ENCORE SERIES: UNDER OR NEVER BEFORE SCREENED GEMS FROM 2015

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Great movies come in all different shapes and sizes. They always have. However, with the boom of independent cinema, VOD, and countless streaming platforms, there’s an overwhelming surfeit of options. An embarrassment of riches. Riches that, if not unearthed, may otherwise go unrecognized.

With that in mind, our Encore series aims to shed light on feature films that did not receive a fair shake (or any shake) in San Francisco. Save for two movies in this program, these are moving images that never received theatrical distribution in the Bay Area. To make a film and not have it projected onto the silver screen is some kind of cinematic crime — crimes we’re hoping to rectify throughout the next week, as each of these subversive and singular achievements receive two screenings at the Roxie Theater.

Come for the movie, stay for the Skype Q&A with each filmmaker highlighted in this week-long program.

We hope to see you at the movies.

– Sam Fragoso, Director of Programming


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CALL ME LUCKY

Screening dates: January 1st at 7 PM (+Skype Q&A with Bobcat Goldthwait) & January 2nd at 9:30 PM

Call Me Lucky is the inspiring, triumphant and wickedly funny portrait of one of comedy’s most enigmatic and important figures: Barry Crimmins. The beer-swilling, politically outspoken and whip-smart comic whose efforts in the 70s and 80s fostered the talents of the next generation of standup comedians. But beneath Crimmins’ gruff, hard-drinking, curmudgeonly persona lay an undercurrent of rage stemming from his long-suppressed and horrific abuse as a child – a rage that eventually found its way out of the comedy clubs and television shows and into the political arena. Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, Call Me Luckybravely tells Crimmins’ incredible story of transformation from a rage-fueled funnyman into an acclaimed proponent of justice who personified the healing power of comedy.

Directed by Bobcat Goldthwait, 106 min, USA.

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.


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HEAVEN KNOWS WHAT

Screening dates: January 2nd at 7:00 PM (+Skype Q&A with Joshua and Benny Safdie) & January 3rd at 9:30 PM

Harley loves Ilya. He gives her life purpose and sets her passion ablaze. So, when he asks her to prove her love by slitting her wrists, she obliges with only mild hesitation, perhaps because of her other all-consuming love: heroin.

Directed by Joshua and Benny Safdie, 94 minutes, USA, 2015

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.


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I BELIEVE IN UNICORNS

Screening dates: January 3rd at 7:00 PM (+Skype Q&A with Leah Meyerhoff) & January 4th at 9:30 PM

Davina is an imaginative and strong-willed teenage girl who often escapes into a beautifully twisted fantasy life. Having grown up quickly as the sole caretaker of her disabled mother, she looks for salvation in a new relationship with an older boy. Davina is swept into a whirlwind of romance and adventure, but the enchantment of her new relationship quickly fades when his volatile side begins to emerge. I Believe in Unicorns takes us on a road trip through the stunning and complex landscape of troubled young love. Official selection: SXSW Film Festival

Directed by Leah Meyerhoff, 80min, 2014, USA.

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.


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QUEEN OF EARTH

Screening dates: January 4th at 7 PM (+Skype Q&A with Alex Ross Perry) and January 5th at 9:30 PM

Elisabeth Moss delivers a fearless performance in this tour-de-force portrait of psychological breakdown. In her second collaboration with acclaimed director Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up Philip), she stars as Catherine, a woman careening towards emotional collapse after a one-two punch of heartbreaking events. Seeking peace and solitude, she heads to the secluded lakehouse of her best friend, Virginia (Inherent Vice’s Katherine Waterston). But their quiet country retreat becomes a journey into steadily mounting hysteria as past and present collide and the love-hate relationship between the two women threatens to tear them apart. Driven by Moss’ unforgettable performance, this darkly funny psychological thriller immerses viewers in the shattered mind of a woman on the edge.

Directed by Alex Ross Perry, 89 minutes, USA, 2015

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.


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APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT

Screening dates: January 5th at 7 PM (+Skype Q&A with Amanda Rose Wilder) and January 6th at 10 PM

Year one at the Teddy McArdle Free School in Little Falls, New Jersey, where all classes are voluntary and rules are determined by vote. Wilder is there from the beginning to end of the school year, documenting and observing founder Alexander Khost, eleven-year-old Jiovanni, seven-year-old Lucy, along with an entire indelible cast of young personalities as they form relationships, explore their surroundings and intensely debate rule violations, until it all comes to a head. APPROACHING THE ELEPHANT is a portrait of unfettered childhood and human relationships.

Directed by Amanda Wilder, 87 min, USA, 2014

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.


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THE MEND

Screening dates: January 6th at 7 PM (+Skype intro with Josh Lucas & Q&A with John Magary) and January 7th at 7 PM

For anyone who’s ever loathed and loved a sibling in equal measure, THE MEND is the wonderfully strange and acidic debut comedy from writer / director John Magary. Shot through with the wicked humor and anarchy of Bruce Robinson’s WITHNAIL & I and Mike Leigh’s NAKED, The Mend follows a mismatched yin-yang pair of NYC brothers, loose cannon Mat (Josh Lucas in a career-best performance) and put-upon Alan (Stephen Plunkett) as they stagger dimly towards some understanding of love, women, masculinity and what it truly means to be a brother.

Featuring a gorgeous, minimalist score by Michi Wiancko & Judd Greenstein and beautiful, fluid cinematography by Chris Teague (OBVIOUS CHILD), the film unfolds as three stylistically distinct but interwoven acts, each with its own mesmerizing rhythm. With superb supporting performances by Mickey Sumner (FRANCES HA) and Lucy Owen as the brothers’ sharp-tongued girlfriends.

Directed by John Magary, 111 min, USA.

FREE OR DISCOUNTED FOR MEMBERS.