Friday, October 17, 2014 – Evolution of a Criminal, Director Darius Clark Monroe

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In the moving and compelling documentary EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL, filmmaker Darius Clark Monroe asks this very question—about himself. After seeing his mother and stepfather struggle to make ends meet while living outside of Houston, Texas, Monroe decided to help them by robbing a bank with two friends. Returning to his neighborhood several years after the crime, Monroe creates an incredibly intimate and personal journey of reflection and forgiveness while examining lower class struggles, the desperation of a teen under pressure, and the emotional impact that rippled in the aftermath of that day. The people from the bank remember that day vividly, as he asks for their forgiveness 10 years after the act. EVOLUTION OF A CRIMINAL examines the intersections of economic inequality, poverty, race, and the importance of family in a very moving and insightful way. The film is executive produced by Monroe’s professor at NYU Film School Spike Lee and Jen Gatien, and the DP is the amazing newcomer Daniel Patterson. Director and subject Monroe joins us to talk about pursuing this very personal project and the journey he has taken to get to where he is today.

For news and updates on Evolution of a Criminal go to: evolutionofacriminal.com

Evolution of a Criminal opens Friday, October 17, 2014 at 12:00 PM through October 23, 2014 at the Laemmle Music Hall 3 in Beverly Hills.

Director Darius Clark Monroe will participate in Q & A after the 7:10 screenings at the Music Hall on Friday, October 17 and Tuesday, October 21.

“Its images, its shape, its tone, and its implications make it a terrific movie, as well as the birth of an artist.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

“Raising significant questions about the psychological effects of poverty on young children, this unsettlingly direct stab at atonement feels genuine.” – Jeanette Catsoulis, New York Times

“Vital, thoughtful, and deeply personal, first-timer Darius Clark Monroe’s autobiographical doc stands as a testament to the power of movies to stir empathy.” – Alan Scherstuhl

“But the crisp confidence shown in so much of the film, as well as its all-too-rare moral intelligence, marks Evolution of a Criminal as a highly worthy debut from a filmmaker who hopefully has more stories to tell besides his own.” – Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

Friday, October 17, 2014 – Under Our Skin 2: Emergence, Director Andy Abrahams Wilson

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In this dramatic follow-up to the widely acclaimed UNDER OUR SKIN, EMERGENCE takes the viewer on a journey from horror to hope. We witness the emerging epidemic of Lyme disease as infection and education spread globally. We watch as the truth emerges about the disease’s persistence and reach, about promising new research, and about medical collusion and conflicts of interest that continue to impede progress. We revisit the characters from UNDER OUR SKIN as they emerge into better health, reclaiming their lives and dignity, and offering hope to the legions now suffering. As Lyme disease explodes, EMERGENCE shines a probing light on the issue and becomes a beacon in the dark. Producer /Director/ Cinematographer
 Andy Abrahams Wilson talks about the continuing resistance from the medical establishment, an expanding level of research into the various manifestations of Lyme disease and the hopeful new therapies that are helping thousands of people live happier and healthier lives.

For news and updates on Under Our Skin 2: Emergence go to: underourskin.com/ – home-emergence

“Heart-rending…scary enough to make the faint of heart decide never to venture into the woods. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

“Fascinating…artful and compelling.” – Frank DiGiacomo, Vanity Fair

“Eye-opening…frightening, powerful stuff.” – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

“Head-spinning…riveting…a rigorously researched and highly thorough piece of investigative reporting.” – Lauren Wissot, Slant Magazine

“Stirs the deepest emotions and reveals the most unsettling truth.” – Justin Berton, San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, October 17, 2014 – Young Ones, Director Jake Paltrow

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Set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from the macro of political policy to the detailed micro of interpersonal family and romantic relationships. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) lives on this harsh frontier with his children, Jerome (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Mary (Elle Fanning). He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But Mary’s boyfriend, Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult), has grander designs. He wants Ernest’s land for himself, and will go to any length to get it. Director Jake Paltrow joins us for a conversation on his making of a sci-fi western and the challenges of working in South Africa and a bug-like robotic cargo carrier.

For news and updates on Young Ones go to: screenmedia.net/project/young-ones

Opening October 17th at the Laemmle NoHo Theatre in North Hollywood - 5240 Lankershim Blvd. – 310-478-3836

“Perhaps most fascinating about the movie is its three-tiered baton pass from protagonist to protagonist (all of them types of different patriarchs). Exploring themes of blame, sin, guilt, lies and violence, as the title suggests, “Young Ones” tackles notions of what our kin inherit, and the baggage passed down from generation to generation. Thoughtful and well-considered, Paltrow’s film is most effective when meditating on these textures, that take on the look and feel of Greek tragedy.” – Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

“It avoids the typical trappings of the genre pastiche by utilizing its clear indebtedness to numerous other films as merely a starting point, rather than an end.” – Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

Friday, October 17, 2014 – Algorithms, Director Ian McDonald

Algorithms film posterIn India, a group of boys dream of becoming Chess Masters, driven by a man with a vision. But this is no ordinary chess and these are no ordinary players. Algorithms is a documentary on the thriving but little known world of Blind Chess in India. Filmed over three years, Algorithms travels with three talented boys and a totally blind player turned pioneer to competitive national and world championships and visits them in their home milieu where they reveal their struggles, anxieties and hopes. Going beyond sight and story, this observational sport doc with a difference moves through the algorithms of the blind chess world challenging the sighted of what it means to see. It allows for the tactile and thoughtful journey that explores foresight, sight and vision to continue long after the moving image ends. Writer / Editor / Director Ian McDonald talks about traveling the world to capture the struggles, anxieties and hopes of the chess players Anant, SaiKrishna, Darpan and their mentor / teacher Charudatta.

For news and updates on Algorithms go to: algorithmsthedocumentary.com/

Director Ian McDonald and Special Guests at select shows in both LA and New York City

Opening October 17th at the Laemmle Town Center 5 – 17200 Ventura Blvd., Encino, 310-478-3836

October 24-30 • One Week Only! 
QUAD CINEMA
- 34 West 13th Street, New York City, 212-255-2243

“Algorithms is a wonderful film – beautiful to watch, engrossing, with great characters and a brilliant insight into their world.” – Nick Broomfield, Filmmaker, UK.

“What a huge viewing pleasure! Algorithms is absolutely wonderfully shot, impeccably edited and with a range of engaging characters all of whom are portrayed with charm, wonderful insight and immense humanity.” – John Akomfrah, Filmmaker, UK.

“I loved this film. It is all that a documentary should be. Unobtrusive and compassionate without being sentimental, sympathetic without being condescending. In short, very good.” – Shyam Benegal, Filmmaker, India.

Friday, October 10, 2014 – The Decent One, Director Vanessa Lapa

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A recently discovered cache of hundreds of personal letters, diaries and photos belonging to the Nazi Gestapo chief seems to reveal a thoughtful, loving husband and devoted father to his daughter. The documents first found in the Himmler family house in 1945 were hidden in Tel Aviv for decades and sold to the father of the Israeli documentary filmmaker, Vanessa Lapa. Through readings of Himmler’s and his family’s most personal writings and rarely seen restored film footage from key German archives, Lapa has fashioned a fascinating case study: a portrait of the man responsible for some of the worst atrocities of the Second World War, who thought of himself in heroic terms. Director Lapa stops by to talk about how cruelty can grow from an apparent normality, and when fueled by ideology, economical reality, a Fuhrer, a whole people and a state of the art technology, an individual who lacks self-confidence can become a hero in his own eyes and one of the biggest mass murderers in history.

For news and updates on The Decent One go to: thedecentonefilm.com

Screenings at the Laemmle Theatre Music Hall 3, from Oct 10th on daily at 12:00  2:25  4:50  7:20 The screenings on Oct 10 – 13 will be followed by an Q&A with Director Vanessa Lapa.

“I found this film to be one of the most profoundly disturbing cinematic experiences in a life full of them.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com

“At its most effective … “The Decent One” reveals a psychological portrait of a man devoted to his family yet consumed by a soul-blackening and horrifically destructive cause,” – Robert Abele, LA Times

“The Decent One once again posits that perhaps unanswerable question: How can seemingly “normal” people perpetrate the worst human atrocities?” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

“A fabulous excursion into the deep mystery of evil”
- Errol Morris



“‘The Decent One’ is rare film that at once advances the form of historical documentaries while simultaneously telling a riveting story from a new and wholly unanticipated and unexpected perspective. It features a wealth of new archival material, but it puts those images and voices to work in a novel way–the film is intimate, human, suspenseful, and terrifying, its momentum guided by individual self-delusion and the awful weight and fact of history.” – Ken Burns

Winner of the Best Documentary award at the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival.

Friday, October 10, 2014 – The Supreme Price, Director Joanna Lipper

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Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells the remarkable story of Hafsat Abiola, daughter of human rights heroine Kudirat Abiola, and Nigeria’s President-elect M.K.O. Abiola, who won a historic vote in 1993 that promised to end years of military dictatorship. Shortly after the election M.K.O. Abiola’s victory was annulled and he was arrested. While he was imprisoned, his wife Kudirat took over leadership of the pro-democracy movement, organizing strikes and rallies, winning international attention for the Nigerian struggle against human rights violations perpetrated by the military dictatorship. Because of this work, she too became a target and was assassinated in 1996. In this riveting political thriller, the Abiola family’s intimate story unfolds against the epic backdrop of Nigeria’s evolution from independence in 1960 – through the Biafra War, subsequent military dictatorships and the tumultuous transition to civilian rule – through present day as Hafsat continues to face the challenge of transforming a corrupt culture of governance into a democracy capable of serving Nigeria’s most marginalized population: women. Director Lipper joins us to talk about the price that the Abiola family has paid in their collective effort to help the country and the people they love.

For news and updates on The Supreme Price go to: joannalipper.com/filmmaker/supreme-price

“The Supreme Price is a deeply profound and beautiful experience, and an integral film to watch.”  - Indiewire

“The Supreme Price’ is a Door to Africa’s Recent History.” - The New York Times

“The Supreme Price may sound like a metaphorical title, but after seeing this strong, forthright documentary, you’ll understand it’s the literal truth.” – Los Angeles Times

“Excellent…  Lean, lucid… No hashtag activist, Lipper does an excellent job of using her film as a vehicle for the voices and concerns of Nigerians, and especially of Nigerian women, who are traditionally expected to stay at home while men operate in the public sphere.” – Village Voice and LA Weekly Critics Pick

“A critically acclaimed new documentary, The Supreme Price, tells the story of the Abiola family, which battled for gender equality and democracy in a nation where both have been repressed for decades.”  -The Independent

Some of the best documentaries tell inspiring stories of people overcoming the unthinkable…  With an uptick in kidnappings and killings, the situation in Nigeria is looking bleak. How exactly did the country get to such a state? Joanna Lipper’s film looks at the pro-democracy movement in the corrupt African nation but also gives a helpful tutorial on Nigerian politics.” – The Washington Post

Friday, October 3, 2014 – Waiting for August, Director Teodora Ana Mahai

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Georgiana Halmac, eldest daughter of her family, is turning fifteen this winter. She lives with her six siblings in a social housing condo on the outskirts of Bacau (Romania). Their mother Liliana, an economic migrant in Torino, will not be back till the summer. During mother’s absence, Georgiana is catapulted to the role of new head of the family. Her adolescence is brutally cut short, when she becomes responsible for her brothers and sisters. Caught between puberty and responsibilities, she moves ahead improvising. Phone conversations with her mom, plus the conflicting values of religion on the one hand, and commercial TV stations on the other, are her only guidelines. Intimate scenes from the daily life of Georgiana and her siblings will show us – uncensored, in fly-on-the-wall style – how real events are experienced and interpreted with great imagination by these children. One is bound to be amazed by their great ingenuity, while also realizing how fragile their daily balance is. Director Teodora Ana Mahai joins us for a conversation on her intimate, moving portrait of a family held together by a remarkable teenage girl and a mother’s phone calls.

WINNER:

Best International Documentary – HOT DOCS 2014

Best Documentary – Karlovy Vary Film Festival

For news and updates on Waiting for August go to: waitingforaugust.be/

Waiting for August opens Friday, October 3rd with daily screenings at 1pm, 3.10pm, 5.35pm, 7.50pm and 10.15pm. Laemmle Theatre information go to: laemmle.com/

Director Teodora Ana Mahai will be at the Laemmle Royal, 11523 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, for a Q & A following the Friday, Oct 3rd 7:50 pm screening and the Saturday, Oct 4th 5.35 pm screening

“Exploring economic migration from the point of view of children, “Waiting for August” is an impressive, if muted, debut documentary.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

Friday, October 3, 2014 – Copenhagen, Director Mark Raso

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After weeks of traveling through Europe the immature William finds himself at a crossroads in Copenhagen. Not just another European city, Copenhagen is also the birthplace of his father. When the youthful Effy befriends the older William they set off on an adventure to find William’s grandfather. Effy’s mix of youthful exuberance and wisdom challenges William unlike any woman ever has. As the attraction builds and William truly connects with someone for the first time in his life, he must come to grips with destabilizing elements of his family’s sordid past. Writer / Director Mark Raso, recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious Student Academy Award (Oscar®) Gold Medal for his short film “Under,” the David Jones Memorial Award for Excellence in Directing and The Hollywood Foreign Press Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, joins us to talk about the challenges of filming his first feature film overseas on a “micro-budget” and the first time he rode a bike in Denmark’s capital.

For news and updates on Copenhagen go to: copenhagenthemovie.com

“[Director Raso] gets a pitch-perfect performance from Danish up-and-comer Hansen, who greatly impresses with her unaffected spontaneity.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

“Two excellent performances bolster a thoughtful script, and the result is that the discomfort we feel seems perfectly controlled by the filmmakers.” – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

“[Raso's] absorbing film has a delicate nuance that will linger after the popcorn’s gone.” – David DeWitt, New York Times

Friday, October 3, 2014 – Concrete Wedding Cakes: What I Have Learned about Motion Picture Editing and Other Stuff, Editor and Author John Heath

Concrete Wedding Cake 

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In the book Concrete Wedding Cake: What I Have Learned about Motion Picture Editing and Other Stuff, author and editor John Heath has written a concise, practical and clear approach to motion picture editing based on his over thirty years of editing, directing and producing. The book is not overly technical or theoretical, but is a light approachable explanation of what editing is, how to make solid editing choices and the techniques to help make those choices work as well possible. He has also include a section for “directors only,” so that they may have a positive editorial experience. Heath is third generation to the motion picture business. His grandfather was a part of the very beginnings of the film industry in the “Silent Era,” and his father was an editor through the “Golden Age” of Television. He started his career in film editing, and went on to direct and produce. Editing John Heath photosuch dramas as St. Elsewhere, LA Law, and Pickett Fences, comedies such as The Bob Newhart Show, and Major Dad and recently action sci fi series Warehouse 13.  Producing on six series including The Guardian, Chicago Hope, and  Roswell with three Emmy nominations. He has directed episodes of The Guardian, Chicago Hope, and St. Elsewhere. He recently directed the Indie feature Last Night Inn based on the play of the same name which he also directed. He has also done “labors of love” short films Reflections and Mama Doesn’t Know Best.

……..a lively, instructive and highly readable handbook on the are of film editing….

 Excellent! As a long time editor and editing teacher , I highly recommend it .”   Michael Sales

Friday, September 26, 2014 – Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity – Director / Producer Catherine Gund and Choreographer Elizabeth Streb

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Elizabeth Streb and the STREB Extreme Action Company form a motley troupe of flyers and crashers. Propelled by Streb’s edict that “anything too safe is not action,” these daredevils challenge the assumptions of art, aging, injury, gender, and human possibility.  BORN TO FLY: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity traces the evolution of Elizabeth Streb’s movement philosophy as she pushes herself and her performers from the ground to the sky. Revealing the passions behind the dancers’ bruises and broken noses,  BORN TO FLY offers a breathtaking tale about the necessity of art, inspiring audiences hungry for a more tactile and fierce existence. Director / Producer Catherine Gund and Choreographer and extreme action architect Elizabeth Streb join us for a conversation on their remarkable projects, a brutally beautiful film and the exploration of what human movement is capable of achieving.

For news and updates on Born to Fly go to: borntoflymovie.com

Q & A’s this Friday, September 26th at the Laemmle NoHo 7 Theatre in North Hollywood with Director Catherine Gund and Choreographer Elizabeth Streb

BORN TO FLY: ELIZABETH STREB VS. GRAVITY filmmaker Catherine Gund and acclaimed choreographer / aerialist Elizabeth Streb will participate in Q&A’s at the NoHo after the 7:30 PM screening on Friday, September 26 and after the 1 PM screening on Saturday, September 27.

“Streb’s atheletes create the thinking person’s circus…You’ll see in the work of Streb and her courageous dancers a redemptive vision of human daring and ingenuity.” – Deborah Jowitt, Village Voice

“Streb’s rough-and-tumble dances are about velocity, physical stamina and her unwillingness to bow to gravity without a fight.” – William Harris, New York Times

“Born to Fly captures fully both the danger in the work and the exhilaration the dancers get from it…it’s seeing bodies move in ways you know they never have in human history.” – Robert Faires, The Austin Chronicle