Stand Up Guys

Val (Pacino) is released from prison after serving twenty-eight years for refusing to give up one of his close criminal associates.  His best friend Doc (Walken) is there to pick him up, and the two soon reteam with another old pal, Hirsch (Arkin).  Their bond is as strong as ever, and the three reflect on freedom lost and gained, loyalties ebbed and flowed, and days of glory gone by.  And despite their age, their capacity for mayhem is still very much alive and well – bullets fly as they make a hilariously valiant effort to compensate for the decades of crime, drugs and sex they’ve missed. But one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret- he’s been put in an impossible quandary by a former mob boss, and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out.  As the sun rises on the guys’ legendary reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their past once and for all. [Synopsis courtesy Chicago Int’l Film Festival]

Mission Blue

Legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle is on a personal mission to save the ocean. Mission Blue – shot over a three year period in numerous locations around the world – traces Sylvia’s remarkable personal journey, from her earliest memories exploring the ocean as a young girl to her days leading a daring undersea mission in the Virgin Islands to her experience as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and beyond. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

Another World

‘I want a different world!’ cries Bobby Cooper after sharing his personal financial crisis – his father’s enormous debts which threaten to engulf the family farm – with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators. He has come to New York to find a solution; here he meets allies willing to share his dream of a better world in the shape of the demonstrators who followed the internet call on 17 September 2011 to protest against the financial system in the US. They occupy Zuccotti Park adjoining Wall Street; their camp also represents an experiment in solidarity and alternative models of coexistence. Rebecca Chaiklin and Fisher Stevens follow these protest pioneers ranging from young unemployed Hero Vincent to demo-veteran Lisa Fithian. Even after the police break up the Occupy Wall Street protest camp on 15 November 2011, many of the protesters stay in touch and, like Bobby and his girlfriend, try to live out their version of a better world. The media half-life of this movement would appear to be symptomatic of the way democracy works today: the Occupy protest may have failed, but it has engendered many a fresh initiative and has had enduring influence on our attitudes to life. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]