Category Archives: FILM

SAM POLLARD — TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’

Not much has changed. That’s what was so bad what we saw about January 6 at the Capitol. On one level, I’m horrified and disgusted, but on the other level, I’m thinking, Damn, our country is still the same. You look at the run-up to the election and listen to the speeches about if you elect Democrats they will come destroy the suburbs and your community. This is insanity. Have we not learned any lessons in America?Sam Pollard

On the occasion of the release of Pollard’s new film MLK/FBI, Film at Lincoln Center is presenting a retrospective of the filmmaker’s work—including TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’, where Freedom Summer meets the search for bluesmen Son House and Skip James.

The film is narrated by Common and features performances by—among others—Gary Clark Jr., Buddy Guy, Valerie June, Lucinda Williams, and the North Mississippi Allstars.

See link below for streaming information.

TWO TRAINS RUNNIN’

Directed by Sam Pollard.

Film at Lincoln Center

Now streaming.

Sam Pollard, Two Trains Runnin’ (2016), from top: Skip James (left) and Son House; scene from film; Two Trains Runnin’ poster; scene from film; Gary Clark, Jr.; scene from film. Images courtesy and © the filmmaker and Avalon Films.

FILM MAUDIT 2.0 — REZA ABDOH

When we speak the word “life,” it must be understood we are not referring to life as we know it from its surface of fact, but to that fragile, fluctuating center which forms never reach. And if there is still one hellish, truly accursed thing in our time, it is our artistic dallying with forms, instead of being like victims burnt at the stake, signaling through the flames. Antonin Artaud*

Film Maudit is here. Inspired by Jean Cocteau and presented by Highways, the second iteration of the festival of “outré” films brings together dozens of features and shorts for free streaming.

One of this year’s highlights is Adam Soch’s immersive documentary REZA ABDOH—THEATRE VISIONARY, a view from inside the transgressive work of the late, great theater provocateur, creator of such spectacles as The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice, Bogeyman, The Law of Remains, Father Was a Peculiar Man, Minamata, Tight Right White, and Quotations From a Ruined City.

Featuring extensive documentary footage of Abdoh’s rehearsals and produced work at the Los Angeles Theater Center, the Long Beach Opera, New York’s Diplomat Hotel, and the streets of the Meatpacking District, the film includes interviews with the actors, artists, friends, and advocates in his circle: Alan Mandell, Tony Torn, Ken Roht, Tom Pearl, Tom Fitzpatrick, Jacqueline Gregg, Juliana Francis-Kelly, Peter Jacobs, Edwin Gerard, Diane White, Elsbeth M. Collins, Morgan Jenness, Bill Bushnell, Anne Hamburger, Peter Sellars, Norman Frisch, Daniel Mufson, Sylvie Drake, Sandy Cleary, David Schweizer, Tal Yarden, Sabrina Artel, Anita Durst, Alix HesterJohn Jahnke, Laurel Meade, Alyson Campbell, his mother Homa Oboodi, and his brothers Sardar and Salar Abdoh.

See link below for screening details.

REZA ABDOH—THEATRE VISIONARY

Directed by Adam Soch.

Film Maudit 2.0

Now streaming.

*Antonin Artaud, The Theater and Its Double, translated by Mary Caroline Richards (New York: Grove Press, 1958).

Reza Abdoh, from top: The Law of Remains (1992), photographs (2) from the Hotel Diplomat, New York, production, photographs © Paula Court; Bogeyman (1990), photograph © Jan Deen; Tight Right White (1993), photographs (3) from the 440 Lafayette Street, New York, production, photographs © Paula Court; The Hip-Hop Waltz of Eurydice (1990), upper photograph © R. Kaufman, lower two from the Sigma Festival, Bordeaux, production in 1992, photographs © Patrick Veyssière; Quotations From a Ruined City (1994), written by Salar Abdoh and Reza Abdoh, middle photograph © Paula Court, upper and lower photographs from the 448 West 16th Street, New York production, photographs © Jan Deen.

Below: Salar Abdoh (left), Reza Abdoh, and Sardar Abdoh; Reza Abdoh, photograph © Richard Liebfried.

EMERALD FENNELL AND CAREY MULLIGAN IN CONVERSATION

It could only be her. Carey is… just famously good and she chooses so carefully and she’s really always kept to her own journey in terms of what she picks. She’s very private, which makes quite an enigmatic actress. I really wanted somebody who wasn’t going to come and make her a kick-ass superhero comic book character. I wanted her to be the stillness at the center of it all. She was my dream person. — Emerald Fennell

Film Independent Presents will host a members’ screening of Fennell ’s remarkable debut feature PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, as well as a Q & A with the writer-director joining the film’s star Carey Mulligan.

And the American Cinematheque has added an online Q & A as well, which Bo Burnham will join. A free PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN screener link is available now with this event, while supplies last.

For information on all the events, VOD streaming, and Film Independent membership, see the links below.

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Focus Features

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell.

Film Independent Presents

Wednesday and Thursday, January 13 and 14.

Streams for 48 hours.

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is streaming on demand from January 15.

EMERALD FENNELL and CAREY MULLIGAN Q & A

Film Independent Presents

Friday, January 15.

Noon on the West Coast; 3 pm East Coast; 8 pm London; 9 pm Paris.

EMERALD FENNELL, CAREY MULLIGAN and BO BURNHAM Q & A

American Cinematheque

Saturday, January 23.

1 pm on the West Coast; 4 pm East Coast; 9 pm London; 10 pm Paris.

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (2020), from top: Carey Mulligan; Bo Burnham and Mulligan; Alison Brie and Mulligan; Laverne Cox; Mulligan (2); Sam Richardson and Mulligan; Molly Shannon and Mulligan; Adam Brody; Mulligan. Images courtesy and © Focus Features.

KATE WINSLET AND FRANCIS LEE IN CONVERSATION

It’s about how we choose to love and how that can end up defining who we are. Pushing romance is not a part of the narrative at all; it’s about subtlety and nuance. — Kate Winslet, on AMMONITE

Join Winslet and AMMONITE writer-director Francis Lee for a Q & A, moderated by Alex Cohen. Your RSVP confirmation will include a free screener link to the film. See link below for details.

AMMONITE—Q & A WITH KATE WINSLET and FRANCIS LEE

Neon and American Cinematheque

Saturday, January 9.

10 am on the West Coast; 1 pm East Coast; 6 pm London; 7 pm Paris.

Francis Lee, Ammonite (2020), from top: Saoirse Ronan (left) and Kate Winslet; Francis Lee with Winslet, photograph by Agatha A. Nitecka / RÅN Studio; Ammonite poster; Winslet and Ronan. Images courtesy and © Neon.

ELLIS HAIZLIP — MR. SOUL !

He did an entire show that was dedicated to Black women. It featured artists, like the dancer Carmen de Lavallade, and poets like Nikki Giovanni, Jackie Earley, Sonia Sanchez, and Mari Evans. It was unheard of to have a show dedicated to poets, let alone female poets. Carolyn Franklin, the sister of Aretha Franklin, was on the show. People who really know soul music are aware that she was one of the best singers of our time. Of course, rest in peace, Aretha, but she was not on the show, her sister was… [Ellis Haizlip] was an openly gay African American man who saw the struggle and wanted to make sure they had a voice. — Melissa Haizlip

To celebrate the ongoing success of her remarkable documentary MR. SOUL!—the story of producer and host Ellis Haizlip and his groundbreaking PBS television series Soul!—filmmaker Melissa Haizlip (Ellis’ niece) and the Museum of Tolerance present a watch party and post-screening discussion with Giovanni, Blair Underwood, and Doug Blush, moderated by Harvard professor Sarah Elizabeth Lewis.

See link below to register.

MR. SOUL WATCH PARTY and Q & A

Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles.

Tuesday, December 29.

4 pm on the West Coast; 7 pm East Coast.

MR. SOUL!

Directed by Melissa Haizlip.

Now streaming.

Melissa Haizlip, Mr. Soul! (2020), from top: Ellis Haizlip, photograph by Ivan Curry; Nikki Giovanni on Soul!; Amiri Baraka (right) with Haizlip on the show, photograph by Chester Higgins; the J. C. White Choir with Haizlip, photograph by Alex Harsley; Mr. Soul! poster; Patti LaBelle performs on Soul!; the show’s director Stan Lathan (far left), cameraman, Haizlip, and Melvin Van Peebles (facing television camera), photograph by Higgins; Melissa Haizlip. Images courtesy and © the filmmaker, the photographers, and Shoes In the Bed Productions.