We asked the Pickford staff for their favorites in the 2017 Doctober lineup. With over 55 films to pick from – here are our favorites:
Susie Purves, Executive Director: The Paris Opera
I don’t need a behind-the-scenes peek. I have lived most of my adult life behind the scenes, and that is why I love this movie. It shows that there is a commonality of existence from the largest, greatest arts institutions to the smallest community theaters. Do animals have to audition if they are part of the stage set? Does the President of France sit next to the Executive Director on opening night or next to a beautiful celebrity? Does the new soloist get help with his French accent? I’m falling in love all over again! It is grand
Kristen Stanovich, Projectionist: Score
What I often love most about a film is the music behind the narrative. Score: A Film Music Documentary brings together composers who have made us laugh, cry, or gasp throughout their careers, breaking down the science, art, and challenges faced when building a soundtrack for a story. Writer and director Matt Schrader conducts interviews with composers behind some of the most iconic films and scenes in cinema history bringing to light their remarkable imprint on the world of film as we know it.
Ariel Brownstein, Membership and Development Manager: Bill Nye
Bill Nye: Science Guy… Bill-Bill-Bill-Bill, Sciiiience Ruuuuules. I am a child of the 90’s, and unashamed of my resurging and ever deepening nostalgic obsession with Bill. My love for Bill is equaled if not rivaled by my distain for climate change deniers, so this is the movie for me.
Cole Wilder: Projectionist
I don’t know if I would consider myself a “rat person,” and I don’t think I (or anyone else) need to be one to see and enjoy this movie. The idea of a film that looks at the history and structure of Baltimore, which is already an interesting city, using rats, humans, and technology is truly unique, I can’t say that I’ve heard of anything else even remotely similar to it. Approaching this, or any, topic from a perspective outside our own as humans is difficult, but I have faith that Rat Film will do a good job of it, and maybe make even the most musophobic viewer at least a little more understanding of our tiny friends.
Also, the soundtrack was composed by rats with the help of Dan Deacon, who is a musical genius.
Mikayla Nicholson, Projectionist: Ex Libris
I am so stupid excited to see Frederick Wiseman’s three-hour-long observation and exploration of The New York Public Library in Ex Libris. I was introduced to Wiseman’s work last Doctober with In Jackson Heights, and have been devouring his films since then. His films are hypnotizing, even with and sometimes because of their long runtimes. There is a certain rhythm to his films that I can’t quite describe, but I’m all about it. There are no voiceovers, introductions, or talking heads, simply interesting and unflinching observations. He takes his latest deep dive into libraries, which are fascinating enough subjects on their own. In addition to seeing the inner-workings of a library as massive as the NYPL, I’m excited just to watch the different ways in which patrons use the library, from watching movies to researching cancer treatments, from writing a PhD theses to simply zoning out between stacks.
Carey Ross, Projectionist: la 92
LA 92 is my must-see. Like everyone else, I vividly remember watching the tension build and then erupt into rioting in Los Angeles in the wake of the Rodney King trial. I had not in my lifetime witnessed the way in which a spark of injustice–in this case, the acquittal of the police officers that had been caught on video brutally beating King–can touch a powder keg of oppression and racism and ignite a community. And the movie is directed by former Bellinghamster T.J. Martin, who won an Oscar for his last documentary, Undefeated. Should be a good one.
Ariana Dorshkind, Assistant Ops Manager + Volunteer Coordinator: Dolores
I was raised by my immigrant mother in a predominantly Latino neighborhood. Cesar Chavez was a name celebrated not only in my household, but in my entire school and community. With all that being said, for the longest time Dolores Huerta was just a name in Chavez’s story to me. As I grew up and became more in touch with my identity not only as a Latina, but as a feminist, I became more painfully aware of how incredibly screwed up it is that we have let Dolores Huerta be a side note in our history. Everyone should watch this film. Everyone should know her story. Everyone should be inspired to fight for the social justices that are STILL crippling our nation.
Kevin Ledford, Projectionist: Dawson City Frozen Time
This unique doc tells the story of Dawson City: Frozen time through long-lost silent film, photographs, and newsreel footage. This is a rare glimpse of life during the gold rush as well as the roots of cinematic history.
Michael Barone, Projectionist: The Farthest
I’m nuts about space and you should be too! With each carrying a Golden Record of some of humanity’s greatest achievements, the Voyager Probes are two of the most fascinating probes that NASA has ever made. Having just hit their 40th anniversary in space, they’ve provided us with so much amazing information and so many great photos of the Outer Planets. Voyager 1 is now 140AU (20.9 billion kilometers) from the Sun, traveling as the first man-made object to enter interstellar space while Voyager 2 is 115 AU (17.2 billion kilometers) from the Sun, working its way to exiting the heliosheath (the giant bubble surrounding our solar system)! Now all that really means is that these probes are super far away and we should all be excited about them; even thought their batteries are supposed to fail in 2025, the Voyager Probes are going to be floating in space long past when we’re all gone.
Winnie Griffith, Art Studios Manager: Dyna Does Dressage
There are many films in the Doctober lineup that I want to see, but I will mention Dyna Does Dressage. I always like films that show mutually positive relationships between humans and animals, and that explore the potential of animals’ abilities, their intelligence and athleticism. Animals are smarter and more capable than we think they are. If we really understood that, the world would be a different place.
Jane Julian, Associate Programmer: School Life
So many amazing films to choose from at Doctober 2017. Some have been highlighted already. But one film that really stands out for me is School Life (In Loco Parentis) which had a profound effect on me. I wanted to have “do-overs” and start my childhood all over again and go to this magical school in the Irish countryside. A sort of “Hogwarts” with an emphasis on “reading, ‘rithmatic and rock and roll”! Who wouldn’t love that?!?
Ryan Uhlhorn, Operations Manager, California Typewriter
This film may on the surface seem like an overly plain doc on typewriters and a few folks that love and repair them. It is in fact a delightful and deep look into not just typewriters, but how they really are a unique form of communication. I test ran this film with a few friends and everyone was buzzing afterwards with conversation. Not to be missed. I dug my old typewriter out.