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LETTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

2 . THE NICKELODEON

By the time this magazine hits your hands construction on the upstairs theater will be largely completed. The project, which was already in the works when I was first hired by the Nick back in 2007, will be drawing to a close. What started as a lofty dream for a scrappy little organization, will have become reality. With the giant task behind us, we will have turned our focus towards the future and how we can help shape what our city is going to become. The next big event for the Nickelodeon this year is Indie Grits. For the first time we’ve developed a theme for the festival that is helping to guide our curating. As Indie Grits has grown into much more than just a film festival we were looking for something that could embody the ambitions and potential that we see in our creative community here in Columbia and across the Southeast. We wanted something that would push our artists, filmmakers, designers and programmers to think beyond the confines of the “art world” and start dreaming about our city. With that in mind we came up with Future Perfect. Future Perfect is a natural extension of some of the conversations we started

in Burn to Shine - which explored the complicated failures of Reconstruction and the rebuilding of a more equitable Southern society. Together with some of the brightest and most creative minds of our community we’ll be exploring where we’re all heading with both utopian naivité and jaded apprehension. Hopefully, through the five days of films, art, music, gaming, and brainstorming, we’ll create a loose foundation upon which to start building. In many ways Future Perfect embodies much of what the Nick strives to do all of the time. Not content to sit back and simply show films, we’re working hard to always deepen our impact on Columbia and our community here in hopes of shaping a more perfect future. Whether we are developing a more media literate citizenry through our media education programs, supporting the development of the next generation of filmmakers and artists during Indie Grits, hosting thought-provoking conversations after our films, or simply bringing people together for a shared experience, we’re going to continue to do what we do with the aim of strengthening our communities.


Staff Andy Smith, Executive Director

Tug Baker, Theater Staff

Seth Gadsden, Managing Director

Laura Godenick, Theater Staff

Sherard Duvall, Director of Media Education

Adam Hoffbauer, Theater Staff

Carrie Grebenc, Development Manager

Nic Jenkins, Theater Staff

Kristin Morris, Marketing Manager

Charlotte Johnson, Theater Staff

Max Clyburn, Theater Operations Manager

Joseph Niati, Theater Staff

Pedro LopezDeVictoria, Programming Coordinator

Torres Perkins, Theater Staff

Kaitlin McKnight, Asst. Theater Operations Manager

Ony Ratsimbaharison, Theater Staff

Stephanie Campbell, Asst. Theater Operations Manager

Anna Weller, Theater Staff

Board of Directors Lynn Stokes-Murray, President

Nikky Finney

Anne Postic

Duncan McIntosh, Vice-President

Sam Johnson

Elizabeth Reardon

Chris Controne, Treasurer

Tracy Jones

Walton Selig

Lemuel Watson, Secretary

April Kelly

James E. Smith Jr.

John P. Boyd

Bob Mason

Scottie Smith

Rick Cutter

Scott Middleton

Amos Disasa

Wendi Nance

Interns Bree Burchfield

LaLisa General

Charlotte Johnston

Amada Torruella

Cole Connor

Luke Hodges

Kelvin Pompey

Matt Tenenbaum

Jessica Gaitor

Lindsay Hora

Savannah Taylor

In This Issue 4

Indie Grits

13

Civil Rights Sundays

14

A Look Ahead

16

Media Education

18

Docs Now!

20

Southern Gothic Series

24

First Friday Lowbrow Cinema Explosion

Volunteers Carlos Anrrich

Daryl Giddings

Ben Lovejoy

Aidan Toumey

Barb Burton

Gayle Hazzard

Duncan Lovejoy

Bart Walrath

Maris Burton

Edwin Hearon

Beth Lowery

Maria Walrath

Dianne Davis

Joe Kyle

Dan Mastrogiovanni

Debbie Yerkes

Eddie Donovan

Tim Liszewski

Linda Schoen-Giddings

Kevin Duvall

Marge Loewer

Kara Shavo

The Nickelodeon Theatre 1607 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201 www.nickelodeon.org Office: (803) 254-8234 Movieline: (803) 254-3433

The Nick serves Columbia, SC, as a focal point for critical dialogue anchored by films that showcase the diversity, challenges, joy and aspirations of its community. A center for enjoyment, enrichment, and education, the Nick provides its community the tools to make, interpret, appreciate, and teach the moving image in all its variety.


WELCOME! Welcome to the first preview of Indie Grits 2015. Led by the vision of our new festival theme, Future Perfect, this will be our largest, most diverse lineup yet featuring 74 films, 20+ artists, 15+ bands, indie games galore, taco parties, and the grand opening of our upstairs theater! This year we decided to cut the length of our festival in half and cram everything into five action-packed days of indie, experimental fun. Toby Lou is returning from New Orleans with his juicy and provocative variety show, the Weekly Revue, and those puppeteers will not be far behind with the ever-entertaining Spork in Hand Puppet Slam. Indie Bits will be rocking the Skyline Room at Tapp’s where festival goers can enjoy the indie game showcase and competition throughout the festival. We can’t wait to premiere the new art program supported by a robust artist residency, a new mural on Main Street, and a mini theater inside of a shipping container. Art will be spread all around the 1500 and 1600 blocks of Main Street in over half a dozen venues including Tapp’s, ONE Columbia, the CMA, Free Times Gallery and more. Always on the lookout for new friends and venues, we are taking over the Music Farm for Fork & Spoon & Friends, a 5 year anniversary celebration of Fork and Spoon Records, featuring an all-star lineup of local and regional bands on Thursday, April 16. And don’t forget - both the Opening Night Party on April 15 and the Closing Party on April 18 will feature free concerts with the likes of Hectorina of Charlotte and Mechanical River of Charleston. With the grand opening of our upstairs theater, all 74 films (over 50% of which are directed by women) will be playing inside the walls of the Nickelodeon! It is time to take off work, get a festival pass, and prepare for the best Indie Grits yet! - SETH GADSDEN, INDIE GRITS CO-DIRECTOR

THE FUTURE LOOKS PERFECT

CHECK OUT INDIEGRITS.COM FOR INFO ABOUT ALL ARTISTS, EXHIBITIONS, AND PERFORMANCES

JULIE HENSON - SAN FRANCISCO, CA VENUES: COMMUNITY GALLERY IN THE COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF ART, AND TAPP’S ARTS CENTER Parallel Horizons is a new series of work that explores past interpretations of the future as featured within the major American magazines - Time, Life, Newsweek, etc. These momentous images from across the twentieth century span decades, collapsing various views of the future, while revealing a collective hope and aspiration for a greater tomorrow. A Charleston native, Henson’s dense, vibrant works communicate the symbolic power of photographs, showing an incisive understanding of how images shape collective experience and the cultural memory of events, while also revealing the how our dated perception of the future can often be a key to better understanding the present.


- CHAPEL HILL, NC VENUE: TAPP’S ARTS CENTER Antoine Williams says he has a duty to investiate “cultural identity through the exploration of power as it relates to social stratification.” His work, heavily influenced by sci-fi literature, is in the vein of the Dadaist, who appropriate and recontextualize images from society in order to make “anti-art”. Creating a mythos where gods and goddesses are the personification of a psychology within one’s place in social order, Williams wishes to illustrate the Black experience in America through these sci-fi entities.

INDIE BITS SHOWCASE: GRITMAN

ANTOINE WILLIAMS INDIE BITS IS A CELEBRATION OF INDEPENDENT GAMING AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA DESIGNED TO FOSTER COLLABORATION BETWEEN DEVELOPERS AND ENTHUSIASTS, ACADEMICS AND ARTISTS INTERESTED IN GAMES AND GAMING TECHNOLOGIES. THERE ARE LOTS OF OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED ON THE PIXELATED FRONT. THE SHOWCASE OF GAMES FROM ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST WILL BE LOCATED IN THE SKYLINE ROOM AT TAPP’S ARTS CENTER WITH ADDITIONAL VIDEO GAME INSTALLATIONS SPRINKLED AMONGST YOUR FAVORITE INDIE GRITS EVENTS. ADDITIONALLY, THERE ARE PLANS FOR A LIFE-SIZED, PACMAN-INSPIRED GAME CALLED GRIT MAN AT OUR OPENING NIGHT PARTY. YOU REALLY COULDN’T ASK FOR A MORE IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE (JUST SHORT OF BEING TRON’D INTO A COMPUTER).

URBAN LAND INSTITUTE SYMPOSIUM

THE ART PROGRAM AT INDIE GRITS 2015 IS MADE POSSIBLE BY AN OUR TOWN GRANT FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR T H E A R T S, O N E C O L U M B I A F O R A R T S A N D C U LT U R E , A N D P O C K E T P R O D U C T I O N S.

Future Perfect challenges the artists, filmmakers, and gamers of Indie Grits to explore how art and technology will help shape the Southern city of the future. We’re pushing this concept a step further by encouraging these creative minds to use Columbia as a medium for this experiment. To accomplish this, Indie Grits will partner with the folks at the Urban Land Institute of South Carolina for a symposium and workshop during this year’s Festival. The symposium – to be held the morning of Thursday, April 16 – will feature a keynote address by Bert Crenca, founder and artistic director of Providence, RI’s AS220. Panels of experts will discuss the role of contemporary urban design in economic development, followed by a pairing up of developers, planners, artists, and filmmakers to brainstorm the challenges we see in downtown Columbia – from the practical to the fantastical. Our hope is that by combining the creative and pragmatic expertise of our planning professionals and our artists we can develop some great ideas, which will be presented that evening at Tapp’s. Both playful and serious, we’re excited to see the potential that lies just beneath the surface of our city.


Love is a term as amorphous and volatile as those I know who have participated in it. It has been married to just about every adjective you could think of - punch-drunk, crazy stupid, (Dr.) strange, etc. The honest heart of it, obviously, is vulnerability. In this post-nuclear age of ironic posturing, where a surplus of grab-bag criticisms exists at any misanthrope’s disposal, to be nakedly and carelessly in love with something or someone seems to be the ultimate act of rebellion. This risky business is why some fear its honesty (Stuckey, Private First Class), and react with terrible scorn when things sour (Skunk). However, it’s the promise of this reward - the platonic ideal of a geometrically precise and perfect love - that drives people to preposterously cringe-worthy behavior. Whether it be an upsettingly over-wrought romantic gesture (The Gospel of Hip Bones, Serenade) or an obsession so manic they have to drag you away with a look of comatose joy on your face (El Sol Como Un Gran Animal Oscuro), or a commitment to a paramour perhaps the whole world would never understand (Dolphin Lover), love is embarrassing. You have to ask, when we’re mocked and knocked down, do we retreat from the light, never to risk a thing again - or do we go on to love another day? I’m not sure, but it’s safe to say the latter gives us far better films. - PEDRO LOPEZDEVICTORIA, PROGRAM COODRINATOR

W HAT: OPE N IN G N IGHT FIL M S W HE N : A PRIL 15 AT 5PM W HE RE : THE N IC K E L ODE ON

OPENING NIGHT

WHAT: EMBARRASSING LOVE SHORTS PROGRAM WHEN: APRIL 16 AT 6PM // APRIL 18 AT 2PM WHERE: THE NICKELODEON

EMBARRASSING LOVE

As if the opening night of Indie Grits weren’t reason enough to celebrate, April 15 will also serve as the official opening of our brand new upstairs theater. Long dreamed about, the second screen represents the conclusion of the Nickelodeon’s renovation of the former Fox Theatre - a project that began nearly 10 years ago. What better way to celebrate this occasion than by highlighting new work by several local filmmakers? The evening will begin with the Columbia premiere of Cotton Road, the new featurelength documentary from Laura Kissel, an Associate Professor in the Film and Media Studies program at the University of South Carolina. From fields in rural South

Carolina to factories in China and then back to the racks of local retail stores, Kissel’s film tracks the global path that cotton takes in our modern economy. Preceding Kissel’s film will be the short Art House by Laura Valtorta, another Columbia filmmaker. Later that evening, we will present The Lost Colony, a new feature film produced by Columbia native Adam Tate. Tate has had several pieces in Indie Grits in the past, including 2010’s Ross McKenzie’s Redemption on the West Texas Barbeque Trail. Plan on coming out to celebrate both the opening of our brand new theater and all of this tremendous local talent! - ANDY SMITH, INDIE GRITS CO-DIRECTOR


74 FILMS : A LOOK INSIDE BURDENS OF THE PAST With this group of challenging and meditative character studies, Burdens of the Past begs a slower, more rigorous film experience. Each individual in this series faces a past that shapes their present and in some cases will define their future. unmappable is an unflinching and at times uncomfortable portrait that takes a close look at the life and work of psychogeographer and convicted sex offender, Denis Wood. The film dives deep into a man who is poetic, confrontational, and wholly unapologetic. Matt Smith, an openly gay man in rural South Carolina, reflects on his first relationship with a man and the tragic end to their time together in Nowhere to Be Found, a powerful and heartbreaking

W H AT: B U R D ENS O F TH E PAST SHORT S PROGRAM W H EN: AP R I L 1 7 AT 3 P M // APRIL 18 AT 8:30PM W H ER E: TH E NI CKELO D EO N

film that tackles the continuing difficulties of being gay in rural America while also examining a young man’s strength in overcoming great personal tragedy. Brother Jesse follows Jesse Morrell around college campuses as he preaches fire and brimstone from his traveling, controversial pulpit. We included this film in Burdens of the Past because it explores Jesse’s troubled history and motivations through an intimate portrait of a religious extremist. - SETH GADSDEN, INDIE GRITS CO-DIRECTOR

MINI CINE INDIE GRITS IS ECSTATIC TO WELCOME THE MINI CINE TO COLUMBIA FOR THIS YEAR’S FESTIVAL. HOSTED IN THE COURTYARD OF THE COLUMBIA MUSEUM OF ART, THE MINI CINE WILL FEATURE VIDEO ART CURATED BY THE ARTIST BEN TIVEN AND THE MOVING IMAGE RESEARCH COLLECTIONS AT USC. THIS MOBILE MINI CINEMA, THE BRAINCHILD OF FILMMAKER JUSTIN NATHANSON, IS A FORTY-FOOT RECYCLED SHIPPING CONTAINER EQUIPPED WITH A PROJECTION BOOTH, A ONE HUNDRED INCH HIGH-DEFINITION SCREEN, A PROFESSIONAL GRADE SOUND SYSTEM, AND THIRTY-THREE SEATS. THIS LUSHLY RENOVATED INTERNATIONAL CARGO BOX IS SURE TO DELIGHT INDIE GRITS AUDIENCES FOR THE DURATION OF THE FESTIVAL.

CHECK OUT INDIEGRITS.COM FOR A FULL SCREENING SCHEDULE, AND MORE INFO ABOUT ALL OF THE FILMS FEATURED AT INDIE GRITS 2015!


THIS IS JOSH YATES. He’s been with Indie Grits for the past three years, and is currently about to graduate from the University of Iowa’s Film and Video Production Graduate Program. His film/video work has screened internationally in over a dozen film festivals and fine art exhibitions, and his most recent film, This Is Yates, is slated to premiere at Indie Grits 2015.

COME WATCH HIS FILM AS PART OF OUR EXPERIMENTAL DOCUMENTARY BLOCK! WHEN: Thursday, April 16th @ 3:00 PM & Friday, April 17th @ 5:30 PM WHERE: Nickelodeon’s Downstairs Theater WITH: “Prospector” by Talena Sanders “Frontier Journals 1+4” by Georg Koszulinski “Historia Calamitatum (the story of my misfortunes), Part II: The Crying Game” by Roger Beebe


A SO UT HE RN S P E CTA CL E THE WEEKLY REVUE

WHAT: THE WEEKLY REVUE WHEN: APRIL 17 AT 9PM WHERE: THE BIG APPLE

HECTORINA Almost two years ago, HECTORINA released one of the most involved albums produced by any current Charlotte band. Collywobble was not only a double LP; it was a 4 act, 23 track rock opera. The narrative follows a young wandering astronaut, Jonah Collywobble, through surreal experiences as he encounters strange folk, heartbreak, and adventure all in the pursuit for love and selfdiscovery. In this performance HECTORINA presents the rock opera again, but this time as a full-blown, live theatrical performance. Collaborators

in this production are visual/ performance artist Jon Prichard (Sinergismo), dancer and choreographer Caitlyn Swett (Triptych Collective), actor/director Chris O'Neil (Shakespeare Carolina), visual artist/venue manager Mike Gentry (The Courtroom), and many other performers and artists. This performance will require some audience interaction with the characters, so be prepared to bump shoulders, dance, and mingle in the fantastical world of Collywobble. - DYLAN GILBERT, HECTORINA

WHAT: HECTORIN A AT THE OPENING NIGHT PARTY WHEN : APRIL 15 6PM - 11PM WHERE: THE COLUM BIA M USEUM OF ART

My name is Toby Lou, Host and Master Architect of The Weekly Revue, a show that promises the finest and filthiest variety of entertainment and information available to the gorgeous hungry public. Since 2008 we’ve been bringing truth and beguilement to audiences in New Orleans, Miami, Missouri, Philadelphia, New York, and, of course, in our once and future home away from home, Columbia, South Carolina. Last year I had the overwhelming privilege of presenting the Revue at IndieGrits and this April 17, I’ll be back with a lineup of acts bringing some

of the purest grime minds of the New Orleans film world together with some of your own best and highest. We’ll be slamming sensual product direct into the overheated dome ovens of the willing and eager. Oh, Columbia! Your taste is still on my lips, your smell still lingers on my fingertips. We’re coming for you, for ourselves, for the good of all mankind. Stay tuned for full lineup details and a very special video message. I can’t wait for you to be there. Bring your loved ones. With all my heart, your personal Rabbi, TOBY LOU - THE NASTY ONE


PLEASE JOIN US FOR A VERY SPECIAL

FIV E D AYS OVER

70 FILMS 20 ARTISTS 15 BANDS GAMERS, FOOD, & MORE!

GET AN INDIE GRITS FESTIVAL PASS

$100 // $75 FOR NICK MEMBERS

TUESDAY

4.14.15

7:00 P.M.

GRAND OPENING OF OUR NEW BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF SOUTH CAROLINA THEATER PLUS FILMS, MUSIC, ART, FOOD, + WHISKEY TASTING BY CROUCH DISTILLING

TICKETS $100 PER PERSON COMBINED WITH AN INDIE GRITS FULL FESTIVAL PASS FOR $150 ($50 SAVINGS)

SEATING IS LIMITED! TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT CONTACT: CARRIE@NICKELODEON.ORG

WELCOME KAITLIN! Kaitlin McKnight is the newest member of our theater operations team. Here’s a little bit about Kaitlin:

Kaitlin was born in Macon, GA, aka the Heart of Georgia (geographically, that is), where she grew up riding horses and playing the violin. She graduated from the College of Charleston in 2011 with a BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration. After spending some post-graduate years working for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Kaitlin moved to Columbia to pursue her MS in Library and Information Science. She joined the Nickelodeon in January of 2015 as our Assistant Theater Operations Manager and is stoked to be a part of the team. Kaitlin is also a big fan of breakfast for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, and breakfast for dinner.


Arts

Touched by the Arts It can bring you joy or bring you to tears — whether it’s a timeless painting, a groovin’ guitar riff or a classic ballet. It goes beyond appreciating creativity. These things enrich our lives. That’s why BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is proud to support the arts.

Because it matters how you’re treated.®

&C

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What: Return to Homs When: May 17, 2pm ne of the biggest issues facing the world today is the brutal war in Syria and the resulting humanitarian catastrophe unfolding across the region. Inspired by Arab Spring protests happening in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, Syrian demonstrators took to the streets in early 2011 to protest a government they believed to be corrupt and oppressive. Under the direction of President Bashar al-Assad, security forces responded to the civilian uprising with violence and mass arrests of activists, ultimately leading to open warfare between supporters of the government and a fractured array of religious and nationalist insurgent forces. Further fueling the conflict are opposing coalitions of international interests cynically attempting to gain influence. In the fall of 2013, I had the opportunity to travel to the Middle East as a photojournalist to report on Syria related issues. In northern Lebanon, I visited with refugees who had recently fled the Siege of Homs and fighters injured in the Battle of al-Qusayr (both events

ending in favor of the Syrian regime and its allies). One young boy from Homs named Abdul Aziz told me a particularly terrifying story about fleeing his neighborhood during a bombardment. When he wasn’t in a hospital being treated for his wounds, he and his mother (the only survivors from his family) stayed in a warehouse next to a restaurant in Tripoli, Lebanon. With the war’s fifth year looming on the horizon, it’s estimated that around 10 million Syrians (close to half the pre-war population) have been forced from their homes with millions more also in need of some kind of assistance. Refugees face desperate conditions in neighboring countries as they try to wait out the war while many of their countrymen are trapped under cruel siege conditions. The death toll is believed to be around 200,000 though the United Nations officially stopped counting early last year. As part of the Civil Rights Sundays series, The Nickelodeon will be presenting Syrian filmmaker Talal Derki’s award winning documentary Return

to Homs. Derki focuses his filmmaker’s eye on two young Syrians from the devastated city of Homs who are emblematic of the hopes and horrors of the revolution. We follow Abdul Baset al-Sarout, a renowned goalkeeper and singer before the war, and his journalist friend Osama al-Homsi as they navigate protests, crackdowns, and eventually war. Derki has said that his motivation for making the film was to try to capture the experience of the revolution and the war—the struggle of ordinary Syrians attempting to have a voice in the affairs of their country—in a way that is becoming more and more impossible for foreign media. He takes us inside the heart of the revolution to tell a story of self-determination and the struggle for rights in a country long ruled by fear and oppression. Immediately following the film, I’ll be sharing some photos and stories from my time in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. There will also be a discussion portion afterwards to talk about the film and discuss political and social issues relating to Syria and the greater Middle East. -Thomas Hammond

12 . THE NICKELODEON

Thomas Hammond is a freelance photojournalist from Columbia, specializing in human interest, political, and cultural stories from the heart of the American South to the Middle East and wherever else the road takes him.


Demonstration Victor Kossakovsky. Russia/Spain. 2013. 70 min. PG. Amidst mass strikes against Spain’s newly implemented austerity policies, Victor Kossakovsky leads thirty-two of his documentary filmmaking students into Barcelona’s streets. Demonstration sets the students’ footage against music from Ludwig Minkus’s Don Quixote, resulting in a “film ballet.” Kossakovsky’s experimental approach offers a thoughtful meditation on not only the protests but also the strategies of documentary filmmaking. March 15, 2pm

Evolution of a Criminal Darius Clark Monroe. USA. 2014. 81 min. NR. Filmmaker Darius Monroe tells his story of carrying out an armed bank robbery when he was sixteen years old. More than just a tale of a good kid gone bad , Evolution of a Criminal is filled with compassion for human frailty and the knowledge that a person is not forever defined by their mistakes. April 12, 2pm

Return to Homs Talal Derki. Germany/Syria. 2013. 94 min. NR. Opposed to his country’s authoritarian regime, nineteenyear-old soccer star Abdul Bassett Saroot must reassess his commitment to peaceful protest when the Syrian army brutalizes civilians in his hometown. This searing portrait of life during wartime earned the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. May 17, 2pm

THE NICKELODEON . 13


14 . THE NICKELODEON

A Will for the Woods Demonstration

3/9 3/15 -

MARCH

// Festivals + Series 1990 Bronx Warriors

(In recognition of World Autism Awareness Day)

Evolution of a Criminal

Indie Grits 2015

4/15 - 4/19

{ see pages 4 - 10 }

Art and Craft 4/27 - 4/29 - The Hunting Ground

4/27 -

4/20 - 4/23 - Closed for Training

4/14 - First Night Ribbon Cutting

4/13 - Closed for Training

4/12 -

4/5 + 4/6 - Royal Shakespeare Company -- Love’s Labour’s Won

4/3 -

4/2 - Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

3/22 & 3/23 - Royal Shakespeare Company -- Love’s Labour’s Lost

3/20 - Salad Days

Class of 1984

3/6 -

// Special Screenings + Events

APRIL


MAY Zombie Holocaust

Southern Gothic Series

6/8 - 7/13

{ see pages 20 - 21 }

6/29 -

Watermark

6/15 - 6/20 - Cuttin’ N Scratchin’ Animation Camp

Commando

Food Chains

5/25 -

6/5 -

Return to Homs

5/17 -

5/16 - Come Around My Way Screening

5/1 -

Recurring Series Doc s Now!

F ir st F r iday Lowb r ow C in e m a E x p lo s io n Civil Ri g h ts S un days

JUNE


CUTTIN’ N SCRATCHIN’:

Stop-Motion Movie Camp June 15 - 20 | 9am - 1pm | Ages 8 - 12 Campers will work with puppeteers and animators Lyon Hill and Kimi Maeda to create scenes and characters from twelve-inch vinyl records donated by Scratch N’ Spin Records. They will learn basic stop motion animation techniques while working in groups to create film scenes which will be compiled into one movie by Helen Hill Media Education Center instructors.

Camper Testimonial “I had the best time ever at Stop-Motion Camp. We had so much fun making the films and coming up with sounds and building the Pit of Doom! It was awesome!” - Jackson Elliot, Camper

NICKELODEON STREET:

Teen Digital Movie & Puppet Camp July 13 - 18 9am - 1pm Ages 13 - 16

Campers will work in small production teams to write, produce, direct, and edit a short film using muppet-style hand puppets. After developing a story idea with a production team, they will turn that concept into a script and a storyboard and video. On the last day campers get to see their work on the big screen.

To register and for more information go to nickelodeon.org/education


BLACK LIVES MATTER BY T Y E YA N A W I S E

a change reaction is what we need

Since December of last year we have been making art, poetry, music, and video that will all be put into one film to share our thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. I think Come Around My Way allowing students to make a film about Black Lives Matter is only right! This is what Come Around My Way is all about, allowing us the chance to voice our opinion about life, political issues, school, and so much more. I think it’s excellent that we are able to talk about this issue because a lot of times there aren’t many opportunities out there for teenagers to have input on situations at hand. I feel that it is important to share my thoughts on this issue because I am a part of the younger generation and I believe it’s important for our voices to be heard. The young men who lost their lives may not be related to me but it is important and still hits home. Athough I could say color doesn’t matter, I feel as if having a neutral standpoint ignores the situation at hand. It basically turns a blind eye and disregards our individuality. These killings have been happening since long before now, but finally people are speaking out. I feel like a “change” reaction is what we need.

Tyeyana Wise is a second year student in the Helen Hill Media Education Center’s flagship program, Come Around My Way and a student at C.A. Johnson High School. THE NICKELODEON . 17


The work of French landscape and portrait painter Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796 – 1875) is such a frequent victim of art forgery that writer René Huyghe once quipped “Corot painted three thousand canvases, ten thousand of which have been sold in America.” Forgery is the iceberg of the art world, a danger to all who navigate those waters. In their documentary Art and Craft, directors Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman -- along with co-director Mark Becker -- give us a sense of this formidable threat through the exploits of Mark Landis, whose career as a deception artist spans thirty years. According to the Columbia Museum of Art’s (CMA) Chief Curator, Will South, forgery is a constant menace, requiring around the clock due-diligence. In the art forgery business, the margins of profit are high, which means the risks are even higher-- if you’re unconvinced, consider the fact that there’s an entire division of the FBI devoted solely to these crimes. At the CMA there is a concerted belief in the priority of authenticity. If a forged piece gets on a wall, it ruins the historical legacy of the artist, the experience of the viewer, and the reputation of the collector, leaving appreciators of art “duped emotionally and intellectually,” in South’s words, likening it to the same disheartening feeling of listening to a poor Beatles cover band. Their weapons against deception include the curator’s studied knowledge of art styles and calligraphy, the help of experts from other areas, and even the use of black lights and chemical testing.

18 . THE NICKELODEON

What: Art and Craft When: April 27, 7pm

“It’s bigger than many people think it is. Sometimes the stakes can be quite high, such as the case with Mark Hoffman.” South refers to one of the more prolific counterfeiters and forgers in American history, whom he personally met, whose exploits got away from him. Hoffman forged documents and letters as well as paintings, and once his deceptions started coming apart at the seams, he embarked on a murder spree to cover up his trail

of fakes. Currently serving life in prison for firstdegree murder, Hoffman is a colorful example of the extremes this level of crime can bring about. That being said, museums have an exceptional accumulation of talent in regards to spotting these fakes. South turned away half a dozen forgeries last year alone. Of course, this iceberg runs deep. The world’s most successful forger could still be at large -- we just wouldn’t know it. -Pedro LopezDeVictoria


A Will For The Woods Amy Browne, Tony Hale, Jeremy Kaplan, and Brian Wilson. USA. 2014. 93 min. Musician. Psychiatrist. Folk dancer. Clark Wang defies easy categorization. That he should turn a fatal cancer diagnosis into an opportunity to preserve the natural environment around his North Carolina home is not altogether surprising. March 9, 5:30pm

Watermark Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky. Canada. 2013. 92 min. This meticulously composed visual poem celebrates and complicates the intrinsic human need for water, floating from the banks of the Ganges to the shores of the Pacific on magnificent aerial shots that communicate the breadth of our dependence on this limited natural resource. Watermark was an official selection for the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. June 29, 7:00pm

Art and Craft Mark Becker, Sam Cullman, and Jennifer Grausman. France. 2014. 89 min. Bullheaded registrar Matthew Leininger sets out to expose art forger and self-described “philanthropist” Mark Landis for the criminal he is--or, more accurately, the criminal Leininger wants him to be. How, after all, can you call a man a swindler when he never earns a cent from his con? Landis, who surreptitiously donates his fake masterworks to grieving families and art-hungry museums, thinks himself a Good Samaritan. April 27, 7:00pm

Food Chains Sanjay Rawal. USA. 2014. 83 min. Gross annual revenue for the global supermarket industry totals in the trillions of dollars. Why aren’t farmworkers, who bear the brunt of the world’s demand for produce, compensated accordingly? The Coalition of Immolakee Workers--a group of tomato pickers from southern Florida--take corporate food to task for exploiting cheap labor in this profoundly unsettling documentary, which premiered at the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival. May 25, 7:00pm

THE NICKELODEON . 19


gothic SOUTHERN

SERIES JUNE - JULY 2015

W

20 . THE NICKELODEON

hile the Southern Gothic stories of writers like William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Flannery O’Connor evoke images of a decaying and conflicted rural America in the first half of the 20th century, there may be no other fictional genre that remains more relevant to life in America in the first half of our current century. To kick off our series, we’ll be traveling to Savannah, Georgia for director Clint Eastwood’s true crime hit Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Kevin Spacey–who perfected his sinister Southern socialite long before his role as Frank Underwood on House of Cards–stars alongside John Cusack, Jude Law, and the Lady Chablis (who plays herself, of course). In next week’s offering, Night of the Hunter, Robert Mitchum plays a maniacal preacher-turned-killer who preys on a mother and her children in order to steal her dead husband’s hidden fortune. Charles Loughton’s first and only feature film is shot in an expressionist style that has influenced filmmakers from David Lynch to Spike Lee.


I

ndependent film icon Jim Jarmusch directs our next Southern Gothic film, Down by Law, starring Jarmusch favorite John Lurie, musician Tom Waits, and Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni (in his first international role) as three men caught on the wrong side of the law in swampy Louisiana. After Down, we’re headed to Georgia: the fictional Cahulawassee River, to be exact, where Burt Reynolds and Jon Voight star as city folk who run afoul of some of the scariest hillbillies in the Peach State. Our tour of the Deep South continues with director David Gordon Green’s debut feature George Washington. This lyrical tale follows a group of poor children in rural North Carolina as they come to terms with the accidental death of one of their own. We’ll conclude our series with the 1962 classic To Kill a Mockingbird. This film is the perfect way to end our Southern Gothic tour, as it touches on so many of the genre’s central themes: class division, racial injustice, isolation, the effects of poverty, and the loss of innocence. One cannot help but reflect on Mockingbird’s story of smalltown racial injustice through the lens of current events like those in Ferguson, Missouri. The integrity of the court system that Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, in an Oscar-winning role) believes to be a “living, working reality,” ultimately proves questionable. While the case of Tom Robinson (Brock Rogers)– falsely accused of raping a white woman–does not mirror that of Michael Brown, the results are the same. An African American man lies dead at the hands of an officer of the law. We here at the Nickelodeon appreciate good Southern stories, so much so that we made Indie Grits, a film festival specifically for telling stories of the South. We hope that with this series we are able to shed a little more light on our strange, beautiful, and oftentimes consternating corner of the country. —Tug Baker, Nickelodeon Theater Staff and Co-Curator of the Southern Gothic Series

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Clint Eastwood. USA. 1997. 155 min. Jim Williams (Kevin Spacey)—a wealthy Savannah socialite with a penchant for art, antiques, and younger men—hosts a lavish Christmas party for the who’s-who of his quaint Georgia town every year. When Williams’ lover is shot to death in his study, visiting reporter John Kelso (John Cusack), on assignment to cover this famous soiree, finds he has more to contribute to his magazine than a five-hundred word treatise on eggnog. June 8, 7pm.

Night of the Hunter Charles Laughton. USA. 1955. 92 min. Parttime serial murderer and full-time Jesus fanatic Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) insinuates himself into the life of one Willa Harper (Shelley Winters), a helpless widow whose children know the whereabouts of their bank-robbing daddy’s $10,000 loot. June 15, 7pm.

Down by Law Jim Jarmusch. USA. 1986. 107 min. In this monochrome marvel, three hapless jailbirds feather their nest in a Louisiana bayou while on the lam from the New Orleans PD. Shining star Tom Waits describes this film as “a Russian neo-fugitive episode of The Honeymooners.” Featuring Lounge Lizards frontman John Lurie and Oscar-winner Roberto Benigni, in his first English-language speaking role. June 22, 7pm.

Deliverance John Boorman. USA. 1972. 110 min. North Georgia moonshiners pluck banjos and heartstrings in this tale of porcine man love gone awry. Starring Angelina Jolie’s daddy (Jon Voight) and that hairy guy your meemaw always dreamed she’d marry (Burt Reynolds) as unlucky city slickers trying to survive a canoe trip the Cahulawassee River. June 29, 7pm.

George Washington David Gordon Green. USA. 2000. 89 min. Twelve-year-old Nasia falls for quiet, introspective George—a boy whose skull never hardened after birth—the summer of a terrible accident in their rural southern town. First-time cinematographer Tim Orr’s fluid camerawork recalls the films of Terrence Malick with quiet, graceful shots of the crumbling, kudzu-throttled North Carolina landscape. July 6, 7pm.

To Kill a Mockingbird Robert Mulligan. USA. 1962. 129 min. Scout and Jem watch their father, lawyer Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck, in an iconic, Oscar-winning role), defend a black man falsely accused of rape in their small, Depression-era Alabama town. Marks the film acting debut of Robert Duvall. July 13, 7pm.

THE NICKELODEON . 21


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What: Commando When: June 5, 11pm

hose familiar with the First Friday Lowbrow Cinema Explosion series may be surprised to see a big budget Hollywood movie like Commando on the roster. The typical Lowbrow Explosion selection has a five- or six-figure microbudget, far from the ten million dollars that was spent on Commando (we’re talking 1985 dollars here). One viewing of the film makes it clear that the lion’s share of the budget was spent on securing Schwarzenegger - who was hot off Conan and The Terminator” - and the rest was spent on blowing things up. Like the best Lowbrow Explosion favorites, this film fails in so many delightful ways that it becomes something quite *different* existing outside the mainstream of 24 . THE NICKELODEON

cinema. From the opening montage establishing the relationship between Schwarzenegger’s character and his daughter (played by pre-Teen Steam Alyssa Milano), we are hip to the fact that the film is playing under a different set of rules. Watching Schwarzenegger’s John Matrix character eat ice cream and hand feed deer in the forest is almost too much but the direction stays just far enough away from self-aware camp that we know this is a laughably genuine attempt to humanize the character. From there we discover the most improbable villain of Reagan-era action films: Vernon Welles’s character Bennett is an out of shape Freddie Mercury clone in a silver mesh tank top and black leather pants whose motivation seems to be disappointment over Matrix throwing him out of the elite “Commando Unit.”

The director’s commentary indicates that many have questioned if there was an intended homoeroticism to the Bennett character, which director Mark Lester flatly denies (or is remarkably unaware of): “I don’t know what people are saying when they say that to me. He seems to me like the most macho soldier or person you could think of.” Tommy Chong’s daughter and ultimate 80’s “almost-was,” Rae Dawn Chong, inexplicably stars as a woman who is not really a love interest but seems to exist as a mostly unnecessary expository character defying every Hollywood convention. Commando offers a loose framework of a storyline involving an ex-soldier attempting to save his kidnapped daughter, but the entirety of the story takes a back seat to people being killed, one-liners being delivered, and EVERYTHING getting blown up. The entire package is so ultimately entertaining that the wooden acting, incompetent writing, and extraordinary number of continuity errors are not only forgivable but actually add to the overall surrealness of the entire unforgettable exercise. Three years prior to making Commando, director Mark Lester brought us the brilliant Punxploitation anti-classic Class of 1984, which is another of this season’s First Friday Lowbrow Cinema selections. Commando, however, remains his masterpiece and is arguably the greatest action film of the 80’s... or more arguably, “the greatest film of all time.” -- Chris Bickel / Series Curator


Class of 1984

Commando

Mark Lester. USA. 1982. 98 min. A new teacher at an innercity high school has major troubles with an unbelievable gang of sadistic toughs led by a maniacal drug-dealing piano genius. Watch a young Michael J Fox get stabbed in this violent Punxploitation anti-classic. March 6, 11:00pm

Mark Lester. USA. 1985. 90 min. In arguably the greatest film of all time, Arnold Schwarzenegger improbably teams up with Rae Dawn Chong to save his daughter from an out of shape Freddie Mercury clone. Everything gets blown up. Many one-liners are delivered. Pre-Teen Steam Alyssa Milano stars as “Chenny”, the daughter in distress. June 5, 11:00pm

1990 Bronx Warriors Enzo G Castallari. Italy. 1982. 89 min. In a post-apocalyptic New York City, a policeman infiltrates The Bronx which has become a battleground for several laughable gangs ripped off from The Warriors and Escape from New York. Will your favorite be the roller skating gang or the tap dancing mimes gang? This crapfest is an unforgettable perfect storm of terrible. April 3, 11:00pm

Zombie Holocaust “Frank Martin”. Italy. 1980. 84 min. AKA “Dr. Butcher MD”. In this half-baked ripoff of Fulci’s Zombie and Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, members of an expedition in search for the tribe of Kito, land on a small island and are soon gorily dismembered by both native cannibals and oatmeal-faced zombies created by a sinister Doctor Obrero. May 1, 11:00pm THE NICKELODEON . 25


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Profile for Nickelodeon Theatre

Nick Mag #002  

March 2015 // Indie Grits // Southern Gothic

Nick Mag #002  

March 2015 // Indie Grits // Southern Gothic

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