April 2015


Posted April 1, 2015. Updates made April 4 and April 9.

Contents

  • The Washington DC International Film Festival
  • The Cinema Lounge
  • Adam's Rib Remembers the Man Who Was and Wasn't Spock: The Great Leonard Nimoy
  • Danny Collins: Q&A with Director Dan Fogelman
  • Clouds of Sils Maria: Q&A with Actress Juliette Binoche
  • We Need to Hear From You
  • Calendar of Events

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    April 16-26

    The 29th Washington DC International Film Festival

    The 29th Annual Washington DC International Film Festival takes place April 16-26. As Washington’s oldest and largest film festival, Filmfest DC will showcase a diverse range of entertaining and thought-provoking films from around the globe, representing a variety of voices and perspectives. This year, the festival will assemble an exceptional program of films including features, documentaries, comedies, shorts and award winners for Washington residents and visitors.

    Films are shown in categories such as The Lighter Side (comedy), Trust No One (espionage/thrillers), Rhythms On and Off the Screen (films on music), Reel Jazz (films on jazz), Justice Matters (social justice), and Sister Cities Through the Lens.

    The Opening Night film is Tango Glories from Argentina and the Closing Night film is I Can Quit Whenever I Want from Italy.

    Locations include AMC's Mazza Gallerie, Landmark's E Street Cinema, the Embassy of France, the Goethe Institute, and the Lincoln Theater.

    For more information
    visit the website.



    The Cinema Lounge

    The Cinema Lounge meets April 20, 2015 at 7:00pm to discuss the topic "Foreign Filmmakers and Foreign Films." The last five Best Director Oscars went to foreign born directors. The overseas box office often matters more than the domestic grosses. Has Hollywood truly gone global, and has this opened the American market for foreign language films?

    The Cinema Lounge, a film discussion group, meets the third Monday of every month (unless otherwise noted) at 7:00pm at
    Barnes and Noble, 555 12th St., NW in Washington, DC (near the Metro Center Metro stop). The meeting area is on the second floor, special events 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 Remembers the Man Who Was and Wasn't Spock: The Great Leonard Nimoy

    By Adam Spector, DC Film Society Member

    Leonard Nimoy died on February 27 at the age of 83. As Spock on Star Trek, Nimoy created a character that resonated with millions, me included. Why did this character, and the man who played him, mean so much? Trying to answer that question may not be logical, but I try anyway
    in my Adam’s Rib column.



    Danny Collins: Q&A with Director Dan Fogelman

    By Annette Graham, DC Film Society Member

    A preview screening of Danny Collins (Dan Fogelman, 2015) was held at the AMC Georgetown Theater on March 11. Al Pacino stars as a singer whose life is up-ended when he is given a letter from John Lennon 40 years after it was written. Christopher Plummer, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale and Jennifer Garner co-star. After the film, director Dan Fogelman answered questions from the audience. "Movie Mom" Nell Minow was moderator.

    Nell Minow: We saw a glimpse of the real guy (Steve Tilston) and the real letter at the end of the movie. How did you come across the story?
    Dan Fogelman: I had just finished writing the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love and it came out and then I didn't know what to write next and I was procrastinating as you do in front of a blank computer screen. I came across this weird article on the internet "musician gets letter from John Lennon 40 years after it was written." And that started the whole thing--I procrastinated my way into the movie. I called Steve Tilston, the real-life guy, and got the rights to his life story--not his life but what happened to him in regards to Lennon. And I started writing the movie that week.

    Nell Minow: We talked earlier about how Danny Collins's wardrobe changes over the course of the movie--how flamboyant he is and how it shows in his clothes.
    Dan Fogelman: In real life, Al has a kind of bohemian chic look, he's always dressed in black, he looks like he just stepped out of a Johnny Depp movie. We thought Danny Collins should be a bit of a dandy. He's always wearing scarfs and perfectly accessorized suits that are flamboyant and he's called ridiculous numerous times in the movie but hopefully they are impeccably tailored. By the end Jennifer Garner's character is going to the Banana Republic with him. But in the final scene he's wearing just a pure black outfit and it's the most real this character is capable of getting in this film. It's your conception of a dad. He's stripped it all down which is the goal of the final scene of the movie. The first part of it are all a set up for the final scene which is where he's got a start at being a real human being and a parent and a father and a family man and all the things you hope come after long after the movie ends. That was the goal of the wardrobe.

    Nell Minow: How did the music for the character come about? What kind of feel were you looking for from the Hey Baby Doll song and the song he was writing in the movie?
    Dan Fogelman: For Hey Baby Doll, we said we needed a Copacabana-Neil Diamond-Sweet Caroline type of song. All these musicians wrote from all over the country and we got some of the worst songs you'll ever hear. (audience laughs) That song came in, written by the last lead singer of INXS, the rock band. I knew right away. The big question was how we were going to film that. We didn't want to do crowd duplication; it's a relatively small budget movie. Our producer who is here, Monica sitting with her mom who's in the movie. You all laughed at her mom in the movie--but in a good way. And Monica knew the rock band Chicago and they had an age-appropriate crowd for Al Pacino's audience. So we went to a Chicago concert and shot Al's concert doing Hey Baby Doll during the intermission. We had only 10 minutes to shoot; the big question was, since it was an older crowd, were they all going to go to the bathroom? (audience laughs). Chicago introduced Al, we had cameras set up all over; so everything you see in that opening concert is real. Those are real people singing the song. We went out and we taught the crowd the song. It was like planning a military mission. By minute one, all 10,000 people were singing that crazy song. And by minute seven of our ten minutes we had everything we needed. I have a great picture of myself and Monica backstage looking out with my arm around her shoulder, it's one of my favorites. We had it and didn't need anything more. We told Al he could stop, but he wasn't stopping, he was singing and dancing all over the stage (audience laughs). So we did it live in front of a real rock crowd audience.

    Nell Minow: I liked the throwback to old style movie patter--banter, flirtatous rat-a-tat that goes on between Annette Bening and Al Pacino. There is a contrast between the way he talks to her and the way and he talks to Jennifer Garner and Bobby Cannavale.
    Dan Fogelman: It's a very written movie obviously. They are speaking in a way that we wish we could speak in real life. It seems real but it's also a little wittier and sharper than we all talk in real life. With Annette and Al and Chris Plummer particularly what you can pull off is a kind of old fashioned dialogue that would be in an old screwball comedy. Particularly between Al and Annette you can imagine, "We got good patter kid," with cigars. Whereas with Bobby and Jen it is more organic, and real, it more sounds like we all sound in our everyday life.

    Nell Minow: You told me that Al Pacino and Bobby have a real-life relationship that is very close. They played the same part on Broadway.
    Dan Fogelman: Al had made famous the part in Glengarry Glen Ross (Ricky) and then Bobby played that part when Al got older. So Bobby played Al's part and Al played Jack Lemmon's part on Broadway. So they got very close and are still close. Al really likes Bobby; they play poker together and hang out together. The hardest part was getting the friction. The chemistry between them is so natural. Bobby is a real New York theater actor with a certain ethnicity and I think Al sees himself as a younger man in Bobby and in a way sees himself passing the torch.
    Nell Minow: And they do look like they could be father and son.
    Dan Fogelman: And that was part of it. You don't want some blond kid playing Al Pacino's son. So you need to believe and not question that. You are making leaps in the movie and you don't want to have to question the genetics.

    Nell Minow: This is your first movie as director. You've written Tangled, Cars, and Crazy, Stupid, Love. What was the biggest challenge in taking on a director role?
    Dan Fogelman: It's so different. The cars were easy because they were all talking cars. Al, Chris and Annette are legendary older actors. I had written it for Al, picturing him from page one, never thinking I could even get it to him, let alone that he would do it. I was summoned to New York, he was doing Merchant of Venice on Broadway. I went with our producer to New York, you watch him on stage and you are told, "Mr. Pacino will see you downstairs after the show," and you're terrified. You go down and he says, "You wrote this for me, I can tell you wrote this for me." And then we started a year or two long courtship of reading the script together and hanging out and by the time the cameras actually start, you're so comfortable with him. I'm more comfortable being in Al Pacino's house than I would ever have imagined I would be as a young guy growing up in New Jersey. I know where the bathrooms are and I know where he keeps the treats. So you spend a lot of time, you go there on weekends between shoots with Christopher Plummer, Annette Bening, Bobby and Jen and you sit in Al's backyard, and you read the script together and make adjustments, and at a certain point it becomes normal. We shot on a very short schedule; he was great the entire time. I'm incredibly proud of the final scene in the movie and Al told me it was one of the first times, if not the first time, he ever cried at one of his movies. I took credit for it but I didn't do anything. I put a camera there and it's a two-shot of Al and Bobby and they're just acting. We had that kind of relationship.

    Nell Minow: What can you tell us about the hotel?
    Dan Fogelman: The hotel is a real hotel although it's a real hotel-ish. When I originally started the movie I wanted Al Pacino to be moving into the most regular hotel in the world. I started in my own home town in New Jersey. That hotel is where I went to every eighth grade dance. I've been best man at four different weddings in that hotel. I couldn't imagine what would happen if Al Pacino or Danny Collins walked into that hotel. The place would come apart at the seams it would be so abnormal. So that was the goal. We modeled the neighborhood where he moves into, where Bobby's family lives, after the families I grew up with. That is hopefully the point, that a larger than life more famous than anyone guy is moving into the most organically regular place in the world.

    Audience Question: How did you get the cast and were there any casting changes?
    Dan Fogelman: Originally Steve Carell was going to produce it with me after Crazy, Stupid, Love and potentially if it worked out, play Bobby Cannavale's part. We couldn't get the schedules to align, and the way the financing came together. Al came on first. I wrote it for him; I got it to him right away. When Al is doing the movie it reads differently. I was a first time director; at the time I was 34 when I wrote it. I had never directed a film. When Al says, "I'm going to sign on" it's kind of like putting an A student's cover page on a D student's book report. Suddenly the script seems smarter and funnier and then you get Annette Bening and Christopher Plummer and Bobby and Jen. So it becomes a snow-ball effect. A similar thing actually happened in Crazy, Stupid, Love, with Steve Carell, people wanted to work with him. Suddenly Ryan Gosling who doesn't normally do mainstream comedy looks at it because of Steve Carrell. It's really about getting that first piece of casting done. Then you go after people you never thought you would have gotten and take your best shot.

    Audience Question: One of the background singers was Judith Hill. How did you get her?
    Dan Fogelman: The song Al sings in the back after the movie was written by Ryan Adams who's my favorite singer-songwriter. But the music team is a who's who of house musician rock band players. And they helped Al out a lot. He's not expected to be a natural singer. But they really coached him through. We had a dream team assembled.

    Audience Question: How did you choose the music? Some of the songs would seem too expensive for a not big budget picture.
    Dan Fogelman: We had nine original Lennon songs. They were all scripted in. At a certain point people said it was a no-no for a director to keep putting them into the cut of the film--you're going to get attached, you're never going to get it all. I just kept ignoring the problem. We sent it to Yoko and her camp and I think they saw it for hopefully what it is, which is a bit of a love letter to Lennon, especially the second chapter of his career, his solo career. They worked with us like all the actors worked with us. There was a point where everyone said, "At least start prioritizing which songs you really need." Then a day came where they said, "You're about to put in all the music you put into your cut." Now Yoko is tweeting about it and she might even come to the premiere. I read up on Lennon an awful lot and I felt his big message in the second chapter is family, peace and love. So hopefully it's a bit of a love letter to him. In the original script, Beautiful Boy, Imagine and Working Class Hero were all scripted. The rest we put in as we felt were needed in the cut.

    Audience Question: You mentioned how at end the dialogue became more witty and natural. Were there any tactics or devices you used to bridge the world of reality with the contrived theme? Dan Fogelman: It's not even that contrived when you see these people's lives. They're really extreme. It seems contrived to us as normal human beings. They're in a weird bubble. I've visited Michael Douglas on his set in Vegas and I've been to Barbra Streisand's house and I've been with Al a lot. I like them all a lot and they've managed to come out of the other end of all the fame and fortune relatively normal. But the life is extreme. You go to dinner with Al and it's crazy.
    Nell Minow: Tell us what happens with TSA.
    Dan Fogelman: We're trying to get him out for the premiere. It's hard. Al is in his 70s. I'd be hard-pressed to name 10 people more famous than Al on a world-wide level. When he goes to the airport, even the TSA agents are taking pictures. It's overwhelming. It's extreme and can be very lonely if you don't have the right people around you. Al is blessed to have people around him who take care of him. But if he didn't have that it would be a very scary lonely place.

    Audience Question: What brought you to write about a young girl (Hope) with learning disabilities?
    Dan Fogelman: All my friends have young kids and in a strange coincidence, they all have young daughters. And a large percentage of them are battling issues with their kids, some serious, some not so serious. They all have things they are worrying about, whether it's the way they are developing or all the way up the spectrum to other things. I've been watching a good deal my friends deal with this so I thought that when a guy decides to turn over a new leaf and start over, a rich famous guy thinks it's going to be really easy. I wanted to create a set of circumstances that would make it a little more difficult and a little more real. All my friends are dealing with various things with their kids and I felt that this is real life and this guy's been living in a not-real world and I thought it would be an interesting sentiment for the real world.

    Audience Question: How did you find Hope?
    Dan Fogelman: She's six years old in this movie. She's really exceptional. Our casting director found her. I didn't want to give a six year old girl too much scripted dialogue; it can seem very false. A lot of it you see is improvising with Al Pacino--over 50% in the movie. Pacino said, "She might be the best actress I've ever worked with." He was totally serious. She is devoid of any artifice and it's completely real. She's completely present and she doesn't know any better. She's been told she's playing house. This is her dad and her grandfather and she's got ADD. She was exceptional. I love watching the movie with an audience and this little girl is amidst all these legendary actors and is just killing. It's a fun thing to watch.

    Danny Collins opened in the DC area on March 27.



    Clouds of Sils Maria: Q&A with Actress Juliette Binoche

    By Ron Gordner, DC Film Society Member

    Clouds of Sils Maria (France/U.S.) is a feature film about a famous actress (played by Juliette Binoche) who is asked to reprise doing a play she did as a young actress but this time she is to play the older middle-aged actress role in a lesbian relationship. This is the play that brought her (Maria) her initial fame. Her personal assistant is played by Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moritz plays the young Hollywood ingénue that will play the role of the young girl in the play this time. The film is primarily in English. I saw the film first at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014 where the director Olivier Assayas briefly introduced the film saying that he had written the screenplay with Juliette in mind. After the film Juliette Binoche provided a Q&A. The film was also later shown in December 2014 at the AFI Silver Theatre as part of the European Union Film Festival. It opens in the DC area in mid to late April 2015.


    Director Olivier Assayas and Actress Juliette Binoche at the Toronto Film Festival

    Toronto Festival Moderator: We are happy to have Juliette Binoche. When Olivier introduced the film earlier he said the film was written for and inspired by you. How does that feel to have a film or screenplay created for you?

    Juliette Binoche: Well, I feel I have to be honest or truthful and you need to make relationships with the other actors. You make the film as you are going into that circle of filmmaking. You need to embody emotions with the stories and face your own fears. You enter this crazy world called art. I chose to be an actor instead of a painter because I wanted to work and interact with others.

    Audience Question: I notice there aren’t many male characters in the movie.
    Juliette Binoche: Yes, it’s wonderful. Come on you have mostly films about only men or films to frighten women. Isn’t great to have a film showing the feminine viewpoint? (Audience applause). I know there are women directors and new ones are coming along but Bergman and other male directors have always also seen the feminine viewpoint. Olivier is also interested in the opposite sex and what’s happening on the other side. The film is about that. (More applause).

    Audience Question: I was impressed with the natural acting and portrayal of Maria and her assistant Valentine. How did you accomplish that?
    Juliette Binoche: The relationship with Kristen’s character and Maria is really the core of the film and their conversations and possible intimacies that may be coming down the road. Olivier didn’t want much rehearsal and many times that was not Kristen’s style either. She may be learning the lines the night before or that morning. She has an amazing memory, unlike me, plus English is not my native language. Also in French I like to rehearse or learn my lines a few weeks before shooting. I don’t want to be thinking about the words. I want to be thinking more about what is underneath the iceberg. So although we had very different acting styles, we worked together very well. We both had lots of ideas and Olivier was very open to changes.

    Audience Question: How do you feel yourself about aging and with your profession?
    Juliette Binoche: It’s never easy but I try to find the new in me and my changing values. It’s really liberating. When you accomplish things in life and move on I am ok. As an actor I may complain I am badly lighted etc. but as an actor pretty much I don’t want to worry about that aspect. The director, the director of photography, the make-up artist have those concerns and I must trust them. Occasionally, yes. I do complain.

    Audience Question: How did the director incorporate your suggestions and ideas?
    Juliette Binoche: Well he was pretty open to changes. I looked at the first shots and made some additional comments and didn’t do that much after that. This is his vision also so you would have to ask him.

    Audience Question: How important is the underlying play in the film?
    Juliette Binoche: Olivier says very freely that he was inspired by Fassbinder’s play and movie The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant. He also knew me as an actress when I was 20 years old and related to that story years ago.

    Audience Question: What happened to Valentine?
    Juliette Binoche: You figure that out. (laughter)

    Audience Question: Do you have any regrets about the film?
    Juliette Binoche: I hope not. Well, actually that is a good question. I don’t have the answer. I usually don’t have regrets. I make strong choices in films, which may create more regrets and more hurt.

    Audience Question: What did you like most about the character Maria and what did you find most frustrating about her?
    Juliette Binoche: Maria really shows three parts of herself. The outside star or playing the star. I found that behavior a bit odd. When she is learning the lines and facing the demons it is more an emotional journey including her bad temper. You go toward the character but also the character comes to you in an old Greek acting style.

    Audience Question: In the scene where you are rehearsing the lines going from room to room, the naturalness was amazing. Was that one long take or many takes and how long did those shots take?
    Juliette Binoche: It took me quite a while to get the naturalness, but that it is how we sometimes rehearse unless some actors want more spontaneity. I think it first takes a great deal of humility from the body and the connection of acting and the part.

    Audience Question: Do you feel that the portrayal of the industry and theatre is true to life? Also how do you connect or feel about the newer generations of actors?
    Juliette Binoche: There are many truths around the world. We are showing the younger generation with electronic tools. My character goes back to the basics and the theatre so there is some disconnect and regeneration.

    Audience Question: How was the location chosen? It was so beautiful and did you really see the Snake?
    Juliette Binoche: When Olivier first mentioned shooting in the mountains in Switzerland I thought it would be boring, but I live in the city so why not. We actually shot in three locations so we were moving our suitcases often from one location to the next. Shooting at night time and then again. When we arrived in Switzerland the Snake was there welcoming us. When it came to do the shoots for the Snake it was gone, so they had to come back and shoot that part again. The horizons on the mountains were wonderful. It also showed that Maria was returning to basics or her common space with the mountains and the theatre.

    Audience Question: Do you ever work on a film where you may have a resistance with the character you are playing? If so how do you deal with it?
    Juliette Binoche: I finished a film recently that I came out broken since she had abandonment issues. I think I reached my own limits of physically being tired and the feeling of abandonment the character experienced. The first half was ok but the second half is harder. I then started another film three weeks later and had problems getting into the new character. There is an evolution that you need to let go of the earlier part. I had to let go of the wound from the earlier film to heal myself to prepare and do the new role. It took me a lost week of almost grief to lose the earlier character and her problems. So it is constantly a journey for me and the characters.

    Clouds of Sils Maria is expected to open in April.



    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

    FILMS

    American Film Institute Silver Theater
    The "Festival of New Spanish Cinema" (April 9-12) includes The Kid, All the Women, Arctic, Beautiful Youth, In a Foreign Land, Magical Girl, and Open Windows.

    "Leading Ladies of Hollywood's Golden Age" (February 6-April 16) is a series showcasing Hollywood's most glamourous actresses. The series concludes in April with Clara Bow in It (1927); Joan Crawford in Rain (1932); Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950); Greta Garbo in Ninotchka (1939) and Flesh and the Devil (1926) with live music accompaniment by Michael Britt; Janet Gaynor in A Star is Born (1937) and Seventh Heaven (1927) with live music accompaniment by Michael Britt; Colleen Moore in The Power and the Glory (1933) and Why Be Good? (1929); Mary Pickford in Taming of the Shrew (1929); Lillian Gish in The Night of the Hunter (1955); Ginger Rogers in The Major and the Minor (1942) and Top Hat (1935); Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard (1950) and Manhandled (1924) with live music accompaniment by Michael Britt.

    The series "Hollywood Exiles in Europe" (February 15-April 15) is inspired by the new book Hollywood Exiles in Europe: The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture by Rebecca Prime. The series concludes in April with Headlines of Destruction (John Berry, 1955); Rififi (Jules Dassin, 1955); Pardon My French (Bernard Vorhaus, 1951); The Victors (Carl Foreman, 1963); Night and the City (Jules Dassin, 1950); and Stranger on the Prowl (Joseph Losey, 1952).

    "Frank Capra in the 1930s" (February 6-April 16) ends in April with Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939).

    Special events this month include A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014), The Babadook (2014), a restored version of Tales of Hoffman (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1951) to be shown in 4K, and Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi, 2014) followed by a concert by the original musicians.

    Freer Gallery of Art
    On April 12 at 2:00pm is Old Men (Lina Yang, 1999), introduced by Val Wang, author of Beijing Bastard. On April 19 at 2:00pm is Gringo Trails (2014) followed by a panel discussion with travel writer Keith Bellows who will also introduce the film and director Pegi Vail. On April 26 at 2:00pm is Angkor's Children (Lauren Shaw, 2014), followed by a discussion with the director and other panelists.

    National Gallery of Art
    While the East Building is being renovated, films are shown in the West Building and in other locations. Please check the locations for each show.

    The last two films in the Georgian Film Festival are The Pipeline Next Door (Nino Kirtadze, 2006) on April 13 at 7:00pm and Don't Breathe (Nino Kirtadze, 2014) on April 14 at 7:00pm. Both are shown at the AFI and director Nino Kirtadze will be present for both films.

    Special events at the Gallery include Chris Marker's Level Five (1996) on April 1 at 2:00pm; In My Mind (Gary Hawkins, 2010), a documentary about Thelonious Monk; "To the Editor of Amaateur Photographer" preceded by "Depositions" on April 5 at 4:00pm; The Miners' Hymns (Bill Morrison, 2012) on April 11 at 2:30pm; "London: Day In, Day Out" (2009), a collection of short films about London on April 12 at 4:00pm; Others Will Love the Things I Have Loved (Manuel Mozos, 2014), about João Bénard da Costa on April 18 at 2:30pm; and J.L. Sert--A Nomadic Dream (Pablo Bujosa Rodriguez, 2013) with the director in person on April 26 at 4:00pm. All at the Gallery's West Building. The Spirit of '45 (Ken Loach, 2013) is on April 10 at 7:00pm. Note that this program is held at American University.

    Wojciech Bakowski will be present on April 4 at 2:30pm for "Spoken Movies and Other Animations," a program of short films. At the Gallery's West Building.

    Washington Jewish Community Center
    On April 14 at 7:30pm is the documentary Altina (Peter Sanders, 2014) with the filmmaker in person. On April 21 at 7:30pm is Beneath the Helmet (Wayne Kopping, 2014), a documentary about high school students drafted into the army; on April 25 at 8:00pm is Mr. Kaplan (Alvaro Brechner, 2014); on April 26 at 12:15pm is Above and Beyond (Roberta Grossman, 2014), winner of Best Documentary at the Washington Jewish Film Festival; on April 26 at 2:30pm is Mahler on the Couch (Percy and Felix Adlon, 2010); on April 29 at 7:00pm is Serial (Bad) Weddings (Philippede Chauveron, 2014) and on April 30 at 7:00pm is A Borrowed Identity (Eran Riklis, 2014), winner of the Best Feature Film award at the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

    Goethe Institute
    "Film Neu Presents" is a year-round series of new German films. On April 7 at 6:30pm is In Between Worlds (Feo Aladag, 2014) and on April 13 at 6:30pm is I Feel Like Disco (Axel Ranish, 2013).

    French Embassy
    On April 14 at 7:00pm is Me, Myself and Mum (2013) starring and directed by Guillaume Gallienne, and adapted from Gallienne's one-man show on theater.

    The Japan Information and Culture Center
    On April 15 at 6:30pm is The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata, 2013), an anime film based on one of Japan's most famous folk tales.

    On April 22 at 6:30pm is A Tale of Samurai Cooking (Yuzo Asahara, 2013) about a samurai chef, set in the Edo period.

    National Archives
    On April 17 at noon is America on the Rocks (1973) and For Which We Stand-Let's Get It Straight (1950) shown in conjunction with the new exhibit "Spirited Republic."

    On April 25 at 2:00pm is The Thin Man (W.W. Van Dyke, 1934) starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

    Landmark's Bethesda Row Cinema "Movie Rewind" is a new series of classic films on Wednesdays. On April 1 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is Breakfast at Tiffany's; on April 8 at 7:00pm and 9:30pm is Jaws; and on April 15 at 4:00pm and 7:00pm is Citizen Kane.

    Landmark's E Street Cinema Japanese anime films from the Studio Ghibli are shown March 7-April 12. Titles in April include From Up on Poppy Hill, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, The Wind Rises and The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, about the inner workings of Studio Ghibli.

    The Avalon
    On April 1 at 8:00pm is the "Avalon Docs" film for April: Theodore Bikel: In the Shoes of Sholom Aleichem (John Lollos, 2014), a portrait of the actor and interpreter of the works of Sholom Aleichem.

    The "Czech Lions" pick for April is Nowhere in Moravia (Miroslav Krobat, 2014), nominated for 14 Czech Lion awards, on April 8 at 8:00pm.

    The "French Cinematheque" film for April is The Art Dealer (François Margolin, 2015) on April 15 at 8:00pm.

    On April 22 at 8:00pm is The Policeman (Ephraim Kishon, 1971), part of the "Reel Israel" film series.

    Italian Cultural Institute
    On April 8 at 6:30pm is Hands Over the City (Francesco Rosi, 1963) starring Rod Stieger.

    Anacostia Community Museum
    On April 14 at 2:00pm is The Art of Rap (2012), a documentary about hip-hop music. On April 18 at 2:00pm is a discussion with documentary filmmakers Donna and Tony Fair who will show excerpts from their film Don't Hate Me.

    Hill Center
    On April 1 at 7:30pm is The Homestretch about three homeless teenagers.

    On April 22 at 7:30pm is "Two Film Guys from the Hill," a discussion program on classic and current films followed by an audience Q&A. The two critics are Mike Canning and Tom Zaniello, both authors, who will illustrate their talk with film clips.

    Alden Theater
    On April 22 at 7:30pm is Hands Up! (Clarence Badger, 1926), a Civil War-era comedy starring Raymond Griffith. Ben Model provides live piano accompaniment and film historian Bruce Lawton provides historical background. And this special edition print has the formerly censored ending.

    On April 1 at 1:00pm is Rear Window ((Alfred Hitchcock, 1954), part of the "Midday Thrillers."

    Angelika Film Center
    The Angelika Mosaic is the venue for the Northern Virginia Film Festival. See below.

    University of Maryland, Hoff Theater
    On April 8 at 4:00pm is a talk by James Steffen "The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov." The innovative Parajanov's style included influences from folk art, medieval miniature painting surrealism and Armenian, Georgian and Ukrainian cultural motifs. Steffen's talk will be based on his book "The Cinema of Sergei Parajanov."

    On April 10 at 9:00am is a media seminar "Distributing Cinema," an opportunity for area scholars working on various aspects of cinema to present their research to colleagues. The Keynote Speaker is Dr. Karen Beckman from the University of Pennsylvania.

    Montpelier Arts Center
    On April 18 at 6:00pm is Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997), an Oscar winning film set in WWII Italy.

    Reel Affirmations XTra
    On April 17 at 7:00pm and 9:15pm is Tiger Orange (Wade Gasque, 2014).

    Alliance Francais
    On April 10 at 7:00pm is Tante Hilda (2014), an animated kids film by Jacques-Rémy Girerd and Benoît Chieux.

    The Jerusalem Fund
    On April 17 at 6:30pm is The Dream (Mohamad Malas, 1987), a documentary composed of interviews with Palestinian refugees.

    George Mason University
    On April 1 at 4:30pm is Approaching the Elephant, a documentary about a year in the Teddy McArdle Free School in New Jersey. A discussion with filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder follows the screening. Open to the public. Part of the Visiting Filmmakers series.



    FILM FESTIVALS

    The Washington DC International Film Festival
    The 29th Annual Washington DC International Film Festival takes place April 16-26. As Washington’s oldest and largest film festival, Filmfest DC will showcase a diverse range of entertaining and thought-provoking films from around the globe, representing a variety of voices and perspectives. This year, the festival will assemble an exceptional program of films including features, documentaries, comedies, shorts and award winners for Washington residents and visitors.

    REELAbilities Disabilities Film Festival
    This festival runs from April 26-May 3. Films are shown at various Washington DC-area locations including Angelika Mosaic, Cinema Arts Theater, libraries and community centers. Titles include Anita, Bipolarized, Come As You Are, Little World, Touch of the Light, Wretches and Jabberers and more. See the website for locations, tickets, titles and other information.

    The Northern Virginia Film Festival
    This festival runs from April 13-18. Films are shown at Angelika Mosaic. See the website for film titles and tickets.

    Discovering Georgian Cinema
    This retrospective of a century of Georgian filmmaking was organized by the Museum of Modern Art. Films will be shown January 12-April 14 at four locations: the AFI Silver Theater, the Goethe Institute, the Embassy of France, and the Freer Gallery of Art.

    DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival
    The 15th annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival runs from April 16-19. Films are shown at the US Navy Memorial Burke Theater. See the website for more information.



    TALKS WITH ACTORS

    Candice Bergen
    On April 13 at 7:00pm Candice Bergen talks about her life and career and will sign copies of her memoir. Madhulika Sikka, Executive Editor for NPR News conducts the conversation.



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