Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 29, 2015

Posts in "Flicks"

March 13, 2015

No Doc Fix for Barney Frank Fans

It appears self-styled equality champ Barney Frank can no longer catch a break in #ThisTown.

No Doc Fix for Barney Frank Fans

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Not only has the documentary team that followed the Massachusetts Democrat around during his final year in Congress struggled to make ends meet on Indiegogo, now the art house theater where the trio had originally planned to stage the D.C. premiere of “Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank” is staggering toward a fast-approaching final bow.

Filmmaker Sheila Canavan told HOH plans to share the up-close-and-personal look at the former lawmaker with District cinephiles have been shelved pending the conclusion of the ongoing fundraising push. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 1:11 p.m.
Flicks, Reps

February 9, 2015

Niki Tsongas, Jerrold Nadler Embraced by LGBT Filmmakers

Words of support that House Democrats Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts and Jerrold Nadler of New York extended to a same-sex couple whose union was threatened by the polarizing Defense of Marriage Act are slated to appear in an upcoming movie about the ongoing struggle.

According to Caroline Hart, the European half of a domestic partnership that came under fire after Department of Homeland Security agents tossed around talk of deportation following a return flight from her native England, the kind words both lawmakers shared via Twitter will be rolled into “Status Unknown” — a dramatization of the nightmare scenario she experienced at Logan Airport. Full story

January 27, 2015

‘Compared to What’ Team Campaigns to Bring Flick to D.C.

Sheila Canavan and Michael Chandler, the documentarians who filmed former Rep. Barney Frank throughout the Massachusetts Democrat’s final year in Congress, have launched an online fundraising effort to help spread their still-in-need-of-fine-tuning project nationwide.

“Compared to What? The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank,” a pull-no-punches peek into Frank’s personal and professional lives, began making the festival rounds last year, opening first at Tribeca before migrating West.

While pleased with the industry response, Chandler told HOH he’s ready to share the film with a broader audience.

“It was fun being at the festivals. But we want the world to see it,” Chandler said of the dream of wider distribution.

Full story

January 26, 2015

Mother Nature Threatens Congressional Movie Night

Possible encroachment by the blizzard battering the Northeast has the organizers of a tentative “Selma” screening on Capitol Hill worried that inclement weather may bury their plans.

An aide to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told HOH that Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga.; Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.; and Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., were expected to co-host a screening Tuesday of the historical drama for fellow House lawmakers. One of the staffers coordinating the showing said the South Congressional Auditorium in the Capitol Visitor Center has been reserved, but noted that the rapidly changing forecast — D.C. was supposed to be blanketed already, but may still see some treacherous precipitation before everything blows over — has given the group pause.

Lewis brought up the bipartisan movie plans during a National Press Club discussion of his latest autobiographical project, “March: Book Two.” Full story

January 14, 2015

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

‘Spare Parts’ Perfectly Sums Up DREAM Act, Durbin Says

Durbin watches “Spare Parts” at the E Street Cinema Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

An uplifting film about four scrappy, Mexican teens who turned the tables on fate by winning a prestigious robotics design competition underscores the exact opportunities Sen. Richard J. Durbin has fought to provide for undocumented immigrants over the past decade, according to the Illinois Democrat.

The movie, “Spare Parts,” chronicles the mind-blowing journey Oscar Vazquez and his high school pals — a rag-tag group of grossly underfunded, would-be engineers — experienced after taking it upon themselves to enter a NASA-sponsored contest to build an underwater rover. Full story

December 19, 2014

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Head movie honcho Dodd criticized the North Korean regime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The blowback against the “sophisticated actors” who’ve managed to muzzle the dimwitted duo at the heart of gag flick “The Interview,” has now officially swelled from general outrage to international incident.

Earlier this week, lawmakers railed against the abrupt shelving of the absurdist romp, but the administration continued to play things close to the vest. No mas. Full story

December 18, 2014

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moviegoers from all walks of life have been stopped dead in their tracks by Sony’s decision to drop the sociopolitical football that is  “The Interview” from its schedule, due to mounting pressures from external forces.

Just days after the film’s co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco bowed out of making any more public appearances for the film, the besieged studio packed it in as well, shelving a satirical romp that has purportedly deeply offended supporters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The stunning case of self-censorship unleashed a cacophony of analyses from instapundits.

Full story

December 16, 2014

DHS Not Ready to Torpedo ‘The Interview’ Opening

International troublemakers Seth Rogen and James Franco may be ready to run for cover from the mystery hackers who’ve brought Sony to its horribly bruised knees, but the feds see no reason (yet) to deprive moviegoers of a few laughs on Christmas.

Per Variety, the Department of Homeland Security has found “no credible intelligence” regarding threats the self-proclaimed “Guardians of Peace” have leveled against those who plan on seeing the farcical flick later this month.

Full story

December 8, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 1 (Video)

Congress kicked off the final month of the year brining turkeys, plugging favorite movies and crying on the House floor.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 2, 2014

Solons Follow Blues Brothers’ Lead

In a rare show of unanimity, House lawmakers Tuesday overwhelmingly agreed to permanently drive a wedge between Nazi sympathizers and future social security benefits.

Jake and Elwood would be so proud.

Roll Call Results Map: Results and District Profiles for Every Seat

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November 12, 2014

Jim McDermott Marshals Support Around ‘Korengal’

Ex-Navy psychiatrist-turned-Rep. Jim McDermott will attempt to kick-start a conversation about veterans’ mental health issues by hosting a screening Thursday of the Afghanistan war-tracking documentary, “Korengal.”

Event organizers have scheduled an opening reception for 6:30 p.m. in the Congressional Auditorium of the Capitol Visitor Center, with a 7:30 p.m. screening to follow. They will also host a panel discussion with McDermott, filmmaker Sebastian Junger and representatives of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors afterwards. Interested parties may RSVP via email (jack.dannibale@mail.house.gov) or by phone (202-430-0311).

The unflinching film, which follows directly in the footsteps of Junger’s earlier, award-winning effort, “Restrepo,” explores the horrible toll modern combat exacts from those stuck on the front lines of the decade-plus long war on terror.

“You do terrible things. Then you have to live with them afterwards,” one soldier explains on camera.

A McDermott aide said the Washington Democrat has been working with Junger and Vietnam War veteran turned author Karl Marlantes for the past few years on establishing a national commission on veterans intended to help unburden battle-scarred warriors.

“Today, we are seeing too many casualties among American soldiers in their transition home.  In light of this crisis, Congress must act,” McDermott counseled in a release.

Related:

In ‘Korengal,’ Junger Closes the Book on Afghanistan

Film Captures Afghanistan’s Toll

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:57 p.m.
Flicks, HillSide, Reps

November 4, 2014

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

It’s Election Day 2014!

Which means its like Chrismukkah for political reporters who’ve spent several weeks/months/years weathering the avalanche of numbing campaign emails, soldiering through awkward interviews with combative candidates and crisscrossed countless counties to pick potential voters’ brains about what they want from their elected leaders.

Jake Tapper, a one-time Roll Call cartoonist turned host of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” has been in the thick of things seemingly forever.

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the countdown on to another marathon session of gorging on real-time voting returns, HOH quizzed Tapper about the good, the bad and the ugly of midterm mania.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

JT: Too many to count, but if I had to pick three Senate races that I’m really watching intensely, they are Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina. OK, that’s four. And Wisconsin and Florida for governor. But honestly, it’s not fair asking political junkies to pick faves with so many good ones to pick from!

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

JT: Florida, because if the winner has a margin of victory of 0.5 percent or less — which looks to be entirely possible — it goes to an automatic recount. And last time that happened I ended up all but a resident of Tallahassee for more than a month. So in addition to covering an intense race and getting a jump on the recount story, I would have squatters’ rights on a hotel room. (Anyone who lived through that knows the importance — especially for the FSU-Florida game weekend.)

Full story

Electoral Roller Coaster: Brace Yourself Edition

The problem with most — nay, every — campaign is that there must invariably be a winner and, pardon my French, a loser.

Assuming you and yours do wind up in the latter category this evening (or somewhere down the line), do try and make peace with whatever outcome unfolds.

Far be it from me to begrudge anyone a cathartic pity party. (Go ahead. Give that one-hit wonder Daniel Powter a final spin.)

But don’t wallow too long.

Lest you spend the rest of your days — much like these poor saps — slogging through the emotional quagmire colloquially known as the five stages of grief.

Denial and Isolation

Lying to oneself is rarely a winning proposition.

Just ask grossly disillusioned short-timer Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth. Full story

Electoral Roller Coaster: Ridin’ High Edition

Looking good, champ!

Another grueling race (virtually) in the bag. A big, shiny check-mark for the fabled win column.

There’s nothing wrong with savoring this hard-earned moment — basking in the validation of the citizenry entrusting you to be their white knight here on Capitol Hill.

Unless, of course, one were to get completely carried away and begin behaving like a three-sheets-to-the-wind wastoid barreling through the various stages of drinking.

Euphoria

Momentary adulation does not convey carte blanche to do/say whatever the hell pops into your endorphin-soaked mind.

Loose-cannon campaigner Mike Donnelly can certainly attest to that cold hard reality. Full story

October 29, 2014

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

C-SPAN’s most prominent space cadet may be gone. But a handful of still-spellbound Ohioans — including Rep. Tim Ryan — simply cannot stop talking about larger-than-life former lawmaker James A. Traficant Jr.

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

Traficant (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fledgling filmmaker Eric Murphy attempts to deconstruct the unbelievable life of the late Ohio Democrat in his evolving documentary, “Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown.”

The long-running project, which Murphy hatched roughly half a decade ago, aims to shine a light on the two mindboggling chapters of Traficant’s career: His meteoric rise as the mob-baiting sheriff of Youngstown, Ohio, who later beat an FBI-led bribery sting, followed by his arrival on Capitol Hill and subsequent fall from grace due to a fresh set of corruption charges.

Murphy has taken to Kickstarter to raise the capital required to sew up the mostly finished flick (he wants to add music and do some polishing); with over a month to go on his fundraising campaign, Murphy is more than half-way toward reaching the $17,500 goal posted online. Full story

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