Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2014

Over 150 films will open somewhere in NYC from oct 15 to December 15. Much of this traffic is related to qualifying rules for the OSCARS, SPIRIT AND SAG awards.  Many of these films will be of merit. I will highlight some smaller films that will not have saturation media campaigns that I want to bring to your attention.. As well as two important local fFilm Festivals locally. That said let me first alert you to some institutional programing :

BAM (next wave)  : Exposed:Music Unseen Warhol Films (15 Films) featuring live Bradford Cox (Deerhunter, Atlas Sound), Eleanor Friedberger (the Fiery FurnacesMartin Rev (Suicide) Tom Verlaine (Television)Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna)  

MoMA:  (nov 1-22) TO SAVE AND PROJECT: the 12th MoMA International Festival Of Film Preservation  (Nov1-24 )+ The Emergence Of Ann Sheridan, 1937–1943

Film Society Of Lincoln CenterFassbinder : romantic anarchist pt 2 : dead at 37. 40 films, plays and television dramas,  Fassbinder  remains a legend alive on the screen. . The series includes never screened before:in the US  BAAL. Also opening I Goodbye To Language 3D ,   jean-Luc Godard’s 43rd film has a two week run.. The most beautiful Goddard film to watch in years note : Nov 2nd  richard Brody, the new yorker film critic and author of Everything Is Cinema The Working Life Of Jean-Luc Godardat 7:30pm screening will intro the film


Two  very different film festivals dominate the month:

1: DOC NYC November 13- 20 in five years doc NY has grown from a startup to the largest doc film festival  in north america seeded over 10 years ago by thom powers’  tuesday weekly doc screening  series it has grown into this essential behemoth of a festival complete with world premiers, archival treasures , work of emerging doc directors, how to workshops and challenging topic panels. There is even a catch up screenings of the “contenders” for academy award screening. Whew! Tickets range for single admission to full festival passes.powers and team developed the following mission:  doc NYC aims to: Curate: guide audiences toward inspiring work. Cross Fertilize: gather practitioners of many fields – filmmakers, writers, photographers and other storytellers to inspire each other. Cross generations: use the festival’s partnership with School Of Visual Arts as a means for younger and older voices to communicate. Cultivate New Audiences: attract newcomers with the excitement of a festival atmosphere. Expand Distribution: help documentary storytellers make the most of emerging technologies such as video downloads, podcasts and electronic readers. Create social space: bring people together in theaters, lounges, and discussion spaces in greenwich village and chelsea.  Make The Most Of NYC: foster fresh connections between residents and expose visitors to the opportunities that happen only in new york. Http:// and it has over a 100 films screening + panels ect. Between the IFC and the Sva and Bow Tie Theaters On 23rd st . I like you will be seeing most of the program for the first time l but what I can recommend are:

THE AGE OF LOVE   speed dating for the over 70 set!!!

ALTHEA long before arthur Ashe or venus and Serena williams, Althea Gibson was the first african-american tennis player to become world champion.

BACK ON BOARD follows olympic gold medal  diver Greg Louganis after he returned to Los Angeles, Came Out,  was diagnosed with AIDS  and had to deal with the backlash both in his public and personal life including becoming homeless,

DO I SOUND GAY   Sure to cause controversy. Director David Thrope came out but he did not want to sound gay (?)  He documents his quest to change his voice. A subtle look at all the reinvention of self that crosses many boundaries in this world where subjectivity reformulates reality and identity.

ENGUIRING MINDS; THE UNTOLD STORY BEHIND THE MAN WHO FOUNDED THE NATIONAL ENQUIERER Director Ric Burns makes a pop culture leap from the height of his PBS historical insight on the Roosevelt down to world of  pop trash.  Before TMZ and Murdoch there was the National Enquire top rag on the heap of tabloid culture situated in the supermarket checkout isles. He  took CONFIDENTIAL's gossip rag attitude and made reading it a housewife’s secret addiction.

HAPPY VALLEY You may think cable news and the tabloids had uncovered every stone in the ESPN fan obsessed scandal of sexual abuse and molestation by Penn State University: head football coach . Joe Paterno had a thing for showers and boys and when finally this dirty little secret that many held slipped out, the stadium figuratively collapsed.  Amir Bar-Lev incisive looks at a college sports world drenched in dollars and asks why  a self-identified heterosexual,  famous college football coach obsessed with sex with adolescent boys says he is not gay and shines a light on the difference between homosexuality and pedophilia. The games that power tripping play and the damage done including to those who simply looked away. To his credit Bar-Lev has chosen to explore a more complex question of the american psyche rather than just settling for self-righteous finger pointing .

HEAVEN ADORES YOU This is documentary on indie rock cult musician  Elliott Smith who found himself  bolted from performing for maybe 40 people sitting on the  floor in a Portland, Oregon coffee shop/ live performance to appearing \almost overnight before 60,000,000 people when “Miss Misery” was nominated for an Oscar in 1998. He died in a controversial death (was it murder? Suicide ? Junkie love gone bad?)  just five years later, at the age of 34. But his legacy and music ,  like Jeff Buckley’s, proves there can be life after death,. Not a who done it, but a poetic (like Smith’s lyrics) exploration of Smith and his journey from portland to silverlake and what happened when he settled in. LA..

MIX NYC: THE 27TH QUEER EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL Nov 11- 16 2014 takes place in Brooklyn (of course ) at the Mix Hive and is unlike any other festival in world. If you were to put Burning Man inside a space and have the Radical Faeries create the environment and have film, .Multimedia Art and interactive performances programed by dedicated queer outsiders than  you would have MIX NYC. Here is how they describe themselves: mix NYC is a community of artists and organizers joined together to explore, share, and create queer experimental media through an ever-changing constellation of means. We make art for ourselves and our community, not for markets or museums. As always, at mix 27 we are proud to present the latest in queer experimental film and previously unseen works from legendary lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer-identified figures in avant-garde cinema. Over its 27 years years MIX NYC has spawned creative progeny that worldwide has impacted culture and identity. Note:.RAJENDRA Roy. Head film curator at MoMA first started as  an  intern  at Mix. Yes it is an  adventure for the eyes, ears, spirit and libido  from classic early gay porn of Peter De Roma to the long lost Burroughs : The Movie 

and everything queer art inbreeding can gestate   go here. The gender expression if fluid and the smacks vegan. Be advised the sticky content will sear your sensibility:

CITIZENFOUR director Laura Poitras: is essential viewing became of it's advocacy for both transparency and privacy. You will learn how the Edward Snowden's revelations unfolded in real time, not as cable network news and US government spin. I was impressed of the courage of Snowden, the reporter Glen Greenwald and Poitras under extremely stressful circumstances ..tension worthy of a James Bond plot.. Brave patriots defending the constitution and the American public. Greenwald and Poitras are involved with the INTERCEPT, a new internet news source ( What actually is a wonderful bonus about CITIZENFOUR is how beautifully crafted is as a piece of cinema

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE  director Justin Simien. What started as a blog by Simien which went viral has evolved into the funniest , serious movie of the year. Imagine black college students as minorities in predominately white college culture and population. Exploding every stereo type and taking on white defined assimilation permissions, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE is unlike any black representation I have seen in US cinema .. Too smart to mimic the grown up buppies and too sophisticated  to fall into tyler perry black romance romantic comedies, DEAR WHITE PEOPLE i suggest is a more authentic window into the journey of black students in a white world and their search for heir own American identity. Omg one of the heroes is a black gay nerd!.  A very racially and generational mixed audience i saw it with on a sold out Sunday afternoon howled thought out the film ...just not always at the same time.

BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN director Ravi Kumar. it was the worse industrial accident in history:  30 years ago in Bhopal, India when Union Carbide’s industrial plant released toxic chemicals into the air and  10 thousand people died in one night. The film explores how the  CEO of Union Carbide (Martin Sheen) tried to bogart responsibility and dance around fair compensation to the families of the victims. A crusading activist (Kal Penn) and a french fashion journalist  who gets caught up and becomes a serious reporter (Mischa Barton) partner with others to tell the real story.. The tragedy fell off the world’s radar except in india where the government  attempted to whitewash who was responsible. Only when the YES MEN's successful prank of announcing to the media that millions of dollars of money would compensated people for their loss did it become again world wide front page story. Compounding  the YES MEN'S success was Union Carbide's denial of reaching a settlement package. A prank that woke a sleeping dog BHOPAL: A PRAYER FOR RAIN is political and human drama at its highest cinematic form. Since them the flip flop and the mass advertising campaign of BP and its responsibility the gulf oil spill  resonators with the coroprate machinations of Union Carbide.

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