This July, acclaimed filmmaker Isabel Sandoval (LINGUA FRANCA, "Under the Banner of Heaven”) is teaming with Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and MUBI for a very special, very steamy limited series. From the queer caper thrills of BOUND and THE HANDMAIDEN, to the emotionally complex webs of A SNAKE OF JUNE and GANJA & HESS, and the sheer exhilaration of MAGIC MIKE XXL, Isabel Sandoval’s Sensual Cinema explores five masterworks rooted in desire.
"The monster is scarier under the bed. So it is with desire in cinema. What’s sexy is not the sex, but the suggestion, followed by the expectation and anticipation of that desire being satiated,” says Sandoval in her description of the series. “Desire, in effect, becomes a looming, ominous presence in the best of these films, suffusing each intoxicating frame and sound cue, ultimately possessing us. The more exquisitely and grandly this desire is courted and then thwarted, the more transcendent the film appears."
Co-presented by MUBI, the global streaming service, production company and film distributor, Sensual Cinema screenings begin Fourth of July weekend at Alamo Drafthouse locations in Austin, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Raleigh, and San Francisco.
“Isabel’s critical insights are as bold and refreshing as her filmmaking,” says Alamo Drafthouse programmer Jake Isgar. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner with her on this stellar selection of films.”
Tickets are on sale now at drafthouse.com.
From master filmmaker Park Chan-wook (OLDBOY, STOKER, LADY VENGEANCE), BAFTA award-winning THE HANDMAIDEN is a gripping and sensual tale of two women — a young Japanese Lady living on a secluded estate, and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden, but is secretly plotting with a conman to defraud her of a large inheritance.
Screenings begin July 1st
Three years after Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) left the crazy life of stripping behind, he’s getting back on that pony for one more ride and reuniting with the remaining Kings of Tampa for one last unforgettable show in “Dirty” Myrtle Beach for an exotic-dancer convention. Using the road-trip to see old friends and make a few new ones, the guys discover some new ways to spice up their bump and grind along the way.
Screenings begin July 8th
Rinko and Shigehiko are a strange couple, whose physical mismatch is reflected in the complete lack of intimacy between them. They connect as human beings but they live more like friends than as lovers and lead nearly independent lives.
Both seem comfortable with this coexistence, but the desires that lurk beneath the surface are brought out with the introduction of a third element (played by Tsukamoto himself) into the equation.
Screenings begin July 15th
Spike Lee once said, “GANJA & HESS is not a vampire story. It’s a movie about people.” And he was right. Exploring the conventions of blaxploitation and horror, Bill Gunn’s revolutionary GANJA & HESS is a stylized and uncompromising treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity.
Duane Jones (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD) stars as anthropologist Hess Green, who is stabbed with an ancient ceremonial dagger by his unstable assistant (director Bill Gunn), bestowing upon him the blessing of immortality . . . and the curse of an unquenchable thirst for blood! Later recut and released in a butchered version, this stunning new uncut restoration by The Museum of Modern Art was mastered in HD from the 35mm camera negative.
Screenings begin July 22nd
A stylish neo-noir fusing classic tropes with hyper-stylized camerawork and color design, BOUND is a crackling retro-thriller that would become the first in a line of visually dazzling films from The Wachowski Sisters, the writing and directing team behind the MATRIX trilogy.
It’s also a groundbreaking work of LGBTQ+ cinema, starring Gina Gershon (SHOWGIRLS) as Corky, a tough-as-nails ex-con, and Jennifer Tilly (BRIDE OF CHUCKY) as her lover, Violet.
Screenings begin July 29th