Friday, July 31, 2015 – Listen to Me Marlon, Director Stevan Riley

Listen to Me Marlon film poster I 

Download MP3 Podcast

Marlon Brando was one of the most acclaimed and influential actors of all time. He also was one of the most elusive and enigmatic. Featuring exclusive access to Brando’s previously unseen and unheard personal archive, including hundreds of hours of audio, Listen to Me Marlon sheds light on the artist and the man. Charting Brando’s exceptional career and extraordinary personal life with the actor himself as guide, the film explores his complexities, telling the story entirely in his own voice. No talking heads, no interviewees: just Brando on Brando. Unbeknownst to the public, Marlon Brando created a vast archive of personal audio materials over the course of his lifetime.  Now – for the first time – those audio recordings come to life in Listen To Me Marlon.  Charting his exceptional career as an actor and his extraordinary life away from the stage and screen, the film reveals the complexities and contradictions that were Marlon Brando by telling the story in his own words. Director Stevan Riley drops by to talk about how his unique approach allows us to dive into the inner space of Brando’s mind through the illuminating use of archival material. The result shows not how different he was from the rest of us but rather how similar.

For news and updates go to: sundance.org/projects/listen-to-me-marlon

Listen To Me Marlon opens in Los Angeles on Friday, July 31st at The Landmark followed by a national rollout.

“A masterpiece. Astonishing. Restores to Brando his rightful genius.  Director Stevan Riley approaches documentary form with the same ebullience and vigor that defines Brando’s acting, whipping his archival footage into a frenzy of sound and movement.  The result is electrifying.” – Calum Marsh, Village Voice

“The man, the Method and possibly the madness can all be seen – and heard – in Listen To Me Marlon, an intimate, impressionistic portrait of Marlon Brando partly told through his own words… Mr. Brando comes searchingly alive. The visuals – a seamless blend of moving and still material – are swell, but it’s that singular voice that carries this movie.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Remarkable…An enthrallingly intimate look at the brilliant, troubled and always charismatic screen legend.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

Friday, July 31, 2015 – Best of Enemies, Co-Director and Producer Morgan Neville

Best of Enemies poster I 

Download MP3 Podcast

In the summer of 1968 television news changed forever. Dead last in the ratings, ABC hired two towering public intellectuals to debate each other during the Democratic and Republican national conventions. William F. Buckley Jr. was a leading light of the new conservative movement. A Democrat and cousin to Jackie Onassis, Gore Vidal was a leftist novelist and polemicist. Armed with deep-seated distrust and enmity, Vidal and Buckley believed each other’s political ideologies were dangerous for America. Like rounds in a heavyweight battle, they pummeled out policy and personal insult — their explosive exchanges devolving into vitriolic name-calling. Live and unscripted, they kept viewers riveted. Ratings for ABC News skyrocketed. And a new era in public discourse was born. Along with Co-director and co-producer, Robert Gordon and  Academy Award winner (20 feet from Stardom), Morgan Neville have put together a utterly fascinating and ultimately a prophetic look at a moment in television and political history that changed the way we talk about one another. Director Neville joins us for a conversation on the clash and crash of two defining American intellectuals.

For news and updates go to: magpictures.com/bestofenemies/

BEST OF ENEMIES opens in New York at IFC and Lincoln Plaza, and in Los Angeles at The Landmark on Friday, July 31st.

“Outstanding. There could scarcely be any documentary more enticing, scintillating and downright fascinating than Best of Enemies. Riveting both to those who have general memories of watching the broadcasts at the time and to younger political buffs who may never before have seen these titans of articulations and elocution in action.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

“Thoroughly engrossing and surprisingly entertaining. Both fascinating as a glimpse at the not-so-distant past and provocative as an account of what arguably was an early step in the decline of political discourse on television.” – Joe Leydon, Variety

“The best doc at Sundance. It rivetingly retraces how one heated rivalry sparked an entire culture of punditry.” – David Ehrlich, Time Out New York

Friday, July 24, 2015 – The Look of Silence. Director Joshua Oppenheimer

The Look of Silence poster II 

Download MP3 Podcast

THE LOOK OF SILENCE is Joshua Oppenheimer’s powerful companion piece to his Oscar nominated documentary THE ACT OF KILLING. Through Oppenheimer’s footage of perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide, a family of survivors discovers how their son was murdered, as well as the identities of the killers. The documentary focuses on the youngest son, an optometrist named Adi, who decides to break the suffocating spell of submission and terror by doing something unimaginable in a society where the murderers remain in power: he confronts the men who killed his brother and, while testing their eyesight, asks them to accept responsibility for their actions.  This unprecedented film initiates and bears witness to the collapse of fifty years of silence. Executive produced by award-winning filmmakers Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, the film debuted at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize, FIPRESCI Prize, European Film Critics’ Award and the Human Rights Nights Award. Director Oppenheimer joins us for his insightful take on how the country of Indonesia is only now beginning to come to grips with a genocide that took place a half a century ago and the remarkable courage of the unassuming optometrist who confronted the politically powerful people who killed his brother.

For news and updates on The Look of Silence go to: thelookofsilence.com

“Masterpiece” – New York Times / BBC / NPR

“The Look of Silence” is an altogether stunning companion piece that shifts its emphasis from the perpetrators of the atrocity to their victims, all the while maintaining its predecessor’s ornate moral complexities, keen sociological shading and occasional, devastating jabs of humor. Where “The Act of Killing” was preoccupied with firsthand experience, the follow-up is more concerned with the receiving of information — either as personal testimony or reformulated history — by those who don’t know the whole story.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“Oppenheimer throws into sharp relief the contrast between Adi and the murderers’ perspectives, and thus the terrifying tension that engulfs the country as a whole. The Look of Silence emphasizes the scars left by the genocide on its survivors, underscoring the way that memory serves as a source of both misery and enlightenment — and as a necessary (if unpleasant) counterbalance to so many citizens’ attempts to hide their atrocities in history.” – Nick Schager, Village Voice

“If Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Act of Killing” was a full-throated scream, his follow-up “The Look of Silence” is an ululating lament, a drawn-out wail of grief that sounds almost like a song, albeit a harrowing one.” – Jessica Kiang, IndieWire’s The Playlist

Friday, July 24, 2015 – Runoff, Director / Writer Kimberly Levin

Runoff film Poster I 

Download MP3 Podcast

The beauty of the land cannot mask the brutality of a farm town. As harvest draws near, Betty confronts a terrifying new reality and will go to desperate lengths to save her family when they are threatened with being forced from their land. An old friend, struggling to keep his own farm profitable by any means necessary-offers Betty a way out. She refuses to get involved, but as the pressures mount for her family and they are on the brink of eviction, her husband, Frank, reveals that he is seriously ill. How far will one to go to take care of one’s own? Recalling all that is heartland Americana and anchored by a beautifully nuanced performance by Joanne Kelly, Runoff combines an ecological urgency with a compelling yet sensitive story. Writer and Director Kimberly Levin joins us for a conversation on her inspiration for Runoff and how she was able to craft a film that trusts the intellectual instincts of the viewer. Levin is a filmmaker who originally trained as a biochemist. Runoff is Levin’s narrative feature debut.

For news and updates on Runoff go to: montereymedia.com/runoff/

“RIVETING… INEXORABLY POWERFUL… IMPRESSIVE… JOANNE KELLY SPARKLES” – VARIETY

“AS AN EXPERIENCE, IT’S AMAZING. IF YOU WANT TO BE ABLE TO SAY YOU WERE THERE WHEN A GREAT AMERICAN FILMMAKER’S CAREER KICKED OFF, YOU NEED TO SEE RUNOFF.” – ROGER EBERT.COM

“IMPRESSIVE. THE TENSE, MOODY FILM, WHOSE ROILING UNDERCURRENTS LEND IT A RESEMBLANCE TO “WINTER’S BONE,” AND “FROZEN RIVER” – THE NEW YORK TIMES

“AS GORGEOUS AS IT IS RELEVANT… SUPERB… A BEAUTIFULLY COMPOSED TALE… EXCELLENT… STRONG AND SUPERBLY-SHOT” – INDIEWIRE

“KELLY’S LUMINOUS YET GROUNDED PERFORMANCE ANCHORS THE ENTIRE FILM… A VISUAL LUSHNESS AS HEADY AND BREATHTAKING AS THE RURAL LANDSCAPE” – BITCH MAGAZINE

Friday, July 24, 2015 – A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile, Director Sophie Deraspe

The Amina Profile poster II 

Download MP3 Podcast

A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile explores the story of Amina Arraf, a Syrian-American revolutionary whose blog A Gay Girl in Damascus acquires a huge following as the Syrian uprising gains momentum. There is no indication that this typical online flirtation between two strangers would turn into a case of shocking international intrigue. For months, Sandra in Montreal and Amina, a Syrian-American, bond romantically and intellectually. Encouraged by Sandra, Amina launches a blog called “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” representing a marginalized voice in the Middle East on politics, religion, and sexuality. Rapidly garnering worldwide attention, Amina becomes something of a star blogger. But when Syria enters the Arab uprising of 2011, Sandra receives word that Amina has been kidnapped, and soon the search for Amina becomes a global concern and an even larger mystery to solve. Filmmaker Sophie Deraspe creates a hyper-sexualized tableau and follows Sandra from Montreal to Istanbul to Tel Aviv to Chicago to reconstruct and unravel a fascinating love story-cum-political thriller. Amina is truly a tale of our times—one that starts and is solved via the Internet—and brings into question the ethics, accountability, and very human consequences surrounding it. Director Desraspe joins us to talk about the twists and turns this remarkable tale of love and politics.

For news and updates on A Gay Girl in Damascus go to: docclub.com/amina/

“Sophie Deraspe’s film is a compelling anatomy of an Internet hoax – one that grabbed headlines amid the revolutionary fervor of the Arab Spring.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

“Even knowing what I knew (or thought I knew) before seeing “A Gay Girl in Damascus,” it’s full of surprises.” Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

“A Gay Girl In Damascus raises a number of important questions about the unexpected, sometimes-troubling byproducts of lives increasingly spent in the virtual world.” – Noel Murray, AV Club

“Even knowing the secret of “A Gay Girl in Damascus” doesn’t make this documentary any less tense. That’s a testament to Sophie Deraspe, a director who understands how to let a plot unfold.” – Ken Jaworowsky, New York Times

Friday, July 17, 2015 – Stanford Prison Experiment, Dr. Phillip Zimbardo

Stanford Film poster 

Download MP3 Podcast

The film THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT is based on Dr. Phillip Zimbardo’s 1971 psychology experiment focused on the psychology of imprisonment. The study assigned 24 male undergraduates as either guards or prisoners in a mock prison setting on campus. Virtually overnight the students became their roles, the guards exhibiting sadistic behavior by degrading their prisoners. The study is perhaps one of the most well-known of its kind. If you’ve taken a psych course in college you covered it along with Pavlov’s dog. It’s famous for its revelations about the fragility and impressionability of the human condition but also the experiment itself, not just its results, was so scandalous that it was shut down in a matter of days. Dr. Zimbardo was consultant on the film. He is one of the most distinguished living psychologists, having served as President of the American Psychological Association, designed and narrated the award winning 26-part PBS series, “Discovering Psychology,” and has published more than 50 books and 400 professional and popular articles and chapters, among them, Shyness, The Lucifer Effect, The Time Cure and The Time Paradox. Dr. Zimbardo join us for a conversation on what his famous experiment has taught him, torture, the nature of evil, on working with Billy Crudup, who portrays him in the film, and director Kyle Patrick Alvarez.

For news and updates on Stanford Prison Experiment go to: the-stanford-prison-experiment

“Alvarez captures the sickly green and dingy gray environment, and even though he emphasizes the claustrophobic nature of the stuffy hallway, brings movement and dynamism to the space.” – Kate Walsh, Los Angeles Times

“The result is a viscerally unsettling experience, and a testament to the enduring relevance of the study’s findings on the psychology of incarceration.” – Sara Stewart, New York Post

“Disturbing, honest and compelling, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” turns a well-known story into must-see storytelling, depicting the ugly truth through gorgeous filmmaking.” – James Rocchi, The Wrap

“An incredibly tense indie with strong performances across the entire ensemble … a who’s who of great, young male actors.” – Under the Radar

Friday, July 17, 2015 – On Beauty, Director / Producer Joanna Rudnick

ON BEAUTY II 

Download MP3 Podcast

From Emmy-nominated filmmaker Joanna Rudnick (In the Family) and Chicago’s Kartemquin Films comes a story about challenging norms and redefining beauty. On Beauty follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadowsON BEAUTY-SARAH to change the way we see and experience beauty. Joanna has worked as a producer, director and a former Director of Development for Kartemquin over the past decade. On Beauty will have its theatrical premiere on Friday, July 24 at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills and run daily until July 30. The film will then have a week-long theatrical run beginning on Friday, July 31 at Cinema Village in New York. Director / Producer Rudnick stops by to talk about what her experiences have taught her about the impact “beauty” has on the lives of people around the world and how why changing those prejudices is so important.

For news and updates for On Beauty go to: On Beauty

On Beauty has won top awards and recognitions at Sebastopol Film Festival (Audience Award for Best Short and Best of the Fest), Cleveland International Film Festival (Jury Prize for Best Documentary Short), Geneva Film Festival (Jury Award for Best Documentary Short) and Chicago International Film Festival (Audience Choice Award for Best Short Film). The film also had sold-out screenings at DOC NYC.

“The latest jewel in the crown of Kartemquin Films” and wrote that “All societally imposed stigmas evaporate under Guidotti’s nurturing, tirelessly exuberant gaze. Watching these girls grow comfortable in their own skin is a joy to behold. ‘On Beauty’ is, quite simply, a masterful example of how cinema can serve as a humanizing force in the world. We need films like this. We can’t afford to lose them.” – Rogerebert.com

Friday, July 10, 2015 – Cartel Land, Director Matthew Heineman

Cartel Land poster II 

Download MP3 Podcast

With unprecedented access, CARTEL LAND provides a riveting, on-the-ground look at the journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley – a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley – Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman embeds himself in the heart of darkness as Nailer, El Doctor, and the cartel each vie to bring their own brand of justice to a society where institutions have failed. CARTEL LAND, winner of the Directing Award and the Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, is a chilling, visceral meditation on the breakdown of order and the blurry line between good and evil. Director Heineman talks about an intention to present a situation that is destroying the lives of millions of people on both sides of the border that is without an easy answer and his ability to gain the trust among all the divergent factions in this multi-dimensional tale.

For news and screenings go to: cartellandmovie.com

Winner of the Directing Award and the Special Jury Award for Cinematography at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

“A complex, harrowing documentary about drug gangs’ grip on Mexico (and the Mexican-American borderlands) that doubles as a portrait of the difficulties of grassroots revolutionary movements. ” – Paste Magazine

“Cartel Land, which tellingly won both the director and cinematography prizes at Sundance earlier this year, combines both qualities to devastating effect, like real life framed as a breathlessly paced thriller. ” – Dissolve

“The drugs war south of the border, and its impact in the U.S, has been a popular one in film in recent years, from ‘Traffic’ through ‘Breaking Bad’ to Cannes thriller ‘Sicario,’ but few have captured the complexities and horrors as well as Matthew Heineman’s film.” – IndieWire

“Documentarian Matthew Heineman embeds with vigilante groups on both sides of the Mexico-U.S. border to show how civilians have taken it upon themselves to fight drug cartels where institutions have failed, amidst terrible violence and police corruption.” – GQ

 “  Unfolds like a great thriller!” – Flickering Myth

Friday, July 10, 2015 – A Poem is a Naked Person, Executive Producer Harrod Blank

A Poem is a Naked Person film poster II 

Download MP3 Podcast

A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON – a glorious portrait of beloved singer-songwriter Leon Russell as filmed by documentarian Les Blank between 1972 and 1974. A fascinating time capsule filled with wall-to-wall music (including performances by legends such as Willie Nelson and George Jones, amongst many others), the film finally had its world premiere at this year’s SXSW Film Festival (with Russell in attendance), and will open theatrically in LA at Cinefamily on July 9, followed by a national release. An ineffable mix of unbridled joy and vérité realism,  A POEM IS A NAKED PERSON lets us into the world of Russell and his friends and fellow artists in and around his recording studioDirector Les Blank in northeast Oklahoma, capturing intimate, off-the-cuff moments and combining them with mesmerizing scenes of Russell and his band performing live. This singular film about an artist and his community never got an official theatrical release and has attained legendary status; now after more than forty years it can finally be seen and heard in all its rough beauty. Executive Producer and the son of Director Les Blank, Harrod Blank joins us for an intimate look at the making of this classic documentary and the journey he took to bring his dad’s lost masterpiece back from the dead.

For news and updates go to: lesblank.com

“One of the great AWOL music docs. An intimate look at a Seventies star in action. It’s finally getting a theatrical run over 40 years after the fact; do not let this minor miracle pass you by.” 
– David Fear, Rolling Stone



“Les Blank’s long-lost Leon Russell documentary is a beguiling snapshot of a lost era.” – Andrew Barker, Variety

“A poetic exploration of a moment, a place and an artist.” – A. O. Scott, New York Times

“One of the greatest rock documentaries I’ve ever seen, as eloquent an evocation of the reality-distortion field around rock stars as D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back or Robert Frank’s Cocksucker Blues, but funnier and stranger than either.” – Alex Pappademas, Grantland

Friday, July 3, 2015 – Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, Co-director Keegan Kuhn

Cowspiracy film poster 

Download MP3 Podcast

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist. As eye-opening as Blackfish and as inspiring as An Inconvenient Truth, this shocking yet humorous documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population. Co-director and videographer Keegan Kuhn of Cowspiracy drops by to talk about how such a significant issue as animal agriculture and the impact is having on our lives can go virtually unreported and why many the most prominent environmental leaders and organizations can remain silent.

For news, updates and screenings Cowspiracy go to: cowspiracy.com

Check out Cowspiracy: The Facts

“A documentary that will rock and inspire the environmental movement.” – Darren Aronofsky, Director of “Noah” and “Black Swan”

“Cowspiracy may be the most important film made to inspire saving the planet.” – Louie Psihoyos, Oscar-Winning Director of “The Cove”

! A fresh take. Few films are brave enough to tackle a topic this controversial. – Examiner.com

[Andersen] pulls no punches and makes no apologies: ‘The future ofour planet is being destroyed by this industry.’ Hard to argue with the data. – The Huffington Post