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Movies on the Brain

Our special South 'n France Dinner and a Movie series starts tonight. We're busy setting the tables, printing the menus, and prepping the food. Since we've got movies on the brain, we thought we'd share a few of our favorite documentaries - a genre that Pascal and I can always agree on. P.S. We still have a few spots left on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday...come join us!

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
We love how Bret Fetzer described this movie: "Everything you expect from a Hollywood blockbuster - romance, violence, humor, sorrow, strong personalities in conflict - is here in spades, except that the heroes and heroines have bright red and green feathers."  The film follows Mark Bittner, a homeless musician, as he befriends, feeds, and names the members of a wild flock of parrots that live in the green niches of San Francisco. The parrots seem to have been cast perfectly: a hero, a clown, two lovers, a ladies' man, a villain, and the villain's daughter. Who knew that a film about birds could be packed with comedy and a surprise ending that "makes you feel like you could fly out of the theater" (San Jose Mercury News)? The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill reminds us how wondrously similar the human and animal worlds can be.

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?
When brash trailer park resident Teri Horton bought a secondhand painting for five bucks, little did she know it could be a genuine Jackson Pollock worth millions. This film documents Horton's volatile 15-year journey into the heart of the art world's elitist establishment to have the painting authenticated. The clash between stuffy art dealers and the cussin', beer-drinkin' Horton is funny, eye-opening and utterly unforgettable. One of the most interesting (and surprising) documentaries we've seen.

The Hobart Shakespeareans
The Hobart Shakespeareans is about one phenomenal teacher (Rafe Esquith), his eager students, and the power of real education. Esquith turns the Asian-American and Latino children of a violence-stricken Los Angeles neighborhood on to the wonders of Mark Twain, Shakespearean plays, and mathematics. These "below average" fifth-graders can rattle off the names of Shakespeare's thirty-seven plays and do rapid-fire arithmetic in their heads. You may think you're smarter than a fifth-grader, but there's no way you're smarter than Rafe’s fifth-graders! Quick - can you name the six states that border Iowa? These kids can. It's a story that looks at the failures of education in the United States, while simultaneously offering hope and inspiration...

My Date with Drew
This is a feel-good documentary for the dreamers, believers and optimists of the world. 27-year-old aspiring filmmaker, Brian Herzlinger, wins $1,100 on a game show (where the winning answer happened to be "Drew Barrymore"), and decides to use the money to make a film about pursuing his dream of asking Barrymore out on a date. It's not easy for an ordinary guy to get face time with a busy star. Herzlinger has to make his way through Barrymore's entourage of publicists, agents, producers and assistants (without appearing like a stalker), so he can get near the object of his lifelong crush.

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