Escape to Summer Films on June 6
Coming Attractions Trailer Night, Summer 2012
Do you need an escape from the real world? Or at least from YOUR version of the real world? Sit back and enjoy the Washington, D.C. Film Society’s twice annual program to preview upcoming flicks with COMING ATTRACTIONS TRAILER NIGHT, Summer 2012. “We’ll highlight the summer blockbusters, as well as must-see indies and have an entertaining time immersing ourselves in movie trailers,” stated D.C. Film Society Director Michael Kyrioglou. We’ll beckon you to escape to Landmark’s E Street Cinema (E Street between 10th & 11th St., N.W.) from 7 – 9 p.m., Wednesday, June 6, 2012.
Popular area film critics and DC Film Society’s hosts, Bill Henry and Tim Gordon, will bring the buzz about this summer’s movies. You, the audience, get to vote on the films you want to see or escape from; we’ll pass this valuable audience feedback on to the studios. Which movies hold the key to your personal escape hatch?
Admission is $5 for Basic Members, FREE for Gold Members and $8 for the general public. Here’s what you’ll get: lots of free movie promotional item door prizes, movie posters, and raffles of movie tickets and DVDs along with 30 plus trailers! For more information and an update on trailers to be shown at “COMING ATTRACTIONS TRAILER NIGHT,” visit the webpage.
We’ll stop the presses closer to event date, BUT we might see Ridley Scott's much-anticipated is-it-or-isn't-it-Alien Prometheus, the presidential thriller Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the screen version of Broadway's Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise, Russell Brand & Mary J. Blige, Snow White and the Huntsman with Kristen Stewart & Charlize Theron, Disney's latest female-led Brave, the next chapters of The Dark Knight (Rising), (Amazing) Superman, Madagascar (in Europe), Ice Age (Continental Drifting) & G.I. Joe (Retaliating), Julie Delpy and Chris Rock in 2 Days in New York, reboots of The Bourne Legacy, with dynamic new lead Jeremy Renner, and Total Recall (or here’s what malaria looks like) with Colin Farrell - and so much more. Plus there are always a few secret trailers that you will see only if you attend!
The Silverdocs Documentary Festival, now in its 10th year, shows documentary films at the AFI Silver Theater June 18-24. The opening night film is Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, about Filipino singer Arnel Pineda. Filmmaker Ramona Diaz will be present. The closing night film is Big Easy Express in which filmmaker Emmett Malloy follows three music bands on tour. This year's Guggenheim Symbosium features Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, who will discuss their careers with Eugene Hernandez of the Lincoln Center and other guests. A Documentary Conference will connect filmmakers, educators, media, broadcasters, funders and distributors. More than 1,200 filmmakers and industry professionals will participate in master classes, panels, and workshops featuring the world's leading documentarians. Altogether, 114 films from 44 countries will be shown, many of which will be premieres, plus seven retrospective films.
“The extraordinary quality of the festival program complements the celebration of this 10th edition of AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs,” said Sky Sitney, Festival Director. “This year, fittingly for a festival that has united art and insight for a decade, there are a substantial number of films focusing on the creative process. We are particularly proud to showcase the latest work by documentary luminaries, while introducing new filmmakers to our highly engaged audiences and guests from around the globe.”
Silverdocs: Directors Jukka Karkkainen and J-P Passi talk about The Punk Syndrome
By James McCaskill, DC Film Society Member
Punk rock has been around since the 1960s. Usually the untrained, limited-skill garage bands are credited with originating Punk music as a way of expressing their anger and their discontent with the status quo. The energy sprang from the angst of being left out. The Punk Syndrome (Jukka Karkkainen and J-P Passi, Finland, 2012) screening at AFI/Discovery Silver Docs festival June 19 at 10:45pm and again Wednesday, June 20 at 4:45pm) is a documentary about what is called Finland's "most kick-ass rock band." The four musicians (Pertti, Kari, Toni and Sami) in "Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat", the band's Finnish name ("Pertti Kunikan's Name Day" in English), are mentally handicapped and they play their music with a lot of attitude and pride.
This punk rock band is different from any other band around. All the members are mentally handicapped. Their music is filled with their response to life's obstacles and anger at the problems in their life. "I need a little respect and dignity in my life." The film lays open the lives of these musicians. Very little is held back. Like most punk rockers their music focuses on societal problems as well as their everyday concerns: how going to the pedicurist sucks and the misery of living in a group home. They give vent to politicians and those whose attitudes towards people with intellectual disabilities need improving.
The Punk Syndrome follows these musicians from obscurity to one of Finland's best known bands. They fight, fall in love and express strong emotions. We are with them in the recording studio and on tour. The band members laugh, cry, drink and fight over seats on the tour bus. But when they are on stage they make up and talk with the audience about how great their band is.
When I asked if they had kept in touch with the band since the filming ended, J-P said, "Yes, we have. We have been together in many screenings and gigs and Jukka visits their workshop quite often. Tori, the drummer, also calls Jukka every single day. I seem to be too busy to keep in touch with any of my friends. The band members enjoy their success and the fact that they are film stars."
I asked the directors Jukka Karkkainen and J-P Passi how they got involved with this project. Jukka replied, "[I] had seen the band on television in December 2009 and contacted them immediately. We started the shoot in February 2010, so the whole process took two years." He continued, "These boys have opened our eyes in the sense that life can be seen more joyful." The musicians play their music with a lot of attitude and pride. The film takes us on the professional musicians' journey from obscurity to popularity.
Several reviewers have commented on how the roughness of the film's cut mirrors their music. When I asked J-P what his reaction to that was he said, "We had a very good editor (Ritta Poikselka) who works with her heart and intuition and that might be the main reason. Our first and only rule for her was that the film's name should be The Punk Syndrome - The Deleted Scenes. Of course, we knew that this should be the story of the band with one story about each band member, and that Pertti will be the one in the spotlight. We also knew the stories - Kari and his relationships, Toni's moving out from his parents, Sami in politics and Pertti with his ancestry and anger - but the structure of the film is nothing we had decided beforehand. The end result was born out of emotion." Jukka responded to the same question, "The film looks exactly like we want it to look like. The 'roughness' has come to the film naturally through the story."
Part of their anger is expressed by one of the band, "Decision makers lock people up. No one looks after us. No one comes to visit." What do they wish they could have added to The Punk Syndrome? "We had to choose between two festival gigs," J-P said. "It was the small basic morning festival gig and the other one turned out to be their biggest gig ever; there had been thousands of people, more than ever in that small stage in the 30 year history of that festival. It would have been a perfect event for the ending scene of the film. So we were a bit disappointed after that. I think the ending we have in the film is good enough."
Did anything happen spontaneously that they left in the final cut? J-P said, "There were a bunch of darling shots we had to kill. These incidents were more or less genital related." Jukka commented, "Basically everything that happened during the shooting was spontaneous. Drama was created daily. We just filmed what was happening."
For me there was a disconnect between their anger at group homes and pedicure appointments and what we saw on the screen. When I asked about that J-P said, "The group homes in the film are typical Finnish group homes, so the situation is very good, so good that the mentally disabled people can even rebel against the patronizing system. So as a viewer you can choose whether you take the critical lyrics as a message about the bad position of the mentally disabled people or as a story from the welfare state in which even the weakest ones have human rights. Both views are correct. The smaller the problems are, the louder you are allowed to talk about them."
Sami Johnnukainen, who with Jukka and J-P wrote the script said, "Even in the Finnish scene the work of the music workshop, where the band plays, is really progressive. This workshop, Pertti Kurkikan Nimipaivat, is just one among many other cultural projects."
When I asked about the Punk scene in Finland, Sami said, "Finland has a very active punk scene. Finnish bands have had a lot of influence and they're very well known in the punk scene worldwide. Terveet Kadet, Kohu-63 and Ristetyt are pioneers of hard core punk. These bands have been an inspiration for bands such as Sepultura. The Puntala Punk Rock Festival is one of the main events in the punk scene in Northern Europe.
Let's give band member Kari Aalto the last word. "The film tells about Pertti Kurikan Nimipavat ... so it's about one retard who sings punk and three retards who play punk. You should watch it and think about whether you should hate disabled people or love and respect them."
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
"New Czech Films" is an annual series of films touring the US for the first time in its history. Six films are shown: Walking Too Fast (2010) with director Radim Spacek in person for Q&A, Four Suns (Bohdan Slama, 2012), Leaving (2011) from Vaclav Havel, Czech Republic's former president, Identity Card (Ondrej Trojan, 2010) set in the Communist era 1980s, Matchmaking Mayor (Erika Hnikova, 2011), a documentary about the dwindling population in eastern Slovakia, and Habermann (Juraj Herz, 2010) set in WWII.
In honor of Caribbean Heritage Month, the AFI presents the Twelfth Annual Caribbean Film Festival June 1-4. Eleven films will be shown. See the titles below.
"Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema" is co-presented with the Freer Gallery of Art. Raj Kapoor, an actor, director, and producer, was one of the great influential names of Indian Cinema. The remaining titles in June are Stay Awake; Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; and God, Your River is Tainted.
Oscar winners Hugo and The Artist bring a new interest in silent film. A series "Silent Cinema" which began in April continues into June. Films will include comedies and classics, many with live music accompaniment. Titles in June are The Wind (Victor Sjostrom, 1928) with music by Andrew Simpson and the Cantate Chamber Singers on June 9 at 3:00pm and "Masters of Silent Comedy: Chaplin, Keaton, and Lloyd," a program of three short films: Cops (Buster Keaton), Never Weaken (Harold Lloyd) and Shoulder Arms (Charlie Chaplin). The Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra will provide the accompaniment, including the world premiere of reconstructed original 1918 orchestra score to Soldier Arms.
"Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata and the Masters of Studio Ghibli" is a comprehensive retrospective of Japan's greatest animation studio, co-presented with the Freer Gallery of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Japanese Information Center. The series ends in June with The Cat Returns, Spirited Away, My Neighbors the Yamadas and Howl's Moving Castle.
"Jack Nicholson: A Retrospective" surveys Nicholson's 50 year film career. The remaining films in June are Prizzi's Honor, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Border, The Shining, Terms of Endearment, A Few Good Men, Broadcast News, Ironweed, The Crossing Guard and The Pledge.
The Freer Gallery of Art and the AFI co-present "Korean Film Festival DC," which ends in June with Moby Dick (2011).
"Just One More Thing--Peter Falk Remembered" ends in June with A Woman Under the Influence, Mikey and Nicky, The Brink's Job, The In-Laws, and The Princess Bride.
"AFI Life Achievement Award Retrospective: Shirley MacLaine" wraps up in June with Sweet Charity, Two Mules for Sister Sara and Terms of Endearment.
The opera on film for June is "I Vespri Siciliani" (Verdi) from the Teatro Regio di Torino, Turin, Italy and "Anna Bolena" (Donizetti) from the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Florence, Italy. Check the website for dates and times.
Freer Gallery of Art
"Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema" takes place at the Freer and the AFI Silver Theater. On June 1 at 7:00pm is Shree 420 (1955); on June 3 at 2:00pm is The Vagabond (1951); on June 8 at 7:00pm is Fire (1948); on June 15 at 7:00pm is Boot Polish (1953); on June 17 at 2:00pm is Monsoon (1949) and on June 24 at 2:00pm is Love Sublime (1978).
The 17th Annual "Made in Hong Kong Film Festival" begins in late June with A Simple Life (Ann Hui, 2011) on June 29 at 7:00pm. More in July and August.
National Gallery of Art
"The Tales of Jan Svankmajer" is a series of films by the Czech avant-garde animator. On June 2 at 3:30pm is Alice (1988); on June 3 at 4:00pm is Faust (1994); and on June 10 at 4:30pm is Surviving Life (Theory and Practice) (2010).
Art films this month include Miró: The Phosphorescent Trails of Snails (2009) on June 7 and 8 at 12:30pm. On June 9 at 1:00pm is Paul Goodman Changed My Life (Jonathan Lee, 2011). Selections from the Black Maria Festival are on June 9 at 3:30pm. A Cine-Concert on June 23 at 2:30pm of His People (Edward Sloman, 1925) is preceded by Amarilly of Clothesline Alley (Marshall Neilan, 1918) with piano accompaniment by Dennis James. "George Bellows--A Musical View" is a lecture and performance by pianist Leslie Amper who also discusses the musical life of Bellows on June 24 at 4:00pm. Gerhard Richter Painting (Corinna Belz, 2011), a documentary about the German painter, is on June 30 at 2:00pm. The Washington premiere of Jean Epstein (James June Schneider, 2011) is a new portrait of the French avant-garde director, on June 30 at 4:00pm.
"Bill Morrison: Recent Work" takes place June 16 and 17. On June 16 at 2:30pm is The Miners' Hymns (2010) with Bill Morrison in person. On June 16 at 4:30pm is Morrison's latest work Tributes-Pulse (2011). On June 17 at 4:00pm is Spark of Being (2010) followed by two short films.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
As part of the "Baby Kamp Film Series" is Baby Face (Alfred Green, 1933) on June 14 at 8:00pm, starring Barbara Stanwyck. On June 21 at 8:00pm is Baby Doll (Elia Kazan, 1956) starring Carroll Baker, Karl Malden and Eli Wallach. On June 28 at 8:00pm is Cry-Baby (John Waters, 1990), a cult-classic musical with Johnny Depp. Film scholar David Wilt introduces all three films.
On June 27 at 6:30pm is IntiMatta (Ramuntcho Matta, 2011), a documentary about Roberto Matta, the Chilean painter of abstract expressionist and surrealist art.
National Museum of the American Indian
This is Your Life: Duke Kahanamoku (1957) is a short film about Olympic gold medalist and surfer Duke Kahanamoku, shown every day except Wednesdays at 12:30pm. Jim Thorpe, the World's Greatest Athlete (Directed by Tom Weidlinger, 2009) is shown every day except Wednesdays at 3:30pm. Both short documentaries are related to the exhibit "Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics."
Museum of American History
On June 23 at 2:00pm is The Outlaw Josey Wales (Clint Eastwood, 1976). Preceding the film, at 1:00pm, is a discussion about the film led by Murray Horwitz, NPR film commentator. On June 23 at 7:00pm is The Eastwood Factor (Richard Schickel, 2010), a documentary about Clint Eastwood's film career as actor, director and songwriter. Preceding the film, at 6:00pm, is a dicussion led by Jeff Baker. On June 24 at 2:00pm is Pale Rider (Clint Eastwood, 1985) with a pre-screening discussion at 1:00pm led by Murray Horwitz.
National Portrait Gallery
On June 16 at 2:00pm is Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) as part of the exhibit "Vintage Celebrity Portraits from the Harry Warnecke Studio." On June 28 at 6:30pm is Basquiat (Julian Schnabel, 1996) about the street artist Jean Michael Basquiat.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On June 9 at 1:00pm is a cine-concert: Hesperus will perform an original score to accompany Buster Keaton in the great silent classic The General (1926).
National Museum of Women in the Arts
On June 3 at 2:00pm is the documentary Hidden Books: The Art of Kumi Korf (2011) about the Japanese book artist and printmaker. Director Sam Hampton will participate in a post-screening discussion. On June 10 at 1:30pm and 3:00pm is Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968 (Glenn Holsten), a documentary featuring interviews with women Pop artists and art historians.
A five-part French-inspired film series continues with Children of the Century to be shown at the Embassy of France. Presented in conjunction with the exhibit Royalists to Romantics.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On June 4 at 7:00pm is Melting Away (Doron Eran, 2011) with a panel discussion following the film.
A film series "Pina and Beyond: Contemporary Dance in Film" begins June 25 at 6:30pm with Mary Wigman--My Life is Dance (Ulrich Tegeder, 1986) shown with Sasha Waltz-Korper Trilogy "Korper". On June 27 at 6:30pm is Sasha Waltz-Korper Trilogy: "S" and "noBody". More in July.
The Goethe Institute takes part in "EuroAsiaShorts" on June 4 at 6:30pm. See below for other locations.
National Geographic Society
On June 10 at 5:30pm is the world premiere of The Unlikely Leopard (Dereck and Beverly Joubert).
On June 7 at 7:00pm is Louise Wimmer (Cyril Mennegun, 2011) about a woman starting a new life after divorce.
On June 18 at 7:00pm is The Children of the Century (Diane Kurys, 1999), about the true story of a love affair between two 19th century French literary icons--novelist George Sand (Juliette Binoche) and poet Alfred de Musset (Benoît Magimel).
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On June 20 at 6:30pm is Then Summer Came (Ryo Iwamatsu, 2007), a father-son comedy-drama. On June 29 at 6:30pm is an anime film Millennium Actress (Satoshi Kon, 2001).
The JICC takes part in "EuroAsiaShorts" on June 5 at 6:30pm--see the other locations here.
Arlington Arts and Artisphere
On June 7 at 8:00pm is Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990). For the Summer Children's Film Series is Muppets From Space (Tim Hill, 1999) on June 30 at 2:30pm.
On June 16 at noon is The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940), starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant as part of the series "1940: America Goes to the Movies."
This month's Greek film is Knifer (Yannis Economides, 2010) is on June 6 at 8:00pm. The "Czech Lions" film for June is Nicky's Family (Matej Minac, 2011) on June 13 at 8:00pm. The French Cinematheque film is Queen of Hearts (Valerie Donzelli, 2009) on June 20 at 8:00pm. For "Reel Israel" on June 27 at 8:00pm is Mrs. Moskowitz and the Cats (Jorge Gurvich, 2009).
Italian Cultural Institute
On June 13 at 6:00pm is Vincere (Marco Bellocchio, 2009) about Benita Mussolini.
Anacostia Community Museum
On June 6 at 3:00pm is Louder Than a Bomb(Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, 2010) about a high school team poetry slam competition in Chicago.
On June 1 at 8:15pm is Auntie Mame (1958) shown at the Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens.
The Washington Jewish Film Festival presents outstanding short films from the WJFF vault including "Coffee—Between Reality and Imagination" (2010), a compilation of eight short films by students from Israel and the Palestinian Territories working together at Tel Aviv University film school.
Unforgiven: Film Screening and Reception
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning film Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood) on June 22 at 6:30pm at the new Warner Brothers Theater at the American History Museum. Other Clint Eastwood films will be shown as part of this three-day festival.
Reel Affirmations XTra
Reel Affirmations Xtra is a once-a-month screening held at The Carnegie Institute of Science, 1530 P Street NW. On June 15 at 7:00pm and 9:00pm is Absent (Marco Berger, 2011) from Argentina.
Busboys and Poets
The June Film of the Month is Pariah (Dee Rees, 2011) on June 10 at 8:00pm at the 14th and V location. Other locations are Hyattsville (June 3 at 7:00pm, Shirlington (June 17 at 7:00pm) and 5th and K (June 24 at 8:00pm).