Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Aziz Ansari is getting his own Netflix series

'Master of None' drops November 6

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 at 1:45 PM

  • Flickr user timothykrause
  • Ansari

You've powered through all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation and can recite the jokes from his stand-up specials by heart — you've watched everything Aziz Ansari has ever done on Netflix. (Bob's Burgers and Scrubs included.)

Well, on November 6, save some time to watch the 10 brand new episodes of Master of None, the brand new Netflix series featuring the Columbia-born funnyman. The series marks Aziz's return to sitcom life after the end of the network smash Parks and Rec, which featured Aziz as Tom Haverford alongside Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, and Nick Offerman. Ansari is credited as creator and co-executive producer of the new series along with P&R's Alan Yang and Mike Schur. The show's cast also includes Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), comedian Lena Waithe, Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric, and others.

AV Club describes the show as semi-autobiographical, following the life of a 30-year old New York actor "who has trouble deciding what he wants to eat, much less the pathway for the rest of his life." Sounds a little like the Raaaaaaaandy we know.

If Master of None isn't enough for you, don't worry. Just sit tight and wait for A Very Murray Christmas in December.

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Park Circle Films closes up shop

PCF takes a bow

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 1:07 PM

  • PCF Facebook
After almost seven years and over 370 events, Park Circle Films (PCF) is closing its doors. "It was a pretty sudden decision," says director of operations Sarah Long. Citing the personal reasons of several board members (including her own, Long is about to move out of the state), Long says that PCF's finale is bittersweet.

City Paper highlighted PCF four years ago when the organization started growing, expecting big things from the little nonprofit film group, comparing it to Columbia's popular arts hub, the (also nonprofit) Nickelodeon Theater. Unfortunately, those dreams never really came to fruition. "Running a nonprofit film society isn't simple," says Long who admits that  financial issues have also played a role in the society's decision to shut down. "I would love for a phoenix to rise from the ashes," she adds, pointing to interested volunteers and community members who could get together to re-create a similar film society.

Long hasn't given up hope for Charleston cinephiles however. She says that there's definitely an interest in independent films in the community — there just aren't that many outlets.  "It was my personal goal to bring more independent films downtown," she says — a difficult task given there's no operating movie theater in downtown Charleston. PCF did recently hook up with the Charleston Music Hall where they will be showing two final documentaries in the next two weeks. Long hopes the venue will continue in this tradition, bringing more films downtown.

"No one showed the kind of documentaries that Park Circle Films showed," says Long. "Our main problem is that people forgot we were there. They would say 'Oh, yeah, they're doing great things,' but then Netflix wins the battle a lot of the time," she says. 

Long is sad about the end of this era of her life, but she's grateful for Charleston's arts community, calling it one of the most supportive ones she's seen in the country.

Help Long and the rest of Park Circle Films say goodbye at an informal party this Saturday, from 7-8:30 p.m. Long plans to show a slideshow of photos taken at the movie house over the years. 

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Where to catch the rest of this summer's movies

Getcha free film on

Posted by Connelly Hardaway and Anna Zeberlein on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 1:18 PM

We know you're hot. We're hot too. The best way to catch a cool breeze? A free movie. That's right, with several ongoing summer series all over town you can sit back, relax, and stretch out on a lawn or the beach — it's popcorn time. If you prefer to catch your films inside make sure to hit up the limited edition documentaries, recorded operas, and sing-a-long classic films screening at various theaters in the area. We like to think of it as fun out of the sun. 

Starting last month, Cinebarre began hosting their annual free outdoor movies series. The shows start around dusk which is generally between 8:30 and 9 p.m., but you can show up earlier to claim a good spot and grab some food and drinks inside the theater. Check the lineup here. 

Cinebarre is partnering with the town of Mt. P to show some outdoor films at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park during the month of August. Bring your chairs and blankets for a movie with a view. Check out the schedule here. 

If you're more into opera than you are outside screenings then head to the final showing of "The Met: Live in HD," a summer series that shows recorded classic operas from the Metropolitan Opera in NYC. On July 29 you can catch Aida, a show about an enslaved Ethiopian princess who falls in love with an Egyptian warrior at Azalea Square Stadium 16 in Summerville and Charlestowne Square 18 in North Chuck. 

  • Cory Weaver/Metropolitan Opera
  • Aida
Let's talk, er, sing, some Grease lightning. As part of "TCM Presents" Fathom Events will be screening Grease Sing-A-Long on August 16 and 19 at  Azalea Square Stadium 16 in Summerville and Charlestowne Square 18 in North Charleston. It's like watching Grease but actually being allowed to sing along. 

  • Paramount Pictures

On Wed. August 12 Fathom Event's will screen Unity, a two-hours plus documentary about humanity's inability to get along with animals and the environment. That's a summed up description of course. Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, the film took seven years to produce.
  • Shaun Monson

As part of its ongoing film series the Charleston Music Hall will present It Might Get Loud on Thurs. August 13. This documentary tells the personal stories of three generations of guitar "virtuosos" — U2's The Edge, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, and The White Stripes' Jack White. Tickets are only $8 and come with free popcorn. Turn up the volume.

You can always catch films at other popular ongoing series like Tides Folly Beach's beach movies every Wednesday and Terrace Theater's Little Gym family series which continues until August 12.

Check out a previous post for more info on the movies Park Circle Films will be showing this month (you can even catch Teenage tomorrow). 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Watch Geoffrey Gunn's award-winning short 'Last Night at the Ellington'

The best 10 minutes you'll spend all day

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 2:14 PM

Geoffrey Gunn's short film, Last Night at the Ellington, has been making its rounds on the award circuit. Wrapping in late 2013, the film was filmed in downtown Charleston and features spots like the Faculty Lounge, Charleston Music Hall, and the American Theater. 

The short is narrated by an employee at a retro glam movie theater, The Ellington, in its final days before a big movie house takes over. The film and its soundtrack are sexy and just a little bit dark, leaving the viewer to question the cultural significance of movie-going for himself. There's a plot twist, a robbery, and a death. For a film just shy of ten minutes, that's a whole lot of cinematic prowess (if we do say so ourselves).

The film won the Regional Spotlight award at the 2014 Lowcountry Shorts in North Charleston and was nominated for best short, best director, and best actor at the 2015 Beaufort International Film Festival. Gunn has sent the film to international festivals and is waiting to hear back about its screening future abroad. 

Last Night At The Ellington [Director's Cut] from Geoffrey Gunn on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Park Circle Films to screen 'I Am Big Bird' and more this month

You get a documentary, and you get a documentary, everyone gets a documentary

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Tue, Jul 14, 2015 at 1:28 PM

Last weekend, Park Circle Films started their second summer series off with a bang with the showing of the SXSW winner Animals, a film about two addicts struggling to reconcile their homelessness with the fantastical lives they wish to lead. You can still catch the flick on Amazon

PCF picks the tempo up (addiction films are sad, man) with this Saturday's showing of Two Raging Grannies, a documentary following two elderly women as they ask people how the economy can keep growing when the world is using up so many of its resources. Good question.

  • Park Circle Films
On Sat. July 25, PCF will show Teenage, a documentary compilation of teens doin' teen stuff for the past century. Created in the spirit of rebellion the narrated-documentary captures youths through several eras in the U.S.

PCF is partnering with Charleston Music Hall on July 28 and Aug. 5 to show My Prairie Home and I Am Big Bird, respectively. Prairie Home is a documentary-musical that follows indie singer Rae Spoon singing about their queer and musical coming of age (Spoon is a trans person). The star of the film will be speaking before the film. 

I Am Big Bird is a documentary about Carroll Spinney, the 81-year-old man who has been playing Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since the first season of Sesame Street. In the doc, Spinney speaks about the power of the characters he's played and how he truly came into himself when playing Jim Henson's Big Bird. 

Tickets for each show are available here. 
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