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Karin Chien: A Spotlight on Hong Kong

Amidst global crises competing for our attention, I value the current attention that is being paid to Hong Kong and its recent protests, coming in part from the splashy new drama series on Amazon Prime, The Expats. 

OVID's February Lineup: James Baldwin x 2 for Black History Month, Plus: Basketball, Dance, Fashion, Music, Neoliberalism gone wrong & More!

OVID’s schedule this month (20 films total, eight exclusives) includes seven wide-ranging films in celebration of Black History Month, leading off with the documentary series on women of color rising in politics And She Could be Next (Ava DuVernay is one of its executive producers), and later in the month two rarely seen vintage films about James Baldwin.

Recent reviews

The story of the men who made bananas the most ubiquitous fruit in the world through a multinational empire that dominated production and sales, overthrew governments, and created a business model still largely used by today’s tech giants.

Now streaming!

About an obsessive search through the Arkansas bayou for proof that the ivory-billed woodpecker is not extinct.

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An aspiring television producer cashes in his life savings to produce the pilot to a documentary television series, only to find himself in a battle with nature, reality and his own internal demons.

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This strikingly impressionistic concert documentary follows enigmatic Drag City singer-songwriter Bill Callahan on a two-week tour from California to New York. For the past 25 years, under the Smog moniker and under his own name, Callahan has cultivated a legacy as both a pioneer in the lo-fi movement and one of the country’s finest troubadours. An austere and beautiful portrait of both the musician and the multifarious American landscape.

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A Washington, D.C. rock legend, Maryland-born Byron Henry “Butch” Willis came of age in the late ’70s post-hippie subculture. After sharing an apartment with infamous local music icon Root Boy Slim, Butch was inspired to become a rock’n’roll star himself. The unique and unusual brand of “outsider music” that Butch Willis & The Rocks created captivated the local music scene beginning with their appearance at the seminal Primitive Night in 1984. Amateur on Plastic chronicles Butch’s life and career from the beginning all the way through to the present day.

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“Someone who glows so brightly is not going to grow old,” Fellini once prophesied about Irene Staub, aka Lady Shiva, one of the greatest of all Swiss divas and the subject of Gabriel Baur’s documentary Glow. She was a muse, model and performer who lived in the fast lane and died tragically young. Her dream was to become a singer. This film joins another well-received film by Baur in our collection, Venus Boyz.

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Accordions Rising is the story of the variety of styles, cultural diversity, and extraordinary virtuosity of the instrument and the music that it can make. Touching on its deep history but focusing on the present, the film offers entertaining, conversational style interviews, anecdotal commentary, and both formal and informal music performances from celebrated accordionists, composers, and bands working and performing in America today. OVID holds two other films by Cantow: If This Ain’t Heaven and Clotheslines.

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In this documentary portrait, a charismatic, older, gay, Jewish man undergoes an evolution of awareness and offers viewers an opportunity for reflection about the complexity of human identity. Steve Stone tells stories of childhood ridicule in the 1950s, coming out and living as openly gay in the decades of the 60s through the 80s; finding true love, dealing with tragic loss, subsequent loneliness; the fact of aging and the meaning of faith in his life.

Now streaming!