September – December 2014
God Help The Girl is a musical feature film, written and directed by Stuart Murdoch, lead singer of the group Belle and Sebastian. It was produced by Barry Mendel and stars Emily Browning, Olly Alexander and Hannah Murray.
Stuart aspired to tell the story of “a better summer, or at least a summer when something happened. It happened to a boy and a girl and a girl in a city roughly the same size and population of Glasgow. Perhaps the canals were a bit grimier, the high-rise buildings taller, the streets emptier when you needed them to be, and the beat clubs busier than the ones around here. But on the whole the city was this one.”
According to Barry Mendel, “It’s a simple story – about the brief moment after you’ve realised what you want to do with your life, before your dream settles into becoming your job, when you’re filled with enthusiasm, meeting like-minded friends and the possibilities are endless.”
The film was shot, edited, scored and mixed in Glasgow over the course of 2012-2013 and is be released in cinemas around the world in 2014.
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Director: Stuart Murdoch, 111 min. 2014
Official Site is here.
FREE to ALL!!
In Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story, former U.S. Navy SEAL Christopher Beck embarks on a new mission as Kristin Beck. Kristin’s journey in search of the American ideals that she protected have a whole new meaning as she lives her life truthfully as a transgender woman.
Kristin served for over 20 years as a member of the elite special forces Navy SEALs on SEAL Team 1 as well as the United States Special Warfare Development Group – what many in the public refer to as SEAL Team 6. She retired in 2011 with the rank of Senior Chief and continued high-level clearance work for the United States government and the Pentagon. But Kristin hid her true identity throughout and after her service knowing she would lose it all if anyone were to know her secret. In 2013, a year and a half after retirement, Kristin came out publicly first on LinkedIn and on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 soon thereafter. Many friends, colleagues and family were taken by surprise.
This film brings exclusive interviews from Kristin’s family and friends about her service, as well as their reactions to her coming out. It also includes exclusive footage of Chris Beck in training and combat. The documentary was filmed only a few months after the AC360 piece had aired, and the truth is still fresh and emotional for those closest to her. While many people have been supportive, some in the public have expressed more bigotry than she ever expected. After a lifetime of service, Kristin has learned that her fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness did not end on the battlefield.
Directed by Mark Herzog, Sandrine Orabona, 90 Minutes, U.S.A., 2014
Official Selection, Sundance Film Festival 2014
A strange singer with “god given talent” drifts through the mythic city of Memphis under its canopy of ancient oak trees, shattered windows, and burning spirituality. Surrounded by lovers, legends, hustlers, preachers, and a wolfpack of kids, the unstable performer avoids the recording studio and is driven to spend time in his own form of self-discovery. Shown in fragments, his journey drags him from love and happiness right to the edge of another dimension. Featuring an explosive performance and score from the singular recording artist-cum-wizard, Willis Earl Beal, MEMPHIS is a film steeped in folklore, music, surrealism, and the abstract search for glory.
It is legend in Memphis that a blessed and cursed singer by the name of O.V. Wright fell from grace and was buried in an unmarked grave. I learned of his myth around the same time I was brought to Peace Baptist Church, and witnessed a deep spirituality as ancient as the oak trees that dress every street in the city. A true believer in ghost stories and a scholar of African American studies, I was drawn to tell my own folk tale, and there was only one place on my mind. Our film captures the descent of a troubled singer as he drifts through an urban landscape looking to save his very soul. We surrounded ourselves with real Memphians and made a film that hopes to project a cool, beautiful world – as old as dirt and yet entirely new, and deserved of the title MEMPHIS.
Written and Directed by Tim Sutton.
Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson Music by Willis Earl Beal. Digital. USA 79 mins.
Official Site is Here.
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
Directed and Written by Catherine Breillat,
Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino
2014, France | Germany | Belgium, 105min.
FREE TO ALL!!
Part 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
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
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
FREE TO ALL!!
A middle-aged Asian woman leaves her bland marriage and winds up crashing in her gay son’s apartment. Mother and son attempt to reconcile their estranged relationship and rediscover their zest for life in this hilarious food-centered dramatic comedy.Food becomes a metaphor for relating through deep nourishing sustenance in Eat With Me. Filmmaker David Au has cooked up a laugh-out-loud poignant dramedy—and a food lover’s dream. This Frameline Encore screening is free and open to the public.
Emma only knows how to add spice to her life in one way… by squirting it from a bottle of hot sauce. The rest of her life is cushy but bland: scrambled egg whites, decaffeinated coffee and her husband, Ray. She’s had enough and runs away from home. Her estranged son, Elliot, finds her lurking outside his restaurant with suitcase in hand. They try to start over again as mother and son in this odd-couple living situation. But she’s old-fashioned. He’s gay. Between them are years of awkward moments and unspoken tensions. Feeling lonely, Emma accidentally befriends the lady next door who’s so eccentric that Emma’s way over her head. Meanwhile, a passionate encounter with a man in a bar turns Elliot’s fear of commitment on its head. With dumplings, dessert, whiskey, and even Ecstasy in front of them, will they give into their indulgences? And can mother and son reconcile while struggling to discover their own appetites for life?
Directed by David Au, 95 Minutes, U.S.A. 2014