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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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

Social Media

facebook.com/awhaleofatalefilm

twitter.com/awhaleofatale18

instagram.com/awhaleofatalefilm

“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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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

Dark Money, Director Kimberly Reed

DARK MONEY, a political thriller, examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The film takes viewers to Montana—a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide—to follow an intrepid local journalist working to expose the real-life impacts of the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. For decades, Montana had arguably the cleanest campaign laws in the U.S., precisely in reaction to a long history of political corruption. Its small population and rich natural resources like copper, had made it particularly vulnerable to private-industry bribery and extortion. Through this gripping story, DARK MONEY uncovers the shocking and vital truth of how American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed/produced by Kimberly Reed (PRODIGAL SONS) and produced by Katy Chevigny (E-TEAM). Kimberly joins us for a conversation on where our increasingly fragile democracy is and the very troubling place where it may be headed if dramatic measures are not taken to stop the shadowy corporate money from overwhelming our electoral process.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: darkmoneyfilm.com

Social Media:

https://twitter.com/DarkMoneyFilm

https://www.facebook.com/DarkMoneyFilm

https://www.instagram.com/darkmoneyfilm/

Q & A’s with Kimberly Reed this weekend at screenings in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Damning, clear-eyed, and as gripping as any John Grisham thriller.” – Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“There’s not a dull or dry moment in Reed’s briskly paced film about the secret assault on the American electoral and judicial process by corporations whose agenda is nothing less than the dismantling of government itself.” – Ella Taylor

“A densely packed documentary that earnestly and obsessively addresses campaign finance reform, its history and vital importance.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

“An air-raid siren of a documentary about the pernicious influence of corporate cash in American politics.” – Chris Barsanti, Film Journal International

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

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

McQueen, Co-director Peter Ettedgui (Ian Bonhote)

Born and raised in East London’s working-class Stratford neighborhood, nothing in the background of Lee Alexander McQueen hinted at his future. The youngest of six children, Lee  might have been expected to become a plumber, a bricklayer or perhaps a cab driver like his  father. Instead, McQueen’s fierce romanticism and punk poetry helped create 1990s-era “Cool  Britannia,” a celebration of youth culture in the U.K. For perhaps the first time since the  Swinging Sixties, a lad from the East End of London could — and  did — become one of the most  original and influential artists of his time. Filmmakers Ian Bonhôte and Peter Ettedgui capture the life and work of a unique creative talent in all his glorious anarchy in their new film, McQueen. They offer a thrilling portrait of McQueen’s life and complex persona, following him as he conquers the world of fashion with designs as ravishing as they are sinister. From his apprenticeship at an old-school Savile Row tailor and haberdasher, where he displayed a preternatural knack for pattern cutting and tailoring, to his death at only 40, the film breaks the rules of documentary storytelling with its mosaic of standalone fragments shot in different  styles, which accumulate and combine to create a groundbreaking, multi-faceted portrait. Through exclusive interviews with his closest friends and family, recovered archives, exquisite visuals and music, McQUEEN is an authentic celebration and thrilling portrait of an inspired yet tortured fashion visionary. Co-director and writer Peter Ettedgui (co-director Ian Bonhote) talks about the making of a personal and intimate look into the  extraordinary life career and artistry of one of the most influential fashion designers of our time.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/mcqueen

Social Media:

facebook.com/McQueenFilm

twitter.com/mcqueenfilm

youtube.com/bleeckerstfilms

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The intricacy of the pieces and stagings… makes McQueen the relatively rare documentary that demands to be seen on the big screen.” – Inkoo  Kang, Slate

“In the crowded field of fashion docs, this one stands tall.” – David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“This intelligent, honest documentary explores McQueen’s complex personality without getting tacky or tabloidy, or ignoring his dark side.” – Cath Clarke, Time Out

“There’s so much fresh air in this stunningly good biography that it feels like you’ve never encountered a rags-to-riches, tortured-artist story before. Not just for fashion lovers.” – MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda, Director Stephen Nomura Schible

One of the most important artists of our era, Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a prolific career spanning over four decades. From techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning film composer, the evolution of his music has coincided with his life journeys. Following Fukushima, Sakamoto became an iconic figure in Japan’s social movement against nuclear power. As Sakamoto returns to music following a cancer diagnosis, his haunting awareness of life crises leads to a resounding new masterpiece. RYUICHI SAKAMOTO: CODA is an intimate portrait of both the artist and the man. Director and writer Stephen Nomura Schible joins us for a conversation on his own journey into the internal and external world of Ryuichi’s inspiring spiritual and musical journey.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: coda.mubi.com

96% on Rotten Tomatoes

“This is a documentary that rejects every behind-the-scenes cliché around, and stands as an immensely moving and inspiring piece of cinema in its own right.” – Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph (UK)

“By the end of this documentary, you will feel as if you not only understand Mr. Sakamoto intellectually, but also share a sense of the excitement he feels when discovering just the right match of sounds.” – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times

“Sakamoto is fascinating to watch. He’s a charming, lively presence, and it’s always a pleasure to watch his expressions of delight and surprise at the new sounds he’s discovering, his own or nature’s.” – Jonathan Romney, Film Comment Magazine

“Like Sakamoto himself, the documentary stretches boundaries, shifting forward and back through time, weaving archival clips and news footage with scenes of Sakamoto composing, rehearsing, experimenting and traveling.” – Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International

Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, Director Mouly Surya

In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina, a young widow, is attacked and robbed of all her livestock by a gang of seven bandits. She then defends herself, setting out on a journey to find justice, empowerment, retribution and redemption. But the road is long, especially when she begins to be haunted by the ghost of her victim. A stunning ‘Scope western set to a Morricone-inspired score, this unique tale of female cinematic revenge takes no prisoners.  Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, was directed by Indonesian-born Mouly Surya.  This feminist revenge tale had its world premiere at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight. It opens nationwide, including Los Angeles at the    Laemmle’s Monica Film Center on July 6, 2018Mouly Surya is considered one of Indonesia’s most gifted filmmakers, Surya premiered her award-winning debut, Fiksi, at the Busan International FIlm Festival. Her second feature What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love had its world premiere at Sundance and went on to many festivals including Karlovy Vary and Rotterdam, where it received the NETPAC Award. In addition to making films, she also teaches directing. Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, is her third film. Mouly Surya joins us to talk about her elegant allegory on revenge, justice and self-determination.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: kimstim.com/marlina

Selected Awards & Film Festivals

Winner, Grand Prize, Tokyo FilmEX
Winner, Best Actress, Sitges Cataonian Film Festival
Winner, Best Picture, QCinema International Film Festival
Winner, Special Mention, Jogja-NETPAC Asian Film Festival
Winner, NETPAC Award, Five Flavors Film Festival
Winner, Best Film, Best Actress, Best Camera,
Best Score and Best Art Direction, Maya Awards
Cannes International Film Festival

97% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Simmering with righteous fury.” — Variety

“AN UNWAVERING SLOW BURN… Ms. Surya gives Marlina a stark, steady, captivating look that keeps you engaged.” —Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“[Marlina] is, like so many classic gunslingers, a killer by circumstance, a desperado with an honorable cause.” – CinemaScope

“The feminist satay Western you need to see; satisfyingly deadpan, viciously vengeful and full of surprises. One of the most ravishingly beautiful films at Cannes.” – The Irish Times
“Going to be loved by arthouse audiences.” – Film Inquiry

Under the Tree, Director Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson

UNDER THE TREE is a dark comedy based on real conflicts between neighbors that can often turn violent over trees (yes trees) in Iceland. There is a scarcity of trees in Iceland (which is why they are so treasured) and also a lack of sunshine….so you can see how a conflict would arise when a tree you’d never chop down in your backyard is blocking your neighbor’s sunlight. The films’ director Sigurdsson said he came up with idea when examining how minor conflicts between otherwise friendly neighbors become blown out of proportion and violent. UNDER THE TREE was Iceland’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards last year. The film was directed by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson (Either Way) and produced by Grimar Jonsson. Hafsteinn joins us to talk about working with actors primarily known for comedic roles, conveying the film’s escalating tension without passing judgement on the characters actions.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: underthetreefilm.com

85% on Rotten Tomatoes

“The tone is deliberately odd … blending the naturalism of the day-to-day emotions of relationships and grief, with the altogether more heightened tensions of a revenge thriller, while still keeping a cheeky eye on the absurdity of a mooning garden gnome” – Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film

“Unsettlingly perceptive as well as absurdly comedic, Under the Tree chronicles domestic tensions left to fester; when grudges branch out like a leafy tree in a suburban backyard, everyone suffers.” – Sarah Ward, Screen International

“What the film occasionally lacks in human finesse, it makes up for in sheer anything-goes resolve.” – Guy Lodge, Variety

“Each character resonates as a problematic individual whose foolishness escalates first into drama, then tragedy.” – Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter

Official Selection: World Premiere: Venice Film Festival 2017

Official Selection: North American premiere: Toronto International Film Festival 2017

Winner: Best Director (Comedy), Fantastic Fest 2017

Winner: Best Film,  Denver International Film Festival 2017

Winner: International Feature Film, Zurich Film Festival 2017

Winner: Best Narrative Feature, Hamptons International film Festival 2017

Winner: Best Cinematography, Dublin Film Critics Circle Awards 2018

Winner: Best Music, HARPA Nordic Film Composers Award 2016

The King, Director Eugene Jarecki

Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, two-time Sundance Grand Jury winner Eugene Jarecki’s new film takes the King’s 1963 Rolls-Royce on a musical road trip across America. From Memphis to New York, Las Vegas, and beyond, the journey traces the rise and fall of Elvis as a metaphor for the country he left behind. In this groundbreaking film, Jarecki paints a visionary portrait of the state of the American dream and a penetrating look at how the hell we got here. A diverse cast of Americans, both famous and not, join the journey, including Alec Baldwin, Rosanne Cash, Chuck D, Emmylou Harris, Ethan Hawke, Van Jones, Mike Myers, and Dan Rather, among many others. To investigate these questions, THE KING traces Elvis’ rise and fall from the Deep South to New York, Las Vegas, and countless points between. Alongside this, the film examines America in parallel, from her auspicious founding to her own struggles with excess power up to the acute challenges of today. This was always Jarecki’s intent, but he could never have anticipated the election of Donald Trump, which happened in mid-production and sent a shock wave through the filmmaking process.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: theking.film

74% on Rotten Tomatoes

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when Eugene Jarecki’s one-of-a-kind doc on the rise and fall of Elvis turns into a metaphor for Trump’s America, but when it happens – kapow!” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Perceptive, probing and ultimately devastating, The King is for anyone who cares about where this country has been and where it’s headed.” – Stephanie Zachary, Time Magazine

“The journey is the destination in a movie that gives you plenty to think about and argue with, as it racks up the miles and people clamber in and out of both the Rolls and the movie.” – Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The overall merging of the two stories offers deeper insight into the fall of both the King and the country as a whole.” – Gwen Ihnat, A/V Club

“Sprawling and brilliant.” – David Ehrlich, IndieWire

Leave No Trace, Director Debra Granik

Will (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter, Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie), have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland. The film is directed by Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) from a script adapted by Granik and Anne Rosellini and based on the novel My Abandonment by Peter Rock. Director Debra Granik joins us to talk about her modern day tale of two people grappling with a sense of place, loyalty, love, and deep wounds.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: bleeckerstreetmedia.com/leavenotrace

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“When civilization feels threatened, starting over in the woods seems not only appealing, but maybe even necessary. Especially when seen though Granik’s discerning eye. How lucky we are to have her work.” – Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“A profound story about love, family, loyalty, understanding, and compassion.” – Tiffany Tchobanian, Film Threat

“Minimalistic, deliberate and largely silent, “Leave No Trace” clings to each word like an endangered species. It demands patience from the audience, but that patience is richly rewarded.” – J.R. Kinnard, Seattle Times

“The heart of Leave No Trace is the rapport between the father and daughter, and McKenzie and Foster are keyed to each other’s movements, perhaps even each other’s thoughts.”- David Edelstein, New York Magazine

The Icarus Line Must Die, Director Michael Grodner

Punk’s not dead in this cool AF drama riffing on actual events. THE ICARUS LINE MUST DIE is a dramatic narrative feature set against the backdrop of the current LA underground music scene. The film tracks Joe Cardamone, front man of notorious punk bad boys The Icarus Line as he navigates his way through the ups and downs of the modern music landscape. With a new record completed and a major label deal within sight, Joe fights to keep his band, his relationship and his life from completely falling apart. Ariel Pink, Keith Morris (Black Flag/Circle Jerks), Pearl Charles, Melissa Brooks (The Aquadolls), Justin Pearson (RETOX, The Locust), Rafael Reyes (Prayers) and Jerry Stahl (Permanent Midnight) are featured along with performances by Pink Mountaintops, Together Pangea, The Icarus Line, Retox, Obliterations and Annie Hardy of Giant Drag. The film was directed by Michael Grodner and written by Michael Grodner and Joe Cardamone. THE ICARUS LINE MUST DIE will open in LA on June 22 at the Laemmle Royal and will rollout theatrically over the summer by Dark Star Pictures.  The film will also be available on digital on 7/10 (iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Fandango Now, Xbox and local Cable Providers). Director Michael Grodner joins us to talk about his collaborator and star, Joe Cardamone, the blurred lines between narrative and documentaries, his take on the LA music scene, past and present and Dirty Laundry.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

Social media:

facebook.com/theicaruslinemustdie

facebook.com/pg/DirtyLaundryTV

The Icarus Line Must Die is now screening at the Laemmle Royal in Los Angeles

“What sets Grodner’s story apart is its intense focus on specific people in the scene who are emblematic of a way of living and surviving in Los Angeles that’s slowly dying.” – April Wolfe, The Wrap

“The movie’s only intermittently successful at blurring the lines between art and life. But it’s a sincerely felt experiment, and it has spirit. – Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times

“The Icarus Line Must Die should be celebrated as an example of a return to great independent filmmaking. Like its main character, The Icarus Line Must Die overcomes the challenges, simply because it must.” – Donna Balancia, California Rocker

Half the Picture, Director Amy Adrion

HALF THE PICTURE celebrates the groundbreaking work of female film directors and investigates the systemic discrimination that has, for decades, denied opportunities to far too many talented women in Hollywood. The film consists of interviews with high profile women directors including Ava DuVernay, Jill Soloway, Lena Dunham, Catherine Hardwicke and Miranda July, among many others, who discuss their early careers, how they transitioned to studio films or television, how they balance having a demanding directing career with family, as well as challenges and joys along the way. HALF THE PICTURE also includes interviews with experts about gender inequality in Hollywood including the ACLU’s Melissa Goodman, Sundance Institute’s Caroline Libresco, Vanity Fair’s Rebecca Keegan, USC’s Dr. Stacy Smith and San Diego State University’s Dr. Martha Lauzen, who establish the magnitude of this employment discrimination issue as women are shut out, across the board, of an industry that systemically denies their expression and point of view. HALF THE PICTURE Director / Producer Amy Adrion joins us to talk about a unique time in the film industry where systemic change seems possible and whether, unlike previous efforts to address gender inequality in Hollywood, will this time be different?

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: halfthepicture.com

Social Media:

facebook.com/halfthepicture

instagram.com/halfthepicture

twitter.com/amyadrion

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Half the Picture is a vital, comprehensive documentary on a subject that’s so fundamental to the industry it’s about, you have to wonder why dozens of movies on this scale or bigger haven’t already been made.” – Leslie Felperin

“Half The Picture is an inspiring, important documentary that should be seen by as many people as possible, particularly those who aren’t aware of the problems women face in Hollywood.” – Manon de Reeper, Film Inquiry

“Half the Picture, Amy Adrion’s no-frills documentary, offers a diligent, straightforward overview of the innumerable obstacles facing today’s female directors, both aspiring and accomplished.” – Natalia Winkelman, Film Threat

“A platform for those who want to hear about the reality of being a woman in Hollywood from dozens of women who have lived it, it’s an invaluable resource.” – Rebecca Pahle, Film Journal International

“It’s experiential revelation as advocacy filmmaking, an incisive and inviting example of the personal as political.” – Serena Donadoni, Village Voice

Director Doug Liman and Actor Maddie Hasson

Impulse follows 16-year-old Henrietta, AKA Henry, (Maddie Hasson) who discovers she has the ability to teleport. The first time she realizes this, she is in a truck with her high school’s Golden Boy, who tries to rape her. She has a seizure and teleports, in the course of which she inadvertently crushes him, leaving him a paraplegic. Impulse explores Henry’s need to reconcile what her assaulter tried to do with the consequence, and her feelings about discovering she can teleport with her feelings about the assault. Impulse is an American drama web television series based on the novel Impulse by Steven Gould. The ten-episode series recently premiered on YouTube Premium. The series executive producers include Lauren LeFranc, Doug LimanDavid Bartis, and GeneKlein. Director and Executive Producer Doug Liman reveals how his independent filmmaking roots (Swingers, Go) continues influence his work and the advantages of long form storytelling. Actor Maddie Hasson talks about the challenge of expressing her character’s deeply conflicted emotions and her desire leave it all behind.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: youtube.com/red

“‘Impulse’ is smart enough to give the other adult characters, such as Cleo and Tom, some meaningful emotional beats of their own.” – Mark A. Perigard, Boston Herald

“The focus is Henry’s journey, however complicated and messy. Impulse takes care to make it feel real.” – Audra Schroeder, The Daily Dot

“Impulse doesn’t take the conventional route for a show with immense powers. In uncharted territory, it’s a show that’s finding its way.” – Steve Greene, IndieWire

“Intense, downbeat teen superhero series deals with assault.” – Joyce Slayton, Common Sense Media

Cowboy and Preacher, The Life and Times of Tri Robinson, Director Will Fraser

Screening at this year’s Dances with Films, Cowboy and Preacher comes face-to-face with the  degradation of the environment as the most daunting crisis facing humankind. If that isn’t enough, many people oppose action to save the environment or deny there is even a problem. Some of the most vocal and powerful of these people are conservative Christians in the USA. Tri Robinson, a conservative evangelical pastor but also life-long environmentalist, has battled throughout his life to show that Christianity and environmentalism are not mutually exclusive. In fact, environmental stewardship is demanded by Christianity – “with dominion comes responsibility”. Most environmental films are framed for a liberal audience and preach to the converted. This film addresses “unconverted” Christians, while offering liberal non-Christians a fascinating insight into evangelical values and mindset as Tri, at work on his ranch or church, builds up a Biblical case for environmentalism emphasizing respect and responsibility that flies in the face of many on either side. This film is absolutely timely – the destruction of the environment is the most important issue facing all people, and many politicians and voters need to face it. Director Will Fraser (The Genius of Cavaillé-Coll, Martinkerk Rondeau) stops by to talk about breaking down the barriers that are keeping many from an honest conversation on the looming challenge of climate disruption and the impact Tri Robison has had on his own path to spiritual commitment.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: cowboyandpreacher.com

Cowboy and Preacher Dances with Films screening info

Screening Thursday, June 14 at 2:45 PM at Chinese TCL Theatre

2018 Dances with Films website

The Year of Spectacular Men, Director Lea Thompson

Izzy Klein has (barely) graduated from college, broken up (sorta) with her boyfriend, and is stranded in New York City with a bad case of pre-real-world millennial-itis. Unsure of what the next step is, her movie star little sister Sabrina convinces her to move back home to Los Angeles and into her shared apartment with movie star boyfriend Sebastian, where they can keep an eye on rudderless Izzy. Emotionally unable to deal with the loss of her father, and slightly distracted by her mother Deb’s newfound love affair with loopy yogi Amythyst, Izzy funnels her energy into dating a colorful bouquet of five complicated and spectacular men: Aaron, Ross, Logan, Mikey, and Charlie, over the course of the next year. Coping just barely with the help of her trusty notebook, she falls in and out of some not so romantic romances, and figures out that when it totally feels like the end of your story, it’s often just the beginning. Written by Madelyn Deutch and directed by Lea Thompson (Some Kind of Wonderful, Back to the Future) The Year of Spectacular Men is a charming, beguiling observational comedy about family, relationships, and facing an uncertain future. Director Lea Thompson joins us for a lively conversation on working with her daughters, Madelyn and Zooey, independent filmmaking, and the joys of creativity.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: marvista.net-The Year of Spectacular Men

70% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Madelyn Deutch, Zoey Deutch, and Lea Thompon are a triple threat in this quarter life crisis tale that deserves your attention.” – Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment

“…the Deutch duo hold the screen with charm and intelligence to spare.” – Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter

To a More Perfect Union: U.S. V. Windsor, Director Donna Zaccaro

“To A More Perfect Union: U.S. V. Windsor” shares a rich tapestry of love, marriage, and a fight for equality. The film chronicles unlikely heroes — octogenarian Edie Windsor and her attorney, Roberta Kaplan, on their quest for justice. Upon the death of her spouse Thea Spyer, Windsor was forced to pay a huge estate tax bill because the government denied federal benefits to same-sex couples. Windsor became a renowned LGBTQ civil rights advocate when she chose to sue the United States government to recognize her more than 40 year union– and  won Windsor and Kaplan’s legal and personal journeys go beyond the story of this pivotal case in the marriage equality movement as Zaccaro tells the story of our journey as a culture, and as a country that promises its citizens equal rights for all. The film features interviews with notable voices in this civil rights battle, including: Roberta Kaplan (Windsor Attorney), Pam Karlan (Windsor Legal Team & Co-Director, Stanford Supreme Court Litigation Clinic), Rosie O’Donnell (Comedian, Actor & Activist), Frank Rich (Writer-At-Large, NY Magazine),  Hilary Rosen (Communications Advisor & LGBT Activist), Richard Socarides (White House Special Assistant & Advisor to President Clinton), Matt Staver (Founder & Chairman of Liberty Counsel), Jeff Toobin (CNN Legal Analyst & New Yorker Staff Writer), Nina Totenberg (Legal Affairs Correspondent for National Public Radio), Tony West (Former Associate U.S. Attorney General), Edie Windsor (Plaintiff), Evan Wolfson (Founder & President of Freedom to Marry), among others.  Donna Zaccaro (“Geraldine Ferraro: Paving the Way”) joins us to talk about her intimate tale of the struggle for universal equal rights and the on-going attempts to undermine them. Director Donna Zaccaro talks about the heroic struggle by Edie Windsor and the scarring legal battles that it took to achieve this historic victory for human rights.

 

Download MP3 Podcast | Open Player in New Window

For news and updates go to: perfectunionfilm.com

Social Media:

Facebook: facebook.com/ToAMorePerfectUnionFilm 

Instagram: @perfectunionfilm

“The film reminds us that there are individual human experiences behind the legal decisions that impact an entire country.” – Kimberly Myers, Los Angeles Times

“The film’s quiet confidence in an evolved America only tells half the story; as a result, it already feels like more like a prologue than a happy ending.” – Matthew Monagle, Ausin Chronicle

“A history lesson that doesn’t overstay its welcome.” – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter