Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dancing In Jaffa - November 22

The following is a trailer for Dancing in Jaffa which will be the last film of the season, Sunday, Nov. 22.

Renowned ballroom dancer, Pierre Dulaine, returns to his hometown of Jaffa, Israel, nostalgic for the streets of his youth but nervous and dismayed by the strong current of racial animosity that now serves as the norm. Fueled by his belief in dancing's power to build self-esteem and social awareness, Dulaine brings his popular Dancing Classrooms program to three Jaffa-based schools where he teaches ballroom dancing to the ethnically mixed population of children. Dulaine selects the most focused dancers to train for a citywide competition, pairing Palestinians with Jews, putting many of the children's and, more pointedly, their families' beliefs to the test.

As a followup to Tangerines, I tried to make sense of the Georgia/Russia war and what it was all about. I was going to write a simplified version of the conflict but it's such a complicated subject. Instead I'm posting a link that I found online and in case you're interested it might help to unravel the situation:

Coming to a theater near you, The 33. I'm really excited to see this movie because I just finished the book Deep Dark Down about the Chilean coal miners. The film stars Antonio Banderas. Can't wait.

Hope to see you all next Sunday for Dancing in Jaffa.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Tangerines - Film Club Selection for 11/8

This Sunday's film, Tangerines, comes to us from Apkhazeti, Georgia. It's about the war in this region in 1990. An Estonian man Ivo has stayed behind to harvest his crop of tangerines along with his friend Marcus. In a bloody conflict at his door, a wounded man is left behind, and Ivo is forced to take him in. This is a wonderful film with an anti-war theme.

This film was nominated for an Academy Award, 2014 for Best Foreign Film. It lost to Ida, the film we viewed in September.

Wild Tales Followup

A follow up to our last film, the Argentinian film, Wild Tales in which we saw 6 different vignettes mostly dealing with the unfair laws and the frustrations of living in Buenos Aires. You can imagine the frustration when you have to live with this unfair law in Argentina:

In Argentina, there is a law that states that Argentine nightclubs must play the same amount of tango music as all other forms of music combined!!

In Memoriam

Last week we lost a member of the North County Film Club and my very good friend, Jane Gorman. Jane was an avid film goer and was so happy to be a member of our club. Jane was a physical education teacher most of her adult life and was also an assistant principal. She loved to play golf, travel, read, watch films and most of all have fun. She leaves her husband Jeff and three sons, Jason, Justin and Jeremy and two grandchildren that she adored. I've known Jane since we were in the fourth grade in Pomona, California and we've remained friends all these years. She will be dearly missed.

Also leaving us last week, Maureen O'Hara. I think Jane would have liked sharing her memoriam with Maureen.


Hope to see you all Sunday, the 8th for Tangerines.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Wild Tales - Next Film Club Selection

Sunday, October 25, we will be seeing a film from Argentina, Wild Tales. The film is divided into six segments. It's a film with dark humor - about inequality, injustice and stresses of daily life and how people react to those stresses. The characters in this film cross the line that divides civilization and barbarism.

After 1000 Times Goodnight

Female war photographer, Anja Niedringhaus

I have a feeling that the part played by Juliette Binoche in 1000 Times Goodnight was patterned after Anja (pictured above). Her history sounds quite a bit like the woman in the movie. She was brave, she took risks and she ultimately was killed doing what she loved in 2014 in Afganistan. 

After seeing 1000 Times Goodnight, I was wondering about women journalists and how many had been wounded or killed. After doing a little research I found some answers in this article by Wojciech Adamczyk.
You probably won’t want to read this lengthy article so I’ve condensed it a bit.   
“A relatively new problem is posed by the repeated instances of aggression against female investigative journalists and war correspondents. Data collected by The Committee to Protect Journalists shows that the percentage of female media employees killed while performing their professional duties could amount to seventeen percent per year.”
Women didn’t start reporting on wars until the late 19th century. Here is a list of some of the women in history that became investigative reporters and reported from the war zones:
Lady Florence Caroline Dixie – 1881, The Boer War (She was assaulted by two men dressed as women who threatened her with a knife and tried to strangle her).
Kathleen “Kit” Blake Coleman – 1898,  Spanish American War, Cuba
Martha Gellman – 1937, Spanish Civil War
Dickey Chapelle – in 1965 reporting from Vietnam, killed by a piece of exploding shrapnel.
Jill Carrol – 2006 reporting from Iraq, was kidnapped then later released.
Marie Colvin - 1980s reported from Kosovo, Chechnya where she lost her teeth, from Sri Lanka, lost an eye. She wrote “do women report wars differently from men? The question used to make me bristle. It irritated me to think that I would be judged as a woman war correspondent rather than as a writer, taking the same risks and covering the same story as my male colleagues.” She was killed in 2012 in Homs, Syria, under a barrage of missiles and mortars.
Mika Yamamoto – was killed in Aleppo, Syria after being fired on by govt. troops.
Victoria Guerin – in the 1990s reported on the mafia in Ireland. She was shot by two attackers on a motorbike and died two days before she was to present a paper at a conference in London entitled Dying to Tell a Story: Journalism at Risk.
Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya – She accused Vladimir Putin of state terrorism. She was murdered in 2006, shot to death in the building where she lived. There was no clear answer as to who carried out the attack
What I didn’t find in this research was a study of women journalists and their families which was the theme of the film we saw. Maybe the subject is too close to home and the women don’t want to talk about it. 

Upcoming Films to Local Theaters
 (my opinion only, not the opinion of the North County Film Club)

Steve Job

Trumbo - about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) and the Hollywood blacklisting
Spotlight - Investigation into abuse in the Catholic Church
Janis - about singer, Janis Joplin

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A Thousand Times Good Night

Once again we will be treated to a film starring the incomparable Juliette Binoche. In this film she's a war correspondent working in the most dangerous places in the world while her husband and young daughter wait for her at home. That's the dilemma. Should she give up the risky job she loves to stay home with her family or continue with this very dangerous work? The film A Thousand Times Good Night will be shown this Sunday, October 11 at 3:00.  It promises to be an interesting and thought-provoking film.

Q & A with Writer/Director of Commencement, Steve Albrezzi

Marny Fisher and NCFC member meet and greet Steve Albrezzi

Those of us who stayed after the presentation of Commencement were very fortunate to hear in person from the writer/director of the film, Steve Albrezzi. He spoke about the casting of the film, the production problems, and most of all the problems with getting the film distributed. 

I tried requesting the film through Netflix, but that didn't work. They don't seem to have a place that you can request films that are not listed. I'll keep trying maybe through their email or chat room (which doesn't seem to be working today). If all of us members let Netflix know that we want to see Commencement, maybe they'll decide to list it and lots more people will be able to see it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


The film for this Sunday, Sept. 27, is Commencement. The story revolves around Christa who has just graduated as valedictorian from a very prestigious university. But her real education begins in the next 36 hours.  Commencement is a funny, romantic and thought-provoking look at three generations of a middle class family caught in the wake of the current fiscal crisis.

As an added bonus, the director of the film, Steve Albrezzi, will be in attendance and will lead a Q&A at the end of the film. You won't want to miss this great opportunity to actually meet and hear from the filmmaker. 

Club Members Having Fun

Since Jenny loves Transylvania, she wanted a photo standing with this great movie cutout for the 2nd installment of the film. We decided we all should get in the photo. So here is John, Gladys, me (Nancy), Shar, Jim, Jenny and John. 

A Meeting with the Director

Club members meeting with Frank Hall Green (center) and his wife, Molly 
Several members were fortunate enough to meet and talk with Frank Hall Green, the writer/director of Wildlike (shown on Aug. 9). 

Here's a little more about him:

San Diego Film Festival

The San Diego Film Festival, a premiere 5 day local showcase for International films of a variety of different types and genres, is offering North County Film Club members a 20% discount on tickets ordered online.

The Festival, which boasts a  vivacious menu of both domestic and foreign language films, as well as social justice documentary showcases, runs from September 30th through October 4th at the Reading Cinemas in Claremont and at the Arclight in La Jolla.  The event allows San Diegans to healthily sample a wide variety of the offerings that independent cinema provides in a concentrated yet glamorous setting. 

You can order your tickets at  When prompted for discounts, type in NCFC20 in the box.  Again, this price reduction only applies for online orders.

Friday, August 7, 2015


This Sunday, August 9 the North County Film Club will be presenting the film Wildlike. This film directed by Frank Hall Green is about Mackenzie, a troubled but daring teenage girl, sent by her struggling mother to live with her uncle in Juneau, Alaska. Although her Uncle seems like a supportive caretaker and friend, the relationship turns and Mackenzie is forced to run. Trying to make her way back to Seattle alone to find her absent mother, Mackenzie only winds up deeper in the Alaskan interior.

Lost and with no one else to turn to, she befriends a loner backpacker, Bartlett. The relationship between the two is what makes this film so appealing.

Please come and enjoy this wonderful independent film. 
The film will show at 3 pm. It is recommended that you arrive by 2:30 to find a good seat.

The Quirky French Real Estate Laws

After seeing My Old Lady at our last film showing, I was really baffled about the real estate law (en viager) featured in the film. So, as usual, I did my research and found this site that explains all about it. Now I think I understand, but it still seems like a very weird way to sell a house. Read about it here:

In Memoriam

Goodbye, Omar Sharif. We will miss you.

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Immigration Paradox

This next film is an absolute must see. For the first time in the NCFC history, the filmmaker will be in attendance. How exciting is that?

Lourdes Lee Vasquez

THE IMMIGRATION PARADOX takes a critical and in depth look at one of the most divisive issues in human global history–immigration. After encountering an immigrant crossing the Arizona desert, Emmy Award Winner and Filmmaker Lourdes Lee Vasquez set out to understand why people would risk their lives to come to the U.S.. Her quest takes a shocking twist when she musters enough courage to cross the line at a protest and has an encounter with a supposed enemy.
From there her journey spanned 7 years searching for answers and solutions to this complex social issue. It takes her and the audience to places never before considered in the immigration debate. THE IMMIGRATION PARADOX is a feature length documentary that exposes the missing information to the immigration issue by interviewing an array of people from various backgrounds, which include economics, sociology, philosophy, history, policy, and activism. This documentary will move you beyond the villain or victim scenario, the heated rhetoric and sensationalism to reveal the bigger picture.

No matter what your viewpoints or beliefs are regarding this deeply emotional issue; the information exposed in THE IMMIGRATION PARADOX will surely leave you shocked.

Ms. Vasquez will be available for a Q and A after the film. The film will be shown July 12 at 3:00, Carmike Theater, Mission and College, Oceanside.

Sunday is going to be a busy day - it's highly recommended that you purchase your new passes at the box office before the 12th.  

There's an app for that

After watching our last film,  Fanie Fourie's Lobola, I decided to research this custom further and found out some really surprising facts.

Did you know that you can order an app that will help you calculate how much your bride is worth?
The app calculates how many bovine a groom's family should pay for a traditional South African dowry. In South Africa the average lobola is 12 cows.

The developer of the app said it provides a guideline for men looking to marry. But it caused a fury when women discovered that the app also asks for a woman's measurements as well as her marital history!

The app is not intended to replace "true cultural protocols" like the ones we saw in the movie.

Here's another interesting fact: According to one report,  Nelson Mandela followed the African tradition of paying a marriage lobola of 60 cows to his wife,  Machel's family.

Hope to see you all next Sunday for The Immigration Paradox.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

In Memoriam - Millie Gordon

We've lost one of our favorite film club members. I'm sure you'll all remember Millie Gordon. She was the board member who sat at the table before the films - she either hugged you or gave you a compliment on what you were wearing. You might have been on her phone list and were lucky to receive a cheery phone call from her reminding you of the next film.

Millie lived in Oceanside at the time of her death, but she's actually traveled all over the world. Did you know she was a doctor? She received her credentials at the University of Guadalajara and was very proud to display her diploma on the wall of her apartment. Being a general practitioner made her a very popular resident of a small rural village in Mexico where she delivered babies, set broken legs and save many lives.

Her son, Brendan visited the village about 5 years ago and said people came out in droves to shake his hand and tell him stories about his mother.

One of Millie's friends, Ian Strashoon met her while in Sichuan, China. They became lifelong friends. Millie helped Ian with a book he was writing and he dedicated this poem to her from the book:

Go fast, be safe, keep eyes peeled,
Eyes watch, winds blow, mirages reel,
Tomorrow dawns, as a maybe chance,
Eyes wait, eyes watch, life reels,
Winds blow dust rises, life is a mirage of tomorrow
Dry dusts of Africa settle to wait, pensive,
Tomorrow’s chances, in a crimson sunset,

Millie is survived by a brother and three sons, Morlan, Romel and Brendan. 

Besides being on the board of our film club for several years, Millie also volunteered at the Oceanside Museum of Art.

She loved everyone she met, and believed hugs had to last 10 seconds to be valid.

Millie would have loved the next film we will be showing:

Fanie Fourie's Lobola

This film will be shown Sunday, June 14 at 3:00. It's the story of the complications that ensue when an Afrikaans man and Zulu girl fall in love, especially when the traditional custom of "lobola", or dowry, makes things very complicated for them. Sounds fascinating. 

Hope to see you all there.

I'll attach the photos I took at the memorial.  She is survived by her only brother, her three sons, probably her ex husbands, and one daughter-in-law.  I know she was very close to one grandson, and I think she had a few more grand kids around.

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Other Son - Sunday, May 17

The Other Son

Come and see what happens when an Israeli and a Palestinian are switched at birth.  That's the theme of the amazing film we will be seeing on May 17. The film brings up the nurture or nature question. Is your genetic makeup more important, or the influence of your environment? This film by French director, Lorraine Levy points out that despite everything else, people are just people. 

The film shows at 3:00 pm, Carmike Theater (formerly Digiplex), Oceanside (Mission at College).

Magic Money from the Riviera

I found this little bit of information while doing some further reading about Magic in the Moonlight. After I saw this Woody Allen film, I was wondering where it was filmed. I was pretty sure that it was the south of France. But the scenes looked too gorgeous to be true. Could it have been special effects that made those scenes so beautiful or was it really filmed on the Cote d'Azur? Well, it turns out that The Provence Alpes Cote d'Azur invested 200,000 euros in the production. They were hoping to showcase the region to filmgoers around the world.  Christine Mirauchaux, vice president of the Regional Council for Culture, said that the region is "extremely proud of the collaboration."

I hope they got their investment back. But even if they didn't, I'm sure that the film produced a lot of would be travelers to the region. Didn't you just want to get on a plane immediately and jet there after seeing the film? I know I did. The scenery was the best part of the movie.

Our Next Season

The board is working diligently on the film selections for next season. Hopefully the films with the most votes will all be available. Thanks to all of you who nominated films and then voted. We'll be announcing the new schedule as soon as it's tied down. Stay tuned.

In Memoriam

It wasn't a movie star that we lost April 30th. But it was someone who certainly contributed to our film history. I'm talking about Ben E. King who gave us the iconic song "Stand by Me". We will miss that wonderful voice, but thankfully through film and recordings we will have it forever. Check out this video - a couple minutes into it you'll see River Phoenix and Wil Wheaton bopping away with Ben. It's too cute. Reminds me how much I miss River Phoenix also.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Love is Strange - Film for April 12 - North County Film Club

Our next film is Love is Strange starring John Lithgow as Ben and Alfred Molina, George. After four years together they finally decide to get married. But then George loses his job and they have to sell their apartment. Not being able to find another apartment in New York they have to live apart. George moves in with two cops and Ben lives with his nephew. This situation weighs heavily on all involved.

This film will be shown Sunday, April 12 at 3:00. A discussion group will follow after the film.

The Carlsbad Library and Soroptimist Club of Carlsbad will be presenting a film festival featuring films by, for and about Women. Here's the link with information about this interesting event:

I was surfing around the web and accidentally came across a site that piqued my interest. It was about the 10 most accurately historical films. What do you think? Any additions to this list?

12 Years a Slave
Master & Commander: Far Side of the World
Saving Private Ryan
Das Boot
Band of Brothers
A Night to Remember (about the Titantic)
Lion in Winter

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Lunchbox - Showing March 29th


A middle class housewife in Mumbai is trying to add some spice to her marriage through her cooking.  She prepares special lunchboxes to be delivered to her husband at work, but, unbeknownst to her, they are mistakenly delivered to another office worker, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. She puts little notes in the lunchboxes which begins a series of communication and an unexpected friendship.

The Lunchbox will be showing this Sunday, March 29 at the Carmike theater, Oceanside (College and Mission) at 3:00pm. 

You might want to read up on the lunchbox delivery system in India. It's really fascinating.

If you enjoyed Stories We Tell and want to know more, here's an interview which was done with filmmaker Sarah Polley:

In Memoriam

Albert Maysles (with camera) died March 5, 2015. He was 88. He and his brother, David were award-winning documentarians. They made intensely talked-about films, including Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter, with their American version of cinéma vérité.

Mr. Maysles departed from documentary conventions by not interviewing his films’ subjects. As he explained in an interview with The New York Times in 1994, “Making a film isn’t finding the answer to a question; it’s trying to capture life as it is.”

TCM played four of the Maysles films this week including Grey Gardens, Salesman, Gimme Shelter and an interview with Marlon Brando. What a treat to see these interesting documentaries.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stories We Tell - March 15

Next Sunday, March 15, we'll be seeing the acclaimed documentary, Stories We Tell.

Sarah Polley received an Oscar® nomination for this documentary where she acted as both filmmaker and detective. She questions family and friends about family secrets and discovers that the truth depends on who's telling it. Each tells their version of the family history leaving lots of unanswered questions. She finds that the story of the family can be complicated, messy and yet loving. This is a very personal film, a funny and poignant version of the larger human story.

The Zong Slave Ship
A lot of you may want to read more about the Zong that was featured in the film Belle that we saw on March 1st. What an interesting film about an incident in history that I've never heard of and probably some of you hadn't either. So I'm listing a couple of links in case you want to read more about it:

William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield

So interesting, and so sad. What a terrible time in history.

And here's an interesting article about Belle:

See you on the 15th.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Words and Pictures Next Film for the Film Club

What's more important - words or pictures? This is the question asked in the film we will be seeing next Sunday, Feb. 8, 3:00. The film stars Clive Owen as a flamboyant English teacher and Juliette Binoche as the stoic art teacher. I think we know who thinks pictures are more important. Both teach at an upscale prep school where a high-spirited courtship begins. Juliette finds herself enjoying the battle. The true war, however is against their own demons, as the two troubled souls struggle for connection. 

Ellen Ternan

Ellen Ternan

I don't know about you, but I was very intrigued about the movie we saw last week - The Invisible Woman and I wanted to know more. So I looked up Ellen Ternan on Wikipedia and found a bit more information plus lots of reference material. If you want to delve into this interesting story, here's the link.

Jewish Film Festival

Don't forget the Jewish Film Festival - Feb. 5 - 15. Here's the link with more information. Hopefully you picked up one of the programs at our last film showing, but if not, click on this link for the schedule:

Fun Movie Factoids

If you like movie trivia, you might be interested in the following:$j/

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time to Purchase Seasons Pass

It's time once again to purchase season passes for the upcoming season. Passes can be purchased at the Mission Marketplace Theater Box office.

• See all ten films (listing of films below) for just $55, a savings of $35 off the regular price.

• Tickets and passes are available only from the theater box office.

• Tickets for individual films may be purchased on their show dates at the theater’s regular price

OR present your valid North County Film Club membership card for a $1 discount.

(The membership card costs only $5 for the entire 2015 year).

• North County Film Club memberships are available only from the North County Film Club.

• Each showing begins at 3:00 pm on its scheduled date.

At the Carmike Mission Marketplace Theater

431 College Blvd., Oceanside.

Film for Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our season starts off with a bang with Jon Favreau's Chef. You'll enjoy this film about food, about fun, about finding your dream. With an all star cast from Scarlett Johansson to Dustin Hoffman, you'll be delighted with the comedy, the ups and downs of the food business, and all the mouth-watering shots of fine food.

The other films in this upcoming season are:

Jan. 25 - The Invisible Woman
Feb. 8 - Words and Pictures
March 1 - Belle
March 15 - Stories We Tell
March 29 - The Lunch Box
April 12 - Love is Strange
April 26 - Magic in the Moonlight
May 17 - The Other Son
June 14 - Fanie Fourie's Lobola

Popcorn or no Popcorn

Jim Hamilton sent me this interesting article about how theaters really make their money:

Movie theaters only stay in business thanks to our popcorn and soda addiction. A previous Curio quoted a movie exec as saying that "cup holders are the most important movie innovation since sound." The explanation for this goes back to a 1948 Supreme Court case, United States v. Paramount Pictures. Until then, eight major Hollywood movie studios controlled nearly every movie theater in the US. The "Big Eight" decided where and when movies ran, forced theaters to book "blocks" of movies in advance, and set all ticket prices. Though this practice was ruled a clear monopoly by the Supreme Court in 1930, and again in 1938, the ruling was never enforced because of the Great Depression and the shadow of WWII. Finally in 1948, the Court ordered the Hollywood studios to divest their theater ownership and cease all anti-competitive practices. But the studios still controlled the movies, and negotiated favorable contracts, which still exist today. For example, during the first weeks of a movie’s run, the studio receives almost all ticket revenues. Towards the end of the run--when audiences are thin--the theater keeps most of the sales. So on average, the theater gets only a few dollars out of every $10 - $12 ticket. Over the years this arrangement has incentivized studios to make blockbuster movies that open with a bang. Since theaters have little room to negotiate, they commonly lose money on ticket sales alone. Hence ridiculously priced popcorn and soda, which carries a profit margin of over 90% and constitutes almost all of their profits. Yet another reason to love online streaming--or learn something instead! 

I think we all know that theaters charge way too much for anything from the refreshment stand. But maybe we should pay the high prices so that we keep our theaters going. Do we want them to be a thing of the past? Buying the high priced refreshments can be considered our charity du jour. I wonder if there's a tax deduction for that!

A fun film-related item from Twisted Sifter