January 2016

Posted January 1, 2016. Additions to calendar made on January 7, 17, and 22.


  • Vote for the Best of 2016
  • The Cinema Lounge
  • Adam's Rib: The Force Is With the New Star Wars
  • The Lady in the Van: Notes from the Press Conference
  • Anomalisa: Q&A with Directors and Actors
  • Where to Invade Next: Q&A with Director Michael Moore
  • We Need to Hear From You
  • Calendar of Events

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    Vote for the Best of 2015

    The Washington DC Film Society announces the 15th annual vote for the Best of 2015. This is your chance to tell us what you think are the best films, director and performers of 2015. It is not an Oscar opinion poll. All ballots will be entered in a drawing for great prizes.

    Make your choices for (1) Best Film, (2) Best Director, (3) Best Actor, (4) Best Actress, (5) Best Supporting Actor, (6) Best Supporting Actress, and (7) Best Foreign Language Film.
    More information is here and you can review the rules here. Watch your e-mail for voting instructions.

    The Cinema Lounge

    The Cinema Lounge meets January 11, 2016 at 7:00pm to discuss our annual "Pick the Oscar Nominations." Before the Academy will announce its Oscar choices, this is our chance to pick who should be nominated, and who probably will be. Note that since the Academy announces the nominations on January 14, this meeting is on the second Monday. In February we will go back to meeting on the third Monday of the month.

    New location! The Cinema Lounge, a film discussion group, meets the third Monday of every month (unless otherwise noted) at 7:00pm at
    Teaism in Penn Quarter, 400 8th St., NW in Washington, DC (closest Metro stop is Archives, also near Metro Center and Gallery Place). NOTE: We will meet in the downstairs area. You do not need to be a member of the Washington DC Film Society to attend. Cinema Lounge is moderated by Adam Spector, author of the DC Film Society's Adam's Rib column.

    Adam's Rib: The Force Is With the New Star Wars

    By Adam Spector, DC Film Society Member

    “What if it isn’t any good?” my wife asked me, and I had no answer. For the past several months we were all deluged with Star Wars. Every new trailer was an event. During all the buildup, my wife's question lingered: What if it isn’t any good? Once I saw and enjoyed Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I was relieved more than anything. I explain
    in my new Adam's Rib column.

    The Lady in the Van: Notes from the Press Conference

    By James McCaskill, DC Film Society Member

    A press conference was held at the London Film Festival with panelists Colin Burrows (Moderator), Kevin Loader (producer), Nicholas Hytner (producer/director), Maggie Smith (actor), Alan Bennett (author), and Alex Jennings (actor). Oscar winner Frances De La Tour, Deborah Findley and Jim Broadbent could not make the press conference.

    The film, first a 1990 London West End play that also starred Maggie Smith, is based on real events in Alan Bennett's life. For 15 years Miss Shepherd parked her dreadful looking van in his driveway at 23 Camden High Street. The Lady in the Van is a comedy/drama in which Bennett learns the past of Miss Shepherd and also learns about himself.

    Bennett and Hytner have collaborated before. Hytner directed the 1990 play and they teamed up on The Madness of King George then The History Boys.

    Panelists at the London Film Festival press conference.

    Colin Burrows: How important was it to film at Alan Bennett's house?
    Nicholas Hytner: Very important. Never considered doing it anywhere else. It was interesting seeing all the faces, seeing the van and talking with residents. It was important that the film audience sit at Bennett's desk and look through his bay window at Camden High Street.
    Alan Bennett: If I had lived there during the filming [sic: Bennett still owns the house] it would have been a nightmare. Anthony Crowler, the photographer, currently lives there. If we didn't have the house, we could not have made the film.
    Dame Maggie Smith: I was in the van and they were in comfort. [For those who've seen Maggie Smith in her Victorian finery on Downton Abbey, this is a 180 degree turn. In this film it looks like her costume was salvaged from dumps up and down the street.]

    Moderator: Did you use any method acting skills to develop Miss Shepherd? Maggie Smith: Method? None of that is required if you are dressed as I was. Didn't ease into her. Performing on the stage was more difficult.

    Press question: How was it living in a van?
    Maggie Smith: It is extraordinary. With thousands of people looking for somewhere to live. Didn't think it would happen now.
    Alan Bennett: If someone had said she would be there 15 years I would never have let her in. Did it originally to please her. She came in, I had to get on with my work. Look at my age. I feel everyone of my 81 years. I'm fortunate that the public still wants my work.

    Press question: Any problems in filming?
    Maggie Smith: All this talk today about no roles for women over a certain age. Everyone comes for the director. It wasn't bad filming when it was dry. Most of the time it was damp.
    Nicholas Hytner: There is one story that we did not share with Maggie. We left the van outside one weekend. When we came to work on Monday there were two unclothed people In the van who had been indulging in activities. We had to stall Maggie when we sent everything out to be be dry cleaned. And steam cleaned the van; then we had to dirty it up again.

    Press question: How difficult was it to learn about the lady in the van?
    Alan Bennett: I don't think I've changed. She was unreachable. I didn't learn about her back story until she died. After I wrote an article in London Review of Books her brother told me about her. Her life seemed more adventurous. She would never have survived without her van being parked in my drive.

    Press question to Dame Maggie: Which character, Lady Violet or Miss Shepherd?
    Maggie Smith: Not very close to either Lady Violet or Miss Shepherd. Feel much easier to be Miss Shepherd. She did not mind how she looked. Lady Violet was always in corsets.

    Press question: Where did the two vans come from?
    Alan Bennett: First replacement van was a gift from Lady Wiggin. Both were Catholics. Lady Wiggin lived on Regent Park Terrace, not too close to Camden High Street. Miss Shepherd had no expenses. When she had an address she got benefits. When she died she had six thousand pounds. She never cared about money; had about six hundred pounds in cash in the van.

    Press question to Nicholas Hytner: Did you meet Miss Shepherd?
    Nicholas Hytner: I walked by the van without know Alan lived there. I wondered if the owner of 23 Camden High Street kept his mother in there. People were too polite to ask about who was in the van.

    Press question to producer Kevin Loader: What attracted you to this project?
    Kevin Loader: The Lady in the Van is a portrait of a powerful but puzzling, extraordinary woman who arrived from nowhere and completely took over nearly 20 years of Alan Bennett's life. It is the story of their relationship and the strange connection they developed through bad tempered convenience and his curiosity into her life.
    Nicholas Hytner: All the universal stories are universal because they are so particular. Most of this story happens on a tiny patch of land. That tiny little drive outside a particular house in North London. It is also a study of how an artist creates art and how a writer writes. It's about Alan's realization that you don't put yourself into what you write, you find yourself there. In writing about Miss Shepherd he realizes important things about himself.

    Press question to Dame Maggie: What did you learn about living in a van?
    Maggie Smith: Having had practice I know there is no way to live in a van. I've lived in that one for a very long time.
    Nicholas Hytner: She did feel she belonged in Camden Town.
    Alan Bennett: I see parallels between Miss Shepherd and my life. My partner and I collect stuff. One thing in the van: a panel with brushes and kitchen instruments displayed. No way she made use of them. She saw herself living one day at a time.

    The Lady in the Van will open in January.

    Anomalisa: Q&A with Directors Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman and actors Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Thewlis and Tom Noonan and producer Rosa Tran

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    Anomalisa (Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman, US, 2015) screened in September at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival and received a standing ovation for the stop motion animation film. Michael Stone (David Thewlis), a motivational customer service speaker after taking a flight, checks into a Cincinnati hotel before he will do his presentation. He’s unhappily married, and once at his hotel he decides to look up an old girlfriend, but the reunion doesn’t go well. After a speaking engagement, he meets Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and they have a strange attraction for each other and she seems so different to him than other people.

    Left to right: Composer Carter Burwell, Director Charlie Kaufman, Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh, Directors Duke Johnson, Actor David Thewlis and Actor Tom Noonan at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

    TIFF Moderator: Congratulations to the directors and cast of this wonderful film. Can you talk a little about the process of taking this from a play to a film and stop motion animation?
    Charlie Kaufman: Yes. We did the play in 2005 as a recorded sound play with the actors and Carter Burwell up on a stage and an audience in attendance. It was like a radio play and much was left to the imagination of the audience members and much of it was also left ambiguous. Without the visuals, we wonder what is right or wrong about Anomalisa? So taking it to film we had to imagine what the dude looked like and what the other characters looked like to him. We recorded the actors’ parts first and then used them to inform what the characters might look like.

    TIFF Moderator: At what point did you Duke get involved in the film?
    Duke Johnson: At the time I was working in an animation studio, Starburns Industries in Burbank and the owner was a good friend of Charlie so I got involved through him. He was also at the original performance of the stage play in Royce Hall, and had acquired a copy of the script from Charlie. We were looking for something new to do and got Charlie to agree to the project if we could get the money. We didn’t really think early on however what kind of animation or approach we would use.

    TIFF Moderator: For the actors, you had to discipline yourself and your voice for the stage play, but what was it like with the stop animation and use of puppets in the film version?
    David Thewlis: Well, we already remembered many of the lines, but the stage play was differently staged and I remember Jennifer was way on the other side of the stage for the play. So it was quite different for the filming, including the sex scenes with Jennifer (laughter). I’ve done voice over projects before so I was somewhat more familiar with it than some of the other cast.
    Jennifer Jason Leigh: I had to focus on the voice more and for the sex scene I spoke to his wife (laughter)

    TIFF Moderator: What kind of reaction are you getting to the film?
    Rosa Tran: We have had remarkable praise and feedback from many areas and lots of emails. People loved our use of the stop motion and puppets, the artwork and technical details.

    Audience Question: Was the date shown in the credits the date of the original broadcast play?
    Charlie Kaufman: Yes, the original 2005 dates when it was done at Royce Hall.

    Audience Question: Where did you get the ideas for the look and animation on the puppets?
    Duke Johnson: Usually the use of puppets and animation is a very smooth process. We first recorded the voices and found the performances were so powerful, soulful and real to us, that we used that in our puppet design and to make them look and feel like the performances given. The process included a lot of people, a sculptor, and to get simple emotions we may be moving many brow pieces to just simulate the shapes and those emotions. In this style of animation, they usually use the computer to do scene layouts. We decided not to do that and preferred to create the scenes and make them more lifelike or authentic.
    Charlie Kaufman: The thing I especially love about stop motion animation is that it has to figure out how to accomplish all this simulation in real space and actual time. Something as simple as a shirt has to be suspended in multiple positions in space as it is tossed in the air toward a bed as an example.

    Audience Question: How do you feel seeing the film now and the expression of all of your ideas?
    David Thewlis: It’s strange seeing it because in many ways it's more objective than most things I have done. As mentioned, I am used to hearing my voice for years, but not with the movement of the expressions as done in this film. It’s still a bit bizarre but I am getting used to it. Watching the monitors backstage I got more of feeling of doing the process than watching the film itself.
    Jennifer Jason Leigh: It’s true, I’ve seen the movie three times now but watching it in part backstage and hearing my voice and David’s voice it felt very different again. It felt like we were doing the radio play again. But when I sit and watch the movie I forget about doing the voice overs and get involved in the movie and the characters. I even forget they are puppets, which is a little embarrassing (laughter). Even the sex scenes, it’s not my body, not my face, but still it seems like the most exploitive thing I have ever done (laughter).
    Tom Noonan: I’ve seen the completed version also three or four times and should be used to it by now, but each time I get more weirded out by it.

    Audience Question: Some of the puppets remind me of John Malkovich, or the film Being John Malkovich. Is there any connection to that film?
    Charlie Kaufman: Maybe ultimately there is a connection, but not really. It is more accidental coincidence. It wasn’t planned but it could be a happy accident.

    Anomalisa is scheduled to open January 8 in the metro DC area theatres.

    Where to Invade Next: Q&A with Director Michael Moore and Producer Tia Lessin

    By Annette Graham, DC Film Society Member

    A preview of the latest film from Michael Moore, Where to Invade Next was shown November 16, 2015 at Landmark's E Street Cinema. This film was first in the new year-round AFI DOCS Film Series. Director Michael Moore and producer Tia Lessin were present for Q&A which was moderated by Jason Dick, Capitol Hill Editor of Roll Call. The film follows Michael Moore as he visits other countries to see what ideas we can borrow from them. This Q&A has been edited and condensed.

    Jason Dick: When did it occur to you that so many of these ideas were original American ideas?
    Michael Moore: It didn't until half way through the countries we were going to. They kept saying to us, "Why are you interviewing us? This idea, of the 8 hour day or the vacation is yours. This idea of a progressive educational system was yours. And you gave up on it." In Finland, the guy was saying, "These ideas are from your educators. You have the best education system in the world and then you decided to give up on it and not make it a priority any more." It was very hard for us to hear this constant repetition of "Why do you think what we are doing in Norway this is so special? Your founding fathers (250 years ago) thought it was wrong to treat prisoners in inhumane ways. We are doing what is the humane thing to do which is what you were told to do in your consittution." We kept hearing this over and over again. It started to feel bad the more we heard it. We are good people. We've had a lot of good ideas. And a lot of bad ideas. What if we did speak to our better selves? What if we went to the American lost and found? We've always been in Kansas. We just left it, but it's still there.
    Tia Lessin: I think the best kind of films like this are films where you discover things. This is an authentic process of discovery. There are a lot of ideas, but in the moment, things don't turn out the way you thought, That is part of the process of filming.
    Michael Moore: We have a general outline, but we don't go in to these films with a definite idea of what the movie is going to be because we want to leave it open to the possibility. We kept seeing countries where women get real power, not fake power, not the euphoria we felt when we finally had 20 women elected to the US Senate. The majority gender? 51% of the population with 20% of the power? It's just better for women, men, kids, old people, everyone. That was something we learned. I tell the producers, I don't know a lot, I had them purposely not tell me things. I see myself as a stand-in for the audience. Not that you all need to lose 100 pounds. (everyone laughs). I want you to live vicariously through me up on the screen. When the Italians tell me that it's a law that their honeymoon must be paid for, that they get 15 paid days off for their honeymoon, and I have that WTF look on my face--that's because I'm hearing it for the first time. That's the way I want to experience the movie. We don't bring the can of Coca-Cola into the French lunchroom because we think it will be a cool thing to see what happens. I just wanted a coke and my assistant went to get me one and they didn't have any vending machines in the school. I had no idea they would be so repulsed by drinking this wonderful sugar water. A lot of good stuff is that sense of discovery. Charlton Heston was never supposed to be involved in Columbine. That was a complete accident. The production assistants in the crew van and I were going down Sunset Boulevard on the way to the airport. One of the kids said, "Star Maps! Let's go see Charlton Heston." No, we're not going to see Charlton Heston in this movie. They were taunting me, so we got the Star Map and I said, "See this is just a big lie to get money from people." They had Chris Evert and Jimmy Conners, they'd been divorced for 5 years. These things aren't true. The kids said, "There's Charlton Heston's house, let's go." We had a little time, so to humor them we drove up Coldwater Canyon to what the map said was his house. I got out of the van, the cameraman doesn't even bother to come out. He's in the van, shooting through a dirty windshield. So I rang the bell and out of the box cames, (imitates Heston's voice) "Yeesss." The voice of Moses! (audience laughs). "Oh, Mr. Heston, I'm Michael Moore." "I know who you are." He can see me, there's a camera. "I'm making a movie about guns and would love to interview you." "Let me get my schedule." He gets his calendar and comes back, "I can see you at 8:30 tomorrow morning." We go back and check into the hotel and cancel our flights. I was certain that by the next morning the NRA would get to him and say, "You are not to talk to Michael Moore." We showed up the next morning and the gate was open and there he is. And he talked to me. So many things in my films have come, it just happens, but we allow it to happen because our feet are not in cement when we go in to make the film.
    Tia Lessin: Another example in the film was the part in Germany. It wasn't part of our production schedule. Michael Moore finds himself in Nuremberg and we scrambled and found a classroom, we got in and see the kids learning, and that kid made profound statement of Germans' reconciliation with their past. But it wasn't part of the plan.
    Michael Moore: On the way to the train station I said I want to stop by the Nuremberg rally grounds for personal spiritual reasons, say a prayer, have a moment of silence. I told them do not film me here.
    Tia Lessin: But he taught us, never turn that camera off. We don't listen to him when he says that.
    Michael Moore: And I've told them if the police show up, even if I say turn the camera off, don't turn it off.
    Tia Lessin: He's got to say it three times.
    Michael Moore: And click my ruby red slippers together (audience laughs). Just before we came over to the theater here, I said I wanted to stop by the Vietnam Memorial. Every time I'm in DC I always take ten minutes to remember the nine guys from my high school in Davison, Michigan who died in that war, for nothing. And I don't ever want to forget that. Whenever I'm here I always take at least ten minutes to remember them, think about them, their lives, two of them on my block, which seemed like a high percentage to me at the time. But that's just a personal thing, but sometimes it delivers an idea later. This was all happening after the Charleston massacre. Why is it that we will not deal with our two original sins of slavery and genocide of the native people. You can't ever bring up the word reparations in this country. For the Germans their evil act was just 70 years ago, not 150 years ago and they're constantly on it. The kids could say I had nothing to do with this. Look at the Muslim kid; he has just become a German citizen and he says "Now the Holocaust is my responsibility." What if we started acting like that. Just acknowledge our past, try to fix it and move on together. Wouldn't we be better and happier as a country?

    Jason Dick: Are you looking with curiousity at Paris and how the French approach what's going to happen in the coming months? Do you think anything is going to change there?
    Michael Moore: No. That doesn't mean there won't be a knee-jerk reaction or Le Pen wouldn't get a lot more votes now. We filmed stuff in France on my birthday. I really love the French, the whole attitude to the French in the Bush years was so god-awful. We wouldn't have won our revolution without them. That is not taught very well in our history books. We owe a lot to them. I saw the brother of one of the victims on CNN saying "I don't want killing done in his name."
    Tia Lessin: Watching the father of one of the teenagers killed in Norway, was even more profound. I'm always moved by hearing what he has to say.
    Michael Moore: That was the majority feeling in Norway. They don't want killers or insane people to change their beloved country and the beloved values they have. They think they are the losers if the terrorists or crazies are able to make them change who they are, the way they are and the way they live. I think that the French probably feel that way too. I knew some people in Charlie Hebdo. We were there two months after that happened. So it was already in our heads, what the French were going through.
    Tia Lessin: And the Tunisians too, since we filmed there. They have had terrorist acts. They are fighting for their democracy. They won the Nobel Peace Prize because they're so committed to those democratic institutions.
    Michael Moore: They have an ERA in their constitution already. It was just amazing to us in winning this Peace Prize, because the Islamic party there realized it was more important to have peace and get along than to have their religious values controlling the country. That's why they've had two terrorist attacks this year, because Al Qaeda and ISIS and fundamentalists don't like them for wanting to have a secular country.

    Audience Question: You asked them why can't American have what they have? What is your reply?
    Michael Moore: We can have it. None of this is rocket science. If you're a parent, you can get other parents and PTA and go to the school board and say, "No more poisoning our kids at lunch." We're going to figure out how to do this. Lots of people Anthony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver have done shows on this, to show how to do this cheaply, buy locally from local farms. The chef has to meet with the mayor's office every month, because the mayor has to approve the menu to make sure the kids are being fed well. That is not a hard thing to do. We need three more states to pass the ERA. That shouldn't be hard. Just three more. There are 15 who haven't approved it.You need three more. You need 38 states. And back in the 1970s, Illinois didn't pass it, Hawaii didn't pass it, Nevada didn't pass it, Virginia didn't pass it. These are blue states now. We can get this passed in these states. There's no reason why we can't have an equal rights amendment. We're going to do some things on my website, organize a nationwide homework strike. Kids need sleep. They don't start school in Finland until 8:30 or 9:00am. There's no getting up at 6:00am. For some of these things it doesn't have to take a long time to get them going. The harder ones are prison stuff because it's about how we treat black people. That's never an easy operation to get changed. But the war on drugs is ending. We can see that happening now. That's going to come down. I am a crazy optimist. We have gay marriage 11 years after all those states passed constitutional amendments in 2004. It didn't look like it would happen in our lifetime. Twice we've elected a guy to the White House whose middle name is Hussein. We are capable of amazing things. On our side of the political fence we are constantly filled with despair. Here's a statistic I want you to go home with: 81% of the American electorate is either female, people of color or young adults between the ages 18-35. That's 81% of the country. Our only problem is us. If we vote, they are done, they are dying dinosaurs. They don't know that two months ago on the first day of kindergarten, for the first time in our history the majority of kindergartens aren't white.

    Audience Question: Could you comment on the inherent racism in the US. Just today, at least 15 governors say they would not allow Syrian refugees to come to their states.
    Michael Moore: The Syrians belong to one of the oldest cultures on the planet. We still have serious racism in this country. But people are standing up to it. Young people are not allowing older people to get away with it anymore. The 18-35ers are going to save us. Of the 15 governors, I can probably name the states without knowing the answer. On my website we note that in Florida and Virginia one out of three black men can't vote--that's the conservative number, but actually it's 40% in Virginia, adult black men who are prohibited from voting. I had no idea that Mississippi and Louisiana were pushing 40% black. How did they end up with the most conservative redneck right-wing representatives when you have that many black people? It's because they can't vote. The Republicans and right-wingers have to rely on gerrymandering, cheating and voter repression laws, and criminal justice laws, where 40% black men across river can't vote.

    Audience Question: Compared to your previous, this film is different--It is filmed mostly outside US. And in lots of interviews, you are in sync with the subject more than in previous films. As a filmmaker do you enjoy these different aspects?
    Michael Moore: We had a lot of fun making this film. It was a joy seeing these ideas being enacted. Your country can't be a member of the European Union unless you have certain laws in place. For example guaranteed paid four weeks vacation. You don't have that, you don't get into the EU. Guaranteed paid maternity. You don't have that, you don't get in the EU. They've set up certain standards for what it means to be a civilized country. It was a real joy to be around civilized people who believe in treating people as we, not me me me. I was pleased to hear a lot of things they said. It was nice not to have to fight. I knew the struggle would be with the American audience watching the film. Every group--Irish, Italians, Jews, starts on the bottom rung, and gets to climb up. Not African-Americans. They remain on bottom rung. They need to hear from white people that this bothers us greatly. When that Icelandic woman says, "I don't want to be your neighbor" she doesn't mean I don't want to be Canada or Mexico. She means I don't want to live on your street. I don't want to be around people who would treat their fellow Americans this way. Nobody over their understands why we are like cutters, cutting ourselves over and over again. It doesn't make any sense. I remain as upset and angry as I've ever been. I think with this film I just wanted to try a different approach that will reach more people, be more accessible. The studio has already tested the film, it has scored through the roof.among test audiences who say they will recommend the film to other people.
    Tia Lessin: There was a deep sense of discomfort to see Tunisians and others asking, "What is wrong with you?"
    Michael Moore: We have had 300 mass shootings since January (mass shooting: four people shot). We're so used to this now, it's a daily occurrence. Danger if it comes the new norm. It's distressing for us, we made Columbine 10 years ago. It was rare then. It was shocking then. As it is now, it's hard to thnk why are we even bothering. We make movies, things don't change.

    Jason Dick: You mentioned gay marriage.
    Michael Moore: I don't think it was the activism that brought about change. I think a lot of gays after 2004, just decided to come out by the millions. It's hard to hate when it's your son, aunt, best friend, co-worker. The more the gays came out, the more the hate went down. One thing we (baby boomers) have done right is we have raised a generation of kids that are not haters. They do not hate you if you are in love with a person of the same gender. The racism is down. I'm hopeful because of the job we've done in raising that generation. But there's a lot of work left to be done. It's up to us to do it. Change does occur but it doesn't occur through osmosis. It occurs by people getting involved. We have seen the fight for getting the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That's going to happen. Last week there was the million student march. There are three demands of college students: (1): college free for all state schools. (2): Relieve and forgive student debt that has shackles on people in their 30s and 40s. (3): pay employees on our college campus a living wage from the janitors to the adjunct professors who are collecting food stamps. That's going to happen. We have to get ourselves off of war and start standing up to the right wing in their final dying days. Let us be the majority we are. We are the majority. We are the mainstream. That's the one big change I've personally seen since I made my first film when I was out on some weird left limb. I'm not out there anymore. The things I believe in are the things the majority of Americans believe in. That's a really good feeling and we should make some hay out of it.

    Where to Invade Next is scheduled to open in January.

    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
    On January 4 at 7:15pm is the DC premiere of Sweaty Betty (2015) followed by Q&A with filmmaker Zachary Reed and actors Rico Mitchell, Seth Dubose and Floyd Rich III. On January 18 is the documentary King: A Filmed Record Montgomery to Memphis (Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1970), time TBA.

    Freer Gallery of Art
    The Freer is closed for renovations. Films will be shown at varying locations. See the Gallery below for this month's Iranian films.

    National Gallery of Art
    Special events in January are "Selections from Alternative Film/Video Belgrade," introduced by festival programmer Greg de Cuir on January 3 at 2:00pm. Katherine Quinn, widow of Anthony Quinn, will introduce Zorba the Greek (Michael Cacoyannis, 1964) on January 10 at 4:00pm.

    Two special events will be held at American University: on January 22 at 7:00pm is The Man Who Would Be Second (Ramon Alos, 2014) and Paco de Luna-The Search (Curro Sanchez, 2014) on January 27 at 7:00pm.

    "Re-seeing Iran: Twentieth Annual Iranian Film Festival" will be presented at the Gallery while the Freer is closed. On January 2 at 2:00pm is Tales (Rakhshan Bani-E'temad, 2014); on January 2 at 4:00pm is The Night It Rained (Kamran Shirdel, 1967); on January 3 at 4:00pm is Risk of Acid Rain (Behtash Sanaeeha, 2015); on January 9 at 1:00pm is The Cow (Dariush Mehrjui, 1969); on January 17 at 4:00pm is The President (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 2014); on January 23 at 2:00pm is Jafar Panahi's Taxi (Jafar Panahi, 2015); and on January 31 at 4:00pm actress Falemeh Motamed-Arya will be present for Avalanche (Morteza Farshbaf, 2015). More in February.

    "Athens Today: New Greek Cinema" (January 9-February 28) begins January 9 at 3:30pm with A Family Affair (Angeliki Aristomenopoulou, 2015). On January 16 at 2:30pm is Little England (Pantelis Voulgaris, 2013); and on January 24 at 4:00pm is Chevalier (Athina Rachel Tsangari, 2015). More in February.

    Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
    On January 31 at 3:00pm is a discussion "Pure Man Ray." Screenings of Man Ray's experimental films Le Retour à la Raison (1923), Emak-Bakia (1926), L’Étoile de Mer [The Starfish] (1928) and Les Mystères du Château du Dé (1929) will be interspersed with discussions led by artist and scholar Karen Yasinsky.

    Washington Jewish Community Center
    On January 5 at 7:30pm is Colliding Dreams (Joseph Dorman and Oren Rudavsky, 2014), a documentary about Zionism. On January 11 at 7:30pm is the documentary What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy (David Evans, 2015), about the children of high-ranking Nazi officils. On January 19 at 7:30pm is Rosenwald (Aviva Kempner, 2015), a documentary about Julius Rosenwald's building of schools for blacks in the south, followed by a Q&A with Wade Henderson from The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and filmmaker Aviva Kempner. On January 25 at 7:30pm is Remember (Atom Egoyan, 2015) starring Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau in a pact to hunt down Nazi commandant Otto Walisch.

    Library of Congress
    "Film Nights with Pat Padua: "Time Capsule: 1966" is a program of four music films from 1966. On January 8 at 7:00pm is The Big TNT Show (Larry Peerce, 1966), a variety program. On January 15 at 7:00pm is Lord Love a Duck (George Axelrod, 1966), a drama featuring Ray Charles. On January 22 at 7:00pm is Chappaqua (Conrad Rocks, 1966) and on January 29 at 7:00pm is Thunderbirds Are Go (David Lane, 1966). See the website for ticket information.

    National Geographic Society
    On January 25-30 at 7:00pm is the annual Banff Mountain Film Festival. Check the website for films and ticket availability.

    French Embassy
    On January 13 at 7:00pm is the re-scheduled documentary Le Temps dérobé (Raphaëlle Aellig Régnier, 2013) about pianist Alexandre Tharaud.

    The Japan Information and Culture Center
    On January 20 at 6:30pm is One Million Yen Girl (Yuki Tanada, 2008), winner of several film festival awards; and on January 29 at 6:30pm is the award-winning anime film Princess Arete (Sunao Katabuchi, 2001).

    The Textile Museum at GWU
    On January 21 at noon is "Weavers' Stories from Island Southeast Asia" (2010), a documentary about weavers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and East Timor.

    National Archives
    On January 15 at noon are two short films shown in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen: Wings for This Man (1945) and The Negro Soldier (Frank Capra, 1944).

    Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema
    "Movie Rewind" is a classic film series held on Wednesdays. On January 6 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is E.T. (Steven Spielberg, 1982)); On January 13 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2002); on January 20 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951); and on January 27 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm is The King's Speech (Tom Hooper, 2010).

    Interamerican Development Bank
    On January 28 at 6:00pm is the awarding-winning film Behavior (Ernesto Daranas), Cuba's pick for Best Foreign Language Film.

    The Avalon
    On January 6 at 8:00pm is the "Programmer's Choice" film for January, Theeb (Naji Abu Nawar, 2014), previously shown at Filmfest DC. On January 13 at 8:00pm is Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson, 2015). On January 20 at 8:00pm is In the Shadow of Women (Philippe Garrel, 2015). On January 27 at 8:00pm is the "Reel Israel" film 10% By Child (Uri Bar On, 2014).

    Anacostia Community Museum
    On January 21 at 1:00pm is Panama Canal (2011), a documentary about the building of the canal. On January 28 at 11:30am is Chops (2009), a documentary about people competing in the annual Ellington Festival.

    Alden Theater
    On January 13 at 7:30pm is Sparrows (William Beaudine, 1926) starring Mary Pickford. Film historian Bruce Lawton will introduce the film and Ben Model accompanies on the piano.

    Reel Affirmations XTra
    On January 8 at 7:00pm is Triangle, final episode of the TV series. Q&A afterwards with the filmmakers and cast members.

    Alliance Francais
    On January 22 at 7:00pm is the autobiographical comedy film Me, Myself and Mum (Guillaume Gallienne, 2013), winner of 5 Cesar awards including Best Picture.

    The Jerusalem Fund
    On January 28 at 12:30pm is Salt of This Sea (Annemarie Jacir, 2009).

    DC Shorts
    On January 8 and 9 at 7:30pm and 9:30pm (two different shows each night) is a program of favorite comedy shorts from the 2015 festival presented along wit live sets from the area's top stand-up comedians. At the U.S. Navy Memorial's Burke Theater.


    The Annual Rosebud Film and Video Festival
    The 25th annual Rosebud Film and Video Festival, Nominee Showcase will be held January 23 at the Navy Heritage Center. Twenty films (5.5 hours) will start at 2:00pm. Tickets and all-day passes are available at the door or in advance online.


    Women in Film and Video
    "Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story Book" Talk and Stunt Demo will be held at Interface Media Group on January 12 at 6:30pm. Author Mollie Gregory talks about her new book "Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story" which covers the history of their work from the silent era to the present. Local stuntwomen will demonstrate their skills and a book signing will follow. Use the link above to register.

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