Fight the Power

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Cinefamily presents film about repression, deception and rebellion. More titles TBA!

Sympathy for the Devil Friday, April 28th at 7:30pm

How to Survive a Plague (with ACT UP member Maria Maggenti in person!) Saturday, April 29th at 6:00pm

Animal Farm (off-site at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater) Saturday, April 29th at 7:30pm

The Spook Who Sat by the Door Thursday, May 11th at 10:00pm

Born in Flames (w/ Lizzie Borden in person!) Friday, May 12th at 7:30pm

Sympathy for the Devil

sympathy for the devil
4/28 - 7:30PM
$12/free for members

In 1968, Godard took a respite from his “narrative” filmmaking to document the Rolling Stones’ London recording sessions for one of the greatest rock songs of the era – replete with all of the frustrations and ecstasies of realizing a masterpiece. Godard found a nexus between his visual style and his subject matter: Sympathy captures the cavernous grandeur of British recording studios’ live rooms in the 60′s, with Olympic Studios’ multi-colored soundproof baffles, tape operators, and elegant microphone stands serving as a playground of frame-bisecting angles and shapes. This is late 60′s Godard, so we are of course treated to a dollop of Marxist polemics and virtuosic long-takes – the best of which features a group of Black Panthers tossing rifles amongst themselves in a junkyard whilst reading revolutionary texts by Amiri Baraka.

Dir. Jean-Luc Godard, 1968, DCP, 100 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

How to Survive a Plague (with ACT UP member Maria Maggenti in person!)

how to survive a plague
4/29 - 6PM
$14/free for members

Co-presented by Courtney Stephens of Veggie Cloud

Join us at 5pm for a pre-reception on the patio!

In the dark days of 1987, the country was six years into the AIDS epidemic, a crisis that was still being largely ignored by government officials and health organizations — until the emergence of the activist group ACT UP. Largely made up of HIV-positive participants who refused to die without a fight, they took on the challenges public officials had ignored, raising awareness of the disease through a series of dramatic protests. More remarkably, they became recognized experts in virology, biology, and pharmaceutical chemistry. Their efforts would see them seize the reins of federal policy from the FDA and NIH, force the AIDS conversation into the 1992 presidential election, and lead the way to the discovery of effective AIDS drugs that saved countless lives.

First-time director and award-winning journalist David France, who has been covering the AIDS crisis for 30 years, culls from a huge amount of archival footage — most of it shot by the protestors themselves. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, How to Survive a Plague captures both the joy and terror of those days, and the epic day-by-day battles that finally made AIDS survival possible.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with longtime ACT UP member Maria Maggenti, who began attending meetings two weeks after the group’s inception when she was a student at NYU. Maggenti is also a filmmaker, whose films as writer/director are The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love, Puccini for Beginners and most recently, as screenwriter, Ry Russo Young’s Before I Fall.

This presentation of the film is part of bi-coastal effort to help fund Housing Works’ National Advocacy Trainings, which teach citizens to raise their voices at town hall meetings and with elected officials, to fight back against right-wing attacks on our health care. Please consider supporting their excellent work here.

Dir. David France, 2012, DCP, 110 min.

Watch the trailer!

Animal Farm (off-site at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater)

animal farm
4/29 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

This show will take place at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, located at 1345 W. 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90026.

Presented by Animation Breakdown

The film will be preceded by a puppet show!

This adaptation of George Orwell’s classic Communist fable was Britain’s first ever wide-release animated film. Following the death of the Lenin-esque Old Major, a power struggle ensues between pig, horse, donkey, and man. Yet the story of the film’s making is as engrossing as the narrative itself. In 1974 Howard Hunt – the ex-intelligence hatchet man then-imprisoned for his role in Watergate – revealed that the CIA’s Office of Policy Co-Ordination had bankrolled Animal Farm, in a series of anti-Soviet counterintelligence operations engaged alongside Britain’s Information Research Department. So, in the midst of conducting psychedelic mind control experiments and overthrowing socialist Latin American governments, American intelligence was developing propaganda out of one of the world’s foremost anti-propagandist writers. Adding to the curiosity, Animal Farm remained largely underseen in the United States – though it was quite popular in West German elementary schools.

Dir. John Halas and Joy Batchelor, 1954, digital presentation, 69 min.

Though all are welcome, please note that this film features mature themes and may not be appropriate for young children.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

The Spook Who Sat by the Door

spook who sat by the door
5/11 - 10PM
$12/free for members

“You really wanna mess with Whitey? I can show you how.”

Actor-turned-director Ivan Dixon’s Spook harnesses racial frustrations into a biting heist-thriller — couched in the newly-fashionable cinematic language of Blaxploitation. In a politically-motivated attempt at “integration” (what can be read as not-so-subtle “tokenism”), Spook’s subjugator Dan Freeman is one of several dozen African American recruits hauled in by the hyper-white brass at the CIA for instruction in espionage. Newly armed with training in explosives, ballistics, conversion tactics, and jujitsu, Freeman transposes his knowledge to an eager community of Black Freedom Fighters on Chicago’s South Side — to the chagrin of his former employer.

It can be assumed that, in real life as in the film, the U.S. government does not appreciate being made for a fool, which is why the FBI evoked COINTELPRO strategy and systematically seized and destroyed every print they could find… except one. In an incredible stroke of foresight and artistic rebellion, Dixon archived the original negative under an alternate title, the only reason we’re able to experience Spook today.

Dir. Ivan Dixon, 1973, 35mm, 102 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!

Born in Flames (w/ Lizzie Borden in person!)

5/12 - 7:30PM
$14/free for members

Presented by Women of Cinefamily

Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation.

On the tail end of one revolution and the eve of the next, two feminist pirate radio stations (“Radio Ragazza” and “Phoenix Radio”) broadcast commentary on the failing socialist state from a future utopian/dystopian New York, where the dream of the left’s takeover has come and gone. Lizzie Borden’s stellar and ferociously beloved documentary-style sci-fi social drama, restored by Anthology Film Archives, envisions an imagined future that upon contemporary viewing looks almost—but not quite—like the past, eerily affecting even beyond its time-capsule appeal. Circling around issues of race, gender, and class that apparently never get old, Born In Flames is revolutionary beyond its political narrative. Shot on a shoestring over a period of five years, using non-actors and little in the way of an advance script, it feels like a feat, carried to completion by the sheer force of ideas and passion.

Dir. Lizzie Borden, 1983, 35mm, 80 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!