ALTERNATIVE SCREEN ARCHIVE

Thursday, April 22, 1999 7:30 PM

SHUCKING THE CURVE (1998, 90 min.)

The second installment in Boston-based filmmaker Todd Verow’s digital video "Addiction Trilogy" follows starry-eyed, small town bank teller Suzanne Fountain (Bonnie Dickenson) who moves to New York City, plummeting headlong into a twisted mid-NYC-summer nights' Wonderland of hipster wannabe's, midnight rhinestone cowboys, ex-cheerleader shucksters, bi-sexual gigolos and dangerous, carrot be-wigged club kids! After a frantic apartment search which includes foot massages, Roswellian abduction art, free cocaine, vegetables and some very large urban koi, she settles into her new "life" in a Lower East Side art-cave with Titania (a self-styled "Queen of the Faeries" played by Philly). In the hallway of this half-star establishment lives a kinda-homeless speed freak rave-lette, Kathy, (Leanne Whitney) a girl whom Suzanne soon comes to realize is a kindred spirit. Together they plunder the Port Authority, become fashion accessories to a pseudo-murder, dance away the "mean reds" and almost get "discovered." Paced at a crystal-meth r.p.m. and populated with familiar underground faces, Eric Sapp (FRISK) Keith Levy (a.k.a Sherry Vine of SCREAM TEEN SCREAM! and STONEWALL), Craig Chester (SWOON, KISS ME GUIDO), this wild urban adventure boasts a soundtrack of ambient glitter, electronica riffs, Japanese pop and primal pretense art-noize. Verow is also the director of FRISK, LITTLE SHOTS OF HAPPINESS and THE TROUBLE WITH PERPETUAL DEJA VU. Todd Verow, cast members Bonnie Dickenson, Bill Dwyer, Philly, Leanne Whitney and writer/producer Jim Dwyer will appear following the screening. (www.bangorfilms.com)

Plus, the short film "Sleeping Beauties" (14 min.) directed by Jamie Babbit. This colorful "fairy tale" is the story of a lesbian mortuary beautician who finds love amongst the tombstones when she works on dead rockstar Sno Blo’s (Rose McGowan) final music video. With Radha Mitchell (HIGH ART).


Thursday, April 8, 1999 7:30 PM

"Elegantly crafted and acted, intriguing… an absorbing and intelligent diversion." – Dennis Harvey, VARIETY

"The intelligence that permeates David Barker’s rigorous, personal and deeply textured first feature is striking." Rebecca Yeldham, Sundance Film Festival Catalog

AFRAID OF EVERYTHING (1999, 80 min.)

French actress Nathalie Richard (of IRMA VEP and several Olivier Assayas and Jacques Rivette films), makes her English language debut in this American independent with a distinctly European sensibility. Two half-sisters who were raised apart -- one French, the other Israeli -- come together in New York a year after the older sister (Richard) was involved in an accident in which she lost her leg. In the comfort of her spacious loft (which is continually under-going improvements through her own handiwork), on the surface, Anne and her husband Donnie (Daniel Aukin) appear to be living a life of pure normalcy even though Anne hasn’t gone outside since the accident. Nathalie Richard’s agoraphobic Anne is far from the stereotype of a depressed shut-in. Always impeccably dressed, she frequently laughs, lighting up the screen with her trademark, all-encompassing smile (even more luminous in this film’s gorgeous black and white palette). But when talkative, impulsive, 18-year-old Iris (Sarah Adler) bursts into Anne’s life, her tell-it-like-it-is honesty disrupts the quiet, dysfunctional gentility of Anne’s awkward existence. The delicate structure of Anne and Donnie’s relationship begins to crumble as Iris forces them to face their true feelings.  "…despite the intensity of its revelations, the film maintains a buoyant levity, gently steering us and its narrative toward laughter and optimism in the face of grave awakenings." – Rebecca Yeldham Writer/Director David Barker. Producer Chris Hoover. David Barker will appear for discussion following the screening.


Thursday, March 25, 1999 - 7:30 PM

WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (1999, 120 min.)

Sex. Drugs. Betrayal. Murder. AIDS. Cass Paley’s documentary is the true life story of the skinny, bushy haired kid who became the biggest name in adult entertainment. The mythology of John C. Holmes both unravels and grows denser as his character both on and off screen is dissected and analyzed in the recollections of those whose lives he left indelible marks upon. From his abusive childhood in rural Ohio to his rise to super-stardom in 1970’s porn as "Johnny Wadd" – to his dissent into drug addiction and finally his death from AIDS -- this film lays bare the darker side of Holmes’ persona and the bizarre, sociopathic reality that governed his daily existence. The people in his life (many who were the basis for characters in the film BOOGIE NIGHTS) who speak about the deeply troubled, but charismatic Holmes include: the wife he married when he was 17 and kept secret from his porn industry colleagues for 19 years; his 15-year-old mistress whom he pimped for drugs and money (and who developed a close, mother-daughter relationship with his first wife); the police detectives who investigated the drug-related murder in which Holmes was a primary suspect; Holmes’ last wife, a manipulative porn starlet who kept his friends and family away when he lay dying; and a myriad of adult film stars and filmmakers; friends and historians. Director Cass Paley will appear in-person following the screening. Plus short film SELF PORTRAIT: WOMEN LOVING WOMEN (15 min., 1998) Los Angeles based atrist, Heilman C, takes an element of subculture in our society and turns it on its ear by bringing it to the masses. Here, the artist documents people's reactions to women loving women. Instead of defining the meaning of the exhibition, Heilman C lets the audience determine the perception of what they are viewing.


Thursday, March 11, 1999 - 7:00 PM

AMERIKAN PASSPORT (1999, 82 min.)

An epic journey for the end of the millennium, AMERIKAN PASSPORT chronicles 23-year-old Reed Paget's incredible shoestring budget odyessy around the world. Seeking adventure, Paget finds himself dodging tanks in Tianamen Square, ambushing the US ambassador in Panama, stumbling into a shoot-out in South Africa, embracing romance in Berline, infiltrating the Red Army in Moscow and running for his life as scud missiles crash into Tel Aviv. Through it all, Paget addresses the complex morality of the Cold War and contrasts the ritual of human sacrifice with the culture of war. Unbelievable, ironic, funny and most of all, true. Winner of the Slamdance Film Festival 1999 Documentary Award. Writer/Producer/Director/DP Reed Paget will appear in-person for discussion. With animated short "Billy's Balloon" (5 min.) Don Hertzfeldt's Slamdance 1999 Grand Jury Prize Winner for Best Short film is a twisted look at a little boy and his balloon. And the Spirit of Slamdance Award Winner "Herd" (15 min.), Mike Mitchell's incredibly quirky (and disarmingly funny) commentary on the human condition follows a lonely fry cook whose life is changes by a visit from a lavendar, muppet-like alien with an agenda. Both directors are scheduled to appear in-person.


Saturday, August 22 22A 7:15 pm

The Agenda is fluid and subject to mutation...

THE LAST BIG THING

"A consistently funny, relentlessly scabrous critique of fin-de-siecle media culture, L.A. division. Smarter urbanites could be talking about it right into the next century." Ken Eisner, Variety "If you thought THE PLAYER was a bitingly sarcastic indictment of modern culture, you ain't seen nothing yet." Andy Barham, The Ubyssey

(USA, 1996, 98 min.) If you've ever wanted to shove your fist down the throat of the next pathetic LA scenster you bump into at a party, who wants nothing more than to be the media's "next big thing," then this movie will warm your heart. The film's writer/director, Dan Zukovic, also stars in this devilishly smart, satiric skewering of every hyped up modern medium; from music videos to stand-up comedy; from modelling to the retro-hip twentysomething worship of bad 70s TV shows and their icons. Zukovic is Simon Geist a mysterious figure who has teamed up with an angst-ridden trust fund baby to carry out a mysterious "agenda" from head quarters in a suburban tract home ("the perfect anti-statement") 30 miles from Los Angeles. As Geist begins to believe that he truly is "the last major figure of the milennium," an intelligent model (Pamela Dickerson) and "the new hunk of night time television" (Mark Ruffalo) enter the picture, and the agenda really begins to mutate... "Dan Zukovic is as mesmerizing as he is acerbically funny as Simon Geist..., Darla's (Susan Heimbinder) hyperkinetic nervousness is a great foil for Zukovic's unnerving physical intensity and intellectual superciliousness." -- Brad Schreiber, Entertainment Today Plus Lela Lee's "Angry Little Asian Girl (6 min.) Watch what you say to her! You don't want to get her offended and mad.

www.lastbigthing.com

www.angrylittleasiangirl.com

Friday, July 24, 1998/ 24A 7:30 PM

THE DELICATE ART OF THE RIFLE

Due to popular demand we will bring Dante Harper's film back to the Cinematheque during our "Best of the Cinematheque" series. The director will join us in-person for a discussion following the film.

"An excrutiatingly smart, gorgeously shot and edited, deadpan gem… A hypnogenic charm. The infernal interior monologue, drenched in crit-speak and computer talk and video game noise is word-drunk poetry. Daring and strange…" -- Ray Pride, Chicago City News Press "One of the year's Top Ten Films," Godfrey Cheshire, The Spectator; Lawrence Ferber, The Front Page; Jane Smith, The Independent

(1996, 94 min.) A film by T. Todd Flinchum, Stephen Grant, D.W. Harper, Alicia Kratzner. Loosely based on a real sniper incident, this seriocomic tale follows Jay (David Grant), an awkward, computer-nerdish college freshman – at a loss to find comfort in his own skin -- who can’t believe that the roommate (Stephen Grant) he looks up to, could be the crazed gunman firing lethal shots onto the campus quad. As he ascends the 27 floors to the top of the dorm he encounters an amorous girl obsessed with frosting cupcakes, a sleep-deprived psychology major sacked out in the elevator, a band of computer hackers and their psychotic leader and a doomed agri-major. Then on the roof top, there is Walt who reveals a conspiracy theory about a mysterious virus that is erasing people from history… "…comic, dramatic, satiric, psychological, symbolic, thriller-esque, It's the unusual mixing of these elements, especially the folding of a spooky, and allusive psychodrama inside the skin of a realistic action drama that marks the movies' vibrant originality. Godardian, Kafkaeque, a conspiracy theory that would make Oliver Stone proud." -- Godfrey Cheshire, Variety. "An astute political satire about the irrational nature of violence in American life." -- Emmanuel Levy, Daily Variety.

Thursday, June 25, 1998/ 25A 7:30 PM

MODULATIONS (1998, Strand Releasing, 73 min.)

SNEAK PREVIEW!

Following the success of her 1995 debut feature SYNTHETIC PLEASURES, lara Lee ventures into uncharted territory once again, this time to capture a moment in history where man and machine fuse to create todays’ most exciting sounds. This piece of "cinema for the ear," which bowed at the 1998 Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals, traces the evolution of electronic music (from John Cage’s 1920’s experimentations to Moby and Orbital today) as one of the most profound artistic developments of the 20th century. By cutting back and forth between avant garde composers; German 70’s musicians Kraftwerk’s innovative synthesizer drones; Giorgio Moroder’s glacial Euro-disco; Afrika Bambaataa’s electro-funk and Prodigy’s current worldwide super-stardom, MODULATIONS celebrates, replicates and illuminates the nomadic drift of the post-human techno sound. The film examines the kids who have turned the turntable into a musical instrument, disillusioned disco lovers who created acid house out of primitive synthesizers, "Motor City" mavericks who saw the drum machine as their escape route out of urban neglect, and a generation of British youth who transformed these blips and bleeps into dance floor anthems of their own alienation. Featuring a stunning collage of interviews, cutting-edge visuals, in-studio and live performance footage, the film keeps pace with the energetic, innovative music it explores. Lee traces this international phenomenon from raves in Asbury Park, New Jersey to Mt. Fuji, Japan. Iara Lee will appear in-person following the screening.

http://www.caipirinha.com

Thursday, June 11, 1998/ 11A 7:30 PM

"…brilliant and challenging… Its intellectual ambition is continually side-tracked by its wit, movement and charm. As one assassin says to another: ‘Are you trying to pull some abstract, surrealistic, metaphorical maneuver on me?’" – Andrew Smith, Philadelphia Enquirer

THE PIGEON EGG STRATEGY (1997, 84 min.)

Writer/Director Max Makowski creates a complex and unconventional structure that jumps back and forth in time to tell a thoroughly entertaining, thoroughly quirky tale about a group of bowler hat wearing assassins who try to dispose of a children’s storybook author because her latest fairy tale is believed to be about their gang! In between, there is wildly amusing repartee (on goatees, spiral staircases and everything in between), amongst a bizarre group of characters that include: a "grammarian ballerina," who is in Hong Kong advising high-level government operatives against an official change from British to American English (if the change was made, "people would no longer form a queque, they would line," up he explains); a barfly who pushes chianti and orange juice on his drinking partners and hitmen posing as schincken (German ham) delivery men. This truly international commentary on language and the fact that there is no such thing as coincidence, was shot in Hong Kong with an American cast and Chinese crew from an English script written by a Brazilian director in Germany! This clever, fast-paced, philosophical, absurdist comedy in the vein of Samuel Beckett or Eugene Ionesco was an official cult favorite at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival! With animated short, Luke Jaeger’s "5 Dreams" (7 min.), "a crayon-colored odyssey through a pop culture-stained subconsciousness" featuring visions of a man eating yogurt from a hollowed out telephone, a bathroom tiled with panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt; a rat-infested Secret Service Wedding and other surreal scenarios. Max Makowski will appear in-person following the screening.

Thursday, May 28, 1998/ 28A 7:30 PM

"…ANIMA is in a category all its own. Visually stunning, touching, romantic and creepy all at once…" -- Chris Gore, Film Threat Online

"A fascinating and timely parable of the self-perpetuating desire to look for the dark side of others’ nature, while ignoring our own." – Jeff Johnson, The Charleston Post & Courier

ANIMA (1997, 90 min.)

As darkly comic and peculiar as it is beautiful and highly romantic, this extraordinary love story evokes a lifetime of thoughts, feelings and emotions shared by an elderly German couple, now living in rural seclusion on an idyllic upstate New York farm. Sam (George Bartenieff) and Iris (Jaqueline Bertrand) have each other… they have Iris’ music (she plays haunting melodies on the cello) and… they have an elaborate show of handmade marionettes, preserved animals and various mechanizations, that they use to re-enact their history in war-torn Nazi Germany. They also have a dark secret. Suddenly New York investigative TV reporter "Wild Bill" Hickock (Bray Poor), disrupts their peaceful existence when he seeks out Sam, (a legendary master of preserving animals), as an interview subject for a piece on taxidermy. Sam's refusal to cooperate leads Hickock to believe that he is onto a larger story and he relentlessly tries to break into the couples’ private world to exploit their past. His reckless maneuvers threaten to jeopardize their idyllic Eden and what he finally discovers is far from his wildest dreams. Written and directed by Craig Richardson (BY A THREAD). This unusual new film is from the producers of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and A PERFECT CANDIDATE. With short, Roy Segal’s "Reassurance" (1997, 12 min.) – A young man (Walter Lewis) learns a hard moral lesson when he takes a job collecting funeral insurance money from poor black families over the sweltering summer of 1949 in the deep South. With a score by two-time Academy Award-winning composer Joel Hirschorn (POSEIDEN ADVENTURE).


Thursday, April 30, 1998/ 30A 7:30 PM

FLUSHED (1997, 81 min.) Carrie Ansell’s bluntly humorous comedy FLUSHED is the stuff urban legends are perpetuated with. Set in grungy "his" and "her" bathrooms on a busy night in a downtown New York City bar, the film weaves together the uncensored tales of nearly 100 gay, straight, transsexual and on-the-fence Gen-X’ers as they engage in a celebration of universally experienced sexual frustrations, embarrassments and insecurities. Naked truths, raw conversation and intimate details are shared amongst friends and strangers as well as some downright wacky and original hypotheses including "tests" to determine male homosexuality and a new use for an age-old aroma that reportedly subconsciously drives men wild. Never was a public restroom such a comforting and nurturing environment. Featuring a host of New York’s-up-and-coming actors and comedians from the alternative comedy scene. Writer/Director Carrie Ansell will appear for a post-screening discussion. Plus, Lela Lee’s "Angry Little Asian Girl" (6 min.) Watch what you say to her you don’t want to get her all offended and mad. http://angrylittleasiangirl.com

Carrie Ansell & Lela Lee will both appear in-person following the screening.


Saturday, March 28, 1998/28A / 7:15 PM

"The talk flows so freely and fits together so well that the whole works as harmoniously as a ‘50s MGM musical." – Jeffrey Welles, TIMES SYNDICATE

INDEPENDENT’S DAY (USA, 60 min., 1997) LA PREMIERE Marina Zenovich’s probing documentary on the hard realities faced by independent filmmakers in the mid-1990’s will screen in connection with an in-person continued discussion of issues in the film with several of the featured interview subjects. INDEPENDENT’S DAY, now a hot ticket on the festival circuit itself (Slamdance, Santa Barbara, SXSW), was shot over two years, primarily at the Sundance, Slamdance and Slumdance Film Festivals in Park City, UTAH. Zenovich (now working on John Pierson’s "Split Screen") captured a variety of key players on the independent scene at their most candid (and wryest), on issues as varied as "Is it all over if your film isn’t selected to play Sundance?," to, "What are the odds of becoming the next Ed Burns?" The film includes over 30 interviews with everyone from Sundance Film Festival Founder Robert Redford and programmer John Cooper (who compares Sundance to a wedding and his role to the mother of the bride), to independent filmmaking veterans Stephen Soderbergh (SEX LIES AND VIDEOTAPE) and Tom DiCillio (LIVING IN OBLIVION) and newcomers to the scene such as IN THE COMPANY OF MEN director Neil LaBute; KISS ME GUIDO director Tony Vitale and DAYTRIPPERS director Greg Mottola. There are also quips from Sydney Pollack, John Pierson, Bob Hawk, Ira Deutchman, Larry Fessenden, John Sloss, Roger Ebert, Martha Plimpton, Parker Posey and more. Scheduled to appear in-person with Marina Zenovich are producer’s rep Jonathan Dana, Daniel J. Harris (THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB), Dan Mirvish (Slamdance Film Festival Co-Founder), Peter Baxter (Slamdance Festival Director) and others.


12A/ March 12, 1998 / 7:30 PM

REDISCOVERING AMERICA

A documentary double feature which focuses on the reactions of American citizens to legal authorities and legislation effecting their communities.

GOREVILLE, USA (1998, 64 min.)

Seth Henrikson & David Sarno’s GOREVILLE, USA examines the thoughts and feelings of a community that believes it is their constitutional right to own and bear arms to protect themselves. In this small (pop.1000), white, rural Illinois community, where everyone still knows everything about everyone, there is an ordinance that makes it mandatory for the head of household to own a loaded gun! Shocking by today’s standards, this bizarre law was enacted in reaction to rising gun control legislation in Illinois. But Goreville residents enjoy an insular existence and their relationships to firearms have more to do with turmoil in the pre-Revolutionary War Colonies than contemporary gang warfare on the streets of Chicago. One Goreville woman reveals that she was the victim of a crime. Someone broke into her house with a coat hanger and exchanged her high quality Teflon muffin pan for an old beat up one! Scarier still, is that surrounding Goreville is a growing grass roots militia movement. With a soundtrack by Jeff Tweedy (of the band Wilco). Winner of the 1998 Slamdance Film Festival Jury Prize for Documentary.

James Knight’s BALLAD OF FIRE (1997, 57 min.) is a personal portrait of a close-knit, East Los Angeles neighborhood that is torn apart by the introduction of a Lithuanian arsonist, freshly arrived from fifteen years of torture in the Soviet Gulag. Facing open hostility and incompetence from the LAPD when they reported a succession of fires that were clearly arson, the residents of Knight’s neighborhood overcame differences to band together in an effort to protect their homes and families. Within this terrifying true story there is humor, anger and strength as well as a revelation that the American justice and mental health care systems are often inadequate in protecting the victims of crime. When the effects of the tyranny and the fall of communism descend on Knight and his neighbors… when the authorities decline assistance… there is always the frightening seductiveness of a lynch mob.

All filmmakers are scheduled to appear in-person following the screenings.


12A/ February 12, 1998 / 7:30 PM

 

DAVID SEARCHING

"A witty, wryly observed and engaging comedy." -- VARIETY

"...large on charm, DAVID SEARCHING manages to redefine the quirky romantic comedy." -- SXSW Film Festival

"...a deceptively simple and engaging work that finds some of the stories lurking behind life’ big dramas." -- THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE

"a script brimming with authentic (if oddball) dialogue and situations that crystallize the youthful feeling of stumbling through life with hope intact." -- OUTFEST

(1996, 103 min.) In Leslie L. Smith’s deeply emotional, yet hilarious portrait of two young, sex-deprived New York City roommates, Anthony Rapp (the star of RENT on Broadway) plays David, a gay, would-be documentary filmmaker (If his agent could ever get him that meeting with PBS) and self-proclaimed "king of self-pity" to Camryn Manheim’s (TV’s "The Practice)loud and loveable Gwen -- who has plenty of advice for David -- but can’t quite sort out her own feelings. David and Gwen are soulmates... best friends. They support one another on their hapless, individual quests for the perfect man and when they’re feeling especially down, they talk about heroes... that is until a handsome, but exceedingly peculiar drunken stranger (Joseph Fuqua) appears on their couch and David crosses paths with both a world-wise stand-up comic (Julie Halston) and an attractive sex club pick-up (David Courier) who happens to be the only man David has met, who is actually interested in his mind. With music by Julee Cruz, Man Ray, Thunder’s Monkey, Itchy Trigger Finger and others.

with ADAM COLLIS' short film "MAD" Boy I'll Blow Your Blues Away. Be Mine (18 min.). In this quirky Valentine's Day fairy tale, a 12-year-old girl fights the odds to deliver a handmade Valentine card to the object of her affections -- a MAD Magazine obsessed schoolmate.


29A/ January 29, 1998 / 7:30 PM

SPARKLER

"...an always captivating ride through the kitschy underbelly of life on the road to Vegas. A big part of its quirky charm comes from sparkling perfs from Park Overall and Veronica Cartwright." -- Brendan Kelly, VARIETY

(1997, 96 min.)In this offbeat road movie, an effervescent Victorville "trailer park princess" ("Empty Nest’s" Park Overall") walks out on her cheating husband of 15 years and takes the words of her mother’s (Grace Zabriskie) "psychic friend" -- "you will meet three kings who will change your life" -- to heart. Escaping the confines of her dead end existance off the desert highway in the middle of nowhere, Melba pursues three recent college grads passing through her town on the way to Las Vegas! LA boys Trent (SCREAM’s Jamie Kennedy), Brad (THE HOUSE OF YES’ Freddie Prinze, Jr.) and Joel ("Picket Fences’" Steven Petrarca) are only momentarily amused by Melba, and as hard as they try to ditch her, she struggles equally to find them again, convinced that their fates are intertwined. Between lucky gambling streaks; confessions of homosexuality and a dramatic run-in with Melba’s estranged husband, their Vegas adventures bond and change the four travelers lives forever. Veronica Cartwright (ALIEN)is funny, raunchy and sexy as Melba’s high school friend turned bi-sexual stripper working in a bottom-of-the-barrel seed-fest of a club owned by her butch lesbian lover. According to Variety, Darren Stein’s much talked about Hamptons Film Festival audience favorite "...could click with fans of David Lynch and Gus Van Sant." Veronica Cartwright, Jamie Kennedy, Grace Zabriskie and Darren Stein to appear for post-screening discussion.

With original songs by Angela McClusky of The Wild Colonials.

 


4A Thursday, December 4 7:30 PM

THE BIBLE & GUN CLUB Independent Spirit Award Nominee!!

Best First Feature, Best First Screenplay & Best Cinematography (Alex Vendler)

"...a rude, boldly written comedy..." -- John Anderson, Newsday

"...an innovative, edgy picture... inventive, highly stylized direction..." -- Brendan Kelly, Variety

"Harris easily rivals early Quentin Tarantino in his ability to capture the lowdown and dirty in the '90s... raw and gritty, with some of the most perversely funny dialogue around." -- The Atlanta Journal

(1997, 87 min.) Daniel J. Harris' perverse, award-winning satire centers around a group of five pot-bellied traveling salesmen who hawk package deals on two American staples -- family bibles and high-powered firearms. In Las Vega, from Anaheim, CA for their annual company sales convention, these disillusioned working men descend on a trailer park in the city's low-rent outskirts. What follows is a haunting, incisve commentary on the commercialization of sex, violence, religion -- and the death of the American Dream.

Watch for the theatrical release of this film in 1998 through Palm Pictures!


20A Thursday/November 20 7:30 PM

THE WRIGHT BROTHERS

(1997, 103 min.) Steeped in whimsy, Gregg Lachow’s gender-bending film is an edearing imagining of the trials and tribulations of brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright – from their unassuming beginnings as bicycle mechanics to their historic success at Kitty Hawk, operating the first "flying machine." Far from a straightforward biopic, this unpredictable, eccentric and gently humorous story is the timeless tale of dreams and dreamers – the thrill of invention and the resulting fame. And in the end, when asked if flying had been fun, Orville replies, "The most fun was when we would lie awake at night and wonder what it would be like to fly." Watching this film, which is set simultaneously in the past and the present, one can’t help but wonder which dreams that seem fanciful today, will become the take-for-granted realities of the future. The film stars Megan Murphy, E.B. Malloy and Kara McMahon.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said, "…reminiscent of Terrence Malick’s luscious DAYS OF HEAVEN, with its open, gorgeously lit landscape juxtaposed against an innovative script full of thoughts and dreams… a moving study of the nature of dreamers and inventors who lie awake at night and wonder what it would be like to fly." Writing for the Tacoma News Tribune, Soren Anderson wrote, "Lachow is a filmmaker of great originality and impressive maturity. The film is a stunning achievement… intelligence shines through in Lachow’s writing and direction and in the performances of E.B. Malloy and Megan Murphy… Murphy and Malloy put you in mind of the great screen comedy teams with their flawless timing. But they have a grave dignity that is all their own. Again and again the film surprises you with scenes of gentle humor and uncanny grace." The song "Patches of Blue" was written especially for THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by Grateful Dead song writer Robert Hunter ("Truckin’, "Dark Star") who wrote over 250 songs for the band.

Seattle based filmmaker/theater director Gregg Lachow is starting production on his third feature MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS. Lachow’s first film, the 1994 time travel odyssey, THE SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE received great critical acclaim. He has made numerous short films including the Emmy-nominated "To Have and To Hold" which aired on PBS. He is the co-founder and director of Run/Remain, an interdisciplinary performance company.


6A Thursday/November 6 7:30 PM

SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST

Kirby Dick’s SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST is a provocative, deeply moving chronicle of the controversial life and work of Bob Flanagan (1952-1996), a Los Angeles based, internationally acclaimed performance artist and writer born with Cystic Fibrosis, an extremely painful, degenerative disease that usually claims its victims before adulthood. Flanagan fought the staggering pain of his disease (at the time of his death he was the longest living CF survivor) with the self-inflicted pain of the sado-masochistic rituals he engaged in with his longtime partner and dominatrix Sheree Rose. His performances and other work explored the limits of illness, pain, sexuality, love and death.

Dick’s documentary includes clips from many of Flanagan’s own performance videos which contain exceedingly graphic footage of pierceings, bondage rituals and other acts of pain and humiliation that he engaged in. A longtime friend of Flanagan’s director Dick was able to capture the sharp wit, keen sense of irony and humanity of the artist in both his public and private persona. Flanagan allowed Dick to film until the day he died and a series of Rose’s stills of him after his death (a project Flanagan and Rose had planned) are included in the film as well as footage of Flanagan as a counselor at a camp for kids suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, and as a participant in the "Make A Wish Foundation." Flanagan hosted a 17-year-old girl with CF whose wish was to meet her idol, the longest living CF patient. Flanagan also appears in the Nine Inch Nails video "Happiness is Slavery." Filmmaker Kirby Dick will appear for a discussion following the screening.

In Stephen Holden’s New York Times article he wrote, "In their unblinking honesty, they raise the most unsettling questions about pleasure and pain, power and submission, body shame and the relationship between sex and death." Writing for Variety, Emanuel Levy said, "Brilliant. Wildly original and audacious. A landmark documentary." In Newsweek, Jack Kroll wrote, "Powerful. A compassionate account of perversion as a tragicomic kind kind of salvation." And in Newsday, John Anderson wrote, "The movie of the year. Transcendent. The most a movie’s done for me in a long, long time."

SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST won a Special Jury Prize at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and Best Feature at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival. The film was also a 1997 IDA Award nominee.

SICK: THE LIFE & DEATH OF BOB FLANAGAN, SUPERMASOCHIST is a Cinepix Film Properties’ release and opens on Friday, November 7th at the NuArt in Santa Monica and at the Port Theater in Corona Del Mar.

Kirby Dick will be present for a discussion following the screening.


30B Thursday/October 30 9:30 PM From the director of HABIT!

NO TELLING, OR THE FRANKENSTEIN COMPLEX

Larry Fessenden’s first feature, a sexual, political, animal rights/environmental thriller about a medical researcher (Stephen Ramsey) and his artist wife (Miriam Healy-Louie) who are spending the summer on an isolated, idyllic farm in an area where chemical farming has reached toxic proportions. She is charting her fertility hoping to conceive by summer’s end. Obsessed with chemo-electric therapy, he is locked in his barn laboratory conceiving of something more terrifying than she can imagine. With their marriage strained to the breaking point, Lillian develops a friendship with a rugged ecologist (David Van Tieghem) who is committed to converting the local farmers to methods of organic farming. At the very moment when her husband is about to make the breakthrough of his career, she becomes determined to unlock the secrets of the lab. When Lillian learns the truth about Geoffrey’s experiments, she is forced to confront her own assumptions about the man she married and the bizarre experiments underway in his lab. A gothic creepiness prevails in the otherwise pastoral setting and Fessenden uses gentle satire to intertwined with true horror to confront the complex issues at stake.

Writing for The Village Voice, Amy Taubin commented, "... a smart, spare, skewed update of the Frankenstein story..." In the Boston Globe, Jay Carr wrote, "… it’s got hold of something and its commitment gives it impact." Writing for Variety, Daniel M. Kimmel said, "Foreboding. Fessenden manages to avoid turning drama into melodrama, and the occasional shock scenes of animal experimentation keeps the emphasis on the story rather than gore effects… Miriam Healy-Louie makes her film debut here with considerable presence." Writing for Organica, Elain Beery commented, "Fessenden draws a very thin line between the evil he portrays and the humor and irony of his characterizations… provokes a visceral response."

Larry Fessenden will be present for a discussion following the screening.

www.glasseyepix.com


30A Thursday/October 30 7:15 PM

SPOOKY SHORTS

Costume Contest for the most creative costume!

The terror begins at 7:30 PM. In Mark Edgington's ANNA IN THE SKY (10 min.) a pathetic young man is obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Anna and turns to the dark arts in order to win back her fickle love. The film is narrated by Kevin Corrigan who co-wrote and stars in KICKED IN THE HEAD which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year and is currently in theaters.

Michael Dougherty's SEASON'S GREETINGS (5 min.) is a humorously sinister animated tale about what happens when we are provoked to unleash the monster inside us. A young boy roams a dark and abandoned neighborhood looking for treats but his late night quest becomes fruitless until he crosses paths with an ominous stranger lurking in the shadows. Student Award Winner of the Hamptons International Film Festival 1996.

In CURIOSITIES (18 min.), David Vainola tells the story of a man trapped, literally, by his obsessions. Through flashbacks and hallucinations, a chilling and haunting story emerges as a collector of rare artifacts, sealed under the floor of his home, contemplates the events that have led him to his fate. Winner of Best Canadian Short at the Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival in 1996, this film is a taut and tense reminder of what happens when we allow possessions to take over.

Jon Reiss' A BITTER MESSAGE OF HOPELESS GRIEF (13 min.) is an exploration into the netherworld of darkness and mechanics in which Jurassic-like man made contraptions consume and devour everything in their path that is reminiscent of Dante’s Inferno. Filled with machines designed and created by the Survival Research Labratories (SRL) in San Francisco, the film is a long fantasy nightmare in which a subterranean creature literally chews up the scenery leaving little to nothing in its wake. Jon Reiss has directed numerous shorts as well as music videos including Nine Inch Nails' provocative "Happiness is Slavery" starring the late performance artist/masochist, Bob Flangan.

Aldo Velasco's INFITD (14 min.) is a haunting exploration of a young boy's psychology as he falls under theSpooky Short Films influence of a religious fanatic babysitter struggle and finds himself struggling to remain free of the devil's grasp. His world view becomes startlingly frightening as time and space become his endless obsession and infinite nightmare.

Lawrence Arcadias' DONOR PARTY (4 min.) is a nightmarish and macabre (although very toungue-in-cheek), animated film about medical experimentation and the horror of getting trapped in a gothic house where deadly activities are being performed. Nineteenth century anatomical engravings reference blood and organ donation, but the film also "tributes" the Donner party of explorers, who, lost in the American wilderness, were forced to eat human flesh. Arcadias uses 19th century medical textbook illustrations, three dimensional computer models and texture mapping to reflect images of flesh, tongues and spine -- all to bone chilling effect.

David Kaplan's LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD (12 min.) is the classic fairy tale revisited and re-stylized with hauntingly beautiful black and white imagery and dance. It is not your typical cautionary tale, but a gripping, unruly story of playful sexuality, fantasy and scatological humor. It is a "stylish, scary film for grown-ups -- getting right to work on viewers' psyches…" Heather Wisner, San Francisco Weekly. The film stars Christina Ricci (THE ADDAMS FAMILY, THE ICE STORM) and is narrated by the famous wit and celebrated author Quentin Crisp.

In THE BITCH IS BACK (17 min.), writer/director Tjebbo Penning takes a humorous but frightening look at the classic horror flick. The film contains just about every clich of the horror genre from endless one liners to the un-slayable monster. The uniqueness of this film lies in the subtext of the plot in which an inflatable sex doll avenges herself by attacking her user creating a unique and thoroughly enjoyable feminist slasher flick.

Noah Edleson’s 78 (3 min.) is a twisted treat about a young boy's trick of deception on his neighbors.


23B Thursday/October 23 8:15 PM

Independent Spirit Award Nominee!!

Best Director & Best Cinematography (Frank DeMarco)

Sneak Peek! Please note that"Nosferatu's Nosh" has been canceled. But join us for HABIT, Henna Tattoos and a wine reception sponsored by Studio Film & Tape following the screening.

HABIT

Winner of the 1997 Independent Spirit "Someone to Watch Award"Habit photo/love scene

"A sad and haunting film… a sly exercise in ambiguity. I recommend HABIT … Fessenden is a talent to watch." – Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

"…terrifically tense .. paralyzingly real… keeps us on a knife-edge of erotic uncertainty … evokes true horror." Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

"First rate performances… erotically charged… wickedly amusing…" Joe Leydon, VARIETY

(1997, Glass Eye Pix/Passport Cinema, USA, 112 min.) This beautifully photographed, modern "downtown" vampire tale of alienation, addiction and self-destruction takes place in autumn in New York. Sam’s (Larry Fessenden) demons have descended. Lonely, depressed and perpetually sloppy drunk, he mourns the death of his father, the loss of his girlfriend and his lack of career ambition. At a Halloween party he meets the mysterious Anna (Meredith Snaider) and they begin a torrid affair, sharing sultry nights on the streets of Manhattan. But their erotic encounters don’t lead to real intimacy, and soon, Sam’s disorienting, hallucinogenic hangovers begin to drive him mad. Cut off from his friends, Sam wonders, is Anna really drinking his blood? Are his nightmares realities or is he merely surrendering to his own death wish? "Vivid… as evocative of New York-style paranoia as ROSEMARY’S BABY, BAD LIEUTENANT, or TAXI DRIVER." – Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE. New York-based Independent filmmaker/actor Larry Fessenden, the founder of Glass Eye Pix will speak following the screening. For more chills join us October 30th for Fessenden’s first feature NO TELLING. Details on the next schedule. Watch for this film in a theater near you!

www.glasseyepix.com


16A Thursday/October 16 7:30 PM

Rediscovering America

An on-going series of new documentaries presented by the Alternative Screen that examine contemporary America and its citizens.

THE RETURN OF SARAH’S DAUGHTERS

"This consistently involving doc gives us neither stereotypes or mushheaded proselytizing; the result is far more compelling and relevant exploration of the overstated conflict between secularism and God (spirituality, if you prefer) than you’ll get in a dozen viewing of CONTACT." -- SF Weekly

(1997, 56 min., USA) Is it possible to be an orthodox Jewish woman and still be a feminist, or a lesbian? Filmmaker Marcia Jarmel explores this question in her portrayal of two strong, thoughtful, educated women in their 30’s who found themselves drawn to Jewish Orthodoxy during adulthood. Rus is a no non-sense social worker who gives us a guided tour of Chasiddic daily life, from the 613 Torah-given laws of living, to the intricacies of a Kosher kitchen, the peace of the Sabbath, weekly visits to the salon to have her wig styled ("observant" Jewish women must wear wigs or hats when appearing in public), the "mikveh" or ritual bath where orthodox women cleanse themselves when they finish menstruating each month, and the synagogue where the women worship behind a barrier which separates the sexes. Spiritually-oriented Myriam had also found solace in Orthodox Judaism, but when she came out as a lesbian, she found no place for her in her community. Their stories raise questions about the trade-offs between assimilation and tradition, individual freedom and belonging to a tight community. With Abby Kohn& Marc Silverstein's "Fairfax Fandango," the adventures of a "Melrose" gal who falls in love with her Orthodox Jewish neighbor.



2A Thursday/October 2 7:30 PM

New Showcase PREMIERE!

FROM PAGE TO STAGE

Presented in association with FILMMAKER Magazine

Join us for staged readings of screenplays from which future independent films will be made. A post-performance discussion of the screenplay will be moderated by a working screenwriter or writer/director.

P. David Ebersole’s script FLOWERS FOR ALBUQUERQUE is the winner of Outfest ‘97’s first annual screenwriting competition award for Best New Screenplay. Ebersole will direct a reading of his script, which is a spiritually driven story set in 1984, about 10-year-old Jesus who has been told all his life that his father is dead. Mom, still carrying a torch for her high school sweetheart (and presumably the father of her child), is leading a dismal existence in Los Angeles as a single mother/stripper with a dark secret. Then one day Albuquerque passes through town (very much alive) enroute to a healing journey to save his current lover Bill, and Jesus’ life is irrevocably altered. Tony Ward (HUSTLER WHITE); Andy Warhol superstar Joe Dallesandro; Mary Woronov (EATING RAOUL); Emmy-winner Shirley Knight ("Indictment: The McMartin Trials"); Roma Maffia (DISCLOSURE, "Profiler"); Amy Hill ("All American Girl"); Mary Scheer ("MAD-TV"); and Richmond Arquette (SEVEN) are all currently associated with the project. Ebersole’s award-winning short "Death in Venice, CA" plays 9/11 as part of "Inspired by…" (see above).


11A Thursday, September 11 7:30pm

INSPIRED BY…

Move over Masterpiece Theatre! These six revisionist tales inspired by classic literature and legendary writers pick up where English Literature 101 left off!

Stephen Berkman’s ROOM 103, 9 min., --- Within the labyrinth of Prague’s city streets, a young American writer finds himself trapped in the paranoid and nightmarish world of Kafka’s The Trial. Todd Louiso’s THE FIFTEEN MINUTE HAMLET, 24 min. --- "To cut or not to cut" seems to be the real question in this brilliantly madcap "Cliff’s Note" tribute to Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy. Adapted from Tom Stoppard’s play. Matt Nix and Victor Fanucchi’s CHEKHOV’S GUN, 20 mins. --- Chekhov himself couldn’t have realized the severe complications in store for the four characters in this film, when he wrote, "One must not put a loaded gun onstage if no one is going to fire it." Carina Chocano’s SAMUEL BECKETT ORDERS OUT, 4 min.--- Join the Father of Existentialism himself as he contemplates the brevity of life, time, eternity and the infinite possibilities involved in ordering the perfect pizza. P. David Ebersole’s DEATH IN VENICE, CA, 30 min. --- Striking, sensual gay variation on the Thomas Mann tragic novella where sexual repression and dark obsession now meet on the sandy shores of Venice Beach. With Shirley Knight. "A Gay Lolita"— New York Daily News (Ebersole’s ready to be produced award-winning screenplay "Flowers for Albuquerque" will be presented as a staged reading on 10/2.) Judy Bee’s THE NERVOUS BREAKDOWN OF PHILIP K. DICK, 21 min. --- Hallucinogenic account of the horrific psychological fragmentation and complete mental collapse of the highly regarded American novelist whose work provided the basis for Ridley Scott’s classic film, BLADE RUNNER. With Lisa Zane.


Thursday, August 14 7:30 PM

"...for those willing to join in Hershey's intellectual, psychological and historical exercise, there are rewards to be had in mulling over the terrible but fascinating issues the film raises." -- Todd McCarthy, Daily Variety

"...Rodway -- whose performance as Hitler is a canny balance of prideful fanaticism and anxious self-rationalization -- is truly mesmerizing." Joe Leydon, The Houston Press Guide to Worldfest Houston

THE EMPTY MIRROR

(USA 1996, 119 min.) Director Barry J. Hershey's beautifully shot (by BLUE VELVET cinematographer Frederick Elmes) darkly comic, bold imagining of the ruminations of Adolph Hitler's deluded mind had he been left to contemplate his heinous deeds, defies the Hitler taboo to explore the human complexities of this international icon of evil. In this disturbing vision, Hitler (Norman ROdway) is imprisoned in a dark, netherworld of a bunker, dictating his revisionist memoirs to a blonde typist (Doug McKeon) against a backdrop of actual newsreel and home movie projections depicting his glory days. Intermingled are visits from his propagandist Josef Goebbels (Joel Grey); mistress Eva Braun (Camilla Soeberg); lieutenant Hermann Goering (Glenn Shadix); Dr. Sigmund Freud (Peter Michael Goetz); and a group of fair-haired Hitler youth. Remembering, analyzing, regretting, this Hitler is "the ultimate auteur, a demented director who made the world his soundstage" (Houston Press Guide) and realized his horrible vision. "I am the artist and I was the artwork," he declares. "Compared to you, Wagner was a minimalist, Goebbels offers.

 


Thursday, July 17 7:30 PM

Special Sneak Preview!!

STAR MAPS

"A California MIDNIGHT COWBOY." -- New York Times, Janet Maslin

"...the beauty of STAR MAPS lies in its unforced allowance for the strengths and imperfections of all its characters regardless of race or class." -- Filmmaker Magazine, Hazel-Dawn Dumpert

"Striking and Sexy," -- Newsweek, David Ansen

(Fox Searchlight, USA, 1997, 95 min.) An audience favorite at this year's Sundance Film Festival, this controversial film blends fantasy and melodrama with dark humor in the story of Carlos (Douglas Spain), a handsome Latino teenager who is willing to do anything to become a Hollywood movie star. Carlos' home life with his cruel and destructive father Pepe (Efrain Figueroa) has become unbearable. Pepe runs a business selling maps to the stars' homes, but his good-looking young vendors are selling more than just "star maps" on the street corners of Beverly Hills. When Carlos joins Pepe's ring in an effort to make contacts in Hollywood, he soon realizes that his goals are worthy, but his tactics are completely misguided. Moments between Carlos and Jennifer (Kandeyce Jorden), a white soap opera actress with a penchant for "poor Mexican boys," are illuminating and often shocking statements on class, ethnicity and power. Written and directed by Miguel Arteta.

www.foxsearchlight.com

Nominated for 4 1998 Independent Spirit Awards! Best First Feature; Best Debut Performance (Lysa Flores & Douglas Spain); Best Supporting Male Actor (Efrain Figueroa); Best First Screenplay.


REDISCOVERING AMERICA

An on-going series of documentaries that explore contemporary America and its citizens.

 

Thursday, July 10 7:30 PM

NEW DOCUMENTARY!

CITY FARMERS

"We started raking out the weeds, got people from the neighborhood to help. We got the Special Ed kids involved and as you can see, it’s looking pretty good -- no shooting, no people getting killed around the corner, nothing like that over here anymore." -- City Farmer Guillermo Gonzalez, East New York, Brooklyn

(USA, 1997, 77 min.) Since 1978, with the support of GreenThumb, 20,000 residents of diverse ethnic backgrounds have transformed over 750 crime and vermin infested abandoned lots into lush oases of vegetable and flower gardens in some of the most devastated neighborhoods in New York City. Here, the gardeners vividly narrate poignant stories about life on both sides of the garden fence: from their fight against drug dealers, gangs and the lack of city support for their communities, to the successes of the gardens as food suppliers to the homeless, needy families and senior citizens. These gardens: compelling metaphors for survival; sources of pride in communities that had none; and centers for both the rehabilitation of law offenders and the education of children, are now ironically in jeopardy of being bulldozed to make way for more buildings. Meryl Joseph’s investigation of urban landscapes is propelled by award-winning composer Jack DeJohnette’s (part of Miles Davis’ ground-breaking "Bitches Brew")poetic jazz score, a counterpoint to the grit of the urban experience.



Thursday, June 26 7:30 PM

HOT OFF THE FESTIVAL CIRCUIT!

MARY JANE’S NOT A VIRGIN ANYMORE

OFFICIAL SELECTION: 1997 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

"The film has an offhanded unaffected freshness that is appealing." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

"Mary Jane is most definitely a retaliation to any movie with the name John Hughes in the credits. You could call it "Gritty in Kink." -- Heidi Olmack, TRIPOD website

"Mary Jane is about a teen girl’s first sexual experiences, and nothing farther from The Lover could be imagined." Amy Taubin, Village Voice

(USA, 1997, 98 min.) Mary Jane (MY LIFE’S IN TURNAROUND’s Jamie Gerstein) is a percocious 17-year-old honor student from a midwestern suburb, who gets a real world introduction to sexuality ("stripped down-to-earth, pure and punk") from her older, fellow movie theater workers in town. Dave, the gay theater manager, Ericka, the sexually savvy punk rocker, Matt the angry young drunk, Tom the handsome slacker, Ryan the sensitive neo-beatnik; and Grace the wistful beauty; candidly share their experiences with Mary Jane as she struggles to get the most out of sex, and herself. Sarah Jacobson directed this frank, raw and sassy sexual odyssey for modern young women. "It has an irreverent grainy Secaucus Seven kind of feel." -- Paul Swensen, The Oakland Tribune

http://www.sirius.com/~lenny/maryj2.html


Thursday, June 12 7:30 PM

NEW INDIE COMEDY!

SHOOTING LILY

from the director of ...AND GOD SPOKE

Winner: Audience Award for Best Film, 1997 South By Southwest Film Festival

(USA, 1996, 77 min.) What does a young Los Angeles wedding videographer do to combat severe depression when his wife (the love of his life) of six years suddenly leaves him in the middle of their New Years Eve party? David Hitchcock (Matt Winston) tries talking to silverware; wooing her with a cactus (a symbol of strength and longevity according to his local florist); seeing friends (an overly affectionate couple who feed each other dinner); and he even joins a men’s therapy group where members substitute the thought "I want to die" with "I want to go shopping"?? David just wants to know why Lily (Amy Smallman) left him... and all she’ll say is "watch your videotapes." Rewinding his obsessive documentation of their relationship, David makes some revelations about living through the eye of his video camera. Directed by Arthur Borman.

www.directorscut.com


Rediscovering America

This film is the first in an on-going series of new documentaries presented by the Alternative Screen that examine contemporary America and its citizens.

 

Thursday, May 22 22A 7:30 pm

LA PREMIERE! NEW DOCUMENATRY!

DREAMS OF A CITY: CREATING EAST PALO ALTO

"One of the greatest virtues of DREAMS is its very specificity -- i.e., that in digging deep into one particular story, it imparts a tale of universal importance and inspiration." -- Robert Hawk

(USA, 1996, 55 min.) Where is the other side of the tracks? For many San Francisco Bay area residents it is the predominantly African American, low income community of East Palo Alto, the city voted "the national murder capital" of the United States in 1992. Filmmaker Michael Levin traces the 150 year history of a city that, in the 1850’s was actually slated to become a port city to rival San Francisco, but instead, became the victim of every ill-conceived urban planning fiasco in the region. "Combining historical research with community input, the project tells the city’s story from the "inside out," creating a tapestry of diverse voices and experiences." (San Jose Mercury News) Focusing on solutions, DREAMS show the culturally diverse (African Ameircan, Caucasion, Latino and Pacific Islander) residents of this impoverished city (now struggling to build retail shopping centers to create a tax base) taking back their streets and banding together to effect change. With the recent controversy over ebonics, the history of East Palo Alto’s now defunct, progressive Nairobi Schools (shut down by the school system and replaced by bussing students out of the area), an outgrowth of the Black Power movement of the late 60’s, is especially interesting. plus

ROAD MOVIE (USA, 1996, 21 min.) "Fear the neon sombrero," warns filmmaker Mark Schwartzbard in his satiric personal travelogue of a road trip taken down the East Coast. From the annual American Philosophical Association’s convention in New York City to South Carolina’s tacky South of the Border tourist trap – "a travesty against man and architecture" to Hemingway’s Key West – "Schwartzbard is terse and whimsical, and he makes one feel, through his humor, that what he has to say couldn’t be said any better." (The Tacoma Weekly)

 


Thursday, May 8 8A 7:30 pmThe Last Big Thing

Guinness Reception following screening!

NEW INDEPENDENT COMEDY!

The Agenda is fluid and subject to mutation...

THE LAST BIG THING

"A consistently funny, relentlessly scabrous critique of fin-de-siecle media culture, L.A. division. Smarter urbanites could be talking about it right into the next century." Ken Eisner, Variety

"If you thought THE PLAYER was a bitingly sarcastic indictment of modern culture, you ain’t seen nothing yet." Andy Barham, The Ubyssey

(USA, 1996, 98 min.) If you’ve ever wanted to shove your fist down the throat of the next pathetic LA scenester you bump into at a party, who wants nothing more than to be the media’s "next big thing," then this movie will warm your heart. The film’s writer/director, Dan Zukovic, also stars in this devilishly smart, satiric skewering of every hyped up modern medium; from music videos to stand-up comedy; from modelling to the retro-hip twentysomething worship of bad 70s TV shows and their icons. Zukovic is Simon Geist a mysterious figure who has teamed up with an angst-ridden trust fund baby to carry out a mysterious "agenda" from head quarters in a suburban tract home ("the perfect anti-statement") 30 miles from Los Angeles. As Geist begins to believe that he truly is "the last major figure of the milennium," an intelligent model (Pamela Dickerson) and "the new hunk of night time television" (Mark Ruffalo) enter the picture, and the agenda really begins to mutate... "Dan Zukovic is as mesmerizing as he is acerbically funny as Simon Geist..., Darla’s (Susan Heimbinder) hyperkinetic nervousness is a great foil for Zukovic’s unnerving physical intensity and intellectual superciliousness." -- Brad Schreiber, Entertainment Today

Look for this film in theaters near you in 1998 through Stratosphere Releasing.

www.thelastbigthing.com


Thursday, April 24 24A 7:30 pmThe Social Disease

NEW INDEPENDENT FILM NOIR!

THE SOCIAL DISEASE

(USA, 1996, 100 min.) Melodrama abounds in this twisted contemporary film noir which achieves a look and feel that is strongly reminiscent of 1940s American film, as well as theatre. Photographed in lush black and white, this highly stylized film is a subversive, supernatural moral tale about a highly principled young man (Spencer Garrett in a Jimmy Stewart-at-his-most-earnest type of role) determined to enter into the perfect Christian marriage ("A man’s relationship with his wife is the basic unit society is built on," he quips.) with angelic looking, "virgin goddess" Michelle (Kellie Overbey). But Michelle is weak and more than a little confused about sexuality. With a healthy push from a manipulative friend (Mary Ellen Lyon), a lustful apparition, her fiancs’ loose moraled cousin (Yul Vazquez), and even the overbearing righteousness of her fianc himself, her life spins wildly and irreparably out of control. Julian Whatley wrote and directed this SINGLE WHITE FEMALE meets a more lurid version of OLD ACQUAINTANCE.

 


Thursday, April 10, 1997

10A/7:30 pm

NEW INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM!

FINISHED

"An emotional autopsy of a life tragically cut short... highly unusual and compelling personal inquiry that defies traditional film genre." -- Lisanne Skyler, Sundance Film Festival

OFFICIAL SELECTION: 1997 Sundance Film Festival

(USA, 1997, 75 min.) Alan Lambert was a 25-year-old gay porn star who flamboyantly committed suicide in public, in his native Montreal. He left behind an elaborate 10-page suicide note, 18 porn films with mundane titles like BOOT CAMP, HARD BALL and POOL BOY and several friends and lovers. He did not have AIDS. In fact, he had written that he felt he was at his "physical and intellectual prime" and could not endure the thought of aging. Filmmaker William E. Jones (MASSILON), seduced by the image of a man he never knew, but whose beauty he admired obsessively, emabrked on a journey to discover something intimate about this enigmatic icon and entertainer of apocalyptic premonitions and radical political theories that ultimately made it impossible for him to function as a commodity in contemporary society. Jones' cool voice-over narration mesmerizes while his camera records hypnotic images, never of the expected nudity, but of the landscapes... the exteriors of Lambert's life -- desolate Los Angeles streets and San Fernando warehouses where he made movies, empty beaches, the public square where he ended his life... This highly experimental examination of the life and death of a porn star is as much about the impossibility of understanding our infatuations as it is a testament to the ephemeral nature of glamour. Filmmaker in person!

festivals/awards


Thursday, March 27, 1997

27A/7:30 pm

SNEAK PREVIEW! NEW DOCUMENTARY!

THE UNVEILING

(USA, 1996, 80 min.) The intersection of race and sexuality is explored in Rodney Evans' unusual portrait of the lives of exotic dancers. Interviews with outspoken Dixie Evans, the now 70-year-old, former "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque" (and curator of the Exotic World Museum in Helendale, CA), present the rich tradition of exotic dancing or "striptease" in historical perspective -- and illuminates it as a heritage that truly belongs to American women. Intimate profiles of two contemporary Los Angeles exotic dancers, one male (Eldad) and one female (Michele) who perform primarily in gay and lesbian clubs for African American and Latino audiences, humanize these commonly exploited, sexually objectified performers. Evans skillfully combines rare 1940's and 50's archival footage from burlesque theater, present day performances at clubs, a private lesbian birthday party ( Michele's lithe black body undulating amongst a group of overweight, khaki and oxford cloth shirt clad "butch" women is a striking image) and "The Miss Exotic World Contest" (featuring contestants from 18-80) with extensive conversations he initiates with his subjects -- at home, backstage or on the road -- as they grapple with their perceptions of their bodies, their sexuality, their desires to achieve success in mainstream performing arts careers, their relationships with family (and in Michele's case, children), friends, lovers and most importantly... themselves.

festivals/awards


Thursday, March 13, 1997

13A/7:30 pm

NEW INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM!

BLUE SKIES ARE A LIE

"Blazing performances!" -- Sheila Benson

"...the smart script runs from very black comedy to oddball romace." -- Sandy Gow, Vancouver Film Festival

"...an unerving, entrancing and ultimately humanitarian film." -- Spencer Foxworth

"A clever vehicle for discussions of sexual and environmental politics..." -- Ken Eisner, Variety

(USA, 1996, 97 min.) "A" is for AIDS, APARTHEID, APOCALYPSE..., "B" is for BATTLE, COMBINGS, BRUTALITY..., "C" is for CRIME, CORRUPTION, CHEMICALS... "D" is for DEHUMANIZATION, DESTRUCTION & DEATH... So read a staggering seven years worth of Joseph Campana's (KEITH BRUNSMANN) obsessively maintaines files chronicaling the painful destruction of our planet and the ultimate demise of the human race. Joseph caught a glimpse of the future and now he has burdened himself with gathering proof of the impending apocalypse, from any media source he can get at home. Paralyzed with fear, this former international photojournalist, hasn't left his Los Angeles apartment in seven years. The atrocities he witnessed haunt him -- urban violence, racism, starvation, murder, war... Then a spirited young mail carrier (Julie Moses) begins to gain Joseph's trust and together they embark on an emotionally charged journey into the unspoiled splendor of the California wilderness -- from which neither will emrge the same. Directed by Gregory Ruzzin and produced by Wade Danielson (GEORGE B). Filmmakers in person!

http://www.santafe.edu/~kurt/blueskies.html

FilmEight@aol.com

festivals/awards


February 13, 1997

13A / 7:30 & 13B / 9:30 pm

"Go without hate.

Not without anger.

Heal the world."

– Paul Monette

SPECIAL SNEAK PREVIEW!

Co-presented with OUT ON THE SCREEN

PAUL MONETTE: ON THE BRINK OF SUMMER’S END

(USA, 1996, 90 min.) This deeply moving, personal film biography of the late, beloved gay writer and activist Paul Monette was started in 1992, in what everyone thought were the last few month’s of Paul’s life as he declined from AIDS. Filmmakers Monte Bramer and Lesli Klainberg shared Paul’s belief that AIDS was rapidly wiping away history as it wiped out masses of people. Meshing family photos, home videos, public appearance footage and interviews with Paul, his brother and his closest friends, the film is a celebration of a sadly abbreviated gay life -- from Paul’s idyllic New England boyhood to his closeted adolescence and his eventual development into a successful writer, committed lover and one of the ravaged and furious voices for a generation of people afflicted with HIV/AIDS. The author of 16 books including his National Book Award-winning biography Becoming A Man: Half A Life Story, Paul finally succumbed to the disease in February 1995. As difficult as it was for Monette, he remained committed to the film project until the last days of his life as he believed fervently in leaving a recorded history of gay life behind for future generations. Filmmakers to appear for discussion following each screening.

Out on the Screen members will receive $1 off the general ticket price upon presentation of a current membership card. Not valid with any other offer.

Photo by Tom Bianchi

festivals/awards

 


February 6, 1997

6A 8:00 pm

LA PREMIERE & PARTY!!!

TROUBLESOME CREEK: A MIDWESTERN

Winner!

Grand Jury Prize & Audience Award – Best Documentary SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

"Emotional without being sentimental, TROUBLESOME CREEK gives a renewed appreciation of what a family working together can accomplish." – Linda Viola, Sundance Film Festival

"Superb" – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Insightful" – Amy Taubin, Village Voice

"Heartbreaking" – John Anderson, Newsday

(USA, 1995, 88 min.) Filmmakers Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ashcer’s Academy Award-nominated documentary is a personal history about Jordan’s family of Iowan farmers who have lived and worked on the same land for 125 years, but it is also a film about the current "unsettling" of America’s Heartland. Jordans crossed the Mississippi by covered wagon in 1867 and legend has it that great-grandfather Jordan fought off the Crooked Creek Gang in the 1880’s. Jeanne remembers toting her father into town for "Daddy Date Night" in 1967 and feeling too normal at age 12. Raised on Westerns, Jeanne always thought of her family as the "good guys" – the honest, hard-working, wholesome pioneers. Now its the 1990’s, and although "Jordans" settled this country, modern America is about to foreclose their small farm. With love and humor the family comes together with a will to survive the potential loss of "the home place," in this true story about history, tradition, aging, the strength of a family, the fragile fate of rural communities and change on a timeless landscape. "Both a vivid illustration of harsh economic realities and a lovingly sewn memory quilt." – Rachel Rosen, Film Comment

Filmmakers to appear in-person following the screening. Tickets to this event only are $6 members & $8 general. Ticket price includes party.

Party sponsored by Trader Joe's.

festivals/awards


Wed January 29th 1997

30A / 8:00 pm

"Wrenching, smart and bleakly funny." Amy Taubin, Village Voice

"Blazingly provocative!" Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

DESOLATION ANGELS

presented by Jonathan Demme and Barbet Schroeder

 

Winner!

Merchant/Ivory Kodak Award TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL
International Critics Prize TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Critics’ Choice ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

(USA, 1995, 90 min.) Compared in the press to John Cassavetes’ "male angst" movies, writer/director Tim McCann’s directorial debut is wrought with raw, gut-level emotion as it unfolds a downward spiraling tale of devastation and self-destruction wrought by the male ego. When a young Brooklyn man is at a fragile time in his life, he makes desperate attempts to avenge the forced seduction of his girlfriend by a rich, womanizing college buddy. Instead of consoling the woman he loves, he embarks on a relentless, all-consuming quest for retribution which takes him through a labyrinth of sexual fury, deranged jealousy and irrational violence – ultimately, irrevocably altering all relationships involved. "This is probably as devastating a portrait and indictment of modern male insensitivity as any film has given us recently… its strength lies in those deeply emotional performances, the evocative street cinematography and the extremely acute observation of the characters." – Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

festivals/awards


January 16, 1997

16A 8:00 pm SOLD OUT!! 16B 10:30 pm SCREENING ADDED!!

NEW INDEPENDENT FEATURE FILM!

SKIN & BONE

"Bondage and domination, sexual role play, pornography, gay iconography, hustlerdom – rarely have they been presented with this much style, sexiness and wit." - Noah Cowan, Toronto Film Festival

(USA, 1996, 110 min.) At once, satiric, mordant and perverse, SKIN & BONE follows three young LA hustlers (one played by Calvin Klein underwear billboard model, b. Wyatt), who service clients (mostly male) that want to enact elaborate sexual fantasies ranging from naked housecleaning to rough games of "cops & discipline." For their ruthless, female pimp, there is no fantasy that can’t be purchased. The film explores the hustlers’ self-delusion and the complex contortions their personalities undergo as they grapple with their roles as merchandise fitted purely for the desires of their buyers. For struggling actor Harry, each trick is an acting job, unfortunately, his greatest performance just might be his last. "It’s about giving your soul away and then rationalizing the loss as a bonus," says the film’s director Everett Lewis (THE NATURAL HISTORY OF PARKING LOTS, AMBUSH OF GHOSTS). Director Everett Lewis in person!

festivals/awards


Thurs., Dec. 12: 12A - 8:00 PM

93 MILLION MILES FROM THE SUN

(USA, 1995, 106 MIN.) Currently a cult hit in Europe, Paul Budnitz’ 93 Million Miles From The Sun is a film about restlessness and the need for lonely people to connect with one another. The story revolves around four very different characters: a bass player in an incompetent thrash band who is thrwon out by her lesbian lover; an out-of-towner cruising the streets in his Datsun rehashing old conversations with his girlfriend who materializes in his front seat now and then to respond; an eccentric loner, bouquet still in hand, who has been stood up by his date; and a displaced accountant/insomniac having feverish Martian dreams -- all experiencing the worst night of their lives as they circulate through San Francisco’s Mission district. The film plays out in a world that is both funny and vicious, a place where situations move unexpectedly from humor to violence. 93 MILLION MILES was the closing night feature of the 1996 Forum at the Berlin Film Festival and it opened San Francisco’s FAF Festival in late ‘95. On an interesting technical note, Budnitz managed to edit his film at home on a consumer MAC using ADOBE PREMIERE software which was never intended to work for feature film editing. This is quite possibly the only feature to do this!

festivals/awards