Rocky’s Review
Alice & Hal

Writer-director Josephine Mackerras was in pre-production on her first feature film with an Oscar-winning producer, when she became pregnant, and "the project went sideways." Deciding to take her professional life into her own hands, she wrote the screenplay for ALICE and embarked on a journey to bring the film to life. The film won the Grand Jury Award at last year's SXSW Film Festival, and went on to become an audience favorite at the Port Townsend Film Festival. The film is an intimate look at how one woman is pushed into survival mode when the illusion of her perfect life suddenly collapses. The writing, direction, and especially the acting by Emilie Piponnier as Alice, elevates the film into a compelling, powerful drama about one woman's personal empowerment. I thoroughly appreciated it. It begins streaming this Friday, May 15th.

Hal Ashby made some of the best movies from the 1970s, an incredible string of hits: HAROLD AND MAUDE '71, THE LAST DETAIL '73, SHAMPOO '75, BOUND FOR GLORY '76, COMING HOME '78, BEING THERE '79. I played the documentary HAL last year, but only over a weekend. It's a fitting tribute to one of the comparatively unsung luminaries of 1970s American cinema. "It's a consistently engaging trip." -The New York Times. It begins streaming Friday. BAND OF OUTSIDERS and CESARE ET ROSALE both conclude Thursday, and the two programs from the NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL conclude Sunday. Also beginning Friday - RBG - as part of the series MAGNOLIA PICTURES: A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE DOCS. When you purchase a ticket you will also receive access to the Q&A next Wednesday (5/20) with directors Betsy West and Julie Cohen at 5:00 PM (PST). And just booked this morning, JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE. It will open Friday, July 3rd. --Rocky