The hospitality industry is the artistic heartbeat of New York. Thousands of artists, musicians, and actors flock to Queens to work in the service industry to supplement their dreams. In March of 2020 these dreamers put their lives on hold, self- isolating and sacrificing their income as Queens became the global epicenter of COVID-19. LAST CALL follows two local bars and frontline workers in a tale of two sacrifices that saved not only the lives of thousands but also the future of New York.
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Albert and David Maysles’ classic GREY GARDENS immortalized the estate of Edith and Little Edie Beale, relatives of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, who lived in alarmingly poor conditions. But there is more to the story: it was Lee Radziwill and Peter Beard who first brought the Maysles to the Beales, when the two set out to make a film about Radziwill’s childhood. The reels of that first contact were shelved for 45 years. This documentary recovers the lost footage. Anchored in Beard’s recollections and artistic vision, we are returned to “that summer” in 1972, a seductive dream world and collage of radically unconventional creative personalities—Warhol, Bacon, Jagger, Capote—practicing the art of living amidst oppressive forces of class expectation and prejudice.
Laos: the most bombed country, per capita, on the planet. Australian bomb disposal specialist Laith Stevens has to train a new young “big bomb” team to deal with bombs left from the US “Secret War”, but meanwhile, the local children are out hunting for bomb scrap metal. Vividly depicting the consequences of war with the incredible bravery of those trying to clear up the mess.
How do 1.1 billion people around the world live on less than one dollar a day? Four young friends set out to research and live this reality. Armed with only a video camera and a desire to understand, they spend just 56 dollars each for 56 days in rural Pena Blanca, Guatemala. They battle E.Coli, financial stress, and the realization that there are no easy answers. Yet, the generosity and strength of their neighbors, Rosa, Anthony and Chino gives them resilient hope. They return home transformed and embark on a mission to share their new found understanding with other students, inspiring and challenging their generation to make a difference.
When NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army (ANA) took over control of Helmand Province, an extremely dangerous region where attacks by Taliban fighters are the order of the day. Security, much less peace, would seem to be unattainable; it is even difficult to find a common language in a country where everyone mistrusts each other. The directors of this film accompanied an ANA company during a year of frontline duty in Helmand. The soldiers are paid irregularly, there are not enough supplies and their equipment is substandard. They cannot fight a war with the equipment left behind by the ISAF.
She Makes Comics traces the fascinating history of women in the comics industry. Despite popular assumptions about the comics world, women have been writing, drawing, and reading comics since the medium’s beginnings in the late 19th century. And today, there are scores of women involved in comics and its vibrant fan culture. Featuring dozens of interviews with such vital figures as Ramona Fradon, Trina Robbins, Joyce Farmer, Karen Berger, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Becky Cloonan, She Makes Comics is the first film to bring together the most influential women of the comics world.
Mister Jim’ is how the employees respectfully addressed their boss Jim Hardy, the last Hardy to work in the family business and now retired. It was Jim’s Grandfather and Greatuncle, who in 1873 opened a small shop in the far north of England. Both passionate fisherman, they invented fishing tackle and began to sell it. Their skill, devotion, and innovative marketing strategies allowed them to conquer the world. The name Hardy’s has now been synonymous with fishing for 130 years. Vintage Hardy’s handmade tackle stirs the heart of many a fisherman with Prince Charles amongst the enthusiasts, these are now prized collectors items. Today the skills involved in hand made fishing tackle are dying although the company does survive.
They are the world’s biggest rapids, thundering down the final pitch of the mighty Congo River. Legendary kayaker Steve Fisher and his elite expedition team battle seemingly insurmountable obstacles, navigate the maddening politics of a broken Central African country and face their own worst fears in an attempt to be the first explorers to survive the Inga Rapids.
Paul Simon returns to South Africa to explore the incredible journey of his historic Graceland album, including the political backlash he received for allegedly breaking the UN cultural boycott of South Africa designed to end the Apartheid regime. On the 25th anniversary of Paul Simon’s GRACELAND, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger offers a glimpse at the controversy surrounding the decision to record the album in South Africa despite a UN boycott of the nation, which was aimed at ending apartheid. In the run-up to an eagerly anticipated reunion concert, Simon, Quincy Jones, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and others reflect on the decision to record with local artists in South Africa, and the cultural impact of the album that delivered such hits as “I Know What I Know” and “You Can Call Me Al.”
Although evidence of meat consumption’s negative impact on the planet and on human health continue stacking up as animal welfare is on the decline, humanity’s love affair with hamburgers, steaks, nuggets and chops just doesn’t end. In The End of Meat, filmmaker Marc Pierschel embarks on a journey to discover what effect a post-meat world would have on the environment, the animals and ourselves. He meets Esther the Wonder Pig, who became an internet phenomenon; talks to pioneers leading the vegan movement in Germany; visits the first fully vegetarian city in India; witnesses rescued farm animals enjoying their newly found freedom; observes the future food innovators making meat and dairy without the animals, even harvesting “bacon” from the ocean and much more. The End of Meat reveals the hidden impact of meat consumption; explores the opportunities and benefits of a shift to a more compassionate diet; and raises critical questions about the future role of animals in our society.