Thursday, July 31, 2014

‘Summer blockbusters coming to a theater near you’

Actually these movies probably will not be showing at a theater near you, nor will they likely be blockbusters. These are independent films, and they simply do not get wide distribution, but if they interest you, maybe they will be found through any of the home-viewing options out there. I do know these movies will be screened at the Quad on 13th Street in Greenwich Village in coming weeks.

Kabbalah Me
First Run Features, 80 minutes, documentary.
Directed by Steven Bram.

From the publicity:

Kabbalah Me is a personal journey into the esoteric spiritual phenomenon known as Kabbalah. Throughout history, Kabbalah was studied by only the most holy Talmud scholars. The misinformation, innuendo and prohibition surrounding Kabbalah kept its wisdom from most Jews; many were even unaware of its existence.

In Kabbalah Me, director Steven Bram embarks on a spiritual investigation that leads him to reunite with the Hasidic branch of his family and connect to the community of Judaic scholarship. Eventually his curiosity takes him on a pilgrimage to Israel, where he immerses himself in history and traditions of the Holy Land.

Along the way, leading authorities discuss the complex, mystical world of Kabbalah – its varying interpretations and the myriad paths of its rituals and lessons. Bram’s new commitment to spirituality and religious observance draws skepticism from family and friends but ultimately leads to profound changes across all aspects of his life.

Director Steven Bram will be present at select opening weekend shows.

The Rule
Bongiomo Productions, 90 minutes, documentary.
Directed by Marylou Bongiomo and Jerome Bongiomo.

From the publicity:

The Rule details how and why the Benedictine monks of New Jersey’s Newark Abbey and its school, St. Benedict’s Prep, are able to achieve amazing success with America’s most vulnerable population: inner-city African-American and Latino teenaged males. While Newark, with a very high poverty rate of 32 percent, has an abysmal high school graduation rate of only 22 percent, St. Benedict’s has a near 100 percent college acceptance rate. The Rule presents their “recipe for success” as a model for whole cities nationwide.

View trailer here.

Rabindranath Tagore: The Poet of Eternity
Sixty minutes, documentary.
Directed by Partha Bhattacharya.

From the publicity:

The film develops Rabindranath Tagore’s (1861-1941) genius and his contribution in arts, music, literature, philosophy, and education. It exemplifies the poet’s impact on world leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi and prolific thinkers such as Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell.

The film highlights the recognition of poet Tagore by the UN and UNESCO in 2010 as a world teacher, guru for all mankind in a celebration in Paris, paying tribute to him as an educator and a humanist. Rabindranath established Vishwa Bharati, an international university at Shantiniketan, West Bengal where European and Asian professors taught, and students came from far and wide to study.

The film examines Rabindranath, a prolific writer, poet, and author who composed more than 4,000 poems and songs; dance dramas, novels, short stories, essays, and travel diaries, plus nearly 3,000 paintings. It shows worldwide sesquicentennial anniversary celebrations of his birth.

The film famously notes that Rabindranath never reconciled to the fact that World War I started after he was awarded the Nobel Prize. The messenger of peace and universal man lectured in more than 30 countries, preaching harmony and peace for the next 25 years. And yet, when World War II loomed large, the poet was beside himself with grief. He begged earnestly to poet Noguchi in Japan and to U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in vain for peace. The poet breathed his last in August, 1941.

View trailer here.

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