Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 2, 2015

September 2, 2015

National Book Festival Features Zero Members of Congress

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The 15th annual National Book Festival features the largest-ever contingent of writers (175) for Saturday’s literary shindig at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. And while there will be no shortage of political and policy tomes being hawked and talked about, there will be a noticeable absence from among the authors among us: members of Congress.

Full story

August 25, 2015

Mission Impossible’s Adorable View of Congress

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIsauUFIguE

“The time has come to dissolve the IMF,” thick-necked spymaster Alan Hunley tells the Senate Intelligence Committee. And just like that, the gavel comes down in “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation” on Ethan Hunt and the Impossible Mission Force, and the big, bad CIA gets to absorb the best elements of Hunt’s daring-do team of operatives.

(And, of course, after being disbanded at the beginning of the fifth installment of the franchise, they are reinstated by that same committee at the end of the movie after proving their mettle — also at the behest Alec Baldwin’s Hunley.)

For the time being, leave aside questions about why the House Intelligence Committee was left out of the decision, whether the president or National Security Council would have anything to say about it, and why a CIA man (Baldwin), as opposed to the director of national intelligence, would make such a recommendation. Focus instead on the moment the movie depicts a truly impossible mission. That’s not when Tom Cruise’s Hunt hitches a ride outside an airplane in the film’s opening sequence. No, it’s the even more fantastic spectacle of Congress moving with alacrity.

But members of the Senate Intelligence Committee can dream, no?

Related:

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July 30, 2015

Farewell, My Indigestion: Bidding Adieu to Restaurant Associates

But if youll eat it, you never have to prove your courage in any other way.”

— Gen. Corman, “Apocalypse Now”

It is the end of an era. Restaurant Associates, a paragon of institutional food service, is leaving the House side of the Capitol complex. House administrators, facing the end of Restaurant Associates’ contract, changed course, opting for new blood.

That new blood will come from Sodexo, which will arrive with promises of Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts. The transition, from the Ford Deli to the House Restaurant, will be complete on Aug. 10. Full story

July 24, 2015

Josh Oppenheimer Looks Into the Abyss With ‘The Look of Silence’

Josh Oppenheimer has an open invitation to the world with his new film, “The Look of Silence.”

www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA_ZHAs4M9k

“It’s saying, ‘look at the abyss,'” he says of the film, a companion piece and sequel to his Academy Award-nominated “The Act of Killing.” In that earlier movie, Oppenheimer spent years in Indonesia with perpetrators of the 1960s genocide of political dissidents there. Full story

July 23, 2015

Tennis Interruptus — Votes Intrude on Charity Match

 

Flake, left, and Merkley get the news. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Flake, left, and Merkley get the news. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Work, work, work. Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., were warming up for Wednesday night’s Washington Kastles Charity Classic tennis match when they got the court-side call: They were needed back on Capitol Hill for a vote on the highway bill. “Some of our players are not here yet, because they are making our government run more effectively,” public announcer Wes Johnson said (even though the two were there and had to drop their racquets to return to the Hill).

The vote recall required a little last-minute scramble to the order of play, with Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., subbing in for Merkley to play with Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., for the Stars team against Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., and Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, of the Stripes team. But all went swimmingly. Full story

July 17, 2015

Another Schumer for Washington to View

Sen. Schumer makes a cameo in some of the publicity material for "Trainwreck." (Screenshot)

Sen. Schumer makes a cameo in some of the publicity material for “Trainwreck.” (Screenshot)

This could be a first for Washington: When someone refers to “Schumer,” it may now require clarification. The senator or the comedian?

With the Friday opening of the Amy Schumer comedy “Trainwreck,” the aspiring Senate Democratic leader, Sen. Charles E. Schumer, might find himself eclipsed by his cousin, who stars, wrote and produced the Judd Apatow flick. Why? Well, to start with, it’s hilarious. The movie, that is. Full story

July 16, 2015

A ‘Pixels’ Party at Atlas Arcade

www.youtube.com/watch?v=diqZBS-RTAw

Atlas Arcade, the H Street establishment that serves up healthy dollops of vintage arcade games, libations and nostalgia, is hosting a “Throwback Thursday Pixels Party,” a nod to the upcoming flick “Pixels” and featuring a Ms. Pacman and Donkey Kong tournament.

A $5 fee (college students get in for $3) gains entry to the shootout, with bar tabs and movie merchandise at stake. “Pixels,” wherein Adam Sandler and friends save the world from extra-terrestrial video games from the 1980s, opens in theaters on July 24.

Party starts at 6:30 p.m., and the games begin at 7 p.m. at 1236 H Street NE. Sign up at dcatlasarcade@gmail.com.

Related:

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By Jason Dick Posted at 3:39 p.m.
Drink, Movies

July 13, 2015

Kids Book Club Podcast Is Washington Journalist’s Latest Venture

Kitty Felde has taken her broadcast skills to the podcast.

The freelance radio reporter — whose voice was known to both Southern California and national audiences as a public radio and television storyteller for decades — is moving into a new phase of her career that includes elements of the past. Full story

July 10, 2015

The Cross-Border Chaos of ‘Cartel Land’

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkYBbBK0qoM

“Cartel Land” is not for the faint of heart, nor mind.

Journalists, documentary filmmakers and other storytellers fight and scratch for access. For his border-hopping film about Mexican drug cartels and the vigilantes on both sides of the Southern border who fight them, director Matthew Heineman might have gotten more than he bargained for.

Along the way he films a midnight meth-cooking session; gunfights in the streets of Michoacan, Mexico; and records, surreptitiously, men being tortured. “It was a frightening film to make,” he said in a recent interview with Roll Call. Full story

July 7, 2015

An Appointment With ‘The Exorcist’ in Georgetown

www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDGw1MTEe9k

As the Georgetown Sunset Cinema series gets underway Tuesday night with “St. Elmo’s Fire,” the organizers have announced the TBA part of the program on Aug. 4, which they had initially left open.

Keeping with the spirit of the movies chosen (inspired by or filmed in Georgetown), “The Exorcist,” will be screened on the last day of the summer program’s repertoire. Afterward, everyone will go running up the Exorcist Steps off M Street. (Just kidding. We made that last part up. Exercise will have no part in the series.)

Free. Here’s the full schedule:

July 7 — “St. Elmo’s Fire” (Rated R)
July 14 — “State of Play” (Rated PG-13)
July 21 — “No Way Out” (Rated R)
July 28 — “Burn After Reading” (Rated R)
Aug. 4 — “The Exorcist” (Rated R)

Related:

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:07 p.m.
Movies

Landmark Signs Off on West End Cinema Sequel

The West End Cinema has been closed since March. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The West End Cinema has been closed since March. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The West End Cinema, shuttered suddenly in March, will be reanimated by Landmark Theaters on July 17, the latest incarnation for the Foggy Bottom venue’s movie spot.

The independent cinema operated by local cinephile Josh Levin faced mounting overhead and increased competition in the District  including projects slated from Landmark and the Angelika chain in the U Street Corridor and NoMa. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:07 p.m.
Movies

July 1, 2015

Jody Arlington Heads to SXSW

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOd-0nI8ESc&list=PLXs_3rGeYdIlVRwKZnNuNnPA4DtpX09a1

Jody Arlington, a veteran D.C. communications pro with years experience heading up publicity for the former SilverDocs Film Festival, is heading south by southwest to head up SXSW Film Press & Publicity, spreading the good word on the SXSW Film Conference & Festival. Next year’s festival runs in Austin, Tex., from March 11-19.

“The creative combustion of SXSW and its intersection of music, film and tech cannot be found anywhere else in the world, and explains the ever-growing Washington, D.C., contingent there. It’s always been my favorite festival. I love its edgy, DIY spirit and beautiful (and warm) Austin location. Plus I get to work alongside incredible colleagues that I’ve long admired and respected,” Arlington told Roll Call After Dark.

Arlington’s most recent gig was working for the Independent Filmmaker Project . Before that, she spent years working with SilverDocs, the local documentary film festival that has morphed into AFI Docs. She’ll be Austin-bound come August.

Related:

See photos, follies, HOH Hits and Misses and more at Roll Call’s new video site.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Jason Dick Posted at 8:30 a.m.
Movies

June 29, 2015

Georgetown Goes All-D.C. for Sunset Cinema, Starting With ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVf4_WglzWA

Georgetown is practicing the cinematic equivalent of farm-to-table for its new Sunset Cinema outdoor movie series, and it gets things started with maybe the most Georgetowny movie of all time, “St. Elmo’s Fire,” just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary.

D.C. is replete with outdoor screenings, and some of them go with themes, such as NoMa Summer Screen’s “Dance, Dance, Dance” and the Golden Cinema series “All Worked Up.” Georgetown’s addition to the party, which starts on July 7 at Georgetown Waterfront Park at K and Water streets and Cecil Place NW, has a slate of films set in the nation’s capital and filmed in, or at least inspired by, Georgetown. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:49 p.m.
Movies

June 22, 2015

The Two Gentlemen of AFI Docs: Les Blank and Albert Maysles

"A Poem is a Naked Person" was among the strong lineup of films at AFI Docs. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

“A Poem is a Naked Person” was among the strong lineup of films at AFI Docs. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Dead men tell no tales, the proverb goes. This year’s AFI Docs disproved the old-timey, noirish axiom, though, with documentaries by the late Les Blank and Albert Maysles highlighting a diverse and strong slate of films.

It breaks no ground to praise Blank and Maysles, two masters of the medium. But their two movies at the June 17-21 festival in Washington, D.C., and Silver Spring, Md., stood out, measured even against their own renowned past work, as well as offerings from contemporary colossi such as Barbara Kopple, Alex Gibney and Stanley Nelson and up-and-comers such as Matthew Heineman. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:58 p.m.
Movies

Screen on the Green 2015, With a Washington Focus

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GbpUcAI86MY

A menacing crop duster. An upside-down cruise liner. A machine threatening a way of life. A time-traveling DeLorean. Sounds like a good mix for the 2015 edition of Screen on the Green, the template and still reigning champ of Washington’s vibrant outdoor movie scene.

The series starts on July 20 in a new location on the National Mall, our collective front lawn, in between Fourth and Seventh streets.

Here’s the schedule: Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5 a.m.
Movies

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