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Film feels the beat of Fishbone

By SCENE HERE Loren King
Globe Correspondent / January 1, 2012
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Producer-director Chris Metzler brings his rock ’n’ roll documentary “Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone’’ to the Boston area for a number of screenings over the next two weeks. The film, helmed by Metzler and Lev Anderson and narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne, charts the 25-year career of the punk/funk band Fishbone, whose members hail from south central Los Angeles. Lead singer Angelo Moore and bassist Norwood Fisher defied categorization and stereotyping, making Fishbone one of the most original bands to come out of the 1980s. The film features interviews with Fishbone, Flea, Ice-T, Gwen Stefani, Perry Farrell, Bob Forrest, Branford Marsalis, and George Clinton. The area screenings, each followed by a question-and-answer session with Metzler, kick off Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Regent Theatre in Arlington. The film will also play Jan. 13-19 at Cinema Salem; Jan. 14 at 5 p.m. at Cape Anne Cinema in Gloucester; and Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. at the Beverly Cinema. If you miss those theatrical screenings, watch for the documentary’s national broadcast premiere on Jan. 22 when it will launch PBS’s Afro-Pop documentary series (check local listings). The documentary will also be released on iTunes Feb. 1 to coincide with Black History Month, and a special DVD edition will be available Feb. 22 through the film’s website, www.fishbonedocumentary.com.

‘Ties’ to the Big Apple

The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF) at Brandeis University is bringing a special presentation to New York’s Lincoln Center. On Jan. 15 at 1 p.m., the Walter Reade Theater will host the North American premiere of the NCJF’s restoration of the only surviving print of “Breaking Home Ties,’’ a 1922 American silent film directed by Frank Seltzer and George Rowlands. Sharon Pucker Rivo, NCJF co-founder and executive director, will introduce the 78-minute film, a family melodrama set in Russia and New York, that was long believed to be lost. Rivo found the lone print of “Breaking Home Ties’’ in a Berlin archive in 1984. Composer and pianist Donald Sosin wrote a new score for the film and will perform it live at the screening. According to the NCJF, “Breaking Home Ties’’ was produced by Jewish filmmakers with the express purpose of countering the pervasive negative stereotyping of Jews and the escalating anti-Semitism incited by the Ku Klux Klan and Henry Ford in the 1920s. For tickets and more information, go to www.filmlinc.com/films/on-sale/breaking-home-ties.

Contemporary slave story

Writer-director Anthony Deveney’s “Noah’’ has its area premier at the Belmont Studio Cinema on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The film takes place in an alternate present-day America, where slavery was never abolished. The story follows an escaped slave named Noah (Andy Jasmin) who attempts to find freedom. Deveney is the cofounder with James Deveney of Identical Films, based in Waltham, and “Noah’’ is its first feature. Jasmin leads a cast that includes Lindsey McWhorter, Heidi Gennaro, and Derek Theron. For more information, go to www.identicalfilms.com.

People to watch

One of the strongest documentaries in the recent Boston Jewish Film Festival gets an encore showing at the Museum of Fine Arts this Wednesday through Jan. 8. “Paul Goodman Changed My Life’’ is about the poet, philosopher, political radical, open bisexual, co-founder of Gestalt therapy, and member of the New York Jewish intelligentsia who thrived during the 1950s and ’60s. His book, “Growing Up Absurd,’’ was a staple on college campuses and Goodman was a regular on television talk shows such as William F. Buckley Jr.’s “Firing Line.’’ Jonathan Lee’s lively documentary examines the roots of Goodman’s creativity, intellect, and political radicalism. Taylor Stoehr, a professor of literature at UMass Boston and Goodman’s literary executor, authorized biographer, and editor, is prominently featured in the film. Also upcoming at the MFA, Jan. 11-15, is “The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground,’’ a portrait of the leading klezmer orchestra in New York. The documentary follows the group on its home turf, Israel and Poland. For showtimes and more information, go to www.mfa.org.

Big movies, big screens

The ’50s and ’60s may have been the swan song for most of the great movie palaces in downtown Boston, but they can be revisited in all their opulent glory in Newton resident Arthur Singer’s new book, “Boston’s Downtown Movie Palaces,’’ part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America’’ series of local history books. The book features more than 200 vintage photographs compiled by Ron Goodman of Quincy (the cover features a crowd, complete with a marching band, outside the now-restored Paramount Theatre with “Sands of Iwo Jima’’ on its marquee). It’s available in stores now, or go to www.arcadiapublishing.com.

Loren King can be reached at loren.king@comcast.net.

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