Screen scene: Local film news

STAR POWER: Mountain lion P-22 roams Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. The feline, who overcame anticoagulant/rodenticide poisoning in 2014, is the subject of the documentary "The Cat That Changed America." Photo by Steve Winter/National Geographic

• The Fine Arts Theatre, 36 Biltmore Ave., will be home to Movies & Meaning’s showing of Alice Walker: Beauty in Truth on Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m. The documentary profiles The Color Purple author, who will be in Asheville for the fourth annual Movies & Meaning Experience April 26-28 at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Tickets for the screening are $10 and available online and at the Fine Arts box office.

• On Saturday, March 24, 7-10 p.m., UNC Asheville, 1 University Heights, and Poison Free Asheville host a screening of The Cat That Changed America in the Highsmith Student Union Grotto. The documentary stars mountain lion P-22 from Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, who rose to fame in 2012 when he traveled 50 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains, crossing the busy 101 and 405 freeways to get to the park. In 2014, P-22 was in the news again when he had to be treated for unintentional rodenticide poisoning. Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation, will join local wildlife experts and academics for a panel discussion and Q&A after the film. Free.

• Healthcare for All-WNC, a local chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program, presents Big Pharma: Market Failure on Thursday, March 22, 6:30-8 p.m. at Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St. The documentary film explores pharmaceutical costs and what may be done to reduce them. A discussion will follow the film. Free.

• Movies & Meaning’s monthly film series continues Monday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. with a community potluck supper and 7:30 p.m. screening of Akira Kurosawa‘s Ikiru at White Horse Black Mountain, 105C Montreat Road, Black Mountain. Partly inspired by Leo Tolstoy‘s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the film follows a government clerk (Takashi Shimura) who, upon discovering he has months to live, embarks upon a search for the meaning of existence. Suggested donation of $7-10, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

• Wedge Brewing Co. screens Jaws on Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m. at its Foundation location, 5 Foundy St. The event features a brief intermission halfway though the film, during which trailers for upcoming films at Wedge, vintage beer commercials and international short films will be shown. Guests are encouraged to bring a comfortable chair. Free.

• On Thursday, March 29, 6:30-9 p.m., Grail Moviehouse, 45 S. French Broad Ave., hosts a screening of Crazywise. The documentary follows mental health professionals and people with psychiatric challenges who see psychological crises as potential growth experiences instead of merely disease. A panel discussion and Q&A with the film’s director Phil Borges; Brack Jefferys, director of the Asheville nonprofit Center for Spiritual Emergence and Katharos Sanctuary; Emma Bragdon, founder/executive director of Integrative Mental Health for You; and Stephan Martin, astronomer, educator and author. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased online and at the Grail box office. Proceeds benefit Katharos Sanctuary.

• Local filmmaker Elijah York is looking for local violinists, violists, cellists and bassists to be in his narrative short The Specter’s Concerto. The story follows an aspiring pianist who comes into possession of unreleased music from classical composer Sergei Rachmaninoff but is haunted by ghosts each time he plays the piece. Musicians interested in being part of the filming may contact York through the project’s Facebook page.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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