Reviews and Events

Filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi’s LABYRINTH OF CINEMA Opens October 20th in New York and October 29th in Los Angeles

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LABYRINTH OF CINEMA will be released at The Metrograph in New York on October 20 and in Los Angeles at The Lumiere Cinema on October 29 (co-presented by Acropolis Cinema) with a nationwide theatrical release to follow.

The final film by Nobuhiko Obayashi finds the late director returning to the subject of Japan’s history of warfare following the completion of his “War Trilogy,” which ended with Hanagatami. On the last night of its existence, a small movie theater in Onomichi—the seaside town of Obayashi’s youth where he shot nearly a dozen films—screens an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men are transported into the world onscreen where they experience the violent battles of several wars leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima. A breathless cinematic journey through Japan’s past, Labyrinth of Cinema finds Obayashi using every trick in his book to create an awe-inspiring, visually resplendent anti-war epic that urges us to consider cinema as a means to change history. The culmination of an exceptional 60-year career worth celebrating.

Labyrinth of Cinema Still
Labyrinth of Cinema Poster

He was notable for his distinct surreal filmmaking style, as well as the anti-war themes commonly embedded in his films. He died on 10 April 2020 at the age of 82, from lung cancer in Tokyo.

“Forget a swan song: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s final film is a shriek, a tirade, a lecture and a rollicking action-adventure stuffed into a three-hour pop-art package.”

—The New York Times

Nobuhiko Obayashi
Nobuhiko Obayashi

ABOUT CRESCENDO HOUSE

Crescendo House is a new boutique distribution company that aims to reinvigorate the American film landscape with a new model for distribution. Our goal is to expand the mainstream visibility of international or otherwise underrepresented films in order to provide viewers with an array of choices that more accurately reflects the diverse world we inhabit.

For more information: https://crescendo.house/

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North America digital rights to filmmaker Panayioti Yannitsos’ Florian’s Knights

Florians Knights Poster

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired North America digital rights to filmmaker Panayioti Yannitsos (“Freedom Besieged”) powerful feature documentary “Florian’s Knights.” Crowbar Pictures, Inc has released the film in theaters across North America on beginning on September 10th,, 2021 timed to the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Markets to be included in the theatrical rollout –New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Detroit, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, and Saskatoon. Gravitas Ventures will release across all TVOD/Digital platforms & Blu-Ray/DVD throughout the North American continent beginning on November 23rd, 2021. A Canadian production, Yannitsos’ new documentary chronicles firefighters in both the US and Canada who form a controversial motorcycle club to cope with the crippling effects of PTSD. As the Florian’s Knights full patch motorcycle club, the freedom felt on two wheels inspires North American firefighters to speak truth against the stigma of first responder mental health and outlaw biker culture. From the impact of 9/11, to the front lines of the opioid crisis in Vancouver and Toronto, and across the bridge to the arson epidemic in Detroit, Florian’s Knights travel to the darkest pits of the human experience. The real traumas of firefighting are exposed in ways never-before-seen. Private screener links are available upon request for review, what to watch in theatres and what's streaming columns (timed to our upcoming November TVOD) and interview consideration!

In April of 2018, director Panayioti Yannitsos met with Crowbar Pictures founder Shawn Galvao to discuss the Florian’s Knights; a new firefighter motorcycle club making waves across North America. Driving home from that meeting, Pan found himself bumper-to-bumper with retired Vancouver Battalion Chief Rod MacDonald, who was riding his motorcycle, a Florian’s Knights patch on his back. Staring at the patch for several minutes in traffic, the serendipitous event convinced Yannitsos to sign on to direct the film. Over the course of three years, Yannitsos and a core team of only four fellow filmmakers slept in fire halls across North America, often in 24-hour shifts, responding to emergencies in real time.

“Florian’s Knights” follows the lives of a number of first responders and experts. All of the following documentary subjects will be available for press interviews – Firefighter Matthew Sabini (New York Fire Department / Florian’s Knights MC), Retired Captain Erik Bjarnason (North Vancouver Fire Dept / Florian's Knights MC), Retired Battalion Chief Rod MacDonald (Vancouver Fire Dept / Florian’s Knights MC), Acting Captain Bill Shokar (New Westminster Fire Department / Florian’s Knights MC), Captain Jack Cooper (Toronto Fire Service / Florian’s Knights MC), Battalion Chief Michael V. Nevin (Detroit Fire Department), Senior Lieutenant Darnell McLaurin (Detroit Fire Department / Axemen MC), and Dr. Don Vaughn, PHD (Neuroscientist, UCLA).

Dr. Don Vaughn, Michael Maggiora, and their team measured the brain activity, heart rate, and hormone levels of over 50 experienced motorcycle riders in “Project Free.” The study was peer reviewed and accepted by Brain Research. The study concluded that riding a motorcycle can decrease hormonal biomarkers of stress. The work was funded by a grant from Harley-Davidson.

“For over a century, firefighters in North America have grappled with the harsh reality of post-traumatic stress. In pursuit of making this movie, we were faced with a code of silence engrained in fire departments for generations. I knew that this moratorium on mental health was costing men and women their lives, whether through substance abuse, depression, or suicide and I felt a responsibility to shine a light on this very human struggle and bring it to audiences.” – filmmaker Panayioti Yannitsos.

“Florian’s Knights” is directed, edited & produced by Panayioti Yannitsos, executive produced by Shawn Galvao, with cinematography by Jon Thomas (“The Angel Tree”) & Blake Davey (“Someone Like Me,” “Rupture”), and sound design by Jamie Spittal (“Freedom Besieged”).

Where to follow the film and its journey:
Website: www.floriansknightsmovie.com
Facebook: @FloriansKnightsMovie
Instagram: @FloriansKnightsMovi
Twitter: @FloriansKnights

LABYRINTH OF CINEMA New York Theatrical Release October 20th

Labyrinth of Cinema Poster

Director: Nobuhiko Obayashi (House)
Cast: Takuro Atsuki, Takahito Hosoyamada, Yoshihiko Hosoda, Rei Yoshida, Riko Narumi, Hirona Yamazaki, Takako Tokiwa
Genre: Feature
Language: Japanese with English subtitles
Country: Japanese
Runtime: 2 hours 59 minutes

Labyrinth Of Cinema  Photo Credit:: Crescendo House
Labyrinth Of Cinema Photo Credit:: Crescendo House

LABYRINTH OF CINEMA will be released at The Metrograph in New York on October 20 with a Los Angeles and nationwide theatrical release to follow.

The final film by Nobuhiko Obayashi finds the late director returning to the subject of Japan’s history of warfare following the completion of his “War Trilogy,” which ended with Hanagatami. On the last night of its existence, a small movie theater in Onomichi—the seaside town of Obayashi’s youth where he shot nearly a dozen films—screens an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men are transported into the world onscreen where they experience the violent battles of several wars leading up to the bombing of Hiroshima. A breathless cinematic journey through Japan’s past, Labyrinth of Cinema finds Obayashi using every trick in his book to create an awe-inspiring, visually resplendent anti-war epic that urges us to consider cinema as a means to change history. The culmination of an exceptional 60-year career worth celebrating.

Born in Hiroshima in 1938, Nobuhiko Obayashi was a director, screenwriter and editor of films and television advertisements. He began his filmmaking career as a pioneer of Japanese experimental films before transitioning to directing more mainstream media, and his resulting filmography as a director spanned almost 60 years.

He was notable for his distinct surreal filmmaking style, as well as the anti-war themes commonly embedded in his films. He died on 10 April 2020 at the age of 82, from lung cancer in Tokyo.

“Forget a swan song: Nobuhiko Obayashi’s final film is a shriek, a tirade, a lecture and a rollicking action-adventure stuffed into a three-hour pop-art package.”

—The New York Times

ABOUT CRESCENDO HOUSE

Crescendo House is a new boutique distribution company that aims to reinvigorate the American film landscape with a new model for distribution. Our goal is to expand the mainstream visibility of international or otherwise underrepresented films in order to provide viewers with an array of choices that more accurately reflects the diverse world we inhabit.

For more information: https://crescendo.house/

View Trailer Below!

Hulu Announces Original Documentary From ABC News and Impact Partners

JACINTA
A Gripping Chronicle of Love, Family and Addiction Premieres October 8

Runtime: 1 hour 45 minutes
A Hulu Original Documentary

Jacinta and Rosemary at Maine Correctional Center, 2016. 
Photo © Jessica Earnshaw.
Jacinta and Rosemary at Maine Correctional Center, 2016. Photo © Jessica Earnshaw.

Hulu has added JACINTA, a powerful and intimate documentary from ABC News and Impact Partners, to its Originals slate. The film follows a young woman who struggles to find stability amid years of addiction and reconnect with the daughter she left behind, JACINTA earned its director, Jessica Earnshaw, the award for Best New Documentary Director at the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival. It has continued an impressive festival run at DOC NYC, AFI Fest, IDFA, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival (Best Documentary), and more. The Hulu Original Documentary will premiere on Hulu and in select theaters on October 8 and will be eligible for awards consideration this season.

Jessica Earnshaw, 2020
Jessica Earnshaw, 2020

Shot over three years, the film begins at the Maine Correctional Center where Jacinta, 26, and her mother Rosemary, 46, are incarcerated together, both recovering from drug addiction. As a child, Jacinta became entangled in her mother's world of drugs and crime and has followed her in and out of the system since she was a teenager. This time, as Jacinta is released from prison, she hopes to maintain her sobriety and reconnect with her 10-year-old daughter, Caylynn, who lives with her paternal grandparents. Despite her desire to rebuild her life for her daughter, Jacinta continually struggles against the forces that first led to her addiction. With unparalleled access and a gripping vérité approach, director Jessica Earnshaw paints a deeply intimate portrait of mothers and daughters and the effects of trauma over generations.

Jessica Earnshaw is a documentary photographer and filmmaker whose work focuses on criminal justice, familial relationships and women. Her photography has appeared in National Geographic, The Marshall Project, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. JACINTA is Jessica’s first feature film and in 2020, she won Tribeca Film Festival’s Albert Maysles New Documentary Director Award.

“A searingly honest portrait of kinship and addiction… A hard-hitting and heartbreaking documentary… In a playing field usually occupied by men, the fact that
‘Jacinta’ focuses on three generations of women whose lives have been
upended by drugs and crime makes it a rare study.”
– Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

“[A] gripping, characterful doc debut… remarkably engrossing… As a
snapshot of relapse, recidivism and remorse in a dead-end mill town in
Maine, ‘Jacinta' is perceptive and persuasive." – Jessica Kiang, Variety

"A profound meditation on the troubling intersection between addiction and incarceration… Overflowing with humanity… Earnshaw has made a deeply emotional and poignant film on the personal, familial horrors of addiction.” – Christian Gallichio, The Playlist

BAD ATTITUDE: The Art of Spain Rodriguez California Premiere at the 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival

BadAttitude_12x18_RGB Use This

Directed by: Susan Stern
Featuring: Spain Rodriguez, R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Trina Robbins, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Ed Piskor, Nora Rodriguez, and Susan Stern Runtime: 1 hour 11 Minutes
Rating: | Not Yet Rated
Genre: Documentary

Moving, thought-provoking, both personal and political, Bad Attitude: The Art of Spain Rodriguez explores the controversial art and life of the legendary underground cartoonist through the lens of his wife, Emmy-nominated filmmaker Susan Stern.

Spain_Art_3

From the propaganda comics of WWII, to the underground comics breakthrough in 1960s New York and San Francisco, to the graphic novels of today, Bad Attitude is an enthralling history of comics and a rousing call to art and activism. Featuring a roster of friends and family, Bad Attitude dives deep into Spain’s life with insight from comics luminaries R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Trina Robbins, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, and Ed Piskor, and features animation by Spain’s daughter, the New York-based artist, Nora Rodriguez.

“Bad Attitude is a love letter to my partner in art and life, Spain Rodriguez, but it is also a love letter to all activists, especially artist-activists,” says director Susan Stern. “I hope Bad Attitude creates a space for conversation about the art and social justice we are trying to make, the ways we fail, and how we can be forgiven.”

BAD ATTITUDE: The Art of Spain Rodriguez | 2021 Mill Valley Film Festival

Premiere Screening - Thursday, October 14th @ 7:30pm - Sequoia 2, Mill Valley.

2nd Screening - Saturday, October 16th -@ 7:00pm - Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley.

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Bay Area Films at the 44th Annual Mill Valley Film Festival https://www.mvff.com/mvff44-bay-area-films/

Website: www.badattitudedoc.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/badattitudedoc
Twitter: www.twitter.com/badattitudedoc
Instagram: www.instagram.com/badattitudedoc

Director and Producer: Susan Stern
Associate Producer by Victoria B. Fender
Edit0r: Elizabeth Finlayson, Jim Klein, Bill Weber, and Fender
Cinematographer: Naiti Gámez and Vicente Franco
Original Score: B. Quincy Griffin
Music: Santana, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jesse Hill, Ben King, The Fugs, and Charles Mingus
Featuring: Spain Rodriguez, comics luminaries R. Crumb, Art Spiegelman, Trina Robbins, Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Ed Piskor
Writers: Ishmael Reed, feminist critics Susie Bright and Andi Zeisler, and Mission District artists René Yañez, Rio Yañez and Yolanda López
A Bernal Beach Films production

View Trailer Below!

THE PAN AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL’S STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF MICHAEL K. WILLIAMS

Michael K Williams  Photo: IMDB

Los Angeles, CA - Ayuko Babu, co-founder and executive director of the Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), released the following statement about the death of actor Michael K. Williams who was best known for his role as Omar Little on HBO's "The Wire."

“Brother Michael was an incredible actor. He captured a depth of humanity to his characters that reflected his own. We will miss him. Our condolences to his family and loved ones. We all share in his loss.”

###

OUR AMERICAN FAMILY World Premiere at Woodstock Film Festival 2021

Our American Family Poster

A World of HA Productions Film in association with Atlas Industries and The Intellectual Property Corporation Presents OUR AMERICAN FAMILY

Directors & Producers: Hallee Adelman, Sean King O’Grady
Genre: Documentary
Country: USA
Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes

Our American Family Photo1

WOODSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL 2021 Screenings:

WORLD PREMIERE--Saturday October 2 @ 3:45pm at the Bearsville Theater (291 Tinker St. Woodstock NY, 12498)

Sunday October 3 @ 2:00pm at Orpheum Saugerties Theater
(156 Main St. Saugerties NY, 12477).

 

Our American Family Photo2

OUR AMERICAN FAMILY is a radically honest, unfiltered portrait of a close-knit Philadelphia family fighting its greatest nemesis: generational addiction. Beginning with a pivotal, “nothing to lose” moment, then captured over the course of the following year, five family members tired of life plagued by addiction on center stage, each struggle to transcend their crippling histories: a mother who learned from childhood to enable her own mother’s addiction, a daughter who doesn’t know who she is without a substance, a son who learned everything about “Heroin 101” from his sister, a younger son who feels alone but acts content to ease the family’s burden, and a stepfather who wonders if addiction is really a disease or simply a by-product of laziness. What will it take to shift this entrenched, wrenching pattern in their lives? How will they each free themselves from their interlocking fates? Will they be able to make significant changes to help their next generation? The members of OUR AMERICAN FAMILY invite us into their lives to find hope and to explore what is possible. No experts. No drug use. No melodrama.

WFF 2021 WEBSITE FOR TICKETS:
https://woodstockfilmfestival.eventive.org/films/our-american-family-60e5d6fb66fa930069afa5bd

 

Our American Family Photo3a

FILM WEBSITE:
https://ouramericanfamilyfilm.com

Instagram: @ OurAmericanFamilyFilm
Facebook: @ OurAmericanFamilyFilm
Twitter: @OurAmerFamFilm

PR CONTACT:
EMMA GRIFFITHS, EG PR
E: EMMA@EG-PR.COM

SALES CONTACT:
SUBMARINE/ BEN SCHWARTZ
SCHWARTZ@SUBMARINE.COM

View New Trailer for TED BUNDY: AMERICAN BOOGEYMAN on VOD + DVD Friday, September 3rd

TED BUNDY: AMERICAN BOOGEYMAN will have its US VOD and DVD on September 3, 2021 (Dark Star Pictures).

VOD Platforms: iTunes and Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Xbox/Microsoft, Comcast/Xfinity, Spectrum, Cox, Verizon Fios, Dish Network, Direct TV and through local cable providers.

A specter roams the highways of a gritty and decadent 1970s America, hunting for his next prey—his name is Ted Bundy (Chad Michael Murray). Tracking him down are the intrepid female detective Kathleen McChesney (Holland Roden), working out of the Seattle Police bureau, and rookie FBI profiler Robert Ressler (Jake Hays), the government agent who coined the term “serial killer.” This is the true story behind the manhunt that brought America’s most fearsome boogeyman to justice.

Daniel Farrands wrote and directed the project, which stars Chad Michael Murray (House Of Wax, The Haunting In Connecticut 2: Ghosts Of Georgia, and Riverdale) as Bundy. Rounding out the key cast are Genre actress Lin Shaye (Insidious franchise, The Grudge, Penny Dreadful: City Of Angels) and Holland Roden (Escape Room 2, Teen Wolf).

ABOUT DARK STAR PICTURES

Dark Star Pictures is a new-age North American distribution company, focused on bringing unique and targeted content to audiences across the country. We are committed to releasing auteur-driven, original cinema in the theatrical, digital and home video space. Our goal is to create original marketing campaigns directly catered to audiences who will embrace our brand of thought-provoking cinema. Recent releases include Tribeca Midnight Selection Honeydew, Sundance favorite Koko-di Koko-Da, Cannes Official Selection Enfant Terrible and the newly announced SXSW psychological drama Freeland.

Website: https://darkstarpics.com

#TedBundy #AmericanBoogeyman #TrueCrime

Key West Film Festival Announces the Diana King Memorial Fund in Partnership with the King Family Foundation

Keywest Logo

Key West, FL — August 25, 2021 — The Key West Film Festival and The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation are pleased to announce the creation of the Diana King Memorial Fund, in memory of the Foundation’s founder and longtime President and Chair, an outstanding philanthropist recognized for her commitment to educational opportunities in film, television and other media, who passed away in 2019. The five-year grant from the Foundation, beginning with the 10th Anniversary of the Key West Film Festival November 17-21, 2021, will support Key West Film Festival’s annual celebration of film and filmmakers, as well as student film awards and educational initiatives.

“We are beyond grateful for this generous grant from the King Family Foundation,” says Key West Film Festival Chairman, Brooke Christian. “Creativity is alive and thriving through the challenges of the past year – we have seen it in this year’s surplus of film submissions. The Diana King Memorial Fund will help us ensure we can celebrate film, education and student filmmakers for years to come.”

Diana King grew up in the world of television, a daughter of the late Charles King (who founded King World Productions in 1964) and his wife Lucille King. King World became the leading distributor of television syndicated programming in the United States, including such iconic series as The Little Rascals, Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Inside Edition and Dr. Phil. Diana began working in the accounting department of the family business in 1972, and at the time of King World's acquisition by the CBS Corporation in 2000 served as Executive Vice President, Corporate Secretary and Director.

Diana established the Foundation in 1988 to support individuals and organizations committed to educational excellence and professional development, in particular in film, television and other media. During her 30-year tenure as Board Chair and President, the Foundation awarded hundreds of scholarships to students with a focus in film, television and related media/communications studies at colleges and universities around the country, in many instances to individuals who would have been financially unable to continue their studies without this assistance. In addition, the Foundation has acted as a longtime sponsor of programs at several leading cultural and educational institutions around the country.

About the Key West Film Festival

Honoring creativity, diversity, sustainability and beauty, the Key West Film Festival is an annual celebration of film and filmmakers set to take place November 17-21, 2021.

A diverse, entertaining and artistically rigorous selection of films will be represented through a broad array of categories that offer opportunities for filmmakers, both aspiring and established, to commune and exchange ideas while showing their work to audiences in an historic and artistically vibrant tropical paradise.

Media Inquiries:

EG-PR
Emma Griffiths
E: emma@eg-pr.com
W: www.eg-pr.com

FIRE MUSIC: Movie Review

Submarine DELUXE Presents In Association with Joseph Wemple, Films We Like, Mexican Summer and Nothing Is...

                         FIRE MUSIC

John Coltrane 
©Lee Tanner - The Jazz Image
John Coltrane ©Lee Tanner - The Jazz Image

Director and Writer: Tom Surgal
Featuring: Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Alber Ayler, Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy, and many more
Genre: Documentary
Language: English
Country: U.S.A.
Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes

A Crash Course in Free Jazz 101

The Angry form of improvisational jazz comes to life in Tom Surgal's documentary 'FIRE MUSIC'.

The history of this under appreciated form of of Jazz begins with the 1956 release of Cecil Taylor's first album Jazz Advance. It was Ornette Coleman's first album Something Else!!!! and his later release
Free Jazz: A Collective that gave us the first of freely improvised music., Sun Ra's Jazz in Sihoutte, Archie Shepp's, Albert Aylar's, Bill Dison's contributions are highlighted in Surgal's musical documentary.

Sun Ra
December 1968
Photo @Baron Wolman
Sun Ra December 1968 Photo @Baron Wolman

The sounds of John Coltran's Ascension, his take on the style of free improvisation. There is Don Cherry,
who moved the needle of Free Jazz to the inclusion of international musicians that lead to Alex von Schlippenbach's
release of the first Globe Unity Album.

You hear the sounds of the Art Ensemble of Chicago with Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton. Peter Brotzmann and his
groundbreaking recording Machine Gun that showcases Evan Parker and Han Bennink.

Tom Surga. Photo:  Lin Culbertson
Tom Surga. Photo: Lin Culbertson

Understanding is an important quality to have and Surgal's documentary gives you just that, an understanding of Free Jazz
that assist in the appreciation of this radical form of music known as Free Jazz.

Run time: 1 hour 26 minutes
Featuring: Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane, Alber Ayler, Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy, and many more
Director and Writer: Tom Surgal
Producers: Dan Braun, Joseph Wemple
Executive Producer: Ron Mann
Cinematography: Dan Ehrenbard
Editor and Co-Writer: John Northrup
Composer: Lin Culbertson