THE CRASH REEL is a profoundly moving portrait of an extraordinary family confronted with a devastating injury coming together to help a gifted athlete re-discover himself and find purpose and meaning in the wake of a lost dream. This eye-popping film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with new specially shot verité footage and interviews as it follows U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce and exposes the irresistible but potentially fatal appeal of extreme sports. A blisteringly relevant film in the wake of the recent deaths of high-profile action sports stars, THE CRASH REEL takes a non-judgmental look at the nature of risk in sport. At what price the pursuit of our passions? How much risk is too much? Director /writer / producer Lucy Walker joins us for a conversation on this charismatic athlete and his close knit family who wants what’s best for him.
Easily the most beautifully stark, black and white-shot exercise in redemptive depression that Alexander Payne has made, “Nebraska” abounds with a bitingly dry sense of yokel local humor and poignant remembrance – a poetic sense of whimsy that’s beautifully conveyed in the ersatz western bluegrass score of the Tin Hat-wearing Mark Orton. Sounding far more like a score depicting a cowboy loping across the Rio Grande on his way to the last round up, only to encounter one obstacle after the next, “Nebraska” is full of thematically spare, beautifully oddball magic. Much like those who can only respond to this Don Quixote-esque mechanic who’s more than a few gears short, Orton’s strumming, stripped down approach for strings, Zydeco rhythms, harmonica, horns and a farmhouse full of other rural favorites smiles with sweet sympathy at Woody Grant.” – From Film Composer Magazine
Mark Orton is a composer working in the mediums of film scoring, concert music, and radio drama. He is a multi-instrumentalist, performing on all manner of guitars, keyboards, and percussion. He is the co-founder of Tin Hat, a San Francisco Bay Area based composer/improviser collective with five critically acclaimed albums. He has written scores for dozens of films including The Good Girl, Sweet Land, the upcoming Redemption Trail and Drunktown’s Finest. He has also composed music for modern dance, theater, experimental radio, video/art installation, the circus, and the concert hall. The “Nebraska” film composer joins us for a conversation on how and why he became the musical muse for one of the year’s best films.
BANSHEE CHAPTER follows investigative journalist, ANNA, researching a missing friend who ingested an undocumented research chemical once tested on civilians by CIA MK-Ultra experiments. The labyrinthine trail of evidence leads her into the disturbing world of black ops chemical tests, unexplained radio transmissions and disfigured entities in the blackness of night. Anna will do anything to uncover what lies behind her friend’s disappearance but to her horror the entities are coming after her. Suspense-thriller based on true events shot in stereoscopic 3D starring Katia Winter and Ted Levine. Director and writer Blair Erickson joins us to talk about the challenges of successfully mixing history and horror into a convincing and frightening film.
Blair Erickson’s The Banshee Chapter is a relentless bit of horror that mixes governmental conspiracies and psychedelic drugs for one hell of a traumatizing trip. – Matt Donato, We Got This Covered
It works as a gonzo exposé of some of the 20th century’s madder moments – but perhaps more importantly, this psychotropic remapping of history never forgets to be proper jump-out-of-your-seat scary. Think of it as Fear and Loathing in Chamber 5… – Anton Bitel, Grolsch Film Works
“The Banshee Chapter is one worth killing the lights, turning off the cell and letting it build to its effective, nerve-fraying crescendo, which is exactly what horror films set out to do, but few seldom reach.” – Influx Magazine
Henry’s fiancee Beth kicks him out after discovering his audio recordings of their intimate life and his confession that he may no longer love her. A chance meeting with Charlie, a headstrong young photographer, allows Henry to act out his obsession with creating the perfect interaction: spontaneous, rehearsed, both fixed and changeable. Charlie and Henry’s recordings of imagined conversations become a dangerous game where intimacy and identity may be both real and imagined. Diamond on Vinyl director, writer, producer J. R. Hughto joins us to talk his fascinating film and the role trust, love and the inability to communicate with one another plays in our lives.
“…few other recent films crackle with an intensity that echo back to the darkly cloaked pulp writings of David Goodis, or recall cinematic classics such as The Conversation or Blow Out in their social-psychological labyrinths. Provocative and meditative stuff to be sure.” – Ben Umstead, Twitch Film
“A deeply layered, rewarding contemplation… subtle but emotionally devastating at the same time.” – Mark Bell, Film Threat
“A tautly wound script… Kinski brings both an inquisitive guilelessness and a determined quest for control to her role. Hughto weds his filmmaking technique to the narrative’s spine, working with sound designer Ugo Derouard to create a complex and often unsettling soundscape.” – Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter
“One of the most innovative independent offerings up at the Slamdance Film Festival this week….reminiscent of the honesty of indie pioneer “Sex, Lies & Videotape” cut with a dose of lo-fi voyeurism, the film has a marked beauty and is weighted with intrigue.” – Celebs.com
Bettie Page Reveals All is an intimate look at the rise, and fall, and rise again of one of the world’s most recognized and controversial sex symbols. With her razor sharp wit and Tennessee twang Bettie Page emerges from decades of seclusion to reveal her secret past and narrate her life story to recount the true story of how her free expression overcame government witch-hunts to help launch America’s sexual revolution. Made with Bettie Page’s authorization, Bettie Page Reveals All is produced and directed by Academy Award® nominee, Mark Mori. Mori joins us for a conversation on how Bettie Page came to be the world’s greatest pinup model and cult icon.
“Looking at Page for some 90 minutes is a pleasure unto itself. But her actual voice gives the movie its richness” – The Village Voice
“Jam-packed with provocative photos and film clips… Riveting footage and interviews explore the iconic pin-up model’s public and private lives… [and] the retelling of her post-modeling years proves even more riveting” – The Los Angeles Times
“She got a big kick out of posing in the buff, the film makes clear, and saw no contradiction between her sensuality and the Christian faith she practiced all her life.” – Ella Taylor, NPR
For Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, there is no music more popular today than narcocorridos. These bloodthirsty and explicit odes to the exploits of narco traffickers and drug lords of Mexico openly glorify violence, narcotics and money. Like gangsta rap in the nineties, “Narco” is a movement threatening to burst into the mainstream. Featuring powerful footage from the front lines of the drug wars and performances from some of the hottest Narcocorrido artists (including El Komander and Buknas de Culiacan) NARCO CULTURA takes viewers behind the scenes of the most explosive and violent music subculture in America. Director Shaul Schwarz stops by to talk about where our two countries are in dealing with this emerging social and political phenomenon.
“’Narco Cultura” shows us two nations locked in an expensive and destructive war whose only winners are the politicians, police chiefs and drug lords, and whose losers lie in marble tombs and paupers’ graves all over Mexico.” – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com
“A potent encapsulation of how fame and finance beget fear and grief. – William Goss, Film.com
“The people in this documentary are beautiful, funny, flawed, desperate, intelligent, deluded… In other words, it never forgets that these are questions for all of us.” Steven Boone, RogerEbert.com
Looking to bring a beautiful aural sensation to his movie about a single father, director-star Eugenio Derbez always knew that the composer for Instructions Not Included would be Golden Globe-nominated Carlo Siliotto. Combining string, piano and a 70-piece orchestra, Siliotto responded musically to a young girl’s lovelorn feelings toward her unknown mother and devoted father. Spurred by Siliotto’s beguiling compositions Instructions Not Included has become the highest grossing Spanish language film in US film history.
Carlo Siliotto was born in Rome. He started by studying guitar and violin, he accomplished his studies on composition at the conservatory of music. He was a founding member of the group “Canzoniere del Lazio” with which he adapted both pop and traditional Italian music. In 1984 he decided to focus his attention to writing film scores. Since then, Carlo has composed music for over 70 films with such directors as Carlo Carlei (Italy & USA), Maurizio Nichetti and Carlo Lizzani (Italy), Clive Donner (England & Germany), Robert Markowitz, Roger Young and Joseph Sargent (USA), and Carlos Saura Medrano (Spain). Carlo stops by to talk about how his love of music has taken him on a world-wide journey.
Ingoma Nshya is Rwanda’s first and only all women’s drumming troupe. Made up of women from both sides of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the troupe offers a place of support, healing and reconciliation. When the group decides to partner with two young American entrepreneurs, Jennie Dundas and Alexis Miesen of Brooklyn’s Blue Marble Ice Cream, and open Rwanda’s first ever ice cream shop, these remarkable Rwandan women embark on a journey of independence, peace and possibility. SWEET DREAMS interweaves intimate, heart-wrenching stories with joyous and powerful music to present a moving portrait of a country in transition. Co-director Rob Fruchtman stops by to talk about a group of remarkable women and their nascent effort bring progress to a beautiful country shattered an unspeakable tragedy.
“FASCINATING. A nuanced film about a complex issue. SUBTLE and DRAMATIC.” – Miriam Bale, The New York Times
√ CRITICS’ PICK “Utterly ROUSING. Vibrantly filmed. POWERFUL.” – Ernest Hardy, LA Weekly
“INSPIRING!” – R. Richardson, Filmmaker Magazine
“A movie that will bring you to tears.” – Deena Shanker, Village Voice
“VALUABLE and AFFECTING. Finds and sustains a delicate balance, seizing on small moments of hope in a place where the horrors of 1994 are in many ways still an open wound. So the women of Ingoma Nshya seem all the more remarkable as they lift their drums, their spoons, and perchance an entire nation’s spirits.” – Scott Foundas, Variety
Academy Award nominateed filmmaker Bruno Barreto (FOUR DAYS IN SEPTEMBER, DONA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS) returns with a sophisticated tale of an unlikely romance between two extraordinary artists, set against the backdrop of political upheaval and a clash of cultures. Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop (Miranda Otto) travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary (Tracy Middendorf). Hoping to find inspiration on Mary’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more — a tempestuous relationship with Mary’s bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares (Glória Pires), that rocks the staid writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists. The attraction of two polar-opposite women has rarely been so volatile and so erotically charged on the big screen. Director Barreto joins us for an engaging conversation on his commitment to telling a story about love and loss.
Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage* and intimate interviews with Hanna, THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader. Director Sini Anderson joins us for a conversation on the life and times of a galvanizing artist.
“Unnegotiated truth, a frank and exhilarating portrayal of a legend.” —Meredith Borders, Badass Digest
“Both a captivating personal story and a history of a moment—as the best rock documentaries are.” —Jason Bailey, Flavorwire
“‘The Punk Singer’ demonstrates that neither Hanna’s cause nor her musical ambition have started to wane.” —Eric Kohn, IndieWIRE
“The lead singer of iconic female punk rock group, Bikini Kill, and the dance-pop trio Le Tigre, says in-your-face feminism is ever-present today in the wake of her biographical documentary, ‘The Punk Singer'” —Emily Thomas, Huffington Post
As the film 12 Years a Slave opens, we see a group of slaves toiling away in the field, and we hear perfectly synchronized to their chopping, the chorus…
When I was young, I saw the sun, Too hot for me, Too late for me, Live or die, Lay down and cry, Hey boys!, I’m tired, My Lord Sunrise …
That is the first stanza of the original song “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise), played against such imagery, sets the tone for the film and is written by songwriter Nicholas Britell for director Steve McQueen’s gripping cinematic recounting of the memoir of Solomon Northup, who as a free New York state black violinist was abducted and sold into slavery. In composing and arranging such spiritual work songs like “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)” and “Roll Jordan Roll” as well as three traditional fiddle tunes on the 12 Years a Slave soundtrack, Britell painstakingly researched this lost form of music, which was never recorded and in many cases never written out, in an effort to bring the most accurate musical representation to this landmark story. The songwriter joins us for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of recreating musical history.
Cultural theorist superstar Slavoj Žižek re-teams with director Sophie Fiennes (The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema) for another wildly entertaining romp through the crossroads of cinema and philosophy. With infectious zeal and a voracious appetite for popular culture, Žižek literally goes inside some truly epochal movies, all the better to explore and expose how they reinforce prevailing ideologies. As the ideology that undergirds our cinematic fantasies is revealed, striking associations emerge: What hidden Catholic teachings lurk at the heart of The Sound of Music? What are the fascist political dimensions of Jaws? Taxi Driver, Zabriskie Point, The Searchers, The Dark Knight, John Carpenter’s They Live (“one of the forgotten masterpieces of the Hollywood Left”), Titanic, Kinder Eggs, verité news footage, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” and propaganda epics from Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia all inform Žižek’s stimulating, provocative and often hilarious psychoanalytic-cinematic rant. Director Fiennes stops by to talk with us about her second film with one of the world’s most provocative intellectuals.
“Intellectual rock star Slavoj Zizek dishes out another action-packed lesson in film history and Marxist dialectics with The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, a riveting and often hilarious demonstration of the Slovenian philosopher’s uncanny ability to turn movies inside out and accepted notions on their head.” – Jordan Mintzer, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“Irresistible…. Outlaw philosopher Slavoj Zizek…makes a terrifically entertaining host.” – Steve Dollar, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
“Playful and stimulating…. This is film criticism as stand-up comedy or performance art: Zizek plays up to the camera but that doesn’t diminish his wit or his insights.” – Geoffrey Macnab, THE INDEPENDENT
“FOUR STARS! CRITICS’ PICK. EXHILARATING! Though Zizek is a man to be taken seriously, he’s not averse to donning a nun’s habit—and for that we love him.” – Guy Lodge, TIME OUT NEW YORK “I urge you to rush to theaters to experience this amazingly intelligent, fun and funny piece of work.” – James van Maanen, TRUST MOVIES