Tag Archives: HollywoodGlee

Note from Roger – On The Map

Almost any basketball fan from the 1970’s, especially UCLA Bruin fans, is sure to enjoy and appreciate On The Map. – HollywoodGlee

11162014-Roger-Durling_t479Dear Cinephiles,

ON THE MAP is everything you want an underdog story to be: suspenseful, inspirational, heartfelt and, ultimately, uplifting. It will make you stand up and cheer! A slam dunk!

Attached is a rave review from the LA Times. It plays tonight (Tuesday) at 5:00pm and tomorrow at 7:30pm at the Riviera Theatre.

See you at the movies!
Roger Durling

Click Here for Tickets


‘On the Map’ reveals the basketball contest that gave Israel a sense of sporting and national pride
By Kenneth Turan – Los Angeles Times

Sport, it’s been said, is the toy department of our culture, but even diversions can have their moment of unforeseen socio-political relevance.

That’s what happened in 1980, when a young U.S. Olympic ice hockey team surprised the mighty Soviets and won the gold medal in a contest that’s been described as the Miracle on Ice.

In a different sport three years earlier, and as detailed in the genial documentary “On The Map,” Israel experienced a similar epochal moment that shifted the national culture.

That was when the country’s Maccabi Tel Aviv team, with six Americans led by the charismatic Tal Brody, won the European Cup basketball championship in a tournament that had resonance above and beyond the final victory.

For it was after Maccabi’s miraculous semi-final win over CSKA Moscow, the fearsome Red Army team, that the over-the-moon Brody told a television interviewer, “We are on the map. And we are staying on the map — not only in sports but in everything.”

Israeli director Dani Menkin has been especially thorough in telling this classic against-all-odds sports story. He interviews Brody and his teammates, Israeli sports figures and American basketball luminaries like coach Digger Phelps, former NBA Commissioner David Stern and an enthusiastic Bill Walton, a former teammate of Brody’s on America’s 1970 national team.

Menkin also helps us understand why that casually uttered Brody phrase became a sensation, resonating in Israel for decades in a way that is fascinating from a historical perspective but also leads to some reflections about what is different in the world today.

The key figure in “On the Map” is obviously Brody, a fluid 6-foot-1 point guard from Trenton, N.J., who had the skills to be drafted 12th by the then-Baltimore Bullets (now the Washington Wizards) in 1965.

But before the NBA season began, Brody went to Israel to compete in the Maccabiah Games, and that experience turned him in a completely different direction. Encouraged by the owners of the Maccabi Tel Aviv team and the celebrated Gen. Moshe Dayan, he decided he wanted to be part of something bigger than the NBA, he wanted to take basketball in Israel to another level.

This idea took firmer shape in the early 1970s, when other American players, some Jewish, some not, were persuaded to join Brody. The last piece of the puzzle, 6-foot-10 center Aulcie Perry, was signed after a competing center ate so much at a team banquet that the coach was afraid he would hog the ball.

No Israeli team had ever gotten past the first round in the European Cup tourney, but “On the Map” focuses in a game-by-game way on why the 1977 event turned out to be different.

Each contest had its own drama, and we both hear about it through memories and watch chunks of the contests themselves via game footage and home movies shot by rabid fans.

That semi-final game against the U.S.S.R. was problematic for several reasons, starting with the fact that the Soviets did not recognize Israel at the time and initially refused to even play before a neutral court was found in the tiny Belgian town of Virton.

Given that CSKA Moscow had several players from the national team that had beaten the U.S. in the 1972 Olympics, the Tel Aviv team shouldn’t have had a chance, which gave Israel’s victory so much resonance that former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, also interviewed here, says it helped sustain him during nine years in a Siberian prison camp.

While the final game against an Italian team was so watched in Israel that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin postponed the announcement of his resignation until it ended, Brody’s quote became the memory that lasted.

It was, in its exuberance, perfect for a time when Israel was seen and saw itself as a plucky underdog on the world stage. Whether justifiably or not, that perception has changed, and without really meaning to, “On the Map” brings today’s situation into sharper focus.

(Source: sbiff.org)

7 Questions with THE LOVE WITCH Director Anna Biller

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Blossoming auteur, Anna Biller, makes her follow-up directorial to her self-headlined Viva with this fantastical, comedic, Technicolor thriller of Elaine, a beautiful young witch, with an undying determination to find a man to love her. In her gothic Victorian apartment she makes spells and potions, and then picks up men and seduces them. Her spills and potions work a little too well, leaving a string of helpless, hapless victims. After she finally meets up with the man of her dreams, her desperation to be loved drives her over the edge of insanity to commit murder.

Come see the Love Witch and a Q & A  with Director Anna Biller at the Los Angeles Nuart Theater!



Actress Samantha Robinson
Plus Principal Cast Members
Fri Nov 11, 7:00pm show w/Q&A*
Sat Nov 12, 7:00pm show w/Q&A
Sun Nov 13, 4:00pm show w/Q&A
*With Filmmaker Anna Biller

The Love Witch is the second feature film from Anna Biller and it recently received distribution from Oscilloscope Laboratories. Biller’s first feature was Viva(2007), a dramedy about two Los Angeles suburbanites who experiment with drugs

HollywoodGlee talked with Biller about the film screening in select theaters beginning November 11th. For detailed information on screenings click here.

  1. How Did the Premise Of The Screenplay for TheLove Witch come to you?

elaine_wayne-1I wanted to write something to do with women’s psychology.  So, I created a character who has a very complex psychology that allowed her to have power over men by using her sexuality. And, I wanted the audience to get to know my character. I spent the first phase of the process writing dialogue that would express the psychology of my characters. I wanted Elaine to be from the Golden Age of Film where intelligent women characters are interesting to learn about while getting to know who they are as people. I ended up cutting much of the other characters dialogue in the editing process.

2. Horror films about witchcraft and the occult often don’t have comedic tones.

Anna Biller

The Love Witch isn’t necessarily meant to be comedy. It’s just the absurdity of the relationship aspect. Relationship issues are often comedic so I feel it’s an interesting dynamic that adds color to the witchcraft versus it all being dark and frightening.

 3. You’re credited with writing, directing, set design and costuming.

I enjoy making things with my hands. It took me seven years to create the props and the costumes. I didn’t have the financing of a studio so I could oversee it and still have control.

4. Your lead actor Samantha Robinson had been a stage actor and a model. What did she bring to the character of Elaine that surprised you?

She had been doing theater and was taking acting classes. She brought a strong presence with her poise and added a lot to the character with her subtle nuances.

 5. Any filmmakers have an influence on your work?

Alfred Hitchcock. He was a master technician. His use of lighting to convey meaning and emotion and his use of psychology especially with women are big influences. I spent a lot of time working out the character’s psychology and needed to re-write and adjust some of the dialogue to keep the pace of the film where I wanted it. I would have loved to have been able to fulfill all the characters.


6. Why did you choose Technicolor for your films?

The films I watched were made in Technicolor so I wanted my films to look that way. I feel it’s a richer viewing experience with color. I use a lot of red.

7. What’s next?

I’d like to do a film about a sociopathic husband from the wife’s point of view as she uncovers the issues her husband has been hiding from her.

The Love Witch opens in Los Angeles  at the Landmark Nuart Theater on November 11th. For information on additional screenings click here.

Here is a Public Service Announcement courtesy of Oscilloscope Labs: