Opens Sept 4th: Coup 53

This twisty documentary takes a deep dive into the secret history behind the 1953 CIA-MI6 led coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Iran, and changed the course of the Middle East. There are many surprises in Coup 53, including Ralph Fiennes in an unexpected role.

While making a documentary about the Anglo-American coup in Iran in 1953, Iranian director Taghi Amirani and legendary editor Walter Murch) (Apocalypse Now, The Conversation, The English Patient) discover extraordinary never-before-seen archival material hidden for decades. The 16mm footage and documents not only allow the filmmakers to tell the story of the overthrow of the Iranian government in unprecedented detail, but also lead to explosive revelations about dark secrets buried for 67 years. What begins as a history documentary about 4 days in August 1953 turns into a live investigation, taking the filmmakers into uncharted cinematic waters.

The roots of Iran’s volatile relationship with Britain and America has never been so forensically and dramatically exposed. Twists and reveals that would make John le Carré smile. – Financial Times

There are lots of other films that you can see this week in our virtual cinema including . . .

from Japan: We Are Little Zombies: Alone in the world with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, four 13-year-olds dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense, they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

from France: My Dog Stupid: A middle-aged writer takes in an enormous stray dog against the wishes of his wife and four spoiled adult kids. (The family dynamic is amazing.) The dog, affectionately named “Stupid,” serves as both literary muse and a remembrance of lost, youthful rebellion.

from Germany: Bungalow: A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, Bungalow is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle.

from Portugal: Paulo Rocha Long un-screened in the United States, Paulo Rocha’s ​The Green Years​ and ​Change of Life​ are two key entries in the Portuguese New Wave. Both have been restored by the Portuguese Cinematheque and are showing this week in our virtual cinema.

WE’RE SHOWING LOTS OF OTHER EXCITING FILMS: HERE IS A COMPLETE SCHEDULE:

Don’t forget to check out the new issue of The Ryder magazine

The Ryder is normally distributed free throughout Bloomington and supported by local advertising. That is not the case during the pandemic. The display ads in this issue have been offered to restaurants and community organizations at no charge. So if you read an article that you like or just want to support locally produced, independent journalism, please consider making a donation.

The Many Faces of David Ortiz y Pino

A street artist is finding a new path

By Mason Cassady

David Ortiz y Pino spends most days downtown, sitting on a bench in Oddfellows Alley on Kirkwood Avenue, between Blu Boy Chocolate and Farm Restaurant. It’s hard not to notice his hands as they scurry across flats of cardboard to create abstract drawings. At his feet, he displays his finished artwork to those walking by.

As he nears his 50th birthday, art has given him a new sense of identity and a new purpose on the streets of Bloomington. I sat down with Ortiz to talk about his drawing, and our conversation extended into the details of his life. Similar to faces he portrays with ink, Ortiz has lived a life of many faces.

Around Christmas of 2019, Ortiz was bored while sitting outside of JL Waters. A person walked by and made a remark about making something to give to people. This sparked a thought in Ortiz as he sat there, wondering what he could do with his time. “You know what… I could draw!” Ortiz told me as he recounts that wintery day, “I ran down to the dumpster to get some cardboard. I borrowed a couple markers and pens from a bartender at a restaurant on the corner and started drawing. I was on my third or fourth piece when some people walked by and wanted to buy one. I was shocked.” Ortiz continued in astonishment, “I’m still dumbfounded if I sell my art. I love the art that I create but the idea that other people like it and want to buy it is such a weird and cool feeling.” Read more

If you would like to make a donation to help purchase art supplies for David, please email mawicass91@gmail.com.

New film from germany, bungalow, opens this week

A major work of the celebrated Berlin School, the debut of Ulrich Köhler (In My Room) is a mesmerizing portrait of a young German soldier named Paul who goes AWOL and returns to his childhood home in the countryside. Over a few summer days, Paul evades the responsibilities of everyday life and falls in love with his brother’s girlfriend, disrupting the lives of everyone in his circle. With Köhler’s penchant for deadpan humor and subtle performances, Bungalow becomes a quiet mockery of militarism, familial estrangement, and youthful ennui. New 4K Restoration.

Critic’s Pick! Köhler’s first film, newly available in the U.S., is a secretive and beautifully observant study of teenage disaffection. The New York Times

Our annual fiction issue is on the stands. Special thanks to Fiction Editor Justin Chandler who read through the many submissions we received and chose the six that we have published. “Fiction is often most celebrated when it is most individualistic,” Justin says, “presenting an experience that is unlike any other, equating privacy and originality with authenticity. If that’s the case, is fiction capable of presenting life as a collective exercise? How do you tell the story of a pandemic? Of a divided populace? Of indifferent or even malevolent elected officials? It’s a year like no other and I hope that each of these stories offers you something new—if nothing else, the pleasure of reading, the opportunity to briefly step away from the endless barrage of information and to think newly and differently about the world.”

Singer-songwriter Krista Detor brings nine Nyu theatre-makers to Bloomington and turns her farm into an artist’s colony

By Kellen Sillanpaa

Krista Detor isn’t completely sure whose idea it was.

She knows that she was there, the matriarch of her 40-acre homestead in rural Bloomington, The Hundredth Hill, complete with three guesthouses, and a barn performance space, and a dirt-covered pig named Ghede. She knows that her old college roommate was there—you know, the one who used to have a purple rattail, but who was now an employer of 100 people in a suburb of San Francisco with an eye for the things Krista hates the most—namely, spreadsheets, budgets, and numbers. She knows that her goddaughter was there—fresh from her NYU graduation on YouTube, a product of the prestigious Tisch School of Drama, now quarantined, and unemployed, and broke, no chance to direct the hard-driving, brain-exploding plays the New York theatre scene will one day know her for.

Krista does know that the wine was flowing. She knows that the chocolate was out. She knows that the dogs were pacing the kitchen, and that her husband was off punching new windows through some unknown room in her house, and that the sun had gone down and the moon had come up, and that at some point—somewhere in between that first and second bottle of wine—the idea had appeared, had manifested itself, had wandered out of the forest and sat itself down at Krista’s kitchen table.

The idea was small, but powerful in its simplicity. What if Kyndall, the goddaughter, picked eight of her friends from NYU—all similarly quarantined, and unemployed, and broke—and brought them to Indiana? What if Krista took what she learned at artist residencies in Seattle and Belfast and of course Bloomington, and created a fully-fledged, real deal artist residency at The Hundredth Hill? What if all of them joined forces to create a series of plays, brand new and socially distant and just for the Bloomington community, that had a chance to shatter what we think we know about how to create theatre in the age of Covid? What if everything the three of them had done for the last five years had led them exactly to this moment?

And Jesus, what if it worked? Read more

The Ryder needs your support. Our business model for the past 40 years – publish a magazine that would always be free and supported by local advertising – does not work during a pandemic (for all of the obvious reasons). Even the electronic version of The Ryder costs money to produce. If you like this article or just want to show your support for locally produced, independent journalism, please visit our GoFundMe page. Your contribution will help us to continue producing the magazine during the pandemic.

From France: My Dog Stupid opens tonight

Henri is a middle-aged writer in crisis. He wrote one great novel 25 years earlier but not much since. Just at a time when he assesses of his life, an enormous gray dog, impolite and smelly, sneaks into his house. Against the wishes of his wife and four spoiled kids, he decides to keep the dog, whom he names, affectionately, Stupid. Merging elements of John Cassavetes and the Coen Brothers, My Dog Stupid is a refreshingly honest look at the ups-and-downs of love and aging starring iconic real-life couple Charlotte Gainsbourg & Yvan Attal, who also wrote and directed. Based on a story by American cult novelist John Fante. Although his books were championed by the likes of Charles Bukowski, considered precursors to the Beats and adapted into several movies, John Fante remains a fairly unknown quantity in the U.S., whereas in France he’s an author whose work can be found at any local bookstore. (France / subtitled / 105 min / 2020)

Here are some of the other films on our calendar:

Aria In 1987, ten of the world’s most creative and celebrated directors (Robert Altman, Jean Luc Godard) were each given the same brief: to choose a piece of opera music and then present a visual interpretation of that music with complete artistic freedom. “Ten directors work magic!” – Critics Choice, Time Magazine

HELMUT NEWTON – THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL One of the great masters of photography, Helmut Newton made a name for himself exploring the female form. Did he empower his subjects or treat them as sexual objects?

The 11th Green An investigative reporter, a post World War II government conspiracy, and extraterrestrials — what more could you ask for? “Wildly inventive . . . a work of meticulous historical reimagination. . .” – The New Yorker

CREEM Some consider Creem to be the greatest rock ‘n’ roll magazine ever published (with an iconic mascot designed by cartoonist, Robert Crumb). Started in Detroit in 1969 by Barry Kramer, the magazine aimed to be the anti-Rolling Stone. Alice Cooper, Cameron Crowe, and Michael Stipe talk about the magazine’s take-no-prisoners rock authenticity both in print and in real life.

We Are Little Zombies: Alone in the world with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, four 13-year-olds dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense, they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

Don’t forget to check out the new issue of The Ryder magazine

The Ryder is normally distributed free throughout Bloomington and supported by local advertising. That is not the case during the pandemic. The display ads in this issue have been offered to restaurants and community organizations at no charge. So if you read an article that you like or just want to support locally produced, independent journalism, please consider making a donation.

Pandemic update: 8/24

With IU reopening, we’ve received a number of emails asking when we will be screening films in person on campus. When we stopped showing films face-to-face in March we thought there was a fairly good chance that by late August the pandemic would be under control and we could resume in-person screenings. Clearly, that is not the case. And although the screening rooms on campus are open for limited classroom use, we would not be able to screen films in person and follow IU’s guidelines. We wish we could give you an expected date as to when we could watch a movie together again but (let’s face it) it’s really anybody’s guess.

We will be continuing with our virtual film program. You’re right – it’s not the same. But it’s still a nice alternative while we shelter-in-place.

Stay safe and be smart.

A Brief, Unauthorized history of the nra

By Jason Vest

The NRA brands anyone who doesn’t share their views as a ‘Fudd,’ a play on Bugs Bunny’s nemesis Elmer Fudd. “They get very upset at those who don’t support the right to own every kind of weapon,” says Frank Smyth. “The fact is, I’m a paradox: I’m a Fudd, because I’m comfortable with gun control; yet I own a very non-Fudd gun, the Glock-19.”

It’s not a weapon he’s ever used outside of a gun range, but if anyone’s heard their fair share of shots fired in anger in dodgy spots the world over while investigating human rights violations, arms trafficking and extremism, it would be Frank Smyth. I first met Smyth in 1997, and after just a decade into journalism, he was already the stuff of legend. Perhaps “the youngest old Central America  hand” in the late 1980s before he left El Salvador to cover the first Gulf War,  Smyth was thought by many to have been killed at the hands of Iraqi Baathist cadre after he disappeared in northern Iraq in early 1991 on assignment for CBS News radio in the waning days of the first Gulf War, Smyth had in fact been captured and hauled to Abu Ghraib, then under the grisly management of Saddam Hussein. Released after deft, behind-the-scenes international negotiations, Smyth’s subsequent account in the Village Voice of a harrowing ordeal –  including witnessing the summary execution of a colleague, and being forced to listen to the continuous torture of fellow prisoners in the infamous Iraqi prison – was justly nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Read more in the new issue of The Ryder magazine

IU’s Reopening and Bloomington’s public schools

By reopening for on-campus instruction this fall, colleges and universities are essentially sacrificing the quality and equity of K-12 education in their local communities

By Jessica Calarco

Across the country, public colleges and universities are preparing to bring students back to campus. That includes Indiana University, which is welcoming all students to return to Bloomington, though larger courses and gen-ed courses will be held online this fall. Meanwhile, in many of the towns that house colleges and universities, public K-12 schools have announced a shift to online-only instruction, at least for the start of the year. That includes the Monroe County Community School Corporation in Bloomington.

These K-12 and higher-ed decisions may seem unrelated, but there is reason to suspect that the reopening of public colleges and universities is contributing to the continued closure of K-12 schools. Read more in the new issue of The Ryder…

The Ryder’s Fiction issue

Our annual fiction issue is on the stands. Special thanks to Fiction Editor Justin Chandler who read through the many submissions we received and chose the six that we have published. “Fiction is often most celebrated when it is most individualistic,” Justin says, “presenting an experience that is unlike any other, equating privacy and originality with authenticity. If that’s the case, is fiction capable of presenting life as a collective exercise? How do you tell the story of a pandemic? Of a divided populace? Of indifferent or even malevolent elected officials? It’s a year like no other and I hope that each of these stories offers you something new—if nothing else, the pleasure of reading, the opportunity to briefly step away from the endless barrage of information and to think newly and differently about the world.”

We would be remiss if we did not also acknowledge the work of Ali Maidi, whose distinctive illustrations accompany and enhance each story.

Also in our August issue:

The Many Faces of David Ortiz Y Pino: A downtown street artist who is finding a new path. by Mason Cassady

A Brief, Unauthorized History of the NRA: If anyone knows about guns and the NRA it is Frank Smyth. He’s heard more than his fair share of shots fired in anger in dodgy spots the world over while investigating human rights violations. He’s written an unauthorized history of the NRA and he talks to Ryder editor-at-large Jason Vest

From Farm to Table-Reading: Singer-songwriter Krista Detor is bringing nine NYU theatre-grads to Bloomington, re-imaging her farm as an artist’s residency. By Kellen Sillanpaa

Talk Talk Talk: Mike Leigh’s Peterloo: The award-winning filmmaker has turned his sights on the 1813 Peterloo massacre, in which armed British troops attacked peaceful protesters. Sound like anything you’ve read about recently? By Tom Prasch

and

The Hidden Cost of IU’s Reopening: By opting for on-campus instruction this fall, colleges and universities are essentially sacrificing the quality and equity of K-12 education in their local communities. By Jessica Calarco

We are normally supported by by paid advertising but that is not the case during the pandemic. There are no paid ads in this issue. The display ads that you will see as you flip through the magazine are published at no cost to the advertiser. And while it is true that by publishing electronically we are avoiding a printing bill, we do have other monthly expenses. And so if you see an article you like, or just want to support locally produced, independent journalism please consider making a donation.

We Are Little Zombies

One sunny day, four young strangers meet by chance at a crematorium. They have all recently lost their parents, but none of them can shed a tear. They are like zombies, devoid of all emotion. Alone in the world at 13 years of age with no future, no dreams, and no way to move forward, our protagonists dress themselves in scraps from a garbage dump, track down musical instruments, and decide to form a kick-ass band. They call themselves LITTLE ZOMBIES. This is a story about their quest to retrieve their ability to feel.

Directed by Makoto Nagahisa, We Are Little Zombies bursts with hyper pop style and unbridled imagination. Mixing inspiration from film, television, music, and, most importantly, video games, Nagahisa dazzles with a myriad of cinematic tricks, and he pushes his script in zany directions while never losing sight of its sympathetic exploration of grief and loss. (Japan / subtitles / 120 min) We/Are Little Zombies premieres tonight in The Ryder Film Series.

CRITIC’S PICK! Wry humor, absurd dialogue and unflagging energy propel this dazzling, manic debut from Makoto Nagahisa…. he throws an entire box of tricks at the screen. Splitting it in two, fading to black and white, writing over it, and dunking an entire scene into a fishbowl, he fashions a fantasia of pranks so unexpected and colors so intense (the splendid cinematography is by Hiroaki Takeda), they could make you hallucinate. – The New York Times

Don’t Forget: We are hosting a free screening of O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? on August 8th in Bryan Park. Socially Distanced Seating is limited – reserve seats today.

Check out our full film calendar here.

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