CLEVELAND (April 19, 2010) – Those seeking the truth will find it at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) this spring, as 16 documentary film programs, including 14 Cleveland premieres, screen in May and June as part of the museum's renowned film series. Highlighting this two-month, nonfiction film fest are profiles of fascinating individuals — ranging from architect Samuel Mockbee and neuroscientist Eric Kandel to singer Bill Withers — and movies about the visual and performing arts, including singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen's legendary appearance at the 1970 Isle of Wight festival.
The series is rounded out with provocative political portraits (such as Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss, about notorious Third Reich director Veit Harlan), an all-new program of short films from the Baseball Hall of Fame and two films about filmmaking: Tales from the Script, which features prominent Hollywood screenwriters discussing their craft, and It Came from Kuchar, a definitive portrait of longtime underground moviemakers Mike and George Kuchar.
All films will be shown in CMA's Morley Lecture Hall, located at 11150 East Boulevard in University Circle. Unless noted, admission prices to museum films are $8 for the general public; $6 for CMA members, seniors 65 and over, and students; or one CMA film series voucher. Vouchers are sold in books of 10 and cost $60 for the general public, $50 for CMA members.
Tickets are available through the online box office at www.ClevelandArt.org, in person or via telephone at 888-CMA-0033. Parking is available in the CMA parking garage.
The schedule of films features:
Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Wednesday, May 5, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas, with Peter Eisenman. This new documentary profiles late architect and educator Samuel Mockbee, whose groundbreaking Rural Studio at Auburn University created low-cost, innovative housing for the impoverished residents of Hale County, Ala. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2010, color, DVD, 57 min.) http://citizenarchitectfilm.com
Friday, May 7, 7:00 p.m..
Directed by Damani Baker and Alex Vlack, with Bill Withers, Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. R&B star Bill Withers ("Lean on Me," "Ain't No Sunshine"), who hasn't made an album in 25 years, ruminates on life, music and fame. The film was described as "pleasant and even moving" by The New York Times. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 78 min.) http://stillbillthemovie.com
Waiting for Armageddon
Wednesday, May 12, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi. This startling film profiles some of the ordinary people within America's 50-million-strong Christian Evangelical community who believe that the Bible predicts the imminent end of the world. Illuminates a worldview marked by absolute certainty and chilling finality … Spine-tingling … May raise goose bumps." –The New York Times. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 74 min.) http://www.waitingforarmageddon.com
Tales from the Script
Friday, May 14, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Peter Hanson, with John Carpenter, Paul Schrader and Ron Shelton. In this new movie, prominent Hollywood screenwriters ranging from William Goldman (The Princess Bride) and Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) to ex-Clevelanders Antwone Fisher and David S. Ward (Major League) discuss their craft and collaborations with famous filmmakers. "The best film about writing I've ever seen" –Chris Gore, Film Threat. Cleveland theatrical premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 105 min.) http://www.talesfromthescript.com
In Search of Memory
Wednesday, May 19, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Petra Seeger, with Eric Kandel. This portrait of 80-year-old, Nobel-winning neuroscientist Eric Kandel explains how a Jewish boy from Nazi-occupied Vienna immigrated to the U.S. and became one of the 20th century's most important researchers, studying how the brain records and preserves memories. "An unforgettable journey" –Oliver Sacks. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2008, color, DVD, 95 min.) http://icarusfilms.com/new2009/mem.html
Blood into Wine
Friday, May 21, and Friday, May 28, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Ryan Page and Christopher Pomerenke, with Milla Jovovich, Bob Odenkirk and Patton Oswalt. Maynard James Keenan, reclusive lead singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle and a longtime winemaker, reveals the trials and triumphs of growing grapes in the desert climate of northern Arizona. "A rock 'n' roll version of Sideways … Hypnotic, enthralling and most of all fun." –Filmcritic.com. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2010, color, Blu-ray, 100 min.) http://www.bloodintowine.com
It Came from Kuchar
Wednesday, May 26, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot, with John Waters, Buck Henry and Guy Maddin. This movie is the definitive portrait of Bronx-born twin brothers Mike and George Kuchar, legendary underground filmmakers who, starting in the 1950s, spoofed overheated Hollywood melodramas in a series of homemade short films. The documentary includes clips from such early Kuchar classics as Hold Me While I'm Naked and Sins of the Fleshapoids. "George and Mike Kuchar's films were my first inspiration." –John Waters. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 86 min.) http://kucharfilm.com
Dave Filipi presents Rare Films from the Baseball Hall of Fame
Wednesday, June 2, 6:30 p.m.
Various directors. Dave Filipi, film/video curator at The Ohio State University's Wexner Center for the Arts, returns to CMA with an all-new collection of classic short films from the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. Highlights include a newsreel of the 1954 World Series between the Cleveland Indians and the Giants; an excerpt from the 1972 movie Baseball vs. Drugs; and commercials and promotional spots featuring Gil Hodges, Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew and others. (USA, 1934–1972, b&w/color, Beta SP, approx. 120 min.)
Friday, June 4, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Harrod Blank. Back by popular demand is this recent movie by the son of legendary ethnographic filmmaker Les Blank — a delightful look at some of the eccentrics, visionaries and free-thinkers who have transformed their automobiles into drivable works of art. Among them are spoon-bender Uri Geller, whose car is covered with eating utensils, and the filmmaker himself, who drives a unique "Camera Van." (USA, 2008, color, DVD, 77 min.) http://www.automorphosis.com
Harlan: In the Shadow of Jew Süss
Wednesday, June 9, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Felix Moeller. Aside from Leni Riefenstahl, no director was as closely associated with the Third Reich as Veit Harlan, director of the notorious anti-Semitic propaganda film Jew Süss and the only Nazi artist charged with war crimes. This eye-opening film employs film clips, home movies and new interviews to tell his story and how it tainted his descendants (including Stanley Kubrick's widow Christiane). Cleveland premiere. (Germany, 2008, color/b&w, DVD, 99 min.) http://www.zeitgeistfilms.com/harlan
Friday, June 11, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Erik Gandini, with Silvio Berlusconi. This Felliniesque, nonfiction film explores the link between Italy's lascivious television shows (in which have-nots disrobe in hopes of fame and fortune) and the country's overwrought celebrity culture. According to the movie, both are unsavory legacies of media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, now Italy's president. "Five stars [highest rating] … Stunning, eerily atmospheric exposé." –Time Out New York. Cleveland premiere. (Sweden/Denmark/Britain/Finland, 2009, color/b&w, subtitles, DVD, 85 min.) http://www.atmo.se/film-and-tv/videocracy
Wednesday, June 16, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Kimberly Reed. In this acclaimed film full of surprising revelations (including one involving Orson Welles), Kimberly Reed, a star athlete in high school who subsequently underwent a sex change operation, returns to her Montana hometown to attend her 20th high school reunion and try to reconcile with her mentally unstable, adopted older brother. (USA, 2008, color, DVD, 86 min.) http://www.prodigalsonsfilm.com
TRIMPIN: the sound of invention
Friday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Peter Esmonde, with the Kronos Quartet. This fascinating portrait of a German-born, Seattle-based creator of unique sound machines captures the MacArthur Foundation "Genius" award-winner as he works with the Kronos Quartet. Trimpin shows himself to be equal parts inventor, engineer, sculptor and composer. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 79 min.) http://www.trimpinmovie.com
Leonard Cohen: Live at the Isle of Wight 1970
Wednesday, June 23, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Murray Lerner, with Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Kris Kristofferson. The spellbinding performance of Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen at 1970's infamous Isle of Wight outdoor music festival is preserved in this film. Roused from sleep at 2:00 a.m., Cohen took the stage to calm 600,000 damp, disgruntled music fans after the stage roof was set on fire during the preceding Jimi Hendrix set. "You experience the ancient arts of the shaman one more time." –The New York Times. Cleveland theatrical premiere. (USA, 2010, color, DVD, 64 min.)
Friday, June 25, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Steven and Whitney Boe, with the voices of Mark Hamill, Tim Curry and Lance Henriksen. Enlightening interviews with Deepak Chopra and others are combined with stop-motion animation by Brian and Wendy Froud (The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth) in this film that seeks to reclaim the power of myth. Cleveland theatrical premiere. (USA, 2009, color, DVD, 90 min.) http://www.imaginalcellsinc.com/Pages/MythicJourneysEvents.htm
Wednesday, June 30, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Brett Ingram. In his new film, Brett Ingram (Monster Road) introduces audiences to an "outsider" artist as prolific as Henry Darger. Renaldo Kuhler is a 79-year-old North Carolina scientific illustrator who, in spare time over more than 50 years, has invented and illustrated an elaborate private fantasy realm named Rocaterrania. Created initially as a place of refuge during Kuhler's lonely and unhappy youth, Rocaterrania has its own alphabet, language and epic history — all fully delineated in scores of drawings and notebooks. Cleveland premiere. (USA, 2008, color, DVD, 74 min.) http://www.brettingram.org/film/RocOverview.php
About The Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing a multi-phase renovation and expansion project, it is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. Admission to the museum has been free since its founding charter.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of nearly 25,000 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.
DVD screeners are available (dependent upon film). Please contact Christa Skiles,
216-707-6898, or cskiles [at] clevelandart [dot] org, to request screeners.