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In a dreary Midwestern suburb, aggro punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner) finds himself on the run again after a bout of arson and a close call with the police. A chance encounter with the eccentric Patty (Emily Skeggs) provides him a place to hide, though she fails to realize that her new friend is the anonymous lead singer of her favorite band. As the two embark on a series of misadventures, they realize they have a lot more in common than they first expected.
Skeggs and Gallner are the perfect unconventional couple in this off-the-wall, daring comedy boosted by a generous helping of absurdity and instantly quotable dialogue. Skeggs’s vulnerability and unassuming charm seamlessly offset Gallner’s no-nonsense recklessness and unwavering scowl. Without compromising his surprisingly sweet touch, writer-director Adam Rehmeier explores how two misfits find each other through music and chaos. Set to the beat of brilliant original songs, Dinner in America is an empowering and wild ride through the places and people of suburbia—in all their peculiar forms.
Produced by Nicky Weinstock AB '91
Sundance Film Festival screening times here.
When Deb (Glenn Close) gets a surprise visit from her daughter Molly (Mila Kunis), she is less than thrilled. She is, in fact, terrified. At first, it may seem like Deb is being cruel, initially refusing to let Molly into her house. But Molly is a drug addict with a decade-long history of failed detox programs, who repeatedly swore she wanted to get better but then lied to and stole from the family. Deb’s refusal to give Molly yet another chance gradually fades when she sees glimpses of the child she knew in this deeply broken young woman. Something about this time feels different—or does she just want it to feel different?
Rodrigo Garcia AB '82 is a master of empathy, whose confident direction guides two exceptionally nuanced performances by Close and Kunis in this tense story of hope and codependency. A true emotional rollercoaster, Four Good Days showcases the desperate decisions of a family destroyed by Molly’s addiction to drugs and her mother’s guilt-ridden compulsion to save her.
Rodrigo Garcia’s award-winning films include Nine Lives, Albert Nobbs, Mother and Child, and Things You Can Tell Just by Looking at Her. His television credits include the pilots of In Treatment, Carnivàle, Big Love, Bull, and the upcoming Party of Five series reboot. Garcia is co-CEO of the digital studio Indigenous Media, which produced the series Five Points, Lauren, and Blue.
Sundance Film Festival screening times here.
In a quiet southern town, popular and charismatic theatre kid Krista finds herself increasingly drawn to Nito, the new student in her high school who catches her attention with his impressive skating videos. The two share an easy rapport and quickly grow close. Unbeknownst to her, their lives and that of her gun-loving neighbor, Adam, will soon become intertwined—until they reach a breaking point.
Director Danny Madden takes his award-winning short film Krista and impressively transforms it into an unsettling feature exploration of adolescence, performance, and identity. Newcomer Shirley Chen AB '22 gives a remarkable breakout performance, crackling with the vulnerability and joy of first love, while Will Madden and Jose Angeles deliver disquieting turns as young men grasping for individuality in an uncertain time. Brimming with energy and style, Beast Beast captures what it means to come of age in an era marked by technology and social media, where violent clashes awaken dormant passions and teenagers are faced with growing up all too quickly.
View Sundance's official BEAST BEAST page for screening info.
Inside the palm-tree-lined streets of The Villages, America’s largest and most utopian retirement community in central Florida, we meet four residents living on the margins, struggling to find happiness. Referred to as the “Disneyland for Retirees,” this preplanned community offers perfectly manicured lawns, singles mixers, bocce ball, and countless activities to re-energize the golden years of life.
While most of “the Villagers” have bought into the packaged positivity, Barbara, Dennis, and couple Anne and Reggie each struggle to find their footing in this fantasy land as they seek new purpose, look for second love, and navigate the extremes of mental deterioration.
In his feature debut, filmmaker Lance Oppenheim, 2019 Sundance Ignite fellow, delicately balances the humor and absurdity of an outlandish setting with the deeply human experiences of those living within it. Lance’s strength as a filmmaker is epitomized through the subtle nuances of melancholy that lie within the fabric of this film. With strikingly composed cinematography, Some Kind of Heaven challenges our stereotypes around aging, emboldening its characters to live as vibrantly as possible in the time they have left.
Lance Oppenheim AB '19 is a filmmaker from South Florida. His films explore the lives of people who create homes in unconventional places and circumstances. He was a 2019 Sundance Ignite fellow, was one of Filmmaker magazine's 2019 "25 new faces of independent film," and is the youngest contributor to the New York Times: Op-Docs. Oppenheim graduated from Harvard University’s visual and environmental studies program in 2019. Some Kind of Heaven is his first feature film.
Complete screening info from Sundance here.
As a young aspiring chef in Mexico, Iván works at a restaurant, hoping to land a spot in the kitchen while supporting the mother of his child. One night he meets Gerardo, a handsome teacher who, unlike Iván, is out as a gay man. Their chemistry is instant. The discovery of their romance, however, causes conflict, and he is told he can no longer see his son. In despair, Iván makes the arduous decision to cross the border to advance his culinary career, promising his son and newfound love he will return.
After co-directing many award-winning documentaries, many of which have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Heidi Ewing returns with her solo directorial narrative debut. This bittersweet American Dream is based on an acclaimed New York City chef, whose cuisine pays homage to his beloved country. Lensed by the impressive and fast-rising Mexican cinematographer Juan Pablo Ramírez, Iván’s memory is rendered indelible, making Iván’s predicament of not being able to return to Mexico all the more heartrending. The film is a tender romance and a complicated journey beautifully captured.
Produced by Mynette Louie AB '97
Sundance Film Festival screening information here.
It’s the 1980s, and David, a seven-year-old Korean American boy, is faced with new surroundings and a different way of life when his father, Jacob, moves their family from the West Coast to rural Arkansas. His mother, Monica, is aghast that they live in a mobile home in the middle of nowhere, and naughty little David and his sister are bored and aimless. When his equally mischievous grandmother arrives from Korea to live with them, her unfamiliar ways arouse David’s curiosity. Meanwhile, Jacob, hell-bent on creating a farm on untapped soil, throws their finances, his marriage, and the stability of the family into jeopardy.
Inspired by his own upbringing, writer-director Lee Isaac Chung creates a gorgeous, delicate American Dream story by infusing it with Korean melodrama and the playful charm of a Yasujiro Ozu film, as the Yi family embraces their highs and endures their lows. Each character is drawn with loving authenticity and depth, while Steven Yeun shines as Jacob, a man determined to achieve his dreams at all costs.
Produced by Jeremy Kleiner AB '98
Sundance Film Festival screen times here.
Hey there, writers, producers, actors, agents, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, creatives, executives, students, managers, and dreamers! Let's say you're about to
• Pitch your TV show or movie.
• Ask for a raise.
• Pitch your world-changing idea to raise money for your startup.
• Argue your case in a court of law.
• Defend your dissertation.
• Make a major presentation in front of a big-name corporate client.
• Get on stage at a big conference.
• Run for public office.
Do you want to have jitters about this? Not know what to do? Lose the raise? Get passed over for the promotion? Mess up your thesis defense? Botch the presenation or pitch?
No? You don't want to suck at this sort of mission-critical thing? Of course you don't!
What would it feel like to know exactly how to pitch your ideas such that they have maximum impact? What would it feel like to do it without jitters or nervousness? What would it feel like to turn your public speaking ability from a weakness, to a strength, to your personal secret SUPERPOWER? What would it feel like to know you have the tools to WIN?
We can help you do that.
In this 4-hour workshop-style masterclass, you will learn how to present your ideas in a way that your life will become an avalanche of YES coming at you from all directions. This is a master class on real-world infuence and persuasive power by two seasoned professionals.
Your instructor for the first half is Brant Pinvidic - Hollywood producer, pitch master, and author of the new book The 3 Minute Rule: Say Less to Get More from Any Pitch or Presentation (Amazon rating: 5.0/5.0 stars!). He has sold more than three hundred TV shows and movies, runs a TV network, and helmed one of the largest production companies in the world with smash hits like The Biggest Loser and Bar Rescue. In his nearly twenty years of experience, he’s developed a simple, straightforward system that’s helped hundreds—from Fortune 100 CEOs to PTA presidents—use top-level Hollywood storytelling techniques to simplify their messages and say less to get more.
With Pinvidic’s ingenious 3-Minute Rule Method, anyone can deliver a great pitch, for any idea, in any situation, so your audience not only remembers your message but can pass it on to their friends and colleagues. With his accessible and humorous style, Brant will show us how the method works in a wide range of situations—from presenting investment opportunities in a biotech startup to pitching sponsorship deals for major sports stadiums. He will equip you with an easy, foolproof method to boil down any idea to its essential elements and structure it for maximum impact!
Your second instructor is three-time TEDx speaker, public speaking coach, behavioral change specialist, and self-help author Ali Binazir, M.D., M.Phil. A graduate of Harvard, Cambridge and UC San Diego School of Medicine, Dr Ali has been helping clients radically change their behavior and dissolve personal barriers for over 20 years. He's the creator of the top-rated online course Super Charisma: How to Be a Transformative Speaker and author of The Tao of Dating: The Smart Woman's Guide to Being Absolutely Irresistible, the #1-rated dating book on Amazon for 5 years, which has helped tens of thousands of women create more fulfilling love lives.
Dr Ali will share with you the Super Charisma framework for world-class public speaking. He will show you how to use your body, voice and words to convey the essential qualities of competence, caring and presence so you can move your audience -- and change the world with your ideas.
NOTE: This is the an extremely rare occasion where BOTH Brant and Ali are in town together in LA. They both charge hundreds per hour for coaching, so it's a damn fine deal to get 4 hours of both of them for a mere 100 beans.
ONE MORE NOTE: This is a highly interactive workshop. To demonstrate the concepts live, during the talk Dr Ali will live-coach 3 volunteers from the audience. If you would like to be coached, have ready a 1min presentation on a topic of your choice.
HELL, WHY NOT, YET ONE MORE NOTE: Reasonably-priced, plentiful parking is available across the street in Santa Monica Parking Structure #6. Remember that it's right turns only into the lot, so approach it from Broadway 'cause you can't make a left coming from Santa Monica Blvd.
9:00am: Doors open
9.15am: Brant Pinvidic, The 3-Minute Rule
11am: 15min intermission
11.15am: Dr Ali Binazir, Super Charisma
1pm: End of workshop and start of your imminent greatness
With her irresistible blend of show-stopping talent and effusive charm, vocalist & two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster is Broadway royalty.
Tickets: $80, $70, $60
Buy Tickets or 617-496-2222
Sutton Foster is an award-winning actor, singer and dancer who has performed in 11 Broadway shows – most recently the revival of Violet – and originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
She was first seen on television on Star Search at age 15, and has more recently appeared in Bunheads, Psych, Johnny and the Sprites, Flight of the Conchords, Sesame Street, Law and Order SVU and Royal Pains.
As a solo artist, Sutton has performed all over the country as well as internationally with her musical director Michael Rafter… featuring songs from her debut solo CD “Wish” as well as her follow up CD, “An Evening With Sutton Foster: Live at the Cafe Carlyle.” She has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Feinstein’s, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series, Joe’s Pub and many others.
In 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate degree from Ball State University where she also is on faculty as a teacher and advisor to the Department of Theatre and Dance.
Since March 2015, she stars in TVLand’s new series, “Younger” created by Darren Star.
Registration Deadline: Thursday, January 30. As of today, there are just 22 seats remaining.
Burgundy produces some of the most breathtakingly beautiful red and white wines made anywhere on the planet. But it can seem a complex and confusing region. In this event, over a lavish 5-course dinner, with 5 extraordinary and memorable wine pairings, Jeannie Cho Lee will guide us through the mysteries of Burgundy.
Jeannie Cho Lee MPP '00 is probably Asia's most respected authority on wine. Her book Asian Palate won the 2009 Gourmand Award for Best Food and Wine Pairing Book in the World, against 6,000 other books from 136 countries. It also won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Award in "Wine, Beer, or Spirits" and the Organisation Internationale de la Vigne et du Vin Award in "Wine and Gastronomy", and it was one of only 4 books shortlisted for the Andre Simon Award. Her just-published new book The 100 Burgundy: Exceptional Wines to Build a Dream Cellar has been praised by Stephen Spurrier as "A roll call of Burgundy's greatest wines, described with effortless beauty by someone who understands them as true works of art." She is a wine consultant and wine educator, and is the host of In Vino Veritas weekly series on Hong Kong's TVB Television. Jeannie Cho Lee is a Master of Wine.
The 100 Burgundy: Exceptional Wines to Build a Dream Cellar will be available for purchase, and booksigning will follow the dinner.
We now have a tentative menu (very much subject to revision). The selection of wines is still being worked out. This menu will be updated, and the wines added, as soon as possible.
The evening will begin at 6:30 with a cheese reception, with the 5-course dinner beginning at 7 pm. There will be extensive discussion of each wine.
Shaved Heirloom Carrots,
Chervil and Creme Fraiche
with Caviar and Lobster Sauce
with Crosnes and Soft Polenta
Rack of Lamb
with a Dijon Crust and Black Garlic
Chocolate Blackberry Pavlova
Note: If you're not already a dues-paying member of Harvardwood, or if your membership has lapsed, we recommend that you first join Harvardwood (or renew) and then register for the event below so as to get the reduced members' price. Dues are only $48 per year, and, yes, we even have a membership category for people who did not attend Harvard.
Special thanks to Anne Griffin
Members, Register Here
Purchase tickets $130.00 Members & Friends
Join Harvardwood members and the London School of Economics Los Angeles Alumni Chapter at our joint happy hour on February 6, 2020. Bring friends, or come solo—all are welcome to this networking event! Please RSVP below to attend. We are excited to see you at The Wellesbourne!