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Poster for Cult 101: Take Shelter (2011)
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Cult 101: Take Shelter (2011)

Opens on June 21

Director: Jeff Nichols Run Time: 120 min. Rating: R Release Year: 2011

Starring: Jessica Chastain, Katy Mixon, Michael Shannon, Ray McKinnon, Shea Whigham

Country: United States
: English

Cult 101 at Gateway Film Center

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About the film:

Following his acclaimed debut, Shotgun Stories (2007), writer-director Jeff Nichols reteams with actor Michael Shannon to create a haunting tale that will creep under your skin and expose your darkest fears.

Curtis LaForche lives in a small town in Ohio with his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah, a six-year-old deaf girl. When Curtis begins to have terrifying dreams, he keeps the visions to himself, channeling his anxiety into obsessively building a storm shelter in his backyard. His seemingly inexplicable behavior concerns and confounds those closest to him, but the resulting strain on his marriage and tension within his community can’t compare with Curtis’s privately held fear of what his dreams may truly signify.

“A hallucinatory thriller anchored by a deeply resonant sense of unease.”

—Justin Chang, Variety

Take Shelter (2011) features fully realized characters crumbling under the weight of real-life problems. Using tone and atmosphere to chilling effect, Nichols crafts a powerful psychological thriller that is a disturbing tale for our times. The film originally premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and screened at Cannes, where it won the Critics’ Week Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Award.

About the filmmaker:

Jeff Nichols is an American filmmaker from Little Rock, Arkansas who made a name for himself in the independent film world with a pair of small, haunting, Southern-set films that drew nearly universal critical acclaim. Nichols’ first feature film, the Southern Gothic revenge tale Shotgun Stories (2007), garnered some buzz on the indie festival circuit, setting the stage for an even more auspicious greeting for his sophomore project, the apocalyptically-tinged Take Shelter (2011), which stunned the film world by garnering laurels at the Cannes Film Festival. His most recent feature film, The Bikeriders (2023) premiered at the 50th Telluride Film Festival, and was primarily filmed in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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