This week, we have two new films and three retrospective films for in-person screenings…and we’re adding 3 new films to our Virtual Cinema. On top of that, we’ve got a new film starting next Wednesday – so we’ve got a lot of ground to cover.
Starting today, we have the new powerful documentary that The Hollywood Reporter calls “An exemplary civics lesson” – ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY. And starting Friday, we’ll open John Leguizamo’s cinematic directorial debut – CRITICAL THINKING. In addition, we’re going to bring a trilogy of cult favorites throughout the week – the British comedies SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ and THE WORLD’S END (each film will only screen a couple times…so we suggest getting your tickets early). On Wednesday next week, we will open a new period thriller – THE SECRETS WE KEEP – starring Noomi Rapace (the star of all the original Dragon Tattoo films).
In our Virtual Cinema, we introduce three new films. Starting today, we have JIMMY CARTER: ROCK AND ROLL PRESIDENT. On Friday, we’ll have the highly anticipated MEETING THE BEATLES IN INDIA as well as the gorgeous doc OUR TIME MACHINE.
Before I get too much further, I want to mention a big change that’s happening at THE NEON. Shortly after Labor Day in 2001, I sat down and interviewed Diana Cordero for a management position at THE NEON. I knew immediately that I wanted her on the team as we prepared to reopen after major renovations (THE NEON was transforming from one screen to two). After 19 years in management with us, Diana will be leaving her role as “Assistant Manager” after this Thursday. She’ll be sticking around as our bookkeeper (a few hours a week), but you won’t be seeing her with any regularity. This will be quite a change for me and the business as a whole. THE NEON owes a lot to Diana for her dedicated time and talents over the years. I know all of you are joining me in wishing Diana the very best as she pursues other endeavors…she’ll be greatly missed!
On a related note, we have two promotions to celebrate. Many of you know Ian Bonnett – he’s been with us for several years. Ian started as a part-timer and was promoted to “Third Keyholder” four years ago. He has been promoted to “Assistant Manager.” Jessica Walker, a recent addition to THE NEON’s team, has been promoted to “Third Keyholder.” Please join me in congratulating both of them!
New Bookings for In-Person Screenings:
Synopsis for ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY: “ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY examines the often overlooked, yet insidious issue of voter suppression in the United States. The film interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning. With the perspective and expertise of Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, the documentary offers an insider’s look into laws and barriers to voting that most people don’t even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.” (Amazon) Click the image below to watch the trailer.
Synopsis for CRITICAL THINKING: “It’s 1998 in Miami. Rampant poverty, broken families, and a prejudiced system push underprivileged youth to the fringes of society. But for a magnetic group of teens, there’s a reprieve. A game where it’s not about where you come from, but how you play. That equalizer is chess. Mr. ‘T’ Martinez, a chess militant and passionate coach, leads them to a completely foreign field of battle: the National Chess Championship. With an underfunded school district, Martinez and his team can’t just waltz into the arena. They have to fight for it. Chess runs parallel to their own experiences as Martinez teaches them that the power of Critical Thinking can not only save their kings, but also their lives.” THE SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER writes that Leguizamo’s film “features lively interactions, embraceable characters and credibly depicted struggles. The tournament scenes contain sports-movie adrenaline.” We’re excited to share this film with you! Click on the image below to watch the film’s trailer.
We’ve had some recent success with cult favorites…from the Coen Brothers to Wes Anderson. And because we’ve got a little extra room this weekend, we’ve added Edgar Wright’s “The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” to the mix – each an irreverent blend of comedy and different genres. SHAUN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ and THE WORLD’S END will all be back on the big screen, and we know Edgar Wright has a lot of fans! Tickets are available now on our website. (Click the image below to watch the trailer for SHAUN OF THE DEAD.)
Synopsis for THE SECRETS WE KEEP: “In a small U.S. town, far from the horrors of the Nazi labor camp where Maja (Noomi Rapace) was held with other Romani prisoners, she and her American husband Lewis (Chris Messina) have built a cozy life. But as she runs errands along the main street of her small town, Maja glimpses a stranger (Joel Kinnaman) whistling a nightmarishly familiar tune. Spiraling back to a night she has tried to forget, she fears he is the German soldier named Karl who brutalized her and murdered her younger sister. But after 15 years,can she be sure? Fearful that her tragic past has come back to haunt her, she begins to stalk the man,hoping to convince herself she is wrong.” (Bleecker Street) Click the image below to watch the film’s trailer.
New in our Virtual Cinema:
Synopsis for JIMMY CARTER: ROCK AND ROLL PRESIDENT: “If it hadn’t been for a bottle of scotch and a late-night visit from musician Gregg Allman, Jimmy Carter might never have been elected the 39th President of the United States. JIMMY CARTER, ROCK & ROLL PRESIDENT charts the mostly forgotten story of how Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others. Low on campaign funds and lacking in name recognition, Carter relied on support from these artists to give him a crucial boost in the Democratic primaries. Once Carter was elected, the musicians became frequent guests in the White House. The surprisingly significant role that music played throughout Carter’s life and in his work becomes a thread in this engaging portrait of one of the most enigmatic Presidents in American history.” Click the image below to watch the trailer and pre-order access to the film.
Synopsis for OUR TIME MACHINE: Rated 100% Fresh, this film will become available in our Virtual Cinema on Sept. 11. “Shaken by the news of his father’s dementia, artist Maleonn creates “Papa’s Time Machine,” a wondrous time-travel adventure performed on stage with life-size mechanical puppets. Through the play’s production, he confronts his own mortality. Maleonn finds grace and unexpected joy in this moving meditation on art, the agonies of love and loss, and the circle of life.” VARIETY calls it “Moving… Compelling… A thoughtful, sensitive, brilliant subject.” SCREEN DAILY says, “An uplifting celebration of the love between a son and his father.” Click the image below to watch the trailer and pre-order access to the film for $12!
Synopsis for MEETING THE BEATLES IN INDIA: Starts Sept. 11 in our Virtual Cinema! “In 1968, with the eyes of the world upon them, The Beatles traveled to Rishikesh, India, to study transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In one of the most anticipated Beatles documentaries, Filmmaker Paul Saltzman, retraces his journey of 50 years ago when he spent a life-changing time with John, Paul, George and Ringo. Fifty years later he reveals previously unknown details of this pivotal moment in the Beatles’ career and the inner workings of the masterful White Album. Starting with ‘Bungalow Bill’ in Hawaii; connects with David Lynch about his own inner journey; as well as preeminent Beatles historian, Mark Lewisohn; Academy Award nominated film composer, Laurence Rosenthal.: and Pattie and Jenny Boyd. And much of this is due to Saltzman’s own daughter, Devyani, reminding him that he had put away and forgotten these remarkably intimate photographs of that time in 1968.” Click the image below
To find out about all the films that we’re offering virtually, please visit our Virtual Cinema page on our official site. Here’s the LINK.
Last night, I had a fun chat with a couple former NEON employees about the film VINYL NATION – a documentary we are offering in our Virtual Cinema. Tomiwa works in L.A. with film and television music and Luke is the owner of Skeleton Dust Records in downtown Dayton. I greatly appreciate them taking time to share their responses to the film. If you weren’t able to join us on-line, you can check out a recording of that discussion HERE.
Wanna know what’s coming down the road in our virtual cinema? (Click any title to watch that film’s trailer.) On September 18, we’ll bring the film festival hit BLACKBIRD – starring Susan Sarandon, Kate Winslet and Sam Neill. And then on September 23, we’ll start the touching and inspiring documentary OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE. And finally, on September 25, we’ll start THE ARTIST’S WIFE – featuring incredible performances from Lena Olin and Bruce Dern. On October 2, we’ll open the award-winning coming-of-age film ONCE UPON A RIVER. More to come!
“All Access” passes for The 15th Annual Dayton LGBT Film Festival are now on sale. We had to make a major pivot this year to make the festival happen – so about 90% of it will take place virtually. A $50 pass will get you access to all 6 virtual screenings (5 features and a package of shorts) as well as a ticket to our one in-person package – TOP DRAWER SHORTS VOL #2. The line-up is strong, and we’re still ironing out lots of details (virtual filmmaker Q&A’s, video work with our sponsors, etc.). Click the image below to check out all that we have posted so far…and get your pass ASAP. The festival is set for Oct. 9-15. Virtual components will be accessible to anyone in Ohio…so please help spread the word. (The image below is from the incredible documentary AHEAD OF THE CURVE.)
Did you know that THE NEON is included in the new downtown DORA program? DORA stands for “Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area.” If you’re out and about in the Oregon District, you can swing by THE NEON and get a beer or cocktail to go. We’ll pour it in a special cup, and you can walk through the Oregon District while you enjoy your beverage. This policy is good daily from Noon until 10:00…but on weekends for the next few weeks, 5th Street will be blocked off in the Oregon District – so you can socialize and grab dinner while maintaining lots of outdoor distance.
We hope to see you soon!
Be safe & well.