By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

ArcLight/Slamdance Take Cinema Club Program Across Country

Partnership expands to ArcLight Chicago with new series

LOS ANGELES  (March 1, 2016) — ArcLight Cinemas and Slamdance are building on the success of the first year of the Slamdance Cinema Club at ArcLight Hollywood by expanding into ArcLight Chicago. Films featured in the upcoming series include award winning and audience favorites from the Slamdance Film Festival“Fursonas,” “Honey Buddies,”  “Art of the Prank,” “Los Punks; We Are All We Have,” “Chemical Cut,” “Hunky Dory,” “Dead Hands Dig Deep,” and “How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town.”

ArcLight Chicago is a perfect fit for the national expansion of this film series. Not only is ArcLight Chicago at the heart of where many Slamdance filmmakers come from and create their work, its audience embraces the unique cinematic voices and theatrical sea change that Slamdance and ArcLight Cinemas offer. Both ArcLight locations will screen two films each month from the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival, followed by a filmmaker Q&A, with high-profile surprise guests and moderators. 

“We are proud to bring these fascinating films to our ArcLight guests, knowing that these exclusive global cinema selections direct from this year’s Slamdance Film Festival will find an equally excited audience among the culturally rich moviegoers in Chicago,” said Gretchen McCourt, Executive Vice President, Cinema Programming, ArcLight Cinemas.

The first dual national screenings kicking-off in March will be “Fursonas” from filmmaker Dominic Rodriguez, the 2016 Spirit of Slamdance winner, and the following night, ArcLight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club will screen “Honey Buddies” by Alex Simmons starring Flula Borg (“Pitch Perfect Two”) and David Giuntoli (“Grimm”), the 2016 Audience Award winner for narrative feature.

Slamdance’s partnership with ArcLight Cinemas is proving to be a great way to increase audiences for independent film and serve our filmmaking community across the country,” states Slamdance President & Co-Founder, Peter Baxter.

ArcLight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club upcoming dates for both locations:

March 20 at 8pm (ArcLight Hollwood)

March 30 at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago)  – “Fursonas”

*2016 Spirit of Slamdance winner*

Synopsis: Like any community, the Furry world is one with gossipers, dreamers, followers, whistleblowers, and the one guy who wants to rule them all. The furry fandom is a closely-knit network of people interested in anthropomorphic animals. Many of these people purchase or create fursuits—life-size animal costumes of their “fursonas.” The film presents four years of research into their society from the inside out. What begins as a series of humanistic portraits evolves into an exploration of the complicated question concerning community representation in the fandom.

March 21st at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

March 31st at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “Honey Buddies”

*2016 Audience Award winner for narrative feature*

Synopsis: When David is dumped just days before his wedding, Flula, his upbeat and very German best man, convinces him to go on David’s honeymoon together: a 7-day backpacking trip through the Oregon wilderness. On the trail, the two friends meet a conspiracy theorist, a friendly backpacker, and a bloodthirsty predator, on an unrelenting trek that tests their friendship and their lives.

April 1o at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

April 20 at 8pm  (ArcLight Chicago) – “Art of the Prank”

*2016 Jury Honorable Mention for Documentary Feature*

Synopsis: Art of the Prank is an emotional and humorous journey following the evolution of Joey Skaggs, Godfather of the media hoax, as he tries to pull off the most challenging prank of his career. This is interwoven with amazing archive footage of his earlier escapades—all reported as fact by prestigious journalists. The resulting twists and turns provide unprecedented insight into Joey’s work as an artist, activist and social satirist.

April 11th at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

April 21st at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “Los Punks; We Are All We Have”

 Synopsis: Punk rock is thriving in the backyards of South Central and East Los Angeles. A cobbled-together family of predominently Hispanic teens and young adults comprise the scene: bands, fans, production, marketing, and security interwoven into a sub-culture of thrash and noise and pits. The sense of belonging is palpable, emotional bonds fostered among good families and those broken, poverty and wealth, adolescence and maturity, with the music emanating a magnetic chorus for all to sing together. ‘Los Punks: We Are All We Have” is a documentary feature film honestly and sincerely portraying this vibrant, ‘DIY’ community.

May 10th at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

May 18th at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “Chemical Cut”

Synopsis: Irene, a twenty-three-year-old artistic misfit, pursues a modeling career to escape her dead-end retail job but is quickly disillusioned by the cutthroat nature of the Los Angeles fashion world. Searching for identity and a kindred spirit while surrounded by competition, absurdity, and so many nude bras, Irene flounders until a mysterious woman’s performance ignites her imagination.

May 9th at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

May 19th at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “Hunky Dory”

*2016 Jury Honorable Mention for Acting – Narrative Feature*

Synopsis: A grifting glam rock dilettante is forced to look after his 11-year-old son full-time after his ex vanishes. His “cool dad” facade crumbles as he struggles to let go of his rock-and-roll lifestyle.

June 12th at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

June 22nd at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “Dead Hands Dig Deep”

Synopsis: Edwin Borsheim of the band Kettle Cadaver was once known for his brutal on-stage self-mutilation. Years after the bands demise, Borsheim has fallen in to complete seclusion on his acre of land in which he is surrounded by the horrible things he has created. As Edwin spirals further in to a hole of self-destruction, those closest to Borsheim dissect his mental complexes as he himself reflects on his dark past.

June 13th at 8pm (ArcLight Hollywood)

June 23rd at 8pm (ArcLight Chicago) – “How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town”

Synopsis: In highschool Cassie Cranston was slut-shamed out of the wholesome and repressed town of Beaver’s Ridge following a humiliating attempt at losing her virginity. Now, years later, a big city sex columnist, Cassie returns home to bury her mother and finds a chance for revenge when her prudish childhood nemesis insists she helps her old fiends plan an orgy.

To reserve seats and learn more about upcoming titles visit ArcLight Cinemas at: www.arclightcinemas.com/news/ArcLight-Presents-Slamdance-Cinema-Club

ABOUT ArcLight Cinemas

ArcLight Cinemas, created by Pacific Theatres, a privately owned, Los Angeles based company with 60 years of theatrical exhibition history throughout California, Hawaii and Washington is a premiere moviegoing experience with an unparalleled commitment to bringing a variety of rich cinematic content to moviegoers in all markets. ArcLight Cinemas operates eight theaters in California including Hollywood, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Culver City and La Jolla, as well as one theater in Bethesda, Md, Chicago and Glenview, Ill.  ArcLight also owns and operates the historic Cinerama Dome and programs the TCL Chinese Theatre and IMAX in Hollywood.Pacific Theatres currently operates theaters in Los Angeles that include The Grove and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, Calif. Additional information about ArcLight Cinemas is available at www.arclightcinemas.com/

Follow ArcLight Cinemas:

www.facebook.com/arclightcinemas

www.twitter.com/arclightcinemas

www.youtube.com/arclightcinema

www.instagram.com/arclightcinemas

ABOUT Slamdance

Slamdance is a community, a year-round experience, and a statement. Established in 1995 by a wild bunch of filmmakers who were tired of relying on a large, oblique system to showcase their work, Slamdance has proven, year after year, that when it comes to recognizing talent and launching careers, independent and grassroots communities can do it themselves.

Slamdance alums are responsible for the programming and organization of the festival. With a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents, but with no individual filmmaker’s vote meaning more than any others, Slamdance’s programming and organizing committees have been able to stay close to the heart of low budget and do-it-yourself filmmaking. In this way, Slamdance continues to grow and exemplify its mantra: By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers.

Notable Slamdance alumni who first gained notice at the festival include: Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar”), Oren Peli  (“Paranormal Activity”), Marc Forster (“World War Z”), Jared Hess (“Napoleon Dynamite”), Lena Dunham (“Girls”), Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”), Anthony & Joe Russo (“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”), Jeremy Saulnier (“Blue Ruin”), Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”), Lynn Shelton (“Humpday”) and Matt Johnson (“Operation Avalanche”). Box Office Mojo reports alumni who first showed their work at Slamdance have earned over $11.5 billion at the Box Office to date.

Slamdance serves emerging artists and audiences alike with several year-round ventures. In addition to the ArcLight Presents Slamdance Cinema Club, they include the popular Slamdance Screenplay Competition that has just opened its submissions for 2016 http://showcase.slamdance.com/Screenplay-Competition, and the Anarchy Workshop, an education program that travels around North America for student filmmakers.

In January 2015, Hulu entered a commerical partnered with Slamdance Studios to offer a new film collection from festival alumni. Viewers access Slamdance Studios on Hulu at http://www.hulu.com/companies/slamdance. Slamdance Studios latest release is Crimes Against Humanity by Chicago filmmaker Jerzy Rose which premiered on February 3rd.

Slamdance Presents is a new distribution arm providing a broader distribution of independent films made or acquired by Slamdance. The goal is to build the popularity of independent films and support filmmakers commercially by incorporating a theatrical release. The Resurrection of Jake The Snake was the first film to be released Slamdance Presents. In January 2016 The Resurrection of Jake The Snake reached number one on iTunes.

The inaugural DIG show opened in Los Angeles at Big Pictures Los Angeles in December 2015, and select works from DIG were also featured at the 2016 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City.

 2016 Slamdance Film Festival Sponsors include Blackmagic Design, Distribber, CreativeFuture, Directors Guild of America, Kodak, Digital BolexThe International Fusion Doc ChallengeCarhartt, Different By Design, Pierce Law Group LLP, G-Technology, Media Storage Group, Writers Guild Of America West, Salt Lake City’sSlug Magazine, Beehive Distilling, and BlueStar CaféSlamdance is proud to partner with sponsors who support emerging artists and filmmakers.

Additional information about the Slamdance is available at www.slamdance.com

Connect With Slamdance:

Facebook: SlamdanceFilmFestival

Twitter: @slamdance

Instagram: @slamogram

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin