One of the great treasures for the thinking community in Louisville is the 138-seat Cinema that opened as part of the Speed Art Museum’s expansion. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including 16mm, 35mm and DCI-compliant 4K digital projection systems, the venue screens films that otherwise would never be shown locally. Look for features that offer the Cinema+ experience, where after-screening talks and conversations feature artists and filmmakers tied to the projects.
Here are shows scheduled for August and September 2019. Go here for complete times and additional information.
A documentary feature about the renowned photographer and artist Jay Maisel who, in February 2015, after forty-eight years, begrudgingly sold his home—the 35,000 square-foot, 100-year-old landmark building in Manhattan known simply as “The Bank.” The film depicts Jay’s monumental move through the eyes of filmmaker and Jay’s former associate, artist and photographer Stephen Wilkes. It is through this intimate lens that the viewer is taken on an exquisite journey through Jay’s life as an artist, mentor, and man grappling with time, life, change, and the end of an era in New York City.
Big Lever: Party Politics in Leslie County, Kentucky
A Free Owsley Sunday Films! Part of the Appalshop at 50 Series, “Big Lever: Party Politics in Leslie County, Kentucky” revisits 1978, when Richard Nixon chose the small mountain jurisdiction of Leslie County, Kentucky for his first public appearance since resigning the Presidency. Priceless footage of his visit introduces an incisive and sometimes hilarious look at the engines that drive American politics. The film explores the machinations of party politics in this rural and staunchly Republican county: holler to holler vote-hunting, family squabbles over candidates, patronage promises, speech-making on the courthouse steps, and the up-and-down career of the incumbent County Judge-Executive who sought re-election while under indictment for voter fraud conspiracy.
Mike Wallace is Here
“Mike Wallace is Here” offers an unflinching look at the legendary reporter, who interrogated the 20th century’s biggest figures in his over fifty years on air, and whose aggressive reporting style and showmanship redefined what America came to expect from broadcasters. Unearthing decades of never-before-seen footage from the 60 Minutes vault, the film explores what drove and plagued Wallace, whose storied career was entwined with the evolution of journalism itself.
August 31–September 1
Los Reyes, the oldest skate park in Santiago, Chile, brings together teenagers from very different social and cultural backgrounds, while also acting as the home of two stray dogs living as outcasts. Chola, a young and vigorous puppy, spends her days playing with balls she throws into the repurposed pools in which skaters ride. Football, old but energetic, obsessively accompanies Chola in her game. The human world appears as stories of adolescents in transit to adulthood–we listen to their voices and see fragments of their bodies as part of the dog’s environment. As Football grows old and Chola is left alone, the human stories confront the viewer with the rawness of a youth that does not find a place in our society.
August 31–September 1
In this poignant and carefully composed portrait of six service dogs and their owners, renowned documentary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann explores the close bond between animal and human. Honigmann questions the owners in her characteristic way—respectfully and with genuine concern rooted in a deep trust—about what the animals mean to them. Buddy is an ode to the fighting spirit of the main characters and a loving portrait of the deep bond between people and dogs.
Nestled in an isolated mountain region deep within the Balkans, beekeeper Hatidze Muratova lives with her ailing mother in a village without roads, electricity, or running water. When her peaceful existence is thrown into upheaval by the arrival of an itinerant family, she optimistically meets the promise of change with an open heart, offering up her affections, her brandy, and her tried-and-true beekeeping advice.
An Old Time and Bluegrass music documentary that takes place at the world’s oldest Fiddler’s Convention in the Appalachian Mountains. With multiple generations jamming together, we are witness to some off-the-charts pickin’ and fiddlin’. And when the top 10 finalists are announced in the ultra-competitive guitar competition, we’re in for an exciting and unexpected musical climax. Watching kids hold instruments instead of smart phones, it feels like we have taken a step back in time.
Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film
An intimate look at Thompson with a special emphasis on his childhood friends in Louisville and his Hollywood connections. It captures the legacy and “gonzo” spirit of one of this century’s most notorious figures—a man whose life and work regularly intersected with some of the biggest names in the world of film, politics, journalism and sports.
Taking their camera to the Seattle streets in 1983 in what was supposedly America’s most livable city, filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of those whom society had left behind: homeless and runaway teenagers living on the city’s margins.
The Raft (Flotten)
September 21 and 22
In the summer of 1973, a young international crew of six women and five men embarked together on a most unusual sea voyage—a close-quarters trip across the Atlantic from Spain to Mexico on a free-floating raft christened the Acali. Initiated by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés, who initiated the voyage, proposed to use the group as guinea pigs in his investigation of the origins of violent conflict and the dynamics of sexual attraction.
Nature’s Way and Catfish: Man of the Woods
A Free Owsley Sunday Films! Part of the Appalshop at 50 Series, “Nature’s Way” shows how most early mountain settlers did without professional medical help and learned to cure their own ailments using herbs, Native American folklore, and home remedies.
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
September 25, October 4–6
A stunning sensory experience and cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet, “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” is a years-in-the-making feature documentary from the award-winning team behind Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013) and narrated by Alicia Vikander. The film follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group who, after nearly 10 years of research, argue that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century as a result of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth.
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes
Blue Note Records, one of the most important record labels in the history of jazz—and, by extension, that of American music—has been the home of groundbreaking artists such as Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Art Blakey as well as present-day luminaries like Robert Glasper, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Norah Jones. This documentary illuminates the vital connection between jazz and hip hop through rare archival footage, current recording sessions, and conversations with Blue Note artists.