Filmworker – Director Tony Zierra

Filmworker is an observation on how legends and legendary works are created. The complex, productive and interdependent relationship between Leon Vitali and Stanley Kubrick was founded on devotion, artistic passion, sensibility, sacrifice and the grueling joy of the creative process. It’s a rare person who would give up fame and fortune to toil in obscurity for someone else’s creative vision. Yet, that’s exactly what Leon Vitali did after his acclaimed performance as ‘Lord Bullingdon” in Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon. On the brink of a successful acting career, the young actor stepped back from the limelight in order to become the right-hand man to perhaps the most influential and ground-breaking filmmaker of his time, Stanley Kubrick. Vitali played a crucial part in the director’s career, working tirelessly in close collaboration with Kubrick in helping to make and maintain his extraordinary legacy of work. Vitali’s unique working relationship with Kubrick is explored through anecdotes about his candid, funny (and sometimes shocking) experiences with the director, enhanced with a rich variety of previously-unseen archival materials including photos, videos, letters and notebooks from Vitali’s personal collection, and brought together through interviews with actors, family, and key film industry professionals who worked with both Kubrick and Vitali. Filmworker. Director Tony Zierra joins us to talk about the creative process, Stanley Kubrick and his closest and most dedicated collaborator, Leon Vitali, who once described his own occupation simply as “Filmworker.”

 

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For news and updates go to: kinolorber.com/film/filmworker

93% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Movie love at its purest. A celebration of its anonymous inhabitants’ role in bringing our collective dreams to life.” – Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Five stars! Tender. A revealing and stirring celebration of one of cinema’s unacknowledged heroes.” – Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian

“An arresting cinemaniac documentary. Pure candy for Kubrick buffs.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“Revealing. A fascinating portrait of Stanley Kubrick’s devoted aide de camp. Honors the hard-working, often unacknowledged craftsmen in the film industry.” – Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter

“Catnip to Kubrick obsessives.” – Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

“The ultimate fan story: a tale of what it means to live vicariously through a genius.” – Ben Kenigsberg, RogerEbert.com

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema – Paul Malcolm, FIlm Programmer

When UCLA Film & Television Archive launched its annual UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema in 1990, it was the first showcase for new Iranian films in the U.S. It has been a platform for exciting new voices in cinema as well as a dialogue to foster cultural understanding—and in that time Iranian filmmakers have moved to the forefront of the cinematic world. It has also been a barometer of global politics. In partnership with Farhang Foundation, this year’s UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema offers Los Angeles the chance to see a stellar lineup of new Iranian films that includes four Los Angeles premieres and three U.S. premieres, along with the revival of a modern classic. From fraught intimate relationships to big social issues, these expertly crafted films reveal the complexities – and universalities – of contemporary Iran. The annual celebration, now entering its 28th year, showcases the best in contemporary Iranian Cinema. Paul Malcolm is the film programmer for UCLA Film & Television Archive where he began in 2007. He was an associate programmer of feature and short films for the Los Angeles Film Festival 2006-2010. As adjunct faculty at Chapman University, he has taught classes on the history and aesthetics of 3D cinema and film reviewing at Chapman University. He was also assistant film editor and film critic for the LA Weekly from 1998-2006. Malcolm graduated from USC with a BA in journalism and he received his MA in Film Studies from UCLA. He is a Sundance Institute Arts Writing Fellow (2001).

 

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WHAT: UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema sponsored by Farhang Foundation

All films originate from Iran and are in Persian or Azari with English subtitles.

WHEN: April 28 – May 19, 2018

WHERE: UCLA’s Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

TICKETS: Regular screenings: $10 general admission available here.

For news and updates go to: UCLA Celebration iranian Cinema

For information on the Billy Wilder Theater

Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Festival Co-Director David Magdael

Visual Communications, the nation’s premier Asian Pacific American media arts center, announced its outstanding program of films and events for the upcoming 34th edition of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF) running MAY 3 – MAY 12, 2018. The all encompassing annual film celebration is presented across Los Angeles in West Hollywood, Downtown LA, Little Tokyo, Koreatown, and Hollywood. Visual Communications proudly celebrates the Film Festival’s 34 years as Southern California’s largest and most prestigious film festival of its kind.  LAAPFF launches the celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage Month through this year’s slate of over 100 films from both Asian Pacific American and Asian international artists.  For over three decades, the Festival has presented nearly 5,000 films by Asian Pacific American and Asian International talent. This year, 39 feature films and 79 shorts from the over 800 submissions will be showcased during the ten-day fest. The Festival opens with the Los Angeles premiere of Aneesh Chaganty’s feature debut  SEARCHING starring John Cho and Debra Messing giving audiences an early chance to see the movie that took the NEXT audience award and the Alfred P. Sloan award at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Other programs include  CENTERPIECE FILMS will feature two outstanding world premieres with IN THE LIFE OF MUSIC and FICTION & OTHER REALITIES. Centerpiece Films will be presented on Saturday, May 5th at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo – Downtown Los Angeles.  The CLOSING NIGHT FILM will be the Los Angeles premiere of the acclaimed 2018 Sundance World Documentary Special Jury Award winner MATANGI/ MAYA/ M.I.A., directed by Stephen Loveridge.  Inspired by her roots, M.I.A. created a mashup, cut-and-paste identity that pulled from every corner of her journey; a sonic sketchbook that blended Tamil politics, art school punk, hip-hop beats and the voice of multicultural youth. Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Co-Director David Magdael will join us to talk about this years’s exciting festival line up.

 

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For news and updates on the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival go to: Festival.VConline.org/2018

Where is Kyra, Director Andrew Dosunmu

Presenting Michelle Pfeiffer in one of the most acclaimed performances of her storied career, Andrew Dosunmu’s WHERE IS KYRA?  tells the story of Kyra Johnson,  a middle-aged divorcee who moves into her elderly mother’s Brooklyn apartment while she looks for work and tries to get back on her feet.  When her mother suddenly dies, Kyra is left without any support, both emotional and financial, and finds herself with very few options–none of them good.  Despite a blossoming affair with a sympathetic neighbor (Kiefer Sutherland) with struggles of his own, Kyra can’t accept that her once-tidy life has fallen apart, and she resorts to increasingly desperate measures to hold onto what little she has left. Another unique and evocative portrait of life in contemporary New York City, WHERE IS KYRA? is Dosunmu’s follow-up to his award-winning feature, Mother of George,  widely considered one of the best independent films of recent years. Re-teaming with writer Darci Picoult, cinematographer Bradford Young (Academy Award-nominated for Arrival, Selma), and composer Philip Young, Dosunmu brilliantly conveys the plight of a strong-willed, capable woman who nonetheless finds herself slipping through society’s cracks, and toppling from a stable, secure life to the very edge of ruin. Director Andrew Dosunmu joins us to talk about take on the “invisible” people living at the margins of our major urban centers, a collective loss of empathy, and the impact his photo-journalism work had on the making of this starkly beautiful film.

 

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The little minx artist collective

Andrew Dosunmu homepage

Andrew Dosunmu photo collection

80% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“This woman may be lost to the world, but in Dosunmu’s quietly shattering vision, she is also unexpectedly, triumphantly found.” – Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times

“It’s a performance of such nuance and vulnerability, so quietly catastrophic in communicating this woman’s accumulation of loss.” – David Fear, Rolling Stone

“Where Is Kyra? finally allows [Pfeiffer] to explore the darker, unvarnished side of her talent and gives her the opportunity to do perhaps the best work of her lengthy, eclectic career.” – Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com

“A shattering portrait of a luckless woman unable to pull out of the tailspin that is her life, “Where Is Kyra?” is a powerfully moody character study anchored by a remarkable performance from Michelle Pfeiffer.” – Tim Grierson, Screen International

“Rarely on film has the sheer debilitating exhaustion of poverty been so clearly conveyed.” – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

Wild Wild Country, Director Maclain Way and Chapman Way

On a quiet day in 1981, disciples of an obscenely wealthy religious guru named Bhagwan Rajneesh suddenly appear in the small, conservative Oregon town of Antelope, dressed in all red and with portraits of their leader hanging from their necks. This, of course, makes the townsfolk uneasy. The Rajneesh followers spend over $125 million to build Rajneeshpuram, a 64,000-acre utopia, complete with a hospital, schools, restaurants, a shopping mall, and their own airport. The spokesperson for the movement is Ma Anand Sheela, a fearless disciple whose belief in the principles of Rajneesh are only outweighed by her feisty spirit. In order to stack the results of county elections in their favor, the Rajneesh bus thousands of homeless people onto the ranch. When these new recruits are denied voting rights by the state, Rajneesh leaders surreptitiously infect local restaurants with salmonella, resulting in the largest biochemical terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And that’s only the beginning … Directors Maclain and Chapman Way, whose debut documentary, The Battered Bastards of Baseball, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, return with this riveting six-part docu-series that recounts the amazing true story of a fallen religious movement. They join us to talk about this amazing, riveting and unbelievable story.”To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series.” 

 

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For news and updates go to: netflix.com

100% on Rotten Tomatoes

“Wild Wild Country…is a true story that seems too strange to be real, but with the sure hands of directors Chapman and Maclain Way, who weave this together with a keen artistic skill, it manages to feel not only tangible, but it provokes sincere emotion.” – Kristy Strouse, FIlm Inquiry

“To describe Wild Wild Country as jaw-dropping is to understate the number of times my mouth gaped while watching the series.” – Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic

“Wild Wild Country couldn’t be more timely-even if the particulars of its story are crazily unique to itself.” – Nick Schager, The Daily Beast

“It’s a slice of partially forgotten history in which real life just keeps getting more and more outlandish and implausible.” – Dan Fienberg, Hollywood Reporter

Thoroughbreds, Director Cory Finley

Childhood friends Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) reconnect in suburban Connecticut after years of growing apart. Lily has turned into a polished, upper-class teenager, with a fancy boarding school on her transcript and a coveted internship on her resume; Amanda has developed a sharp wit and her own particular attitude, but all in the process of becoming a social outcast. Though they initially seem completely at odds, the pair bond over Lily’s contempt for her oppressive stepfather, Mark, and as their friendship grows, they begin to bring out one another’s most destructive tendencies. Their ambitions lead them to hire a local hustler, Tim, and take matters into their own hands to set their lives straight. From first-time writer-director Cory Finley comes a darkly comic psychological thriller exploring friendship, privilege and morality in a rarefied Connecticut setting of sprawling mansions, equestrian stables and elite private schools. Starring Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Split) and Anton Yelchin (Green Room), in one of his final screen performances, Thoroughbreds takes its cues from classic film noir, locating a deadpan wickedness in the maneuvers of his dual protagonists Amanda and Lily.  Director and writer Cory Finley joins us to talk about his his background as a playwright, adjusting to life on a film set and working with his stellar cast of young actors.

For news and updates go to: focusfeatures.com/thoroughbreds

 

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86% on Rotten Tomatoes!

“It’s a testament to the twisted brilliance of (Cory) Finley’s film that a scumbag drug dealer becomes its moral center.” – Rob Thomas, Capital Times

“Set in the opulent, WASP-y world of teen divas with killer instincts, Cory Finley’s deliciously depraved satire skewers an empathy drain that he sees as sadly emblematic of modern life.” – Peter Travis, Rolling Stone

“Remember the name Cory Finley.” – Peter DeBruge, Variety

“Thoroughbreds was written and directed by first-time filmmaker Cory Finley, and for other amateurs it’s a masterclass in squeezing everything you can out of a small budget.” – Andrew Lapin, NPR

“Thoroughbreds, in other words, has been made with diabolical craft and intelligence, the kind that marks director (Cory) Finley as a major new American talent.” – A.A. Dowd, AV Club

“One of the most assured and impressive American debut movies of the year.” – Oliver Lyttleton, The Playlist