I Am Not Your Negro (2016/7)

Where does one begin with this amazing documentary and make no mistake – let’s get that out of the way – this is an AMAZING documentary that I recommend everyone seek and discover.

In these uncertain times, I have often found myself at a loss of words on how to articulate exactly what I feel as I look at the world around me. On that level alone, the Academy Award ®-nominated I Am Not Your Negro could not have come at a more perfect time. After watching this documentary, I felt as if many others and myself are given a voice through the eloquent thoughtful words of James Baldwin.

Based on a 30-page manuscript from an abandoned 1979 project wherein Baldwin set out to detail a personal account of the lives and deaths of friends and civil rights icons Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Although the project never went past these few pages, they are more than enough to be brought to life through the voice of Samuel L. Jackson.

The eloquence of the spoken words is accompanied with a wonderful visual language that director Raoul Peck has chosen to broaden out this original story to examine race relations in America.

As someone who (obviously) loves the language of film, I must say this cinematic technique was really put to good use. Archival interviews featuring Baldwin, photographs of the past and present, clips from classic Hollywood films, as well as contemporaneous images chronicling current events are beautifully woven to tell a story that is both very personal as well as serve a larger narrative purpose.

Often when you watch a documentary film, one tries to decipher what the central thesis of the work is. As the story revealed itself to me, I almost immediately registered that the filmmakers are trying to drive home one simple fact: history is not the past, it is now. Sure, some events may have happened in the past and as such, are a matter of record in the present. But never forget – the events of the past are alive and all around us, informing us as we journey through our lives. And sure enough, as the film neared its conclusion at 90 minutes, Baldwin in his own words said very much the same thing as if speaking to the audience from whatever realm he currently inhabits.

And given the dour circumstances and moments the documentary captured, there is a lovely and emotional chord of optimism struck at the end.

I Am Not Your Negro is an instructive and masterful work that will touch your heart and mind with its powerful message.

Seen at Tribeca (Post 3 of ?): Indian Point

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster several years ago, increased scrutiny has piled on the nuclear power industry. On a local level, residents, journalists and regulators alike are players in an increasingly complex environmental and regulatory space where there are raised concerns over the safety of the nation’s aging plants.. The heavily populated New York City metropolitan area is no exception. Check out this recent New York Times article for evidence; this is but one of several alarming pieces covering the 50+ year-old Indian Point nuclear facility on the otherwise picturesque Hudson River.

Director, Ivy Meeropol  Courtesy of Indian Point Film Productions, Inc.

Indian Point (Director, Ivy Meeropol)
Courtesy of Indian Point Film Productions, Inc.

Aptly titled Indian Point, the documentary, directed by Ivy Meeropol, features Indian Point employees, anti-nuke activists, environmental journalists and a host of other key players who have a stake in the long term outcome of the plant. Two points of interest on this front – a husband/wife tandem of anti nuclear activist and environmental journalist, and most notably, former chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Gregory Jaczko, who by the account of the film was forced out of his position by a powerful and insular industry hell bent on growth amidst an increasingly alarmist court of public opinion.

In general, Indian Point is very much a paint by numbers documentary, not offering much in the way of ‘entertainment’, per se. But what makes it a watch of interest is that it provides some background information on the history of the facility and raises some questions as to the facility’s sustained viability amid the perceived imminent threat posed to the region.


Seen at Tribeca (Post 2 of ?): A Ballerina’s Tale

A Ballerina’s Tale is a “behind the curtain” look at world famous American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland; Copeland is only the fourth African American to hold such a role in the company’s history.

Director Nelson George chronicles Copeland’s prodigious rise from her early days in California, her move to New York City in her teens and ultimately how she challenged people’s notions of what a “traditional” ballerina should look like. From here, the accounting of her life takes us up to the present day, with Copeland’s ascension as professional, including many of her triumphs (Firebird, Swan Lake) and setbacks (career threatening injuries). For me, the real treat of A Ballerina’s Tale, is how her career milestones are accented by the presence of her mentors, many of whom were trailblazing dancers in their own right; in fact, several make appearances in the film.

Sure, there are things I would have loved to see (a little more about her family life and background and the impact it had on her careers), but I will let this pass, given the documentary’s subject and importance. I am allowing myself, just for a moment, to reflect on what watching a film like this can mean for a young woman who has dreams, but feels that they will come to nothing (“so why bother?”). Fortunately, we get a brief hint of this in a scene where Misty meets a few of her younger fans. Moments like these resonate with me. In fact, it made me recall my own childhood days as a ballet/tap dancer. While I did not have great dancing ambitions, save for making it into pointe toes (that did not happen), I imagine if would have felt any different if the “rock star” of ballet during my time was someone I could relate to culturally.

In other words, I am confident that A Ballerina’s Tale can serve as a source of inspiration for others, much in the way that Sally Ride and Dr. Mae Jemison inspired me to want to become an astronaut.

And as we enter an age where appreciation for the various classical art forms is waning, Copeland stands heads above all as a beacon and ambassador that can (and hopefully will) inspire a new generation of dancers. This film is a good advertisement of that ability to transcend.

When Misty danced the solo role Gamzatti in American Ballet Theater’s 2012 production of La Bayadère, The New York Times praised her “worldly allure” and “complexity”. Photo by Oskar Landi

When Misty danced the solo role Gamzatti in American Ballet Theater’s 2012 production of La Bayadère, The New York Times praised her “worldly allure” and “complexity”.
Photo by Oskar Landi

Tribeca Recap (1 of ?); The Emperor’s New Clothes

Sorry for the delay, guys. Life at the movies has been rather hectic lately.

The dust has settled, giving me the opportunity to sit back and reflect on my latest Tribeca Film Festival experience.

First, a couple of observations:

  1. I LOVE the choice of the Regal Cinemas in Battery Park City being the hub this year. It is easily one of my favorite multiplexes in New York City and really showcases the beauty and spirit of Lower Manhattan.
  2. Sadly, due to the hectic nature of my schedule lately, I did not get the chance to see as many films as I wanted. Nevertheless, granted, what I did see is definitely noteworthy. I will be posting my recaps in multiple parts; but as indicated by my post’s title, the number of which is indeterminate at this posting’s time. Stay tuned!


I guess I will start when I finished the festival – with the Michael Winterbottom/Russell Brand collaboration of The Emperor’s New Clothes, an informative and irreverent account of the 2008 financial crisis and its ripple effect in the United Kingdom, the United States and around the world.


Now that I have had ample time to reflect on the film, I obviously have some thoughts – some things I was a bit “meh” about and others that I found worthy highlighting. Let’s get the “bad stuff” out of the way first:

PLEASE, papa don’t preach (too much): the retort is naturally What else should I have expected? In the end, I did not mind (read further down), but I could see where some could grow weary and wonder where this fella comes off talking about this stuff. To be fair, Brand seems at least minimally self-aware in realizing the interesting position he finds himself in, being part of that “1%” he is banging on about.

Pixelation = NOT okay: The overlaying pixelation of the graphics throughout the documentary was sometimes a bit off-putting, with on at least one occasion, leaving me to wonder if something had gone amiss with the digital projection in the theater. It made me kinda nervous and unsettled. Really it did – to the point where I was concerned that some less passive spectator would say something. Luckily that did not occur.


Those two matters are off my chest, time for some positivity:

It’s always easy to like something when you agree with the premise …: In general, I tend to keep clear of being overtly political in this space (I feel these types of discussions are best left for face-to-face chats). However, with this film, there is a very clear political agenda, forgive me in advance if my commentary veers a bit.

Framed by the Hans Christian Andersen tale and through a mixture of archival footage, anecdotal interviews, on-the-nose infographics, and the more than occasional Brand-ian quip, we are offered a balance of channels all driving home the same message – the farcical approach that has been taken in dealing with the financial/fiscal crisis and its direct effect on social well-being of everyday people. To personalize this message, Brand takes us to his hometown of Grays, Essex for an example of the impact to local communities. Even for individuals unfamiliar with the inner workings of the UK political, financial and social life, it is clear as crystal which side of the court our filmmakers are on. That said, a lot of the points do transcend national just the politics, with the reverberations of errant behavior of folks in London and New York; Winterbottom and Brand even hop across the pond where he examines the Occupy Movement; New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio even makes a brief appearance in the film.

Overall, I found myself either nodding in agreement or riled with anger and a feeling of helplessness/hopelessness of the state of the world as depicted in this documentary. I suspect many others had a similar experience. To their credit, the filmmakers do not leave the audience to stew in their emotions for too long, thanks to the comical interludes. In addition, as the film ends, the audience is presented with a framework for a call to action – some ideas are practical, some admittedly a little pie-in-the-sky – but it’s something. Only time will tell if there is any lasting impact.

One final note – timing is everything: in doing my background on this film, I saw that the UK release of The Emperor’s New Clothes took place on April 21 – just in time for the national Parliamentary elections (which take place this Thursday).



Image credit: Tribeca Film Festival/Studio Canal UK



Sundance 2015 Review: Portraits of Artists

Happy Friday all! Thank the cinematic gods, but my Sundance reviews are finally winding down. Today, I am featuring a couple of artist-related biographies I had the pleasure of watching last month. Unlike some of the narrative features I have covered, these docs are soon to be available to a wide audience.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!



I may have mentioned this before, but big screen or small, I really like biographical documentaries. This year at Sundance provided me with a double bill of portraits of talented, yet enigmatic in many ways, personalities from the world of music and film.


Listen to Me Marlon (directed by Stevan Riley)

As much as I like the work of Marlon Brando, the man himself has equally fascinated me. I mean there is so much there to wonder about and discover. And love him or hate him, he left a legacy for fans such as me to chew on.

For me, it all started while I was in the summer of 1996. In school and with limited entertainment options, I was forced to find other means of passing my down time. It is then that I picked up his 1994 autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me (collaborated with Robert Lindsey). I loved this voluminous, VERY descriptive account of the span of his life. That said, one does end up wondering how much of what he is telling us is actual, concrete fact and how much is an invention or embellishment of what was. Either way, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Ever since then, I have been hooked, as evidenced nearly a decade later, when I attended a panel discussion where the likes of Arthur Penn and Eli Wallach discussed Brando’s work and impact on the world. It was certainly a night to remember.

Fast forward to the present day and here we are with a documentary that literally speaks for itself. Hundreds of hours of audio tapes and personal home videos and photographs have been condensed into a 95-minute personal and professional scrapbook of sorts.

Overall, the film works, save for what can only be best described as “Max Headroom” moments – a digitized rendering of Brando’s head narrating. At times, this really took me out of the story.

Listen to Me Marlon will air on the Showtime network (coming soon).

Marlon Brando


What Happened, Miss Simone? (directed by Liz Garbus)

A very intimate and informative profile of the iconic singer/pianist, What Happened, Miss Simone? traces Simone’s life from the backwoods of North Carolina to dimming lights of Paris.

What happens in between is a revealing and sometimes shocking play of triumphs, tragedies and controversies. I never considered myself super knowledgeable about the woman, but I am familiar with a fair portion of her musical catalog. So believe me when I tell you that this film was a real revelation for me. The depths of what I did not know about her was astonishing – from her prodigious beginnings through to her successes and her ardent political activism. I think my favorite fun fact is that for several of her halcyon years, she lived in my hometown of Mount Vernon (NY).

While there is a sampling of her music and performances littered throughout the 102-minute film, it is the roller coaster of her life that captures you as a viewer. Through archived audio and video footage, interviews with family and friends and passages taken straight out of her private diary, this is a rare glimpse at the eccentricities and personal demons that would ultimately for a time, consume this one of a kind talent.

Also to the film’s credit, Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly as an Executive Producer. I’ll leave it at that.

What Happened, Miss Simone? is scheduled for release on Netflix this spring.

Nina Simone


Image credit: The Sundance Institute

Art and Craft (TFF 2014)


Part caper, psycho-medical study and poses some questions about what defines art, the documentary Art and Craft (which started out life as a Kickstarter project) held my attention from beginning to end. The film delivers the story by framing the it with the classic cat and mouse between forger Mark Landis and one of his victims, Matthew Leininger, who until recently was an art registrar based in Cincinnati. Leininger has made it his life’s mission to bring Landis to justice for his grand deceptions.

While the true motives of Landis, however explained in the film, remain a bit of a mystery, no one can dismiss the fact that he is very talented. As someone who herself has tried (and failed on more than one occasion) to replicate various pieces of art *, I can attest to the difficulties in accomplishing this feat. And he undoubtedly does it. But I guess that is the point – how else would he have been able to fool all of these institutes over the past 30 years? And be sure, he was conned a lot of folks, as the film so helpfully and directly illustrates for the audience.

There are a couple of interesting plot details that I do not want to give away, but let me just say that this is a story that anyone who loves art and the art of the chase (with just the right amount of humor) should seek out.

Currently the film is making the rounds at film festivals all over the country, so stay tuned to the official website for more general release information.


*Note: often when taking an art class, you are asked to replicate a piece of art or at least, use a piece as a source of ‘inspiration’ for an assignment.

Photo Credit: Tribeca Institute

A Decade Under the Influence (2003)

Watching the TCM Premiere of the 1973 crime drama The Seven Ups got me all up in my 1970s cinematic feels. During the live tweeting with my fellow TCM viewers (TCMParty represent!) I was reminded of all the awesome films that came out during this decade. This got me reflecting a bit, like why hadn’t I been on this 1970’s cinema train until recently? Maybe since I was born in the mid-late 1970’s, I always dismissed the cinematic achievements of the period. Or maybe, rather age and experience has given me a level of cinematic sophistication to appreciate the 1970s cultural landscape a bit more. Whatever the actual cause, I am all the better for it.

A Decade Under the Influence Still

The 2003 IFC documentary, A Decade Under the Influence, co-directed by Richard LaGravense and Ted Demme (who sadly passed away before production on the film was complete), is a statement of the times and how what the audiences saw on screen was a reflection that heralded a new era in moviemaking and cinematic storytelling.

My immediate reaction after watching this film was wowsa. The 1970’s ran the gambit and offered quite possibly some of the most creative, innovative and liberating films in the history of Hollywood. I will touch on the whys of that statement in a second.

With all of this creative explosion and freedom, there was bound to be a downside. As the decade drew to a close, the engine that drove these films and exposed them to mainstream popularity came up against the business of show’s commercial interests. One result is the introduction of our current risk-averse moviemaking model.

Now back to the whys – the documentary cites several reasons; among them:

  •  As the old guard, i.e., the moguls who founded Hollywood started to die and be replaced by corporate entities, the hold studios had over its stars became more and more tenuous. This decline in the studio system also meant that the ability of movie stars to ensure box office success left the system at a crossroads.
  • As the adage goes “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” The loss of fortune and drive to recoup some of the losses created a ripe environment for young filmmakers to express themselves with limited studio interference.
  • Coming out of the social upheaval (and subsequent ‘social confusion’) of the 1950’s and 1960’s these mavericks put on film what were, as one interviewee in documentary explained was a celebration of the victories gained during this time. And audiences for a time were attracted to this.
  • Borrowing from what came before both in the studio system as well as cinema from around the world, these filmmakers and talent had a worldliness and ‘education’ that stretched their creative boundaries.

Interwoven with interviews with many of the movers and shakers* of the decade are clips from some of the more notable films, which range from the small and personal statement to the crowd-pleasing blockbusters.

Not explored at great length was the Blaxploitation films and the Asian influence, notably Hong Kong martial arts films to the West. Maybe these topics are just too broad for the focus of this documentary; heck, they probably deserve their own space (wink, wink filmmakers).

Another notable omission I observed was the “all-star” disaster movies (The Poseidon Adventure, Airport, The Towering Inferno). One theory: these films do not fit into the social context of many of the films discussed in the documentary. I would further argue that this subgenre could tie into the death throws of the studio system and, as a last ditch effort to bank on star power, led the studios to join forces. The result – the production of mega-watt disaster flicks. Again, maybe this series of films is deserving of its own more detailed retrospective.

Even with these omissions, A Decade Under the Influence wonderfully chronicles the changing landscape of cinema as an art form and as a going concern. It is almost a master class that will add vastly to your list of films to take a look at.


* It would be remiss of me NOT to mention at least some of the folks interviewed in this documentary, that is chock full of key influencers; here are just a few: Sydney Pollack, Paul Schrader, Francis Ford Coppola, Pam Grier, Jon Voight, Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich, William Friedkin, Roger Corman, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern, Polly Platt, Julie Christie, Brian DePalma, Roy Scheider, Paul Mazursky, Milos Forman and Robert Towne.

Sundance ’14 Doc Spotlight: FED UP

It may not be apparent here on my blog, but I am deeply fascinated by the role that food plays in the American life. I have read several books on food origins and what some think constitutes the best way to approach shopping for groceries as well as consuming said food for you and your family. Previously I touched upon this in my review of the documentary Forks Over Knives.

So you can imagine my excitement at the prospect of catching the premiere of Laurie David/Katie Couric collaboration Fed Up, which aims to identify and cast a light on the real cause of the expanding waistlines of American youth.


It’s what’s for lunch (at our nation’s schools)

Fed Up is an entertaining and informative documentary that follows the stories of “average” American adolescents and their struggle with food, while also examining the responsibility of food companies in perpetuating the problem.

Director Stephanie Soechtig follows the young people from their homes to school. It is evident that the parents, while having the best interests of their children at heart, are through no fault of their own as naive and ill-informed concerning the consequences of some of the food choices they have made as their children who are fighting (and seemingly losing) the battle of the bulge.

In interviews, leading health and medical experts as well as food advocates also offer well-informed insight on this topic that not only has grave consequences for the weight of the nation but also the wealth of the nation.

Loaded with wonderfully interactive infographics and animations, Fed Up deftly explains complex medical and physiological topics into ‘digestible’ pieces that the target audience can easily understand.

Most shocking learning moment? The very depressing statistic that in 30 years, the US has gone from 0 diagnosed cases of adult-onset (Type II) diabetes in adolescents to over 60,000. What astounds me about this fact is that is not taking into account all the many young people out there who are not charting their health with doctors. And this is clearly the case when you factor in the socio-economics of this crisis.

This actually leads me to one quibble I have with the film. While it did a good job of identifying and discussing the problem and possible solutions, the one area that I felt the film was deficient was in the exposition of the aforementioned social and economic issues surrounding this health emergency. The concept of “food deserts” was only briefly touched upon; however I felt there was a little more there that could have been discussed, since on its on first sight, the people most directly affected by this crisis tend to be classed as economically disadvantaged. But I guess at the end of the day, as the film explains, this problem spans all strata of society, with much of the confusion having to do a lot with us relying on the food industry to honestly inform us about leading healthy lifestyles.

And let’s remember, this is not a problem just reserved for good ole USA. As we as a nation continue to export foodstuffs around the globe, the phenomenon we are grappling with here is creeping its way onto the plates of the world.

As the film draws to a conclusion, there is a call to action on the part of the filmmakers for all of us to take on the challenges together.


Images provided by the Sundance Institute.

Sundance ’14: Documentary Rundown

The following are a collection of some of the documentaries I saw during my stay at the Sundance Film Festival and my ‘take’ on them …

Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer will premiere on PBS’ The American Experience later this year, but I was fortunate to catch a glimpse of the finished doc at Sundance.

In the hot and deadly summer of 1964, the nation could not turn away from Mississippi. Over ten memorable weeks known as Freedom Summer, more than 700 student volunteers joined with organizers and local African Americans in an historic effort to shatter the foundations of white supremacy in one of the nation’s most segregated states. The summer was marked by sustained and deadly violence, including the notorious murders of three civil rights workers, countless beatings, the burning of thirty-five churches, and the bombing of seventy homes and community centers.


Freedom Summer highlights an overlooked but essential element of the Civil Rights Movement: the patient and long-term efforts by both outside activists and local citizens in Mississippi to organize communities and register black voters — even in the face of intimidation, physical violence and death. The Freedom Summer story reminds us that the movement that ended segregation was far more complex than most of us know.

ILC’s take:  as a child of the post-Civil Rights era, I was fully aware of the Freedom Summer, I was not aware of the level organization and pre-thought that went into busing and embedding of the resources throughout Mississippi. While the first three-quarters dealt specifically with the social movement aspects of the summer, towards the end, Freedom Summer took a decidedly political tone, focusing on the efforts to democratize the state of Mississippi’s Democratic party to be more inclusive. In doing so, their efforts garnered national attention and became a bit of a thorn in the side of then-President Lyndon B. Johnson, who many may be surprised by his actions and reactions to what was going around him.

Private Violence

One in four American women experience domestic violence in their homes. Have you ever asked, “Why doesn’t she just leave?” Private Violence challenges the stigma surrounding this presumptive notion as it intimately follows the stories of two women: Deanna Walters, who transforms from victim to survivor, and Kit Gruelle, also a survivor, who advocates for justice on behalf of Deanna and others.


ILC’s take: the screening was proceeded by a short, One Billion Rising, which captured moments from around the world in celebration of V-Day, the annual event that raises awareness to the global scourge of violence against women and girls. I like to think of it as more of a call to action that anything else. But onto Private Violence. This is a very intimate look at the world of women living in a very private hell made all the more impactful for that reason. The film does an effective job of going broad where it needs it but then pulling you immediately back in the here and now of Deanna’s ordeal. Inevitably a lot of issues surrounding how we, as a society, react and respond to cases of domestic violence. And while there are no easy solutions, this film (to air on HBO) gets the message out there and will hopefully be a clarion call to action.

No No: A Dockumentary

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 136 years of baseball history, only 276 no-hitters have been recorded. Dock is the only pitcher to ever claim he accomplished his while high on LSD.

Dock was often at the forefront of controversy and has been called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball.” He was an outspoken leader of a new wave of civil rights in sports, when black athletes were no longer content to accept second-class treatment or keep their mouths shut about indignities. The press labeled him a militant.After Dock retired from baseball, he was as outspoken about his addictions to alcohol and amphetamines (aka “greenies”) as he had been about racial prejudice during his career.

No No A Dockumentary, Sundance Film Festival 2014

ILC’s take: Baseball stories always seem to work well on film, at least for me. The Dock Ellis story is a welcome addition to this subgenre. No No is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls that can overtake an otherwise promising professional career. But it is also a story of redemption and second chances that shows its audience that no matter the circumstances, one can take their experiences and have the lessons learned from said experience benefit others. Blended with a mix of humor and social commentary, I think No No will appeal to sports fans and those who appreciate documentary films alike.

Images and synopses provided by the Sundance Institute.

Sundance ’14: Life Itself (2014)

Life Itself is a documentary based on the late writer and film critic Roger Ebert’s 2011 memoir of the same name. This Sundance Documentary Premier was directed by Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive produced by Ebert friend Martin Scorsese.

The film takes passages from Ebert’s memoirs and weaves them with interviews and footage from Ebert’s battle with the cancer that would ultimately claim his life. In a way, Life Itself is part biography/ part tribute, examining a man who lived life to its fullest and left an indelible mark on the cultural landscape by making the art of film criticism available and palatable to the masses.

Roger Ebert & Gene Siskel

To distill the documentary to its most resonant moments, presents quite a challenge for me. I never claimed or even thought I knew much about the man, beyond what I saw on TV or read on his website, but the level of depth and insight I gained, from his early rearing to his professional and personal triumphs and setbacks was very engrossing and well executed.

And as we the audience move through these various stages of his life, we get to a point where we see how he ultimately impacted and influenced others. An especially poignant moment that speaks directly to this is the story shared by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who recounts in the film her first meeting Ebert as a girl outside the Academy Awards and her remembrance of the kindness bestowed upon her then and years later as she emerged as an up and coming filmmaker.

Another part of the film that I liked was how to delved into the impact of Ebert’s popularization (commercialization) of film reviews and presented the critique many of his contemporaries had with how his success (re)defined the trade, which up until then, enjoyed a solidly didactic and academic reputation.

Particularly in the latter stages of his life, Ebert really embraced the populism that the ‘interwebs’ and social media provided in terms of everyone getting their message and opinions out there. I can only speak for myself when I say if not for this, I am sure I would not have 1) the agency or 2) the desire to express myself on this or any platform.

At the time of this writing, Life Itself does not have a theatrical distributor but the cable network CNN has television distribution rights and will air on their network following its theatrical release.

Check out the film’s official website for special screening events.