There’s no doubt the Miami Valley likes a festival and September is jam packed with them! It can truly be overwhelming trying to keep up with them, heck there are 5 Oktoberfests in Sept that we know of, not to mention celebrations of Greek, Italian and Egyptian culture. (Check out DMM’s Calendar and filter to festival to see them all.) But let’s just take this one week at a time and look ahead to next weekend:
If you still need to see our biggest hit of 2015, you’ll need to hurry. MR. HOLMES will play for the last time today (Thursday, Sept. 3). Tomorrow, we will begin the new comedy by Noah Baumbach which premiered at Sundance in January – MISTRESS AMERICA. We will also hold both DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL and THE END OF THE TOUR for one more week. For this week’s remaining showtimes (which are different from the upcoming times listed below), please visit our website at www.neonmovies.com.
Synopsis for MISTRESS AMERICA: “Tracy (Lola Kirke) is a lonely college freshman in New York, having neither the exciting university experience nor the glamorous metropolitan lifestyle she envisioned. But when she is taken in by her soon-to-be stepsister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig) – a resident of Times Square and adventurous gal about town – she is rescued from her disappointment and seduced by Brooke’s alluringly mad schemes.” (taken from Fox Searchlight) Starring Greta Gerwig, one of the best comedic actresses working today, the film has been receiving rave reviews particularly for her performance. Joe Morgenstern of Wall Street Journal wrote, “…Ms. Gerwig’s performance is a comic diamond, and not in the rough. Her timing is flawless, her delivery is droll.” Click this LINK to visit the site and watch trailers.
Observe International Peace Day with family, friends and neighbors by meeting up at THE NEON for I AM BIG BIRD: THE CAROLL SPINNEY STORY – an engaging and heartwarming film brought to you by the Dayton International Peace Museum. The Peace Museum is celebrating 11 years of helping people throughout Miami Valley and beyond explore the question, “What does a more peaceful world look like for you?” “For 45 years, Caroll Spinney has been beloved by generations of children as the man behind Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch – and at 80 years old, he has no intention of stopping. A loving portrait of the man in the yellow suit, I AM BIG BIRD features extraordinary footage of Spinney’s earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces his journey from bullied child to childhood icon. And as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart.” The film screens Sunday, September 20 at 3:00, and tickets are first come, first serve. Suggested donation – $10. I saw this film at the Cleveland International Film Festival – it’s a real treat. Don’t miss it!
The Deaf Community Resource Center is bringing a special, one-time screening of THE DEAF CLUB to town on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7:30. This movie is completely done in sign language (though subtitles are available for those who don’t sign). “Deaf people have it all – friends, romance, fights, etc. – at their own club, where everyone uses sign language. Suddenly, the members face a situation where their precious club may have to close. Can they save the deaf club? Almost the entire production team is deaf or hard of hearing.” (taken from press notes) Tickets, just $10 each, will be available at THE NEON’s box office beginning Monday, Aug 24.
On Saturday, September 26 at Noon, Twentig, Inc. will host a special benefit screening and discussion of the film BELLE. “BELLE is a historical fictionalization of a true story about Dido Elizabeth Belle who was born of mixed race in the West Indies. She lived with her great uncle William Murray, the first Earl of Mansfield, Lord Chief Justice of England. Lord Mansfield’s decision on a case in 1786 in the English Courts led to the abolition of slavery in Britain. The film was inspired by the 1779 painting of Belle beside her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray at Kenwood House.” (taken from press notes) Tickets are $30 each and come with admission to the film, the post-film discussion, a glass of wine and popcorn.
Due to the holiday weekend, we will have a couple extra shows. We’ll stay open a bit later on Sunday and open extra early on Monday. Please help us spread the word. Showtimes are below.
On Sept. 9, I will be heading to the Toronto International Film Festival. Over the course of 9 days, I plan to see more than 30 films. As usual, I’ll chronicle my adventures via a daily blog post. Stay tuned to next week’s newsletter for the link.
Thanks for your continued support.
We hope to see you this weekend!
SHOWTIMES for Friday, Sept. 4 – Thursday, Sept. 10:
THE END OF THE TOUR (R) 1 Hr 46 Min
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 12:20, 5:00
Tuesday – Wednesday: 5:15
MISTRESS AMERICA (R) 1 Hr 24 Min
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30, 9:40
Monday: 1:00, 3:10, 5:20, 7:30
Tuesday – Wednesday: 3:10, 5:20, 7:30
THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (R) 1 Hr 42 Min
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 2:30, 7:20, 9:30
Monday: 2:30, 7:20
Tuesday – Wednesday: 2:50, 7:40
(All Dates Are Tentative. Dates Often Move And Sometimes Disappear.)
Sept. 11 – MERU
Sept. 18 – LEARNING TO DRIVE
Sept. 18 – GRANDMA
Oct. 2 – PHOENIX
TBD – JIMMY’S HALL
On my second day, I set out to see 4 films…but I really only saw 3. I sat down for my first film, and I simply couldn’t take it. After 5 minutes, I thought I might leave. After 10 minutes, I couldn’t stand it…but I thought I needed to give it more time. After 30 minutes, I simply couldn’t tolerate seeing one of my favorite actresses in such a terrible film. So I left.
A couple hours later, I made my way to LABOR DAY – the new film by Jason Reitman starring Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. This is the story of a mother and son who live alone in a small town in the late 1980’s. Winslet’s character is extremely lonely and depressed, and her son (a nice performance by Gattlin Griffith) tries to keep her afloat. An escaped convict works his way into their home, and rather unlikely relationships ensue – new lover for mom and a father figure for her son. The movie is shot beautifully, and the performances are really wonderful – Winslet’s melancholy is palpable. I really loved a lot about this film, but it sadly has a few big annoyances…a couple bad situations and a couple moments of laugh-out-loud bad screenwriting. A slight recut could fix a lot…but I don’t think that will happen before its release.
Next up was the world premiere of the first animated feature by Chomet (director of THE TRIPLETS OF BELLVILLE) – ATTILA MARCEL. As a big fan of PARIS JE T’AIME, I was already familiar with the fact that he can direct live material with great success – he did the short about the little boy with mime parents. This film is highly stylized with lots of charm and a lot of great music. It’s the story of a mute piano player who is raised by his overbearing aunts. After meeting an herbalist who lives on a secret floor in his building, he begins to explore hidden memories of his deceased parents. Though a bit clunky (a couple devises just don’t work) and a bit long, it’s got enough magic to keep you invested…and you’ll root for the protagonist all the way through. (Sorry…there’s no trailer with subtitles.)
My last film of the day was BAD HAIR from Venezuela. This is the story of a curly-haired boy who lives in the projects with his mother and her newborn. It’s a gritty existence – surrounded by gunfire, violence and rough terrain. More than anything in the world, the little boy wants straight hair so he can be “like a singer.” The mother fears that her son is gay, and her lack of education and fear for his well-being makes her take strides to eventually “heal” her son. This is a grim film – but not without moments of sheer joy. The performances are incredible from everyone, and the material is transportive. Though I wish the film had been 10-15 minutes shorter (not a whole lot happens…it would be stronger if it was tighter), I think it’s my favorite film of the festival so far (it brings to mind two other films – the great performances of childhood in TOMBOY and the gritty style of FISH TANK).
After screening 3 films, I met up with Glenn Kiser – director of SABBATICAL (which won the Audience Award at last year’s Dayton LGBT Film Festival). We had a great time catching up, and he mentioned that Dayton was one of his favorite festival experiences during his travels with SABBATICAL. I don’t think he was just feeing me a line – he mentioned the great sense of community, the friends he made, and his overall experience. I think we can be proud of that!
I’m currently in line for tickets…then off to 3 films today and a big party tonight. More soon. Thanks for reading!