September – October 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.
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.
NIPPON NIGHTS is monthly series of Japanese cinema bridging different genres, styles and generations.
NIPPON NIGHTS 〜 Neon Tokyo : Anime World #3 – TAMALA2010 a punk cat in space & Wake Up!! TAMALA
★Get a TAMALA sticker with your ticket (only 50 first people)!! ★TAMALA × The Roxie Theater SPECIAL POSTER Limited Edition is now on sale.
The 3rd program of the special series “Neon Tokyo” is “TAMALA”, Japanese animated film about kitten from the Planet of Cats, who sets out to solve the mystery of her birth.
TAMALA 2010 a punk cat in space
With large eyes and a cherubic face. She is cute enough to make go crazy for her until she opens her mouth that is. Don’t be fooled by her innocent face; TAMALA is a real hell-on-wheels, bitter-sweet punk cat.
Playful, one year old, female cat. She played the heroine in the theatrical film ”TAMALA 2010 a punkcat in space” in 2002.
t.o.L FILM “TAMALA2010 a punkcat in space”
Originally Written, and Directed by t.o.L / Music by t.o.L & trees of Life /Voice Over : ATSUKO HARASIMA, SHINJI TAKEDA, TAKESHI KATO, SATO(54-71),
BEATRICE DALLE Producers : t.o.L & SEIICHI TSUKADA & KAZUKO MIO / 2D Animation : KENTARO NEMOTO /3D CG Direction :MICHIRO TSUTSUMOTO & KENJI OKADA / Editor : KENSUKE KAWAMURA & DAISHIN SUZUKI
92 mins. /2002 / English Subtitled Presented by CULTURE PUBLISHES
Wake Up!! TAMALA
In 2010, the new “TAMALA” film project started cooperated with one of the world most famous environmental preservation fund, WWF Japan. 『Wakeup!! TAMALA』 depicts the vision of the crisis which has been destroying the biodiversity by human civilization during the poetic time travel with TAMALA. The subject of death and rebirth, as the place of origin of its concept, has been set in this film with the perspective of the nature conservation.” –
Animation Creator : Kentaro Nemoto, Production : Tokyo News Service,Ltd,
Executive Producer: Takashi Okuyama（Tokyo News Service,Ltd), Producer : Akira Takeuchi（Tokyo News Service,Ltd）
Associate Production : Team From JP. http://www.myspace.com/fromjp
Voice Over : Atsuko Harashima, Chiaki Kuriyama 17mins. /2010 / English Subtitled
TAMALA × The Roxie Theater Special Poster
Endorsed by Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco /
Co-Presented by CAAM / Promotional Partner: btrax
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
Paranoid Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper of Burpelson Air Force Base, 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. 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.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, 95 minutes, 1964, U.S.A.
A 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. As 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.
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.
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
Casts: Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino
2014, France | Germany | Belgium, 105min. English Subtitles
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
* 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
FILMMAKER ANITA CHANG IN PERSON!
“You already know the importance of saving a language. You know the reason, but not the motivation to save it,” admits Anchi Chen, one of the collaborators for TONGUES OF HEAVEN. With 96% of the world’s population speaking only 4% of the world’s languages, what does it mean today to speak your mother tongue?
To put it another way, what do you lose when you lose your native language? Using video as the primary medium of expression, four young indigenous women from the Austronesian language territories Taiwan and Hawai’i share their questions, desires and challenges of learning their native languages.
Dir: Anita Chang. 2013. 60 min.
Anita Chang is a Bay Area independent filmmaker, educator and writer. Her award-winning works have screened internationally and broadcast on U.S. and Taiwan public television. She has taught in community centers and film departments in San Francisco, Nepal and Taiwan’s College of Indigenous Studies at National Dong Hwa University. Honors include grant awards from the Fulbright, San Francisco Arts Commission, and KQED Peter J. Owens Filmmaker programs.
Artist website: anitachangworks.com
Tongues of Heaven is a Creative Capital and National Geographic All Roads Seeds funded project.
BAY AREA DOCS is a monthly program featuring the best films made in the mecca of documentary filmmaking.