Calendar

October – November 2014

Oct
3
Fri
ABUSE OF WEAKNESS
October 3, 2014 - October 9, 2014

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[A] chilly, dark portrait of two control freaks locking horns.

-Stepehen Holden, NY Times

Beginning in 2004, filmmaker/novelist Catherine Breillat had a series of debilitating strokes connected to a previously undiagnosed cerebrovascular disease.During her long, grueling recovery, she became fascinated by international con man Christophe Rocancourt. She decided only he could play the leading part in her next film. Their close friendship ended with a bang in 2009—when Breillat sued Rocancourt for conning her out of nearly $1 million.

No stranger to discomfiting her audience—or herself—Breillat fictionalizes that recent life chapter here, with the inimitable Isabelle Huppert as stroke-felled filmmaker/novelist “Maud Shainberg.” Maud invites into her life notorious celebrity “crook” Vilko Piran (French rapper Kool Shen). The two fast become thick as, well, thieves. The title Abuse of Weakness suggests a simple victimization that is in fact much more complex and ambiguous in Breillat’s queasy, thinly veiled self-portrait.

In Huppert’s fearless performance, Maud is perversely willing prey to “wild animal” Vilko. He’s rude, bullying, seductive—but then she is often demanding, arrogant and contrary herself. Their interdependency has elements of a marriage (though he’s already married) and an affair (though it’s platonic). These are two prickly, high-maintenance people determined to get the most out of each other, for better or worse. The fact that it’s very likely to be “for worse” seems key to their mutual attraction. –Dennis Harvey

images UnknownDirected and Written by Catherine Breillat,

Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino

2014, France | Germany | Belgium, 105min. English Subtitles

Oct
5
Sun
Pirate Night: FISHING WITHOUT NETS
October 5, 2014

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Like a Coen Brothers film set on the high seas, Fishing without Nets thrusts us into a man-made prison of greed, hopelessness, and violence.

-Travis Hopson, Examiner.com

 The subject of Somali pirates still strikes fear in the hearts of us Westerners, for it’s all a landscape that’s totally different than anything we could possibly know about. Shot in East Africa using first-time Somali actors, Fishing Without Nets ls the mesmerizing, sobering story of the region’s bandits from the Somali point-of-view. In Somalia, principled, young husband and father Abdi turns to piracy to support his family. While his wife and child wait for him in Yemen, an outdated and fragile satellite phone is his only connection to all he truly values. Here (in Sundance 2014′s winner for the Directing Award, U.S. Dramatic), debut feature filmmaker Cutter Hodierne combines the epic cinematic vision of a glorious action thriller with the intimate, textured qualities of an arthouse film, humanizing the pirates by bringing us inside their moral dilemmas and gut-wrenching struggles.

Dir: Cutter Hodierne – 2014 – 110 mins

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FISHING WITHOUT NETS – TEASER (feature) from mynameisCutter.com on Vimeo.

Pirate Night: Last Hijack
October 5, 2014

* Berlin Film Festival 2014 * * New York Film Festival 2014 * * South By Southwest 2014 *

last hijack2The filmmakers have gotten extraordinary access to Mohamed and ravaged Somalia.

-Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

Last Highjack directed by Tommy Pallotta (animator and collaborator of Richard Linklater on “A Scanner Darkly” and “Waking Life”) tells the true tale of survival in Somalia from the pirate’s perspective. Combining animation with documentary storytelling, the film takes an innovative hybrid approach to explore how one Somali pirate – Mohamed – came to live such a brutal and dangerous existence. Animatedre-enactments exploring Mohamed’s memories, dreams and fears from his point of view  are juxtaposed with raw footage from his everyday life in an original non-fiction narrative. Dir: Tommy Palotta. 2014. 83 min.

Dir: Tommy Palotta – 2014 – 83 mins

 

Oct
9
Thu
FRAMELINE ENCORE: THE CIRCLE
October 9, 2014

FREE TO ALL!!

381717lPart love story, part thriller, and all astonishingly true, The Circle weaves a gorgeous 1950s period drama around a documentary to reveal the story of Zürich’s groundbreaking gay magazine Der Kreis—and its network of readers, friends, and lovers, who formed one of the first modern homophile societies.

In the years following World War II, a small band of Swiss writers dared to publish their bimonthly magazine Der Kreis (The Circle), smuggling it into countries throughout Europe. It provided subscribers with news and erotica (in German, French, and English), “artistic” physique pictorials, and—perhaps most importantly—a sense of community. The magazine’s sumptuous galas helped give Zürich a reputation as the gay capital of Europe. At one of these balls, in 1958, closeted schoolteacher Ernst Ostertag meets local drag celebrity Röbi Rapp—who is very much out of the closet (his loving mother sews his gowns for him). This encounter is the beginning of a love affair that endures today: in 2007, Ostertag and Rapp became Switzerland’s first same-sex civil partners. The film follows their relationship and the challenges faced by the controversial magazine after a gay prostitute murders a prominent client, igniting press hysteria and police crackdowns that threaten to end Zürich’s era of freedom.

Directed by Stefan Haupt, 102 Minutes, Switzerland, 2014

Oct
13
Mon
ARAB FILM FESTIVAL
October 13, 2014 - October 14, 2014

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The Arab Film Festival returns to the Roxie this fall for its 18th edition.  With an international standing, the Arab Film Festival is considered one of the most important festivals of Arab films outside the Arab world. It strives to present the best contemporary films that provide insight into the beauty, complexity and diversity of the Arab world alongside realistic perspectives on Arab people, culture, art, history and politics. This year the festival will screen in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Palo Alto, October 10-23.

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Oct
24
Fri
VIKTOR
October 24, 2014

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Action/Thriller starring Gerard Depardieu (Life of Pi, Green Card, Cyrano de Bergerac)  and Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers series, Bedazzled, Mickey Blue Eyes).  A story of revenge and redemption. When Viktor Lambert returns to Russia after 7 years in French prison, he is determined to uncover the truth and gain revenge for his son’s death just 3 months earlier. He stops at nothing to protect his son’s girlfriend who carries his baby and vows to bring down everyone responsible for his son’s murder.  Thrilling pacing, stunning locations and brutal violence in the tradition of action films like Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” and Sam Mendes’ “Road to Perdition.”

Directed by Philippe Martinez, 97min.,2014, Russia

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Oct
26
Sun
PURGATORIO
October 26, 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

UnknownRodrigo 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.

Unknown-2PURGATORIO 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.

UnknownNearly 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.

Purgatorio – Official Trailer from RR Cinema on Vimeo.

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A film by Rodrigo Reyes, 80 minutes, 2013, Mexico

Nov
14
Fri
THE FRENCH HAD A NAME FOR IT: Classic French Noir from the 40s through the 60s
November 14, 2014 - November 17, 2014

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Elliot Lavine and Don Malcolm proudly present a stellar four- day festival of Gallic noir, twelve dazzling noir films featuring works by famed directors like Melville and Clouzot as well as films from equally talented but somewhat less widely known group of filmmakers such as Julien Duvivier, Jacques Becker, Robert Hossein, and Claude Autant-Lara. The big Roxie screen will glisten with unimaginable star power provided by Jean Gabin, Simone Signoret, Brigitte Bardot, and 1950s French glamour couple Robert Hossein and Marina Vlady.

Unknown-1 Most of these exciting films have been absent from US movie screens for decades and we are indeed honored to be hosting this incredible event. Be watching the Roxie website for a complete schedule of films!

 

Nov
22
Sat
Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek
November 22, 2014

Filmmaker Leah Mahan with Turkey Creek hero Rose Johnson and Sierra Club’s Leslie Fields in person!

03_Turkey-Creek_2003_©Leah-MahanCome Hell or High Water follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Bay Area filmmaker Leah Mahan worked on the documentary over the course of a decade, as Derrick and his neighbors stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals that include Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster. This film is about their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice and shows the resilience of a community that stands together for their rights.

s_01_Turkey Creek_2005_©SAWfoto.com_by Spencer Weiner“This powerful documentary illustrates a classic case of environmental injustice and exposes raw in-your-face Mississippi racial politics. Come Hell or High Water is a perfect lesson that we are not living in a post-racial era.” ~ Dr. Robert Bullard, ‘father of environmental justice’