Calendar

September – November 2014

Sep
19
Fri
MEMPHIS
September 19, 2014 - September 25, 2014

 

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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.

                                                                                                         DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT

807It 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.

 
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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.

 

Sep
28
Sun
Dr. Strangelove and the Shining
September 28, 2014

Dr. Strangelove and the Shining – 35mm double feature – presented by Spoke Art

Join us Sunday, September 28th for a one night only screening of two classic Stanley Kubrick films, Dr. Strangelove and the Shining, both shown in glorious 35mm. Presented by Spoke Art gallery, this special event closes out their month long Kubrick themed art exhibit, on view at their Sutter street gallery from September 6th – 27th.  *SPOKE ART GALLERY “Kubrick an art show tribute”

A selection of limited edition posters will be available for purchase at this event.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

imagesParanoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, he believing that fluoridation of the American water supply is a Soviet plot to poison the U.S. populace, is able to deploy through a back door mechanism a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union without the knowledge of his superiors, including the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Buck Turgidson, and President Merkin Muffley. Only Ripper knows the code to recall the B-52 bombers and he has shut down communication in and out of Burpelson as a measure to protect this attack. Ripper’s executive officer, RAF Group Captain Lionel Mandrake (on exchange from Britain), who is being held at Burpelson by Ripper, believes he knows the recall codes if he can only get a message to the outside world.imgres Meanwhile at the Pentagon War Room, key persons including Muffley, Turgidson and nuclear scientist and adviser, a former Nazi named Dr. Strangelove, are discussing measures to stop the attack or mitigate its blow-up into an all out nuclear war with the Soviets. Against Turgidson’s wishes, Muffley brings Soviet Ambassador Alexi de Sadesky into the War Room, and get his boss, Soviet Premier Dimitri Kisov, on the hot line to inform him of what’s going on.
The Americans in the War Room are dismayed to learn that the Soviets have a yet as unannounced Doomsday Device to detonate if any of their key targets are hit. As Ripper, Mandrake and those in the War Room try and work the situation to their end goal, Major T.J. “King” Kong, one of the B-52 bomber pilots, is working on his own agenda of deploying his bomb where ever he can on enemy soil if he can’t make it to his intended target.

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Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 95 minutes, 1964, U.S.A.

The Shining

imgres-2A novelist – Jack Torrance take a job interview as winter caretaker of the isolated, old, huge and beautiful Overlook Hotel. In the interview, Jack is told by the manager himself, that the previous caretaker – Grady, chopped his family and later killed himself with a shotgun. Ignoring the story, Jack brings his wife – Wendy and his son Danny. It happens that Danny, has a mysterious power known as “The Shining” that shows him things from the past and future. Some of the visions come from Tony – “the little boy who lives in Danny’s mouth”. Danny meets Hallorann – the hotel cook in their first day arriving at the Overlook, who also has this “Shining” and he warns him about the hotel and the sinister Room 237. imgres-4As the days go by, Danny has visions of previous guests and employees who died at the hotel years before, meanwhile Jack starts driving into insanity, turning more and more aggressive, at the point that Danny and Wendy gets convinced that Jack might try to do the same thing, Grady did.

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 144 minutes, 1980, U.S.A.

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

MV5BMTAzOTU3MzczNTZeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDA5MzQxMjIx._V1__SX870_SY631_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

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Directed and Written by Catherine Breillat,
Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino

2014, France | Germany | Belgium, 105min.

English Subtitles

Oct
16
Thu
SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF SHORT FILMS
October 16, 2014 - October 18, 2014

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SF Shorts is about grabbing someone by the eyeballs and making them think, feel and react. It’s about what people see every day but now stare at in wonder. SF Shorts proves that entertainment can have human value. See sfshorts.com for details.

Oct
26
Sun
LISTEN UP PHILLIP
October 26, 2014 - October 30, 2014

13936-1Anger 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.

 

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Directed by Alex Ross Perry 108 min. U.S.A. 2014

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

Oct
31
Fri
Young Ones
October 31, 2014 - November 6, 2014

 

MV5BMTQwNDg2NjkwMF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDg1NjEzOQ@@._V1__SX1082_SY581_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.  

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Trailer for Young Ones on TrailerAddict.

Nov
6
Thu
Synesthesia Film Festival: Screening #8
November 6, 2014

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Welcome to the Synesthesia Film Festival!

This is a once a night monthly film festival that screens independent short films, student films, web series, documentaries, music videos, experimental films and animations from around the world.

The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of media and filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on future projects.

The screening night starts at 6:30 PM in the lobby where the filmmakers, writers, producers, directors, actors, and editors of the short films can get to know each other.

Then the show begins at 7:00 PM and ends at 9:00 PM, followed by a short Q&A with the key filmmakers.

Afterparty at 9:30 PM down the street at a local bar or restaurant where we will tally up the scores and announce the winners of the Audience Choice Awards.

Nov
12
Wed
BAY AREA DOCS: Shorts Program
November 12, 2014

Filmmakers in Person!

High Five

high_five1On October 2nd, 1977 Dusty Baker hit his 30th homerun of the season, making history as the 4th player on the Dodgers to hit 30 or more home runs. As Baker rounded the bases, an excited rookie named Glenn Burke met him at home plate, raised his arm high in the air and slapped Baker five. It was the first high five recorded in the history of sports. A year later, Burke was forced about of baseball amid rumors of his sexual orientation. The film takes audiences back to the spontaneous moment between the two men and tells the story of how the celebratory gesture spread throughout the sports world at same time Burke was being forced from the game he loved. The film won the Jury Award and Best Short Doc at the 2014 San Francisco International Film Festival.

10 Minutes, Short Documentary, A Film by Michal Jacobs

Director’s Bio…

Michael Jacobs debut feature Audience of One won awards at SXSW, Silverdocs and screened at New Directors/New Films before going on to theatrical release and a premiere on Sundance Channel. Jacobs has directed documentaries for Sony Pictures, Current TV and Popup Magazine. Jacobs is currently a founding member of Strike Anywhere Films.

Santa Cruz del Islote

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Santa Cruz Isolate is less than three acres large and is one of the world’s most densely populated islands. This remote but family-like community resides fifty miles from Cartagena, Colombia. Such isolation has provided a peaceful existence for generations, but sufficient resources are becoming increasingly scarce. This short documentary explores the daily lives of a young boy and a fisherman as they come to terms with their changing paradise.

19 Minutes, Short Documentary, A Film by Luke Lorentzen

Islote_01Director’s Bio…

Luke Lorentzen is an undergraduate Film Studies major and American Studies minor at Stanford University. He has a particular interest in visually centered stories that explore everyday ways of life. His work has won awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival and Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. Luke is currently working on a new documentary about the variety of barber shops and hair salons throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

 The Delano Manong

oR5Ne1k2ogFp6GG9yEEAv__8k4V3mAyFvAtw8BpXUhcForgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers Movement

The Delano Manongs tells the story of the Filipino farmworkers who spurred the Great Grape Strike in 1965 and joined forces with the other ethnic workers to create the United Farmworkers Union.

The film chronicles the untold story of the Filipino farmworkers who instigated one of the biggest labor struggles in American history — the Delano Grape Strike of 1965. Led by Larry Itliong, Philip Vera Cruz and Pete Velasco, the Manongs (a Filipino term of respect for an older man) joined forces with Chicano farmworkers, led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, to create the United Farm Workers Union (UFW). The documentary, compounded by interviews and both archival and present-day footage, sheds light on the lives of these Filipino farmworkers from their arrival into the United States in the 1920s and ’30s to the demise of their assemblage in the 1980s, highlighting their many struggles and achievements. The legacy created by the Manongs — out of a necessity and want for basic equality and humanity — is one still significant to and celebrated by thousands of Filipino Americans today.   The Trailer is Here.

27 Minutes, Short Documentary, A Film By Marissa Aroy

Director’s Bio…

Marissa Aroy, director, of The Delano Manongsreceived an Emmy for the documentary “Sikhs in America,” which was shown on PBS. She produced and directed “Little Manila: Filipinos in California’s Heartland” also for PBS and produced “Sounds of Hope” for Frontline World. Aroy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College and a master’s degree in journalism from University of California, Berkeley. She recently came back from Tacloban where she was filming the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Aroy was named one of the most influential Filipina women in the US in 2009 by the Filipina Womens Network. She and her filmmaking partner, Niall McKay, founded Media Factory, a media production company in 2004. For more about Media Factory: http://www.mediafactory.tv

Facing Fear

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As a 13 year-old, Matthew Boger was thrown out of his home for being gay. While living on the streets of Hollywood, he was savagely beaten in a back alley by a group of neo-Nazi skinheads. Boger managed to survive the attack and escape life on the streets. Twenty-five years later, Boger found himself in a chance meeting with a former neo-Nazi skinhead, Tim Zaal. The two men soon realized that they had met before…Zaal was one of the attackers who beat Boger and left him for dead. 

With their worlds turned upside down, the two embarked on a journey of forgiveness and reconciliation that challenged both to grapple with their own beliefs and fears. Neither could imagine that it would to lead to an improbable collaboration…and friendship. 

“Facing Fear” Trailer from Jason Cohen Productions on Vimeo.

23 Minutes, Short Documentary, A Film By  Jason Cohen

Director’s Bio…

Academy Award-nominated Jason Cohen has produced and directed all formats of film and television on projects that cover a broad range of topics over the past 20 years. Currently, Cohen is in production on a global film about love and forgiveness that has taken him around the world to highlight stories in Uganda, India, Haiti, Spain and Italy.

Cohen has had an ongoing relationship with Academy Award-winning director Steven Okazaki for over 15 years. Last year he produced the Okazaki-directed APPROXIMATELY NELS CLINE, about the world-renowned lead guitarist of the rock band Wilco. He co-produced HBO’s Emmy-nominated BLACK TAR HEROIN: DARK END OF THE STREET, with Okazaki and was a producer on his Emmy Award-winning HBO doc on the dropping of the atomic bomb, WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN, which also screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.  *Full Biography

 

SLOMO

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Depressed and frustrated with his life, Dr. John Kitchin abandons his career as a neurologist and moves to Pacific Beach. There, he undergoes a radical transformation into SLOMO, trading his lab coat for a pair of rollerblades and his IRA for a taste of divinity.

18 Minutes, Short Documentary, A Film by Josh Izenberg

Director’s Bio…

Josh hails from Ann Arbor, where he earned a degree in Screenwriting from the University of Michigan. He’s since worked as a copywriter, a cab driver, and a carpenter. SLOMO is his first documentary.