A documentary exploring the importance of revival cinema and 35mm exhibition – seen through the lens of the patrons of the New Beverly Cinema – a unique and independent revival cinema in Los Angeles.
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Anita, Rita, Ricardo and Andrés have been attending a school for children with Down syndrome for 40 years. After all this time, they are starting to tire of this safe, familiar environment. Now over 45 years old, some of them feel that working in the school bakery is no longer a challenge. They also yearn for freedom on a more personal level. Anita and Andrés are in love but still live with their families. They dream of finding a quiet place to be alone together, and they want to get married and raise a family. Sadly, the society they live in is not equipped to cater to their desire for more independence. In spite of the training they receive on becoming “responsible adults,” all four of them remain dependent on others to make decisions for them, much to their frustration.
A human story about a socially responsible company, “Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soapbox” documents the complicated family legacy behind the counterculture’s favorite cleaning product — Bronner’s son, 68-year-old Ralph, endured over 15 orphanages and foster homes as a child, but despite difficult memories, is his father’s most ardent fan.
Pumping Iron is a 1977 documentary film about the run-up to the 1975 Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition. The film focuses on Arnold Schwarzenegger and his competitors, Lou Ferrigno and Franco Columbu. The documentary was co-directed by Robert Fiore and George Butler. It was based on the book of the same name by Charles Gaines and George Butler (Simon and Schuster, 1974).
The Square, a new film by Jehane Noujaim (Control Room; Rafea: Solar Mama), looks at the hard realities faced day-to-day by people working to build Egypt’s new democracy. Catapulting us into the action spread across 2011 and 2012, the film provides a kaleidoscopic, visceral experience of the struggle. Cairo’s Tahrir Square is the heart and soul of the film, which follows several young activists. Armed with values, determination, music, humor, an abundance of social media, and sheer obstinacy, they know that the thorny path to democracy only began with Hosni Mubarek’s fall. The life-and-death struggle between the people and the power of the state is still playing out.
Composed of intimate and unencumbered moments of people in a community, this film is constructed in a form that allows the viewer an emotive impression of the Historic South – trumpeting the beauty of life and consequences of the social construction of race, while simultaneously a testament to dreaming.
Weed. Marijuana. Grass. Pot. Whatever you prefer to call it, America’s relationship with cannabis is a complicated one. In his directorial debut, hip hop pioneer Fab 5 Freddy presents an unparalleled look at the racially biased history of the war on marijuana. A range of celebrities and experts discuss the plant’s influence on music and popular culture, and the devastating impact its criminalization has had on Black and Latino communities. As more and more states join the push to legalize marijuana, this documentary dives deep into the glaring racial disparities in the growing cannabis market.
Like Air is a feature length documentary that follows three high school competitive dancers on their journey to a nationals championship competition. With every step towards the trophy, they discover their personal identity through dance and the life it breathes into their soul.
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich and packed with rare concert footage and home movies, this documentary explores the history of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, including Petty’s famous collaborations and notorious clashes with the record industry. Interviews with musical luminaries including Jackson Browne, George Harrison, Eddie Vedder, Roger McGuinn, Jeff Lynne, Dave Stewart and Petty himself shed some revelatory vision.
Featuring performances by popular artists of the 1960s, this concert film highlights the music of the 1967 California festival. Although not all musicians who performed at the Monterey Pop Festival are on film, some of the notable acts include the Mamas and the Papas, Simon & Garfunkel, Jefferson Airplane, the Who, Otis Redding, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix’s post-performance antics — lighting a guitar on fire, breaking it and tossing a part into the audience — are captured.