRY BRAWLERS

DESCRIPTION: Filmed over the course of two years, Country Brawlers is a raw and intimate look into an eclectic cast of characters that make up rural boxing in Central Appalachia – a region struggling with poverty, addiction, and hopelessness – and how the sport of boxing can be a vehicle for change, purpose, and redemption. At the center of Country Brawlers is the bombastic and charismatic trainer Corky Salyer, who is hoping to regain past glory by pushing the boxers he trains further than they themselves believe they can go. Many of the fighters he trains are recovering from drug addiction, including roofer Melvin “The Romantic Redneck” Russell, who struggled with cocaine, pain pills and heroin for many years before turning his life around with boxing. Fellow Appalachian boxer, Travis Hanshaw, himself a 4th generation boxer, works at the local jail, builds his record at home, and hopes for a big payday. Brawlers follows these men through two years of ups and downs, all at climactic moments of their career, all vying to be remembered. Mixing high-powered, stylized action with a strong blend of raw, observational moments, Country Brawlers reveals a world that is not often seen in mainstream media: the unique fervor of rural sports. With a chance to become local legends, these brawlers take punches, push forward, and fight in the name of honor and the opportunity to provide a better future for their families.

Country Brawlers will screen at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 21 at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

ORIGIN

DESCRIPTION: While grappling with tremendous personal tragedy, writer Isabel Wilkerson sets herself on a path of global investigation and discovery. Despite the colossal scope of her project, she finds beauty and bravery while crafting one of the defining American books of our time.

WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:

“How do you make a movie about an intellectual argument? By putting a human face on it, which is what Ava DuVernay and acting force Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor do in this stunning provocation about race and class. Here’s something rare: a movie that matters.”Peter Travers, ABC News

“The resulting docudrama is one of the most thought-provoking movies in recent years — the kind of film you’ll find impossible to forget, the kind of film you’ll want to discuss and debate with friends and colleagues.”Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times

Directed by Ava DuVernay, and staring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor, Emily Yancy, Finn Wittrock, Jon Bernthal, and Niecy Nash, Origin screens at 7:30 p.m. Fridays, and 5 p.m. Saturdays through February, at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

BEYOND THE BACK ROW – BUBBA HO-TEP

DESCRIPTION:

WVIFF is proud to present “Beyond the Back Row,” a new film series showcasing weird, offbeat, and obscure films that would feel right at home in a grindhouse theater on 42nd Street during the 1970’s. Join us as we explore daring, no holds barred films that aren’t afraid to shock, titillate, and provoke… beyond the back row.  Our next selection is BUBBA HO-TEP!

Bruce Campbell gives his greatest and most entertaining performance to date as an aging and cantankerous “Elvis” in this “zinger-filled crowd-pleaser” from writer-director Don Coscarelli (Phantasm, John Dies At The End)! When mysterious deaths plague a Texas retirement home, it’s up to its most sequined senior citizen and an African-American senior who claims to be President John F. Kennedy to take on a 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummy with a penchant for cowboy boots, bathroom graffiti and sucking the souls from the barely living!

Directed by Don Coscarelli, and staring Bruce Campbell, Edith Jefferson, Ella Joyce, Heidi Marnhout, and Ossie Davis, Bubba Ho-Tep will screen at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, at the Floralee Hark Cohen Cinema on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston. 

For more information about the West Virginia International Film Festival, including upcoming screening and how to become a member, visit wviff.org

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