Archive for the Screenings Category

Honey

Posted in Screenings on February 28, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

Saturday, March 7th (10pm)
Sunday, March 8th (8pm)

Transmutative Cinema is proud to present David Ball’s Honey.

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Honey focuses on the intertwined lives of two twenty–something couples, but rather than being cool and reflective, they and their interactions are hot–blooded, high–stakes, and more than half out–of–control. Honey’s characters don’t stare at their navels and take their own pulses, but fight and argue and jockey for romantic dominance. – Harvard Film Archive

From the Honey Manifesto:
Honey is an almost unpitchable film, because the whole reason I wrote it was in reaction to pitchable films. There’s no high concept to it …What it’s about, really, is how crazy things can be. How you can reach this point with another person where they’ve hurt you and you’ve hurt them and you’re both thinking, “My God, I didn’t know I was capable of doing that to someone, and I didn’t know I was capable of withstanding that from someone”, and yet you don’t just run away because sometimes you have nowhere else to go. It’s about finding out for the first time that love is damned hard, that it takes a lot of work and a lot of courage in the face of signs that tell you to turn around and run away. It’s about that moment when you’re waiting for the other person to turn the other cheek and they get mad because they’re thinking, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to do it after all you’ve done to me—you turn the other cheek”—and then you get angry because you feel that way and can’t he/she see that they’re really the ones in the wrong. It’s that moment when something breaks and you’re both waiting for the other to clean it up because each of you is sure that you cleaned it up last time and isn’t it just like him/her to always expect you to make everything better…Honey is about the way it feels in (my) life, the questions you have after the epiphany—is the realization right, or is it another delusion masquerading as truth? Do I have the courage to go through with it if it is the truth? And what if I go through with it, and that’s not enough?

Stylistically, I wanted to focus on small moments—by that I mean, the large moments that appear small. I wanted the film to key you to noticing the little but telling details in someone’s behaviour and/or language that tells you what’s going on. There are few clues in the script; there will be few clues in the film. That’s not to obscure things wilfully, but instead to present the facts and let people make their own judgements, and make people think about the judgements they’re making. There is no “Good Guy” or “Bad Guy” or “This is a Sad Moment” music and lighting in real life, so I don’t want any in my film. And if you think someone is the good guy and then they’re bad, or vice-versa, that’s part of the experience as well.

Complete Manifesto

-David Ball
2004 | Color | Sound | 84 minutes

presented on DVD


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Saturday, March 7th (10pm)

Sunday, March 8th (8pm)

What Happened Was…

Posted in Screenings on February 26, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

Saturday, February 28th (10pm)
ONLY

Transmutative Cinema presents Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was…


Tom Noonan is perhaps better known for his work in front of the camera often playing villainous roles in films like Manhunter or Robocop 2 or his eccentric and memorable parts in Heat and Mystery Train. If you don’t recognize his name you certainly may recognize his large frame, bald head, and menacing smile. Behind the camera Tom is also one of America’s greatest directing talents.

His films begin first as stage plays. Tom Noonan owns his own theater in New York, where he and his cast rehearse their parts before a live audience. Once the theatrical run of the play is done Noonan and crew take the story to a set and make the film. Working with only two actors and a single location Tom Noon is able to create a roomy dramas that is anything but claustrophobic. What Happened Was… starts as a simple date, but soon unfolds into an exploration of the disguises we wear and the false assumptions we make about our co-workers and ourselves.

“Having given up, I went to dinner at a friend’s house. During the meal I asked my friend how her brother was (whom I’d never met) and she said, “Oh, he’s such a jerk. This woman he works with asked him over for dinner. Well, he went and halfway through the meal he realized sensed romantic overtones and asked, ‘Is this a date?’. When the woman told him that she really liked him, he said that he wouldn’t have come to dinner if he had considered this a date. The woman blew and threw him out.” I got up from the table and left my friend’s house and rushed home and started writing. Ten days later I had written WHAT HAPPENED WAS…”
-Tom Noonan “Having given up, I went to dinner at a friend’s house. During the meal I asked my friend how her brother was (whom I’d never met) and she said, “Oh, he’s such a jerk. This woman he works with asked him over for dinner. Well, he went and halfway through the meal he realized sensed romantic overtones and asked, ‘Is this a date?’. When the woman told him that she really liked him, he said that he wouldn’t have come to dinner if he had considered this a date. The woman blew and threw him out.” I got up from the table and left my friend’s house and rushed home and started writing. Ten days later I had written WHAT HAPPENED WAS…”

-Tom Noonan
1994 | Color | Sound | 91 minutes

presented on DVD

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Saturday, February 28th (10pm)

Walking with Alan Clarke

Posted in Screenings on February 15, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

Saturday, February 21th (10pm)
Sunday, February 22nd (8pm)

Transmutative Cinema presents two of Alan Clarke’s ‘walking’ films.

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On Alan Clarke: An unsung hero of British cinema and a relatively unknown name here in the States, Alan Clarke was among the top British filmmakers of his generation; a group the includes Mike Leigh, Ken Loach, and Peter Watkins. For the better part of his career Clarke choose to make movies for television, but the small screen did not prevent him from creating powerful, personal and political films. The scope of Clarke’s work includes everything from drama to comedy, documentary to musical, but in his later days Clarke, with the help of the newly invented Steadicam, crafted a series of ‘walking’ films. The potential of this new device allowed Clarke to create a visual style that combined the documentary realism of handheld camerawork with the fluid, lyrical movements of dolly shots creating hyperreal scenes that hold the viewer trapped in a state of shared experience with the subjects.

Christine is a minimalist examination of the daily habits of a thirteen year old, suburban girl addicted to heroine. Clarke’s unwavering camera follows Christine from one fix to the next. Christine is a portrait of a teenage wasteland ruled by addiction, but free from the cinematic cliches that both glamorize and demonize drug use. Here drugs provide neither highs or lows, in fact they do nothing for the characters.

Mixed with humor and sadness, Road takes Jim Cartwright’s stageplay about a group of four desperate young  adults living in an rundown North England industrial town and places it in those very same streets. Clarke’s unflinching camera walks in lock-step with the actors Road as the deliver amazing monologues and soliloquies that depict a generation whose dreams have fallen victim to the bleak state of their environment.
It’s sad that Clarke is no longer with us and no longer able to make films. It’s even sadder that most of his work is unknown and unavailable on these shores. He is not without his admirers. Ray Winstone, Tim Roth and Gary Oldman have starred in Clarke films. Harmony Korine and Gus Vant Sant have paid homage to him in their own films. Now, you have see for yourself why Alan Clarke deserves more recognition.

Christine
1987 | Color | Sound | 52 minutes

Road
1987 | Color | Sound | 67 minutes

presented on DVD
Director: Alan Clarke

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Saturday, February 21th (10pm)

Sunday, February 22nd (8pm)


A Valentine’s Day Treat

Posted in Screenings on February 8, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

Saturday, February 14th (10pm)
Transmutative Cinema presents a cinematic valentine – John Cassavetes’ Love Streams. Not gushy or weepy, but a realistic mixture of the ups and downs, losses and gains that occur when we place our hearts in vulnerable positions and dare to express our inner feelings. Treat yourself or someone else to rare and powerful film.

Love Streams

Based on a play by Ted Allan, Love Streams is a haunting, provocative, and brutally honest examination of love, emotional need, loneliness, and longing. In contrast to the active and confrontational camerawork of his earlier films (most notably in Faces), John Cassavetes creates a spare, muted, and objective portrait, capturing with underlying compassion the empty lives of emotionally adrift characters who act out the ache of their unarticulated despair through incomprehensible, cruel, and often self-destructive acts. Cassavetes further incorporates recurring episodes of representational surrogacy in order to reflect the film’s theme of emotional substitution: Robert’s instinctive and automatic disbursement of personal checks to his companions and ex-wife; his night club encounter with an admiring female impersonator named Phyllis (Logan Carter) who is drawn to the portrayal of loneliness in his novels; his estranged young son Albie’s (Jakob Shaw) difficult and conflicted relationship with his stepfather (Eddy Donno); Sarah’s pattern of smothering and overcompensating attention towards her resentful family; her unconsulted decision to find a baby for her brother that results in a bizarre, compulsive purchase of a farm menagerie. Inevitably, as Sarah attempts to rationalize her tenacious attachment to her unfaithful husband and troubled marriage through her fragmented explanation, “Love is a stream. It’s continuous. It doesn’t stop”, she metaphorically encapsulates the profound and indefinable – and often elusive – eternal human search for connection, love, acceptance, and intimacy. – Strictly Film School

1984 | Color | Sound | 141 minutes
presented on DVD
Director: John Cassavetes

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SLOW MOVES

Posted in Screenings on January 9, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

Saturday, January 31st (10pm)

Jon Jost's 1983 low-budget masterpiece, screening one time only this Saturday @ Alchemist

Transmutative Cinema will be screening Jon Jost’s 1983 low-budget masterpiece SLOW MOVES

slowmoves

Slow Moves is a bluesy lyrical romance of two ugly-ducklings who meet on the Golden Gate Bridge and after a brief and awkward courtship, live together with the usual problems of money and work, take flight to an illusory freedom on the road, and dances inexorably to a drab doom. At once funny, grubby, beautiful, lyrical, tragic and sad.

– Jon Jost


… it is quite serious about demonstrating how the simplest of plots can be visually manipulated into a vehicle of tension and suspense. Technique is layered upon technique, all the while pushing the story forward to its shabby and oddly affecting little conclusion. Slow Moves deserves all the exposure it can get.”

– John J. O’Conner, New York Times

1983 | Color | Sound | 93 minutes
16mm presented on DVD
Director: Jon Jost

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FINALLY, LILLIAN AND DAN

Posted in Guest, Screenings on January 8, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

ONE NIGHT ONLY – Saturday, February 7th (10pm)
Transmutative Cinema welcomes filmmaker Mike Gibisser and his quiet, awkward, and touching FINALLY, LILLIAN AND DAN. Mike will be driving up from Chicago to attend the screening and answer questions after the film.

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FINALLY, LILLIAN AND DAN is a meditation on young love and its delicacy: its hope and exhilaration, as well as its loneliness, turbidity and naivet… Lillian lives in a quiet yet comfortable isolation, sharing an apartment with her grandmother, an aging widow. Their dependence on one another is cyclical, simultaneously making them whole and holding them back. Dan’s dependence is more tactile. Living in a more tortured solitude, his attempts at human connection are carried out in the only way he can manage: compulsive fits and starts. After a chance meeting, Lillian and Dan bump and misstep their way towards one another in a love story that is awkward and small, that stutters and spits, with its worry lines on its face and its heart on its sleeve.

“… an absolutely astonishing piece of ultra-low-budget garage filmmaking. Almost a silent movie, the movie’s delicate love story is played out–brilliantly, subtly played out, second by second, step by step–not in words, but almost entirely in the characters’ gestures, body language, and facial expressions… One of the best movies of the past year.” — Ray Carney, author “Cassavetes on Cassavetes”

“superb, very wonderfully and charmingly sketched and enacted. Tender, funny, and most importantly very human.” — John Gianvito, author “Andrei Tarkovsky: Interviews”

2008 | Color | Sound | 93 minutes
DV presented on DVD
Director: Mike Gibisser

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APART FROM THAT

Posted in Screenings on January 3, 2009 by Ryan Sarnowski

January 24th (10pm) and 25th (8pm)

Transmutative Cinema is proud to present Randy Walker and Jennifer Shainin’s 2006 film APART FROM THAT

apart from that poster

“APART FROM THAT is about how everyone wants to be liked. How people will go to any length to be accepted, and how denial and unmet expectations play a part. In this character-driven drama/comedy, the little moments and everyday lives surrounding three sets of strangers living in the Pacific Northwest coalesce into an examination of this human desire to belong. One story follows the path of Ulla, an introverted student beautician who rents a room in the home of Peggy, an elderly exhibitionist who has made a habit out of placing false phone calls to local fire departments. The second story is that of Leo, a Native American striper for the department of transportation who is in constant search for any distraction that might allow him to forget that his best friend is dying. Running concurrently with these stories is the tale of Sam, a Vietnamese banker who must make a decision at the office that initiates a seemingly irreconcilable divide between himself and his adopted American son. The common thread that binds these stories together is the emotional landscape that silently governs them all. It’s an honest look at human vulnerability and the similarities between very different people.”

– Foreign American Pictures

2006 | Color | Sound | 120 minutes
DV presented on DVD
Directors:
Randy Walker and Jennifer Shainin

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Saturday, January 24th

Sunday, January 25th