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Prolefeed Studios presents:

Electric Eye Cinema

The best in independent documentary.

Fourth Season: January through May, 2003

Electric Earth Cafe, 546 West Washington Avenue, Madison

Admission $5

Open Reel Hour at 8:00 p.m. 

Bring an original short of 10 minutes or less to show and get in free! 

(NTSC VHS, S-VHS or mini-DV formats, please)

Feature Presentations at 9:00 p.m.

January - May, 2003

Program schedule:

January 23: Art & Magic

Three Tales of Unusual Artists

Scoop Perlman's Guide to Art,  Volume 2  (Brian Standing, 2002) 40 minutes

graffiti.jpgThe man the Onion calls "an all-around Madison personality" is back with two brand-new episodes of the series dedicated to "art by, of, and for the people."  In Episode 3 of Scoop Perlman's Guide to Art, Steve "Scoop" Perlman chats with Rob Em and Taggerboy, two graffiti artists trying to find a way to go "legit," with some help from the good folks at Mother Fool's Coffee House on Madison's east side.  

Episode 4 finds Scoop hanging out with painter Phil Porter, who doesn't mind which way you hang his fanciful landscapes of historic downtown Madison.  Look for a cameo appearance by Pepe Le Pew.


A Thing of Wonder  (Archipelago Media, 2002) 43 minutes

A Thing of Wonder83-year old magician, inventor and poet Jerry Andrus has an insatiable appetite for uncovering the mysteries of life on the boundary between reason and illusion. Wandering through his Albany, Oregon, "Castle of Chaos," he demonstrates his incredible inventions (like the Tri-Zonal Space Warper), and waxes philosophic on the subjects of reason, perception, God and what he calls "the curse of contentment." Reflecting not only his creative genius, but also his principled lifestyle and profound involvement with the problems of human existence, A Thing of Wonder pays tribute to a man devoted equally to the science and magic of wonder.

February 20: Growing Season: 

Two Tales of Agriculture, Money & Politics

Sponsored by:

Family Farm Defenders

Not for Sale (Melissa Young, 2002) 31 minutes

Not For SaleNot for Sale is an engaging new documentary that explores some little known aspects of global trade agreements like the WTO. Patents and other intellectual property rights are expanding what corporations can own and control -- from things like machines, to knowledge and even living creatures. What does this mean for the environment, our food supply, and human rights?

This film looks at farmers, indigenous people, and anti-globalization activists who oppose patents on life and advocate for a world where life is not a commodity but something to be treasured.  With beautiful footage from the headwaters of the Amazon, farms in Washington and Iowa, as well as India and Peru, plus glimpses of the Seattle WTO protests, Not for Sale brings this global issue into focus with stories of everyday people.

Also interviewed are Vandana Shiva, Anuradha Mittal of Food First, and Debra Harry of the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism.

The Greening of Cuba (Jamie Kibben, 1996) 30 min. 

Greening of CubaThe Greening of Cuba profiles Cuban farmers and scientists working to reinvent a sustainable agriculture, based on ecological principles and local knowledge rather than imported agricultural inputs. In their quest for self sufficiency, Cubans combine time-tested traditional methods with cutting edge bio-technology.  When trade relations with the socialist bloc collapsed in 1990, Cuba lost 80 percent of its pesticide and fertilizer imports and half its petroleum--the mainstays of its highly industrialized agriculture. Challenged with growing food for 11 million in the face of the continuing US embargo, Cuba embarked on the largest conversion to organic farming ever attempted.

Told in the voices of the women and men--the campesino, researchers, and organic gardeners--who are leading the organic agriculture movement, The Greening of Cuba reminds us that developed and developing nations alike can choose a healthier environment and still feed their people. (Spanish with English Subtitles, 38 minutes, 1996, VHS)

March 20: Human Nature: 

Two Tales from High Plains Films

The Naturalist (Doug Hawes-Davis, 2001) 30 min.

Naturalist sketchThe Naturalist highlights the work and philosophies of an extraordinary modern-day woodsman.  Kent Bonar, who has been called the "John Muir of the Ozarks," is one of America's great naturalists.  Living without modern amenities in the tradition of Thoreau and Muir, Bonar has spent his life observing and
recording the natural history of the Missouri and Arkansas Ozarks. Bonar melds philosophy, spirituality, wood-lore, and art into a simple yet profound lifestyle; his example is a powerful antidote to the cynicism and artifice of modern culture.

Killing Coyote (Doug Hawes-Davis, 2001) 30 min.

Coyote.jpgKilling Coyote, which won the John Michaels Award at the 23rd Big Muddy Film Festival in 2001, explores the relationship between people and coyotes in the American West.  As the North American landscape is continually altered by human presence, the coyote, an incredible survivor, has thrived, expanding its range and numbers from the arid lands of the West to occupy virtually the entire continent.  Ironically, the dramatic increase in population and range has taken place during a hundred year period of  intense human exploitation of the animals through trapping, poisoning and hunting. No one knows for certain how many coyotes are killed each year in America, but conservative estimates place the number at half a million.  Killing Coyote documents the philosophical basis for this "war on wildlife."

April 17:  War on the Poor: 

Two Tales of Class Struggle in America

The End of the Nightstick (Eric Scholl, Peter Kuttner & Cyndi Moran,1994) 

nightstickFor 20 years in Chicago, the press and authorities turned deaf ears to allegations of brutal interrogations and torture by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. Was this simply an aberration or an extreme example of a system wide policy of racist abuse?  As victims speak out, THE END OF THE NIGHTSTICK investigates charges of institutional racism, violence and cover-up. It also tells the story of a resistance movement, as local activist groups, including the Task Force to Confront Police Violence, refuse to let testimonies of police violence remain buried.  Burge was removed from active duty in 1994, but it took until spring of 2002 for the Cook County Circuit Court to order a special prosecutor to investigate charges of systemic racism in the Chicago Police Department.  

A Day's Work, A Day's Pay (Kathy Leichter & Jonathan Skulnik, 2001)           57 minutes

daysworkThis production from Mint Leaf Productions follows three welfare recipients in New York City from 1997 to 2000 as they participate in the largest welfare-to-work program in the nation (a program largely inspired by Wisconsin's W-2 program).  When forced to work at city jobs for well below the prevailing wage and deprived of the chance to go to school, these individuals decide to fight back, demanding programs that will help them get off welfare and into real jobs.

May: Young Republicans: 

Two Tales of Men Who Would Be King. 

Day With John (1999, Ben Steinbauer)  WISCONSIN PREMIERE

King Geogre III Meet Jonathan Theodore Sternbeg, a transplanted Easterner in his freshman year at Kansas State University. John, a self-avowed monarchist and avid fan of George Herbert Walker Bush, is trying to win the approval of his schoolmates (most of whom John scorns as disinterested drunkards) to win a seat on the Student Senate. Steinbauer's documentary follows John over the course of a single day as he campaigns, offering his views of the glories and failings of American civilization. Don't be surprised if Sternberg pops up as an aide to a conservative Congress representative, or a candidate himself in years to come.

Horns & Halos (2002, Suki Hawley & Michael Galinsky) 


Sander Hicks Horns and Halos captures the unlikely connection of three men – a U.S. president, a discredited author and an underground publisher – whose paths to power and popularity become tangled in a book.  In 1999, St. Martin's Press recalled Fortunate Son, the first published biography of George W. Bush. At the time, the book was #8 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list – no doubt due to the book's widely publicized allegations that Bush had been arrested for cocaine possession in 1972. However, Bush wasn’t the only one with a hidden past. The publisher pulled the book from stores after learning that author J.H. Hatfield was a convicted felon.

Several weeks later, small underground imprint Soft Skull Press, founded by 29-year old Sander Hicks,
announced that it would re-publish the book. But getting Fortunate Son back on the shelves wouldn't
prove so easy. After months of lawsuits, bad press, and disagreements with the distributor, Soft Skull
made one final desperate attempt to make a splash at the 2001 Book Expo of America. Against the author's wishes, Hicks revealed the sources for the book's cocaine allegations, which leads to electrifying

The Washington Post says, "Neither partisan attack nor unemotional reporting, 'Horns & Halos' is a thougtful and deeply affecting portrait of a screwed-up man who dared to mess with some powerful people." The London Guardian calls "Horns & Halos" "...a rolling masterclass on the disturbing complicity of media, money and mendacity."


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