These days, filmmakers everywhere are turning to Kickstarter or IndieGoGo to fund their films, and local director Jeffrey Durkin is no different. He's got a campaign going for his latest project, Art is a Weapon for Peace, which will examine an intersection between street art, Buddhism and refugees from Burma, the country currently known as Myanmar.
Durkin, whose design background always gives his films a unique look and feel, tells CityBeat that he wants to show “how art and creativity can be a positive force for social change in society.” To that end, he'll weave together three different stories, looking at Burmese children living in Thailand who are making art for the first time in their lives, as well as a Burmese monk who's building a library. The third story is sort of local—Durkin was inspired to make the film by watching and interviewing street-art icon Shepard Fairey as he painted a 30-foot-tall mural of a Burmese monk in South Park last year, and that experience will be a part of the movie.
“The whole project was inspired by a piece of art,” Durkin says. “It has Buddhism, religion, politics and street art, and I thought those concepts coming together would make a pretty amazing story. Burma is a censored country. To find the root for raw creativity, you have to go to a place where it's very hard to be creative.”
Durkin and his crew will head to Thailand in February to shoot footage in refugee camps near the border of the two countries, but before then, he'll be at Whistle Stop Bar, located, appropriately, in South Park (2236 fern St.), at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28. There, he'll screen several short films, including the trailer for Art as a Weapon (which can also be seen at Kickstarter.com), answer questions, raffle off some prizes and raise money for the endeavor. It's a cool project, so, ideally, you'll give a little money to the Kickstarter campaign and then head to South Park for a cocktail or three.
Arthur Christmas: Big-budget Aardman 3-D animated flick about Santa's youngest son, Arthur, who uses Santa's high-tech operation to complete a crucial mission on Christmas night.
Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace: Documentary about the 1979 Camp David Peace Accord, which created a treaty between Egypt and Israel under Jimmy Carter's administration.
Desi Boyz: Two Indian men living in the U.K. become pole dancers after the recession forces them to find work.
Hugo: Hell hath apparently frozen over— Martin Scorsese has made a 3-D PG family film.
The Muppets: Jason Segal reboots the franchise. It's time to play the music and light the lights one more time. See our review on Page 24.
My Week with Marilyn: Eddie Redmayne is Colin Clark, an assistant to Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), who has to manage his boss' relationship with Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) during a production of The Prince and the Showgirl.
The Other F Word: Documentary about rockers like Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Art Alexakis (Everclear) and Mark Hoppus (blink-182) and their take on fatherhood.
One Time Only
Planes, Trains & Automobiles: This John Hughes movie, which stars Steve Martin and John Candy, is one of the best Thanksgiving films ever. Really. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
The Shining: Kubrick's creepshow screens at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
The Great Intervention: Local guy Steve Moramarco has created a mockumentary about a 40-something man with arrested development and the intervention his parents are trying to stage to get him back into life. Screens at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 26, in Helix Little Theater at Moramarco's alma mater, Helix Charter High School. Barbarella: Roger Vadim directed his own wife, Jane Fonda, is this futuristic sextravaganza, part of the Public Library's ongoing SchlockFest. It screens at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Central Library, Downtown. Free.
Anchorman: Stay classy, San Diego, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma. Free.
The Descendants: Alexander Payne's first film since Sideways is more straightforward than his previous work, but just as rewarding. George Clooney's terrific as Matt King, a father trying to reconnect with his daughters after his wife's injured in an accident.
Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life: A biopic of the wonderful French musician Serge Gainsbourg, based upon a graphic novel that's based upon his life.
Ends Nov. 24 at the Ken Cinema. Happy Feet Two: Penguins are so 2006. Oka!: A drama about an American ethnomusicologist who spends his days recording the molimo, an instrument created by an African pygmy tribe. Rockstar: Bollywood film about an aspiring musician who decides he needs heartbreak and strife in his peaceful life if he's going to hit the big time.
Santa vs. The Snowman: Family-oriented steel-cage match plays the IMAX theater at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1: You know how Bella and Edward spent the last three movies not getting it on? Well, now they do. A Mother's Story: A woman returns to the Philippines after living in the U.S. for years and must reconnect with her husband and children.
The Interrupters: Steve James (Hoop Dreams) spends a year on Chicago's streets with several former gang bangers who've dedicated themselves to stopping the violence in their community.
Immortals: Zeus chooses Thesus (played by Henry Cavill, the next Superman) to take on Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) in a film by Tarsem Singh, who made The Cell. J. Edgar: Leonardo DiCaprio is the longtime head of the FBI in Clint Eastwood's biopic. DiCaprio's pretty good, but the film treats Hoover with kid gloves.
Jack and Jill: As if one Adam Sandler weren't enough, here he plays a nice guy and the nice guy's annoying twin sister.
Like Crazy: Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are a couple drawn to each other for years, even though her visa situation keeps her in England, while he lives in L.A. Melancholia: There's an enormous amount of symbolism in Lars von Trier's new one, which stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg facing a failed wedding and, literally, the end of the world.
Melancholia: There's an enormous amount of symbolism in Lars von Trier's new one, which stars Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg facing a failed wedding and, literally, the end of the world.
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas: About as funny as a holiday stoner 3-D movie can be, although the buzz wears off over time. Still, Neil Patrick Harris is absolutely filthy, going further than he did in the first two films.
Tower Heist: When Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick and Casey Affleck learn they've lost everything in Alan Alda's ponzi scheme, they recruit Eddie Murphy to help them rob him.
In Time: Justin Timberlake stars in this sci-fi actioner as a guy with too much time on his hands in a world where people no longer age.
Puss in Boots: Not too hard to imagine what the knock-off porn title will be of this Shrek spin-off.
Forces of Nature: This IMAX film is all about earthquakes, volcanoes and storms, things that remind us that Mother Nature is one tough mama. Screens Fridays at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
Everest: It's one seriously tall mountain, and you'll get up close and personal with it in this IMAX movie. Screens Fridays at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
The Rum Diary: Johnny Depp channels Hunter S. Thompson once again in an adaptation by the guy who made Withnail and I and How to Get Ahead in Advertising.
Margin Call: Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and a slew of high-profile talents play the 1-percenters on the eve of the financial meltdown.
Paranormal Activity 3: The guys who made Catfish helmed the latest iteration of the popular found-footage horror show.
The Skin I Live In: Antonio Banderas stars in Pedro Almodovar's drama as a plastic surgeon desperate to create a synthetic skin for his wife, who was badly burned years ago. Thing is, he needs a human subject, and he'd rather try it out on someone else before he tries it out on her.
Take Shelter: Michael Shannon is tremendous as a man whose mental illness compels him to build a storm shelter in his backyard.
The Way: Emilio Estevez directed his dad, Martin Sheen, in this film about a father who heads to Europe to try to recover the body of his estranged son.
The Ides of March: George Clooney, who's always worn his politics on his sleeve, directs and stars in his latest film, about the death of idealism in a young political consultant played by Ryan Gosling. It's well-made, but not as important as it thinks it is.
Real Steel: In the future, when boxers are replaced by robots, Hugh Jackman resurrects his career as a trainer by teaching a worthless piece of junk how to get all rock-'em, sock-'em.
Under the Sea: Go underwater and see some of the planet's most gorgeous ecosystems, before it's too late, since we're gradually destroying pretty much everything. Screening at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park.
50/50: Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Adam, a 28-year-old who learns he has cancer. Seth Rogen is his best friend, so it's got the R-rated raunch-comedy thing going on, but JGL's performance is so good you won't care.
Midnight in Paris: Woody Allen's most charming film in years stars Owen Wilson as a Jazz Age-infatuated screenwriter and aspiring novelist who ends up hanging with the likes of Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Boto be Wild 3-D: Despite sounding like yet another animated animal movie, this is an IMAX film about baby elephants and orangutans and the people who love them. Oh, and it's narrated by Morgan Freeman. Collective sigh for the baby monkeys, please.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show: The camp classic continues its ongoing run, Fridays at midnight at La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas.