'BPM,' 'Novitiate' play at the Ross
Films about AIDS activists in the early 1990s and the test of a woman's faith during a tumultuous period in the Catholic church open Nov. 24 at Nebraska's Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center. Also continuing to show is "Wonderstruck."
An acronym for beats per minute, “BPM” is set in Paris as an activist group known as Act Up battles for individuals stricken with HIV/AIDS. Many of the activists are gay and HIV-positive, which causes them to embrace the mission as a literal life-or-death situation.
Amid rallies, protests, fierce debates and ecstatic dance parties, newcomer Nathan falls in love with Sean, the group’s radical firebrand. Their passion sparks against the shadow of mortality as the activists fight for equal rights.
The film, directed by Ron Campillo, offers an engrossing look at a pivotal period in history. It has been hailed as the most authentic gay film of the decade. The film, which is not rated, shows at the Ross through Nov. 30.
Spanning a decade from the early 1950s through the mid-1960s, “Novitiate” is about a young girl’s first initiation with love, in this case with God.
Raised by a non-religious, single mother in rural Tennessee, a scholarship to Catholic school helps draw Cathleen into the mystery and romanticism of a life devoted to the worship and servitude of God. As she progresses from the postulant to the novitiate stage of training, Cathleen finds her faith repeatedly confronted and challenged by harsh, often inhumane realities of being a servant of God. Her conflict results in deeper issues with faith, sexuality and changes in the church.
Staring Melissa Leo, “Novitiate” plays through Dec. 7 at the Ross. The film is rated R for language, some sexuality and nudity.
Todd Haynes’s “Wonderstruck” is a coming-of-age drama that follows the parallel stories of two deaf children in different eras who travel to New York City in search of their idols.
Based on Brian Selznick’s critically acclaimed novel, Ben and Rose are children who secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook.
When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his home and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out on quests to find what they are missing.
“Wonderstruck,” which is rated PG for thematic elements and smoking, plays at the Ross through Nov. 30.
For more information, including show times, go to the Ross website or call 402-472-5353.