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Taste in Movies & Early Works of a Filmmaker

One of the reasons movies are so powerful is that they bring people together.  Every film lover has a theater of choice, a time of day, a week-end binging habit or what not where they like watching movies the most.  My theater is the Sunshine in the East Village, because the house manager greets the audience before the feature presentation, letting you know what’s up and welcome. So anyway, I was invited to this really cool screening series called ‘Speakeasy Cinema’, where everyone gets to speak up after the film.

Matt Kohn who created and hosts the event, invites us at Tony Torn’s home on the West Side (Torn Page), and gets someone in the industry to share his or her favorite film, one they didn’t work on.  People who show up don’t know what’s playing, but… it’s going to be something exciting, controversial and fun to discuss among peers.  For the past few years, Matt and company have been gathering people almost every month ; a great way to network, enjoy an overlooked picture and bring your own whatever.  My friend Brian Devine from Gigantic told me to stop by because he was picking the film last week.

It was kinda neat to watch an early Soderbergh picture on a white wall in a brownstone with high ceilings.  I am a sucker for Q&A because they are always interesting, but usually it’s with the creative team.  This one was something else–unique and hilarious.  Brian had prepared his homework and did an emphatic ovation of the filmmaker’s process and ability to reinvent himself in his work, while Matt was tactfully attempting to interrupt him, and let each person in the room share something that struck them about the picture.  The point is, when you know someone’s most brilliant work, do you ever wonder what they did before to bring them to this level of mastery?

OK, the film.  ‘King of the Hill’ (1993) is the story of this ingenuous young boy during the depression trying to graduate while his family is falling apart.  We get to experience his fears, hunger and victories as he becomes a pre-teen grown-up-before-his-time, dealing with the threat of eviction on his own.  I love serious children movies, they are my favorites.  It’s awesome when you watch something you resonate with, that captivates you.  Taste is so personal and it fascinates me what gets to people, why this one.  In the end, it’s more like a responsibility, to share what we are fond of, because we the audience determine what’s a commercial success.

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Flo Ankah
Actress | Director | Songstress
A French New Yorker at heart, Flo Ankah works as an actress, director and voice-over talent (Listen Up Philip, Loving the Silent Tears, Edith Piaf Alive). Her voice is in commercials and feature films for prominent directors. As the songstress 'Floanne,' she performs at Joe's Pub, Symphony Space, MoMA and Feinstein's/54 Below.