The 18th Annual Let Freedom Ring Celebration was held on, Jan. 20 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, drawing a capacity crowd that came to honor the birthday and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr. Sponsored by the Kennedy Center and Georgetown University, the event featured 10-time Grammy Award winner […]
The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center has been known for its multiple annual film festivals. So what was the specific reason behind the Latin American Film Festival? The festival began in 1990, when AFI operated a theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., long before its move to Silver Spring, said Todd Hitchcock, […]
ROCKVILLE – A local filmmaker has been tapped to join the 2019 class of NBC’s Female Forward program. Sara Zandieh is an Iranian American filmmaker who grew up in Gaithersburg. She explained that she attended Quince Orchard High School before moving to New York for college. Zandieh explained that she returned to the area after […]
When actor Denzel Washington received the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award for 2019 in June, his acceptance speech referred not to his illustrious acting and directing career or even the luminaries he had worked within the film industry, such as Spike Lee, who presented the honor to him. Instead, he spoke about his family. Washington thanked […]
Alex Horwitz’s career as a documentary maker has taken off. “Hamilton’s America,” a documentary about the creation of the mega-musical, was labeled a success once it made it onto PBS. Meanwhile, his second film, “Autonomy” — about the impact self-driving technology is likely to have on society — is set to take part in this […]
American Film Institute/Silver Spring presents brand-new films as well as decades-old classic ones. Among the latter is “Rashomon,” a 1950 Japanese film describing rape and murder/suicide from four different perspectives. The movie, directed by Akira Kurosawa, won an honorary Best Foreign Language Film Award. It’s innovative cinematically but also in its narrative structure, said Michele […]
When is the size of a live orchestra – as for a Broadway show – diminutive compared with that of a film? When there are versions of “An American in Paris,” which started life in 1951 as a classic movie starring Gene Kelly as an ex-GI and aspiring artist in the French capital who […]
By Barbara Trainin Blank @traininblank There’s bit of uncertainty these days surrounding the European Union, but that hasn’t affected the content off the annual European Union Film Showcase at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, now in its 31st year. Forty-nine films represent 25 of the EU countries in the festival, which runs Nov […]
Just listen. That’s all Paula Caplan, author and movie producer, wants people to do so veterans can feel free to speak out and listeners will open their hearts. Caplan’s film “Is Anybody Listening?” will be shown at the Rockville Memorial Library on Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. in honor of Veterans Day. Caplan, of […]
AFI Silver features multiple offerings, but Todd Hitchcock, Director of Programming, expects that one film will resonate the most emotionally currently.
That would be “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” that reviewers are describing as an affectionate but incisive look at Fred Rogers. From 1968 to 2001, he hosted “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” one of the longest-running and fondly-remembered children’s television shows.
The documentary by Morgan Neville, an Academy Award winner (for another film), focuses on how the cardigan-clad Rogers, a trained minister, was both radical and gentle.
“People got snifffly even during the trailer,” said Hitchcock, who grew up watching the program as well as “Sesame Street.”
You must remember this.
Any classic-movie fan recalls the opening words of the theme song of “Casablanca” – and probably everything else about it. Even those who’s never seen the 1943 film about emigres struggling to get visas to America against the backdrop of Nazism and a doomed romance probably have of heard of the song (“As Time Goes By”) and most likely the film.
But members of both categories may not know the film’s director – Michael Curtiz. They can find out more in the retrospective featuring some of his works, entitled “Directed by Michael Curtiz,” on view at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center through March 25.
In addition to “Casablanca,” the films of the prolific Hungarian-born director include “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” “Mildred Pierce,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Sea Wolf,” and “Angels with Dirty Faces.”
Midway through “The Disaster Artist,” aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) is seen performing in a stage production of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.” He plays Biff Loman, and we see his final confrontation with his father, Willy. “What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself when all I want is out there waiting for me the moment I say I know who I am?”
The brief scene encapsulates several of the key themes of “The Disaster Artist,” the recently released film adaptation of Sestero’s non-fiction memoir about his experiences in the production of the cult film “The Room.” Like Miller’s play, the film is an examination of the costs of the pursuit of the American Dream, of the difference between one’s place in the world and one’s perception of same, though certainly more lighthearted and comic in tone.
Todd Hitchcock and Abbie Algar get to watch movies as part of their jobs.
In preparation for the annual European Union Film Showcase, to take place next month at the American Film Institute Theatre and Cultural Center, Hitchcock, the AFI director of programming, and Algar, the AFI associate director of programming, attend such prestigious film festivals as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, and Toronto.
“Each of us sees some 40 to 50 films on each of these trips,” said Hitchcock. “There are screenings all day and into the night.”
That’s because the showcase is a curated event, “not an open-submission process,” Hitchcock explained.
At this time of year, the theater will present many classic holiday films, including such perennial favorites as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Shop around the Corner,” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”
However, the European Union showcase, now in its 30th year, will also take place from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20.
In May of 2005, W. Mark Felt Sr. (1913-2008), the former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed himself as Deep Throat, the confidential source who provided crucial assistance to Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein during their landmark investigation of the Watergate break-in scandal.
Until now, the most iconic image of Deep Throat came from the 1976 thriller “All the President’s Men.” Hal Holbrook played the mysterious informant who lurked in the shadows of a Virginia parking garage to secretly meet with Bob Woodward, played by Robert Redford, and advised the reporter to “Follow the money.” (That classic line actually came from the mind of screenwriter William Goldman, and not a quote Woodward actually attributed to his source.)
Since Felt’s revelation, numerous Hollywood figures have discussed the possibility of making a film focused on his life and career. At one point, Tom Hanks had been in talks to produce and star as Felt.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Silver Spring-based nonprofit organization Docs In Progress will present the second installment of its Docs In This City this weekend. Docs In Progress is the brainchild of its executive director, Erica Ginsberg, a graduate of Albert Einstein High School who became interested in documentary production while taking classes at Montgomery County Public Schools’ Visual Arts Center. Docs In Progress supports aspiring filmmakers by connecting them with established documentary producers and providing venues for public screenings.
In July, Docs In Progress presented the first installment of Docs In The City, an NEA-funded series which pairs aspiring and established documentary filmmakers whose works share a common theme.
For this installment, filmmaker Michèle Stephenson will present her acclaimed documentary “American Promise,” which she co-directed with her husband Joe Brewster. The film, which follows two middle-class African-American youths from Brooklyn over 13 years at the prestigious Dalton private school, won the Special Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Festival and was featured on the PBS series “POV.”