Idealism is a topic that intrigues filmmaker Sam Green, who will present a collection of his short films at a special screening Saturday, April 20. “What We Need is the Impossible!” is a series of short documentaries with a common thread of idealistic thinking. “And maybe not entirely realistic,” Green said.
Rehoboth Beach Film Society was selected by the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation to host the On Screen/In person film touring program in its first year. The goal of the program is to bring the vision of independent filmmakers to audiences throughout the Mid-Atlantic, especially in communities with limited access to their work.
Green said he learned about the program from friend and fellow filmmaker Jenny Abel, who toured in March with her film, “Abel Raises Cain.”
“I think it’s a terrific idea,” he said.
Green, who hails from San Francisco and New York City, said he would hit about seven small towns on the tour from New York to Virginia. The screening in Rehoboth Beach will begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, April 20, in the upstairs screening room at Movies at Midway on Route 1.
Green was nominated for an Academy Award for his 2004 feature-length documentary “The Weather Underground,” about a group of radicals who tried to overthrow the U.S. government in the 1960s and 1970s. In total, he has created five feature-length films.
“What We Need is the Impossible!” features several of Green’s short films, including his most recent documentary, “The Universal Language.” It’s a portrait of an artificial language and the worldwide community of people who still speak it.
Esperanto was created in the late 1800s by a Polish doctor who believed a common international language would foster world peace. Of all the films in the collection, Green said he is most looking forward to the audience’s reaction to “The Universal Language.”
“It’s a warm movie,” he said. During the making of the film, Green said, he was moved by the group of eccentric people who keep Esperanto alive. “They’re all very nice and sweet people, and their idealism is touching,” he said.
The 80-minute collection of short films also includes “Utopia, Part 3,” a portrait of the world’s largest shopping mall, which is completely empty; “Lot 63, Grave C,” an elegy for Meredith Hunter, a young man who was killed by Hell’s Angels at the 1969 Rolling Stones concert at Altamont; and “The Fabulous Stains: Behind the Movie,” the story of the cult film directed by Lou Adler in 1982.
“I think they all hold together because they are all things I’m interested in,” Green said.
Green will be present to introduce his films and answer questions after the screening. The director is no stranger to facing his audience head on. Two of his documentaries – “Utopia in Four Movements” and “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” are live documentaries, which Green narrates as the film is playing, and a live band provides the soundtrack.
Green said in a society where movies are often watched in solitude on a computer screen, he tries to offer his audience an experience that can’t be streamed online. “The world needs more people getting together,” he said.
Green said although he is not working with live documentaries during the On Screen/In Person tour, he still hopes to make “What We Need is the Impossible!” a more visceral screening than the audience could have at home. “It’s still a live theatrical experience,” he said.
“That’s the magic of cinema,” Green said. “I’m excited to be there because I love that experience.”
Admission is $4 for film society members and $6 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased online at rehobothfilm.com, by phone at 302-645-9095 or at the RBFS office at 107 Truitt Avenue in Rehoboth Beach by 12 p.m., Friday, April 19. Any unsold tickets will be available at the door of the event.