The Pitch (February 26-March 4)

Jason Asbell
February 23, 2022
A way out west there was a fella, fella I want to tell you about, fella by the name of Jason Asbell. I only mention it 'cause some- times there's a man--I won't say a hee-ro, 'cause what's a hee-ro?--but sometimes there's a man. And I'm talkin' about Jason here-- sometimes there's a man who, wal, he's the man for his time'n place, he fits right in there--and that's Jason, the Programming Director of The Civic Theatre. . . sometimes there's a man. Wal, I lost m'train of thought here. But--aw hell, I done innerduced him enough.

Another amazing mixed bag of films this week at The Civic.  

Licorice Pizza, the film I’ve been waiting for since the New Year is finally lighting up our screen. Directed by P.T. Anderson, with an all-star cast and a pair of sensational actor debuts in the leads, from musician Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, son of the late great acting talent, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Nominated for the big 3, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, you must see this beautiful rendering of 1970’s San Fernando Valley on the big screen prior to the Academy Awards. 

Then from San Fernando to Spain with Madres paralelas, (Parallel Mothers). Master filmmaker, Pedro Almodóvar, creates another fine example of his unique and out there form of melodrama. His long-time acting collaborator, Penélope Cruz, gives an amazing performance earning her a Best actress Oscar nomination. 

Two mothers-to-be share a room in a Madrid maternity ward. One is Janis (Cruz), a 40-ish high-end professional photographer who’s ecstatic to be – finally – welcoming her first child. The other is Ana (Milena Smit), a waifish teenager who’s anything but happy about having a baby. About the only thing the pair have in common is, in neither case is the father present. Still, they bond, have their baby daughters within hours of each other and seemingly go their separate ways. But remember the title. These mothers don’t merely parallel each other; they are on a kind of maternal collision course, one that provides a soap opera season’s worth of outlandish twists and turns.

Finishing off the week, for Thursday’s 7pm screening, The Civic presents Ted K prior to a later night sneak preview of The Batman. Ted K is an impressionistic piece that takes a risk of personalizing one of the most unrelatable figures in recent American history, Ted Kaczynski, aka The Unabomber. Actually shot on the actual Montana land where Ted Kaczynski’s 10-by-12-foot cabin once stood, where he lived his spartan life and crafted the manifesto that would earn him the moniker The Unabomber, director Tony Stone and his co-writers, Gaddy Davis and John Rosenthal, used Kaczynski’s own words from his 25,000 pages of writing to build their script. If that isn’t enough to peak your interest and come out and see this intriguing film at The Civic, maybe come out to support Nelson filmmaking.  That’s right, this film has some roots right here.  Director Tony Stone and his wife, the film's Executive Producer Melissa Auf der Maur, enrolled their daughter River in the Nelson Waldorf School for the 2020-21 school year. Taking a break from their upstate New York home, they were embraced by the warm community of families, thriving alternative culture and the magical mountains in Nelson. They have returned to reconnect and keep a continuum with this special place. TED K had its "private" world premiere at the Civic Theater in spring of 2021 for a group of 8 friends, which was the maximum capacity allowed at the time. Excited to present the finished version of the film to the Nelson public, Tony Stone will be at Civic Theater on Thursday March 5, 2022 at 7PM for a directors Q&A following the screening.

See you all there.


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