November 2015

Posted November 1, 2015. Updated November 2, 4 and 9.


  • Coming Attractions Trailer Night Winter 2015
  • The Arabian Sights Film Festival Award Winners
  • The Cinema Lounge
  • Adam's Rib: Back to What Kind of Future, Exactly?
  • Brooklyn: Q&A with Director John Crowley and Others
  • Trumbo: Q&A with Actors Bryon Cranston, Helen Mirren and John Goodman
  • James White: Q&A with Actor Christopher Abbott
  • Beasts of No Nation: Q&A with Director Cary Fukunaga and Actors Idris Elba and Abraham Attah
  • The 40th Toronto International Film Festival
  • We Need to Hear From You
  • Calendar of Events

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    Coming Attractions: Trailer Night Winter 2015

    The end of the year film landscape is ramping up with anticipated releases and a variety of awards contenders too numerous to count. Get an early look at these films by heading over to the Washington, DC Film Society’s twice-annual program,“COMING ATTRACTIONS TRAILER NIGHT” WINTER 2015. We’ll highlight a wide range of upcoming features being released over the next few months.

    Some of the 30 trailers we’ll be showing may include the return of Tarantino with The Hateful Eight, the next in the Star Wars saga, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the football film Concussion with Will Smith, Michael Fassbender in Macbeth, David O. Russell reuniting with Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, and Jennifer Lawrence in Joy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea, a new Point Break, The Good Dinosaur, The Danish Girl, Daniel Radcliffe in Victor Frankenstein, Sisters starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the latest in the Rocky line, Creed, and much more.

    DC Film Critic extraordinaire Tim Gordon will bring the movie buzz and lead discussion on the trailers. You, the audience, get to vote on the movies you want to see (or escape from); we’ll pass this information on to the studios.

    Tickets are only $3 for DC Film Society Basic Members, FREE to Gold Members and $5.00 for the general public. We’ll also have movie promotional items, movie posters, and raffle prizes, including DVDs and movie tickets.

    Check back for an update on the trailers to be shown.

    Arabian Sights Film Festival Award Winners

    The 2015 Arabian Sights Jury Award Winner is I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced. The jurists issued the following statement: "The jury felt that each of the four nominated films possessed unique qualities. In our deliberations we were in full agreement that one film used every aspect of cinematography to tell its story with remarkable impact. The jury, in recognition of an exceptional film narrative, gives the Arabian Sights Jury Award to I am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced directed by Khadija Al Salami."

    The 2015 Arabian Sights Film Festival Audience Award Winner is also I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced. Thanks to everyone who voted.

    The Cinema Lounge

    The Cinema Lounge, the DC Film Society's monthly film discussion group, will go on a hiatus while we look for a new home. After many years at the DC Barnes & Noble, that store is unfortunately closing at the end of the year. We will return in January 2016.

    Adam's Rib: Back to What Kind of Future, Exactly?

    By Adam Spector, DC Film Society Member

    As you may have heard if you watched TV or went online at all in the past few weeks, October 21, 2015 was “Back to the Future Day,” the day Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and “Doc” Brown (Christopher Lloyd) visited in Back to the Future II. In other news, the DC Barnes & Noble, longtime home of the Cinema Lounge, will be closing at the end of the year. How are those two stories related? I explain
    in my new Adam's Rib column.

    Brooklyn: Press Conference with Director John Crowley, Screenwriter Nick Hornby, Novelist Colm Toibin, Producer Finola Dwyer and Actress Saoirse Ronan

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    A press conference for Brooklyn was held October 13, 2015 in London as part of the 2015 BFI London Film Festival. Brooklyn (United Kingdom/Ireland/Canada) is based on the novel by Colm Toibin about a young Irish girl who decides to go America after WWII to find a job. The film follows her trip, homesickness, employment, friends and eventual boyfriend and then dealing with troubles back in Ireland. Saoirse Ronan plays Eilis Lacey who ends up working in Brooklyn in a department store, lives in a house run by Julie Walters, and is befriended by local priest played by Jim Broadbent. There have been rumors of Oscar nominations for Ronan and possibly Walters. The cinematography and 1950s clothing and scenery are remarkably well done.

    Screenwriter Nick Hornby, Actress Saiorse Ronan, Director John Crowley at the London Film Festival

    Moderator Angie Enigo: Colm, what was your biggest anxiety about transferring the book into a film?
    Colm Toibin: In the book the world that Eilis navigates is so full of people helping her in some way, especially in America and the flavors of that I must admit I think the movie captured maybe better than the book. It may have taken five pages in the book to describe a scene and Eilis reaction, but on screen just Saorise’s look and turn of the head captured all of it amazingly.

    Moderator: Saorise, you are the right age of going from adolescence to young womanhood and have traveled. You also have the personal background of living both in Ireland and New York, but was there some other personal connection that drew you to do the film?
    Saorise Ronan: I’ve had that feeling of belonging in two different places but you can’t really return to some idea of home again. You are also not quite settled in this new place either. From the time I met John, I had that feeling. I read the book which completely speaks to you. I also found it quite unusual sometimes to not quite turn off your emotions at the end of the day.

    Moderator: John, you have a long theatre career and working with actors is like meat and drink to you, but this was a huge undertaking. You shot in three countries with a large cast. What was the biggest challenge for you?
    John Crowley: Saorise can address that also. There were different characteristics shooting in all three areas, Ireland, Montreal and New York. We shot out of order, so that was sometimes challenging and yet be consistant.

    Moderator: Nick, you’re not a young Irish girl, but you’ve been so successful writing women’s roles lately, what element in this story did you most want to focus on?
    Nick Hornby: This was an extremely well written and classic work that doesn’t come about every day. There are also wonderful main and supporting characters that you don’t always get. Many characters are concerned about Eilis.

    Press Question: For Saoirse, the film captures that buttoned up old-fashioned romance from the 1950’s. Would you like to see some of that kind of romance return to our lives or do you think in our busy lives today, is social media ok or more appropriate or other methods?
    Saoirse Ronan: I think that is a very personal choice on how people now find each other. It is scary sometimes that technology has taken over our lives so much, but it’s not really emotional. It’s more looking at the screen and the person in front of you. The movie has certain steps, dating, marriage, sex, children, etc. even though you’ve got those bubbling feelings. I think that can be exciting.

    Press Question: When I read the book I felt more drawn to Brooklyn than to Ireland but in the movie I felt more torn and there was more of a balance where she could have chosen either place. Was that intentional or not to make the Irish part more attractive?
    John Crowley: Yes we tried to make it more balanced and a real decision for Eilis but really once the cat was out of the bag about her marriage in Brooklyn she had no choice.
    Nick Hornby: We wanted to show the time and investment in Brooklyn she and Tony gave to dating and romance. So we wanted the audience to feel her dilemma. The movie provides more story on her return to Ireland. In the book when Jim is presented it still leaves you with the feeling there is no way she will stay in Ireland and give up Tony. So unlike the book, the screenplay had to find a way to present Jim as a possible proper suitor.

    Press Question: Saoirse, what was your opinion of the fashion of this time? Do you want to keep dresses from the film or like that?
    John Crowley: We needed to recreate that period. I stressed to our costume designer that I needed wearable clothes, not costumes. So we needed a little bit of pop culture in some of the American girls. There was a sense of glamour then but realistic.
    Saoirse Ronan: There is a confidence she has also in wearing the clothes which I noticed from wearing the clothes. Everything even with undergarments is so delicate. We really notice when she returns to Ireland how much she shines and the pop colors of her dresses capture her new popularity. Even the sun glasses are a statement. I remember myself when younger thinking they were too flashy, well you don’t need sun glasses in Ireland often anyway for protection (laughter). But she needed confidence to show in her clothing, so rather than just green we played with the color palette and you see her also wearing bright reds and yellows. Also in the 1950s girls were encouraged to have curves, boobs, and a bum, unlike now. It was considered quite healthy then to have properly fitted bras and skirts. I wanted that yellow coat but no.

    Press Question: Saoirse do you live in Ireland now?
    Saoirse Ronan: I do live there part time but was living in London when I was contacted about the film. I lived in New York when I was young also. Ireland will always be my base, but I may live in a different city. I am actually also moving to New York soon also. I left Ireland when I was 3 years old and lived in New York and it and Ireland complement each other so much. New York is a place I want to be when young but Ireland is my true home and where I will often go.

    Press Question: Your male co-stars aren’t here today, but could you talk about working with them?
    Saoirse Ronan: It’s odd having two main male characters or hunks, but they represent two different worlds. They are both wonderful young men and offer her different lives or worlds and working with Emory and Domhnall was great. She responds to both of them. I’ve known Domhnall for years and we were supposed to have worked in about three films and never did. He’s very funny on set and can get you to giggle. Emory works in a different way with lots of preparation.

    Press Question: My question is for Nick and the fears or anxieties you have working on a well-known novel and if you contacted the author?
    Nick Hornby: Yes I was anxious, since this is a loved novel. But Colm was so hands off on this and he trusted the film to get on with it. We met once and he gave me some good suggestions such as not saying “rashers and bacon”, just say rashers. Also saying ma my not maymy.
    Moderator: Yes it is very rare to have the novelist and the screenwriter on a panel.
    Colm Toibin: Yes, it was those two items really that I advised on.

    Press Question: What was it like having Julie Waters as the landlady? Was there lots of laughing on the set?
    Saoirse Ronan: She was amazing and surprisingly a very humble person. She would scrunch up her face if laughed to get ready for the next take. She would help us with our lines. She had a wonderful team like energy. We did all those eight dinner scenes in about 2 days.

    Press Question: Did the locals in Ireland have a proprietary air?
    John Crowley: No the original shop is still there in Enniscorthy. There isn’t a strong film culture in that area of Ireland so it gave them pride about the town. If you are up around 6 am you only see those who were out late. It’s a work ethic town. Another film was shot in the town in the 1970s but we did have some crowds and lots of need for extras for the town folk. There will be a screening in the town but only so much space in the theatre so I am still getting letters asking if their cousin or other can still get into the screening.

    Press Question: Saoirse, after reading the book and the script and seeing the movie, what would you have done personally at the end?
    Saoirse Ronan: What would I do? It’s tough, I could justify her staying in Ireland with her mother. It will always be simple in a way and have some security. It’s hard to say but I think I would go to New York, because she has the experience of now traveling and finding herself elsewhere which would be hard to give up.
    John Crowley: We can say living now she would have a choice, but in 1950’s Ireland once Nettles Kelley knows she has been married in Brooklyn, she has no real choice.

    Press Question: You did a remarkable change from greasy skinned Eilis in Ireland to confident, coiffed and made up Eilis in New York. How did you do that?
    Saoirse Ronan: I think the clothes again were important. Also wearing high heels made you confident to practice and carry that off.
    John Crowley: Also the make-up and where the scene was done had to show difference in her attitude and look from earlier in Ireland. We didn’t want the film to be sentimental, but a confident emotional film of her long journey.
    Colm Toibin: I love the scene with Nettles Kelley when Eilis just turns her head in indifference which is wonderful and not in the book.

    Brooklyn will open around November 20, 2015 in the DC area.

    Trumbo: Press conference at London Film Festival

    By James McCaskill, DC Film Society Member

    A press conference on Trumbo was held at the London Film Festival. Taking part were the moderator Dave Calhoun and actors Bryon Cranston, Helen Mirren, John Goodman, and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje.

    Left to right: Actors Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren and John Goodman at the London Film Festival Press Conference.

    Dalton Trumbo was a Communist; he had been since 1943. He was also one of the best screenwriters in Hollywood, having written all or some of sixty-nine films. He was also a passionate believer that the First Amendment to the Constitution gave him certain rights. This was a dangerous mix that resulted in Trumbo being sentenced to eleven months in prison even though he had committed no crime. What he had done was to stand up to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Trumbo, along with other Hollywood insiders became famously known as the Hollywood Ten. Upon release from prison no one would hire them, they were blacklisted.

    The moderator asked Cranston what was the message of the film. "The message resonates internationally about rhe results when a government overreaches; that's a cause for alarm. A man went to prison for a year for committing no crime." John Goodman added, "It is a cautionary tale. It happens now. Actors who receive bad headlines, such as OJ Simpson, can't work." Helen Mirren, who plays gossip columnist Hedda Hopper who gave names to the Committee and named probable Communists in her column said, "It is a story about the fearful power of the press. Instead of challenging it acquiesces."

    When asked about the lingering fears generated by McCarthyism Goodman said, "There were a lot of troubled actors when I started, a great deal of resentment. Great fear. A lot of people were affected."

    The moderator asked about the effect in Britain. Helen Mirren said, "Britain benefitted. Directors came to the UK. Art film directors worked in Britain."

    Cranston was asked about possible future plans. "A cameo in Better Call Saul? I would do it. A quote he liked in the film was the one his character said about John Wayne, who had given names to the Committee. 'We both have the right to be wrong.'"

    Akinnuoye-Agbaje said on the effect of the Hollywood Ten on film today, "History impacts and themes resonate. It is the nature of writers, wordsmiths use words their audience might not like."

    Cranston responded to a press question, "I try to make the best film possible. This is an important film told with humor. I would not do a film that perpetuated ideas I don't like. I may play a character who believes things I don't." Goodman added, "I would not do it."

    Mirren was asked about the many exuberant hats her character wore: "I love hats. I loved all of them. My costumes were brilliant What fun to wear hats." On Hedda Hopper, Mirren said, "She would have scared the shit out of me. A bit nerve wracking to play."

    On what they thought broke the power of the Hollywood Blacklist. Cranston said, "Kirk [Douglas] taking the risk to insist that Dalton be named as screenwriter for Spartacus and Otto Preminger stubbornly insisting that Trumbo be credited for Exodus. "Hollywood has always been political, circumstantial if nothing else'" said Cranston.

    One small actor who the audience loved was the tiny parakeet. "The bird," said Cranston. "I loved the little bird. His name was Sloppy Joe, He loved to preen my mustache. He would rub against me. They arranged his preening to make it look like he is kissing me."

    Another press question about the use of humor in the film. "Not filmed as a comedy. We did a read through," answered Cranston, "The approach was not comedic. Jay (Roach, the director) can see the humor in human behavior. Jay filmed Game Change and the TV movie, Recount.

    A member of the press asked about censorship in Hollywood. Cranston said, "Some self-imposed. There is no blacklist as such in Hollywood but if you have skeletons coming out of your closet people don't want to work with you. OJ Simpson was slated to make a film, people started dropping out. The film was not made. Hope there is no political list in Hollywood. After 35 years in show business there are only four people I would not want to work with again." Akinnuoye-Agbaje said on this point, "You have a lot more to sacrifice. You never know what you would do."

    Trumbo will open soon in the DC area.

    James White: Q&A with Actor Christopher Abbott

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    James White screened at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015 and the main actor Christopher Abbott was in attendance for a brief Q&A. This is the story of a late 20s deadbeat son in New York City who parties hard but doesn’t have a steady job. His mother, played by Cynthia Nixon, is dealing with cancer. The son and mother depend on each other’s support in healthy and unhealthy ways. The director Josh Mond says that the film is not directly autobiographical but allowed him to have a catharsis. The camerawork is very close to the actors and the director explained that he felt at times the closeness of New York City and the need to breathe. Christopher Abbott was chosen to play James and had been a friend of the director. Cynthia Nixon had read the script and contacted Mond to do the part.

    TIFF Moderator: This was such an intense role to play, how did you prepare for it?
    Christopher Abbott: I was lucky to have Josh Mond, the director, a few years before the film. So by reading various drafts for a year I could develop the character. The shooting schedule was tight. It was intense but you just did it and thought about it after shooting.
    Audience Question: How did you rehearse the final scenes in the bathroom with your Mom?
    Christopher Abbott: We didn’t have much rehearsal time but it was a fairly technical shot. It was tight spaces and we did it a few times.

    Audience Question: Can you discuss the claustrophobia camerawork in New York City vs the open work in Mexico?
    Christopher Abbott: All the scenes were planned ahead of time and the camerawork in New York to cause that effect. Matyas Ederly, our DP, wanted the camera to feel like another character in the room. So the camerawork is extremely close up at times. The camera could be a friend to James even when he was at his lowest. So the camera is supportive at times and moves back when James gets crazy. The opening shot from the nightclub was all one take and was like a little dance for me. The camera told which way to move in a type of dance to the street.

    Audience Question: Was there much improvisation, since it seems so natural, especially the scenes in Mexico; and how did the script change in versions?
    Christopher Abbott: There wasn’t much improvisation. Some in Mexico in the car scenes. The more intense screens were very scripted and rehearsed. Only about 10% improvisation I would say. Earlier drafts of the script had more surreal elements in it. The father as an apparition showed up to James in earlier versions. Those surreal elements were stripped away.

    Audience Question: You do drunk very well, how much do you take from experience or was it really acting?
    Christopher Abbott: I swear all of it was acting. I wouldn’t cross the line during acting. I was not really drunk in this movie.

    Audience Question: You are one of the rare actors that does stage work also, is that different?
    Christopher Abbott: I recently did a New York play. It’s a different preparation. There may be a grey overlap but then you sometimes feel you haven’t rehearsed enough or maybe you’ve rehearsed it too much. They are different animals and different approaches but all acting.

    Audience Question: Where can they see you next on stage?
    Christopher Abbott: I don’t know yet.

    Audience Question: I am impressed with sound in the film with New York City around you and the digetic sound in the film, can you talk about that a little?
    Christopher Abbott: Coll Anderson, our sound engineer is so good and worked on Martha Marcy May Marlene too, so he is tune with the digetic sound. He knows when to use background and score, whether it was scenes in New York or Mexico.

    Audience Question: What was the shooting schedule?
    Christopher Abbott: We had 18-19 shooting days in New York City and about 4-5 days in Mexico.

    Audience Question: Can you give your interpretation of how the film ends?
    Christopher Abbott: That’s difficult to say. We didn’t want it all tied up neatly at the end. We could have had him flying off to Paris with a notebook to become a successful writer. But we know real life is not that romantic. I like the open ending of what we all face every day, what will the day and future hold for us, wushing around in our head.

    Audience Question: Were there any personal inspirations in performing the character? Any anecdotes from working on the film?
    Christopher Abbott: Strangely, living in New York for at least 10 years I know these characters. The clothing is important to me, even the shoes and the way he wears his hood. I try to capture the characters from the inside out. I steal from characters I see on the street or sometimes other actors. I played the character but he’s not me. Certain characteristics we may share but are not as magnified as his are.

    Audience Question: What about the backstreet in the film with your friend Scott, was anything invented for that plot?
    Christopher Abbott: He’s one of those friends you don’t see often but after 10 minutes you are back on the same square. I have a number of friends like that I don’t see often but after talking a little it’s familiar and comfortable again.

    James White is expected to open in mid-November 2015 in the DC area.

    Beasts of No Nation: Q&A with Director Cary Fukunaga and Actors Idris Elba and Abraham Attah

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    Beasts of No Nation (United States, 2015) was screened in September, 2015 at the 40th Toronto International Film Festival and a brief Q&A with the director and actors followed my screening. This is the first movie produced by Netflix and deals with children taken or recruited in war-torn Chad to be guerrilla soldiers. Idris Elba plays the sometimes charming, sometimes lethal Commandant and newcomer actor Abraham Attah plays the young boy Agu, lost in the jungle after his village is attacked by the junta and captured by the Commandant. Attah won the best actor prize in the Venice Film Festival this year as the young boy surviving the horrors of the African civil war. The film received a standing ovation.

    Director Cary Fukunaga and Actor Idris Elba at the Toronto Film Festival

    TIFF Moderator: I believe you have wanted to do this project since about 2005. What is like to see if finally realized on the big screen?
    Cary Fukunaga: Ten years sounds like a long time and yet it isn’t. I remember like it was yesterday reading the novel by Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala and getting the rights to option it for a film. A lot has happened since then, making other films like True Detective and Jane Eyre. We were getting ready to shoot and still didn’t have the kid to play Agu.

    TIFF Moderator: How was it like working for Cary?
    Idris Elba: I had a clear vision and Cary was helpful and this one Abraham has become a great actor.
    Abraham Attah: It was great. I didn’t know anything about acting. Cary told me to be natural and helped guide me through the lines and acting.
    Cary Fukunaga: The actors really needed very little time for training including Abraham.

    Audience Question: I have read the book but am interested in how you adapted the novel and differences in the novel vs the screenplay.
    Cary Fukunaga: What is amazing about the book is the voice of Agu. In the novel it starts out with his capture, and you don’t learn about his home life until the middle of the book. The book ends and you don’t really know the background or reason for the commandos and in the book (SPOILER) the Commandant is killed by Rambo. Originally in 2006, I had Agu killing the Commandant. I wanted him to take over his life. I later chose not to have that happen since it was too neat a conclusion. I also found that the fact that many people still like the Commandant, was scarier so I didn’t want to in the end really close out his story.

    Audience Question: Was there any additional research done about child soldiers for the picture?
    Cary Fukunaga: Yes I spent about six years doing research about child soldiers in Sierra Leone, Liberia, etc. but never really found the right work until I read this novel. So I applied my research to his book. The author never specifically says it was the wars in the 1960s and 1970s but I assume that’s when they were. We were going to set it in Nigeria, but the more recent wars were in Sierra Leone, but we decided to keep it unnamed but kept details we had of child soldiers lives and stories. We created our own flag, political slogans and fictitious country based on an amalgamation of those wars in Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, etc. The stories about drug use after the wars and trying to survive are all from real child soldiers.

    Audience Question: How long was the filming production?
    Cary Fukunaga: It took 35 days of shooting. We would have liked more. I actually got sick with malaria which luckily gave us another week to prep the film. I also did rewrites and we were auditioning about 40 kids and finally chose Abraham to play the role.

    Audience Question: How did Mr. Elba get involved in the project?
    Idris Elba: Cary contacted me about the role and I read the book and script and did not want to do the role at first. I said there must be something more human. Something gave birth to this man becoming this way. It is probably the roughest, rawest role I have played. I was somewhat afraid I may lose favor with the audiences that like my roles.
    Cary Fukunaga: I felt Idris had this larger than life presence but could bring a fatherly approach to the role of this man who was charismatic and had children follow him even to kill others.

    Audience Question: How old is Abraham and what does he think about the movie?
    Abraham Attah: I am now 15 years old and when I see the film I think of the last scene when I am crying.

    Audience Question: What about your choice of using drug use in the battle scenes?
    Cary Fukunaga: The book describes use of gun juice; I used the term brown brown, like a cocaine or heroin term and the hallucinogenic effects on the children and soldiers which led to the scenes with the coloration of blood and plants being very red. I also thought earlier we would shoot in infrared. But we shot otherwise and tried to simulate infrared. We contracted that out to some company that did a good job.

    Audience Question: Was there concern having children on set and acting with the violence and how it may affect them?
    Cary Fukunaga: They are all damaged now (laughter). No seriously we were cognizant of the use of violence and blood on set but much of that is digital and not real. For instance when Striker helps Agu with the machete, Striker is really a tough street kid named King Kong and he and another kid named Justice used to play act these kind of scenes on the street so had no problems using a rubber (not real) machete on the guy. Our stunt coordinators also explained the scenes and how it would look and how they wouldn’t really be hurt. I don’t think the kids were traumatized but rather had a good time like being at a summer camp, eating well and being in the pool. The street kids now have all been sponsored by us to be in boarding schools.
    Abraham Attah: I wasn’t scared doing those scenes, because we read the script and practiced the scenes. We knew it was not real but play acting.

    Audience Question: I noticed some similarities with your earlier film Sin Nombre.
    Cary Fukunaga: I hope you get a chance to see that film. I don’t make documentaries but emotional ones. I should have made local films as my aunt in the U.N. once said, but I wanted to make a film about Sierra Leone or child soldiers several years ago and now have. I like global films, we have similar problems and issues everywhere. I like to tell the personal story behind the headlines.

    Audience Question: How much do you think the U.N. has become involved in this issue or how it was portrayed in the film?
    Cary Fukunaga: I have to be careful answering questions like this. I must say that organizations such as the U.N. and others who try to help in areas like Africa are sometimes more detrimental than they realize. There are books about celebrities and those with money donating to charities and organizations, but I think it would be better to clean up the problems that lead to these issues first. I don’t want to get too political, but the speech that Idris gives at the end is very telling about going back home and sitting around for weeks or longer until someone gives you a job. Sometimes it is not just about the ideologies of ISIS or other groups, but maybe because it is a job that they don’t have. They become an industry in a way. So it is better to treat the root of the problem first.

    Beasts of No Nation was shown at Landmark's E Street Cinema.

    The 40th Toronto International Film Festival

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    The 40th Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) was held from September 10-20, 2015 showcasing about 399 films (including 110 shorts, and 289 features, documentaries, and retrospectives) and 132 world premieres from approximately 71 countries, chosen from over 6,118 submitted films. It was attended by over 473,000 people, 5,400 industry personnel, and 1,200 journalists. It was the 40th Anniversary of the festival with the theme: Defining Moments since 1976. Starting out as a collection of films from other festivals — a "festival of festivals" — the Toronto International Film Festival has now become one of the most beloved cinematic events in the world, universally regarded as an ideal platform for filmmakers to launch their careers and to premiere their new work and one of the major film festivals where public screenings are held. A few films from major studios or highly anticipated indie films this year did not see the need to spend advertising at festivals or skipped TIFF this year were films like Carol, Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Joy, The Hateful Eight and Revenant. TIFF has a large economic impact on Canada, Ontario and Toronto since it brings in over $170 million Canadian dollars annually and currently employs more than 100 full time staff, 500 part time and seasonal staff and over 2,000 volunteers. The festival has become progressively more expensive per ticket depending on the venue and category, but is still one of the largest festivals offering public screenings.

    TIFF has sections or categories of films and also has some art installations. Sections this year were: Gala Presentations, Masters, Special Presentations, TIFF for free (some free films publicly screened outdoors and a free additional screening of the Audience Award winner on the last Sunday), Discovery (first and second time filmmakers), TIFF DOCS (documentaries), Vanguard, City to City (this year’s selection was several films about London, England), Mavericks (engaging, on-stage discussions with cutting edge and established filmmakers), Contemporary World Cinema, Canadian Programming, TIFF KIDS, Visions (filmmakers who challenge our notions of mainstream cinema), Wavelengths (avant garde cinema), and their famous Midnight Madness section (primarily horror and black comedy films screening at Midnight with usually an appreciative and rowdy crowd). The Wavelengths category described as: daring, visionary, and autonomous voices. Two new programs this year were Platform and Primetime. Platform named for Jia Zhang-ke’s film is a juried section spotlighting the next generation of film masters and a chance to discover new visionary cinema. Primetime included serial television storytelling that shows how recent tv films are blurring the line between big screen and small screen viewing experiences.

    TIFF has become a major market and sales stop for films to North America. There is a small market at the Venice Festival but it is really Toronto where they are primarily sold. Over 5,400 industry delegates from over 80 countries came to Toronto this year. 2015 was not a stellar sales year at TIFF since many of the films came with distributors already attached. Some of the deals made included Paramount Pictures picking up Anomalisa, Bleeker Street picking up Eye in the Sky, and two other projects Into the Forest and Hardcore were other films sold.

    Legal issues prevented two films from being screened that were planned to be shown at TIFF this year. Aretha Franklin threatened legal action on the biopic Amazing Grace by director Sydney Pollack in 1972 that had not been completed. The film records Aretha Franklin gospel performances at the Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles which later became her best-selling album Amazing Grace. The other film pulled from screening was the United States/United Kingdom co-production London Fields, which is a crime thriller starring Jaimie Alexander and Amber Heard. The director Matthew Cullen objected to the movie cut being shown without his permission or final say.

    I thought the selections this year were all good to very good since I have attended the festival including top notch Hollywood or American indie films. I only saw a few films that could be described as mediocre of about 55 films seen. Although a few film goers reported some films they thought dreadful, I did not see any I would consider really bad, but will discuss some that are divisive it seems between public and critics/industry or press audiences. One film however many found confounding and too abstract was the Canadian film Endorphines. Another film that I found disappointing was Ma ma by Spanish director Julio Medem who has had wonderful films in the past like Sex and Lucia and Lovers of the Arctic Circle. Ma ma stars Penelope Cruz and Luis Tosar in an over the top melodrama involving a pregnant woman with cancer. It’s amazing how Cruz’s character never shows physical evidence of her disease.

    There were also some divisive films that either the public liked and critics didn’t such as my guilty pleasures: Men and Chicken from Denmark‘s director/writer Anders Thomas Jensen. It is an odd film about strange family eugenics on a remote island and a black comedy with animals everywhere (reminiscent also of this year’s Lobster). The Dressmaker, a quirky, Australian funny hoot of a film starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis and Hugo Weaving which many critics panned. On the other hand, critics seemed to like films like Victoria with the one long panned shots and over the top actions of films like 11 Minutes that I found the shaky camerawork or Run Lola Run or Birdman paced action sometimes hokey or nauseating although the plots were interesting.

    MUST SEE FILMS: (I did not include some excellent films at TIFF2015 already seen closely before or after TIFF in DC previews and a few have already opened now in DC such as Black Mass. Some additional films not discussed here that reliable sources on the street or in reviews also said were very good or excellent are: Assassins, Heart of a Dog, Brooklyn, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi and The Wave).

    Dheepan (Jacques Audiard, France, 2015). Palme d”Or or Golden Palm winner at the Cannes film festival in 2015. The story begins in Sri Lanka where after battles, a Tamil soldier, a young woman and a girl in a refugee camp create a fake family to secure escape to France from aid workers. Once in France, not all is wonderful either with violence to refugees and a daily struggle to survive. The film will open in December in the U.S.

    French Blood (Un Francais) (Diateme, France, 2015). Marco is a skin-head from the France’s Front National white power group. He is violent like his mates and the film spans 20 years of his life and how his views on life radically change in that time. Actor Alban Lenoir vividly captures the violent behavior of extremists, but also the torment of a lost soul.

    Girls Lost (Pojkarn) (Alexandra-Therese Keining; Sweden, 2015). Based on an award winning young adult novel in Sweden, this film captures teen sexual awakening, gender confusion, and sci-fi plots of three adolescent outsider girls who transform themselves overnight into boys with help from a plant. A rare plot that seems untold before.

    Land of Mine (Under Sandet/Unter dem Sand) (Martin Zandvliet; Denmark/Germany, 2015). After World War II ends, German soldiers are commandeered to defuse and remove landmines the Germans put along the Danish coastline. A Danish Army sergeant is given a group of very young German soldiers to clear part of the coastline. Danish hate for German occupancy and the dangerous job given the soldiers creates a very tense plot. At my screening, the movie was briefly stopped when an audience member fainted from the film’s portrayal of the harm bombs can cause. Surprisingly Denmark chose a film called War over this film for its foreign language nominee for 2016.

    The Martian (Ridley Scott; United States, 2015). This film has already played in DC theaters with Matt Damon as the stranded astronaut on Mars and his determined survival instincts. Matt Damon may get a nomination for best actor.

    The Man Who Knew Infinity (Matthew Brown, United Kingdom, 2015). A beautifully told biopic story starring Jeremy Irons as G. H. Hardy, a renowned Cambridge University math professor and Dev Patel as Srinivasa Ramanujan, an Indian genius and mathematician who had very little formal education at the turn of the 20th century. Many cannot see his brilliance, only the color of his skin.

    Mountain (Yaelle Kayam; Israel/Denmark, 2015). An Orthodox family lives near the Old Jerusalem City Mount of Olives cemetery. We slowly discover the secret life of the mother Tzvia after her husband and four children leave for the day. She is fascinated by the outside world and its strangeness but must make a decision on which world she will choose to remain in. One of the most surprising films I saw in the festival.

    Patch of Fog (Michael Lennox, United Kingdom, 2015). A thriller and black comedy based in Belfast between a security guard and Sandy Duffy, a well-known author/professor and tv personality. Each man has many secrets. The director did the wonderful nominated short last year: Boogaloo and Graham.

    Rams (Grimur Hakonarson Iceland, 2015). The film has been chosen as Iceland’s foreign language nominee and was the winner of the Un Certain Regard prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Two older brothers rarely speak to each other but live on adjacent rural sheep farms. A wonderful dark comedy and morality tale of sibling rivalry.

    Room (Lenny Abrahamson; Ireland/Canada; 2015). Winner of the audience award at TIFF, it is hard to believe this is the same director that did last year’s Frank. Based on best-selling Irish Canadian novelist Emma Donaghue, Room is a story of a kidnapping, rape and later a child raised in a small shed for several years. Brie Larson as the mother and Jacob Tremblay as the five year old Jack have been lauded with much praise for their acting.

    Son of Saul (Xavier Dolan; Hungary, 2015). Hungary’s foreign film nominee for 2016. Grand Prix winner at this year’s Cannes festival. A new story about the Holocaust based on a member of the concentration camp’s Sonderdommando unit who finds a young boy who may be his son among the heaps of bodies. Outstanding cinematography and acting. I found it difficult to believe this film did not win the top prize or Golden Palm at Cannes.

    Sparrows (Runar Runarrson; Iceland/Denmark; 2015). A second excellent film from the small country of Iceland. A teenage boy must leave his comfortable life and home in Reykjavik to live with his estranged drinking father in the remote rural landscape of Iceland. How he adjusts to the new land and his family are well drawn. The film won best film or Golden Seashell at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival.

    Sunset Song (Terence Davies; United Kingdom/Luxembourg, 2015). Based on the famous 1932 Scottish novel of the same name by Lewis Grassic Gibbons about a young farm girl and her choices at the time. Peter Mullan plays the stern father and Ayness Deyn the daughter Chris who finds that an independent woman can have some choices. Reminiscent of Far from the Madding Crowd but with beautiful cinematography of Scotland; it marks another treasure in Davies’ memory realism ouevre of films.

    A Young Patriot (Shao Nian, Xiao Zhao) (Du Haibin, China/United States/France, 2015). A sobering documentary based on young 19 year old Zhao, proudly waving the Chinese flag and marching in the streets. He travels to the rural Shanxi province to indoctrinate the rural folk about Mao and also to promote education. He finds corruption at various levels of civil and higher government and questions what the future will be for China.


    45 Years (Andrew Haigh; United Kingdom, 2015). Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtney star as a couple about to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary in a remote Norfolk village. Party preparations, old photos and old memories bubble to the top in this restrained but emotional film about memories and loyalty and sudden questioning, what if I had done something different all those years ago.

    Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson, United States, 2015). A stop motion animation film is somewhat of a romance of two strangers who meet. Motivational speaker Michael Stone (David Thewliss) meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in Cincinnati on a speaking tour. Lisa is clearly different than others he has met or his family at home.

    Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga; France, 2015). A film funded by Netflix. A boy Agu (Abraham Attah) is captured in his African village and made into a child soldier to work under his commandant (Idris Elba). His life as a child soldier is very sobering and Attah was named best actor in Venice this year at its festival.

    The Club (Pablo Larrain; Chile, 2015). Chile’s foreign language nominee for 2016 also played recently at the AFI Latin American Film Festival. A household of priests in a seaside town is visited by another priest and many secrets are unfolded.

    Far Away (Desda Alla) (Lorenzo Vigas; Venezuela, 2015). Winner of best film this year in Venice is an odd dark film about classes in society still. Armando (Alfredo Castro) upper class dentures maker, like to single out young adolescent boys and pay them to undress, but does not touch them. He develops a strange intimacy after violence with a boy Elder that goes farther than he could imagine.

    Ixcanul (Jayro Bustamanta;Guatemala/France, 2015). Guatemala’s foreign language nominee for 2016 also screened at this year’s AFI’s Latin America Film Festival and won the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. 17 year old Maria and her family pick coffee beans but the family needs money and he foreman has a solution. She and her family don’t speak Spanish well but she must travel to the city to visit relatives in the hospital. It is a depiction of the classes in Guatemala society.

    James White (Josh Mond, United States, 2015). Mond’s first feature film set in New York City, stars Christopher Abbott as late twenties deadbeat who has still not quite gotten everything together, including a study job. Cynthia Nixon plays his mother who is battling cancer. Extreme close up photography and Abbott’s and Nixon’s fearless acting make this a breakthrough indie American film. It opens in November 2015 in DC.

    The Lobster (Yagos Lanthnimos; Ireland/United Kingdom/Greece/France/Netherlands; 2015). After Lanthnimos did the nominated Dogtooth, he returns with another black comedy starring Colin Farrell, John C. Reilly, Rachel Weisz. Another film about warped societal rules, here lonely singles go to a secluded hotel and have 45 days to find a soul mate or be turned into an animal of their choice.

    London Road (Rufus Norris; United Kingdom, 2015). City to city entrée for London this is a verbal musical based on a stage musical. It has been performed in England and also in Toronto on the stage before. It is based on the reactions of the London Road residents in Ipswich after several prostitutes have been murdered on their streets.

    Mustang (Eniz Gamze Erguven; Turkey/France/Germany, 2015). An astounding first feature film from Erguven about five sisters in a remote Turkish seaside village who live with their grandmother and constantly test the societal and religious rules on how young women should dress and deport themselves. The daughters’ stories are somewhat reminiscent of Fiddler on the Roof. An audience pleaser receiving a standing ovation at my screening. The surprising choice for France, not Turkey as their foreign language nominee over Cannes winner Dheepan. Cohen Media Group is the U.S. distributor and it may come out in late November or early December in selected cities.

    Wedding Doll (Nitzan Gilady; Israel, 2015). Hagit (Moran Rosenblatt) is a mildly mentally disabled pretty young woman who dreams of being in love and getting married (reminiscent of Muriel’s Wedding) and is closely guarded by her mother. She works part time in small business making toilet paper which she fashions into wedding dolls and their dresses. Her mother Sarah (Asi Levi) plays the over protective parent and won best actress at the 2015 Jerusalem Film Festival. She tries to give Hagit some range of freedom and have time to build her own personal life. Can Hagit successfully separate her fantasies of love and marriage with the real world?


    Baba Joon (Yuval Delshad; Israel, 2015). The first Persian language film shot in Israel deals with the widening gap of a father and his young 13 year old son who doesn’t want to work on the turkey farm the rest of his life. Delshad also wrote the screenplay based in part on his own memories of growing up in an Iranian immigrant family. Baba Joon has been selected as Israel’s foreign language nominee and is in Farsi and Hebrew.

    Bleak Street (Arturo Ripstein; Mexico/Spain, 2015). Filmed in black and white by the Mexican film master Ripstein again captures the plight of the lower classes in Mexico. Loosely based on the 2009 deaths of fraternal little people wrestlers, this is a tale of exploited entertainers, aging prostitutes, and the mix of desperation and despair of life.

    Box (Florin Serban; Romania/Germany/France, 2015). From the director of acclaimed film If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle this film details the building passion of two passing strangers; 19 year old Rafael trying to be a boxer and 34 year old Cristina, a married actress. Winner of the FIPRESCI award at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival this year.

    The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper; United Kingdom 2015). Hooper was director of The King’s Speech this time has the story of Einar and Gerda, successful Danish painters and married couple in the 1920s. Einar finds he likes dressing like a woman named Lilly and the story is based on one of the first attempts for gender reassignment surgery. Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are excellent in their roles which may become Oscar nominations, but the film itself seems a bit flat. The film should open around Thanksgiving or soon after in the U.S.

    Disorder (Maryland) (Alice Winocur; France/Belgium; 2015). An effective thriller starring Diane Kruger and Matthias Schoenaerts as her bodyguard. Although Vincent (Schoenaerts) is an excellent bodyguard thanks to his military training, he also has some traumatic issue of his own like other combat soldiers dealing with PTSD. She also co-wrote the screenplay for Mustang.

    Guilty (Talvar) (Meghna Gulzar; India, 2015). Indian star Irrfan Khan (Lunchbox) stars as a police detective in this feature film based on the notorious 2008 Noira Doubel Murder Case. Is an honor killing or servant involved in the murder or are these red herrings to the case? The film played already in Virginia theatres that regularly show Indian films.

    Homesick (Anne Sewitsky; Norway; 2015). From the director of the successful film Happy Happy this time gives us a tale of two young adults trying to find the feeling of home. Charlotte and her half-brother Henrik were separated many years ago and reuniting leads to the age-old taboo of incest and resolution.

    Magallanes (Salvador del Solar; Peru/Argentina/Colombia/Spain, 2015). Taxi driver Magallanes (Mexican star Damian Alcazar) one day has a young indigenous girl Celina enter his cab. She does not recognize him, but he recognizes her as a girl years ago his Colonel (Frederico Luppi) had kidnapped and raped. He wonders if he can blackmail the Colonel or his family for money.

    One Breath (Christian Zubert; Germany; 2015). Elena decides to go to Germany to get a job and leave Athens and her boyfriend. Tessa is a mother who decides to return to work and find a nanny. The two women’s lives become tangled and the welfare of the women and children become involved in a fast paced thriller.

    Parisienne (Danielle Arbid; France, 2015). Eighteen year old Lina arrives from Beirut to stay with her uncle who turns out to be a letch. She escapes to Paris with nothing and hopes to find a room and go to college. What enfolds is what can happen to a young immigrant woman in Paris today until she finds her grounding.

    The Price of Love (Hermon Hailay; Ethiopia, 2015). A gritty story of what can happen to pretty girls from villages who sold or lured into prostitution in Addis Ababa and if they can escape their circumstances.

    The Program (Stephen Frears; United Kingdom, 2015). Ben Foster does an amazing job looking like Lance Armstrong in this film about the seven-time Tour-de-France cyclist winner and his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Foster does such a good job it’s hard to find Armstrong a likeable character.

    The Promised Land (He Ping; China, 2015). Usually a director of historical dramas like Red Firecracker, Green Firecracker Ping this time has a modern love story. A young girl Ling Ai who worked in the city returns to her hometown as a former ballerina to visit her father and meets He Jiang, a young hockey coach. Most of the film was shot on chosen locations but much of the script was improvised and has a fresh, lyrical look at the decision many young Chinese face about remaining in their hometowns vs going to the capital Beijing.

    A Tale of Three Cities (Mabel Cheung; China, 2015). Based on the real background story of actor Jackie Chan’s parents lives and eventual settling in Hong Kong stars Chinese stars Tang Wei and Sean Lau as lovers who are separated for years at a time.

    The Treasure (Comoara) (Corneliu Porumboiu; Romania/France, 2015). Director of hits like Police, Adjective and When Evening Falls on Bucharest has an allegorical tale of looking for possible treasure buried near the family’s country home. A gentle comedy about the city slickers and towns folk and possible secrets and hidden treasure is a modern moral parable.

    The White Knights (Les Chevaliers Blancs) (Joachim Lafosse; France/Belgium, 2015). Starring Vincent Lindon working with a NGO Move for Kids, a charity trying to save children from war-torn Chad. A critical look at colonialism and the legitimacy of NGOs the story again is based on a true story from the French headlines of news sources.


    People's Choice Award: Room. Runners-up: Angry Indian Goddesses and Spotlight.

    People's Choice Award For Documentary: Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom

    Toronto Platform Prize: Hurt

    People's Choice Award For Midnight Madness: Hardcore

    Best Canadian Feature Film: Closet Monster

    Best Canadian First Feature Film: Sleeping Giant

    Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: Desierto

    Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: Eva Nova

    NETPAC Award For Best Asian Film: The Whispering Star

    Award For Best Canadian Short Film: Overpass

    Award For Best International Short Film: Maman(s)

    The Dropbox Programme Filmmakers Discovery Award: Black

    Check local theater listings and upcoming festivals such as AFI’s European Union Film Festival and The DC Jewish Film Festival who may have some of these and other films.

    Other Reviews and Awards

    Indiewire’s criticWire survey of top film critics and bloggers selected their favorite films, directors, and performances at TIFF2015 including these:

    Best Narrative Features: Anomalisa, Spotlight, Room, 45 Years, The Martian, Son of Saul, Sunset Song, Beasts of No Nation, Sicario and The Green Room.

    Best Documentaries: Where to Invade Next, Heart of a Dog, Thru You Princess, Hitchcock/Truffaut, Miss Sharon Jones, In Jackson Heights, Janis: Little Girl Blue, Hurt, The Pearl Button and Afternoon.

    Best Lead Performance: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years; Brie Larson, Room; Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl, Agness Deyn, Sunset Song; Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul; Tom Hardy, Legend; Cate Blanchett, Truth; Christopher Abbott, James White; Laia Costa, Victoria; and Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation.

    Best Ensemble: Spotlight, The Martian, The Lobster, Sicario, The Witch, Black Mass, Brooklyn, High Rise, Victoria and Anomalisa.

    Visit the TIFF website for more information about the festival.

    We Need to Hear From YOU

    We are always looking for film-related material for the Storyboard. Our enthusiastic and well-traveled members have written about their trips to the Cannes Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, London Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Reykjavik Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival. We also heard about what it's like being an extra in the movies. Have you gone to an interesting film festival? Have a favorite place to see movies that we aren't covering in the Calendar of Events? Seen a movie that blew you away? Read a film-related book? Gone to a film seminar? Interviewed a director? Taken notes at a Q&A? Read an article about something that didn't make our local news media? Send your contributions to Storyboard and share your stories with the membership. And we sincerely thank all our contributors for this issue of Storyboard.

    Calendar of Events


    American Film Institute Silver Theater

    "The Things of Life: The Cinema of Claude Sautet" is a series of eight films. Titles include The Things of Life, Cesar and Rosalie, A Heart in Winter, Classes Tous Risques, Max and the Junkmen, Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud, The Dictator's Guns and Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others.

    Actor Keir Dullea will appear for Q&As at two of his films: on November 7 at 4:00pm with Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) and on November 7 at 7:00pm with 2001: A Space Odyssey (1967).

    The "Silent Cinema Showcase" began October 30 and continues through November 21. Films include The Daughter of Dawn 1920) with live music accompaniment by Not So Silent Cinema; The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) with music by Gabriel Thibaudeau; The Adventures of Prince Achmed with music by Gabriel Thibaudeau; a 100th anniversary show of Regeneration (1915) with music by Gabriel Thibaudeau; Variety (1925) with music by Gabriel Thibaudeau; Piccadilly (1929) with music by Gabriel Thibaudeau; Beyond the Rocks (1922) with music by Andrew Simpson; Sherlock Holmes (1916) with music by Donald Sosin; Beggars of Life (1928) with music by Donald Sosin and an introduction by William Wellman, Jr.; You Never Know Women (1926) with music by Donald Sosin and an introduction by William Wellman, Jr.; Wings (1927) with music by Andrew Simpson and an introduction by William Wellman, Jr.; The Family Secret (1924) with music by Ben Model; Peter Pan (1924) with music by Ben Model; a program of Silent Comedy Rarities from MoMA with music by Ben Model and an introduction by film historian Steve Massa; a program of Marcel Perez Comedy Shorts with music by Ben Model and an introduction by film historian Steve Massa; and a program of Chaplin Mutual Shorts with music by The Snark Ensemble.

    "Wild Bill Wellman: Hollywood Rebel" is a program of five films with introductions by William Wellman, Jr. Titles are Beggars of Life, You Never Know Women and Wings, all also part of the Silent Cinema Showcase, and Westward the Women and Yellow Sky.

    "Fred Wiseman's New York" is co-presented with the National Gallery of Art. Titles include In Jackson Heights (2015), Hospital (1970), Welfare and High School II.

    "25 Years of Milestone Films" is co-presented with the National Gallery of Art. Films are The Exiles (1961), The Wide Blue Road, Word Is Out, Maborosi, It Happened Here and silent films presented as part the Silent Cinema Showcase: Piccadilly, The Daughter of Dawn, Beyond the Rocks, and The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

    Special events in November include John Carpenter's Obey, a 40th anniversary show of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), The Internet Cat Video Festival, The Graduate (1967), The Bubble (1966) in 3-D and two other 3-D programs with introductions by Bob Furmanek from the 3-D Film Archive: The Mask (1961) and a 3-D Rarities Program.

    A new AFI Docs Film Series will be a year-round documentary screening program. The first film is Michael Moore's Where To Invade Next to be shown at Landmark's E Street Cinema on November 16. Michael Moore will participate in a discussion following the film.

    On November 6 at 6:45pm is the documentary Iraqi Odyssey (2015) with filmmaker Samir participating in a Q&A after the film. Iraq's official Oscar pick. On November 18 at 7:15pm is Paradise Is There: A Memoir by Natalie Merchant (2015) with Natalie Merchant present for Q&A.

    Freer Gallery of Art
    "Action, Anarchy, and Audacity: A Seijun Suzuki Retrospective" takes place October 9-December 20. On November 1 at 1:00pm is Passport to Darkness (1959); on November 1 at 3:00pm is Eight Hours of Fear (1957); on November 13 at 7:00pm is A Tale of Sorrow and Sadness (1977); on November 15 at 1:00pm is The Sleeping Beast Within (1960); On November 15 at 3:00pm is Smashing the O-Line (1960); on November 20 at 7:00pm is Carmen from Kawachi (1966); and on November 22 at 2:00pm is Capon Cries a Lot (1985). More in December.

    The series "Close Up" features Bollywood Action Master Anurag Kashyap, in person with Gangs of Wasseypur I (2013) on November 6 at 7:00pm and Gangs of Wasseypur II (2013) on November 8 at 2:00pm.

    On November 12 at 7:00pm is Frame by Frame (Alexandria Bombach and Mo Scarpelli, 2015), a documentary about photojournalists in Afghanistan.

    National Gallery of Art
    "Agnès Varda: Ciné-Portraiture" (October 2-November 22) is a series of films by and about Agnes Varda who received the Palme d'honneur in May 2015. Note that not all films are shown at the Gallery. On November 4 at 7:00pm is La pointe courte (1955) shown at American University's McKinley Building. On November 22 at 4:00pm is Jane B par Agnes V (1988) shown at the Gallery's East Building auditorium.

    Special Events in November include "The Black Power Mixtape (1967–1975)," (Goran Hugo Olsson, 2011) archival footage about the Black Power movement on November 1 at 4:00pm. The Washington premiere of Kandahar Journals (Louie Palu and Devin Gallagher, 2015) is on November 7 at 3:00pm with the filmmakers in person. On November 14 at 2:30pm is Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (Dyanna Taylor, 2014) with the filmmaker in person. On November 29 at 2:00pm is Way Down East (D.W. Griffith, 1920) with live music accompaniment by the National Gallery Orchestra conducted by Gillian Anderson.

    "Frederick Wiseman's New York" is co-presented with the AFI Silver Theater. On November 15 at 4:00pm is Central Park (1989); on November 21 at 12:30pm is Racetrack (1985); on November 21 at 3:00pm is Model (1980); and on November 27 at 2:00pm is Ballet. See the AFI for more Frederick Wiseman documentaries in this series.

    "Twenty-Five Years of Milestone Film" (November 28-December 27) is co-presented with the AFI Silver Theater. On November 28 at 2:00pm is I Am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1964). More in December. See See the AFI for more.

    National Museum of the American Indian
    On November 11 at 2:00pm is the documentary Visions in the Dark: The Life of Pinky Thompson, an advocate for Native Hawaiians. After the film, there will be a discussion with Fred Cachola, a Hawaiian cultural historian.

    Museum of American History
    Films are shown as part of the History Film Forum. On November 19 at 7:00pm is In the Heart of the Sea (Ron Howard, 2015), with author Nathaniel Philbrick present for discussion. On November 20 at 7:00pm is the documentary The Pilgrims with director Ric Burns present for discussion. On November 21 at 12:00 noon is the documentary Mississippi Inferno: Seeds of Revolt with discussion following. On November 22 at 12:00 noon is Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale, about 19th century whaling. On November 22 at 2:00pm is the documentary The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson, 2015). See below.

    Washington Jewish Community Center
    On November 3 at 7:30pm is the documentary Imber's Left Hand (2014) about the painter, with filmmaker Richard Kane taking part in a Q&A along with Imber's wife Jill Hoy.

    On November 10 at 7:30pm is Dough (John Goldschmidt, 2014) starring Jonathan Pryce.

    On November 24 at 7:30pm is Tango Glories (Oliver Kolker and Hernán Findling, 2014) preceded by a tango demonstration. This film was Opening Night film at the 2015 Filmfest DC.

    Library of Congress
    On November 20 at noon is Kennedy v. Wallace: A Crisis Up Close, a behind-the-scenes television documentary about Robert Kennedy's role as Attorney General during the 1963 civil rights crisis.

    Goethe Institute
    "Kino 2003–2015: Your Favorite Films" (November 2-December 7) is a selection of favorite films shown during the past 12 years. On November 2 at 6:30pm is Kebab Connection (Anno Saul, 2005); on November 16 at 6:30pm is Late Bloomers (Bettina Oberli, 2006); On November 23 at 6:30pm is Go Trabi Go (Peter Timm, 1991) and on November 30 at 6:30pm is Burden of Dreams (Les Blank, 1981). One more in December.
    The "Film | Neu" film festival runs from November 6-12. See below.

    National Geographic Society
    The Telluride Mountainfilm Film Festival runs from November 12-14. Adventure films of all kinds are shown at 7:00pm each day. See the website for film titles. A festival pass is available.

    French Embassy
    On November 16 at 7:00pm is the documentary Le Temps Derobe (Raphaelle Aellig Regnier, 2013), about French pianost Alexandre Tharaud.

    The Japan Information and Culture Center
    On November 13 at 6:30pm is the anime film Royal Space Force (Hiroyuki Yamaga, 1987). On November 18 at 6:30pm is Pale Flower (Masahiro Shinoda, 1964).

    National Archives
    On November 10 at noon is the documentary Hunting in Wartime (2014) with filmmaker Samantha Farinella present to discuss the film.

    On November 14 at 2:00pm is Arthur (Steve Gordon, 1981) starring Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli and John Gielgud.

    Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
    "Movie Rewind" is a new series of classic films on Wednesdays. On November 4 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is The Thing (John Carpenter); on November 11 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is There Will Be Blood; on November 18 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is The Queen; and on November 25 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is The Sound of Music.

    The Avalon
    On November 4 at 8:00pm is A Brilliant Young Mind (Morgan Matthews, 2014), part of the "Programmer's Choice" series.

    On November 11 at 8:00pm is Sally Pacholok (Elissa Leonard, 2015) part of the "Films in Focus" series.

    On November 18 at 8:00pm is The New Girlfriend (Francois Ozon, 2014), part of the "French Cinematheque" series.

    This month's "Reel Israel" film is Youth (Tom Shoval, 2013) on November 25 at 8:00pm

    There are two "Film Studies" programs for November. See below.

    Italian Cultural Institute
    Two films are shown as part of the "New Italian Cinema Events" Festival (NICE). On November 16 at 6:30pm is Italo (2015) followed by Q&A with filmmaker Alessia Scarso. Note that the location for this film is the NYU Auditorium. On November 17 at 6:30pm is Partly Cloudy With Sunny Spells (Marco Pontecorvo, 2015), shown at the Embassy of Italy.

    On November 30 at 6:30pm is La Sedia della Felicita (Carlo Mazzacurati, 2013).

    Anacostia Community Museum
    On November 7 at 2:00pm is Eye on the 60s (2013), a documentary about former LIFE magazine photographer Rowland Scherman. Discussion and Q&A with filmmaker Chris Szwedo follow.

    On November 18 at 11:30am is Before the Music Dies (2006), a documentary about popular music.

    Hill Center
    On November 3 at 7:30pm is Stray Dog (Debra Granik), a documentary about a Vietnam veteran. On November 19 at 7:00pm is the documentary Most Likely to Succeed, about education in the US.

    Smithsonian Associates
    On November 2 at 6:45pm is a film screening and book signing of The Navigators: Pathfinders of the Pacific, a documentary about seafaring Polynesians. Filmmaker and anthropologist Sanford Low will be present for discussion and book signing.

    Reel Affirmations XTra
    On November 13 at 7:00pm is The Revival Movie: Women and the Word (Sekiya Dorsett), a documentary about five women who try to become poetry rockstars. The filmmaker and others will take part in a Q&A after the film.

    Busboys and Poets
    On November 4 at 6:00pm is the DC premiere of No One Left Behind, a documentary series about social change, shown at the 14th and V location. On November 11 is The Rubble Kings (Shan Nicholson) at the 14th and V location. On November 12 at 8:00pm is the documentary Romeo is Bleeding at the 14th and V location. On November 18 at 6:00pm is A Place at the Table at the 14th and V location. On November 15 at 5:00pm is Autism in Love at the Brookland location.

    George Mason University
    On November 11 at 4:30pm is a screening of the documentary (T)Error and Q&A with filmmaker Lyric Cabral. The film, about a counterterrorism sting operation, has won prizes at Sundance and Full Frame Documentary Festival. Open to the public.


    Censored Women's Film Festival
    On November 19-20 is a festival of films by women who have been censored. Some titles include Honor Diaries, India's Daughter, The Price of Honor and The Cruel Cut. Location: George Washington University. See the website for more information.

    From the pre-dawn streets of Berlin’s Mitte district in Victoria to the sun-dappled expanse of Spain’s Torremolinos beach in The Whole Shebang by way of the sinister digital world of Who Am I—No System is Safe, the 23rd annual edition of Film|Neu is a week-long tour of worlds known and unexplored as well as a snapshot of the best recent films from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Titles include The Misplaced World (Margarette von Trotta), The King's Surrender, From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema inthe Age of Masses, We Are Young, We are Strong, Wacken, The Whole Shebang (Closing Night), and Who Am I: No System Is Safe (Opening Night) all from Germany, The Drift and Dora or the Sexual Neuroses of Our Parents from Switzerland and Ma Folie from Austria. Directors and other special guests will be present at several films.

    Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival
    This festival, begun in 1998, will be held November 7-15. American and international films will be shown, including features, documentaries and shorts. See the website for schedule, tickets and passes.

    Alexandria Film Festival
    The Alexandria Film Festival will be held November 5-8, presenting feature-length films, documentaries, animation and short films. Films are shown at Hoffman 22 and the Beatley Library. See the website for films, tickets and passes.

    Kids Euro Festival
    The Kids Euro Festival takes place October 24-November 8. Films and performing arts events are part of the festival. Locations vary; see the website for more information. Some film titles for November include Shaun the Sheep, Moomins on the Riviera, Antboy and more. Check the website, not all are open to the public.

    The Virginia Film Festival
    The 27th annual Virginia Film Festival takes place November 5-8 at the University of Virginia. See the website for film titles, schedule and locations.


    Sixth and I
    Three programs of conversations with actors are held in November.

    On November 3 at 7:00pm is Drew Barrymore In Conversation with Scott Simon. Drew Barrymore will sign copies of her book Wildflower after the discussion.

    On November 11 at 7:00pm is Ethan Hawke In Conversation with Margaret Talbot. Ethan Hawke will discuss his book Rules for a Knight; Margaret Talbot is the author of a book about her father.

    On November 23 a 7:00pm is Mary-Louise Parker In Conversation with David Plotz. Mary-Louise Parker's book Dear Mr. You will be available for signing.


    Avalon Theater
    On November 5 at 7:30pm is a film studies program at the Avalon Theater Exploring Genre–Laughing ‘Til It Hurts: The Dark Side of Comedy. NPR film critic Bob Mondello will guide the audience through a tour of comedy’s dark side in a 45-minute multimedia lecture which will be followed by a screening of Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974).

    On November 9 and 16 is a film studies program at the Avalon Theater Exploring Genre–The Last 20 Years: Documentary’s Golden Age. The series, in two parts, will survey highlights from the last 20 years of documentary film. The first session, on November 9 at 10:30am, will discuss major approaches, techniques, and milestones in documentary filmmaking from the last 20 years and look at its aesthetic, social, and political implications. Sky Sitney, former Festival Director of AFI Docs, will be your guide. The second session, on November 16 at 10:30am is a screening and discussion of The Thin Blue Line (Errol Morris, 1989).

    History Film Forum
    On November 19-22 at the National Museum of American History is a History Film Forum. Events begin November 19 at 2:00pm with a Keynote Address by Ric Burns. A screening of In the Heart of the Sea (Ron Howard, 2015) is at 7:00pm in the Warner Bros. Theater, followed by a discussion with author Nathaniel Philbrick. On November 20 at 2:00pm is a discussion "Diversity in History Film." On November 20 at 7:00pm is a screening of The Pilgrims (Ric Burns, 2015), followed by a discussion with the filmmaker. On November 21 at 10:00am is a workshop "Teaching History with the Movies." On November 21 at 12:00 noon is a screening of Mississippi Inferno: Seeds of Revolt and at 2:00pm is Uniquely Nasty: The U.S. Government's War on Gays (Michael Isikoff, 2015). On November 21 at 7:00pm is a discussion with footage from Gary Ross' upcoming 2016 film The Free State of Jones. On November 22 at 12:00 noon is Moby Dick: Heart of a Whale; at 2:00pm is The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (Stanley Nelson, 2015) and at 5:00pm is a discussion "The Brith of a Nation at 100." Most events are held at the Warner Bros. Theater. Check the website for tickets.

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