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Cinéma Cleveland! Message Board › EAT DRINK WATCH OSCARS


Bill J.
Group Organizer
Chagrin Falls, OH

Hi Friends!

Early tomorrow morning the 2012 OSCAR nominees with be announced in California.  And, we’ll have a special interest in that announcement.

As you may know the film that is the focus of our upcoming benefit for the Cleveland Cinematheque is the Swiss entry in the Foreign Language category – SISTER .  The film has already received a nomination for the Spirit Award that is the seminal award for independent and foreign film in the U.S.

SISTER or L’enfant d’en haut is in French with English subtitles.  This will be the Cleveland premiere of the film that won the prestigious Silver Bear award at the Berlin Film Festival and won Best Picture (the Golden Athena) at the Athens International Film Festival.

The film has received extremely positive critical reaction especially for  actresses Léa Seydoux (Mission: Impossible - Phantom Protocol, Midnight in Paris, Farewell My Queen) and Gillian Anderson (special agent Dana Scully, The X-Files, The Last King of Scotland) individually.

Whether or not you join us for the benefit, you may screen the film at Cinematheque and gaze at those wearing black-tie – or not – with some degree of jealously.  They’ll be heading to Nighttown after the film for some cinematic delicacies, drinks, socializing and, best of all, watching the Academy Awards.

So come and root for Sister, Lincoln, Life of Pi or Skyfall (Adele) and your favorites while enjoying some great hospitality with friends.  And, at the same time you’ll be supporting one of our great Cleveland treasures – The Cleveland Cinematheque.

Using the key title words – EAT DRINK WATCH OSCARS (a reference to Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated 1994, film EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN) – the unique benefit event will begin with WATCHing the film Sister at the Cinematheque. Showtime is 4:30 p.m. The party will then move to Nighttown for the EAT and DRINK portions of the evening. Before, during and after dinner, partygoers will WATCH the Red Carpet and OSCAR awards presentations on large-screen televisions beginning at 7 p.m.

Importantly, serious Cinéphiles will have a special quiet room devoted to watching the telecast following dinner. But it may not be too quiet but filled with occasional cheers or boos and hisses as the Oscar winners are announced.

Tickets, which cost $100, ($50 of which is a tax-deductible donation to the Cinematheque) include both admission to the film at the Cinematheque and the subsequent celebration of film at Nighttown. A welcoming cocktail and hors d'oeuvres will be followed by a sit-down three-course meal and continued fellowship until the last award is handed out. The event is Black-tie Optional adding to the excitement.

EAT DRINK WATCH OSCARS patrons will also receive complementary 2013 memberships in both Ciné Arts Cleveland! ($5) and Music Cleveland! ($10).

Tickets may be purchased by credit card or check (with advance reservation) by calling Liz Huff at CIA, 216.421.7957, and mailing a check to Cleveland Institute of Art, 11141 East Boulevard, Cleveland 44106. 

Tickets are also available on-line at­

Walk-ups (cash only) will be accepted on the day of the event if space is available.

The Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque is “one of the country’s best repertory movie theaters,” according to The New York Times. Founded in 1986, the alternative film theater shows art, independent, and foreign films, as well as revived classics, in the Institute’s 616-seat Aitken Auditorium at 11141 East Boulevard in University Circle. Free parking for filmgoers is available in the adjacent CIA lot.


Sunday, February 24th

4:30 p.m. @ the Cinematheque and Nighttown

SISTER has bee rated 96 percent FRESH by Rotten Tomatoes

A Review of Sister

by Jim Emerson
Editor, /
January 2, 2013

Simon, the 12-year-old boy at the center of Ursula Meier's chilly, austere “Sister,” enters without introduction. We don't even get a good look at him for the first few minutes of the movie, because he hides his face beneath a ski mask and helmet. We learn about him simply by following him around a busy Swiss ski resort, apparently unnoticed by everyone but Meier's camera, as he goes about his business, which involves furtively stealing ski equipment from vacationers, hauling it down the mountain in the lift and re-selling it for bargain prices below.

Because he's a child (the original title of the film is “L'enfant d'en haut,” or “The Child From Above”), the boy is almost invisible. He can move freely among the well-off skiers without attracting much attention. So the mask, as it turns out, is a significant part of his identity. The one thing we know for sure about him is that he's not who he seems to be. And we spend the rest of the movie trying to figure him out.

Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein), a boy whose face, once we do see it, seems to be quite a bit older than the rest of him, lives in a cheap, one-bedroom apartment with his listless twenty something sister, Louise (Lea Seydoux of “Midnight in Paris,” “Mysteries of Lisbon”), who shuffles through low-paying jobs and has a habit of disappearing with lowlifes who don't treat her terribly well. Mike (former footballer and Ken Loach star Martin Compston), a Scottish chef working at the lift restaurant, responds to Simon's situation once he learns that the kid is an orphan hustling for grocery money and not a brat trying to scrape up some cash for DVDs and video games.

When Mike asks him where he lives, Simon replies, in halting English, “Down … in a big tower.” We know exactly what he means. The movie is divided into two realms, above and below. The man-made architectural “mountain” Simon lives in is in the drab, muddy reality at the bottom of the lift, a world-spanning tram ride away from the glistening white vacationland at the top. The majestic spectacle of the snowy Alps looms over everything in the brown lowlands, making them appear even more shabby and insignificant. (Splendid work here by cinematographer Agnes Godard, known for her long association with Claire Denis.)

The boy is equally adept at selling to adults and other kids. He even takes special orders for select customers. And the movie views Simon as just another entrepreneur, capitalizing on the resort economy the way an independent developer might make use of the Internet. Before long, he's in business with Mike and has made the acquaintance of Kristin Jansen (Gillian Anderson — yes, Agent Scully from “The X-Files”), a strikingly lovely blonde mother on holiday with her two boys, who are a few years younger than Simon. Starved for maternal affection but not wanting to come on too strong, he is attracted to and wary of her. 

But what became of Simon and Louise's parents? We know they don't actually run a big luxury hotel, the story Simon tells Kristin. But did they really perish in a car accident, as he claims to others? How long have he and Louise been living like this? Is she really just his sister, or is there some other dimension to their relationship? And what's going to become of them? 

“Sister” may answer some of those questions or it may not, depending on whom you believe and when. The movie takes a refreshingly low-key, observational approach to storytelling that will remind audiences not only of Loach, but of Francois Truffaut, the Belgian Dardenne brothers and countless other movies about scrappy, streetwise kids, living by their wits in a cold, indifferent world. 

Director Meier's first film, “Home” (2008), starred Isabelle Huppertand and even younger Kacey Mottet Klein. This one picked up the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and is on the short list for the best foreign language film Oscar as Switzerland's official submission.


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