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Monday, July 06, 2009

Mogwai Screenings on July 6 -11

This week: documentaries! From gangsters to gamers, we look at real life triumphs and tragedies, forgoing the fabricated drama of fiction and getting straight to the truth.

8 PM – The End
Directed by NIcolla Collins
If you've ever seen a Guy Ritchie film, then you know all about Cockney gangsters, the strangely charismatic, fast talking thugs that operate out of the East End of London. Nicolla Collins interviews her father and her friends, infamous criminals from another era, rising out of poverty and dreaming of a better life that could only be achieved through unsavory means, detailing a bloody history that has developed into its own mythology.

8 PM – Taxi to the Dark Side
Written and Directed by Alex Gibney
In 2002, an innocent Afghan taxi driver was tortured and killed by American soldiers while being held in extrajudicial detention at Bagram Air Base. Alex Gibney uses this story as a launching point for an unflinching examination of U.S. anti-terror policy after 9/11. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2007, Taxi to the Dark Side is both shocking and sobering, a document of the darkness that people are capable of.

8 PM – The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Directed by Seth Gordon
For over two decades, Billy Mitchell held the world record for the highest score on the videogame Donkey Kong. For over two decades, Mitchell had no real challengers for his record. But an unassuming algebra teacher named Steve Wiebe appears to have the chops to beat his record. Unfortunately for Wiebe, the world of competitive video game high score setting is much more complicated than he could ever imagine.

8 PM – Tyson
Written and Directed by James Toback
There was a time when Mike Tyson was the most celebrated athlete on the planet. He was the youngest champion in history. He unified the belts in the heavyweight division, becoming the undisputed greatest boxer of his time. He had his own videogame. But now Tyson is known more for his punchlines than his punches. James Toback takes a look back at his life, trying to make sense of the boxer's meteoric rise and catastrophic fall.

8 PM – Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father
Written and Directed by Kurt Kuenne
In 2001, Andrew Bagby was murdered near his home. A childhood friend of his, filmmaker Kurt Kuenne, decided to meet all of Bagby's friends and family to film some sort of tribute for him. But everything changes when it's discovered that Bagby may have an unborn child in the womb of the woman that killed him. Kuenne sets out to provide a way to let that child know about the father he never knew, all the while documenting a legal struggle to gain custody of that child. Dear Zachary, despite being snubbed by awards-giving bodies, is one of the most critically acclaimed films of last year, a harrowing, heartfelt tale that's difficult to leave behind.

8 PM – Religulous
Directed by Larry Charles
Written by Bill Maher
Comedian Bill Maher travels around the world talking to people of various faiths, among them fundamentalist Christians, Hasidic Jews, Roman Catholics, Muslims, and Cantheists (worshippers of Cannabis) to prove a very controversial point: that all organized religion is, at its core, ridiculous. Religulous is at times informative, and sometimes a little hateful, but it's mostly entertaining. It isn't the fairest documentary ever made, but it's pretty funny anyway.

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