April – May 2014
“The movie is as insanely entertaining as a Mad Hatter’s tea party”. – Gerald Peary, Arts Fuse
“Fascinating and horrifying”. – Michael Sragow, OC Register
In THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (THE FOG OF WAR) offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense. These memos provide a window onto history—not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes”—whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history—are contradicted by the facts. THE UNKNOWN KNOWN is an illumination of the mystery of Donald Rumsfeld, an unknown known.
Directed by Errol Morris. With Donald Rumsfeld, Errol Morris. 2013. US. Digital. 103 mins. MPAA Rating: PG-13
• The Beginning (Brian Tolle, filmmaker; Tom Swift, screenwriter and producer, based on the short play by Tom Swift from the 2005 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Ecce Homo (Jonathan Luskin/Mark Leialoha/Flying Moose Pictures, filmmakers; Jonathan Luskin, screenwriter; based on the short play by Jonathan Luskin from the 2011 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• The Etymology of Zero (an animated short; Seth Podowitz, filmmaker; Katie May, screenwriter; Katie May and Liz Anderson, co-producers; David Azer, Jan Heiman, Eileen Laitinen, Brendan Oshima, and Rachel Whalon, animators; based on the short play Rapunzel’s Etymology of Zero by Katie May from the 2011 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Reunion (Gregory Runnels and Mark Runnels, filmmakers; Kenn Rabin, screenwriter; based on the short play by Kenn Rabin from the 2004 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Wednesday (Jennifer Arzt, filmmaker; Daniel Heath, screenwriter; based on the short play by Daniel Heath from the 2009 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Aegis (Jonathan Luskin/Mark Leialoha/Flying Moose Pictures, filmmakers; Jonathan Luskin, screenwriter; based on the short play by Jonathan Luskin from the 2004 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• The Secret Life of a Hotel Room (The Runnels Brothers, filmmakers; Garret Jon Groenveld, screenwriter; based on the short play by Garret Jon Groenveld from the 2008 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Climax (Jeremy Solterbeck, filmmaker; Sean Owens, screenwriter; based on the short play by Seam Owens from the 1999 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Miss Finknagle Succumbs to Chaos (Amy Harrison, filmmaker; Kirk Shimano, screenwriter; based on the short play by Kirk Shimano from the 2012 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Obit (Brian Tolle, filmmaker; Geetha Reddy, screenwriter; based on the short play by Geetha Reddy from the 2005 Best of PlayGround Festival)
• Undone (Bruce Coughran, filmmaker; Diane Sampson, screenwriter; based on the short play by Diane Sampson from the 2010 Best of PlayGround Festival)
The Synesthesia Film Festival is a once a month showing of the coolest short films from around the world, sponsored by the The Film Clubs. The goal is to bring an eclectic mix of filmmakers together to mingle, share ideas, and collaborate on projects. The festival happens the first Thursday of every month from 7-9 PM. Tickets are $7. Following the screening will be an after party down the street where we will announce the Winners of the Audience Choice Award.
To learn more go to www.
“ET landed in the cosy American suburbs and wanted to go home. Now Scarlett Johansson – or something that looks like her – lands in modern Glasgow and thinks about sticking around in Jonathan Glazer’s creepy, mysterious and bold ‘Under the Skin’. One can only guess that the weather is beyond dire on her side of the galaxy. The film is an adaptation of Michel Faber’s 2000 novel and the first in nearly a decade from the director of ‘Sexy Beast’ and ‘Birth’. It’s an intoxicating marvel, strange and sublime: it combines sci-fi ideas, gloriously unusual special effects and a sharp atmosphere of horror with the everyday mundanity of a woman driving about rainy Scotland in a battered transit van. Dressed in fake fur and what looks like a dark wig, our female visitor eyes up the locals from a distance, her eyes kindly but free of emotion. Is she curious? Hungry? Horny? It feels like a serial-killer tale as she lures men into her van from the side of the street or from the dancefloor of a nightclub, always checking they’re alone. The look of the film moves between the chilly, gliding precison that Glazer perfected in ‘Birth’ to a more rough-hewn, surveillance-style effect. Mico Levi’s score ups the dread level: it sounds at times like a new electronic language being born or a subtle form of communication between aliens. It’s a serious, often bleak film – a scene of a family faced with drowning is the film’s most horrific moment – but a wry humour stops it taking itself too seriously. It’s a story of a predator becoming prey, and it asks us to look at our world again with something like the fresh eyes of the martian poetry of Craig Raine, although that element of the film isn’t too laboured. Perhaps more interestingly, it offers some provocative sideways views on seduction, sexual power and its abuse. Daring and thoughtful”. – Dave Calhoun, Timeout, London. Directed by Jonathan Glazer. With Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams, Lynsey Taylor Mackay. 2013. UK. 1:185. 108 mins. MPAA Rating: R
Writer-Director Henry Jaglom gives us a bracingly funny, fearless and fast-paced human comedy set in a struggling Los Angeles television station threatened by economic downturn, possible in-house graft and massive job loss. Tanna Frederick plays Moxie, a children’s TV show actress who unexpectedly finds herself leading an extraordinary band of rebelling women demanding their rights as they anxiously face uncertain futures after their new boss (Michael Imperioli) and his second-in-command (Robert Hallak) arrive from New York on a devastating cost-cutting mission.
All of Moxie’s personal and professional assumptions and those of her long-time boyfriend (Corey Feldman) are turned upside-down as her mother, two aunts and stepfather join with dozens of her fellow female office workers to illuminate the struggles, challenges and joys of what is still, in some circles, referred to as ‘The Change Of Life.’
Directed by Henry Jaglom. With Tanna Frederick, Michael Imperioli, Corey Feldman. 2013. US. Digital. 120 mins. MPAA Rating: R
Wednesday, May 7 at 7pm & 9pm
Emerging dance filmmaker Erin Malley offers a preview look at her newest work, Quake. The evening will include a selection of dance film shorts from around the country.
“It will be an experimental film, a rite of passage. It will be alabaster & midnight blue. It will feel like vibration & pressure. It will smell like friction.” – Malley
Directed by Erin Malley. With Katharine Hawthorne, Daria Kaufman, Stacey Swan. 2014. US. Digital. MPAA Rating: NR
Director Jeremy Ambers in person for Q&A after the screening.
On March 5th, 2013, San Francisco’s skyline was transformed by an amazing sight: 25,000 LED lights that, for perhaps the first time save the 1989 earthquake, caused people to consider the Bay Bridge instead of her iconic sister.
How did this happen? Who was behind the eight-million-dollar installation? How in the world did they pull it off?
The story behind the making of THE BAY LIGHTS—a project whose very “impossibility made it possible”—answers these questions, revealing the drama and the daring of artist Leo Villareal and a small team of visionaries who battle seemingly impossible challenges to turn a dream of creating the world’s largest LED light sculpture into a glimmering reality.
Directed by Jeremy Ambers. With Timothy Childs, Amy Critchett, Ben Davis. 2014. US. Digital. 71 mins. MPAA Rating: NR
Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes and the Bridge Project Company go on the road in NOW:IN THE WINGS ON A WORLD STAGE. In over 200 performances, and across 3 continents, Kevin and the troupe reveal some of the most intimate moments behind the scenes of their staging of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, “Richard III.” Their story and experiences weave around, and reflect on, excerpts from the play from their various locations, from Epidaurus to Doha, and provides a great opportunity for those who have never experienced Spacey on stage to witness his immersive and captivating interpretation of Richard III. NOW chronicles the first collaboration between Spacey and Mendes since their work on American Beauty. Directed by Jeremy Whelehan. 93 mins. 2014. Digital.
Spacey: “NOW is a close, backstage look at the total experience of being an actor and what it takes to form a company – from rehearsing every day and beginning to create a role with your director, crew and fellow actors to going on tour and spending a year together on the road in many different cultures and countries.”
You can buy tickets purrrr program (for $12, at the bottom of the page), or get an ALL CAT-CESS PASS for $30 that gets you into EVERYTHING!
OPENING FESTIVITIES (Noon):
- Lil Bub IN PERSON!
- A WORLD PURRR-MIERE of a new Lil Bub video!
- A Brief History of Cat Videos!
- …And more!
CENTERPIECE SELECTIONS (4pm):
- Owlbert live!
- YOUR cat video submissions in our NEW DIRECTORS’ NEW FILMS section!
- ALL NEW WORLD PURRR-MIERE cat videos by ALEX ROSS PERRY (The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip), ZACH CLARK (White Reindeer, Modern Love is Automatic), KENT OSBORNE (Adventure Time, School Ties) AND MORE!
- Skype Q&A with KENT OSBORNE (Spongebob Squarepants, Uncle Kent)!
- Scratch Tracks: Live Meowsic + Film with Mike Shoun and Maya Deren’s THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A CAT!
- Even more stuff!
CLOSING NIGHT (8pm):
- EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE live in person, getting a trophy or two and showing a bunch of vidoes!
- EMERGING VISIONS: SLOTHS
- THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978) in 35mm!
- Thrills, chills, surprises, revelations, world-changers and stark admissions!
“…a film that needs to be seen, and now.” – Huffington Post
A survivor of the Rwandan Genocide struggles to forgive the man who killed her children. A victim’s daughter strikes up an unusual friendship with the ex-IRA bomber who killed her father. And two men—one Israeli, one Palestinian—form a bond after tragedies claim their daughters. Watch survivors share their stories of resilience and recovery in their own words.
Co-directed by Lekha Singh and Roger Spotiswoode. Digital. 2012. 80 mins. NR
The film will be followed by a Q&A with Global Impact Producer ERIN GRIFFIN.
All views from this screening will benefit Cinema for Peace. Cinema for Peace aims to influence the perception and resolution of the challenges of our time through film.
When you attend a screening of Beyond Right & Wrong your view releases money from FilmRaise donors to charities like Cinema for Peace. Go to filmraise.com to learn more.