35th Anniversary of… The Stunt Man – Director / Writer Richard Rush

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In THE STUNT MAN, Vietnam veteran Cameron (Steve Railsback) is on the run from the police when he stumbles onto the set of a war movie directed by megalomaniac Eli Cross (Peter O’Toole). But when the young fugitive is forced to replace a dead stunt man, he falls in love with the movie’s leading lady (Barbara Hershey) while trying to avoid getting arrested or killed. Is Eli trying to capture Cameron’s death on film? And what happens to a paranoid stunt man when illusion and reality change places? Completed in 1979 but unreleased until 1980, this innovative dramatic comedy/action thriller has become one of the most acclaimed cult hits of our time. Director, writer and Oscar nominated filmmaker Richard Rush joins us for an engaging conversation the challenges of making a movie about making a movie and the rewards of working with one of cinemas all-time greats, Peter O’Toole.

** Landmark Theatres and Reel Talk with Stephen Farber present the Anniversary Classics Series, returning to The Landmark LA on Wednesday, February 19 at 7:00pm with THE STUNT MAN, celebrating the film’s 35th Anniversary, with in person guests director Richard Rush, lead actor Steve Railsback, and others to be announced.

“THE STUNT MAN is a virtuoso piece of kinetic moviemaking.” – Pauline Kael, New York Times

“Richard Rush’s inventive narrative about the blurred lines between movie reality and factual reality is vastly entertaining, boasting Peter O’Toole in a diabolical, delicious Oscar-nominated performance.” – Emanuel Levy

“At the 1980 San Francisco Film Festival, François Truffaut was asked to name his favorite director. He replied, ‘I don’t know his name, but I just saw his picture last night. It’s called The Stunt Man.’” – Mark Bourne, DVD Journal

Visitors – Director Godfrey Reggio

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Thirty years after Koyaanisqatsi, Godfrey Reggio–with the support of Philip Glass and Jon Kane–once again leapfrogs over earth-bound filmmakers and creates another stunning, wordless portrait of modern life. Presented by Steven Soderbergh in Black and White digital 4K projection, VISITORS reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, VISITORS takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves. Director Reggio joins us for an engaging conversation on his brave and challenging new film.

The effect is akin to a mediated staring contest: the film audience looks into the eyes of the individual people on screen, who look back, their expressions changing in slow-motion, as Glass’s minor-key score triggers emotional synapses deep within. – TCha Dunlevy, Montreal Gazette

We see unadorned faces staring at the camera; afternoon shadows moving across a large, institutional-looking building; forlorn images of an abandoned amusement park; the misty, magical quiet of a swamp.– Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

For better or worse, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

Some of what [Godfrey] Reggio is trying to say is obvious, and some is elusive. Either way, the effect is remarkable. – Noel Murray, Dissolve

The word for the film is transfixing. – Stephen Holden, New York Times

For more on Visitors go to: http://visitorsfilm.com/

Charlie Victor Romeo – Co-director Patrick Daniels

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When you board an airplane, who are those people in uniform to whom you
entrust your life? What do they really do when things go horribly wrong? Derived
 entirely from the “black box” transcripts of six major airline emergencies, Charlie
 Victor Romeo puts the audience inside the tension-filled cockpits of actual flights in 
distress, offering a fascinating portrait of the psychology of crisis and a person’s
 will to live to the last second. Co-director Patrick Daniels joins us for a conversation on this intriguing and compelling look at the humanity, ingenuity and determination of people facing unimaginable circumstances.

“[This] chilling and groundbreaking production stretches the boundaries of film,
theatre, and the traditional documentary with this stereoscopic 3-D film of a stage
play that recreates transcripts word for word. Charlie Victor Romeo transports
film audiences into the best seats of the theatre and delivers the intensity and
gut-wrenching emotion of these emergencies via the unique approach of live
performance.” – Shari Frilot, senior programmer Sundance Film Festival & New Frontier

Charlie Victor Romeo defies one convention after another: A thriller with arthouse bona fides, minimalist in design but shot in 3D, it brings the original 1999 play to the screen in a fashion that’s stagebound yet otherworldy. – John Anderson, Variety

For information and updates for Charlie Victor Romeo go to: charlievictorromeo.com

This is Martin Bonner – Director Chad Hartigan

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THIS IS MARTIN BONNER is a warm and perceptive meditation on friendship, human connection and getting a second chance at life. Fifty-something Martin Bonner (Paul Eenhorn) leaves his old life behind and relocates to Reno, where he finds work helping released prisoners transition to life on the outside, while trying his hand at speed dating and passing time as a soccer referee on weekends. Meanwhile, Travis Holloway (Richmond Arquette) has just been released from prison after serving 12 years. Surprising both of them, Travis and Martin form an unlikely friendship that offers them reciprocal support and understanding. Director Hartigan stops by to talk about the challenges and rewards of micro-budget and introspective storytelling.

“A mood piece, a character study and an exercise in poetic gesture possessed of a sort of evanescent, secular spirituality. Chad Hartigan’s second feature is Americana of a very immediate sort, a tale of redemption that may leave its viewers with an uncanny sense of peace.” John Anderson, Variety

“Wonderfully acted and something of a minimalist masterpiece, is a striking, moving ode to lives lived day to day, even hour to hour, in which the smallest gesture has the power to make one hopeful for the next, like a small fire gently stoked.” Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

“The writer and director, Chad Hartigan, transforms the potentially maudlin premise into a luminous reach for grace. As the spare, sharp dialogue and tensely searching performances elicit lives filled with pain and loss, Hartigan’s images (realized by the cinematographer, Sean McElwee) capture a serene spiritual bounty that shines through the daily grit and grind.” – Richard Brody, The New Yorker

For more on This is Martin Bonner go to: martinbonner.com/

or the This is Martin Bonner film distributor – Monterey Media

If You Build It – Director Patrick Creadon

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From the director of WORDPLAY and I.O.U.S.A. comes a captivating look at a radically innovative approach to education. IF YOU BUILD IT follows designer activists Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller to rural Bertie County, the poorest in North Carolina, where they work with local high school students to help transform both their community and their lives. Living on credit and grant money and fighting a change-resistant school board, Pilloton and Miller lead their students through a year-long, full-scale design and build project that does much more than just teach basic construction skills: it shows ten teenagers the power of design thinking to re-invent not just their town but their own sense of what’s possible. Director Patrick Creadon joins us for a conversation on the universal power of creativity.

“Honest and engrossing . . . shows how ingenuity and spark can restore excitement in education.” NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

“A heartening story about the power of design!”SLATE

“Well crafted and unexpectedly moving … [Patrick] Creadon is shaping up to be an unpredictable yet dependently intelligent documentarian.” VARIETY

“The film’s charm is in watching these unlikely kids, quietly dream up big ideas, gaining confidence in their newfound abilities every step of the way.” INDIEWIRE

For more news on If You Build It go to: ifyoubuilditmovie.com/

The Crash Reel, director Lucy Walker

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THE CRASH REEL is a profoundly moving portrait of an extraordinary family confronted with a devastating injury coming together to help a gifted athlete re-discover himself and find purpose and meaning in the wake of a lost dream. This eye-popping film seamlessly combines twenty years of stunning action footage with new specially shot verité footage and interviews as it follows U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce and exposes the irresistible but potentially fatal appeal of extreme sports. A blisteringly relevant film in the wake of the recent deaths of high-profile action sports stars, THE CRASH REEL takes a non-judgmental look at the nature of risk in sport. At what price the pursuit of our passions? How much risk is too much? Director /writer / producer Lucy Walker joins us for a conversation on this charismatic athlete and his close knit family who wants what’s best for him.

 The Crash Reel website – The Crash Reel on Facebook – The Crash Reel on Twitter

“Audience Award at South By Southwest Film Festival”SXSW Film Festival

“Documentary Audience Award” Dallas International Film Festival

“The Crash Reel goes flying past all the clichés and treacle-soaked heroics embedded in this theme to a wondrously hard-edge life all its own. Wall Street Journal

“By turns pulse-quickening and contemplative, thoroughly winning…director Lucy Walker (“Waste Land”) pulls off a spectacular feat of her own”Variety

“Enthralling, exciting…Twice Oscar-nominated Lucy Walker is in her element with this enthralling story…an intelligent, exciting and compassionate film…” Screen Daily

Diamond on Vinyl, director J. R. Hughto

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Henry’s fiancee Beth kicks him out after discovering his audio recordings of their intimate life and his confession that he may no longer love her. A chance meeting with Charlie, a headstrong young photographer, allows Henry to act out his obsession with creating the perfect interaction: spontaneous, rehearsed, both fixed and changeable. Charlie and Henry’s recordings of imagined conversations become a dangerous game where intimacy and identity may be both real and imagined. Diamond on Vinyl director, writer, producer J. R. Hughto joins us to talk his fascinating film and the role trust, love and the inability to communicate with one another plays in our lives.

“…few other recent films crackle with an intensity that echo back to the darkly cloaked pulp writings of David Goodis, or recall cinematic classics such as The Conversation or Blow Out in their social-psychological labyrinths. Provocative and meditative stuff to be sure.” – Ben Umstead, Twitch Film

“A deeply layered, rewarding contemplation… subtle but emotionally devastating at the same time.” – Mark Bell, Film Threat

 “A tautly wound script… Kinski brings both an inquisitive guilelessness and a determined quest for control to her role. Hughto weds his filmmaking technique to the narrative’s spine, working with sound designer Ugo Derouard to create a complex and often unsettling soundscape.” – Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

“One of the most innovative independent offerings up at the Slamdance Film Festival this week….reminiscent of the honesty of indie pioneer “Sex, Lies & Videotape” cut with a dose of lo-fi voyeurism, the film has a marked beauty and is weighted with intrigue.” – Celebs.com

For more on Diamond on Vinyl updates and screening go to: diamondonvinyl.net

Composer’s Spotlight – Carlo Siliotto – Instructions Not Included

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Looking to bring a beautiful aural sensation to his movie about a single father, director-star Eugenio Derbez always knew that the composer for Instructions Not Included would be Golden Globe-nominated Carlo Siliotto. Combining string, piano and a 70-piece orchestra, Siliotto responded musically to a young girl’s lovelorn feelings toward her unknown mother and devoted father. Spurred by Siliotto’s beguiling compositions Instructions Not Included has become the highest grossing Spanish language film in US film history.

Carlo Siliotto was born in Rome. He started by studying guitar and violin, he accomplished his studies on composition at the conservatory of music. He was a founding member of the group “Canzoniere del Lazio” with which he adapted both pop and traditional Italian music. In 1984 he decided to focus his attention to writing film scores. Since then, Carlo has composed music for over 70 films with such directors as Carlo Carlei (Italy & USA), Maurizio Nichetti and Carlo Lizzani (Italy), Clive Donner (England & Germany), Robert Markowitz, Roger Young and Joseph Sargent (USA), and Carlos Saura Medrano (Spain). Carlo stops by to talk about how his love of music has taken him on a world-wide journey.

For more on Carlo Siliotto and his work go to: www.carlosiliotto.com/

Composer’s Spotlight – Nicholas Brittel – 12 Years a Slave

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As the film 12 Years a Slave opens, we see a group of slaves toiling away in the field, and we hear perfectly synchronized to their chopping, the chorus…

When I was young, I saw the sun, Too hot for me, Too late for me, Live or die, Lay down and cry, Hey boys!, I’m tired, My Lord Sunrise …

That is the first stanza of the original song “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise), played against such imagery, sets the tone for the film and is written by songwriter Nicholas Britell for director Steve McQueen’s gripping cinematic recounting of the memoir of Solomon Northup, who as a free New York state black violinist was abducted and sold into slavery. In composing and arranging such spiritual work songs like “My Lord Sunshine (Sunrise)” and “Roll Jordan Roll” as well as three traditional fiddle tunes on the 12 Years a Slave soundtrack, Britell painstakingly researched this lost form of music, which was never recorded and in many cases never written out, in an effort to bring the most accurate musical representation to this landmark story. The songwriter joins us for a conversation on the challenges and rewards of recreating musical history.

For more on 12 Years a Slave news and screenings at: www.foxsearchlight.com/12yearsaslave/

Pad Yatra – director Wendy J. N. Lee

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PAD YATRA: A Green Odyssey is the adventure of 700 people trekking across the Himalayas with a call to save the planet’s “3rd Pole,” a glacial region now devastated by the climate chaos associated with global warming. Battling the most treacherous terrain on the planet, the trekkers spread their message of ecological compassion through human’s most basic means – by walking on foot, village to village, and showing by example. Surviving harrowing injuries, illness, and starvation, they emerge with nearly half a ton of plastic litter strapped to their backs, triggering an historic green revolution across the rooftop of the world.  Wendy J. N. Lee drops by to talk about the harrowing journey, figuratively and literally, she took in making this remarkable documentary.

BRITISH ACADEMY OF FILM & TELEVISION ARTS, LONDON | 2012
Hosted Screening with Executive Producer Michelle Yeoh

BAJA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL | 2012 | SPECIAL ENGAGEMENT

HOUSTON INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL | 2012
WINNER – Best Documentary

STUTTGART INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL | 2012
WINNER – Audience Award

BIG BEAR FILM FESTIVAL | 2012
WINNER – Audience Award/Best Environmental

FEEL GOOD FILM FESTIVAL | 2012
WINNER – Audience Award

BLUE OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL | 2012
Honorable Mention

DOCUTAH FILM FESTIVAL | 2012 | WINNER
WINNER – Best Cinematography

Symphony of the Soil, director Deborah Koons Garcia

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Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet. Deborah Koons Garcia joins us for a down and dirty conversation on the amazing complexity and vital importance this overlooked substance has in our collective existence.

“Re-envisioning soil as an essential yet underappreciated resource that sustains many forms of life, including the crops that feed us.” San Francisco Chronicle

“It’s not just about farming and soil stewardship. It’s about producing healthy foods by sustainable methods – for a future they believe will be far different from today’s farming practices. At the very least, the film and the concepts it champions are food for thought.” Inforum

“Unfolding with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a newfound respect for the ground beneath our feet.”– Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Mumia, Long Distance Revolutionary, director Stephen Vittoria

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Before he was convicted of murdering a policeman in 1981 and sentenced to die, Mumia Abu-Jamal was a gifted journalist and brilliant writer. Now after more than 30 years in prison and despite attempts to silence him, Mumia is not only still alive but continuing to report, educate, provoke and inspire. Stephen Vittoria’s new feature documentary is an inspiring portrait of a man whom many consider America’s most famous political prisoner – a man whose existence tests our beliefs about freedom of expression. Through prison interviews, archival footage, and dramatic readings, and aided by a potent chorus of voices including Cornel West, Alice Walker, Dick Gregory, Angela Davis, Amy Goodman and others, this riveting film explores Mumia’s life before, during and after Death Row – revealing, in the words of Angela Davis, “the most eloquent and most powerful opponent of the death penalty in the world…the 21st Century Frederick Douglass.” Director Vittoria stops by for a conversation on this polarizing American radical.

“Tracing the path of a brilliant journalist whose message cannot be silenced…Vittoria triumphantly heralds Abu-Jamal’s return to the political scene as a rallying cry for an alternate political discourse.” – Variety

“MUMIA: Long Distance Revolutionary” is a powerful indictment of the hypocrisy inherent in the American dream and is a must-see for any and all who are concerned with upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans.” – Alex Simon, The Hollywood Interview / Huffington Post

“Puts a human face on its subject, for so long now just an anti-capital-punishment icon… also makes the case, COINTELPRO and beyond, that power is hardly to be trusted in America.” – Michael Atkinson, Time Out NY

“I’ve sat through many documentaries in my life and this is one of the finest. I was riveted by the film. Long Distance Revolutionary is a gripping film,” – Albert Maysles

Dirty Wars, director Richard Rowley

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Dirty Wars follows investigative reporter Jeremy Scahill, author of the international bestseller Blackwater, into the heart of America’s covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond. With a strong cinematic style, the film unfolds through Scahill’s investigation and personal journey as he chases down the most important human rights story of our time. Tracing the rise of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the most secret and elite fighting force in U.S. history, Dirty Wars reveals covert operations unknown to the public and carried out across the globe by men who do not exist on paper and will never appear before Congress. In military jargon, JSOC teams “find, fix, and finish” their targets: anyone, without due process. No target is off limits for the “kill list,” including U.S. citizens. Director Richard Rowley joins us for a conversation on the wars being fought in our name, without our knowledge.

Now available on iTunes and Amazon. On the Web at: dirtywars.org

“Filed from the frontlines of the war on terror, documentarian Richard Rowley’s astonishingly hard-hitting Dirty Wars renders the investigative work of journalist Jeremy Scahill in the form of a ’70s-style conspiracy thriller. This jaw-dropping, persuasively researched pic has the power to pry open government lockboxes.” – Rob Nelson, Variety

“Dirty Wars is a focused, fascinating and frightening look at war in the 21st century, and a film you’re sure not to forget.” – Germaine Lussier, Slash Film

“Dirty Wars is a game-changing, mind-blowing film…. Dirty Wars assumes the tantalizing shape of a mystery thriller as compelling as any feature film.” – Erica Abeel, The Huffington Post

GMO OMG, director Jeremy Seifert

GMO OMG film posterWho controls the future of your food? GMO OMG explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds. Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. GMO OMG follows one family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system. In GMO OMG, the encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing global movement to take back what we have lost. Director Jeremy Seifert joins us for a conversation on the future of our planets food supply.

Theater Locations:
*Arena Cinema*
1625 N. Las Palmas Ave. Hollywood, CA 90028

Laemmle Playhouse
673 E Colorado Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91101

“Combines the folksy charm of Taggart Siegel’s The Real Dirt on Farmer John and the frightening facts of Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc.” –  Andrew Schenker Time Out New York

“A documentary that is by turns exasperating, illuminating, and intentionally infuriating.” – Ernest Hardy, Village Voice

“[Provides] a gentle, flyover alert to obliviously chowing-down citizens … without hectoring and with no small amount of charm.” Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

The Act of Killing – director, Joshua Oppenheimer

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Anwar Congo and his friends have been dancing their way through musical numbers, twisting arms in film noir gangster scenes, and galloping across prairies as yodelling cowboys. Their foray into filmmaking is being celebrated in the media and debated on television, even though Anwar Congo and his friends are mass murderers. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number. Director Joshua Oppenheimer joins us to talk about how the making of this remarkable documentary changed his life.

“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade… unprecedented in the history of cinema.” – Werner Herzog

 “Like all great documentaries, The Act of Killing demands another way of looking at reality. It starts as a dreamscape, an attempt to allow the perpetrators to reenact what they did, and then something truly amazing happens. The dream dissolves into nightmare and then into bitter reality. An amazing and impressive film.” – Errol Morris

 “If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognize the terror and repression on which our contemporary history has been built. No film, or any other work of art for that matter, has done this more effectively than The Act of Killing. [It] is essential viewing for us all.” – National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia

Blackfish, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite

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Many of us have experienced the excitement and awe of watching 8,000-pound orcas, or “killer whales,” soar out of the water and fly through the air at sea parks, as if in perfect harmony with their trainers. Yet, in our contemporary lore this mighty black-and-white mammal is like a two-faced Janus—beloved as a majestic, friendly giant yet infamous for its capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of notorious performing whale Tilikum, who—unlike any orca in the wild—has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. So what exactly went wrong? Director Cowperthwaite stops by to talk about her powerful documentary that challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

Blackfish, a documentary by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, puts the “killer” back into killer whales by indicting those sea parks that, in her well-chronicled estimation, place profit above safety.  Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor

 Its] argument never fails to be gripping, its structure perfectly executed to maximize its persuasiveness. Tomas Hachard, NPR

Meet a theme-park phenom in the form of the killer whales (orcas in the trade) on view in Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s gripping mindbender of a documentary. Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Unmade in China, directors Gil Kofman and Tanner Barklow

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Unmade in China follows American director Gil Kofman as he travels to Xiamen, China to direct the Republic’s first ever thriller, Case Sensitive. Once there he discovers that the old adage of making a film three times, once in the writing, once in the shooting and once in the editing, is in fact just the opposite in his host country, where his film is unmade three times. Undaunted by his inability to speak or understand the Mandarin language, Kofman directs his frequently recast actors through a translator as government censorship and constant cultural mishaps hijack his script and derail production. Like Man of la Mancha set in Communist China, there has never been a film quite like this. Director Gil Kofman (Case Sensitive) and director Tanner Barklow (Unmade in China) joins us for a conversation about the travails and triumphs of filmmaking in the People’s Republic.

“Gutsy, hilarious 
filmmaking with global
 balance-of-power resonance.”
- Ross McElwee 



“A brilliant documentary…
Gil Kofman is some 
sort of genius.”
- Gig City



“This documentary
 is superb. I loved 
every little bit of it…
Top 10 film of 2012″
- Film Bizarro

My Brother The Devil, director Sally El Hosaini

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Mo is a young boy growing up in a traditional Egyptian household, but beyond the front door of the family’s modest London flat is a completely different world – the streets of Hackney. The impressionable Mo idolizes his handsome older brother Rashid and wants to follow is his footsteps. However, Rashid, a charismatic and shrewd member of a local gang, wants a different life for his little brother and deals drugs hoping to put Mo through college. One eventful summer, Rashid’s sexual awakening forces Mo to confront his own fears and phobias and threatens to tear the brothers apart. Director Sally El Hosaini stops by to talk about her beautifully rendered feature film debut.

“A tender, bracing fraternal drama of London’s gang life, the immigrant experience, and questions no smaller than what “manhood” might mean to young men whose traditional cultures are colliding with the worst-and the best-of the secular west.” – Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Nuances of faith, politics and sexual identity enrich what initially presents as a classic good son-bad son tale, and although the film’s melting-pot patois is occasionally too dense to decipher, we get the gist.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

Andrew Bird: Fever Year – director Xan Aranda

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Filmed during culminating months of the acclaimed singer-songwriter’s most rigorous year of touring, Andrew Bird crosses the December finish line in his hometown of Chicago – feverish and on crutches from an onstage injury. Is he suffering hazards of chasing the ghost of inspiration? Or merely transforming into a different kind of animal “perfectly adapted to the music hall?” FEVER YEAR is the first to capture Bird’s precarious multi-instrumental looping technique and features live performances at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater with collaborators Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Michael Lewis and Annie Clark of St. Vincent. Director Xan Aranda will join us to talk about her beautiful film and the joys of collaborating with a gifted artist.

 “Aranda’s visual prose is what’s commanding here. Fever Year is a thoughtfully delivered lyric to an artist’s verse and his still growing song.”
- CineFile / Nelson Carvajal

 “It’s a truly amazing feat to… capture the process of a year-long music tour as well as the personal life of a musician while simultaneously preserving his privacy and leaving the viewer satisfied.” The Indie-Verse / Nico Martini

 “A gently illuminating look at a brilliant maverick musician… captured with grace and delicacy.” – The Hollywood Reporter / David Rooney

Fourplay – director Kyle Henry

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FOURPLAY is four tales of sexual triumph and travail set in four American cities. In Skokie, a closeted lesbian woman’s infatuation with her minister’s wife is sublimated during a weekend of dog sitting; in Austin, a young couple struggle with opposing desires about conception and arrive at a startling compromise; in Tampa, a young gay Latino man plagued with self-doubt finds a surreal nirvana in a public mall restroom; and in San Francisco, a cross-dressing sex-worker faces a challenging assignment with a quadriplegic man, arranged by the man’s wife. Director Kyle Henry stops by Film School to talk about the challenges of making four films in three years and the joy of sex. Director Henry will be in-person at the Egyptian Theatre this Friday night, March 29th for a Q & A session following the 7:30 screening of Fourplay.

“…offers a unique and bold look at the complications of desire, the need for connection and the joys and perils of sexual intimacy…” – Austin American Statesman

“Funny…poignant…unconventional…” – Austin Chronicle

The Happy Poet – Paul Gordon, director and David Hartstein, producer

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THE HAPPY POET is an all-organic, mostly vegetarian comedy about Bill, a struggling poet who pours his heart, soul, and last few dollars into starting a healthy food stand, surprising friends and customers with his dry wit and offbeat passion. Motivated by help from a rag-tag group of supporters and a budding romance with a poetry-loving customer, Bill strives to make a difference in the world, until surprising complications jeopardize his new friendships and threaten Bill’s dreams for a hot dog-free future. THE HAPPY POET cleverly re-works the classic American film story of the underdog struggling against the system, adding a dose of deadpan humor and a fresh take on a young generation’s interest in the intersection of a social conscience and the food we eat. Director/ Writer/editor and lead actor Paul Gordon and Producer David Hartstein stop by to talk about their collaborative efforts on this entertaining film.

 “A genuine under-the-radar gem—the kind of quietly charming, profound film that creeps up on you. It’s also, as luck would have it, perfectly acted.” -New York Magazine

 “A deadpan charmer.” -indieWIRE  

 “A sweet, stealthy film about creating meaning in your life (and your work) in a relentlessly mercenary world. Off-handed and yet quite artfully observed.” -The Village Voice

“The poet wants to be happy but doesn’t really know how to go about it. It’s a pretty good joke, and Mr. Gordon tells it with enough discipline and invention to make a significant portion of the film funny in interesting, subversive ways. A promising debut.” -Mike Hale, The New York Times

If I Were You – director Joan Carr-Wiggin

 

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Two women who meet by chance make a pact to fix their unhappy lives: they will each do what the other one says. But one of them has a secret. She knows her husband is sleeping with the younger woman. Madelyn’s plan backfires when Lucy, an aspiring actress, orders her to play King Lear in a very amateur production, with Lucy playing the Fool. Madelyn’s life is transformed in unexpected ways as, like Lear, she struggles with matters of mortality and betrayal, loyalty and love. Writer – Director Joan Carr-Wiggan joins us for a conversation on the complex twists and turns love and relationships take in her beguiling film.

Emperor – director, Peter Webber

 

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A story of love and understanding set amidst the tensions and uncertainties of the days immediately following the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. On the staff of General Douglas MacArthur (Jones), the de facto ruler of Japan as Supreme Commander of the occupying forces, a leading Japanese expert, General Bonner Fellers (Fox) is charged with reaching a decision of historical importance: should Emperor Hirohito be tried and hanged as a war criminal? Interwoven is the story of Fellers’ love affair with Aya, a Japanese exchange student he had met years previously in the U.S. Memories of Aya and his quest to find her in the ravaged post-war landscape help Fellers to discover both his wisdom and his humanity and enable him to come to the momentous decision that changed the course of history and the future of two nations. Director Peter Webber (Girl with the Pearl Earring) stops by to talk about his multi-layered film on this crucial chapter of World War II history.

King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis – producer, Richard Kaplan

 

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King: A Filmed Record…from Montgomery to Memphis is the landmark documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968. Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, King: A Filmed Record combines dramatic readings by Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones and Paul Newman, among others, with newsreel and archival footage to create a powerful and comprehensive record of Dr. King’s legacy and the American Civil Rights movement. The original Associate Producer Richard Kaplan stops by to talk about this pivotal chapter in the life of Dr. King and the story behind this remarkable documentary.

“King: A Filmed Record . . . Montgomery to Memphis. Why this Oscar-nominated documentary so seldom sees the light of day is baffling: forty-one years later, it still brings cheers and tears and shows what we might be.” – Donald Levit, ReelTalk

Bestiaire – producer, Sylvain Corbeil

 

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Fascinating and beguiling, Bestiaire is Denis Côté’s mesmerizing meditation on the relationship between man and beast. This strikingly beautiful film about looking —starts with a group of art students attempting to sketch an animal — that blurs the line between observer and observed. There may be no traditional narrative, yet there is breathtaking dramatic tension in every exquisitely framed shot: the sight of a lion attacking the doors of its cage or the scurrying striped legs of zebras in a holding pen. Contemplative and enthralling, Bestiaire is cinema at its purest. Bestiaire producer, Sylvain Corbeil joins us for a lively discussion on context and perception regarding animals, humans and otherwise.

“With wildlife documentaries expanding their bag of technological tricks and YouTube an ever-growing menagerie of pet videos, animal imagery has never been more prevalent. In some ways “Bestiaire,” nearly wordless but infinitely suggestive, is a comment on and a reaction to that saturation, a meditation on what we think we are looking at when we look at animals.” – Dennis Lim, New York Times

 “Animals…so like us? Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté begs to differ in this extraordinary experimental documentary, about an inherent human need to dominate other species.” – David Fears. Time Out New York