FEATURE FILMS - 2002

 


AMERICA SO BEAUTIFUL
Directed by Babak Shokrian
2001 – USA – 90 min

In competition - East Coast premiere

 

 

9/19 - 5pm @ Tinker Street Cinema
($10)
         

9/20 - 6:45p @ Upstate II ($8)
 

An Iranian immigrant, driven by a desire to belong, dreams of owning a glittery nightclub and escaping work at his uncle's Los Angeles market. To enlist the support of his friends he shows them a piece of his dream – a night at a disco. But his desperate night of attempted assimilation is full of disappointment, hilarity and confusion on the dance floor. Set against the 1980s U.S./Iranian hostage crisis, the film is a moving search for identity and culture and an insightful dissection of the American dream. With Mansour, Diane Gaidry, Alain DeSatti, Fariborz David Diaan, Atossa Leoni, Ali Reza Momeni and Houshang Touzie


Babak Shokrian was born in Teheran, Iran in 1965. In 1971, he and his family moved to Los Angeles. He attended USC and UCLA, graduating from the latter with a degree in anthropology, with an emphasis in ethnographic film. While at UCLA, Babak also studied acting and directing at Burbank’s Victory Theatre, under director Maria Gobetti. After graduating from UCLA, Babak pursued a career in the Los Angeles film industry, learning all aspects of filmmaking by working in the production, art and editing departments on various commercial and feature film projects. During this period, Babak wrote a short film, Peaceful Sabbath, which he also produced and directed.  Peaceful Sabbath enjoyed critical acclaim in the Los Angeles press before being accepted into a traveling exhibition in American and European festivals. In this film, Babak began to explore the themes of conflicting cultures and ethnic identity, which were to form the basis of America So Beautiful. Babak is currently working on the second installment of his anticipated trilogy.
 

Producer:  Jane Reardon ï Co-Producers:  Willard Morgan, Marianne Slot, David F. Davoodian ï Screenwriters:  Babak and Brian Horiuchi ï Director of Photography:  Tom Ryan ï Original Score:  Loga Rami Torkian (Axiom of Choice) ï Editors: Mary Stephen, Andrew Sommers

Screening with SITE


BLUE CAR
Directed by Karen Moncrieff
2002 – USA – 96 min

In competition
-
East Coast premiere

 

9/20 - 6:30pm at Upstate I ($10)

 

9/22 - 2:30pm at Tinker St ($10)

 

Blue Car invites us into the teenage psyche of Meg, a gifted but emotionally scarred eighteen-year-old who finds solace in writing poetry. Her English teacher recognizes her talent and steps in as a mentor and father figure, encouraging her to enter a national poetry contest. As tension at home escalates and Meg struggles to find a way to get to the poetry finals, her teacher’s role in her life becomes increasingly complex. The film pushes emotional buttons and questions our attitudes about forbidden love. With Agnes Bruckner, David Strathairn, Frances Fisher and Regan Arnold.

Karen Moncrieff received the Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting for Blue Car, and has written and directed several short films, including the award-winning Galatea's Make-up. After graduating from Northwestern University, Karen completed the certificate program in film studies at Los Angeles City College. She recently scripted an adaptation of Edith Wharton's Summer, and is polishing up an original drama, The Sword ManBlue Car is her first feature.

 Producer:  Peer Oppenheimer ï Director of Photography:  Rob Sweeney ï Editor:  Toby Yates ï Print Courtesy of Miramax.

Screening with Jim Jarmusch's INT. TRAILER - NIGHT

BOUND FOR GLORY
Directed by Hal Ashby
1977 – USA – 147 min

Special twenty-fifth anniversary screening in honor of producer Harold Leventhal, cinematographer Haskell Wexler and the lasting legacy of Woody Guthrie

9/19 - 1:30pm 
at Tinker Street Cinema ($5)

 

 

Based on the life of Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory explores the social, economic and political hardships that molded the legendary folk singer’s beliefs. Beginning with his life in Texas and his horrific experiences in the Southwest Dust Bowl, the film follows Guthrie as he moves to California to begin his radio career. There he discovers the political power of music, which he harnesses by writing and singing his own songs. With David Carradine, Ronny Cox, Melinda Dillon and Gail Strickland. 

Hal Ashby (1929–1988) was admired for his ability to work with actors and for his skills as an editor. Beginning in the early 1970s, he produced a string of hits that included Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Bound for Glory, Coming Home and Being There. Bound for Glory broke new ground as the first feature film in which the Steadicam was used. For his brilliant work, director of photography Haskell Wexler, A.S.C. took home an OscarÒ statuette. The film, which was produced by Harold Leventhal, was also recognized for its score, which was  based on Guthrie's own music.

Producers: Robert F. Blumofe, Harold Leventhal, Jeffrey M. Sneller ï Associate Producer: Charles Mulvehill ï Writers: Robert Getchell, Woody Guthrie (book) ï Director of Photography: Haskell Wexler ïOriginal music: Leonard Rosenman ï Editors:  Pembroke J. Herring, Robert C. Jones ï Print courtesy of MGM.  


CRADLE WILL ROCK
Directed by Tim Robbins
1999 – USA – 132 min

 

9/20 - 10am at Tinker Street Cinema ($8)

 

 

 Special screening in honor of Tim Robbins, the 2002 Woodstock Film Festival Maverick Award recipient

As the art and theater world of 1930s New York City is exploding in a cultural revolution, labor strikes are breaking out throughout the country. Against this backdrop, a paranoid ventriloquist tries to rid his vaudeville troupe of communists and young Orson Welles directs his Federal Theater group in an infamous stage production of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock that is closed down on the eve of its opening by U.S. soldiers. Based on true events, the film relives an exciting and dangerous time in American history when individual courage prevailed over censorship and artists risked their livelihood by continuing to perform and paint according to conscience. With Hank Azaria, Ruben Blades, Joan Cusack, John Cusack, Bill Murray, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon and John Turturro.

Executive Producers: Frank Beacham, Louise Krakower, Allan F. Nicholls ï Producers: Lydia Dean-Pilcher, Jon Kilik, Tim Robbins ï Associate Producer: Allison R. Hebble ï Director of Photography : Jean-Yves Escoffier ï Original Music: David Robbins ï Nonoriginal Music: Marc Blitzstein (songs) ï Editor: Geraldine Peroni ï Print courtesy of Buena Vista.


CHICO
Directed and written by Ibolya Fekete
2001 - Hungary - 112 min

Special Screening

9/19 - 10:30am @ Tinker ($5)
 

9/20 - 9:45pm @ Upstate II ($8)

Chico is the story of an ideologically confused son, student, secret agent, journalist and mercenary. Born in Bolivia with Jewish, Hungarian, Spanish and Communist roots, Chico, played by Eduardo Rózsa Flores, is destined to witness one revolution after the next, from the collapse of the Allende government in Chile to the Serb/Croat conflict in 1990s Europe. Throughout it all, he searches for an identity while taking refuge in crisis and a multitude of religious and national identities. This controversial, fictional story, which intersperses real documentary TV footage, explores the vulnerability of idealism and the chaos that is so pervasive in revolution and war. (Laurent Rejto)

Ibolya Fekete was born in 1951 and studied Hungarian and Russian literature and linguistics at the Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen. In 1980 she began working with Hunnia Studios, where she has also been co-author of György Szomjas' scripts. In 1990 she directed her first documentary. Her feature-film debut, Bolse Vita (1996), captured the chaotic spirit of the times and won several international awards. She received the Béla Balázs Award in 1997.

Producers: J. J. Harting, Hans Kutnewsky, Sándor Simó, Damir Teresak ï Directors of Photography: Mátyás Erdély, Antonio Farías, Nyika Jancsó ï Editor: Anna Kornis


FAR FROM HEAVEN
Written and Directed by Todd Haynes
2002 ­ FRANCE/USA - 107 min

Closing Night Film
 
9/22 - 5:30pm at Tinker Street Cinema

SOLD OUT  

Far From Heaven marks the second teaming of leading lady Julianne Moore with writer/director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon, following the trio's collaboration on the acclaimed 1995 drama Safe.
 
Far From Heaven tells the story of a privileged housewife in 1950s America, and is inspired by the great Hollywood "women's films" of that era. Haynes vividly evokes the intense colors and visual style of filmmaker Douglas Sirk (Imitation of Life, Written on The Wind) in order to depict the teeming, oppressive surfaces of middle-class, mid-century America – and the furtive, life-shattering desires that fester beneath them.
 
It is the fall of 1957 in Hartford, Connecticut, and Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore) is returning home from a day of errands. Her husband, Frank (Dennis Quaid), who heads the local branch of the Magnatech TV sales company, is expected home for a dinner engagement. As Sybil, their maid, helps Cathy unload the car, David and Janice, the Whitaker children, are told to hurry inside and prepare for dinner. There's only one problem: Neither Cathy nor Sybil has heard from Mr. Whitaker all afternoon.
 
What begins as a curiously un-ironic snapshot of 1950s American values is soon transformed into a tangle of competing conflicts, igniting Cathy's friendships with her formidable gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert), her plucky best friend (Patricia Clarkson), and her maid, Sybil (Viola Davis). As secrets are revealed, Cathy is faced with choices that spur hatred and gossip within the community. She comes to recognize her own desires, even as, in the process, she has to give up the object of them.
 
TODD HAYNES (Writer/Director) founded Apparatus Productions in 1985 with
Barry Ellsworth and Christine Vachon.  Apparatus is a non-profit, grant-giving organization providing funding, production and distribution support to emerging filmmakers. Todd is also one of the founding members of Grand Fury, a collective of artists in the AIDS activist community.
 
His short film Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story has become an
underground cult classic. Written and directed by Haynes, the film traced Karen Carpenter's demise from anorexia nervosa. Using Barbie dolls as actors, a sound track of heartrending Carpenters songs and a 70s wardrobe that any doll would be proud to own, this seminal film demonstrated Haynes' intense empathy and theatrical bravado. The film was awarded the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival and the Best Experimental Film Award at the USA [later Sundance] Film Festival.
 
Poison, Haynes' first feature film as writer/director, interwove three separate tales of transgression inspired by the writings of Jean Genet. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 1991, where it was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Best Feature Film. It subsequently played in over twenty film festivals, earning a Teddy Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Critics' Prize at the Locarno International Film Festival, prior to its theatrical release.
 
The thirty-minute short Dottie Gets Spanked followed. Set in suburban New York
in 1966, the film explored juvenile sexuality through a little boy's obsession with a television comedienne.
 
Haynes' second feature film, Safe, looked at the life of a California housewife (played by Julianne Moore) who finds that she is becoming allergic to the twentieth century. Safe premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, screened in the Directors Fortnight section of the 1995 Cannes International Film Festival, and was released theatrically in the summer of 1995. In the Village Voice Critics' Poll of 2000, sixty-five film critics voted Safe the best film of the '90s.
 
Velvet Goldmine, his third feature as writer/director, premiered as an Official Selection at the 1998 Cannes International Film Festival and earned Haynes a Special Jury Prize for Artistic Contribution. A multi-layered glam-rock epic tracing the rise and fall of a mythical rock star, the film starred Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette, Christian Bale and Eddie Izzard. Released theatrically in the fall of 1998, Velvet Goldmine won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Cinematography (by Maryse Alberti) and earned a BAFTA Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design (by Sandy Powell).
 
A Focus Features and Vulcan Productions presentation of a Killer Films/John Wells/Section Eight production.
Written and Directed by Todd Haynes
Produced by Christine Vachon
Produced by Jody Patton
Executive Producers: Steven Soderbergh, George Clooney
Executive Producers: John Wells, Eric Robison, John Sloss
Co-Producers: Bradford Simpson, Declan Baldwin
Director of Photography: Edward Lachman, A.S.C.
Production Designer: Mark Friedberg
Editor: James Lyons
Costume Designer: Sandy Powell
Music: Elmer Bernstein
A Focus Features release
Print courtesy of Focus Features
 

FUNNY HA HA
Directed by Andrew Bujalski
2002 – USA – 90 min

In competition - World premiere

 

9/20 - 7pm at Bearsville ($8)

 

 

Marnie is a twenty-three-year-old girl living alone in Boston. We join her as she ping-pongs between several awkward and ill-advised boy situations, all the while gamely attempting to maintain her humor and dignity. Critic Ray Carney says, "The loose weave of experience – the shaggy, baggy randomness of young adult life and love – has never been captured more truly and convincingly on film." With Kate Dollenmayer, Christian Rudder, Myles Paige, Jennifer L. Schaper, Lissa Patton Rudder and Marshall Lewy.

Andrew Bujalski has lived and worked on films in Mississippi, Texas, California, and Massachusetts.
 
Producer:  Ethan Vogt
Associate Producer:  Morgan Faust
Director of Photography:  Matthias Grunsky
Editor:  Andrew Bujalski
 

GERRY
Directed by Gus Van Sant
2001 – USA – 103 min

Centerpiece screening -
East Coast premiere

9/21 -6pm
at Tinker St

SOLD OUT

 

In a striking return to his independent roots, Oscar-nominated director Van Sant creates this drama of two friends (Casey Affleck and Matt Damon) who go hiking in a remote area and lose their way in the forbiddingly beautiful terrain. At first their confidence and humor propel them forward, but then the gravity of the situation takes hold. As their strength and their prospects for survival wane, the young men face the ultimate test. A powerful study of man against the elements, Gerry uses the seemingly limitless expanses of Death Valley to create a series of images that evoke the beauty, freedom and occasional terror of nature.
 
Gerry is an extremely disconcerting film, emotionally and aesthetically, partly because of escapes easy categorization. It's neither an avant-garde landscape epic such as Michael Snow's The Central Region nor a narrative movie such as Thelma and Louise or Van Sant's own My Own Private Idaho. which use landscape to define character and story. But like those three, it is a distinctly North American film (despite the fact that
Van Sant talks about being influenced by Hungarian director Bela Tarr, particularly in relation to duration and the use of the moving camera. Its inspiration is the land itself – the huge, incomprehensible scale of it,  and the loneliness it engenders. The need to give the landscape its due, lest it turn on the artist for his presumption, is palpable from the first frame to the last. (Amy Taubin)

Gus Van Sant burst onto the cinematic scene in 1985 with his acclaimed first feature,
Mala Noche.  His body of work includes Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, and To Die For.  Van Sant received an Academy Award nomination for directing Good Will Hunting in 1997, which he followed with his controversial remake of Psycho.  The winter of 2000 saw the release of  his literary drama, Finding Forrester, starring Sean Connery.
 
Producer: Dany Wolf ï Screenwriters: Casey Affleck, Matt Damon, Gus Van Sant ï
Director of Photography: Harris Savides ï Orginal Score:  Arvo Part ï Print courtesy of ThinkFilm.

THE GREY ZONE
Directed by Tim Blake Nelson
2001 – USA – 108 min

Spotlight Film

9/21 - 9pm at Tinker St

SOLD OUT

9/22 - 6:15pm at Upstate I ($10)

 

This is the tale of Dr. Miklos Nyiszli, who worked for the “Angel of Death," Dr. Joseph Mengele, and the Jewish prisoners – the Sonderkommando – who were forced to work in the crematoria at Auschwitz. The film depicts the traumatic experiences that forced them into a moral "grey zone." With Harvey Keitel, David Arquette, Daniel Benzali, Steve Buscemi, Allan Corduner, Natasha Lyonne, Mira Sorvino and Brian F. O'Byrne.

Tim Blake Nelson is a New York – based director, actor and writer.  His writing/directing debut, Eye of God, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and went on to the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Seattle International Film Festival, where it won the American Independent Award, and the Tokyo International Film Festival, where  it won the Bronze Prize.  Nelson’s second film,  O, a modern-day adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello, garnered him the Best Director award at the Seattle International Film Festival 2001 and was released by Lions Gate Films.  Nelson co-starred in the Coen  Brothers’ acclaimed hit O Brother, Where Art Thou? with George Clooney and John Turturro.  Other screen acting credits include Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco, Hal Hartley’s Amateur and Nora  Ephron’s This is My Life.  Nelson is also an award-winning playwright and has acted extensively in New York theater, most recently in Oedipus, with Frances McDormand and Billy Crudup.  Born and raised in Tulsa, he is a graduate of Brown University and the Juiliard Theater Center.

Executive Producers:  Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Brad Weston, John Wells, Harvey Keitel, Peggy Gormley ï Producers:  Pamela Koffler, Christine Vachon, Tim Blake Nelson, Avi Lerner, Danny Lerner ï Co-Producer:  David Varod ï Director of Photography:  Russell Lee Fine ï Original Score:  Jeff Danna ï Editors:  Tim Blake Nelson, Michelle Botticelli ï Print courtesy of Lion’s Gate.
 


IL POSTO
Directed by Ermanno Olmi
1961– Italy - Black and White – 90 min

Special screening
9/21 - 1pm at Upstate I ($8)

 

In Ermanno Olmi's lost classic, a shy boy just out of school goes after a job in a large company that offers security but low wages.  He commutes into Milan to undergo a ridiculous battery of tests and meets a pretty girl among the other candidates.  Both are hired, but for different departments that run on different schedules. Their interaction is limited – until the eve of the company New Year’s Eve party, which they both promise to attend. With Sandro Panseri and Loredana Detto.  Print courtesy of Cowboy Pictures.

Ermanno Olmi is an extraordinary Italian filmmaker whose gentle, unforced and humanistic approach to his characters and themes has resulted in a body breathtaking work. The critic John Simon once compared his films to those of the similarly empathetic Jan Troell, by noting: "They make you love not only them but also the man who made them."

 Producer: Alberto Soffientini ï Directors of Photography: Roberto Barbieri, Lamberto Caimi ï Screenwriters:  Ettore Lombardo, Ermanno Olmi ï Music: Pier Emilio Bassi ï Print courtesy of Cowboy Pictures.


INTERVIEW WITH THE ASSASSIN
Directed by Neil Burger
2001 – USA – 85 min 

In Competition

 

9/22 - 12:15pm at Tinker St ($8)

 

Sometimes it takes only one man to make a conspiracy. Ron Kobeleski, an out-of-work TV news cameraman, may have just stumbled onto the story of a lifetime. His shadowy older neighbor, Walter Ohlinger, has summoned over Ron and his camera, saying he's got a secret to reveal. What's the big secret? Walter claims he was the "grassy knoll gunman" - the second assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Is he telling the truth? As Ron and Walter search for the only witness who can back up the story, the pressure mounts and their lives begin to unravel. First-time writer/director Neil Burger has meticulously crafted Interview with the Assassin to feel like a verité documentary, masterfully creating a chilling realness and accumulation of detail, but making it seem offhanded and spontaneous. The actors are mesmerizing, especially character-actor Raymond J. Barry in an unbelievable performance as the inscrutable Walter. Interview with the Assassin will challenge your assumptions.  Also starring Dylan Haggerty, Renee Faia, Jared McVay and Kate Williamson.Print courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
 
Neil Burger is an award-winning director of commercials, music videos and documentaries.  After graduating from Yale University with a degree in fine arts, Burger began his film career by creating and directing the acclaimed “Books:  Feed Your Head” campaign for MTV.  These “one-minute movies” promoted language and literature and featured actors such as Timothy Hutton and Aidan Quinn.  Burger was also chosen to create a series of television spots for Amnesty International and their campaign for “prisoners of conscience.”  Interview with the Assassin is his first feature film.
 
Executive Producer:  Tom Tucker
Producers:  Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Director of Photography:  Richard Rutkowski
Editor:  Brad Fuller


JUST A KISS
Directed by Fisher Stevens
2002 – USA – 89 min

Spotlight screening
 

 

9/20 - 9:30pm at Tinker Street Cinema
SOLD OUT

9/22 - 1pm at Upstate I ($8)

 

A smart, hip black comedy that features an energetic sound track, a sexy cast and expert use of digital animation. The film follows a group of friends as they learn the hard way that a kiss is never just a kiss as the film's themes of constant, inevitable infidelity and constant, inevitable sex are played out. The result is hilarious, cruel and poignant.  The imagination behind some of the gags in the film is nothing short of brilliant. With Ron Eldard, Kyra Sedgwick, Patrick Breen, Marley Shelton, Taye Diggs, Sarita Choudhury and Marisa Tomei.

Fisher Stevens moved from his native Chicago to New York at the age of thirteen to pursue an acting career.  He has performed in more than twenty stage productions, including 544 performances in Harvey Fierstein's Torch Song Trilogy, both on and off Broadway. He also played the central character in Neil Simon's Brighton Beach Memoirs. Most recently, he played the leads in Thomas Babe's Carrying School Children, Almost Romance and Jules Feiffer's Little Murders with Christine Lahti. He sang and danced in the musicals Miami, by Wendy Wasserstein, and the late Michael Bennett's Broadway production of Scandal, with Swoosie Kurtz and Treat Williams. He appeared in the recent New York City Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Despite having lived in New York City for more than a decade – where, with several fellow actors, Stevens has started an off-off-off Broadway theater company called Naked Angels – he insists that he is still a fan of the Chicago Cubs.

Producer:  Matthew Rowland  ïExecutive Producers:  John Penotti, Dolly Hall, Bradley Yonover  ï Screenwriter:  Patrick Breen  ï Director of Photography:  Terry Stacey   ï Print courtesy of Paramount Classics.


KHALED
Directed by Asghar Massombagi 
2001 Canada 85 min
 
In Competition - East Coast premiere

9/21 - 3:30pm at Upstate I ($8)

 

9/22 - 10am at Tinker St ($8)

 

 

 
A ten-year-old boy keeps his mother's death a secret to avoid being sent to a foster home. While juggling pressure from a crooked landlord, a nosy social worker, and suspicious neighbors, the boy finds solace in his relationships with his best friend and an elderly woman. This drama by Asghar Massombagi can be taken as a one-of-a-kind thriller, as well as the poetic story of a young outsider, discriminated against because of his social position and racial difference.  With Michael D'Ascenzo, Michelle Duquet, Normand Bissonnette, Michael Kanev, Lynne Deragon, John Ralston, Gerry Quigley, Joanne Boland, Richard Banel, Alex Hood, Bryn Mcauly and Paul Lee.
 
Born and raised in Tehran, Massombagi immigrated to Canada when barely out of his teens. Putting himself through school, he graduated from Simon Fraser University with a double major in film and computer science. Khaled is his first feature film.
 
Producer: Paul Scherzer
Screenwriter: Asghar Massombagi
Director of Photography: Luc Montpellier
Original Score: Mel M'rabet

KWIK STOP
Directed by Michael Gilio
2002 – USA – 111 min

In competition -
East Coast premiere
9/20 - 1pm at Tinker Street Cinema ($8)

 

9/21 - 6pm at Upstate I ($8)

 

A new spin on the road movie in which the characters never quite manage to hit the road. This Midwestern fable follows Mike, an aspiring actor who sets off for sunny L.A. but makes a fateful "quick stop" at a convenience store. With Michael Gilio and Lara Phillips.


Michael Gilio began his career writing and acting in the Windy City. He graduated from Columbia College in Chicago and made a name for himself, most notably when he co-starred with Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love 2, directed by Peter Bogdanovich, and in Only in America: The Life and Crimes of Don King with Ving Rhames. He also acted in a film about his hometown, Love and Action in Chicago, with Kathleen Turner and Jason Alexander. He has guest starred on numerous TV shows, including Chicago Hope and The Profiler.
 
Producer:  Rachel Tenner
Director of Photography:  David H. Blood

LOVE IN THE TIME OF MONEY
Directed by Peter Mattei
2002 – USA/India – 90 min

In Competition

 

9/21 - 3:15pm at Tinker Street Cinema
SOLD OUT

9/22 - 3:30pm at Upstate I
SOLD OUT

In this quintessentially metropolitan sexual roundelay, set at the height of the Nasdaq boom, nine New Yorkers, representing a cross-section of society, are linked by romance, commerce, and often both.  In a successive series of one-on-one encounters connecting a prostitute, carpenter, bored socialite, bisexual art collector, struggling painter, art gallery receptionist, love-sick student, lonely telephone psychic and desperate Wall Street trader, the mad quest for sex, love or lucre ultimately places them on the cusp of a profound change. This is a darkly funny and often touching portrait of New York in the days of reckless need. With Steve Buscemi, Rosario Dawson, Vera Farmiga, Michael Imperioli, Carol Kane, Adrian Grenier, Jill Hennessy, Malcolm Gets and Domenick Lombardozi.  Print courtesy of ThinkFilm.

 
Peter Mattei is a 1998 Sundance Lab fellow and a founding member of the Cucaracha Theatre in New York.  The Village Voice called his theater work “rare and distinctive,” and The New York Times hailed it as “electrifying.”  His plays have also been produced in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Chicago.  Mattei studied at Brown University and the Yale School of Drama.  Love in the Time of Money is his first feature film.
 
Executive Producers: Robert Redford, Michael Nozik
Producers: Lisa Bellomo, Joana Vincente, Jason Kliot, Gretchen McGowan
Co-Producer:  Yves Chevalier
Director of Photography:  Stehen Kazmierski
Editor:  Myron Kerstein
 
Screening with RULES OF LOVE

MALA NOCHE
Directed by Gus Van Sant
1985 – USA – 78 min

Special Screening
 

 

9/21 - 11:45pm at Tinker St. ($8)

 

 

The rarely screened Mala Noche is a gorgeous, unique experience that instantly established Gus Van Sant as a unique voice in cinema. Shot for $25,000, it tells the simplistic tale of a Portland liquor store clerk who develops a crush on a poor Mexican street kid who speaks very little English. Basing his film on the Walt Curtis autobiography, Van Sant creates his own visual poetry with wonderfully impressionistic black and white imagery.  According to then L.A. Times critic Peter Rainer, “The ardor in this film isn't only in its love story, it's also in Van Sant's experimental, poetic use of the medium." A true diamond in the rough, especially for those who liked Drugstore Cowboy or My Own Private Idaho. With Tim Streeter and Doug Cooeyate. Print courtesy of ThinkFilm.

Gus Van Sant burst onto the cinematic scene in 1985 with his acclaimed first feature, Mala Noche.  His body of work includes Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, and To Die For.  Van Sant received an Academy Award nomination for directing Good Will Hunting in 1997, which he followed with his controversial remake of Psycho.  The winter of 2000 saw the release of the literary drama, Finding Forrester, starring Sean Connery.
 
MANIC
Directed by Jordan Melamed
2002 – USA – 100 min

In competition
9/20 - 3:30pm at Tinker Street Cinema ($8)

 

9/21 - 9pm at Upstate ($8)

 

Manic turns the inner lives of today's most desperate kids into a visceral battle between the yearning for freedom and the need for control. Follow the fate of Lyle, a violent adolescent who, in lieu of prison, is placed in a juvenile mental institution, where he encounters a group of equally troubled teens. This motley crew – abused, sexually confused, violent, yet hanging on by their grit and anger – becomes Lyle’s last lifeline as he fights to find meaning in a world that seems to defy understanding. A frenzied view of society seen through the eyes of kids who have given up trying to accept life on the usual terms. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Don Cheadle and Michael Bacall. Print courtesy of IFC.

Jordan Melamed is an AFI graduate. His thesis film, A Corner In Gold, set in the ruthless Chicago trading pits, played festivals worldwide (including the Emerging Filmmakers Showcase at the 1998 Cannes Film Festival) and won a student Emmy for best drama. Melamed has chosen to make Manic digitally to achieve a special realism. He explained that "DV is the right format to capture the immediacy and claustrophobia of life on the ward as well as the emotional desperation and explosiveness of the characters. The audience will feel at the center of the action, not at a safe distance."
 
Writers:  Michael Bacall, Blayne Weaver
Executive Producers:  Peter Broderick, Chuck Reeder, Joanne Hoffman
Producers:  Trudi Callon, Kirk Hassig
Co-Producers:  Paul Greenstone, Rocky Eversman
Director of Photography:  Nick Hay
Original Score:  David Wingo, Michael Linnen

MAY
Directed by Lucky McKee
2002 – USA – 90 min

In competition - NY premiere
 

9/20 - 12am at Tinker Street Cinema ($8)

 

9/21 - 9:15pm at Upstate ($8)

 

In the style of Brian De Palma’s Carrie, and a modern-day tribute to Frankenstein, May is a chilling tale of a young woman’s passion and obsession. The subject of constant ridicule from her peers and parents as a young girl, May retreats to a life of seclusion, one in which she believes that her only true friend is the homemade doll given to her by her mother -- a doll that she regularly consults for advice. With Angela Bettis, Jeremy Sisto, Anna Faris and James Dural. Print courtesy of Lions Gate.

Northern California native Lucky McKee received his BFA in 1997 from the University of Southern California’s School of Filmic Writing.  During his time at USC, McKee penned the first draft of May.  After college, McKee gained production experience shooting, editing, writing and acting in films and digital videos with friends and family.  In late 2000, producer Marius Balchunas, a former classmate, told McKee he had the resources to put an independent film together.  Four years later, with the formation of 2Loop Films, McKee got his chance.  May is his first feature film.
 
Executive Producers:  Eric Koskin, John Veague
Producers:  Marius Balchunas, Scott Sturgeon
Co-Producer:  Richard Middleton
Director of Photography:  Steve Yedlin

OPERATION MIDNIGHT CLIMAX        

Directed by Will Keenan & Gadi Harel
2002 – USA – 78 min

 

 

9/21 - 9:30pm at
Woodstock Community Center ($8)

 

Will Nitch, a paranoid downtowner, sets out to create an all-female secret society and change the world through astro-sexual mysticism. Trust no one. Love everyone. With Will Keenan, Caron Bernstein, Michael Showalter and Michael Musto.
 
Will Keenan has been involved with over 25 films in varying capacities, such as:  Actor, Producer, Director, Writer, Casting Director, StuntMan/Choreographer.  He founded Hoverground Studios with Timothy Franklin in 1999.  Notable projects include: Good Machine's Love God, Fine Line's Trick, GoKart/HGS' Into the Night: The Benny Mardones Story, Troma's Tromeo & Juliet and Terror Firmer, TLA's Waiting, Passport Pics' Margarita Happy Hour , CineBlasts' The Love Machine, New Line's Most Wanted, Regents' Wolves of Wallstreet, Henry Jaglom's Festival At Cannes, and Carter Smith's upcoming doc Disfunctional Comfortability (a.k.a. F*!K ROME!).
 
Since graduating from NYU, Gadi Harel has apprenticed for a private eye, reported for The New York Observer, penned episodic work for The Learning Channel, and had a design career with clients ranging from GQ to Troma Entertainment. OMC is Gadi's debut as a feature film director and producer.
 
Screenwriters: Will Keenan & Gadi Harel
Executive Producer: Timothy Franklin
Director of Photography: William M. Miller
Editor: Gino Foster
Original Score: Quentin Chiappetta
 
Screening with FLO FOX's DICTHOLOGY

PERSONAL VELOCITY
Directed by Rebecca Miller
2001 – USA – 90 min

Opening Night Film
 

9/19 - 8pm at Tinker Street Cinema ($12)

SOLD OUT

 

Dramatic Competition Grand Jury Prize Award – 2002 Sundance Film Festival
Excellence in Cinematography Award - Ellen Kuras – 2002 Sundance Film Festival
 
One of the truly special films of the year, Personal Velocity is a film that should be celebrated.  In adapting her own novel to the screen, Rebecca Miller has crafted an exquisite, intellectually rigorous and emotionally intense portrait of three women.  Though their paths never cross, Miller uses a variety of narrative techniques – narration, flashbacks, freeze-frames – to link these women, whose childhood experiences will affect their adult decisions as they reach crossroads in their lives.
 
Delia (Sedgwick) is in an abusive relationship with her husband of twelve years. After he brutally beats her one night, she escapes with her three children to reclaim what she has lost. Greta (Posey) is an ambitious book editor whose sudden success forces her to reevaluate her life.  And Paula (Balk) is a troubled twenty-one-year-old who has just had a near-death experience. Driving to her mother's house, she picks up a hitchhiker with a secret who awakens something within her.
 
In creating the universe for these characters, Miller is expertly aided on every level by her crew, including the one-of-a-kind DP Ellen Kuras, who has finally shown us what the digital medium can do. And then there are the actresses – Kyra Sedgwick, Parker Posey and Fairuza Balk – all working at the top of their craft, each imbuing the film with her unique intensity and humanity. (Ryan Werner)

Rebecca Miller (Writer/Director) studied painting at Yale University, before moving to
New York City, where she showed her paintings at the Leo Castelli and Victoria Munroe Galleries.
 
She then began a brief career as an actress, appearing in such films as Regarding Henry, with Harrison Ford; Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, with Jennifer Jason Leigh; and Consenting Adults, with Kevin Spacey.
 
Miller, who felt more comfortable in the role of observer than performer, then moved on to directing. In 1991, she wrote and directed a short film called Florence, which caught the attention of the Cincinnati Ensemble Theater. The group invited her to direct a revival of After the Fall, a play written in 1964 by her father, Arthur Miller.
 
In 1995, she wrote and directed her first feature film, Angela, which won the Gotham Award and the Filmmakers Trophy and Cinematography Awards at Sundance that year. Personal Velocity is based on Miller's book of short stories by the same name, which was published by Grove Atlantic in the fall of 2001. A. R. Gurney, author of Love Letters and many other plays, called Personal Velocity  “richly evocative, sexy as hell, and thick with dramatic event...a startling debut." The Library Journal called the book “An original collection"  and added , “Each story is as sharply rendered and neatly contained as a film shot.”
 
Presented by IFC Productions and InDigEnt in association with Goldheart/Blue Magic Pictures
Producers: Lemore Syvan, Gary Winick, Alexis Alexanian 
Executive Producers: Jonathan Sehring, Caroline Kaplan, John Sloss 
Director of Photography:  Ellen Kuras 
Music:  Michael Rohatyn 
Editor:  Sabine Hoffman 
Print courtesy of United Artists

PIPE DREAM
Directed by John C. Walsh
2001 – USA – 95 min

Films of the Hudson Valley/Catskills

 

9/21 - 10am at Tinker Street Cinema
SOLD OUT

9/22 - 6:45pm at Upstate II ($8)

 


After a tipsy one-night stand, two New York neighbors seem to have nothing in common. He's an unnoticed plumber; she's an unproduced scriptwriter. When the plumber pretends to be a film director to get himself noticed, the writer builds on his scam to get her script produced. Both think they are using the other to get what they want. To their surprise they end up discovering that what they may want is each other.  With Martin Donovan, Mary-Louise Parker, Rebecca Gayheart and Kevin Carrol. Produced by Hudson Valley resident, Sally Roy.

A graduate of the NYU film school, John C. Walsh premiered his first movie, Ed’s Next Move, to critical praise at the Sundance Film Festival in 1996.  The film was later released by Orion Classics.  Pipe Dream is his second film.  John lives in Westchester, New York with his wife, filmmaker Mary Harron, with whom he has two  young  children.
 
Writers:  John C. Walsh, Cynthia Kaplan
Executive Producer:  Michael Zilkha
Producers:  Sally Roy, Carole Curb Nemoy, Mike Curb
Director of Photography:  Peter  Nelson
Editor:  Malcolm Jamieson
Original Score:  Alexander Lasarenko
 
Screening with THE QUALITY OF MERCY

THE TUNE
Directed by Bill Plympton
1992 – USA – 69 min

Special screening – Focus on Music

9/21 - 6:45pm at the Kleinert/James ($8)

SOLD OUT

A magical journey through a musical fantasyland with a cast of hilariously contorted characters. The Tune is a musical comedy based on Del, a young, struggling songwriter who is trying to write a song for his boss, Mr. Mega, the CEO of Mega Music. Del wants to be able to draw a steady income so he can marry his sweetheart, Didi, who is also Mr. Mega's secretary. Mr. Mega gives Del an ultimatum: a smash hit in forty-seven minutes or he's fired.

The Tune was animator Bill Plympton's first full-length feature. His short films have been seen widely around the country, highlighting many animation festivals. His oblique, off-center sense of the ridiculous in everyday life has made Microtoons and his other shorts a popular MTV offering. His distinctive style has even invaded the world of advertising.  Plympton's short films continue to be shown in animation festivals around the world, and he has also released a comic book featuring "The Sleazy Cartoons of Bill Plympton." Plymptoons is a video collection of Bill's short films.
 
Writers:  Bill Plympton, P.C. Vey, Maureen McElheron

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS  
Directed by Alfredo de Villa
2002 – USA – 81 min - video

In competition
9/21 - 6:45pm at Upstate II ($8)

 

9/22 - 2:30pm at Kleinert/James ($8)

 

The story of Carlos, a young illustrator burning to escape his Latino neighborhood to make a splash in New York City’s downtown comic book scene. When he is forced to put his dream on hold, he comes to understand that if he is to make it as a comic artist, he must first engage with the community he comes from and put it in his work. With Tomas Milian, Manny Perez, Danny Hoch, Jude Ciccoella, Bobby Cannavale and Andrea Navedo.
 
Alfredo de Villa, a resident of Washington Heights, has directed two short films, Joe’s Egg and Neto’s Run; both received the distinguished Best Latino Director award from the Director’s Guild of America.  With co-writer Nat Moss, Alfredo was invited to the Sundance Screenwriter’s lab to develop the screenplay Little Angel, which subsequently won the grand prize for screenwriting at the 2001 New York International Latino Film Festival.  Little Angel has also been a finalist in the Austin Heart of Film screenplay competition.  Alfredo is currently preparing a documentary on groundbreaking Cuban filmmakers of the 1960s and 70s.  Born in Puebla, Mexico, he has worked for several years as a commercial producer in the Latino Division of Young & Rubicam.
 
Executive Producers:  Peter Newman, Greg Johnson, Joseph La Morte
Producers:  Luis Dantas, Tom Donahue
Writers:  Alfredo de Villa, Nat Moss, Junot Diaz
Director  of Photography:  Claudio Chea
Editor:  Tom Donahue
Original Score:  Leigh Roberts
 
Screening with NIGHTWINDOWS

 
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