From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tangerine’: This Year’s Independent Spirit Award Nominees

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This morning, Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced, boasting a diverse group of emerging artists and acclaimed filmmakers from Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman to Sean Baker and Cary Joji Fukunaga. The awards will be presented on February 27st so check out a selection of the nominees below and for the full list head here.

Best Feature
Anomalisa
Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation
Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol
Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight
Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine
Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

Best Director
Sean BakerTangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White
Director: Josh Mond
Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao
Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan
Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
(T)error
Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Producer: Christopher St. John
Best of Enemies
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of Dog
Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson
Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Meru
Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker
Director/Producer: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent
(Colombia)
Director: Ciro Guerra

Girlhood
(France)
Director: Céline Sciamma

Mustang
(France, Turkey)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
(Sweden)
Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul
(Hungary)
Director: László Nemes 

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Carol, Ed Lachman
It Follows, Michael Gioulakis
Meadlowland, Reed Morano
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Joshua James Richards

What Nemo Did For NYC Nightlife

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Stage 48, 605 W. 48th St., is currently being used as a live music venue until, according to a source, "it gets all its licensing together" sometime in mid-March. An insider told me that John Blair, now an outsider at XL nightclub will bring his thing to Stage 48 on Saturday nights. I am currently involved with a cosmetic redux of the lounge at XL, so conflict of interest plays a part here. It does happen. I know about the planned Friday at Stage 48 as well, but will keep things tight until the time is right to blab about it. I hear the place has three floors and a sick rooftop.

I will be DJing at Toy tommorrow night for a Blackbook Fashion Week gala. I’ll tell you all about that tomorrow. I guess I don’t feel like talking to you much today.. I saw Beasts of the Southern Wild last night at the wonderful Williamsburg Cinema. I think it’s the best picture of the year, maybe of the last five years…like that. Then again, I also loved Warm Bodies which I also saw this weekend. OMG loved it!. The snow destroyed Friday around town but left most stir crazy, and Saturday boomed everywhere. The winter can kill nights and owners must be prepared to accept losses due to weather.

I DJd Saturday at the Empire Rooftop to a packed house who wanted to hear house, hip hop and EDM mostly, and not my rock offerings. Great room with a great, long bar, ample seating for the masses, good food, and professional and friendly service are what keep this place hopping. It has a solid, well-dressed crowd every time I go.

I have stopped doing my Thursday night Generation Wild party on Thursdays at Hotel Chantelle. They recently cancelled the basement pogo party, and I felt it was time to leave as a sign of solidarity to that. I’m busy enough with a new Wednesday after work residency at EVR, and will soon announce a new rock and roll adventure. I’m going to sip my Yerbe tea and head to a job site. I’ll be better tomorrow.. Go see Beasts …now!

New Details on ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Director Benh Zeitlin’s Next Film

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As one of our favorite films of 2012 Benh Zeitlin’s Beasts of the Southern Wild stormed into theaters last summer and ripped our heart to pieces. Told through a poetic mixture of sight and sound, with magical realism and visceral emotion that flew off the screen like sparks flickering into the night, his film, adapted from Lucy Alibar’s play, earned the first time director an Academy Award nomination and a wealth of anxious anticipation for just what he would create next. And although there’s been little word from Zeitlin about his upcoming feature in recent months, for The New York Times’ wonderful piece on 20 Directors to Watch, he shared that his new film:

…is about a young girl who gets kidnapped onto a hidden ecosystem where a tribal war is raging over a form of pollen that breaks the relationship between aging and time. It follows a friendship-love story-adventure of her and a joyous, reckless, pleasure-mongering young boy as they swirl in and out of youth and as the ecosystem around them spirals toward destruction. 
And although this all sounds promising, it could be a while before we see the film come to fruition, as he went on to add that, "We’re working on it all day every day, but as all psychotic adventures go, you know where your destination is but not how long it’s going to take to get there."
 
When we spoke to Zeitlin last January he spoke about his style of filmmaking and the nature having his hands in all parts of the creative process, he told us:
I really love collaboration more than anything, and I love other people’s creativity and the way that shapes and changes things. I never want to make a film that’s just what I imagine and then execute it; I want a process to change what it is I imagined and become something else through the creativity of all these other people. But I am a complete obsessive. I don’t like there to be any separation between my life and my art. Once it starts, I have to work on it all the time, every second until it’s finished, and so maybe I’ve enabled myself to be a part of everything from beginning to end.

Steve McQueen’s ‘Twelve Years a Slave’ to be Released by Fox Searchlight This December

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After seeing Shame upwards of three times in theaters and spending countless hours at MoMA throughout the year hiding out watching his 1994 short film Deadpan, it’s safe to say I am more than ready for vicious director Steve McQueen’s next film. As one of the most fearless and thrilling directors in contemporary cinema, McQueen crafts harrowing pictures that cut straight to the heart and rip you apart from the inside out.

And as of today, it’s been announced that his highly-anticipated Twelve Years a Slave has been acquired by Fox Searchlight. And it seems they’re on quite a roll lately, with the success of last year’s Beasts of the Southern Wild and the upcoming premieres of The East and Trance, as well as Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel next year. Having worked with McQueen before on Shame, there doesn’t seem to be better fit. And although it appears the film will not be premiering at Cannes, today we learn that there is in fact a release slated for December 27th, 2013.

Twelve Years a Slave stars a host of wonderful talent from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender (of course) and Benedict Cumberbatch, to Paul Giamatti and Scoot McNairy, as well as Fox Searchlight alums, Beasts stars Quvezhane Wallis and Dwight Henry. The film is based on Solomon Northup’s 1853 autobiography, telling his story as a slave who was kidnapped and put in a slave pen, "paving the way for a grueling life under numerous owners."

 

Let’s just say, I am more than a little excited for this one.

Iran Threatens to Sue Over ‘Argo’

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Even the Iranians didn’t think Argo should have won Best Picture last month. French lawyer Isabelle Coutant-Peyre is currently visiting Iran to explore the possibilities of a lawsuit against the United States, as cultural officials in Iran claim that the Oscar-winning film is CIA propaganda against the country. What do you think was the biggest offense? Did they just roll their eyes at the gratuitious shot of a shirtless Ben Affleck (are we really surprised he didn’t get a Best Director nomination?), or was that enough to make then want to burn Affleck in effigy? I assume Coutant-Peyre is interested in the case because Amour didn’t win Best Picture, whereas the Iranians, I bet, thought Beasts of the Southern Wild was a real tear-jerker and that Quvenzhané Wallis was the cuuuuuutesssssssttttttt

[Via Washington Times]

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

NYT Writer Surprised Actresses Sometimes Act Like Actual People

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Man, the Oscars really brought out the worst in people last night, huh? In addition to all your amateur comedian friends trying to outsnark each other while live-tweeting the thing, some dudes who actually contributed to the making of a really good movie got played off by the “Jaws” theme music while the cast of Chicago got to go up there like five times. There was Seth MacFarlane’s entire hosting gig, which played like the open-mic comedy set of a frat boy who finds himself saying “it’s okay, some of my best friends are…” a lot. Someone who should never be allowed near a computer or smartphone again made a @HathawaysNipple novelty Twitter account because we are the worst generation and let this happen. Really a race to the bottom last night, everyone.

But Alessandra Stanley at The New York Times (On It!) had a much different take on the evening. She rather enjoyed MacFarlane as the host, or, at least, didn’t see him as the core problem. She saves quite a bit of her ire for a perhaps undeserving target, Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence, for doing human things that most people do literally every day. She writes:

“Ms. Lawrence tripped on her way to the stage but didn’t make any faux pas in her acceptance speech. She was less guarded on the red carpet, complaining to one interviewer that she was hungry and moaning presciently that the show is too long. With another, she let fly a profanity that ABC barely bleeped in time.

It wasn’t the first time she’s flouted awards-show etiquette: At the Golden Globes, she began her acceptance speech by dissing Meryl Streep. (Mr. MacFarlane referred to the gaffe in a joke, saying that he heard Ms. Lawrence say that win or lose, “it’s just an honor that Meryl Streep wasn’t nominated.”) It could be a rebellious streak in her, but mostly it’s a reminder of how young and unworldly some stars are, despite all the coaching, minders and Dior gowns.”

So first of all, we’re all on the same page on this and I don’t even need to go into about how there’s no way Stanley would have written those same words, or dedicate that much space and indignation to Lawrence if she were a dude, right? Right. And you’d think with the high standards of quality the NYT tries to hold itself to or whatever, she would have at least run a Google search and seen the literally dozens of nearly identical blog posts about how Lawrence’s “I beat Meryl!” line was a First Wives Club reference and not in any way an actual slight at Meryl herself. It’s not that hard, guys. 

The Oscars have kind of developed this presence where they’re really just an expensive, self-congratulatory mess, especially in the last few years, where a Best Picture win for Crash and Billy Crystal in blackface can somehow coexist amid glittery montages celebrating how great and envelope-pushing the movies are. And you know what? If Jennifer Lawrence can see through the pageantry and keep it real, then more power to her. She looked great and she won a damn Oscar and made a lot of really GIF-able side-eyes. God forbid lady actors sometimes swear or trip or are honest about wanting to eat food.  

These actions don’t make Jennifer Lawrence “unworldly,” they make her a person. And this may be getting off-message a bit, but I know as a culture we don’t like to think celebrities are real people, but they are, and losing that reminder that they’re human is what leads to dumb Rihanna domestic violence jokes and snark about the Kardashians’ body hair and comments about stars’ weight that young, impressionable tweens see and think about their own bodies with that same scrutiny. And you know what? The show was way too damn long. Jennifer Lawrence was right.

So, to recap, Stanley just chastised an actress for expressing a desire to eat on the red carpet but sort of praised a dude who made a really tasteless eating disorder joke while hosting. Great job, everyone! You’re all the worst.

Quvenzhané Wallis To Star In ‘Annie’ Remake

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Some good news for once! Quvenzhané Wallis, the pint-sized star of Beasts Of The Southern Wild, will star in the remake of Annie.

Rumors have been circulating that Quvenzhane — who can sing and dance, apparently — could play the titular role after Willow Smith, who was originally cast to play Annie, aged out of the role. The Annie remake is being co-produced for Sony and Overbrook by Willow’s parents, Will and Jada Smith, and Jay-Z. The film is due out during the holiday season of 2014, The Wrap reports

Quvenzhané Wallis, age 9, has been nominated for a 2013 Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Hushpuppy in Beasts.

Contact the author of this post at Jessica.Wakeman@Gmail.com. Follow me on Twitter

Trolling the Oscars: Why None of These Movies Deserve to Win Best Picture

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Welcome to the internet, where all of my opinions are right. You know what’s so great about being able to log into a CMS account and self-publish my thoughts and ideas? No matter how I actually feel, everything I write online comes across as completely sincere and competent, even when the things I write are neither of those things! It’s a brave new world we’re living in, when tweets can be art and art can be criticized by any person with an idea for a clever hashtag. Naturally, it’s time to harness this power by showing you exactly why none of the nine nominees for Best Picture deserve to win a goddamn thing. Let’s go!

Amour

Oh, come on. You didn’t see Amour. You know how I know this? Because I didn’t see Amour. I didn’t see this movie because I could just call my grandparents and ask them to speak to me in French for two hours. At least the phone call would be free! And hey, maybe I’d get twenty bucks out of it or somewhere, whereas Amour would cost me at least thirteen dollars and bring with it a lot of emotional anxiety. Anyway, this movie should not win, but I kind of wish it would if only so I can quickly take screenshots of midwestern teenagers tweeting about how they don’t know what Amour is. That’s how blogging works!

Argo

Ugh, Argo. Argofuckyourself, indeed, Argo! The major point about Argo was that Ben Affleck can direct a movie, which comes as a surprise to literally no one because he has already directed two movies that people liked a lot. The other reason Argo was made was so Ben Affleck could take off his shirt in another movie. Oh, and you know another thing that sucked about Argo? The fact that none of the women in Argo were allowed to speak to each other on camera. Sorry, Clea Duvall; you get to be in a Big Motion Picture, but you may only open your mouth when in the presence of Victor Garber. And don’t you dare make eye contact with Ben Affleck! 

Beasts of the Southern Wild

I do love a movie with a precocious child as much as the next guy, but how awkward do you feel about the fact that some white people from New York City went down to New Orleans to make a movie about magical negroes? I’m surprised there weren’t any animated bears and foxes floating along the river, or that those giant titular beasts didn’t burst into "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah." 

Django Unchained

This one is simple: Django Unchained should not win Best Picture because it is not Jackie Brown and Jackie Brown is the only Quentin Tarantino movie that deserves to win Best Picture. 

Les Misérables

A friend of mine described this movie with the following: "It was like in acting classes when one person started crying and then everyone else in class cried harder and louder and uglier." This is one of the few movies in which everyone was dead at the end and I thought, "You know what? I’m OK with this." That is until the ghost of Anne Hathaway showed up again with that chopped-off hair and sad dress, which made me depressed. I really hate that it’s a known fact that your apperance when you die is what you’ll look like in Heaven. Really sucks for people who get run over by trucks, huh? 

Life of Pi

Spoiler alert: Pi is the tiger, and the tiger is Pi, and the eggman is Paul, I think, and maybe we ought to remake Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band but with 3D CGI, but I’m getting distracted. Life of Pi is a cartoon movie for adults who are still making their way through Oprah’s Book Club.

Lincoln

Oh, I’m sorry, is this category called Best Way to Nap? Lincoln was terrible. Remember how fun TV miniseries used to be? They were long, yes, but they were campy as hell, had a lot of awkward sex not normally seen during primetime, and were stuffed with lots of recognizable people who were not really famous but still possessed a certain level celebrity that you’d still be excited if you saw them on the street. Lincoln was just a really expensive TV-miniseries, but without the sex. Or the fun. And with overwritten dialogue by Tony Kushner. I got a screener of Lincoln, and it’s best uses so far have been as a coaster and as a substitute for Ambien.

Silver Linings Playbook

I can’t for the life of me figure out why people love this movie so much. Is it because we’re so desperate to see Ben Stiller act in a dramatic performance that we could substitute in Bradley Cooper and just go with it? Is it because it’s nice to see Julia Stiles back in action? Is it because of Jacki Weaver saying "crabby snacks and homemades?" Is it because of Dancing With the Stars? Is it because As Good as It Gets was too subtle and we needed a subpar version of that to really hone in the idea of what mental illness is? Or is it because everyone is crazy? If everyone is crazy, no one is crazy. 

Zero Dark Thirty

JUST KIDDING! While you were all being emotionally waterboarded by the rest of what Hollywood had to offer, you guys completely missed the fact that this was the best movie of the year. Jessica Chastain! She could act circles around everyone else on this planet, and she wouldn’t be exhausted because she’s, like, a healthy vegan. And you know she’s on track for world domination. GET IT TOGETHER, PEOPLE. it doesn’t even matter if this loses to, say, Argo, because Kathryn Bigelow will have her revenge on all of you. Especially you, Ben Affleck. 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’ Returning to Theaters For Oscar Completists

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Oscar season is upon us, and with Oscar seasons comes the inevitable mad dash of Oscar completists who have to see every Best Picture nominee before the big night, where a CGI teddy bear will make some rude jokes about Anne Hathaway to an audience of people in eveningwear that cost more than your apartment. Beasts of the Southern Wild, a critical and festival darling, netted four Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director for Benh Zeitlin and Best Actress for breakout star Quvenzhané Wallis, who at six years old has become the youngest actress ever to receive such a nomination.

But, even with all the critical praise and even President Obama calling it "spectacular," for some viewers, it may have gotten lost in the shuffle. The film is available at a Redbox near you, but if you like the air-conditioned box and expensive popcorn experience, the film will have an encore run in cinemas for Best Picture marathoners. Starting today, Beasts of the Southern Wild returns to the big screen to the following cinemas in the following U.S. cities (via Fox Searchlight’s blog): 

ATLANTA, GA
Midtown Art Cinema, Atlanta, GA
Medlock Crossing, Duluth, GA
 
CHARLESTON, SC
Charles Towne Sq., North Charleston, SC
Wesgate Mall Cinema 8, Spartanburg, SC
 
KNOXVILLE, TN
Downtown West Cinema 8, Knoxville, TN
 
BOSTON, MA
Kendall Sq., Cambridge, MA
Embassy 6, Waltham, MA
Regal Hooksett, Hookset, MA
 
BALTIMORE, MD
Charles 5 Theater, Baltimore, MA
 
CLEVELAND, OH
Cinemark Movies 10, North Canton, MA
Richmond Town Sq., Richmond Heights, OH
 
COLUMBUS, OH
Georgeville Sq., Columbis, OH
 
PITTSBURG, PA
Regent Sq., Edgewood, PA
 
WASHINGTON, DC
Arlington Cinema & Draft, Arlington, VA
E-Street Cinema, Washginton, DC
AFI Silver Springs, Silver Springs, MD
 
DETROIT, MI
Main Art, Royal Oak, MI
Movies 16, Warren, MI
 
GRAND RAPIDS, MI
Celebration Woodland Mall, Grand Rapids, MI
 
GAINESVILLE, FL
Gainesville Stadium 14, Gainesville, FL
 
JACKSONVILLE, FL
Island Cinema 7, St. Simons Island, GA
 
TAMPA/ST. PETERSBURG, FL
Parkway Cinema, Sarasota, FL
 
PANAMA CITY, FL
Regency Stadium 11, Panama City, FL
 
MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE, FL
The Last Picture Show, Tamarac, FL
 
NEW YORK, NY
Lincoln Plaza 6, New York, NY
Sunshine Cinemas 5, New York, NY
AMC Jersery Gardens, Elizabeth, NJ
Clairidge 6, Montclair, NJ
Garden CInema 4, Norwalk, CT
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville, NJ
 
BUFFALO, NY
McKinley 6 Theatres, Blasdell, NY
 
PHILADELPHIA, PA
Ritz, Philadelphia, PA
 
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA
Vinegar Hill, Charlottesville, VA
 
RICHMOND, VA
Commonwealth 20, Richmond, VA
 
CHICAGO, IL
Century Centre Cinema, Chicago, IL
Lincolnshire 21, Lincolnshire, IL
Cantera Stadium 17, Warrenville, IL
 
DALLAS/FT. WORTH, TX
Magnolia Cinema 5, Dallas, TX
 
HOUSTON, TX
River Oaks 3, Houston, TX
 
DES MOINES, IA
Fleur Cafe, Des Moines, IA
 
LINCOLN, NE
Mary Riepma Ross Arts Center, Lincoln, NE
 
MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Edina 4, Edina, MN
 
OMAHA, NE
Westwood Cinemas, Omaha, DE
 
SIOUX FALLS, SD
Capital Theater, Aberdeen, SD
 
NASHVILLE, TN
Hollywood Stadium 27, Nashville, TN
 
SPRINGFIELD, MO
Moxie Cinema, Springfield, MO
 
ST. LOUIS, MO
Tivoli, St. Louis, MO
 
SAN DIEGO, CA
Landmark, La Jolla, CA
Hillcrest 5, San Diego, CA
 
LOS ANGELES, CA
Los Feliz 3, Los Angeles, CA
The Landmark 12, Los Angeles, CA
Rancho Niguel, Laguna Niguel, CA
Westlake Village Twin Art Center, Westlake Village, CA
 
DENVER, CO
Mayan, Denver, CO
Lyric Twin Cinema Cafe, Ft. Collins, CO
West Village Stadium, Lakewood, CO
 
LAS VEGAS, NV
Village Square Cinema 18, Las Vegas, NV
 
SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND, CA
Rialto’s 3 Elmwood, Berekely, CA
Rialto’s 9, Sebastopol, CA
Aquarius Twin Art Cinema, Palo Alto, CA
Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Stonestown Twin Art Cinema, San Francisco, CA
Bluelight 5 Cinemas, Cupertino, CA
 
SACRAMENTO, CA
Tower Art 3 Cinema, Sacramento, CA
 
PORTLAND, OR
Salem Art 3 Cinema, Salem, OR
 
SEATTLE/TACOMA, WA
Sundance’s Seattle 10 Cinema, Seattle, WA
Meridian 16, Seattle, WA
For a refresher, you can watch the trailer below, or read our conversation with director Benh Zeitlin