Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 22, 2015

Posts in "Movies"

May 22, 2015

‘Idiocracy’ a Fine Film for Friday’s Brand of Fun

Filibusters and FISA got you down, Senate watchers? Look no further than a fine piece of film masterwork for solace as you contemplate yet another busted recess weekend.

Mike Judge’s “Idiocracy” has enough prescient political and congressional satire to make even those who had a beach getaway coming up feel a little better about what’s up in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body. As President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho would say, “I got a solution.”

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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By Jason Dick Posted at 11:30 a.m.

May 20, 2015

AFI Docs Highlights Old School, New School

AFI Docs released its full slate Wednesday for its June 17-21 run, and among its 81 movies are documentaries from one of the field’s most influential directors, as well as some of its most contemporary trailblazers.

Legendary documentarian Albert Maysles, who died in March at the age of 88, is one of several co-directors of “In Transit.” The movie, which premiered last month at the Tribeca Film Festival, is a chronicle of Amtrak’s Empire Builder train line, which stretches from Seattle to Chicago.

Meanwhile, Alex Gibney, the man who took on Scientology with this year’s “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of His Belief” and has taken a deep look at everyone from Ken Lay (“Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”) to Hunter S. Thompson (“Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”) and Julian Assange (“We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks”) takes a look at the man behind Apple with his latest, “Steve Jobs: Man in the Machine.”

Another documentarian pushing boundaries in the field, Joshua Oppenheimer, will have his “The Look of Silence,” a follow-up to his hard-hitting film about the Indonesian genocide, at the festival as well.

The three directors show off an old school/new school dynamic to the festival, with 78 other films in between.

One of the travelers in “In Transit” says, “Maybe I don’t wanna die before having a good look at the world.” That’s a good fit for a thing such as AFI Docs, where such sentiment largely defines the audiences for documentaries.


AFI Docs to Open With Flick About Epic Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley Brawls

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By Jason Dick Posted at 4:30 p.m.

May 19, 2015

DC Film Society Trailer Night Parks It at E Street

The Washington DC Film Society is hosting its “Coming Attractions” program Tuesday night at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, its twice-yearly gathering of those looking to watch and gab about the season’s top movie offerings.

From 7 to 9 p.m., host Tim Gordon will take viewers through the trailers for the summer’s big flicks. The admission ticket includes door prizes that include movie promotional items, posters and DVDs.

It’s five bucks to get in. The bar at E Street can make things even more fun. Just think of Drafthouse Film’s “Trailer Wars” and the old “42nd Street Forever” efforts.

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By Jason Dick Posted at 4:12 p.m.

May 18, 2015

GI Film Festival Comes to Canadian Soil

The 2015 GI Film Festival gets underway Monday, and while the bulk of the films and events surrounding the all-things-military fest are at the Angelika Film Center at Mosaic in Fairfax, Va., the international bloc gets the (maple leaf) red carpet treatment on Tuesday at the Canadian Embassy. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 4:15 p.m.

May 16, 2015

D.C. Outdoor Movie Season Kicks Off

The D.C. outdoor movie season kicks off in the middle of the city on May 22, when the Golden Cinema series starts up with its inaugural flick, “Empire Records.”

The 1995 classic of the too-slim slacker genre follows the staff of an independent record store as it tries to fend off a chain moving in on its turf. How things come full circle, no? The chain record behemoths such as Tower Records are now dead and gone, while indie vinyl specialty shops (such as D.C.’s own Crooked Beat, Red Onion, Som and Hill & Dale) are enjoying a revival. Full story

May 14, 2015

‘The Birds’ Descends on Congressional Cemetery

If you have orinthophobia, perhaps the only thing more terrifying than the thought of a bird attack is watching birds attack Tippi Hedren among thousands and thousands of dead people. Congressional Cemetery is happy to oblige. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:41 p.m.

May 13, 2015

AFI Docs to Open With Flick About Epic Gore Vidal-William F. Buckley Brawls

People think cable television pundits are rough on each other now. They don’t know for rough.

“Best of Enemies,” a documentary by Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville about the 1968 public debates between Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley will open the AFI Docs film festival on June 17. Vidal, the pugilistic liberal, writer and cultural critic and Buckley, the pugnacious founder of National Review and conservative godfather, staged the intellectual equivalent of the Ali-Frazier fights.

“As far as I’m concerned, the only sort of pro- or crypto-Nazi I can think of is yourself, ” Vidal said to Buckley on air on Aug. 28, 1968, during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

“Stop calling me a crypto-Nazi. Stop or I’ll sock you in the goddamned face and you’ll stay plastered,” Buckley replied.

“They were not frenemies. They were just enemies,” Neville told Beyond Cinema at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Anyone interested in some real intellectual firepower should be in for a good movie.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Alex Garland and the ‘Strange’ Fallout From Snowden

Alex Garland’s film “Ex Machina” arrived in U.S. theaters at a time of heightened cultural awareness of artificial intelligence. But a key plot point centers on another current issue of resonance: the bulk collection of telephone records. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:52 p.m.

April 21, 2015

Tim Ryan Goes ‘Planetary’ (Video)

One of Congress’ foremost messengers on mindfulness is set to lend his voice to an Earth Day after-movie discussion of “Planetary” Wednesday night at the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Md.

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, will take a seat alongside National Geographic Society President Gary Knell and Lou Leonard, vice president of the World Wildlife Fund’s climate change program after the screening of the 85-minute documentary about life on Earth. Full story

April 15, 2015

Filmfest DC Returns ‘Leaner and Meaner’

Filmfest DC, the homegrown international movie festival entering its 29th year, kicks off its 11-day slate Thursday. It almost didn’t happen.

“Last year, this time, we thought that was going to be it,” said Tony Gittens, the founder and director of the Washington, D.C., International Film Festival, also known as Filmfest. Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 1:53 p.m.

April 9, 2015

‘Living in the Age of Airplanes’ Lands at Air and Space Museum

If you aren’t awestruck by the fact that a quarter million people are zooming through the sky right now with drinks in hand, you are probably part of the majority. However, Brian Terwilliger wants to change that.

Terwilliger is the director and producer of “Living in the Age of Airplanes,” which premiered Wednesday night at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. Dressed to the nines, chatty people crowded under the museum’s planes hanging from the ceiling, getting their fill of drinks and appetizers before shuffling into the Lockheed-Martin IMAX theater. Full story

April 8, 2015

‘Red Lines’ Screening Comes to CVC

For those concerned the bloody civil war in Syria is being a bit overshadowed by events in Yemen and nuclear talks over Iran, the makers of the documentary “Red Lines” will screen their film in the Capitol Visitor Center Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in HVC-200.

The film is an on-the-ground account of the FUBAR the Syrian war has become, with many citizens caught between a dictator and fundamentalist forces.

Those interested in going, RSVP to

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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March 30, 2015

West End Cinema Leaves ‘Em Laughing

Turn out the lights, the party's over. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Bring out your dead. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Every moviegoer knows the ending is important. Josh Levin ended the five-year run of his West End Cinema on March 29 with one last screening of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” choosing to go out with a laugh.

“I’m just dumb enough and romantic enough to be glad I did this,” Levin said of his venture in cultural programming in the nation’s capital.

In keeping with the spirit of the 1975 classic, one might imagine a conversation between Levin and the Bridgekeeper: Full story

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:46 p.m.

March 27, 2015

West End Cinema Preps Its Own Last Picture Show

Alas, it’s not just a flesh wound. This weekend is it for the West End Cinema in Foggy Bottom, and owner Josh Levin is going out like a true cinephile.

Something old, something new, something indie, something French. Full story

March 13, 2015

A Documentary Looks to Influence Legislation, NFL Draft

When a documentary comes around that might influence legislation in Congress, a few people might raise their eyebrows. But when a documentary comes around that might influence the NFL draft? That’s how you get attention.

Such is the potential of “The Hunting Ground,” a film about sexual assault on U.S. universities and the follow-up for director Kirby Dick and producer Amy Ziering after their 2012, “The Invisible War.” Full story

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