not escapism

screening tonight at 7pm at SPACE Gallery is the highly regarded documentary, Tower, which depicts the University of Texas Tower shooting of August 1st 1966, in which 16 people were killed by a sniper- a former US marine.  the film uses a unique rotoscoping animation technique, as well as archival footage and interviews to weave what appears to be a devastating and fascinating depiction of a mass shooting and the people who were affected by the apparently random massacre.  shocking is the fact that the killer who murdered his wife and mother before heading to the University of Texas Tower then bought several shotguns, handguns and rifles all on the same day of august 1st.  while the subject matter is painful, the movie is supposedly expertly crafted and an important film to witness during these days when mass shootings are much more commonplace than they were in 1966. 

another important documentary is screening tonight- this one at the Camden Opera House- a gorgeous place to see a film.  Fire at Sea is the film, and it depicts experiences on the small Italian island of Lampadusa, which has become a major entry-point for African migrants, who travel rough waters in the thousands on boats too small for the journey.  tapping into the desperation of the migrant crisis from multiple perspectives, this is potent, relevant filmmaking that brings us closer to comprehending what for many is an abstract, or politicized subject.   Fire at Sea screens at 7pm tonight at Camden Opera House. 


finally, some creative programming at railroad square in waterville will be bringing a bizarre and sadly timely cinematic oddity on friday at noon with a screening of Gabriel Over the White House from 1933.  the screening coincides with the inauguration.  below is a description from railroad sq and a clip from the movie: 

A dictator in the White House? In this astonishing 1933 film made at MGM at the height of the Depression, an everyday Joe is elected President, then suffers a concussion, is visited by an angel (hence the title) and is thus transformed into a one man ruler of the country, dissolving Congress, killing foreign-born gangsters and making other countries pay us what they owe us. GABRIEL OVER THE WHITE HOUSE, amazingly, seems to think the U.S. needs a dictator. Does this have anything to do with Donald Trump’s election and inauguration 84 years later? Hmmmmm. Unrated. 86 Min.