Three of my favorite watches this year, Bristol Fashion, Only In Theaters, and Cosmic Disco Detective Rene, will be screened in Chicago on 11/29/2023 at FACETS! The films will be screening at 5 PM (Bristol Fashion), 7 PM (Only in Theaters), and 9 PM (Cosmic Disco Detective Rene) and each will have a Q&A session with the directors following the film! In an interview with Sujewa Ekanayake and Raphael Sbarge, two the directors who will be featured, Sujewa promised, “expect the weird!”
FACETS theater is an arthouse theater that is part of a non-profit founded in 1975, and their mission is to “connect people to independent ideas through transformative film experiences.” The Indie Discovery LA film series is a perfect fit!
Indie Discovery LA – Chicago will be kicking off with Bristol Fashion, in its Chicago debut. Bristol Fashion is a ‘slice of an interesting life’ film that I’ve reviewed before. Its focus is on Christina, a woman who is not only buying a boat to fix up, but lives in the boatyard while the work is done. Christina is trans, and this movie is a frank, funny, honest look at these pivotal moments in her journey. Featuring thoughtful, evocative cinematography and interesting views that intersect interesting performances and a compelling storyline, Bristol Fashion is a great film that celebrates its setting and reaffirms our beautiful, messy lives.
Bristol Fashion will be screening at 5, and followed by a Q&A with director Pierre Guillet – who is a tugboat captain! Amazing!
The next film in the amazing arthouse lineup is Only In Theaters, a film by Raphael Sbarge that explores the Laemmle theaters in Los Angeles – not only their history as a family-run arthouse theater but the challenges faced over a two year span. Originally intended to highlight the stresses brought to theaters by the rise of streaming, Sbarge’s thoughtful documentary also managed to capture the extreme impact of the pandemic on this important theater chain. Like much of Sbarge’s work, Only In Theaters is thoughtful, inspiring and lingers in the mind and the heart long after the credits have stopped rolling. In fact, Only in Theaters is the inspiration for Ekanayake’s Indie Discovery LA film series.
Only in Theaters will be screening at 7 PM and will be followed by a Q&A session with Raphael Sbarge, a long-time talent on stage, screen, video games, and film – and all around amazing person. Don’t miss the chance to see this film in a theater and ask him questions about it!
Rounding out the Chicago-style Indie Discovery LA series is Ekanayake’s film, Cosmic Disco Detective Rene. This quirky, funny sci-fi infused indie film is a sequel to Ekanayake’s The Secret Society For Slow Romance. This disco star of an indie film is a celebration of independent film, New York, and the magical transformation of meaningful conversations. In addition to its cast of characters, Ekanayake once again elevates its New York setting to the status of character. Come along with Rene as he tries to unravel the mystery of immortal time travelers.
Cosmic Disco Detective Rene will be screening at 9 PM and will feature a Q&A with indie filmmaker Sujewa Ekanayake afterwards. Not only is Sujewa the indiest of indie filmmakers, he has an extensive knowledge of the language of film and a deep love of all things indie – don’t miss your chance to talk to him about this quirky sci-fi romp!
I had the chance to sit down and talk with Ekanayake and Sbarge and talk to them about this exciting event. It’s always a great time to talk to two of my favorite people, so check out the interview!
Indie Discovery LA is going to be an amazing arthouse event that features movies that are steeped in the true independent spirit. And, if you bring a copy of Richard Brody’s book, “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard”, or bring a receipt from a recent purchase from Matthew Zoller Seitz’s store, you can get a ticket to Cosmic Disco Detective Rene’s screening for free!
And as Ekanayake said, expect the weird – and I can’t think of a better pitch than that!