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The Reel Queens: A wintry mix of cinematic options in Queens for March

Queens residents will have ample opportunity to stay out of the cold and cinematically stimulated through the rest of the winter through a number of screenings of current, classic, independent and short films at a variety of unique venues.

The Queens Community House will screen classic foreign films at its Kew Gardens site, at 80-02 Kew Gardens Road, Suite 202, on the second and third Thursdays of each month.

The screenings, which are free of charge, are aimed primarily at seniors and their caregivers. Films begin at 12:30 p.m.

In March, the community house will show two films from critically acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Each screening will be followed by a discussion with William Bischoff.

On March 11, the QCH will screen “Aguirre: The Wrath of God” (1972), a chronicle of the Spanish explorer’s descent into madness as he leads an expedition to find El Dorado. The film, which stars Klaus Kinski as the titular character, is often considered Herzog’s masterpiece.

“Woyzeck” (1979) also stars Kinski and explores the theme of madness but, in this case, it is that of a soldier driven to the brink by societal pressures and sexual oppression.

Cinemarosa, the borough’s only film series that focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, will screen a series of short films titled “City Lights and Country Skies,” which explore urban and rural themes.

The series will also show “Salome,” Avery Willard’s 1965 film of a drag performance as well as 2005’s “The Lady in Question Is Charles Busch,” which features video clips and live performance’s of the writer’s work, April 18.

Cinemarosa shows its films at the Queens Museum of Art, in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Borough moviegoers will be able to catch several of this year’s Academy Awards nominees at Kew Gardens Cinemas at 81-05 Lefferts Blvd.

This week, the theater will screen Best Foreign Film nominee “The White Ribbon,” director Michael Haneke’s austere pre-World War I drama, as well as “Crazy Heart,” in which Best Actor contender Jeff Bridges plays a washed-up, alcoholic country singer.

Also showing are Best Picture nominee “The Hurt Locker,” director Katherine Bigelow’s tense Iraq war drama, and “The Last Station,” which stars Best Supporting Actor contender Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy and Helen Mirren, who is up for Best Actress, as his wife. The Meryl Streep comedy “It’s Complicated” and epic “My Name is Khan,” which follows the story of an Indian man living in San Francisco, are also screening.

Next week, the theater will open Israeli Best Foreign Film nominee “Ajami” and mountain climbing drama “North Face” and, on March 12, it will show “A Prophet,” France’s gritty Best Foreign Film entry, and drama “The Yellow Handkerchief.”

The theater, the borough’s sole art cinema, originally opened in 1933 and operated for many years as the Austin. In 2000, it began screening independent and foreign films.

The cinema’s decor includes posters of classic films, such as “The French Connection” and “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” as well as old copies of Photoplay and Motion Picture magazines. Its concession stand has a variety of homemade cookies, coffee and teas along with traditional movie snacks.

Queens students will be able to obtain discounts at their schools to the New York International Children’s Film Festival, which will be held at six Manhattan locales. Students at World Journalism Preparatory School in Flushing will receive discounts on tickets for screenings at the festival, while the festival will donates $3-5 for every ticket purchased by students at PS 101 (School in the Gardens) back to the Forest Hills school.

The festival, which is expected to attract thousands of children and youths between the ages of 3 and 18, will present 100 new films from around the world.

This year’s jury includes Uma Thurman, John Turturro, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Modine, Frances McDormand, producer James Schamus, director Gus Van Sant and Michel Ocelot.

The festival’s full schedule can be viewed at gkids.tv/intheaters.cfm.

Read film reviews by Nathan Duke at criticalconditions.net.

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