Two films that played in Orange County in March and April to wide critical acclaim--if by "wide critical acclaim" you mean "received positive reviews from OC Weekly"--will screen up the road in that little berg that natives call Los Angeles in the days ahead.
Of Quality of Life, a drama about the lives of San Francisco graffitti writers that showed at Edwards University in Irvine, we wrote: "this li'l pic packs authentic street grittiness, a kicking soundtrack (featuring the likes of Modest Mouse, Sebadoh and Built to Spill) and a surprisingly strong performance from first-time actor [Brian] Burnam, who also co-wrote the screenplay with [director Benjamin] Morgan." You can read the full review here and our interview with Morgan here.
Quality of Life opens Friday, May 26, (Memorial Day weekend) at Laemmle's Fairfax 3, 7907 Beverly Blvd., LA. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended here for the weekend screenings, which include appearances and audience Q&A's with Quality lead actor/Prison Break cast member/recent People magazine subject Lane Garrison (Friday night), Morgan (Friday and Saturday nights) and producer Brant Smith (Sunday and Monday nights).
But a film we recommended even more highly is the documentary Fuck, which won an award at April's Newport Beach Film Festival, where director/producer Steve Anderson had a couple years earlier received an award for his desert potboiler The Big Empty. Things were going gangbusters for Fuck--which features everyone from Alan Keyes to Tera Patrick to Judith "Miss Manners" Martin to Hunter S. Thompson (in likely his final time on film) talking about fuck, in all its assorted forms--even before the NBFF. ThinkFILM had just picked it up for theatrical distribution, probably in the fall. But one of those curveballs life throws you spurred on the upcoming special benefit screening at 7:30 p.m. this Tuesday at the Fine Arts Theater, 8556 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 360-0455. Proceeds from the showing benefit Fuck co-producer Christine Pechera, who Anderson reports is dying from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma and has only a few weeks to live if she cannot find a full-match bone marrow donor.
The 34-year-old beat cancer four years ago when a rare, very aggressive form of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma gave her a tumor the size of a pineapple in her chest. She survived a devastating and extremely risky stem cell transplant, which was successful--her cancer had gone into remission. But now the cancer is back. Initially two tumors were found, and Pechera recently underwent four days of intensive chemotherapy to fight off a new, third tumor.
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"Christine was amazing on our film," says Anderson. "Her work ethic and enthusiasm were contagious. We felt this screening, to show this film she worked so hard on, was the least we could do for a member of the family." Tickets are $20 (or more if you can spare it), and the evening includes a Q&A session with the filmmakers. You can also show your support by buying a wristband that also helps the Christine Pechera Foundation. (You can also get one by calling 310/739-5178 or emailing here.)
And what exactly does the writing on those wristbands spell out? What else?
As Anderson says, "If there's a better use for the word 'fuck,' I can't think of it."