Wednesday, July 17, 2013 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
Blending a humorous, searching narrative with poetic footage of the night sky, “The City Dark” (60 min.) provides a fascinating introduction to the science of the dark and an exploration of our relationship to the stars. Filmmaker Ian Cheney (King Corn, The Greening of Southie) embarks on a journey to America’s brightest and darkest corners, asking astronomers, cancer researchers and ecologists what is lost in the glare of city lights. This documentary is shown in collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.
Thanks to everyone who came to the “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:
- How do you think music helps the refugees cope?
- Why do you think some refugees would stay in Guinea instead of going back to Sierra Leone?
- How do you think hearing the stories of the band members helps their audiences?
We recently added “The Revisionaries” to the DBRL collection. The film was shown at the Ragtag last year, and currently has a rating of 91% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
Exposé of the power struggle inside the Texas State Board of Education, the government body that determines what students learn in Texas public schools and, due to the buying power of their system, often the entire country. Showcases how public education has become the latest battleground in a new wave of cultural, religious, and ideological clashes, with Texas education board members advancing agendas of Creationism and other religious issues in public schools.
June 17: “The Source Family” starts at Ragtag. (via)
June 19: “Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars” 6:30 p.m. at Columbia Public Library, free. (via)
June 20: “I Am Breathing” 5:30 p.m. at Ragtag, free. (via)
Every year, thousands of aspiring dancers enter one of the world’s most prestigious ballet competitions, the Youth America Grand Prix, where lifelong dreams are at stake. In the final round, with hundreds competing for only a handful of elite scholarships and contracts, nothing short of perfection is acceptable. Bess Kargman’s award-winning, box office hit documentary FIRST POSITION follows six extraordinary dancers as they prepare for the chance to enter the world of professional ballet, struggling through bloodied feet, near exhaustion and debilitating injuries, all while navigating the drama of adolescence. A showcase of awe-inspiring talent, tenacity and passion, FIRST POSITION paints a thrilling and moving portrait of the most gifted ballet stars of tomorrow.
We recently added “Only the Young” and “Tchoupitoulas“ to the DBRL collection. The two films were released as a bundled set by the film company Oscilloscope Laboratories, and they are in our catalog as one record with two separate discs. “Only the Young” played at the True/False Film Festival in 2012, and currently has a rating of 80% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. “Tchoupitoulas” is the latest film from the Ross Brothers, and it currently has a rating of 88% from ciritcs at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis for the films from our catalog:
“Only the Young” - Presents three teenagers living in a Southern California desert town dominated by foreclosed homes and underpasses, empty swimming pools and skateboard parks. With disarming honesty and wit, the innocent yet rebellious teens navigate friendship and first love.
“Tchoupitoulas” - In this lyrical portrait, three adolescent brothers take us on a lively journey through one immersive night in New Orleans, encountering a vibrant kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers, and revelers and introducing us to the people who make the city their home.
We recently added “Kumare” to the DBRL collection. The film was the winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at SXSW 2011 and currently has a rating of 85% from audiences at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
A provocative social experiment-turned-documentary, Kumare follows American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi as he transforms himself into a wise Indian guru, hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith. Instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life — and wondering if and when to reveal his true self…winner of South by Southwest’s Audience Award, Kumare is an insightful look at faith and belief.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
“Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars” (78 min.) follows a reggae band born in the camps of West Africa, representing a real-life story of survival and hope. The six-member musical group came together in Guinea after civil war forced them from their native Sierra Leone. Traumatized by physical injuries and the brutal loss of family and community, they fight back with the only means they have-music. The result is a tableau of tragedy transformed by the band’s inspiring determination to sing and be heard. This documentary by Banker White and Zach Niles is shown in collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series. The film showed at the True/False Film Fest in 2006.
Thanks to everyone who came to the “Buck” showing at the Columbia Public Library. Here are some questions about the film that you can respond to in the comments section of this blog post:
- What quality do you like most about Buck?
- How do you think Buck’s childhood had an effect on his horse training?
- Do you think differently about animals after watching this film?
We recently added “The Story Of Film: An Odyssey” to the DBRL collection. The DVD set that includes 15 hour long episodes currently has a rating of 93% from audiences at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
The story of film: an odyssey, written and directed by award-winning film-maker Mark Cousins, is the story of international cinema told through the history of cinematic innovation. Five years in the making, The Story of Film: An Odyssey covers six continents and 12 decades, showing how film-makers are influenced both by the historical events of their times, and by each other. It provides worldwide guided tour of the greatest movies ever made; an epic tale that starts in nickelodeons and ends as a multi-billion dollar globalised digital industry. Described as a ‘love letter’ to the movies, Cousins visits the key sites in the history of cinemal from Hollywood to Mumbai; from Hitchcock’s London to the village where Pather Panchali was shot, and features interviews with legendary filmmakers and actors including Stanley Donen, Kyoko Kagawa, Gus van Sant, Lars Von Trier, Claire Denis, Bernardo Bertolucci, Robert Towne, Jane Campion and Claudia Cardinale.
Shot clandestinely over three years by best-selling novelist and filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman, this film with its stunning footage provides an astonishing and intimate look inside what has been one of the most isolated countries on the planet With an exclusive perspective provided by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, this film brings a human dimension to a country that remains a mystery to much of the world.
Join Keanu Reeves on a tour of the past and the future of filmmaking in Side by side. Since the invention of cinema, the standard format for recording moving images has been film. Over the past two decades, a new form of digital filmmaking has emerged, creating a groundbreaking evolution in the medium. Reeves explores the development of cinema and the impact of digital filmmaking via in-depth interviews with Hollywood masters.
Presents a chilling exploration of the Somali pirate phenomenon and forces you to rethink everything you thought you knew about pirates.
We recently added “My Reincarnation” to the DBRL collection. The film played on the PBS series POV in 2012, and currently has a rating of 71% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:
Tibetan Buddhist master Choogyal Namkhai Norbu watches as his western-born son, Yeshi, who was recognized at birth as the reincarnation of a famous spiritual master, considers departing from tradition to embrace the modern world.
Senior citizens are a national treasure. The wisdom and experience that seniors possess can help teach future generations while also keeping them active in the community. These docs show senior citizens who are tackling their twilight years by leading active lives:
In Northampton, Massachusetts, a chorus is formed consisting of senior citizens. The twist is that they sing hits by musicians like Coldplay and James Brown. The film follows the chorus as they try to overcome health adversities and get their voices in tune.
The Silver Belles are five chorus girls in their aging years who used to dance in 1930s Harlem. Reunited, they perform on stage at the famed Apollo Theater to amazed crowds. They share stories of their past as they face health concerns and try to teach a new generation their dance steps.
A group of senior citizens in Maine take on the task of greeting returning troops as they come into the airport at various times throughout the day or night. The film follows three greeters and shows how their service works to better their own lives as they face illnesses and the loss of loved ones.
This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France on a usb drive hidden in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (Offside, The Circle) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his 2010 sentence (six years in prison and a 20-year ban from filmmaking, interviews or leaving the country) Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, and discussing his plight with his friend and collaborator, Mirtahmasb.