Elizabeth Sheldon will be attending Art House Convergence from January 21st - 24th. She will be presenting the 2019 Juno Films' slate. Preview links available upon request.
New Narrative Films
ENDZEIT - EVER AFTER
Carolina Hellsgård’s chilling second feature follows two women fighting for their lives in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by zombies — a future Hellsgård presents as both horrific and hopeful.
With women in every major creative role, ENDZEIT is a different kind of zombie movie. Set during a terrifying near-future zombie apocalypse, Carolina Hellsgård’s sophomore feature is chilling and doomladen, but it’s also a transfixing, gorgeous, and unusually intimate sort-of road movie — in which humanity has come to its end and nature is reclaiming its terrain.
THE BEAST IN THE JUNGLE Rotterdam Gala World Premier
Henry James wrote the novella The Beast in the Jungle in 1903 and the epic love story where Fate is the strongest character is regarded as one of his foremost works. Clara van Gool places dance at the center of her interpretation of James's novel. May, featuring the dancer Sarah Reynolds, and John, performed by Dane Hurst, glide through the story of unrequited love that spans two centuries in her interpretation. John is convinced that his fate is a catastrophe waiting to happen, like a “beast in the jungle.” It is only upon May's death that he realizes the catastrophe waiting to happen was his own inability to love.
SEW THE WINTER TO MY SKIN
Based on a true story, John Kepe was an Apartheid-era folk hero who proclaimed himself the “Samson of the Boschberg.” For decades, Kepe stole livestock and other goods from white colonist farmers and shared his spoils with the impoverished Indigenous population. He inevitably became a political threat to the very fabric of the ruling colonial society. He escaped capture for 12 years before he was brought before a court and sentenced to death for a murder that he might or might not have committed. Sew the Winter to My Skin is a keenly observed epic-adventure drama that captures the horrors of South Africa’s racist colonial regime.
Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life. Obsessed with Jackie Chan, her only comfort during these dull times are her dreams of being a Superhero. When the doctors reveal that she is terminally ill, Jo leaves the hospital and returns home to be with her mom and sister. While her mom insists that she stay inside and rest, her sister has different plans. With the entire village's support, they decide to make dreams a reality and turn Jo into the superhero they know she is. This film is a stunning reminder of the power of imagination.
Fortnight 2019 MoMA's Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
Award-winning director Paul Wright (For Those in Peril) explores the complex connection to the British countryside with an archival remix drawn from more than 100 years of Britain on film. With a new score by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Arcadia embarks on a visceral sensory journey through the seasons, exploring the beauty, brutality, magic and madness of our changing relationship with both the land and each other. This fresh new work crafted from the past is a folk horror wrapped in an archive film; get ready for a very strange trip indeed...
“An exhilarating audio-visual journey” — Sight & Sound
Tekoa is a trendy hippie colony for Israeli settlers on the West Bank, where none of the controversial residents want to speak to the media. From the moment Iris Zaki arrives, tension fills the air. She sets up a small pop-up film studio in the middle of the small town, and stays put for over one month in order to meet the young settlers face to face. A simple intervention, which creates a complex chain of reactions from those who eventually agree to talk to her. 'Unsettling' is made by Iris Zaki alone as a social experiment that highlights the contrasts and contradictions of the settlers' self-perception, but which does so in something as rare as an active conversation with them. A conceptual ploy that places Zaki's film in the field between artistic practice and political activism, and which reaches beyond blind criticism.
BARBARA RUBIN AND THE EXPLODING NY UNDERGROUND
Made when she was just 18 years old, Barbara Rubin’s art-porn masterpiece Christmas On Earth (1963-65) shocked NYC’s experimental film scene and inspired NYC’s thriving underground. For the next four years her filmmaking and irrepressible energy helped shatter artistic and sexist boundaries. A mythical “Zelig” of the sixties, she introduced Andy Warhol to the Velvet Underground and Bob Dylan to the Kabbalah. But beyond shaping the spirit of the sixties, Barbara was seeking the deeper meaning of life. After retiring to a farm with Allen Ginsberg, she shocked everyone by converting to Hasidic Judaism, marrying and moving to France to live an anonymous life. Tragically, she died in 1980 after giving birth to her fifth child. For years, Jonas Mekas treasured all of Barbara’s letters and films and cherished her memory. Working with Mekas’ footage, the film takes us inside the world and mind of Barbara Rubin; a woman who truly believed that film could change the world.
DON'T BE NICE
The upstart Bowery Slam Poetry Team, made up of five young African-American, Afro-Hispanic and queer poets, prepares for the national championships. Mentored by a demanding coach who pushes them past their personal boundaries to write from a painfully honest place, the poets break down, break through, and compose their best work ever. Will their soul-searching pieces about police violence and the whitewashing of Black culture be able to compete against choreographed crowd-pleasers for the title?
“Don’t Be Nice” will encourage viewers to do their own work to understand their friends, neighbors, and themselves.
WATER MAKES US WET
Fortnight 2019 MoMA's Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
With a poetic blend of curiosity, humor, sensuality and concern, this film chronicles the pleasures and politics of H2O from an ecosexual perspective. Travel with Annie, a former sex worker, Beth, a professor, and their dog Butch, in their E.A.R.T.H. Lab mobile unit, as they explore the role of water. Ecosexuality shifts the metaphor “Earth as Mother” to “Earth as Lover” to create a more reciprocal and empathetic relationship with the natural world. Along the way, Annie and Beth interact with a diverse range of folks including performance artists, biologists, water treatment plant workers, scholars and others, climaxing in a shocking event that reaffirms the power of water, life and the earth. Narrated by Sandy Stone.
Cielo is a cinematic reverie on the crazy beauty of the night sky, as experienced in the Atacama Desert, Chile, one of the best places on our planet to explore and contemplate its splendour. Director Alison McAlpine’s sublime nonfiction film drifts between science and spirituality, the arid land, desert shores and lush galaxies, expanding the limits of our earthling imaginations. Planet Hunters in the Atacama's astronomical observatories and the desert dwellers who work the land and sea share their evocative visions of the stars and planets, their mythic stories and existential queries with remarkable openness and a contagious sense of wonder. A love poem for the night sky, Cielo transports us to a space, quiet and calm, within which we can ponder the infinite and unknown.
NYC premier at the Quad this spring
Working within a broken criminal justice system, a team of rebel heroines work to change the the way women arrested for prostitution are prosecuted. With intimate camerawork that lingers on details and brings the Queens criminal courtroom to life, BLOWIN’ UP celebrates acts of steadfast defiance, even as it reveals the hurdles these women must face.
Classic Cinema in 2K Restoration
SHIRAZ: A ROMANCE OF INDIA
‘Shiraz,’ a Silent Spectacle of India, ReturnsJ. Hoberman The New York Times
An astonishing treasure of the silent cinema, Shiraz is one of three cinematic collaborations between pioneering star/ producer Himansu Rai and German-born director Franz Osten to be shot on location in India, restored by the BFI from original elements some ninety years after its initial release. Ambitious and elegant, the film takes creative license with the story of the life and death of the 17th century Mumtaz Mahal (Enakshi Rama Rau), the Mughal empress whose early demise inspired her husband, Shiraz (Rai) to construct the Taj Mahal. Inventing a backstory involving bandits, slavers, and nobility-in-disguise, Rai and Osten give us a robust romantic adventure, filled with teeming crowd scenes and location shots that double as invaluable documentary.
Shot entirely on location in India, it features lavish costumes and gorgeous settings – all the more impressive in this restoration by the BFI National Archive which features a specially commissioned score by the Grammy Award-nominated Anoushka Shankar.