First Run Features 2014 Summer Theatrical Preview

By | April 19, 2014

Opens 2-May

Director: Dan Wechsler.

Part character study and part meditation on photography, More Than the Rainbow interweaves live action, still photography and revealing interviews with photographer Matt Weber and fellow photographers. Shot on both hi-def video and in 35mm, and largely scored to the music of Thelonious Monk, this beautiful and evocative documentary is a poetic celebration of the world’s greatest city and the individuals who walk its streets.


SPEAK THE MUSIC: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music
Opens 2-May

Director: Allan Miller

Robert Mann has been a vital force in the world of music for more than seventy years. As founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet, and as a soloist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mann has brought a refreshing sense of adventure and discovery to chamber music performance, master classes, and orchestral performances worldwide. In Speak the Music, the 93-year-old Mann shares personal anecdotes from his childhood and musical training. Director Allan Miller combines archival performance footage, candid interviews, and glimpses into Mann’s private lessons with today’s most promising violinists to honor one of classical music’s greatest living artists.


Opens 16-May

Director: David Gaynes

Choosing how to live one’s final chapter is the poignant subtext of Next Year Jerusalem, a lyrical and affecting portrait of eight nursing home residents (average age 91) who make a pilgrimage to Israel. Next Year Jerusalem is less a story about tourists in a foreign land than it is a meditation on the sanctity of human experience and a tribute to the wisdom acquired in a lifetime – a true exploration of living and dying, hope and fear, travel and memory. Those who spend their final days in a nursing home face a future with limited opportunity. But the promise of one last adventure raises the stakes.


A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED: The Untold Story of the Roma
Opens 16-May

Director: Aaron Yeger

In recent months, anti-Roma rhetoric has once again dominated headlines throughout Europe. The ancient prejudices against the “Gypsies” – that they are illegal immigrants with tendencies toward crime, and who refuse to integrate – have preoccupied politicians and social activists alike. Now more than ever is the perfect time for director Aaron Yeger’s award-winning documentary, A People Uncounted: The Untold Story of the Roma, a sobering and emotionally charged portrait of the culture and history of the Roma people, to have its US premiere.


EVERGREEN: The Road to Legalization
Opens 13-June

Director: Riley Morton

An insider’s look into how the citizens of Washington State legalized recreational marijuana, Evergreen: The Road to Legalization shows the groundbreaking effect of this unprecedented citizen initiative on the state and our nation – the first wave of a revolutionary sea change in American drug policy and freedom. Tracking the behind-the-scenes efforts of both the pro- and anti-initiative groups, the film serves as a case study for other states in determining how to reform their own drug policies, and examines the civic, economic and human impact of marijuana legalization.


THE PLEASURES OF BEING OUT OF STEP: Notes on the Life of Nat Hentoff
Opens 25-June at IFC Center

Director: David L. Lewis

Nat Hentoff is one of the enduring voices of the last 65 years, a writer who championed jazz as an art form and who also led the rise of ‘alternative’ journalism in America. This unique documentary wraps the themes of liberty, identity and free expression around a historical narrative that stretches from the Great Depression to the Patriot Act.

At the core of the film are three extraordinary, intimate conversations with Hentoff. Commentary and perspective are offered through additional interviews with such luminaries as Amiri Baraka, Stanley Crouch, Floyd Abrams, Aryeh Neier and Dan Morgenstern. Interwoven through it all is the sublime music of Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Bob Dylan, along with never-before-seen photographs and archival footage of these artists and other cultural figures at the height of their powers.

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