October – November 2014
Co-Presented by SF Sketchfest
**ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 15 AT 12:00PM WE ARE RELEASING 30 MORE TICKETS TO THE LIVE PODCAST + SCREENING ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23**
★SPECIAL EVENT★ HARMONTOWN + LIVE PODCAST — Thursday, Oct. 23 7:00pm
Watch the film & see Dan Harmon & gang IN PERSON for a LIVE recording of The Harmontown Podcast!
Admission = $20 in advance / $25 @ the door
Featuring an irreverent and sadistically honest social commentary on all things personal and pop-culture, the Harmontown podcast began in 2012 as a way for creator Dan Harmon to connect with fans through an unfiltered medium where no subject was off limits. The podcast quickly grew in popularity, gaining a cult following with nearly a hundred thousand devoted listeners downloading each week’s episode. After parting ways with NBC’s “Community,” a show he created, Dan set out to take his podcast on a tour across the country. Accompanied by comptroller Jeff B. Davis (“Whose Line is it Anyway?”), his girlfriend (cum fiancé) Erin McGathy (“This Feels Terrible” podcast), and gaming enthusiast Spencer Crittenden (the Apple store in Moorpark), Dan and company traveled 9,500 miles in 23 days, performing 20 live shows. Filmmaker Neil Berkeley followed the intrepid group for the duration of the journey, capturing not just the public shows themselves, but the private moments of self-doubt and struggle in between. Written, produced and directed by Neil Berkeley (Beauty Is Embarrassing). With Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, Steve Agee, Alison Brie and Rob Schrab. Digital. 2014. 120 mins.
Director: Neil Berkeley, 101min. U.S.A. 2014
Official Site is Here.
Written by Erik Parker and produced by One9, Parker, and Anthony Saleh, the film follows the trajectory of Nas’ 1994 landmark debut album, “Illmatic” – widely considered one of the most important and revolutionary albums in hip-hop.
Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album ‘Illmatic,’ NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC takes us into the heart of his creative process. Returning to his childhood home in Queensbridge, Nas shares stories of his upbringing, his influences — from the music of his jazz musician father Olu Dara to the burgeoning hip-hop scene in New York City — and the obstacles he faced before his major label signing at age 20. Featuring interviews with his ‘Illmatic’ producers (Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier) and musical peers (including Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys), NAS: TIME IS ILLMATIC is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC.
The subjects of the film BEFORE YOU KNOW IT are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers.
They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. But BEFORE is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie –whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.
Ty is an impassioned LGBT activist who hears nothing but wedding bells once gay marriage passes in New York. Robert “The Mouth” is a feisty bar owner who presses on when his neighborhood institution comes under threat. Born before the Civil Rights era, these men have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes, from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation, to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Queer Nation, to gay marriage and Lady Gaga, and have lived to become part of an unprecedented “out” elder generation. Before focuses on the lives of these three gay seniors, but reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal. An affirmation of life and human resilience told with a refreshing humor and candor, Before confirms that you are never too old to reshape society.
Documentary, 110 mins., Directed by PJ Raval, 2013, U.S.A.
During the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese Army closes in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance crumbles. With the specter of a Communist victory looming and only a skeleton crew of diplomats and military operatives still in the country, the United States prepares to withdraw. As they begin to realize the reality of certain imprisonment and possible death of their South Vietnamese allies, American diplomats and soldiers confront a moral quandary: obey White House orders to evacuate only U.S. citizens, or risk being charged with treason and save the lives of as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can. With the clock ticking and the city under fire, heroes emerge as a small handful of Americans take matters into their own hands. Robert F. and Ethel Kennedy’s daughter Rory, dares to reopen the books on a war that scarred our national psyche. Chronicling a story few of us know, Kennedy’s potent documentary may both shock you and restore your faith in humanity”. – David Courier, Sundance Film Fest.
Directed by Rory Kennedy. Written by Mark Bailey & Keven McAlester. Edited by Don Kleszy. Cinematography by Joan Churchill. In English and Vietnamese with English subtitles, 2013, 98 minutes, color, U.S.A.
Anger rages in Philip as he awaits the publication of his second novel. He feels pushed out of his adopted home city by the constant crowds and noise, a deteriorating relationship with his photographer girlfriend Ashley, and his own indifference to promoting the novel. When Philip’s idol Ike Zimmerman offers his isolated summer home as a refuge, he finally gets the peace and quiet to focus on his favorite subject: himself.
Following up his critically acclaimed The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry scripts a complex, intimate, and highly idiosyncratic comedy filled with New Yorkers living their lives somewhere between individuality and isolation. Jason Schwartzman leads an impressive cast, including Elisabeth Moss, Krysten Ritter, and Jonathan Pryce, balancing Perry’s quick-witted dialogue and their characters’ painful, personal truths. With narration by Eric Bogosian, we switch perspectives as seasons and attitudes change, offering a literary look into the lives of these individuals and the triumph of reality over the human spirit.
Directed by Alex Ross Perry 108 min. U.S.A. 2014
Filmmaker RODRIGO REYES IN PERSON for Q&A after the screening!
“A searing, horrifying, at times starkly beautiful documentary ode to the netherworlds surrounding the U.S.-Mexico barrier” –Andrew Barker, VARIETY
“This haunting, beautifully photographed documentary presents the human side of its incendiary topic” –Frank Scheck, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER“An elegiac and cinematically shot poem filled with emotional narration and iconography” –Christine Davila, IndieWIRE
Jury Award for Best Documentary, NEW ORLEANS FILM FESTIVAL •Jury Award for Best Documentary, THIS HUMAN WORLD •Jury Award for Best Documentary, SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL •Michael Moore Award for Best Documentary, ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL
Rodrigo Reyes’ provocative essay film re-imagines the Mexico/U.S. border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory. Leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell.By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the US/Mexico border, the filmmaker reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film, in the auteur tradition of camera-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.
PURGATORIO was shot in the fall of 2011 over 4 weeks with a crew of three, on a documentary-making road trip in a dilapidated Ford Van, meandering through back roads and highways from Tijuana to Big Bend National Park. It was a trip full of unforgettable anecdotes:The production vehicle became stranded in the desert dunes of Yuma, forcing the crew to hike several miles deep with temperatures over 100 degrees and hoisting all their gear, just so that they could capture the perfect shot of the border fence rising from the sand like a mythical beast.
Nearly a week went by in Ciudad Juárez under a strange streak of luck: no murders were happening. Dumbfounded police officers and journalists swore that crime would soon pick up, as news media reported on the extreme rarity of so many days without violent crime. Lashing the camera and tripod to a 12 foot plastic canoe, filmmakers camped out in the canyons that run alongside the Rio Grande River, dividing Mexico from the US, capturing stark images of epic proportions. These are just a few of the many misadventures that the filmmakers encountered as they made their way along the border. The spirit of this journey has seeped into the film itself, and is one of the reasons why PURGATORIO is so unique.
A film by Rodrigo Reyes, 80 minutes, 2013, Mexico
Particle Fever follows the inside story of six brilliant scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe, documenting the successes and setbacks in the planet’s most significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough.
Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity.
For the first time, a film gives audiences a front row seat to a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Particle Fever follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.
As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit in understanding why we exist?
Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, from the inspiration and initiative of producer David Kaplan and masterfully edited by Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, The Godfather trilogy), Particle Fever is a celebration of discovery, revealing the very human stories behind this epic machine.
A documentary film by Mark Levinson and David Kaplan, 99min., 2013, U.S.A.
‘Park Mark’ follows the life of a man during one night, roaming the streets of Tehran, stealing from charity boxes that are installed all over town. This story takes place after he is back from the US where he had committed two murders for which he served considerable jail time.
2010 / 42 mins
Directed by Baktash Abtin
Mory Wants A Wife
“Mory” Wants A Wife is about a man named Morteza, AKA Mori. The film documents Mori’s struggles with the issues of living in poverty and with his utter sexual frustration as a single man living in Iran.
2009 / 42 mins
Directed by Baktash Abtin
About the Director…
Baktash Abtin (b. 1974) is an Iranian screenwriter and film director. As a secondary school graduate he quickly published three books of poetry and then began experimenting with the film medium: he wrote scripts and featured in television productions.
As bone-dry as the harsh environment where its characters live, Young Ones gives us a futuristic Western so bleak that its pitiless tone becomes downright mesmerizing.
-Tim Grierson, Screen International
YOUNG ONES is set in a near future when water has become the most precious and dwindling resource on the planet, one that dictates everything from political to inter persona. The land has withered into something wretched. The dust has settled on a lonely, barren planet. The hardened survivors of the loss of Earth’s precious resources scrape and struggle. Ernest Holm lives on this harsh frontier with his children. He defends his farm from bandits, works the supply routes, and hopes to rejuvenate the soil. But his daughter’s boyfriend has grander designs. A futuristic western that inventively layers Greek tragedy over an ethereal narrative that’s steeped deeply in the values of the American West. Written & directed by Jake Paltrow. With Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee. Digital. USA. 2014. 100 Minutes.
FREE TO ALL!!
REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is an intimate and nuanced investigation into the life of one of the most influential and provocative thinkers of the 20th century. Passionate and gracefully outspoken throughout her career, Susan Sontag became one of the most important literary, political and feminist icons of her generation. The documentary explores Sontag’s life through evocative experimental images, archival materials, accounts from friends, family, colleagues, and lovers, as well as her own words, read by actress Patricia Clarkson. From her early infatuation with books and her first experience in a gay bar; from her marriage in adolescence to her last lover, REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG is a fascinating look at a towering cultural critic and writer whose works on photography, war, illness, and terrorism still resonate today. More than any other thinker of her day, Sontag was watched, viewed, photographed and stared at. She was gazed at, and she looked back, very carefully, particularly at language and metaphor and at photography and what she called “the ecology of images.” REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG gives viewers the chance to watch Sontag while she examines the world. REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG has been made in partnership with HBO Documentary Films and will be broadcast Fall 2014.
Directed by Nancy D. Kates, 100 Minutes, U.S.A., 2014