Easier With Practice

With this debut film, nominated for a prestigious Independent Spirit Award as Best First Feature, writer-director Kyle Patrick Alvarez has fashioned a brilliantly nuanced and superbly written comedy-drama that explores in affecting, often humorous and deep emotional honesty the multilayered complexities of sex, love and relationships. Starring acclaimed newcomer Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker, We Are Marshall) in a breakout, star-making performance, Easier with Practice tells the touching and provocative story of Davy, a 28-year-old writer on a road trip to promote his unpublished collection of short stories. A random phone call in Davy’s motel room from a mysterious, sexy woman named Nicole leads to a series of phone sex sessions that surprisingly over time become emotionally and sexually satisfying for the shy writer. Later, when he meets a former girlfriend, he must try to choose between them – but only if he can arrange a meeting with his reclusive phone mate.

Julia

Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her. But she shrugs him off, as her alcohol-induced confusion daily reinforces her sense that life has dealt her a losing hand and that she is not to blame for the mess she has made of it. Glimpsing imminent perdition, and after a chance encounter with Elena, a Mexican woman, Julia convinces herself – as much in panic and despair as for financial gain – to commit a violent act. As the story unfolds, Julia’s journey becomes a headlong flight on a collision course, but somehow she makes the choice of life over death. [Synopsis courtesy of Magnolia Pictures]

Dead Man

Dead Man is the story of a young man’s journey, both physically and spiritually, into very unfamiliar terrain. William Blake is traveling to the extreme Western frontiers of America sometime in the 2nd half of the 19th century. Lost and badly wounded, he encounters a very odd, outcast Native American – named “Nobody” – who believes Blake is actually the dead English poet of the same name. The story, with Nobody’s help, leads William Blake through situations that are in turn comical and violent. Contrary to his nature, circumstances transform Blake into a hunted outlaw, a killer, and a man whose physical existence is slowly slipping away. Thrown into a world that is cruel and chaotic, his eyes are opened to the fragility that defines the realm of the living. It is as though he passes through the surface of a mirror, and emerges into a previously-unknown world that exists on the other side.