August 18, 2017 – Gook, Director Justin Chon

 

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In Justin Chon’s feature film GOOK is a dramedy about Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, who own a struggling shoe store and their unique and unlikely friendship with Kamilla, an 11-year old African American girl. The film opens with Eli scoring a stash of fresh sneakers as his golden ticket to get out of debt and fix his biggest problem: keeping his dad’s shoe store open. Against her brother Keith’s warnings, Kamilla ditches school again to help out at the shoe store, her mother’s former workplace. Everything is going as planned until Kamilla accidentally reveals a gifted pair of expensive sneakers to Keith. Keith realizes Kamilla has been going to the shoe store. Out of anger towards Eli and Daniel he uses this opportunity as revenge and plans to steal all the shoes. Eli must make the ultimate decision for the future of the store and the people he loves. With the chaos of the LA Riots moving towards them, the trio are forced to defend their store against Keith while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family. Director, Writer and Executive Producer Justin Chon joins us for a conversation on his powerful, soul searching film about race, friendship, and family.

For news and updates go to: samuelgoldwynfilms.com/gook

WINNER – Best Actress; Best Director; Audience Award Best Film; and Grand Jury Prize – LA ASIAN PACIFIC FILM FESTIVAL 2017

WINNER – Audience Award Best Film; Honorable Mention Jury Award – CAAM FEST 2017 – SAN FRANCISCO

WINNER – Best Feature Film Jury Award – LAS VEGAS FILM FESTIVAL 2017 

“Chon’s drama is uneven but bristling with life, and it offers a new perspective on a calamitous moment, one whose 25th anniversary has been commemorated in recent months with a slew of potent documentaries.” – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times

“Director, writer and actor Justin Chon remembers the 1992 LA Riots with a rare Korean-American perspective in “Gook,” which reveals itself as a poignant picture of race and friendship.” – Kyle Kohner, The Playlist

“Nodding to Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Kevin Smith’s Clerks, this sophomore feature exemplifies the grunge and angst-ridden energy of the 90s, with a humorous streak as frank as its racially charged title.” – Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader

“Gook may not come close to the electric greatness of Lee’s 1989 film but, as a gesture in its direction, it’s alive with biting promise.” – Alison Wilmore, BuzzFeed

August 18, 2017 – The Fencer, Director Klaus Härö

 

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In Klaus Härö’s beautifully rendered tale a young man, Endel Nelis, arrives in Haapsalu, Estonia, in the early 1950s. Having left Leningrad to escape the secret police, he finds work as a teacher and founds a sports club for his students. Endel becomes a father figure to his students and starts teaching them his great passion – fencing, which causes a conflict with the school’s principal. Envious, the principal starts investigating Endel’s background… Endel learns to love the children and looks after them; most are orphans as a result of the Russian occupation. Fencing becomes a form of self-expression for the children and Endel becomes a role model. The children want to participate in a national fencing tournament in Leningrad, and Endel must make a choice: risk everything to take the children to Leningrad or put his safety first and disappoint them. Director Klaus Härö (The New Man, Mother of Mine, Elina – As If I Wasn’t There) joins us to talk about his heart-wrenching, superbly crafted true story about character and resistance in a time of political repression.

For news and updates go to: thefencermovie.com

“This well-acted, smoothly crafted drama tells a story of cross-generational bonding in the face of historical oppression, in touching if unsurprising fashion.” – Justin Chang, Variety

“A feel-good, well-acted, visually evocative foreign-language biopic about a master fencing teacher in Soviet-controlled 1950s Estonia who changed the lives of his students.” – Simi Horowitz, Film Journal International

“An affecting portrait of a decent man who risks his life to uphold a bond of trust with his students. Though squarely in the tradition of Dead Poets Society and The Bad News Bears, the film offers higher stakes and, consequently, a bigger payoff.” – Marilyn Ferdinand, Chicago Reader

August 11, 2017 – Ingrid Goes West, Director Matt Spicer

Ingrid Thorburn (Aubrey Plaza) is an unhinged social media stalker with a history of confusing “likes” for meaningful relationships. Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) is an Instagram-famous “influencer” whose perfectly curated, boho-chic lifestyle becomes Ingrid’s latest obsession. When Ingrid moves to LA and manages to insinuate herself into the social media star’s life, their relationship quickly goes from #BFF to #WTF. Built around a brilliantly disarming performance from Aubrey Plaza, Ingrid Goes West (winner of the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance) is a savagely hilarious dark comedy that satirizes the modern world of social media and proves that being #perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Director Matt Spicer joins us to talk about his scalpel sharp tale about celebrity and validation.

For news and updates go to: ingridgoeswestfilm.com

“Plaza shines here in her most multifaceted role to date, fearless in her willingness to take Ingrid to cringe-worthy depths with a chameleonic precision.” – Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times

“Shiny pop satire with a humming undercurrent of existential dread, Ingrid Goes West is a clever, corrosive little trick of a movie, a neon candy heart dipped in asbestos.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“Matt Spicer’s social media satire is a bonbon spiked with wit and malice. Plaza and Olsen, both toxic perfection, show us a nightmare world of Insta-obsessives that’s all too recognizable as our own.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“It is entertaining, and often touching, even if it pulls back right when it should be going totally nuts.” – Bilge Emir, Village Voice

August 11, 2017 – The Last Dalai Lama?, Director Mickey Lemle

 

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For over a thousand years, Tibetan Buddhist psychology has taught techniques for overcoming negative, afflictive emotions, such as anger, greed, jealousy, sloth and ignorance.  In the film THE LAST DALAI LAMA?, His Holiness explains that Tibetan Buddhism is both a religion and a “science of the mind”; he also shares his crystallized understanding of the nature of mind, and its part in the creation and alleviation of all of our suffering.  Believing that this precious wisdom belongs to the world, twenty years ago The Dalai Lama challenged a select group of world-renowned Neuroscientists and Mind/Brain researchers to look into the workings of the mind, and to prove scientifically that “Tibetan Buddhist technologies” for overcoming afflictive emotions are skills that can be learned by anyone. The Dalai Lama commissioned Dr. Paul Ekman and his daughter Dr. Eve Ekman to come up with an “Atlas of Emotions” as a way of understanding the effects of emotions on having a tranquil mind.  Being able to recognize the patterns, triggers and responses to emotions is the first step in dealing with them.  In a moving sequence with a high school class in British Columbia, His Holiness The Dalai Lama is able to share his passion for the subject. His urgency and dedication come through in THE LAST DALAI LAMA? as he now turns 82, and must deal with the questions of aging and death, and whether he will reincarnate as The Dalai Lama, or if he will be the last of the lineage that has existed for a millennia. Director Mickey Lemle joins us to talk about his three decade friendship with His Holiness and the profound impact he has had on  politics, culture and a deeper understanding of our shared human nature.

For news and updates go to: thelastdalailamafilm.com/

The Last Dalai Lama opens on Friday, August 11 at the Laemmle Monica Center in Santa Monica for tickets and showtimes

Join Director Mickey Lemle for a Q & A following the Friday, Saturday and Sunday 7:30pm screenings

“You want the chance to bask in his presence and come out with a heightened sense of what he’s about. “The Last Dalai Lama?” accomplishes that, and with an offhand eloquence, though it’s a sketchy, catch-as-catch-can movie …” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“A surplus of wisdom and benevolence radiates from “The Last Dalai Lama?”’ – Helen T. Verongos, New York Times 

“The more an audience member sees the beauty left in the Buddhist leader’s wake, the more it become clear that his influence has the power to continue generations beyond his passing.” – Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

August 11, 2017 – All the Rage: Saved by Sarno, Director Michael Galinsky

Filmmaker Michael Galinsky takes you on his 12-year journey to heal his back. Suffering from chronic back pain and weeks of living and sleeping on the floor, Galinsky found healing through his work directly with Dr. John Sarno at NYU Medical Center. Sarno had changed shock jock Howard Stern’s life. Veteran Senator Tom Harkin was inspired to campaign for his cause, and he gave comedian Larry David “the closest thing to a religious experience” he’s ever had. Sarno’s best selling book “Healing Back Pain” was first published in the 1980’s, and when co-director Galinsky’s father read it, he was cured of chronic whiplash. This artful and personal film, ALL THE RAGE – SAVED BY SARNO, braids Galinsky’s universal story of pain and emotion together with the story of Dr. Sarno’s work, connecting the audience to both the issues and the emotions at play. Featuring interviews with Howard Stern, Larry David, journalist John Stossel, Dr. Andrew Weil, Senators Bernie Sanders and Tom Harkin, and other luminaries, ALL THE RAGE offers a profound rethink of our health care. Director Michael Galinsky stops by to talk about his own back pain and journey to find out the connection between the body and personal trauma. 

For news and updates go to: alltheragedoc.com

All The Rage: Saved by Sarno screens at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles, 9036  Wilshire Blvd. beginning Friday, August 11. Join Director Michael Galinsky and special guests this weekend.

Friday 8/11: 2:20 Director Michael Galinsky joined by Adam Heller of Zero Pain Now

4:50 Director Michael Galinsky joined by Dr. David Schechter 

7:20 Director Michael Galinsky joined by writer Director Jonathan Ames

Saturday 8/12: 2:20 Director Michael Galinsky

4:50 Director Michael Galinsky joined by Alan Gordon of the Pain Psychology Center

7:20 Director Michael Galinsky joined by Alan Gordon of the Pain Psychology Center

Sunday 8/13: 2:20 Michael Galinsky with Jennifer Huggins, Cinical Psychologist

4:50 Michael Galinsky with guest

“This isn’t a conventional documentary, but it’s a damn adventurous film.” – John Everhart, Under the Radar

“”All the Rage” overrides most of its shortcomings by keeping a breezy tone and by showing Dr. Sarno to be a convincing speaker, as well as an affable and somewhat crusty character.” – Ken Jaworosky, New York Times

August 4, 2017 – Icarus, Director Bryan Fogel

 

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In the truly audacious documentary ICARUS, director Bryan Fogel’s bold gambit was this: to investigate doping in sports, Fogel (an amateur bike racer) would dope himself, observe the changes in his performance, and see if he could evade detection. In doing so, he was connected to a renegade Russian scientist, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, a pillar of his country’s “anti-doping” program. Over dozens of Skype calls, urine samples, and badly administered hormone injections, Fogel and Rodchenkov grow closer despite shocking allegations that place Rodchenkov at the center of Russia’s state-sponsored Olympic doping program. When the truth is more complex than imagined, and accusations of illegalities run to Russia’s highest chains of command, the two realize they hold the power to reveal the biggest international sports scandal in living memory. Exemplifying the special bond between filmmaker and subject, this is a vital portrait of the sacrifice some people will make to stand up for truth. ICARUS places you at the heart of an international game of cat and mouse, where a miscalculation can cost you your life. Director Bryan Fogel joins us to talk about his unbelievably prescient film.

Icarus opens on August 4 at the Laemmle Monica Film Center

Watch Icarus on netflix.com

87% on Rotten Tomatoes

WINNER: “Orwell Award” – 2017 Sundance Film Festival

WINNER: Audience Award – 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London

“A wildly timely movie for our current moment, as issues of cheating, illegitimacy and geopolitical bullies take center stage… engrossing, disturbing and believable” – Robert Abele, The Wrap 

“What started out as director/bicycle rider Bryan Fogel’s personal documentary takes a startling and unexpected turn into nerve-wracking thriller territory” – Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

“In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, it couldn’t be more timely” – Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“Takes viewers inside a world-rattling, whistleblowing controversy” – Logan Hill, Esquire 

August 4, 2017 – Columbus, Director Kogonada

When a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour, his son Jin (John Cho) finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana – a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. As their intimacy develops, Jin and Casey explore both the town and their conflicted emotions: Jin’s estranged relationship with his father, and Casey’s reluctance to leave Columbus and her mother. With its naturalistic rhythms and empathy for the complexities of families, debut director Kogonada’s COLUMBUS unfolds as a gently drifting, deeply absorbing conversation. With strong supporting turns from Parker Posey, Rory Culkin, and Michelle Forbes, COLUMBUS is also a showcase for its director’s striking eye for the way physical space can affect emotions. Director Kogonada s a proud immigrant, born in Seoul and raised in the Midwest. He has been noted by Filmmaker Magazine (25 New Faces of Independent Film) and The New Yorker for his visual work and film criticism commissioned by the Criterion Collection and Sight & Sound. He joins us to talk about his emotionally powerful, visually stunning feature film debut.

facebook.com/ColumbusMov

96% on Rotten Tomatoes

Independent Film Festival of Boston

Special Jury Prize – Narrative Feature

“The seeming miracle of Columbus is its mixture of formal precision with a philosophical grasp of human mystery.” – Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

“‘Columbus’ is a feast for the eyes, but its more lasting impression is on the heart.” – Kate Erbland, IndieWire

“The movie leaves quite a bit to the eye of the beholder, but it’s always worth looking at.” – Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times

“As a movie about intimacy Columbus is a masterpiece.” – Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

“Columbus crept up on me so gradually and quietly that I don’t even know when I started to love it. When it was over, though, I was left with a sweet aftertaste that stayed with me for hours.” – Angie Han, Slashfilm

“A clever and compelling exploration into how physical structures can come to represent emotional landmarks in our personal lives.” – Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair

August 4, 2017 – Some Freaks, Director Ian MacAllister McDonald

When high school senior Matt (Thomas Mann) meets fellow outcast Jill (Lily Mae Harrington), he falls more in love than he thought possible. However, after graduation comes and Jill moves cross-country to go to college, she loses more than 50 pounds and changes her appearance entirely – much to Matt’s surprise when he arrives to visit her six months later. While Matt struggles to accept Jill’s new choices, Jill begins to question whether Matt is really the man she wants to date. As the distance widens between them, the characters are propelled onto a collision course with brutality and loss, forcing them to confront who they are, who they were, and who everyone thinks they’re supposed to be. Also starring Ely Henry, Lachlan Buchanan, and this feature by writer-director Ian MacAllister-McDonald. McDonald joins us to talk about his touching, heartfelt feature film debut.

For new and updates go to: somefreaksthemovie.com

Special added event: Please join us for a Q&A session after the 7:20PM show on Friday 8/4. Participants will be writer/director Ian MacAllister-McDonald along with cast members Thomas Mann, Lily Mae Harrington, Ely Henry, and Lachlan Buchanan.

!00% on Rotten Tomatoes

Facebook @SomeFreaksfilm

Twitter@SomeFreaksFilm

Instagram@SomeFreaksFilm2016

“All the actors are good, but Harrington is remarkable. It’s not just the physical changes in her character, but the genuineness with which she inhabits her”. – Billy Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

“Playwright Ian MacAllister-McDonald’s debut feature is a refreshingly grounded, unsentimental yet empathetic slice of D-list teenage life that goes a bit overboard in its final act.” – Dennis Harvey, Variety

“The characters are authentic and deeply felt.” – Bradley Gibson, Film Threat

“Brittle and beautifully-acted and cleverly written “find your tribe” high school romance.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation