VIRTUAL CINEMA TITLES

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Science on Screen presents CODED BIAS

CODED BIAS bridges an essential gap in public education about algorithmic justice, where 21st century civil rights and democracy struggles will be fought.  It explores the fallout of MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s startling discovery that facial recognition does not see dark-skinned faces accurately, and her journey to push for the first-ever legislation in the U.S. to govern against bias in the algorithms that impact us all.

As the world becomes more reliant on algorithmic decision-making in everything from health care to access to essential services, and racial and economic disparities deepen, Coded Bias is more relevant than ever in the continued fight for racial justice.  The topic was recently covered in a NYTimes article, and just in the past weeks, IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon have announced that they will not sell facial recognition to the police.

THE ANTIDOTE

Directed by Academy Award-nominee Kahane Cooperman and six-time Emmy winner John Hoffman, THE ANTIDOTE aims to drive a national conversation about the roles that kindness, decency, compassion and respect play in a civilized, democratic society. While it’s easy to court despair in the face of monumental, structural problems, THE ANTIDOTE tells stories of compassionate people intentionally leveraging the resources within themselves and their communities to give others a chance at a better life. THE ANTIDOTE isn’t about an idea or a platform; there are no historians, policy wonks, or celebrities. It is simply about how we treat each other. It is about who we are and, maybe, it’s about who we can be. 

MYTH OF A COLORBLIND FRANCE Opens Nov 23

For more than a century, Black artists have traveled to Paris to liberate themselves from the racism of the United States. What made these artistic innovators choose France? And is France truly colorblind? Myth of a Colorblind France explores these questions by looking at the lives and careers of renowned African Americans who emigrated to Paris, including Josephine Baker, James Baldwin, Richard Wright, Beauford Delaney, Augusta Savage, Lois Mailou Jones, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. Myth of a Colorblind France also features interviews with French scholars Michel Fabre and Francis Hofstein, sculptor Barbara Chase-Riboud, poet James Emanuel, historian Tyler Stovall, filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, graffiti artist Quik, hip hop producer Ben the Glorious Bastard, African drummer Karim Toure, and many more.

RADIUM GIRLS

Based on true events, Radium Girls follows teen sisters, Bessie and Jo Cavallo, who dream of Hollywood and Egyptian pyramids as they paint luminous watch dials at the American Radium factory in New Jersey. When Jo loses a tooth, Bessie’s world is turned upside down as a mystery slowly unravels.  She discovers a corporate cover-up and, in a radical coming of age story, Bessie and the Radium Girls decide to take on American Radium. Based on historical events, the national sensation following the notorious case of the Radium Girls in 1928 ultimately led to significant and lasting impact in the area of workplace health and safety and the study of radioactivity.

OLIVER SACKS: HIS OWN LIFE Opens Nov 27

A documentary exploring the life of neurologist and best-selling author Oliver Sacks—an old-fashioned polymath and natural historian who redefined our understanding of brain and mind.

On January 15th, 2015, a few weeks after completing his memoir, the writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks learned that the rare form of cancer for which he had been treated seven years earlier had returned, and that he had only a few months to live. One month later, he sat down with the producers for a series of marathon filmed interviews in his apartment in New York. For eighty hours, across five days in February – and on three more occasions in April and June in places in the Bronx – surrounded by family and friends, books and minerals, notebooks from six decades of thinking and writing about the brain, he talked about his life and work, his dreams and fears, his abiding sense of wonder at the natural world, and the place of human beings within it. He spoke with astonishing candor, and with unflinching honesty – a profoundly gifted 81-year-old man facing death with remarkable courage and vitality who was still vigorous while facing the end. He was determined to come to grips with what his life has meant and what it means to be, as he put it, “a sentient being on this beautiful planet.”

Drawing on these riveting and profoundly moving twilight reflections, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life explores the extraordinary life and work of the renowned neurologist, clinician and writer. With unique access to the extensive archives of the Oliver Sacks Foundation, and featuring nearly two dozen deeply revealing and personal interviews conducted with family members, colleagues, patients and close friends, including Jonathan Miller, Robert Silvers, Temple Grandin, Christof Koch, Robert Krulwich, Lawrence Weschler, Roberto Calasso, Dr. Isabelle Rapin, Billy Hayes, Kate Edgar, Dr. Mark Homonoff, Jonathan Sacks, Steve Silberman, Shane Fistell, Dr. Atul Gawande, and Lowell Handler, among others. The film is in part the biography of an extraordinary physician and writer who “dramatized,” one man later said, “the most strange and thrilling scientific and cultural issue of our time: the nature of the human mind, through the simple act of telling stories.” It is also a deeply illuminating exploration of the science of human consciousness and the nature of subjectivity, and a meditation on the deep and intimate relation between art and science and storytelling.

CITY HALL

City government touches almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us are unaware of or take for granted these necessary services such as police, fire, sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing of various professional activities, record keeping of birth, marriage and death as well as hundreds of other activities that support Boston residents and visitors. CITY HALL, by the venerable Frederick Wiseman, shows the efforts by Boston city government to provide these services. The film also illustrates the variety of ways the city administration enters into civil discourse with the citizens of Boston. Mayor Walsh and his administration are presented addressing a number of their policy priorities which include racial justice, affordable housing, climate action,and homelessness.

Directors statement: I made CITY HALL to illustrate why government is necessary for people to successfully live together. CITY HALL shows a city government offering a wide variety of important and necessary services to a major American city whose population exemplifies the history of diversity of America. The Boston city government is designed and strives to offer these services in a manner consistent with the Constitution and democratic norms. Boston’s city government is the opposite of what Trump stands for

BEASTS CLAWING AT STRAWS

A Luis Vuitton bag stuffed full of cash sends a group of hard-luck lowlifes on a desperate chase for the fortune in this pitch-black neo-noir crime thriller. Fish-mongering gangsters, a greasy cop, an “innocent” gym cleaner, a young prostitute, her wife beater of a husband, her ruthless boss and her clueless boyfriend all violently scheme to get their hands on the elusive bag. First time director Kim Yong-hoon’s witty thriller is a beautifully constructed puzzle that with each double-cross, the pieces fall into place. Starring Jung Woo-sung from Asura: City of Madness and Jeon Do-yeon, award winner in Cannes for her lead role in Secret Sunshine.

“A neo-noir with impressive storytelling acumen and stylistic brio to spare, [director] Kim spins an amoral tale of greed and retribution from the ground up, reminding of the pure visceral pleasures a well-wrought genre exercise can still provide.”
– Film Comment  

In Korean / South Korea / 2020 / 108 min.

COLLECTIVE

COLLECTIVE follows a heroic team of journalists as they uncover shocking, widespread corruption. After a deadly fire at a nightclub, the mysterious death of the owner of a powerful pharmaceutical firm, and the quiet resignation of a health minister—seemingly unrelated events, all within weeks of each other—the team of intrepid reporters exposes a much larger, much more explosive political scandal. COLLECTIVE is a fast-paced, real-time detective story about truth, accountability, and the value of an independent press in partisan times.

“Hands down, the closest thing we saw at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival to a full-on masterpiece. ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT.” David Fear, Rolling Stone