THE SIXTH ANNUAL
HANDBALL COURT SUMMER FILMS SERIES
in WHITE PARK
(106th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues)
SATURDAY NIGHTS – AT SUNSET (approx 8PM)
For information: 212.828.0401 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Political Animals”, this year’s curatorial theme….
MediaNoche presents the free Handball Court Summer Film Series at White Park beginning Saturday, July 12. “Political Animals” is this year’s theme. Curator Judith Escalona brings together a set of fictional films, dramas and comedies, examining the U.S. electoral process. The Candidate (1972), which looks at how a young politician slowly gives up his ideals to be elected, is as relevant today as when it premiered 36 years ago! In the more recent Head of State (2003), a young politician who knows the ropes finds his voice and a way to embrace his ideals. The last film in this set is actually a documentary entitled An Unreasonable Man, a moving portrait of America’s greatest public advocate Ralph Nader that includes a critical view of the entrenched two-party political system.
“Hazardous to your health” groups films dealing with health and the environment. Not to be missed are: Sick Around the World, comparing health coverage in five capitalist democracies, and The Medicated Child, how troubled children are over-prescribed medicines that have unknown long term effects. Lastly, An Inconvenient Truth, screened last year but presented here again, to stress the urgency of global warming.
MediaNoche is a project of PRdream.com. Some program notes were provided by rottentomatoes.com and pbs.org.
THE CANDIDATE (Drama, 1972)
Director: Michael Ritchie
Runtime: 1 hr 54 mins
An idealistic young lawyer and son of a famous governor is pushed into running for the U.S. Senate against the popular incumbent with the assurance that he will lose and not have to give up his integrity or ideals. As the campaign deepens, he finds himself giving in, allowing himself to be manipulated as the polls slowly change and swing in his favor. Soon his backers decide they want him to win after all. By the time Election Day arrives, the young lawyer has become the person he used to speak so vehemently against.
VOTE FOR ME! (Comedy, 1998)
Director: Nelson Denis, former New York State Assemblyman
Runtime: 1 hr 15 mins
Mad as hell and can’t take it anymore? Become a candidate of the people, fighting for better schools, litter-free streets, more jobs, and less crime! A tenement superntendent Leo Rodriguez decides to make a clean sweep of things in Spanish Harlem by throwing his hat in the ring to help his community. A satirical look at New York City politics – funny and unfortunately based on real events. The names have been changed to protect the guilty!
HEAD OF STATE (Comedy, 2003)
Director: Chris Rock
Runtime: 1 hr 35 mins
Just weeks before the nation is about to elect a new president, one of the top candidates is killed in a plane crash. Plotting a future run in 2008, U.S. Senator Bill Arnot convinces his staff to pick a replacement who has no chance of winning. But he gets more than he bargained for when he selects Mays Gilliam. At first thankful to be in the spotlight, Mays plays the puppet, but eventually he uses his power to actually say something meaningful. Everyone is shocked to discover that Mays is giving the people exactly what they want.
BOB ROBERTS (Drama, 1992)
Director: Time Robbins
Runtime: 1 hr 43 mins
Right-wing folksinger Bob Roberts is the anti-Bob Dylan, wowing his supporters with tunes such as “Times Are Changin’ Back” and “Wall Street Rap”. With his clean-cut good looks and squeaky-clean image, Roberts appears as American as apple pie. Yet, he harbors some nasty secrets such as illegal drug trafficking and bank scandals. Roberts’s political trickery fails him when an innocent man is accused of attempting to assassinate the candidate.
THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN (Comedy, 1992)
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Runtime: 1 hr 52 mins
A small-time con artist goes big time when he hustles his way to the U.S. Congress. Once elected he reaps the usual benefits, and enjoys the perks of power. However, he decides to clean up the Capitol and ends up doing to Congress what Congress has been doing to its constituency all along.
AN UNREASONABLE MAN (Documentary, 2007)
Directors: Steve Skrovan and Henriette Mantel
Runtime: 2 hrs 3 mins
A close look at how one of the 20th century’s most admired and indefatigable social activists, Ralph Nader, became a pariah among the same progressive circles he helped champion. The film takes the form of an impassioned public debate when it tackles the contentious 2000 and 2004 presidential runs that elicited accusations of splitting the Democratic vote and enabling the election of George W. Bush, making enemies of Nader’s most ardent supporters. Once again, Nader exposes the undemocratic structure imposed by an entrenched two-party system.
Hazardous to your health
SICK AROUND THE WORLD (Documentary, 2008)
Producer/Director: Jon Palfreman, Correspondent: T.R. Reid
Runtime: 60 minutes
Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a healthcare system? Five Capitalist democracies are profiled: England, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan. See how they do it!
Viewer comment from healthnet blog: “I watched Frontline’s Sick Around the World documentary last night and really recommend it to all as a sober examination of the healthcare issues that are such a high priority in America today. What I found most insightful about T.R. Reid’s reporting was the clear and practical way he looked at the pros and cons of the national health systems in the U.K., Japan, Germany and Switzerland. Even more impressive was learning how Taiwan went about reinventing their healthcare system by drawing on the best elements of programs around the world.”
THE MEDICATED CHILD (Documentary, 2008)
Producer: Marcela Gaviria
Runtime: 60 minutes
The availability of medication for children who are suffering from psychiatric problems is widespread, but how much research has really been done on the long-reaching effects of these drugs? This program in PBS’s FRONTLINE series speaks to a number of experts in the field, revealing some alarming facts and figures about the lack of research into the effects of commonplace drugs such as Ritalin. In particular, the show focuses on the growing numbers of kids who are believed to be suffering from bipolar disorder, questioning whether these diagnoses are correct and looking at the potential long term damage the medications they are taking could cause.
AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (Documentary, 2006)
Director: Davis Guggenheim
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
According to most of the world’s scientists, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. Since losing the 2000 presidential election, former Vice President Al Gore has been an outspoken figure against this potential environmental disaster. For Gore we can no longer afford to view global warming as a political issue – it is simply one of the biggest moral challenges facing every person in our times.