September – October 2014
In the hyper-charged powder keg of the late 1960s, Los Angeles native and Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis was ready to light the match. Proudly black, loudly opinionated, ready to rumble and almost always high on one substance or another, Dock was considered the Muhammad Ali of the ballpark.
He made history on June 12, 1970, when he pitched a no-hitter while completely flying on LSD. Flash forward a few years, and he is broke and essentially unemployable. But Dock Ellis was a born fighter, whether battling a racist society, the baseball establishment or his own demons.
There are a lot of colorful characters in the story of this larger-than-life figure, and filmmaker Jeffrey Radice corrals colleagues, ex-wives, journalists, managers, children, gadflies and protégés to produce a balanced biography of Ellis with the generosity of spirit the man himself embraced in the last few decades of his life. No No: A Dockumentary is a lot of things: sports movie, redemption narrative and portrait of an era, but at its core it is quintessentially Dock.
Embroidering this indelible character study is a fantastic hard psychedelic funk score by Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys.
Dir: Jeffrey Radice. USA. 2014. 100 mins.
—Graham Fuller, New York Daily News
“Ralph W. Moss has stayed the course in stating his case. I am glad his voice is being heard.”
— Harold P. Freeman, MD Past National President, American Cancer Society
“Mr. Moss’s message is clear, shrewdly edited and peculiarly interesting.”
—Anita Gates, The New York Times
The story of Ralph W. Moss, PhD—a young science-writer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), who risked everything by blowing the whistle on a massive cover-up involving an unconventional, yet promising cancer therapy.
Ralph lived a double life, working as a loyal employee at MSKCC while also recruiting fellow employees to help anonymously leak their positive results of an unconventional therapy called “Laetrile” to the public—through a newly formed underground organization they called—“Second Opinion”.
San Francisco Premiere Screening – September 20 only!!
NEW DOCUMENTARY “MICROBIRTH” REVEALS THE MICROSCOPIC SECRETS OF CHILDBIRTH
Join the San Francisco Doula Group for the Premier Screening of MICROBIRTH, followed by a discussion by a panel of birth experts.
September 20th, 2014, 4:30-6:30pm, $12 in advance/$15 door price
The way we give birth has changed dramatically over the past 30 years. Some leading scientists are warning that these changes could have serious repercussions for the lifelong health of our children.
Featuring prominent scientists from the UK and North America, “Microbirth” examines how modern birth practices could be interfering with critical biological processes potentially making our children more susceptible to disease later in life. Recent population studies have shown babies born by Caesarean Section have approximately a 20% increased risk of developing asthma, 20% increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a similar risk with obesity and slightly smaller increases with gastro-intestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease or coeliac disease. These conditions are all linked to the immune system. “Microbirth” explores several possible explanations. If a baby is born by Caesarean Section, scientists hypothesise this could alter the “seeding” of the baby’s microbiome, the critical transfer of good bacteria from mother to baby at birth. Scientists suggest this could lead to the baby’s immune system not developing to its full potential. Another hypothesis is the actual process of vaginal birth, including the cocktail of hormones produced during labour, could profoundly affect the baby’s immune regulation and metabolism. Dr Rodney R Dietert, Professor of Immunotoxicology at Cornell University, says, “Over the past 20-30 years, we’ve seen dramatic increases in childhood asthma, type 1 diabetes, coeliac disease, childhood obesity. We’ve also seen increases in Caesarean delivery. Does Caesarean cause these conditions? No. What Caesarean does is not allow the baby to be seeded with the microbes. The immune system doesn’t mature. And the metabolism changes. It’s the immune dysfunction and the changes in metabolism that we now know contribute to those diseases and conditions.” Dr Matthew Hyde, Research Associate of Neonatal Medicine, Imperial College London says, ”We are increasingly seeing a world out there with what is really a public health time-bomb waiting to go off. And the research we are doing suggests it is only going to get worse, generation on generation. So tomorrow’s generation really is on the edge of the precipice unless we can begin to do something about it.”
The film’s co-director Alex Wakeford says, “The World Health Organization has stated non- communicable disease has reached epidemic levels. Leading economists have predicted that, by the year 2030, the cost of treating this epidemic could bankrupt global healthcare systems. Governments are extremely concerned about the repercussions of antibiotic resistance and the effect this level of disease could have upon social and economic stability on a global scale. What is not even on their agenda, however, is the possible effect of mode of birth.” The film’s co-director Toni Harman adds, “Caesarean Sections are often essential and can be life-saving. A few leading individuals have been raising the alarm and building up a picture of potential long-term outcomes for some time. Over the last couple of years, more and more people have joined this debate and the weight of this emerging research is painting a very worrying picture in terms of future health across populations. The film raises awareness of the potential importance of “seeding” the microbiome for all babies, whether born naturally or by C-section. This is an issue not just for parents and health professionals, but also for all our world leaders. For surely now is the time for childbirth to be the focus of serious, urgent attention at the highest level?”
Produced and directed by British filmmaking couple, Toni Harman and Alex Wakeford.
Their previous film “Freedom For Birth” premiered in over 1,100 public screenings in
50 countries in 2012. Microbirth runs 70 minutes.
Official Site is Here.
* Berlin Film Festival 2014 * * New York Film Festival 2014 * * South By Southwest 2014 *
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
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.
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