Monday, September 25, 7 p.m.
Amy (UK, 2015)
Director: Asif Kapadia
Runtime: 128 minutes
Cast: Amy Winehouse, Yasiin Bey, Mark Ronson, Tony Bennett, Pete Doherty
A look at the life of talented but troubled British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011. The film includes rare interviews with the subject and previously unreleased songs.
Despite just two albums to her name, Amy Winehouse is one of the biggest music icons in British history. With a voice often described as a combination of Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, Amy Winehouse was a pop star with soul; a once in two generational musical talent whose appeal crossed cultural and demographic boundaries. But while her music made her a star, her chaotic personal life stole headlines.
The film has received 33 nominations and has won a total of 30 film awards, including for Best European Documentary at the 28th European Film Awards, Best Documentary at the 69th British Academy Film Awards, Best Music Film at the 58th Grammy Awards, the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 88th Academy Awards and for Best Documentary at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards. The success of the film and the music from the soundtrack of the same name also led to Winehouse's second posthumous nomination at the 2016 BRIT Awards for "British Female Solo Artist."
Monday, October 2, 7 p.m.
Manhattan Short Film Festival
Membership prices do not apply for this special screening
Filmgoers in Point Arena will join audiences in over 250 cities on six continents during the week of September 28 to October 8 to judge the work of the next generation of filmmakers when the 20th Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival screens at Arena Theater. View the Trailer.
The finalists are: "Do No Harm" (New Zealand), "Behind" (Spain), "Fickle Bickle" (USA), "Hope Dies Last" (United Kingdom), "The Perfect Day" (Spain), "Just Go!" (Latvia), "Mare Nostrum" (Syria), "Viola, Franca" (Italy), "In a Nutshell" (Netherlands) "8 Minutes" (Georgia).
Visit http://www.manhattanshort.com/finalists.html for more about the films.
The 2017 MANHATTAN SHORT finalists hail from nine countries with ten films representing the best short films among a record 1615 submissions from 75 this year. Syria, Latvia and Georgia will represent their countries for the first time in this event and Spain has entered two shorts. In addition, all ten short films will become "Oscar-Qualified," meaning they will become automatically eligible for an Academy Award nomination by screening for a week at Arena Cinelounge in Hollywood from September 22-September 29, sponsored in part by the LA WEEKLY.
MANHATTAN SHORT is the only event of its kind that will be shown simultaneously across the world during a one-week period, with the Best Film and Best Actor awards determined by ballots cast by the audiences in each participating cinema.
Monday, October 9, 7 p.m.
The Right Stuff (USA, 1983)
Director: Philip Kaufman
Runtime: 193 minutes
This adaptation of the non-fiction novel by Tom Wolfe chronicles the first 15 years of America's space program. By focusing on the lives of the Mercury astronauts, including John Glenn (Ed Harris) and Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn), the film recounts the dangers and frustrations experienced by those involved with NASA's earliest achievements. It also depicts their family lives and the schism between their squeaky-clean public image and their sometimes raunchy, earthbound shenanigans during an era of great political turmoil and technological innovation.
"The Right Stuff" won four Academy Awards: for Best Sound Effects Editing, for Best Film Editing, for Best Original Score and for Best Sound.
Monday, October 23, 7 p.m.
Wrestling Alligators (USA, 2016)
Director: Andrew Shea
Runtime: 90 minutes
Producer James Eowan plans to attend the screening.
The greatest change to happen to Native Americans in the last 50 years is the creation of legalized gaming on Indian reservations, a revolution that has made self-reliance a reality for many tribes. James E. Billie, the man responsible for this revolution, born an outcast in the Florida swamps, is an alligator wrestler, warrior, poet, and leader of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He took his people from welfare subsistence at the mercy of the federal government to being wealthy beyond their wildest imaginings. Controversial both inside and outside his tribe, James Billie has used his charm and wits to beat the white man, time and again, at their own game. Now, faced with new battles, James and his tribe once again find their way of life challenged.
Monday, November 6, 7 p.m.
The Groove is Not Trivial (USA, 2016)
Director: Tommie Smith
Runtime: 62 minutes
Q&A with director Tommie Smith via Skype
A documentary about Alasdair Fraser’s musical journey
"The Groove is Not Trivial" follows master fiddler Fraser’s personal journey in search of self-expression, a quest that has led him to dig deep into his Scottish musical roots. There he finds a universal pulse —a groove — that runs through his virtuosic performances with cellist Natalie Haas and his dynamic teaching at his wildly popular, freewheeling fiddle camps in California, Scotland, and Spain. At his gatherings around the world for musicians of all ages and abilities, ‘the groove’ is a through-line from the past that sparks hopeful possibilities for the future.
Fraser is at the epicenter of a movement in which people are finding their own voices and a deep sense of community through the shared love and joy of music. A subversive empowerment is happening as people reclaim cultural roots in jeopardy of being lost.
The irrepressible Fraser proves that the groove in traditional music transcends toe-tapping fun – it can be a source of personal and political liberation.
“A GOOD TUNE IS HARD TO KEEP DOWN…”
Monday, November 13, 7 p.m.
Imitation of Life (USA, 1959)
Director: Douglas Sirk
Runtime: 125 minutes
The legendary Lana Turner stars in this 1959 version of Fannie Hurst's emotionally charged drama, which chronicles two widows and their troubled daughters as they struggle to find true happiness amidst racial prejudice.
Lora Meredith (Turner) claws her way to stardom only to realize the daughter (Sandra Dee) she has neglected for years is now a stranger to her and --worse yet-- her rival for the love of a younger man. At the same time, her African-American housekeeper, Annie Johnson (Juanita Moore), finds herself rejected by her light-skinned daughter, Sarah Jane (Susan Kohner), who struggles with her African-American identity.
"Imitation of Life" is one of only two dramatic films to feature gospel legend Mahalia Jackson. The other, "St. Louis Blues" (1958), actually gave her a character name.
Monday, November 27, 7 p.m.
Sullivan's Travel (USA, 1941)
Director: Preston Sturges
Runtime: 91 minutes
Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"—a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, Sullivan hits the road disguised as a hobo. En route to enlightenment, he encounters a lovely but no-nonsense young woman (Veronica Lake)—and more trouble than he ever dreamed of.
This comic masterpiece by Preston Sturges is among the finest Hollywood satires and a high-water mark in the career of one of the industry’s most revered funnymen lampooning Hollywood pretension and excesses with the director's particular brand of sophisticated verbal wit, dialogue and fast-paced slapstick.