The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced the selections for the upcoming popular monthly Indie Night and Art of the Real series. Spotlighting the best and boldest new wave of independent cinema, Indie Night keeps with the Film Society’s tradition of supporting and showcasing emerging filmmakers. September’s selection is Daniel Patrick Carbone’s ‘HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES‘ and in October Indie Night will feature a special retrospective screening and also welcome back director Alex Rivera for ‘SLEEP DEALER‘, which premiered at the 2008 edition of New Directors/New Films. This week’s previously announced August Indie Night showcases Mike Ott’s ‘PEARBLOSSOM HWY‘ tomorrow, on Tuesday, August 13 at 8:00PM, with the director in attendance.
The monthly documentary showcase Art of the Real takes audiences on a tour of the most innovative and consciousness-raising, non-fiction filmmaking being made in the world today. Filmmaker Rob Stewart’s follow-up to his film festival favorite ‘SHARKWATER’ applies his brand of environmental exploration and insight to a wider canvass with ‘REVOLUTION‘. Race and politics in New Orleans is the subject of ‘GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL‘ with each member of the filmmaking team of Louis Alvarez, Andy Kolker, Peter Odabashian, Paul Stekler on hand to discuss the film on September 19. Academy Award-nominee Joe Berlinger will return to Film Society on October 15 with his latest, ‘HANK, FIVE YEARS FROM THE BRINK‘, which takes a look at the effort to avoid the pending collapse brought upon by the 2008 financial crisis and profiles Hank Paulson, one of the key figures behind that effort.
PEARBLOSSOM HWY (2012) 78min
Director: Mike Ott
Anna and Cory are two unlikely friends living in the nowhere town of Lancaster, California. Upon receiving news of her dying grandmother in Taipei, Anna, with no financial resources, starts to engage in sexual deeds to buy a plane ticket home. Meanwhile, Cory begs her to stay and travel with him to help find his estranged father, whom he’s never met. As her grandmother’s time runs out, Anna must quickly choose between her life in America and returning to Japan and the only real family she has left.
Inspired by Neo-realism as well as the French New Wave, Mike Ott constantly blurs the lines between reality and fiction in his work, and with PEARBLOSSOM HWY he goes further than ever before. The script was developed as real events occurred in the lives of the cast: Lead actor Cory Zacharia received glum news about his own father, whom he had never met. Consequently, Ott constructed a narrative that incorporates Cory’s actual struggles, as well as using some of Atsuko Okatsuka’s (who plays Anna) life story in the film, and fictionalizes events to tackle issues of racism, immigration and the lost American dream.
Director Mike Ott in person for Q&A!
August 13 at 8:00PM
HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES (2013) 80min
Director: Daniel Patrick Carbone
HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES vividly depicts the young lives of two brothers as they abruptly come of age through the experience of a friend’s mysterious death. The event ripples under the surface of their town, unsettling the brothers and their friends in a way they can’t fully understand. Once familiar interactions begin to take on macabre tones in light of the tragic accident, which lead Eric, 14, and Tommy, 9 (two strong yet sensitive performances by Ryan Jones and Nathan Varnson), to retreat into their wild surroundings. As the two brothers vocally face the questions they have about mortality, they simultaneously hold their own silent debates within their minds that build into seemingly insurmountable moral peaks. In his feature film debut, Daniel Patrick Carbone combines an elegant script with beautiful cinematography to illustrate how lives can change in an instant. HIDE YOUR SMILING FACES is a true, headlong glimpse into the raw spirit of youth, as well as the calluses that one often develops as a result of an unfiltered past.
Director Daniel Patrick Carbone in person for Q&A!
September 18 at 7:00PM
Special Retrospective Screening
SLEEP DEALER (2008) 90min
Director: Alex Rivera
Alex Rivera’s debut feature introduced Film Society audiences to an exciting new voice at New Directors/New Films in 2008. Five years later, on the eve of its re-release by the filmmaker himself, we are delighted to present once more this work of not-quite-science-fiction. Sometime in the near future, big corporations control the water supply and international borders are truly airtight. In a Mexican village, Memo, a young man who loves to tinker with technology, hacks into the wrong system and finds himself in big trouble. When he runs off to a border town, he finds a job and a girl—but no guarantee of a happy ending.
In SLEEP DEALER, Rivera has created a chilling scenario that is not so far-fetched. With the look and energy of a futuristic computer game, the film treats us to a world where migrant workers’ nervous systems are plugged into a global network, allowing them to do menial jobs in the U.S. for the same low wages but without setting foot north of the border. This thrilling ride is also a chilling indictment of global capitalism and a look at the lost promises of the world wide web.
Director Alex Rivera in person for Q&A!
October 16 at 7:00PM
ART OF THE REAL
REVOLUTION (2012) 90min
Director: Rob Stewart
Filmmaker and environmental activist Rob Stewart was on the festival circuit with his documentary SHARKWATER when he realized his work was not done. Inspired by a question at a Q&A, he began to delve into the major environmental crisis we face today, essentially going from the bottom (of the ocean) up.
Stewart met with and interviewed world experts who helped to shed light on the many issues we, as a planet, must confront in order to save ourselves. REVOLUTION demonstrates how past events may have already taught us much of what we need to know to save the planet. In the process, Stewart takes the audience on a global adventure, crafting a documentary rich in action and drama, as he participates in environmental petitions and protests around the world.
Director Rob Stewart in person for Q&A!
August 27 at 6:30PM (Q&A)
GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL (2013) 92min
Directors: Louis Alvarez, Andy Kolker, Peter Odabashian, Paul Stekler
When talking about race and politics in New Orleans, one always hears, “it’s complicated.” GETTING BACK TO ABNORMAL unwraps the issues by documenting Stacy Head, an outspoken, politically incorrect white woman running for reelection to city council in a predominantly black district with the help of her magnetic black political advisor Barbara Lacen-Keller, exploring race and community in post-Katrina New Orleans along the way.
Filmmakers Louis Alvarez, Andy Kolker, Peter Odabashian and Paul Stekler in person for Q&A!
September 19 at 6:30PM
HANK: FIVE YEARS FROM THE BRINK (2013) 85min
Director: Joe Berlinger
For three weeks in September 2008, one person was charged with preventing the collapse of the global economy. No one understood financial markets better than Hank Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Yet Paulson wasn’t quite the pinstriped banker he appeared to be. A devout Christian Scientist with left-leaning politics, he’d refused two previous offers to be Secretary of the Treasury before finally accepting. In HANK: FIVE YEARS FROM THE BRINK, Paulson tells the complete story of how he persuaded banks, congress, and presidential candidates to sign off on nearly $1 trillion in bailouts—even as he found the behavior that led to the crisis, and the bailouts themselves, morally reprehensible. Directed by Academy Award nominee Joe Berlinger (PARADISE LOST, SOME KIND OF MONSTER), the film features Paulson and his wife of 40 years, Wendy. It’s a riveting portrait of leadership under unimaginable pressure—and a marriage under unfathomable circumstances.
Director Joe Berlinger and Business Week’s Josh Tyrangiel in person for Q&A!
October 15 at 6:30PM