Premiere Showcase is the Cinematheque’s effort to bring the boldest and most exciting new cinema back to the big screen. Crafted with the same curat­orial acuity we bring to our repertory series, Premiere Showcase presents exciting new work by contem­porary directors that would otherwise have no theatrical venue in the area. Fall 2014 premiere selections include two new acclaimed American independent features, Kelly Reichardt’s Night Moves and Desiree Akhavan’s Appropriate Behavior. Plus, the ultra-creepy European thriller The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears (also part of our Halloween Horror series) and Life of Riley, the final film by one of contemporary cinema’s most celebrated masters, the late Alain Resnais.

  • Fri., Sep. 5 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

A modern masterpiece from one of contemporary cinema’s greatest directors, this riveting eco-noir unfolds in the lush Northern Pacific.  Eisenberg and Fanning play a pair of environmental activists whose plot to blow up a controversial dam triggers unforeseen consequences. Reichardt’s (Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff) taut, Hitchcockian suspense doubles as a vital inquiry into a crossroads of idealism and morality.  This deeply personal political thriller demonstrates how justifiable outrage can lead to unconscionable behavior. (MK)

  • Fri., Oct. 24 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

Crafted with an unbelievable level of sensory detail, this next-level horror fantasia begins when a man’s wife mysteriously vanishes without a trace.  His search through their art-deco apartment building leads him down a labyrinth of rabbit holes, deep into a hallucinatory zone of terror.  Guided by a nightmare illogic, this trippy riff on the giallo genre offers one tense, bravura setpiece after another, each a spellbinding combination of sound and image. (MK)

  • Fri., Nov. 21 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

An audience favorite at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, this hilarious relationship comedy follows Shirin, an Iranian-American bisexual reeling from a breakup. Though she falls in and out of myriad Brooklyn beds as she attempts to piece her life back together, Shirin remains closeted to her conservative Persian family. With her knack for witty dialogue and disarming sexual frankness, writer/director/star Akhavan has been widely hailed as “the next Lena Dunham,” a prediction that was recently validated by news of her landing a role on the upcoming season of Girls. (MK)

  • Fri., Dec. 5 | 7:00 PM
    4070 Vilas Hall

The final film by paragon of cinema Resnais (Hiroshima, Mon Amour, Last Year at Marienbad), who died March 1 at 91, exudes more flair, color, and joi de vivre than most features by directors a quarter his age.  Adapted from Alan Ayckbourn’s comic play, the film follows an amateur theater troupe composed of three couples who, awaiting the arrival of their sick friend, find themselves torn apart by his delay. Upon its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, Life of Riley won the Silver Bear for a “film that opens up new perspectives,” a fitting epigraph for Resnais’s restless, illustrious career. (MK)