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The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites. But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity? This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.
Alan Turing is the genius British mathematician who was instrumental in breaking the German naval Enigma Code during World War II, arguably saving millions of lives. Turing’s achievements went unrecognised during his lifetime. Instead he ended up being treated as a common criminal, for being homosexual at a time when homosexual acts were a crime. In 1952, he was convicted of ‘gross indecency’ with another man and was forced to undergo so-called ‘organo-therapy’ – chemical castration. Two years later, he killed himself with cyanide, aged just 41. Alan Turing was driven to a terrible despair and early death by the nation he’d done so much to save.
The modern criminal justice system is hindered by the fact that countless rape kits remain untested in police evidence storage facilities across the United States. Only eight states currently have laws requiring mandatory testing of rape kits.
Auschwitz-Birkenau was designed to kill. Four gas chambers murdered thousands at a time, belching out smoke and human ashes. Starvation, thirst, disease, and hard labor reduced the average lifespan to less than three months. More than 1-million people perished in the largest German Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Seventy years after her liberation, Kitty Hart-Moxon makes a final return to Auschwitz-Birkenau to walk among the crumbling memorial with students Natalia and Lydia, who, at 16, are the same age now as she was then. As Kitty tells them her story of daily existence, themes begin to emerge: the ever-present threat of death, resilience, friendship, human strength, resisting the Nazis’ constant lethal intent, and living like an animal while still remaining human. Natalia and Lydia ask questions; Kitty provides answers, passing her legacy to the next generation.
Fat Wreck Chords… The influential music label proud to say they’ve spent the past 25 years “ruining punk rock”. A Fat Wreck tells the story of founders Fat Mike (of the legendary punk band NOFX) and his ex-wife Erin Kelly-Burkett, spanning the birth, growth, struggles, and survival of the Fat Wreck Chords label.
In this chilling documentary about the power of addiction, three friends take their fourth longtime pal Bryant “HairKutt” Johnson to a remote cabin in the Tennessee woods, hoping to force him to kick his heroin habit. The group must cut short their trip when HairKutt’s body begins to fail without the drug, and after rushing him to a hospital, the friends are dismayed to find that he quickly returns to his old ways.
For fixed-gear cyclists, Los Angeles is a city that has it all. From the neon glow of Hollywood to the sun-drenched boardwalk of Venice Beach, fixed-gear has evolved into a vibrant street culture that is uniquely L.A. From director David Rowe (Fast Friday) comes a new documentary feature that explores a side of L.A. few outsiders have seen. From races through rush-hour traffic to midnight loft parties, To Live & Ride in L.A. is a fast paced-trip through the busy streets and back-alleys of one of the world’s largest cities. To Live & Ride in L.A. features talented local riders tearing up the streets with first-time visitor Keo Curry (Fast Friday, Macaframa) – one of the living legends of the sport. Bike to hidden spots off the map, race a midnight alley-cat, keep pace with the riders from Wolfpack, and hang with the local crews, graffiti artists and other L.A. personalities burning up the fixed-gear scene.