It’s true, Joan Jett became mega-famous from the number-one hit "I Love Rock n Roll," but thats only part of the story. That fame intensified with the music video’s endless play on MTV, world tours and many hits to follow like "I Hate Myself for Loving You," but that staple of popularity can’t properly define a musician. Jett put her hard work in long before the fame, ripping it up onstage as the backbone of the hard-rock legends The Runaways, starting her record label out of the trunk of a car after being rejected by 23 labels, and influencing many musicians—both her cohort of punk rockers and generations of younger bands—with her no-bullshit style. Bad Reputation gives you a wild ride as Jett and her close friends tell you how it really was in the burgeoning ’70s punk scene and the rocky road to rock stardom decades on. Their interviews are laced with amazing archival footage. The theme is clear: Even though people tried to define Jett, she never compromised. She will kick your ass, and you’ll love her all the more for it.
Directed by Kevin Kerslake / Country: USA / 94 minutes
Kusama: Infinity explores Yayoi Kusama’s fierce determination to become a world-renowned artist. Kusama was born into a conservative family in rural Japan and she made her way to America on the heels of WWII. There, without connections and speaking only broken English, she devoted herself to her one true love, making art. On her first day in New York, Kusama has stated that she climbed to the top of the Empire State Building, looked down upon the city below, and made a decision to stand out from everyone she saw below and become a star. She has received the Praemium Imperiale Laureate for lifetime achievement in painting, and was named the world’s ‘most popular artist’ and one of the ‘most expensive living female artist’ in 2014.
Directed by Heather Lenz / Country: USA / 80 minutes
In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner looks back and reflects on her life and career. Weaving together recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with her friends, rare home movies and diaries read by modern day comediennes (including Amy Poehler), LOVE Gilda offers a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.
Directed by Lisa Dapolito / Country: Canada, USA / 88 Minutes
Madeline has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop's ambitious director pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women’s lives.
Written and Directed by Josephine Decker / Starring Molly Parker, Miranda July, introducing Helena Howard / Country: USA / 93 minutes
A road-movie dedicated to the last years of Christa Päffgen, aka “Nico”. One of Warhol’s muses, singer of the Velvet Underground and a woman of legendary beauty, Nico lived a second life after the story known to all, when she began her career as a solo artist. Her music is among the most original of the Seventies and Eighties, and has influenced much of the musical production that followed. The “priestess of darkness”, as she was called, found her true calling after age forty, when she shook off the weight of her beauty and rebuilt her relationship with her forgotten son. Nico, 1988 is the story of Nico’s last tour with the band that accompanied her around Europe in the Eighties. It is the story of a rebirth: of an artist, a mother, and the woman behind the icon.
Directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli / Written by Susanna Nicchiarelli / Starring Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca, Sandor Funtek, Karina Fernandez, Calvin Demba, Francesco Colella / Country: Italy, Belgium / 93 minutes
“RBG” uses archival footage to trace Ginsburg’s barrier-busting career, following her rise from a brainy Brooklynite to the highest court in the land. It also delves into her relationship with her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and catches the justice in private moments, following her on workouts and with her granddaughter. What emerges is a portrait of a person who used her legal career to fight for women and minorities.
Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen / Country: USA / 97 minutes
Lisa Conroy is the last person you'd expect to find in a highway-side 'sports bar with curves',— but as general manager at Double Whammies, she's come to love the place and its customers. An incurable den mother, she nurtures and protects her girls fiercely--but over the course of one trying day, her optimism is battered from every direction...Double Whammies sells a big, weird American fantasy, but what happens when reality pokes a bunch of holes in it?
Written & Directed by Andrew Bujalski / Starring Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, Shayna McHayle, Brooklyn Decker, Jana Kramer, James Le Gros, Dylan Gelula, AJ Michalka, Lea DeLaria / Country: USA / 90 Minutes
Based on the arresting true story of the Executioner of Emsland, The Captain follows a German army deserter, Willi Herold (Max Hubacher), after he finds an abandoned Nazi captain’s uniform in the final weeks of World War II. Emboldened by the authority the uniform grants him, he amasses a band of stragglers who cede to his command despite the suspicions of some. Citing direct orders from the Fuhrer himself, he soon takes command of a camp holding German soldiers accused of desertion and begins to dispense harsh justice. Increasingly intoxicated by the unquestioned authority, this enigmatic imposter soon discovers that many people will blindly follow the leader, whomever that happens to be.
Directed by Robert Schwentke / Written by Robert Schwentke / Starring Max Hubacher, Milan Peschel, Frederick Lau, Bernd Hölscher, Waldemar Kobus, Alexander Fehling, Samuel Finzi / Country: Germany / 120 minutes
Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh (Ehle) and her brother, Reverend Rick (Gallagher Jr.)—himself an example of how those in the program can be “cured”—the center is built upon repenting for “same sex attraction.” In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow sinners including the amputee stoner Jane (Lane), and her friend, the Lakota Two-Spirit, Adam (Goodluck). Together, this group of teenagers form an unlikely family and fight to survive.
Directed by Desiree Akhavan / Written by Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele / Starring Chloë Grace Moretz, John Gallagher Jr., Sasha Lane, Forrest Goodluck, and Jennifer Ehle / Country: USA / 91 minutes