Jimi: All Is By My Side: Q&A with Director John Ridley
By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member
Jimi: All is By My Side (John Ridley, United Kingdom/Ireland/United States, 2013) opened in DC on September 26. Director John Ridley made these comments at the World Premiere during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September 2013. John Ridley was the writer who also wrote the screenplay for Steve McQueen's Oscar Best Film 12 Years a Slave, takes pleasure in continuing Hendrix as an enigma. Actor André Benjamin does an excellent job playing Hendrix during his early years after leaving New York City and spending time in London. Imogen Poots plays Linda Keith, a model and girlfriend of Keith Richards, who once saw Hendrix in the famous New York Cheetah Bar, and helps him make numerous contacts in the London music scene. Hayley Atwell plays his long suffering girlfriend Kathy Etchingham. The film sometimes has the feel of a 60’s concert film.
TIFF Moderator: There are so many ways to tell the Jimi Hendrix story. What method or way did you decide on to tell his story?
John Ridley: I’ve always been a Hendrix fan. One night surfing on the Internet I found some songs of his I had never heard before. He was amazing at interpreting songs you have already heard. The title of the song I had not heard was “Sending My Love to Linda” and I thought, "Who is Linda?" I did research in known and arcane places and found this story with emotional depth and personal velocity. Even as a fan I learned many new things. Linda was one of those iconic women in music history that supported great artists or helped shape the music industry with her very smart, astute judgment.
TIFF Moderator: Imogen, how did you approach playing Linda in the film going back 40 years in history?
Imogen Poots: I think people were more in tune to music in the 60’s and she and Jimi were really partners in crime since she had Jimi embrace his wild side. She lent him one of Richard’s white guitars and then he made history. My research and watching documentary footage made me aware that she was not naďve but was very savvy about the music industry. There’s really not a lot on her to watch. There’s one called "The Man They Made God" where she was interviewed. She was so poised. There was this manner to her that was very important to John as well. It was interesting to see that juxtaposed with this chaotic and mad rock ‘n’ roll scene. She was a joy to play and she really was in tune to where his mind was. The fact that you can go home and hear the songs Jimi wrote for her is a sad, but yet happy nostalgia. Linda seems so current and so cool at times.
TIFF Moderator: The film has some incredible music but not the hits we hear on rock radio all the time. Could you talk about the musical choices made for the film?
John Ridley: Obviously Hendrix’s interpretation of the blues, Lennon and McCartney, Dylan, etc. including songs like Wild Thing and Like a Rolling Stone that he reinvented. Linda was the ultimate rock muse, like Penny Lane. Linda spoke to me. The era of 1966-1967 in London is where the music is drawn from and what Hendrix did to it. I had John Ridley’s canvas and then add the music.
Audience Question: What research did Andre Benjamin do?
John Ridley: I met him in Atlanta. He can make many choices for films, but was on board and got guitar coaches. I literally asked him to turn water into wine. Just the amount of time he put into learning to play the guitar left handed, upside down, and backwards was amazing. We took 5 or 10 seconds of songs to recreate, but we didn’t want to create a base lounge act. We wanted to find a way to bring these characters’ emotional honesty. Imogen also gave up a month of time to come and rehearse with Andre. They all worked together. Danny Bramson, the musical director and producer picked tunes that recreated the honesty of the time and the immediacy. He touched a bit on how the soundtrack came together, claiming to opt for the “songs less travelled”, including some bluesy Dylan and Buddy Guy B-sides. Also for a small film, we ended up on the best sound stage at Pinewood Studios in England. You could hear every moment of the music.
Audience Question: Can you tell us about the 12 string and shots of the guitar playing?
John Ridley: Thank you for understanding what we were trying to show. What Andre did, wardrobe, etc. did was a reference to the time. It was important to me that Jimi, who was not tied into a particular style and tried many things. Moment by moment he was engaged, so it was one linear piece.
Audience Question: Why did you choose that particular time period in Jimi’s life?
John Ridley: I chose that time period because the cradle to grave biopics have been done. You do expect in films of that kind to get to the negative or downfall moments in a life. I wanted this to be more upbeat, more exciting, and more energizing. We could have gone all the way to Monterrey or Woodstock, but staying in London we had a greater opportunity to develop the character and experiences there.
Audience Question: What about the opening line?
Imogen Poots: That’s John’s screenplay. I think she’s just that way, very snappy. It’s great to capture a moment when they are young and don’t know each other and have a bit of intimacy. She just knew what he wanted and had the talent, so it just stood out properly for the moment.
Jimi: All Is By My Side opened in DC theaters on September 26.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby-Them:
Q&A with Director Ned Benson
By Annette Graham, DC Film Society Member
A preview screening of The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (Ned Benson, 2014) took place on September 9 at Landmark's E Street Cinema. Director Ned Benson answered questions from the audience.
Moderator: Where did the idea of the movie come from?
Ned Benson: About 10 years ago I started writing what became the first part of a two-part film. This film is born from that two-part film which shows the dual perspectives of a relationship between his character and her character. I started writing the first script I was 27, I'm 37 now. I gave that script to Jessica Chastain who I met a long time ago.
Moderator: How did you first meet her?
Ned Benson: The first short film I ever directed was playing in a film festival in Los Angeles. There was a screening of it and there were maybe 12 people in the audience. Most of the audience were film makers of the films that were playing. This girl came running up to me after the screening and says, "Are you the director of that film?" "Yeah" "I want to work with you one day!" "Why"? (everyone laughs) Her name was Jessica Chastain; she had just graduated from Julliard; the only she'd done was an episode of ER. We became friends. It was a really important relationship in my life. We built this project together. When I gave her this first script which was ultimately called "Him," she had lots of ideas and questions about who Eleanor was and where she disappeared to. That gave me the idea to write a whole other film based on "Her" because I thought the best way to capture a relationship was to show the dual perspectives of a couple going through this thing. The third film was born out of that because of people asking me if there was a combined two-hour version because audiences might not be willing to invest 3 hours and 10 minutes in a two-part film. Some people are willing to do that but others aren't.
Moderator: You said she was involved in the film since the beginning. Over 10 years things would change. How did this project change for you over all these years?
Ned Benson: It changed because when I wrote the initial two-part script I was sitting with this 223 page script as a first time director, completely untested with an actress who hadn't done much yet and a producer who was one of our best friends. It was delusional to think that we could make this film. The amount of no's we got was astounding. For the thousands of no's, it was one yes that got this film made. Even when Jessica's career started to take off which gave us a little more traction and the script had been passed around. Ultimately it was James McAvoy who locked our financing about two months before we started shooting which was eight years into the process of trying to get this movie made.
Moderator: He wasn't the first attached to that role?
Ned Benson: He was the first I went to but he wasn't willing to deal with the subject matter at the time because he had just had a son when I sent it to him. So my timing was really good. There's another fantastic actor Joel Edgerton who was attached for awhile but in the window we wanted to shoot in he was directing his own film. So he dropped out and I went back to James to see if it was a possibility and he said yes.
Moderator: Jessica and James have fantastic chemistry in the movie. How did that develop on set?
Ned Benson: Jess and James met separately; they were both in London early in preproduction. They had lunch together and got along really great. The first script meeting I had with them was sort of a rehearsal. James had just gotten into New York and the three of us went to get a beer together. I watched them and knew right then that this would work. They had a great rapport and you could see it would work in those scenes. It's hard to know. You never know if chemistry is going to come across on camera versus in real life. But I saw them as a couple and that was an exciting moment for me. There are a lot of other scenes that occur in the "him" film where their chemistry is apparent.
Moderator: The movie has been in festivals. The structure is interesting, and the fact that this is your feature debut, with a fantastic cast, and building Oscar buzz--how has this been for you?
Ned Benson: It's been amazing. I've been extremely lucky, as difficult as it was and as long as it took, I was really lucky to have all these cards fall into place. You have to take it with a grain of salt too. You just don't know in this business what's going to work and what's not. It plays in a festival and it plays really well, but you don't know how it plays in the real world. I don't think this subject is easy. I don't think my film is an easy film. The day and age we live in, it's tough to get a film out there and have people want to sit through a difficult drama. I feel lucky to have found distribution. I feel lucky the films are coming out. More than anything I remember my first day of shooting and looking at the call sheet and pinching myself. Is this for real? I really did luck out.
Audience Question: What sort of release plans do you have for the original three hour version? What was the process of cutting down from two films to one?
Ned Benson: This film comes out on the 19th. On October 10 "Him" and "Her" are going to play in ten markets and I believe this city is one of them. I created two separate color palettes, visual rhythms, used different production design and costume design for each of the separate perspectives. That would create the emotional space of each of these characters. In terms of the His film, it was a much cooler color, much more fluid camera rhythm to echo what he was doing, because he's a guy that is constantly moving, doesn't want to deal with what he feels inside. It was a hand-held film. For Her I used a warmer color palette. I wanted to give them each their own space. There are four overlapping scenes in those two films that are seen from completely different perspectives. The point I was trying to make with those scenes is, we are each going to remember certain parts of each other in terms of what he was wearing or what I remember him saying or vice versa, and I wanted to show that in a relationship we remember different things from a moment, because they emotionally resonate differently for each of us. Someone remembers one person saying I love you, the other person remembers the other saying I love you, etc.. I wanted to give a subjective experience on how memory works in terms of what a couple experiences together.
Moderator: Did you find yourself being more in tune with one version?
Ned Benson: I strangely felt more in tune with Her because I wrote it later. When I wrote Him I was younger and felt that was of my personality at the time. When I wrote Her I felt in tune with her because what I was writing at the time was the way I coped with things in life in different ways. Jessica really helped me develop the female side that I wouldn't necessarily understand.
Audience Question: In the shooting process, did you shoot one film and then the other or did you shoot them interspersed. Are both films the same storyline and do things turn out the same way in both films?
Ned Benson: The subtext is all the same. How they remember things is different. We shot what was a 223 page script in 40 days straight, all interspersed. The overlapping scenes were shot usually on the same day or one after the other on different days because we were shooting by location and by actor schedule. If William Hurt could only work a certain two weeks we would try to schedule him and shoot all the scenes with him, for example. There's a whole other subplot that exists in His film that deals with the failure of his business and how that relates to his own father and his father's business.
Audience Question: Do you resent that the truncated version is coming out first and is the one that most people are going to end up seeing?
Ned Benson: I don't resent it. My original intention was a two-part film because that was the concept I was interested in. But at the same time, I feel lucky that all three are coming out because there are certain people who would be interested in seeing the two-part version and other people who are not. I can't control that. I want to give people a choice to see whichever version they want. I''m not going to tell you what's the right way to see it because I don't know that there's a right way to see it because everyone's going to have a different reaction to it anyway. To answer your question truthfully, my original intention was that two-part film. As a first time filmmaker I feel lucky and grateful to be in this situation.
Moderator: Other directors don't get one shot out of the gate and you're going out with three.
Audience Question: What can you tell of about casting William Hurt?
Ned Benson: He's one of the best actors. He was a great teacher to me on this set. He had the most experience of anyone in the film. He loves rehearsal, he wanted six weeks for rehearsal. It wasn't possible and we cobbled together two weeks of rehearsal. He loves to dig in. He is so versatile. He can do the same physical thing over and over but give you a different emotional outcome with each take. His character in the movie is always quoting from other places. I wish he worked more.
Moderator: Both fathers are trying to communicate in the movie.
Ned Benson: How do you talk about it--some people want to and others don't.
Audience Question: Are there any scenes in this film that don't appear in the other two?
Ned Benson: There is some footage that doesn't appear in the other two. I used different scenes and different takes. They didn't feel as subjective as they would in the other two. You'll find that the story expands. It's all from the same 40 day shoot. I used some takes that I wasn't able to fit into the other two parts. There's new footage but also different versions of scenes. I changed dialogue, trimmed things. The experience you will see if you see the other two is more expansive. Ciarán Hinds' character, Bill Hader's, Isabelle Huppert--they all have their own arcs, they all expand into their own stories.
Audience: When did you decide to make this third version?
Ned Benson: February of this year. The shooting was done. We premiered this film a year ago today in Toronto as a two-part. Then it got sold to the film company. How do we put this thing out there? When people invest so much money into making these things, you have to figure out how to give it the broadest reach and get the biggest audience. That's why we have these three films, to see how far we can reach.
Audience Question: Is there any significance to the Lelouch poster of A Man and a Woman?
Ned Benson: It was definitely a reference that I drew upon. I was looking at culture references that would infuse themselves into the film.
Audience Question: Did you do any research on the restaurant business? Does that story expand?
Ned Benson: I have friends who have restaurants in New York. Two of them I used in the film, One was the father's restaurant and one was the bar that she goes to late with her sister. I have other friends who failed miserably with restaurants in New York. It's a brutal business; 90% of the time they go out of business. It's tough.
Moderator: Did you always intend to name her Eleanor Rigby?
Ned Benson: It was a song I was listening to when I was outlining the script. I decided to name the character but I needed a reason. Ultimately I gave her father the surname of Rigby and created a backstory where he and her mother met. My parents were baby boomers. My father got kicked out of high school for stealing a TV to watch the Beatles play on the Ed Sullivan show. He listened to the Beatles throughout my childhood and growing up so it was part of my music education. I wanted to use that as the abstract idea that we are reflections and reactions to our parents. These characters are reflections and reactions to their parents' relationships. That infuses itself into how they behave. Eleanor asks her father, "How did you and mom make it this far?" I defnitely look at my parents to figure out my own relationships.
Audience Question: What is the background of Eleanor's relationship with the professor?
Ned Benson: I started looking at the idea of psychology. Her father is a psychology professor and that brought out the idea of her being an academic studying identity and sociology. It was a choice that seemed thematically appropriate for that character.
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them opened in DC on September 26.
The Notebook: Q&A with Director János Szász
By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member
Le Grand Cahier also known as The Notebook (Hungary/Germany/Austria/France, 2013) was Hungary's Oscar nominee for best foreign language film and was on the short list, but did not make the cut for final five under consideration for the Oscar. The director János Szász answered questions at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2013 and also in November 2013 at a screening at the AFI Silver. The film is about twin boys during the last years of World War II in Hungary. For safety, their mother takes them from the city to their estranged grandmother who lives in a rural area on the Hungarian border. The film shows how they hone their survival skills and how they suffer from the strain of evil and the war around them. Although they become immoral in their acts there is also a naivety about their psychology and the ethical dilemmas surrounding them. The actress playing the hardened grandmother, Piroska Molnár was also present at the AFI Silver screening. Todd Hitchcock, AFI lead programmer, was the moderator at the AFI Screening.
Moderator: How did you get involved with this story?
János Szász: It is based on the novel The Notebook by Agota Kristof, which is part of a trilogy. The other books by her within the trilogy are The Proof and The Third Lie. Yes her books are well known in Hungary. During the War she was forced to leave Hungary and she had worked in a watch factory. I had the good fortune to work with her before she died. She was an exceptional character and could and would not lie. I wanted to make the movie for some time and finally got the funding and opportunity to make it.
Moderator: (to Piroska) You are an experienced theatre and film actress. How did you work with the twins, played by newcomers, László Gyémánt and András Gyémánt, who had very little or no acting experience? The contrast plays very well in the film.
Piroska Molnár: It was quite easy working with the young unprofessional actors. My biggest challenge was to allow them react and make them feel comfortable. I had to pull back my acting and emotions at times so they could properly react in the scenes.
Moderator: It's interesting that you had the double curse that W.C. Fields warned against: working with children or animals, and you did both in this film with excellent results. For the director can you tell us a little about your cinematographer Christian Berger, who has also filmed other films like The White Ribbon. The film has a sense of naturalism and sometimes poetic composition, how did you accomplish this?
János Szász: Christian had a wonderful sense of filming from a distance what was important. Our first conversation together in Vienna was somewhat hard, but we quickly learned to work together as a team. Like me, he can be both creative, wonderful and at times unpleasant. He also has a great memory and sense of art and lighting for the film. Natural lighting was used when possible. We used the barns and natural settings without building too many sets.
Audience Question: What are Piroska’s acting credits and what if anything else have the boys done?
Piroska Molnár: I graduated 50 years ago and have done mostly theatre in Budapest, about 204 plays of all types: dramas, comedies, and children’s plays. I also have acted in almost 50 movies, and am in a popular TV series in Hungary. I am returning home to be in a play on stage soon.
János Szász: The twin boys I found in a very poor section of town and I talked to their mother and them about the story and could see although they are not actors that the circumstances of their background would add to their portrayals in the film, which it did and which Piroska also noted. They are very shy and now are back in school and we hope good things will happen for them.
Audience Question: This is a very powerful film about what it takes for these children to survive the horrors of war. They have very few illusions left, since they have been stripped of their usual comfortable family life. Life can be terrible and you may have to sacrifice the ethical principles of civilization just to endure. Is this what we see as the future for civilization?
János Szász: I make a film to leave the audience with questions and discussion. I am happy not to provide a message in my films.
Audience Question: While making the film how did you connect with the children and the story as human beings?
Piroska Molnár: As an actress, I am very happy to portray this kind of person with problems and changes, rather than happy roles all the time. These are more challenging and rewarding, also you are very surprised and I hope pleased when you meet the real me then.
Audience Question: Why did the children send their father to his death in the film?
János Szász: Did they deliberately send their father to die? Well, he also may clear the path so they can successfully travel through the path or water. I don’t really want to explain this but leave it up to you. Of course, they are angry that he and the mother have left them at times and again it is a survival tactic.
Audience Question: Why would the mother decid to send them on to the grandmother when they lived much more comfortably in the town or city?
János Szász: It’s not all clear, but it could be safety issues because of the Nazis. They are not Jewish but the city is still not safe with bombing and the soldiers more in place.
Audience Question: The children's choices are disturbing sometimes as well as the greater traumatic issues.
János Szász: Yes, well the film is not just about the children, but also about us and our choices or what we may do.
Audience Question: What gave you the impetus to do this movie?
Piroska Molnár: It was nice he gave me this role and the success of this movie was surprising. There was a documentary about the author’s life in Hungary which I saw also.
Audience Question: Did you rehearse the script?
János Szász: We did a lot of shooting but did improvise many times. We did rehearse scenes but improvisation still happens. It’s the magic that happens when the camera is turned on.
Audience Question: What kind of distribution will the film get in the U.S.?
János Szász: It has been picked up in Europe and most of the world. We are still working with an important company now on distribution. It was first screened at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in July in the Czech Republic so this is still early screenings.
Audience Question: Piroska, how did you prepare the role for the beginning part of the film when the grandmother is somewhat hateful to the twins?
Piroska Molnár: You incorporate some humor into her horrible treatment. From your personal life you need to grab those personal experiences when you accidently step on someone while on a train or elsewhere and feel yourself as a criminal of some kind and use those memories.
Audience Question: Is the use of winter scenes in the film historically correct for the time?
János Szász: I can’t say it is totally historically correct, but we tried to be faithful and did have a shooting schedule.
Audience Question: How many countries were involved in the film?
János Szász:Several for funding and the use of actors. Germany, Austria, and France were involved but we wanted to not have a Euro pudding type of film. This is true of many European films now to get enough funding for production, so there are many co-productions now.
The Notebook opened in DC on September 26, 2014.
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
The 25th AFI Latin American Film Festival continues through October 8, showcasing films mostly from Latin America but also from Spain and Portugal.
"Silent Cinema Showcase" starts October 24 and continues in November. Titles in October include The Lodger (1927) with music accompaniment by the Not So Silent Orchestra, Vampyr (1932) with music by Gary Lucas, Nosferatu (1922) with music by the Not So Silent Orchestra and "Psychedelic Cinema: Light Show Films by Ken Brown 1967-69" with music by The Psychedelic Cinema Orchestra. More in November.
"Noir City DC: The 2014 Film Noir Festival" runs from October 18-30. Film Noir Foundation members Foster Hirsch and Alan K. Rode will introduce selected films. This year, numerous noir-ish films are shown from other countries including France, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, Germany, Spain, Norway and Britain. Titles include Pepe Le Moko, Border Incident, Brighton Rock (1947), The Third Man, It Always Rains on Sunday, Journey Into Fear, The Black Vampire, Hardly a Criminal, Death of a Cyclist, Drunken Angel, Jenny Lamour, Too Late for Tears, Rififi, The Murderers Are Among Us, Riptide, Death is a Caress, Two Men in Manhattan, Singapore, Berlin Express, Macao, and Stray Dog. A discount pass is available.
A Robert Wise Centennial begins October 8 with The Day the Earth Stood Still. Other films are Blood on the Moon, Run Silent Run Deep, Born to Kill (1947), The Setup, The Body Snatcher, The House on Telegraph Hill, and Odds Against Tomorrow. More in November.
William Castle Centennial starts October 11 and ends November 4. October titles are Matinee (1993), Spine-Tingler: The William Castle Story, 13 Ghosts, House on Haunted Hill, Homicidal, The Tingler, Hollywood Story, The Houston Story, Johnny Stool Pigeon, Undertow, The Night Walker, When Strangers Marry, Strait-Jacket, I Saw What You Did and Rosemary's Baby.
"Spooky Movie International Horror Film Festival" runs from October 9-18. Now in its ninth year, the festival shows new horror cinema from around the world. Some titles include Housebound, The Babadook, Mar Negro, Exists, Suburban Gothic, Excision and A Girl Walks Home Along at Night. See the website for the complete schedule. A festival pass is available.
"Tim Burton: Melancholy, Mirth and Magic, Part I" begins October 31 with Sleepy Hollow (1999). More in November. Part II will be in 2015.
Special events at the AFI include the concert film Björk: Biophilia Live (Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland, 2014) on October 16, 17 and 18; Dead Snow 2 (Tommy Wirkola, 2014) for Halloween on October 25 along with a "Zombie Walk," and Shaun of the Dead (Edgar Wright, 2004) on October 31 at 9:00pm.
Freer Gallery of Art
Two films in the "2014 China Onscreen Biennial" are shown at the Freer this month. On October 19 at 2:00pm is the DC premiere of Red Amnesia (Wang Xiaoshuai, 2014) with director Wang Xiaoshuai and producer Liu Xuan in person. On October 25 at 7:00pm is the North American premiere of The Continent (Han Han, 2014) preceded by a videotaped Q&A with the director.
A special event "Fear at the Freer" takes place Halloween night, October 31 at 5:00pm. At 7:00pm is a screening of the Japanese film The Ring (Hideo Nakata, 1998) which was the inspiration for the American thriller of the same name.
National Gallery of Art
While the East Building is being renovated, films are shown in the West Building and in other locations. Please check the locations for each show.
"Suso Cecchi d’Amico: Homage at 100" shows films written by Suso Cecchi d'Amico. On October 4 at 2:00pm is Angelina (Luigi Zampa, 1947) starring Anna Magnani. On October 4 at 4:30pm is Bellissima (Luchino Visconti, 1952) also with Anna Magnani. On October 11 at 4:00pm is Conversation Piece (Luchino Visconti, 1974). All three are shown at the National Portrait Gallery.
Special Events at the Gallery include "Italy's New Realism:" La mia classe (Daniele Gaglianone, 2013) shown with TIR (Alberto Fasulo, 2013) shown October 5 at 5:30pm at the Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater at American University. On October 12 at 2:00pm is a lecture "Saving the James Baldwin Film", followed by The Price of the Ticket (Karen Thorsen, 1990) at 4:00pm. Both are in the Gallery's West Building Lecture Hall. Shown at the Archives is On Approval (Clive Brook, 1944) on October 18 at 2:30pm.
"Viewing China" is a series of non-fiction films from mainland China, shown at American University's Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater or the Gallery's West Building Lecture Hall. On October 17 at 7:00pm is Nostalgia-The Ballade of Village Episode One "Moon Over Home Village: Going Home for Spring Festival (Han Junquian, 2014) followed by When My Child Is Born (Guo Jing and Ke Dingding, 2011) at AU. On October 19 at 4:30pm is Oxhide (Liu Jiayin, 2005) at AU; on October 24 at 7:00pm is Ghost Town (Zhao Dayong, 2008) at AU.
Also part of "Viewing China" but shown at a different location: On October 25 at 2:00pm is Bumming in Beijing (Wu Wenguang, 1988) followed by Piano Dream (Han Junquian, 2002) at the Gallery; on October 26 at 4:00pm is a program of short films by Sun Mingjing, followed by A Great MasterRecaptured (Lan Bing and Ye Jing, 2006) at the Gallery; on October 31 at 3:00pm is The Way of Taichi (Liang Bibo, 2010) followed by Please Vote for Me (Chen Weijun, 2007) at the Gallery.
On October 26 at 2:00pm is "Hollywood Burn," (2006), a narrative feature constructed from audiovisual fragments, and introduced by Soda_Jerk.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
On October 2 at 8:00pm is Ai Weiwei the Fake Case (Andreas Johnsen, 2013). On October 14 at 8:00pm is Nan Goldin: I Remember Your Face (Sabine Lidl, 2013).
Museum of American History
On October 8 at 6:30pm is Harvest of Empire (2012), a documentary about the events that led millions of Latino families to migrate to the U.S. Based on the book by Juan Juan González and followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with the film's co-director Eduardo López and political science professor Maria de los Angeles Torres from the University of Illinois.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On October 29 at 7:00pm is the great classic avant-garde film Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929), shown in the Kogod Courtyard.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On October 7 at 7:30pm is Diplomacy (Volker Schlöndorff, 2014), a WWII-set film about a psychological game of political cat and mouse between Swedish Consul Raoul Nordling and German General Dietrich von Choltitz. Based on historical characters and the 2011 play by Cyril Gély.
On October 14 at 7:30pm is Havana Curveball (Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider, 2014), a short feature about a student who sets up a plan to send baseballs to Cuba.
On October 23 at 7:30pm is Fifth Heaven (Dina Zvi-Riklis, 2012), a coming of age drama set in 1944 British-controlled Palestine. Based on a novel by Rachel Eytan.
"Film Captures the Great War" is a series of films about WWI subjects. On October 6 at 6:30pm is Broken Lullaby (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932), last film in the series.
Two films are shown as part of the exhibit "The Wall in Our Heads," marking the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall. On October 20 at 6:30pm is Hedwig and the Angry Inch (John Cameron Mitchell, 2001) and on October 27 at 6:30pm is A Second Quarter (Lawrence Weiner, 1975) and introduced by the exhibit curator Paul Farber.
"Art in Exile" shows films at the Goethe Institute to benefit Syria Relief. On October 13 at 6:30pm is Chebabs de Yarmouk (2011) and at 8:30pm is MiG (2011). On October 14 at 6:30pm is A Tale of Two Syrias (2011) and at 8:30pm is Border (2013). See the website for more information.
The 22nd annual edition of Film|Neu, showing new films from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, will run from October 10-16. See below.
On October 14 at 7:00pm is Belle Epine (Rebecca Zlotowski, 2010), starring Léa Seydoux.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On October 15 at 6:30pm is the great classic Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953). On October 30 at 6:30pm is Wolf Children (Mamoru Hosoda, 2012), winner of a number of animation awards.
The National Building Museum
On October 27 at 6:30pm is the feature-length documentary This Time Next Year (Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman, 2014), about residents on Long Beach Island who rebuild after Hurricane Sandy.
On October 10 at noon is Kennesaw: One Last Mountain (2013) a short documentary about a Civil War incident, followed by a discussion with the Executive Producer Adam Eisenberg and the Chief Ranger at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park Anthony Winegar.
On October 18 at 2:30pm is On Approval (Clive Brook, 1944), a British comedy with Clive Brook, Beatrice Lillie and Googie Withers.
On October 27 at 7:00pm is Codebreaker (2011) about Alan Turing. Discussion with the film's producer follows the screening.
West End Cinema
On October 14 at 7:00pm is Men of the Cloth (Vicki Vasilopoulos), a documentary about Italian master tailors. The filmmaker will take part in a Q&A after the screening.
National Museum of Natural History
On October 27 at 6:45pm is the world premiere of Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink (2014) followed by a panel discussion with some of the people featured in the film.
On October 1 at 8:00pm is Fifi Howls From Happiness (Mitra Farahani), a documentary about the artist Bahman Mohassess, the "Persian Picasso." Part of the "Avalon Docs" series.
On October 8 at 8:00pm is the "Czech Lions" film for October In the Shadow (David Ondrícek, 2012), set in 1950s Czechoslovakia and winner of 9 Czech Lion awards.
The "French Cinematheque" film this month is the documentary On the Way to School (Pascal Plisson, 2013), about children in Kenya, Argentina, Morocco and India and the distances they have to cover to get to school. October 15 at 8:00pm.
On Wednesday, October 22 at 8:00pm is Snails in the Rain (Yariv Mozer, 2013), part of the "Reel Israel" series.
Italian Cultural Institute
On October 15 at 6:30pm is Balancing Act (Ivano De Matteo, 2012).
Anacostia Community Museum
On October 12 at 2:00pm is the documentary New Muslim Cool (2009). The film's subject, Puerto Rican rapper Hamza Pérez will participate in a Q&A discussion.
On October 14 at 1:00pm is the documentary Freedom Summer (2014), about the student activists who traveled to segregated Mississippi in 1964.
Embassy of Austria
On October 1 at 7:30pm is "Ars Electronica Animation Film Festival," a program of computer animated films.
On October 25 at 8:00pm is the great classic German Expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with musical accompaniment by the Not So Silent Orchestra.
On October 1 at 7:30pm is the documentary The Mermaid of Churna Island (Nameera Ahmed, 2014) about Pakistan's first and only female Scuba diving instructor.
On October 10 at 7:30pm is the documentary Women in Space (Linda Goldstein Knowlton, 2014). Following the film will be a discussion with NASA's Dr. Michele Gates and Dr. Holly Gilbert. On October 17 at 7:30pm is the documentary Women in Hollywood (Linda Goldstein Knowlton, 2014). On October 24 at 7:30pm is Women in Comedy (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady).
On October 22 at 7:30pm is the silent version of Blackmail (Alfred Hitchcock, 1929). Ben Model will provide music accompaniment and film historian Bruce Lawton will introduce the film.
On October 15 at 1:00pm is Jaws (1975), part of the "Midday thrillers" series.
Reel Affirmations XTra
On October 14 at 7:30pm is the documentary Campaign of Hate: Russia and Gay Propaganda (Michael Lucas, 2014) with a director Q&A after the screening. On October 16 is Before You Know It (P.J. Ravel) with a director Q&A after the screening. On October 17 at 7:00pm and 9:15pm is First Period (Charlie Vaughn, 2013).
Library of Congress
Czech documentaries are shown as part of a yearly series "Docs in Salute. On October 1 at 1:00pm is Father of the Refugees (Petr Bok) and on October 29 at 1:00pm is a program "Glimpses of Kafka's Fiction and Memoirs for the Stage" which includes a short film on Kafka.
Busboys and Poets
On October 14 at 7:00pm is Life the Griot, a documentary followed by discussion. On October 26 at 5:00pm is Women in Space. Both are at the 14th and V location.
Capital Hill United Methodist Church
On October 27 at 7:30pm is Phantom of the Opera (1925) with organ accompaniment by Tom Trenney.
Mexican Cultural Institute
Films are shown to accompany the exhibit "Gabriel Figueroa: Cinematographer--Great Moments in Mexico's Golden Age of Cinema." On October 15 at 6:45pm is The Pearl (Emilio Fernandez, 1945) and on October 30 at 6:45pm is The Young and the Damned (Luis Buńuel, 1950). See the website for reservation information.
On October 10 at 7:00pm is Les Liaisons Dangereuses followed by a discussion. See the website for location and tickets.
George Mason University
On October 29 at 7:30pm is Out in the Night, a documentary by Blair Dorosh-Walther that examines the 2006 case of The New Jersey 4 and how they became criminalized. Part of the "Visiting Filmmakers" series. Open to the public.