Center Aisle Cinema
Jackie “Moms” Mabley was an African-American stand-up comic and showbiz pioneer who emerged from the Chitlin’ Circuit of African-American Vaudeville to become a mainstream star on the stage and TV. Mabley pushed the boundaries of comedy by tackling topics such as gender, sex, and racism, making her one of the first taboo-pushing comedians on the comedy circuit. Once billed as “The Funniest Woman in the World”, she performed up until her death in 1975. Whoopi Goldberg directs and appears.
“My Way to Olympia” (60 min.) is an insightful and funny documentary about the Paralympics. Who better to cover the Paralympics, the international sporting event for athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities, than Niko von Glasow, the world’s best-known disabled filmmaker? Even though the filmmaker dislikes sports and thinks the games are “a stupid idea,” von Glasgow serves as an endearing guide to London’s Paralympics competition. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become icons, glorified by musicians who praise their fame and success. In this new constituency, they represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by money, drugs, and violence. The film is an explosive look at the drug cartels’ pop culture influence on both sides of the border as seen through the eyes of an LA narcocorrido singer and a Juarez crime scene investigator.
Featuring stunning footage from seven winters in the Arctic, takes us through time into the world of the Inuit in the northern reaches of Canada. Connecting past, present and future is the Inuit’s unique relationship with the eider duck. Eider down, the warmest feather in the world, allows both Inuit and bird to survive harsh Arctic winters.
It was the year of the Beatles and the Civil Rights Act; of the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater’s campaign for the presidency; the year that Americans learned smoking was bad for their health and Cassius Clay became Mohammed Ali; the year that cities across the country erupted in violence and Americans tried to make sense of the assassination of their president. Based on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, the film will follow some of the most prominent figures of the time.
A heartfelt documentary film about extreme skier, Shane McConkey. The legacy one athlete left to the progression of his sports, and the path he paved to conquer his dreams. Through his talent and ability to use his trademark irreverent humor, he inspired countless lives.
“Good Fortune” (90 min.) by Landon Van Soest and Jeremy Levine is a provocative exploration of how massive international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa may be undermining the very communities they aim to benefit. In Kenya’s rural countryside, Jackson’s farm is being flooded by an American investor who hopes to alleviate poverty by creating a multimillion-dollar rice farm. Across the country in Nairobi, Silva’s home and business in Africa’s largest shantytown are being demolished as part of a U.N. slum-upgrading project. The screening is a collaboration with POV, PBS’ award-winning nonfiction film series.
We recently added “Let’s Get Lost” to the DBRL collection. The award winning 1988 film was re-released last year currently has a rating of 96% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from the film website:Traveling with the elusive jazz vocalist and trumpeter Chet Baker, LET’S GET LOST weaves together the life story of a jazz great. The film uses excerpts from Italian B movies, rare performance footage and candid interviews with Baker, musicians, friends, battling ex-wives and his children in what turns out to be his last year of life.
We recently added “Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers” to the DBRL collection. The film currently has a rating of 85% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from the film website:
Playing out like a noir thriller spiced with cutting-edge animation and shocking real surveillance footage, Havana Marking’s Smash & Grab is an exclusive all-access pass into the mysterious world of international jewel thieves. Dubbed ‘The Pink Panthers,’ the formidable Balkan gang has stolen nearly a billion dollars worth of jewels from boutiques in the world’s most opulent cities, including Geneva, Paris, London, Geneva, Dubai and Tokyo. Through never-before-seen interviews with key gang members, this provocative documentary delves into the gang’s incredible history and introduces the viewer to the global police forces who work furiously to stop them. Beyond the glitz of the Panthers’ incredible heists, Smash & Grab exposes dark truths about the illicit diamond trade and the world’s most ruthless mafia networks.
Before Marv Albert, Bob Costas, and Mike Breen, there was Marty Glickman. The documentary chronicles the life and career of Glickman, a Jewish-American athlete turned broadcaster who pioneered many of the techniques, phrases, and programming innovations that are commonplace in sports reporting today. A multi-sport athlete with blistering speed, he was a teammate of Jesse Owens on the 1936 U.S. Olympic track team.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 • 6:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Friends Room
A hit at the 2014 True/False Film Festival, the film “Particle Fever” (99 min.) explores a significant and inspiring scientific breakthrough as it happens. Imagine if you could have watched footage of Thomas Edison turn on the first light bulb. This film directed by Mark Levinson follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation.
Thanks to everyone who came to the “The World Before Her” 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 do you see in each young woman’s experience that gives her confidence? What experiences undermine that confidence?
- What’s the difference between modernization and Westernization? What might India look like if it modernized, but not in a way that emulated Western nations? Is that possible?
- In Prachi and Ruhi we see what pageant advocate Sabira Merchant describes as “the two Indias.” How would you describe the way each of those “Indias” defines success for women?
We recently added “Winter Soldier” to the DBRL collection. The film was originally released in 1972 and currently has a rating of 100% from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s a synopsis from our catalog:Vietnam veterans speak about atrocities committed upon Vietnamese soldiers and civilians during their time in the U.S. armed forces in Vietnam. Through testimony given at the Winter Soldier Investigation held by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in 1971, press conferences, and interviews with individual participants, the film graphically portrays the effect of U.S. government policy and practice, which turned soldiers into animals bent on destruction and Vietnamese into “gooks”–Non-human “targets” for murder, rape, and mutilation. The veterans struggle to come to terms with the devastation they caused so that others will not make the same mistake again.