Rodents of Unusual Size, Co-Director Jeff Springer, (Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler)

Hard headed Louisiana fisherman Thomas Gonzales doesn’t know what will hit him next. After decades of hurricanes and oil spills he faces a new threat – hordes of monstrous 20 pound swamp rats. Known as “nutria”, these invasive South American rodents breed faster than the roving squads of hunters can control them. And with their orange teeth and voracious appetite they are eating up the coastal wetlands that protects Thomas and his town of Delacroix Island from hurricanes. But the people who have lived here for generations are not the type of folks who will give up without a fight. Thomas and a pack of lively bounty hunters are hellbent on saving Louisiana before it dissolves beneath their feet. It is man vs. rodent. May the best mammal win. Rodents of Unusual Size is a documentary by Quinn Costello, Chris Metzler and Jeff Springer (Everyday Sunshine,The Story of Fishbone). Co-director Jeff Springer join us to talk about the other ‘beast of the Southern wild.”

 

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For news and updates go to: rodentsofunusualsize.tv

Rodents is opening in Los Angeles on September 14th through September 19th @ 1:10pm, 3:20pm, 5:30pm, 8:00pm, & 10:10pm at the Laemmle’s Monica Film Center, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica

  • Opening night Q&A with filmmakers Chris Metzler, Quinn Costello, and animation director Mike Blum

BEST OF FESTIVAL AWARDWild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival

BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARDUNA George Lindsey Film Festival

BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARDTupelo Film Festival

SPECIAL JURY AWARD FOR FILMS FOR OUR FUTUREMendocino Film Festival

EXCELLENCE IN AMERICAN PROFILES AWARDSF Docfest

JURY AWARD FOR BEST DOCUMENTARYOceanside International Film Festival

92% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Rodents of Unusual Size is also a look at how human folly can contribute to environmental disaster, but awareness and ingenuity can help bail us out.” – Peter Keough, Boston Globe

“Depicting the resilience of both the nutria and the Louisianans who’ve endured their presence for many years, Rodents of Unusual Size proves enjoyably quirky and informative.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

“… a squirmy, funny, fascinating documentary that mixes history, zoology and social and cultural anthropology to examine the relationship of the giant rat to the bayou Louisianans who hunt, skin and sometimes even eat the dagger-incisored critters.” – John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal

“A bizarre and fascinating documentary that’ll make your jaw drop.” Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News

Lost Child, Director Ramaa Mosley and Actor Kip Collins (Fig)

LOST CHILD follows an army veteran, Fern, who returns home in order to look for her brother, only to discover an abandoned boy lurking in the woods behind her childhood home. After taking in the boy, she searches for clues to his identity, and discovers the local folklore about a malevolent, life-draining spirit that comes in the form of a child; the Tatterdemalion. A beautifully-crafted mystery drama from award-winning director Ramaa Mosley. LOST CHILD stars Leven Rambin, Jim Parrack, John Taylor Smith, and Landon Edwards. Director / co-screenwriter (Tim Macy) Ramaa Mosley and actor Kip Collins joins us for a conversation on PTSD, self-financing your own film, the supernatural, and bracing the people of the Ozarks.

 

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For news and updates go to: bgpics.com/2018/lost-child

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“An extraordinarily delicate balancing act between drama and horror, visually and psychologically expansive, set in a place where stories of monsters are not mere entertaining fun, and where superstition is not harmless.” – MaryAnn Johnson, Flick Filosopher

“The slow-burning thriller walks a fine line, balancing elements of psychological drama and the supernatural, with a surging undercurrent of social commentary that sneaks up on you.” – Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

“The slow-burning thriller walks a fine line, balancing elements of psychological drama and the supernatural, with a surging undercurrent of social commentary that sneaks up on you.” – Fred Topel, Monsters and Critics

HAL, Director Amy Scott

Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s—HAROLD AND MAUDE, THE LAST DETAIL, SHAMPOO, COMING HOME, BEING THERE—he is often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott’s HAL is an exuberant portrait that explores that curious oversight, using rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings to reveal a passionate, obsessive artist. Ashby was a Hollywood director who constantly clashed with Hollywood, but also a unique soul with an unprecedented insight into the human condition and an unmatched capacity for good. His films were an elusive blend of honesty, irreverence, humor, and humanity. Through the heartrending and inspiring HAL, you feel buoyed by Ashby’s love of people and of cinema, a little like walking on water. On camera interviews his many collaborators, including Oscar®-winning actors Lee Grant, Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Louis Gossett Jr, Jeff Bridges and more recall how they were empowered by Ashby and granted them artistic freedom. Contemporary directors include Alexander Payne, Judd Apatow, Lisa Cholodenko, and David O. Russell attest to the quiet but powerful influence Ashby has had on their own filmmaking. Behind the camera colleagues Norman Jewison, Robert Towne, Haskell Wexler, and Pablo Ferro stand witness to Ashby’s brilliance as a filmmaker and the forces that led to his undoing.  Director Amy Scott joins us to talk about her artistic connection to Hal Ashby, as editor and director, and her desire to correct many of the lingering misperceptions of Ashby through her riveting and loving film about a true maverick.

 

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For news and updates go to: hal.oscilloscope.net

“If there’s still the sense that Ashby isn’t as sanctified as American New Wave stalwarts Coppola or Scorsese, Amy Scott’s breezy tribute of a documentary is out to correct that oversight.” – Robert Abele, TheWrap

“A vivid portrait of artistic integrity and complete commitment to the art of filmmaking.” – J.R. Kinnard

“Hal is a loving tribute to a filmmaker who rarely gets the attention he deserves.” – Brian Thompson, Film Threat

“Just before the documentary slips into hero worship, Amy Scott pries beneath the calm surface of her bearded and bespectacled subject to reveal the silent rage that fueled his work.” – A.J. Serrano, Slant Magazine

City of Joy, Director Madeleine Gavin

City of Joy follows the first class of students at a remarkable leadership center in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, a region often referred to as “the worst place in the world to be a woman.” These women have been through unspeakable violence spurred on by a 20 year war driven by colonialism and greed. In the film, they band together with the three founders of this center: Dr. Denis Mukwege (2016 Nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize), radical playwright and activist Eve Ensler (“The Vagina Monolgoues”) and human rights activist, Christine Schuler-Deschryver, to find a way to create meaning in their lives even when all that was meaningful to them has long been stripped away. In this ultimately uplifting film, we witness the tremendous resilience as these women transform their devastation into powerful forms of leadership for their beloved country. Director, writer and editor Madeleine Gavin stops by to talk about this beautifully told story of unspeakable cruelty, remarkable resilience and unconditional love in a desperately poor country in a region of the world renown for violence.

 

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For news and updates go to: netflix.com/City of Joy

“City Of Joy is, in as far as it goes, a powerful film, reminding viewers that survival itself is something to be proud of and consigning the notion that a raped woman is ruined forever to the dustbin of history.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Active Measures, Director Jack Bryan

ACTIVE MEASURES chronicles the most successful espionage operation in Russian history, the American presidential election of 2016. Filmmaker Jack Bryan exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladmir Putin to disrupt, and ultimately control world events. In the process, the filmmakers follow a trail of money, real estate, mob connections, and on the record confessions to expose an insidious plot that leads directly back to The White House. With democracy hanging in the balance, ACTIVE MEASURES is essential viewing. Unraveling the true depth and scope of “the Russia story” as we have come to know it, this film a jarring reminder that some conspiracies hide in plain sight. Director / Producer / Writer stops by to talk about his comprehensive, searing indictment of a vast, corrupting totalitarian political system determined to destroy any vestige of self-governance and democratic institutions.

 

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For news and updates go to: activemeasures.com

Check for a theatre near you – activemeasures.com/tickets

Host your own an Active Measures screening

“[A] thorough, chilling rabbit-hole inquiry …” – Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“It’s a lot to take in, as names and numbers zip by, yet missing some of its points may be healthy. To explore every moment is to risk overdosing on outrage.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

“‘Active Measures’ names the names and fills in the flowchart of Trump’s corruption with gripping authority.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Well researched and truly frightening.” – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter

The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself, Director Anthony Short

“The Man Who Loves To Hurt Himself,” follows the turbulent musical journey of Today is the Day enigmatic legendary frontman and founder, Steve Austin. Ride along as Austin’s first person account brings balance to these opposing forces, reckoning and stretching himself from the drive to create his musical vision, engaging and performing intense shows around the world, to being home with his wife and children. How one near-death experience led him to connect with the love of his life and begin the transition, fulfilling his destiny as a loving family man while completing his mission to bring relief his followers and overcome being the man who loves to hurt himself. “The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself” is a loose but subdued methodic subtlety of the movie stands in sharp contrast to an artist known in the worldwide underground of extreme music for abrasive, loud, chaotic spectacle neo-violent imagery a slow, brooding and emotional 93-minutes that covers a year of conversations and ride-a-longs with the casual aesthetic of natural conversation supported by raw grainy fan shot footage, old pictures, personal home videos, career spanning amulets, in a self examination of the psyche of a modern-day “madman” and “master.” Director Anthony Short joins us for a conversation on connecting with a singular music savant / philosopher / survivor.

 

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For news and updates go to: tmwlthh.com

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To follow the bands journey:

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Twitter:@todayistheday66

Do You Trust This Computer? Director Chris Paine

Directed by Chris Paine and executive produced by Paine and Tiffany Asakawa, Do You Trust This Computer? examines the promises and perils of this developing era. Science fiction has long anticipated the rise of machine intelligence. Today, a new generation of self-learning computers has begun to reshape every aspect of our lives. Incomprehensible amounts of data are being created, interpreted, and fed back to us in a tsunami of apps, personal assistants, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is experiencing this transformation, from job automation, to medical diagnostics, even military operations. Do You Trust This Computer? explores the promises and perils of our new era. Will A.I. usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention? Featuring influential minds, including but not limited to: former Google Brain co-founder & director Andrew Ng, co-founder and CEO of Affectiva Rana el Kaliouby, Osaka University robotic engineer Hiroshi Ishiguro, engineer & entrepreneur Elon Musk, OpenAI director Shivon Zilis, and co- showrunner of HBO’s Westworld, Jonathan Nolan. Director Chris Paine ((Who Killed The Electric Car?, Revenge of the Electric Car) joins us for a lively conversation on where we are and where we are heading with Artificial Intelligence.

 

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For news and updates go to: doyoutrustthiscomputer.org

For information on other Chris Paine films go to: papercutfilms.com

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75% on Rotten Tomatoes

“‘Do You Trust This Computer?’ covers the major talking points about the benefits and dangers of artificial intelligence, assembling them into something engaging and alarming – if not exactly in-depth.” – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“A sleek and engaging watch.” – Ken Jaworowski, New York Times

“This documentary covers a wide array of examples of the potentially scary downside of artificial intelligence, none particularly in depth but with enough ingenuity to cause alarm.” – Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media

“here’s a lot to cram into 78 minutes. Director Chris Paine doesn’t waste any time, so you’ll need to pay attention.” – Jennie Kermode. Eye for Film

Calling All Earthlings, Director Jonathan Berman

One the 2018’s most provocative and wildly entertaining documentaries is Calling All Earthlings. Director Jonathan Berman’s new film explores the Integratron, a mid-century dome created by one-time Howard Hughes confidante, George Van Tassel. Van Tassel claimed to have combined extraterrestrial guidance with the work of inventor/physicist Nikola Tesla and other alternative scientists, to build an electromagnetic time machine he dubbed “The Integratron.” Was he deluded? Or could the dome actually break through the boundaries of space, time, and energy?  FBI agents try to halt the growing army of outliers who gather in the desert to create a threatening reality on the edge of the midcentury American Dream. An empathetic enquiry into an archetypical countercultural movement, the story is told by relatives, neighbors, skeptics, believers, scientists, healers, artists, and historians, including Dr. Kevin Starr, the preeminent historian of California; Eric Burdon, musician and area resident, and futurists JJ and Desiree Hurtak. Berman’s film My Friend Paul (2000), about his relationship with his bipolar best friend. He is director and producer of  The  Shvitz  (1994), a film about the last traditional steam baths in New York. Berman also co-wrote the story for the independent comedy On The Run, and was the American producer on Claudia  Heuermann’s Sabbath in Paradise, which featured Harvey Pekar and John Zorn. Director Jonathan Berman’s documentaries explore third places, those beyond home or work. Berman joins us for a lively conversation on his endlessly fascinating film that never fails to educate, enlighten and entertain.

For news and updates go to: Callingallearthlingsmovie.com

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“Laugh if you want – or, conversely, give credence to the ufologists and time travelers – but to most of the people profiled this is serious stuff.” – Christoher Llewellyn, Hammer to Nail

“Most appealing is the film’s mixture of California post-War history, cults and a tinge of science fiction – an intriguing combination of elements that make it a winner.” – Paul Parcellin, Film Threat

“Flakey, non-judgmental fun with UFOlogists and their late guru.” – Roger Moore, Movie Nation

Crime + Punishment, Director Stephen Maing

Meet the NYPD12: a group of minority whistleblower officers who risk everything to expose racially discriminatory policing practices in the NYPD and smash the blue wall of silence. Using stunning cinematography and intimate, character-drive access, CRIME + PUNISHMENT captures the story of these brave individuals right from the beginning, as several officers meet up to talk about the New York Police Department’s outlawed practices of quota-driven policing and officer retaliation — and find themselves starting a class-action suit against the city. Using secret recordings between officers and commanders, firsthand accounts, and emotional testimony, the NYPD12 detail the explosive truth when no one else will listen. In the meantime, Manuel Gomez, an ex-cop turned private investigator, collects testimony from young minorities who have been affected by these policies and targeted by officers in the name of fighting crime. Told from the rarely heard perspective of active whistleblower officers and the young men and women of color they police, CRIME + PUNISHMENT is a once-in-a-generation film that considers the complexities of police work when faced with the unjust systemic and institutional practices fueling social justice movements across America. Director / Producer / Cinematographer / Editor Stephen Maing joins us for conversation on how he came to know the brave men and women who stepped forward, and why this is not just a New York City issue.

 

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For news and updates go to: crimeandpunishmentdoc.com

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Los Angeles, CA – Royal Theater  Opens August 24, 2018

U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact Filmmaking at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

94% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A triumph of documentary filmmaking.” – Tim Wu, THE NEW YORKER

“Amazing. An awesome film.” – Eugene Hernandez, FILM COMMENT

“It’s a real achievement, this film. Gorgeously composed…Vital, necessary and groundbreaking. It’s a significant work of investigative journalism.” – Nic Rapold and Eric Hynes, FILM COMMENT PODCAST

“Remarkable. Maing becomes so embedded with his subjects, we get to see them up close and personal. We need to recognize that the way racism functions in our society is out in public, and we must stand with those who are brave enough to put their livelihoods on the line to change the system. Crime + Punishment makes that argument clearly, persuasively, and with immediacy.” – Matt Goldberg, COLLIDER

“Maing doesn’t seek to offer any solutions; instead, he does something that we often fail to do in our embattled society, he gives these particular officers and the people that they police their humanity back.” – Aramide A. Tinubu, SHADOW AND ACT

Support the Girls, Director Andrew Bujalski

In Andrew Bujalski’s comedy Lisa (Regina Hall) is the last person you’d expect to find in a highway-side “sports bar with curves,”– but as general manager at Double Whammies, she’s come to love the place, and its customers. An instinctive den mother, she nurtures and protects her ‘girls’ on the staff fiercely — but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction… Double Whammies sells a big, weird American fantasy, but what happens when reality pokes a bunch of holes in it?

Director Andrew Bujalski’s Statement – It seems like just about the simplest business concept you could imagine — “What if all the waitresses in this restaurant wore tight, cleavage-y halter tops?”— but I couldn’t get over how bizarre it ultimately was. No culture besides present-day America would ever produce mass-scale demand for such a place, a business that seems about 10% strip club and 90% TGI Friday’s / Applebee’s / Chili’s / Cracker Barrel. Strippers are supposed to make men feel like badass transgressors. But these women are just supposed to make you feel normal — the proverbial “red-blooded American male.” You don’t see many stories set in this  slice of Americana, and with good reason. It does not lend itself to grand dramatic arcs, or, really, to gut-busting comedy. But it certainly is full of contradictions, and incredibly fertile with opportunities for subtle spiritual conflicts. I couldn’t pretend to untangle these from an insider’s perspective, so I dreamed up a kind of outsider character, Lisa the general manager, to walk in there with a spirit of openness and love — and plenty of her own pathologies–to see what she might discover in there. While it is a very specific story in many ways, I hope that anyone who’s ever worked for a living will relate. Most of us have to buy/sell one crazy “concept” or another to pay our bills, and some days, you’re not sure if your humor and dignity will survive to the end of the shift…

Director and writer Andrew Bujalski (Beeswax, Computer Chess, Results) joins us to talk about his insightful “girl power” comedic drama with a ground-level take on masculine hurly-burly in a vanishing American paradigm.

 

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For news and updates go to: supportthegirlsfilm.com

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Its light, sweetly frisky exterior and easygoing pace camouflages what a subtle and brilliant piece of bracing social commentary it is; a deft portrait of sisterhood existing under the thumb of capitalistic patriarchy.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“Hall’s superb, deeply felt performance keeps the movie grounded, allowing the supporting cast to provide hilarious liftoff at regular intervals.” – Mike D’Angelo, AV Club

“Bujalski frames most of Support the Girls as an almost real-time delineation of chaos, but his storytelling elegance – delicate, nearly invisible foreshadowing; cogent evocations of backstory – adds reflective layers to the surface anarchy.” – Danny King, Village Voice

“The sharp-elbowed humor is laced with aching tenderness, tightrope-tense frustrations over money and love, and an underlying mix of social pathologies that bubbles through the show-biz surfaces…” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“Hall’s performance – tender, tough, empathetic, controlled – crumples from tears to laughter in a blink. It’s phenomenal.” – Amy Nicholson, Variety

We the Animals, Director Jeremiah Zagar

Us three. Us brothers. Us kings, inseparable. Three boys tear through their childhood, in the midst of their young parents’ volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over. While Manny and Joel grow into versions of their loving and unpredictable father, Ma seeks to shelter her youngest, Jonah, in the cocoon of home. More sensitive and conscious than his older siblings, Jonah increasingly embraces an imagined world all his own. With a screenplay by Dan Kitrosser and Jeremiah Zagar based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel, We the Animals is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by layered performances from its astounding cast of Sheila Vand, Raul Castillo, and three talented, young first-time actors, Evan Rosado, Isaiah Kristian, Josiah Gabriel as well as stunning animated sequences which bring Jonah’s torn inner world to life. Drawing from his documentary background, director Jeremiah Zagar creates an immersive portrait of working class family life and brotherhood. Director and screenwriter Jeremiah Zagar joins us to talk about his gorgeous and ethereal tale of young boys struggling to find their own way in a tattered landscape of family and identity.

 

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For news and updates go to: wetheanimals.film

Social Media:

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95% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Every once in a while a movie grabs you, unsuspecting, and hustles its way into your heart. Jeremiah Zagar’s “We the Animals” does that.” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“On one level… “We the Animals” is a classic coming-of age tale; on another, it’s a near perfect depiction of the emotional damage that can result from economic insecurity” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“An impressionistic swirl of a film about masculinity, about abuse, about growing up queer, about chaotic family life, about the jumble of incidents and stirrings through which a child discovers a self. – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“In every scene, We the Animals evokes not only the specificity of that world but the deep-seated challenges of escaping it.” – Eric Kohn, IndieWire

The Rider, Actor Brady Jandreau

In the beautifully realized story of struggle and determination, young cowboy Brady Blackburn (Brady Jandreau), once a rising star of the rodeo circuit and an uniquely gifted horse trainer, is warned that his riding days are over after a horse badly crushed his skull at a rodeo and put him in a three-day coma. Back home on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota, Brady struggles with the physical and emotional complications of the accident. He is comforted by his inimitable little sister Lilly (Lilly Jandreau), who has Asperger’s Syndrome, while tensions between him and his gambling father, Wayne (Tim Jandreau), approach a breaking point when Wayne resorts to selling Brady’s favorite horse to keep their trailer home. Brady finds himself wondering what he has to live for when he can no longer do what gives him a sense of purpose: to ride and compete. In an attempt to regain control of his fate, Brady undertakes a search for new identity and tries to redefine his idea of what it means to be a man in the heartland of America. Lead actor Brady Jandreau talks about his journey from the rodeo to his portrayal of a fictionalized version of his own brush with death, depression, and recovery, and the thrill of working with family and friends in this celebrated film debut by award-winning (Cannes Film Festival Directors’ Fortnight, Best Picture) director/writer /producer Chloe Zhao (Songs My Brother Taught Me).

 

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For news and update go to: sonyclassics.com/therider

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96% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The Rider marries the majestic vistas of the greatest American westerns with a deeply interior story of a cowboy having to renegotiate his identity.” – Ben Croll, The Wrap

“It’s just plain excellent.” – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“A remarkable, deeply moving melding of fact and fiction.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

“Filmmaker Chloé Zhao turns the story of real-life bronc rider Brady Jandreau into a gritty, graceful character study. Once The Rider hooks you – and believe me, it will – there’s no way you will ever forget it.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“One of the year’s most arresting and unforgettable films.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

A Whale of a Tale, Director Megumi Sasaki

In 2010, Taiji, a sleepy fishing town in Japan, suddenly found itself in the worldwide media spotlight. THE COVE, a documentary denouncing the town’s longstanding whale and dolphin hunting traditions, won an Academy Award and almost overnight, Taiji became the go-to destination and battleground for activists from around the world. Can a proud 400-year-old whaling tradition survive a tsunami of modern animal-rights activism and colliding forces of globalism vs. localism? A WHALE OF A TALE reveals the complex story behind the ongoing debate. Told through a wide range of characters including local fishermen, international activists and an American journalist (and long time Japanese resident), this powerful documentary unearths a deep divide in eastern and western thought about nature and wildlife and cultural sensitivity in the face of global activism. In 2008, Filmmaker Megumi Sasaki directed and produced her first feature-length documentary HERB & DOROTHY, about legendary New York art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel.  The film went on to win top honors at many international film festivals and was released theatrically nationwide and as a part of PBS’s Independent Lens series. In 2013, Megumi completed the highly anticipated follow-up HERB & DOROTHY 50X50, focusing on the next (and final) chapter in the lives of the beloved couple. Director Megumi Sasaki joins us for a frank and wide-open conversation on the why she felt that telling this story was important and critical to understanding another side of a complex issue that has implication far beyond the shores of Tajii.

 

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For news and updates go to: awhaleofatalefilm.com

A Whale of the Tale is playing this week at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles

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“A Whale of a Tale is a corrective, countering The Cove‘s agitprop sensationalism with a measured and nuanced curiosity.” – The Village Voice

“A Whale of a Tale is a great spectacle that presents the other side of a matter that was too one-sided until now, and that is where its biggest value lies.”– Asian Film Vault

“A Whale of a Tale delivers a thoughtful riposte to The Cove“ – Hollywood Reporter

“An illuminating examination of the still-ongoing conflict.” – Film Journal International

Minding the Gap, Director Bing Liu

First-time filmmaker Bing Liu’s documentary Minding the Gap is a coming-of-age saga of three skateboarding friends in their Rust Belt hometown hit hard by decades of recession. In his quest to understand why he and his friends all ran away from home when they were younger, Bing follows 23-year-old Zack as he becomes a father and 17-year-old Keire as he gets his first job. As the film unfolds, Bing is thrust into the middle of Zack’s tumultuous relationship with his girlfriend and Keire’s inner struggles with racial identity and his deceased father. While navigating a complex relationship between his camera and his friends, Bing explores the gap between fathers and sons, between discipline and domestic abuse, and ultimately that precarious chasm between childhood and becoming an adult. Director Bing Liu joins us for a lively conversation on masculinity, adulthood, the joy of skateboarding and the crippling legacy of domestic violence.

 

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For news and updates go to: mindingthegapfilm.com

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“One of the year’s great, small treasures, Bing Liu’s extraordinary documentary “Minding the Gap” is like a deluxe skateboarding video, yet so much more.” – Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner

“”Minding the Gap” is a personal documentary of the highest sort, in which the film’s necessity to the filmmaker-and its obstacles, its resistances, its emotional and moral demands on him-are part of its very existence.” – Richard Brody, New Yorker

“With infinite sensitivity, Mr. Liu delves into some of the most painful and intimate details of his friends’ lives and his own, and then layers his observations into a rich, devastating essay on race, class and manhood in 21st-century America.” – A.O. Scott, New York Times

“Even some of the best coming-of-age films cannot capture the beautiful and awful tangible qualities of real life that may only exist in documentaries, and Bing Liu has caught lightning in a bottle.” – Musanna Ahmed, Film Inquiry

The Captain, Director Robert Schwentke

Based on the arresting true story of the Executioner of Emsland, The Captain follows a German army deserter, Willi Herold (Max Hubacher), after he finds an abandoned Nazi captain’s uniform in the final weeks of World War II. Emboldened by the authority the uniform grants him, he amasses a band of stragglers who cede to his command despite the suspicions of some. Citing direct orders from the Fuhrer himself, he soon takes command of a camp holding German soldiers accused of desertion and begins to dispense harsh justice. Increasingly intoxicated by the unquestioned authority, this enigmatic imposter soon discovers that many people will blindly follow the leader, whomever that happens to be. Simultaneously a historical docudrama and sociological examination with undertones of the absurd, The Captain presents fascism as something of a game to be played by those most gullible and unscrupulous. Director Robert Schwentke stops by for a conversation on the troubling implications of this tale of myopic madness sanctioned by a psychotic regime on the verge of collapse.

 

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For news and updates go to: musicboxfilms.com/The Captain

74% on Rotten Tomatoes

“It compels our attention with a remorseless, gripping single-mindedness, presenting Naziism as a communicable disease that smothers conscience, paralyzes resistance and extinguishes all shreds of humanity.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“Schwentke intends for these actions to parallel what Wehrmacht participated in against Jews and Roma …This astute film is an excoriating portrait of Nazism or fascism.” – Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward

“A brave and uncompromising indictment of human nature, Teutonic or otherwise.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“We are left to contemplate this vision of Fascism as a machine that, once turned on, can sustain itself even in the absence of explicit direction from above.” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine / Vulture

Madeline’s Madeline, Co-producers Krista Parris and Elizabeth Rao (editor)

Madeline (Helena Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop’s ambitious director (Molly Parker) pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother (Miranda July) into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives. Writer/director Josephine Decker has long been an independent filmmaker to admire, utilizing a welcome expressionistic approach that imbues her subjects with a vibrant sense of urgency. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from newcomer Helena Howard, whose powerful screen presence commands attention, Decker’s film displays a rare sensitivity for capturing the messy struggles of discovering a sense of one’s self that defies easy narrative categorization. Producers Krista Parris and Elizabeth Rao joins us to talk about this immersive “psychological horror” narrative, collaboration in creative process, the casting of newcomer Helena Howard.

 

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For news and updates go to: madelinesmadeline.oscilloscope.net

90% on Rotten Tomatoes

“An ecstatically disorienting experience that defines its terms right from the start and then obliterates any trace of traditional film language, achieving a cinematic aphasia that allows Decker to redraw the boundaries between the stories we tell and the people we tell them about.” – David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

“In her third film, writer-director Josephine Decker confirms her position as the American indie queen of improv, whose self-styled mission it is to push the outer limits of film language into the stratosphere.”Deborah Young, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“Among its other astonishments, Josephine Decker’s new feature, MADELINE’S MADELINE, does something very simple: it dispels the shibboleth that movies spotlighting strong and original performances differ from ones that innovate at the level of cinematic style. MADELINE’S MADELINE does both, with equal intensity. Decker’s film, in its dramatic contours, is an utterly clear and classical drama about a Queens family.” – Richard Brody, THE NEW YORKER

“One of this year’s headiest, most dazzlingly assured moviegoing experiences.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

The Swan, Director Asa Hjorleifsdottir

In contemporary rural Iceland, a wayward 9-year old girl, Sól, is sent to distant countryside relatives for a summer to work and to mature. Nature seems endless there, the animals soulful but the people harsh. All except the mysterious farmhand Jón, who – as Sól herself – likes words better than people. But the farmers’ daughter Ásta has a claim on Jón as well, and soon Sól becomes entangled in a drama she hardly can grasp. This summer marks Sól’s rite of passage into the murky waters of adulthood, and the wild nature in us all. Director and screenwriter  Asa Hjorleifsdottir stops by for a conversation on directing a first-time actor in the lead role, returning to her own childhood community and Icelandic traditions.

 

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For news and updates go to: facebook.com/svanurinn2016 or facebook.com/theswan

80% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A gently moving, lyrical and unflinching coming-of-age drama with a terrific performance by newcomer Gríma Valsdóttir.” – Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru

“Anchored by a remarkable child’s performance, The Swan is a sensitive example of an overlooked element in coming-of-age films: awakening to the outside world.” – Serena Donadoni, Village Voice

“It’s that forceful central performance that really makes The Swan special, together with Martin Neumeyer’s atmospheric but never overbearing cinematography, which brings out the light as well as the darkness in the hills.” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

“A coming-of-age drama that’s as beautiful and brutal as the remote, rural landscape of northern Iceland where it takes place.” – Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com

Actor Piper Laurie (Snapshots)

In her latest project,SNAPSHOTS, legendary actor Piper Laurie plays family matriarch Rose.. The story will resonate with every person who has lived through the complexity of family relationships, It reminds us that if we are loved no secret is too difficult to hear and accept. Or is it? Rose (Gran) is the matriarch. She has lived in this house for over fifty years. She and her deceased husband Joe raised their daughter Patty in this home. Patty, now a widow in her early 50’s, lives in St. Louis. Each year Patty and her newly married daughter Allison spend a laughter filled girl’s weekend with Gran. This year will be different. Piper Laurie joins us for a conversation on the making of her latest project (Snapshots) in a legendary film career that includes three Academy Award nominated performances (The Hustler, Carrie, Children of a Lesser God) and an Emmy nomination for David Lynch’s groundbreaking television serial (Twin Peaks).

 

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For news and updates go to: snapshotsthefilm.com

Social Media:

Facebook:facebook.com/threewomeninabox

Twitter:@SNAPSHOTSmovie

Instagram: @Snapshotsthefilm

“Performances all around are strong, with Piper Laurie’s Rose taking the lead and directing us through the story’s narrative. We are invited to soak in the retro atmosphere as the story unfolds at a leisurely pace.” – Paul Parcellin, Film Threat

Scotty and the Secret Story of Hollywood, Director Matt Tyrnauer

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood  is the deliciously scandalous story of Scotty Bowers, a handsome ex-Marine who landed in Hollywood after World War II and became confidante, aide de camp and lover to many of Hollywood’s greatest male — and female — stars. In the 1940s and ’50s, Scotty ran a gas station in the shadow of the studio lots where he would connect his friends with actors and actresses who had to hide their true sexual identities for fear of police raids at gay bars, societal shunning and career suicide. An unsung Hollywood legend, Bowers would cater to the sexual appetites of celebrities – straight and gay – for decades. In 2012, he finally spilled his secrets in the New York Times bestselling memoir “Full Service,” which revealed a dramatic, pre-Stonewall alternate history of Hollywood. While the studio PR machine were promoting their stars as wholesome and monogamous, Bowers was fulfilling the true desires of many of them. This cinema-vérité documentary tells his story, as well as presents eye-opening takes on icons from the Hollywood Golden Age including Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Ava Gardner and many more. Director Matt Tyrnauer (Studio 54, Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Valentino: The Last Emperor) joins us for spirited conversation on the days when the Hollywood PR machine mattered more than the lives of the artist who made it successful and the role Scotty Bowers played in breaking that stranglehold on them.

 

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For news and updates go to: scottymovie.com

Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood open July 27th at the Arclight Hollywood

“Scotty” rolls out across the country beginning August 3, find theatres near you.

Hashtag: #ScottyMovie

Twitter / Instagram: @ScottyTheMovie

Facebook: Facebook.com/ScottyTheMovie

92% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Scotty” is more than just a portrait of the man, also serving as a history lesson on how the film industry once tried to project a repressive, clean-cut image to satisfy moral watchdogs” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

“A nicely filled-out look at different eras, one secrecy-ridden and dedicated to the preservation of illusion, the other wide open and blasé about personal predilections.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“There’s plenty of gossip to be found here, but there’s also no shortage of humanity.” – Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

“The present-day footage is more compelling than any of the gossipy bits, which turn out to be the hook that pulls the film into more fraught and complex directions.” – Kevin Ritchie, NOW Toronto

“’Scotty and the Secret History’ is a fascinating portrait that neither lionizes nor judges its subject. It merely lets you take him for what he is.” – Jason Bailey, Flavorwire

Night Comes On, Director Jordana Spiro

Jordana Spiro’s intimate, detailed feature debut drama, NIGHT COMES ON, tells the story of Angel LaMere. released from juvenile detention on the eve of her 18th birthday. Haunted by her past, Angel embarks on a journey with her 10-year-old sister to avenge her mother’s death. NIGHT COMES ON won the 2018 Sundance NEXT Innovator Prize that features riveting performances by Dominique Fishback (Angel) and Tatum Marilyn Hall (Abby). Director and writer Jordana Spiro joins us for a conversation about her remarkably nuanced tale of pain, loss, empathy and revenge.

For news and updates go to: Night Comes On

 

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100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“A strikingly tender handling of such a tough albeit totally human tale. The amount of empathy within Night Comes On is a spectacle itself.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“‘Night Comes On’ is, true to its title, blanketed in a dim, crepuscular state of waiting. Fishback, her film career unfurling clearly before her from scene to scene, blazes a way out of it.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“But just below the surface, Night Comes On is a careful, layered portrait of a person navigating her uncertain way through a sea of trouble, and we come to care about her and admire her spirit.” – Kelly Vance, East Bay Express

“Night Comes On will stick with you long after turning it off, yearning for more female-driven stories like this one and hoping they become just as poignant as other films to broader audiences.” – Jaime Broadnax, Black Girl Nerds

NICO, 1988, Director Susanna Nicchiarelli

NICO, 1988 features a tour de force performance from Trine Dyrholm’s as the aging Nico (aka Christa Päffgen), interpreting rather than impersonating the famed singer-songwriter as she approaches 50. Leading a solitary existence in Manchester Nico’s life and career are on the ropes, a far cry from her glamorous days as a Warhol superstar and celebrated vocalist for The Velvet Underground. Nico’s new manager Richard (John Gordon Sinclair) convinces her to hit the road again and tour Europe to promote her latest album. Struggling with her demons and the consequences of a muddled life, she longs to rebuild a relationship with the son Ari (Sandor Funtek) she lost custody of long ago. A brave and uncompromising musician, Nico’s is the story of an artist, a mother, and the woman behind the icon. Director Susanna Nicchiarelli joins us to talk about Trine Dyrholm’s raw performance and her own unvarnished look into the post-iconic world of NICO and into the tortuous journey that Christa Päffgen took, as an artist and mother, towards the person she knew she wanted to be.

 

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For news and updates go to: nico1988.com

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Writer/director Susanna Nicchiarelli and star Trine Dyrholm craft a late-career biopic that acts not only as a portrait of a complex figure, but recognises the considerable toll of daring not to conform.” – Sarah Ward, Screen International

“Nicchiarelli dives deeply into the life of a tragic but remarkable woman, memorably portrayed by Danish actress and singer Trine Dyrholm as an unpleasant, hurtful junkie plagued with memories and regrets.” – Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

“Nico, 1988 shows us how extraordinary the biopic can be when it is freed from unnecessary restrictions to embrace the idiosyncrasies of its subject.” – Lee Jutton, Film Inquiry

“Remarkably personal, with a bold, gritty edge that echoes the intensity of both Nico’s singing and Trine Dyrholm’s thunderous performance.” – Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie, Director Lee Aronsohn

40 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE MAGIC MUSIC MOVIE chronicles how one of their greatest fans, acclaimed director (and UC Boulder alumnus) Lee Aronsohn, tracked down the original band members four decades later to tell their story. More importantly, he makes a dream come true for himself, fellow fans, and the band, by bringing them all back to Boulder for a sold-out reunion concert that preserves their legacy for posterity. Magic Music is one of the most fondly remembered bands of the Boulder Revolution of the late 60s and early 70s. Living in a makeshift camp up in the mountains, they would delight local residents and university students with their original songs, acoustic instruments, and light harmonies; their growing popularity brought them to the brink of success more than once. Unfortunately, they never signed a record deal and eventually broke up in 1975. 40 YEARS IN THE MAKING: THE MAGIC MUSIC MOVIE opens in New York August 3, and in Los Angeles August 10, with a national release to follow. Director Lee Aronsohn talks about his endearing and poignant documentary on the music that became a living soundtrack for a community and the band of musicians who became life-long friends.

 

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For news and updates go to: magicmusicmovie.com

Opening on Friday, August 10 at the Laemmle Music Hall

Social Media:

facebook.com/MagicMusicMovie

twitter.com/MagicMusicMovie

instagram.com/magicmusicmovie

“Beyond celebrating the music, 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie has something to say about the compromises and reconciliations that are a part of aging, and it turns out to make for a stirring and healing reunion.” – Stephen Farber, Hollywood Reporter

“By the end of the film, I was singing along” – Ain’t It Cool News

“Good vibes…” – Variety

Snapshots, Director Melanie Mayron

SNAPSHOTS has been compared to the award winning films THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, CLOUDBURST, DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA YA SISTERHOOD, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, and STEEL MAGNOLIAS. All of these films show the strength and resilience of people as they cope with the fragilities of life. SNAPSHOTS resonates with every person who has lived through the complexity of family relationships, It reminds us that if we are loved no secret is too difficult to hear and accept. Or is it? Rose (Piper Laurie) is the matriarch. She has lived in this house for over fifty years. She and her deceased husband Joe raised their daughter Patty (Brooke Adams) in this home. Patty, now a widow in her early 50’s, lives in St. Louis. Each year Patty and her newly married daughter Allison (Emily Baldoni) spend a laughter filled girl’s weekend with Gran. This year will be different. Director Melanie Mayron (The Babysitter’s Club, Freaky Friday, Thirtysomething Grace and Frankie) joins us for a conversation on working with talents like Piper Laurie and Brooke Adams and her story of life, love, struggle and the roads not taken.

 

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For news and updates go to: snapshotsthefilm.com

Social Media:

Facebook:facebook.com/threewomeninabox

Twitter:@SNAPSHOTSmovie

Instagram: @Snapshotsthefilm

“Performances all around are strong, with Piper Laurie’s Rose taking the lead and directing us through the story’s narrative. We are invited to soak in the retro atmosphere as the story unfolds at a leisurely pace.” – Paul Parcellin, Film Threat

Pin Cushion, Director Deborah Haywood

Super close Mother Lyn and daughter Iona (Dafty One and Dafty Two) are excited for their new life in a new town. Determined to make a success of things after a tricky start, Iona becomes ‘best friends’ with Keely, Stacey and Chelsea. Used to being Iona’s bestie herself, Lyn feels left out. So Lyn also makes friends with Belinda, her neighbor. As much as Lyn and Iona pretend to each other that things are going great, things aren’t going great for either of them. Iona struggles with the girls, who act more like frenemies than friends, and Belinda won’t give Lyn her stepladders back. Both Mother and Daughter retreat into fantasy and lies. Anchored by two remarkable performances by the film’s leads, Joanna Scanlon (Lyn) and Lily Newmark (Iona) writer / director Deborah Haywood feature film debut confidently delivers a lacerating take on bullying, cruelty and mental illness.

 

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For news and updates go to: pincushionfilm.co.uk

Social Media:

instagram.com/pincushionfilm

facebook.com/pinCushionfilm

Twitter.com/PinCushionFilm

94% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Pin Cushion is most emotionally piercing in depicting the daily ways in which the world still punishes this loving, mild-as-milk woman for her difference.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“Writer-director Deborah Haywood makes her feature directorial debut with the surreal and whimsical mother-daughter nightmare Pin Cushion, driven by a singular vision and masterful control of a unique tone, which tiptoes the line of beauty and terror.” – Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

“The film is like a cross between a crocheted bunny and a nail bomb.” – Wendy Ide, Observer

“Pin Cushion is a whimsical and achingly sad story.” – Emily Sears, Birth.Movies.Death

Generation Wealth, Director Lauren Greenfield

For the past 25 years acclaimed photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield has travelled the world, documenting with ethnographic precision and an artist’s sensitivity a vast range of cultural movements and moments. Yet, after so much seeking and searching, she realized that much of her work pointed at one uniting phenomenon: wealth culture. With her new film, Generation Wealth, she puts the pieces of her life’s work together for in an incendiary investigation into the pathologies that have created the richest society the world has ever seen. Spanning consumerism, beauty, gender, body commodification, aging and more, Greenfield has created a comprehensive cautionary tale about a culture heading straight for the cliff’s edge. Generation Wealth, simultaneously a deeply personal journey, rigorous historical essay, and raucously entertaining expose, bears witness to the global boom-bust economy, the corrupted American Dream and the human costs of capitalism, narcissism and greed. Emmy-award-winning photographer / filmmaker, Lauren Greenfield’s expansive artistry includes her monographs (Girl Culture, Fast Forward, THIN, Generation Wealth), and documentaries (THIN, kids+money, The Queen of Versailles). The Queen of Versailles won her the 2012 Best Documentary Director Award at Sundance Film Festival. Director Lauren Greenfield joins us to talk about her sweeping film and the damning indictment of a profligate world of depraved indifference, hell-bent on stockpiling pointless possessions.

 

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For news and updates go to: generation-wealth.com

“[An] alarming film…” – Anthony Lane, New Yorker

“Through her dedication to other people’s lives, and with such open-book storytelling of her own, Greenfield is able to make a stunningly deeply resonant documentary about notions as seemingly obvious as the value of love over wealth itself.” – Nick Allen, RogerEbert.com

“Greenfield makes a compelling argument for a society on the brink of precipitous decline, choosing to interpret the runaway vanity and rampant materialism observed in her own work as harbingers of our imminent destruction.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety

“This personal approach gives the film a sharp intimacy, and from here Greenfield pulls out to reveal how similar patterns are reshaping lives and families the world over.” – Nikki Baughan, Screen International