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Hail Mary (1985)

A college student gets pregnant without having intercourse, affecting people close and unrelated to her in different ways. (NR, 72 min. plus an additional 28 min. short, more info below)
(Total Runtime: NR, 107 min.)


Sunday, April 9, 2023

6:00 PM

Monday, April 10, 2023

7:00 PM

HAIL MARY (April series) is an exploration of christian allegory in arthouse cinema.
Hail Mary is Free for Members. Click here for info on the full series lineup.
*The Book of Mary (1985) will precede the feature.

THE BOOK OF MARY (NR, 28 min.)
Marie, eleven years old, is experiencing difficult times. Her parents will separate. The perception of her universe is profoundly disturbed. This exacting portrait of a child immerses in her books, her music, and her dancing casts a dispassionate yet ultimately touching eye on the girl's reaction to the new upheaval in her life.
Starring: Bruno Cremer, Aurore Clément, Rebecca Hampton
Director: Anne-Marie Miéville
Language: French
Genre(s): Short, Drama

(NR, 67 min.)
Denounced by the Pope and banned and boycotted worldwide, this surprisingly serene and lyrical work translates the Virgin Birth into tangible contemporary terms, with Mary as a teenage basketball-playing gas-station attendant who receives the Annunciation by jetliner. Mary is a beautiful yet ordinary teenager who vows to maintain her chastity. Following a warning from an angel, a confused and innocent Mary unexpectedly falls pregnant and is forced to wed her taxi-driving boyfriend Joseph. He, in turn, must love his virgin bride from a distance, revering her without touching her. Forced to face a shocking reality, Mary and Joseph along with their family and friends must struggle to cope as the provocative theme unfolds. Hail Mary is a sensational and bold work from French master director Jean-Luc Godard which touched off an uproar of protest heard around the world.
[Cohen Film Group]

Godard’s ‘60s films are legend, but his career went far beyond the French New Wave. Roundly condemned by the Vatican for its risky retelling of the Virgin Mary’s story, this is a highlight of his under-rated ‘80s period, as cinema’s great experimenter refused to soften his provocative edge.

Starring: Starring: Myriem Roussel, Thierry Rode, Philippe Lacoste, Manon Andersen, Malachi, Jara Kohan, Juliette Binoche
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Language: French
Genre: Drama

The film was first released in France on 23 January 1985. It was entered into the 35th Berlin International Film Festival. All screenings in its initial theatrical distribution were accompanied by the short film The Book of Mary (French: Le livre de Marie) by Godard's longtime companion and collaborator Anne-Marie Miéville. The film receives home media release from the Cohen Media. The blu-ray package follows this tradition and places The Book of Mary right before Hail Mary.

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"It's a film of great sensitivity and yearning."

— Noel Murray, The Dissolve

"A profoundly felt, gravelly beautiful work of faith, where the potentially parodist aspects of the premise (the Nativity story recast in modern-day Geneva) are consistently tempered by august contemplation."

— Fernando F. Croce, Slant

"The film certainly doesn’t sully the image of Mary in any way, but instead turns her into the most finely nuanced and realistic female character Godard has ever created... It’s the way Mary wrestles with her responsibility that makes the film so fascinating."

— Indiewire

"Frame by luminous frame, Hail Mary (1985) seems to me [Godard's] most beautiful work... Far from shocking, Hail Mary feels like a brave, all-too-rare attempt to regain innocence when looking at the body, nature and everything else, as if virginity – ‘knowing only the shadow of love' – was really a transcendent way of seeing the world."

— Charlie Fox, Frieze

"Despite the tempestuousness of Mary and Joseph's body-soul struggle, Godard's filmmaking is calm and eloquent, nearly untroubled in an era of troublesome productions. Whether we see Mary's soul or not is undoubtedly up to the viewer, but the tender sympathy of this resolutely materialist filmmaker remains resplendent in its beauty and voluptuous in its polyphony of cinematic records—in ways that all but immediately reveal the pulsing meaning and power within the images' forms."

— Daniel Kasman, Mubi