Blue jeans, sock-hops and drive-in movies: the Fifties were America's age of innocence. But stalking the depths of its post-nuclear bliss, mass paranoia became fuel for Joseph McCarthy's brand of Red Scare terror propaganda. Bomb shelters were a deluxe feature in every American home, government-sponsored educational reels promised an imminent nuclear threat from across the Atlantic, and Hollywood, Babylon of the western world, hung on the brink of collapse. It was here, in the last-ditch machinations of a dying juggernaut, that a mild-mannered, civil engineer's son would become the most influential force in modern movie making. Corman's World tracks the rise of a prolific writer-director-producer, the true godfather of independent film making. (Source)
‘Corman’s Worlds: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel’ is a tantalizing and star-studded tribute to Roger Corman, Hollywood’s most prolific writer-director producer, and seminal influencing force in modern moviemaking over the last 60 years. (Source)
Tetris. We’ve all played it, rotating the pieces (“tetrominoes”) and dropping them in the perfect place, or despairing as we discover a piece won’t fit. You may have even joked about “mastering” the game during a stint of unemployment, or as a child, before you could afford any other Game Boy cartridges. But what about the people who’ve truly mastered Tetris? Where are the Kasparovs and Fischers, the great champions who’ve dedicated their minds to solving its deepest puzzles?
One man made it his mission to find them. In an effort to legitimize Tetris as a pro sport, Tetris super-fan Robin Mihara summoned the greatest Tetris players from around the country to compete in Los Angeles at the 2010 Classic Tetris World Championship. Among them are the only players known to have reached the unthinkable perfect ‘max-out’ score on classic Nintendo Tetris: Jonas Neubauer and Harry Hong. Add in the top players for most lines, Ben Mullen and Jesse Kelkar, as well as newcomer Dana Wilcox and modern-day Tetris Grandmaster Alex Kerr, and a storm of Tetris greatness is brewing.
Even these Tetris luminaries gape at the mention of 1990 Nintendo World Champion and Tetris legend Thor Aackerlund. The rumors of Thor’s return to competition, his claims to have reached the impossible level 30, and whispers of his ‘vibrating thumbs’ cast a shadow over the proceedings and leave all to wonder if he will emerge from the past to reclaim his title, or if his storied achievements will remain unverified.
Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters chronicles over two decades of jaw-dropping video game wizardry. Get an up-close look at the masters as they reveal their secrets, recount their decades-long obsession with the game, compete against each other to set new world records, and enter the transcendental state required to reach the highest levels known as the “Ecstasy of Order.” (Source)
CORMAN’S WORLD: EXPLOITS OF A HOLLYWOOD REBEL is a tantalizing and star-studded tribute to Roger Corman, Hollywood’s most prolific writer-director producer, and seminal influencing force in modern moviemaking over the last 60 years. Featuring interviews with Hollywood icons and cinematic luminaries, some who launched their careers within Corman’s unforgettable world of filmmaking, including Paul W.S. Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert De Niro, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Eli Roth, Martin Scorsese, William Shatner and Jack Nicholson, along with many others, this documentary chronicles how Corman created his cult film empire, one low-budget success at a time, capitalizing on undiscovered talent, and pushing the boundaries of independent filmmaking. Director Alex Stapleton weaves archival footage following Roger’s illustrious career: From his early days of genre-defining classics including the original Fast and Furious, the original Little Shop of Horrors, The Crybaby Killer, The Intruder, House of Usher, and The Wild Angels (which at that point in 1966 was his 100th film) – to present day video of him and his wife Julie on location, still at work as they continue to produce and distribute films outside the studio system: fast, cheap and out-of-this-world! (Source)
A riveting examination of a horrible crime which probes the human psyche to explore why people kill — and why the state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (who was scheduled to die eight days after his interview with Herzog), the filmmaker achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory. (Source)
The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames are widely regarded as America’s most important designers. Perhaps best remembered for their mid-century plywood and fiberglass furniture, the Eames Office also created a mind-bending variety of other products, from splints for wounded military during World War II, to photography, interiors, multi-media exhibits, graphics, games, films and toys. But their personal lives and influence on significant events in American life – from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age – has been less widely understood. Narrated by James Franco, Eames: The Architect and the Painter is the first film dedicated to these creative geniuses and their work. (Source)
Garbo: The Spy profiles the enigmatic counterspy Spaniard Juan Pujol Garcia, the only person to have been decorated by both the Allies and the Axis for service during the Second World War. Code-named “Garbo” by British intelligence and dubbed “Alaric” by the Nazis, this self-made double agent earned recognition after taking it upon himself to fabricate a network of phantom agents across Europe and feeding false information to the Nazis. As a result, Pujol contributed to saving thousands of lives for both sides, most notably by misinforming the Germans about the timing and location of the Normandy invasion. This documentary thriller artfully interweaves fragments of World War II propaganda footage, interviews with key players in Pujol’s life, and clips from Hollywood films to conjure forgotten and living memories, heroes and spies, secrets and lies. (Source)
Inni is Sigur Ros’ second live film following 2007’s hugely-celebrated Heima. Whereas that film positioned the enigmatic group in the context of their Icelandic homeland, providing geographical, social, and historical perspectives on their otherworldly music, with uplifting results, Inni focusses purely on the band’s performance, which is artfully and intimately captured by French-Canadian director Vincent Morisset (Arcade Fire’s Miroir Noir). Interweaving archive material from the band’s first ten years with the sometimes gossamer light, sometimes punishingly intense, concert footage, Inni is a persuasive account of one of the most celebrated and influential rock bands of recent years. (Source)
Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog (CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, GRIZZLY MAN) returns with INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE, a riveting examination of a horrible crime which probes the human psyche to explore why people kill–and why the state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (who was scheduled to die eight days after his interview with Herzog), the filmmaker achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory. (Source)
Directed by Tristan Patterson and executive produced by indie-maverick Christine Vachon, DRAGONSLAYER is the Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary Feature at SXSW 2011, and is the second feature to be released theatrically by Drag City following Harmony Korine’s Trash Humpers. DRAGONSLAYER documents the transgressions of a lost skate punk falling in love in the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California in the aftermath of America’s economic collapse. Taking the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of broken homes, abandoned swimming pools and stray glimpses of unusual beauty, DRAGONSLAYER captures the life and times of Josh “Skreech” Sandoval, a local skate legend and new father, as his endless summer finally collides with the future. Set to the alternately roaring and dreamy soundtrack of bands from the indie labels Mexican Summer and Kemado Records–including Best Coast, Bipolar Bear, Children, Dungen, Eddy Current and the Suppression Ring, Golden Triangle, Jacuzzi Boys, Little Girls, Real Estate, The Soft Pack, Saviours, as well as DEATH and Thee Oh Sees –DRAGONSLAYER is a punk-rock manifesto to youth, love and learning to survive after the decline of western civilization. (Source)