Bringing you ONLINE VIEWINGS of newly released and re-released theatrical and documentary films.
Acoustic Java is proud to present a new generation of independent films as part of our new Virtual Cinema.
Independent films educate and entertain. Independent films stand up for the vulnerable, the marginalized, the outsiders, the rebels, the dreamers, the poets, the imaginative. Independent film exposes the evils of the world and offers solutions. Independent film changes people’s lives. Forever.
The movies below benefit the filmmakers and your favorite coffee shop. Thank you!
Shot in secret and smuggled out of Iran, There is No Evil is an anthology film comprising four moral tales about men faced with a simple yet unthinkable choice -- to follow orders to enforce the death penalty, or resist and risk everything. Whatever they decide, it will directly or indirectly affect their lives, their relationships, and their consciences. Says director Mohammad Rasoulof: "As responsible citizens, do we have a choice when enforcing the inhumane orders of despots? As human beings, to what extent are we to be held responsible for carrying out those orders? Where does the duality of love and moral responsibility leave us?" Suspenseful, mysterious, and shot through with a sense of urgency, Rasoulof's film is an incisive look at the moral strength and inner humanity of its protagonists.
A chilling horror anthology comprising five short stories, penned by an unlikely group of aspiring writers, in Sugarton - a small town plagued by the apparent return of an infamous serial killer, dubbed "Cutthroat." They've come to share their scary stories (with each other and the bookstore owner, Peter, who leads the group), but soon discover they've become the stars of a sick killer's own twisted tale.
This illuminating documentary explores the life of a unique American artist, a man with a remarkable and unlikely biography. Bill Traylor was born into slavery in 1853 on a cotton plantation in rural Alabama. After the Civil War, Traylor continued to farm the land as a sharecropper until the late 1920s. Aging and alone, he moved to Montgomery and worked odd jobs in the thriving segregated black neighborhood. A decade later, in his late 80s, Traylor became homeless and started to draw and paint, both memories from plantation days and scenes of a radically changing urban culture. Having witnessed profound social and political change during a life spanning slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration, Traylor devised his own visual language to translate an oral culture into something original, powerful, and culturally rooted. He made well over a thousand drawings and paintings between 1939-1942. This colorful, strikingly modernist work eventually led him to be recognized as one of America's greatest self-taught artists and the subject of a Smithsonian retrospective. Using historical and cultural context, Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts brings the spirit and mystery of Traylor's incomparable art to life. Making dramatic and surprising use of tap dance and evocative period music, the film balances archival photographs and footage, insightful perspectives from his descendants, and Traylor's striking drawings and paintings to reveal one of America's most prominent artists to a wide audience.
"One of the boldest artistic statements of year"-Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine
“'Tito' is an instant classic of acting."-Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"Visionary."-Eric Kohn, IndieWire
Winner of awards at Tribeca and Vancouver, MY WONDERFUL WANDA is a delightful satire of the haves and the have-nots set against the backdrop of a gorgeous lakeside villa in Switzerland. At the story’s center is Wanda (Agnieszka Grochowska) a Polish caretaker who has left her own small children in Poland to look after Josef (André Jung) the stroke-ridden patriarch of the wealthy Wegmeister-Gloor dynasty. Wanda is adept in navigating the tricky family dynamics between the two grown (if still childish) offspring and the elegant if controlling matriarch Elsa (an amazing Marthe Keller), along with the sporadic intervention of animals stuffed or alive. But an unexpected turn of events turns everything upside down. While MY WONDERFUL WANDA exposes present-day realities of class injustice, thanks to writer-director Bettina Oberli’s empathetic lens, it is never less than a very human comedy.
“A cinematic gift, an intellectual challenge, an emotional adventure”
– New York Times, Critic’s Pick
A complex portrait of a city and its inhabitants, THE HOTTEST AUGUST gives us a window into the collective consciousness of the present. The film’s point of departure is one city over one month: New York City, including its outer boroughs, during August 2017. It’s a month heavy with the tension of a new President, growing anxiety over everything from rising rents to marching white nationalists, and unrelenting news of either wildfires or hurricanes on every coast. The film pivots on the question of futurity: what does the future look like from where we are standing? And what if we are not all standing in the same place? THE HOTTEST AUGUST offers a mirror onto a society on the verge of catastrophe, registering the anxieties, distractions, and survival strategies that preoccupy ordinary lives.
After nearly a decade exploring different facets of the African diaspora — and his own place within it — Ephraim Asili makes his feature-length debut with The Inheritance, an astonishing ensemble work set almost entirely within a West Philadelphia house where a community of young, Black artists and activists form a collective. A scripted drama of characters attempting to work towards political consensus — based partly on Asili’s own experiences in a Black liberationist group — weaves with a documentary recollection of the Philadelphia liberation group MOVE, the victim of a notorious police bombing in 1985. Ceaselessly finding commonalties between politics, humor, and philosophy, with Black authors and radicals at its edges, The Inheritance is a remarkable film about the world as we know it.
One of the most revolutionary and influential fashion designers of his time, Martin Margiela has remained an elusive figure the entirety of his decades-long career. From Jean Paul Gaultier's assistant to creative director at Hermès to leading his own House, Margiela never showed his face publicly and avoided interviews, but reinvented fashion with his radical style through forty-one provocative collections. Now, for the first time, the "Banksy of fashion" reveals his drawings, notes, and personal items in this exclusive, intimate profile of his vision.
The film features interviews with, among others, Margiela himself, Jean Paul Gaultier, Carine Roitfeld, trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, fashion critic Cathy Horyn, and fashion historian Olivier Saillard. The score has been composed by the Belgian rock band dEUS.
Sundog lives out in the Sonora Desert on the Mexican border. He is an elderly gentleman, who lives off anything that the brutal nature gives him, be it a wild boar or the psychedelic poison of a toad. A Shape of Things to Come puts precedence on the sensory materiality of the desert instead over explanations and dialogue, and moves beyond the human scale and down to animal perspectives. It creates a world that stretches from a distant past in the ecological movements of the 1960s to a possible future in the aftermath of the apocalypse. But the border patrol agents are threatening the peace in Sundog’s desert kingdom, which the armed recluse is prepared to defend. With the desert as the ultimate existential (and cinematic) setting, the film shows the relationship between humanity and nature at a critical time, when civil disobedience is the provocative answer to the most pressing questions.
DRIVEN TO ABSTRACTION unravels a mutating tale of self-delusion, greed, and fraud — the $80 million forgery scandal that rocked the art world and brought down Knoedler, New York City’s oldest and most venerable gallery. Was the gallery’s esteemed director the victim of a con artist who showed up with an endless treasure trove of previously unseen abstract expressionist masterpieces? Or did she eventually suspect they were fakes, yet continue to sell them for millions of dollars for fifteen years? Whatever the truth, two women from very different worlds crossed paths in what would become the greatest hoax ever of Modern American Art.
In 2001, the band System Of A Down partnered with music producer Rick Rubin to record their sophomore album. Against all odds, and during one of the most painful and precarious months in American history, the album Toxicity skyrocketed up the Billboard chart and catapulted to Number One. But just as System Of A Down achieved their commercial triumph, in a post-9/11 world their politically-charged lyrics were suddenly the subject of scrutiny; they were thrust into headlines, and their songs were pulled off the radio. The film follows Tankian down an unexpected path as his passion for human rights and activism led him to become a social justice organizer in Armenia. Fueled by interviews with the band, their producers, and fellow rock icons, Truth To Power is both an energizing rockumentary and an inspiring call to action for our turbulent times.