Work in Progress Screening

2020 • USA • 30 min.

Director: David Kleiler Jr.
Cast: David Kleiler, JP Ouellette, Eric Van

March 29, 2020 @ 2:00 pm

Brattle Theatre

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David Kleiler’s love of cinema was infectious. One of his biggest talents was his ability to spark up a conversation with even the most casual movie lover. But if David really liked you, you’d be invited to the “Salon/Saloon,” his weekly screening series run out of his Brookline apartment. A short session of drinks and snacks would be followed by a classic film selected by David or one of his guest curators, but the main attraction would be the discussion that followed. Whether it was easily accessible or densely academic, David would like to boast that the conversation was sometimes better than the film.

David passed away last April, leaving an indelible mark on the Boston film scene. From his days as a Babson professor to his days with the screening series Rear Window, to his spearheading the battle to save the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Boston would not be as friendly a place for cinephiles as it is today were it not for David Kleiler. The Boston Underground Film Festival literally would not exist. In this intimate documentary, told through the eyes/lens of his son, David Kleiler, Jr., we get an honest look at a man in the twilight of his life, his accomplishments and vices, and his quixotic efforts to keep a filmgoing tradition alive that lasted until the day he died.

While the younger Kleiler has made a name for himself with the Mission of Burma documentary Not a Photograph and directing music videos for bands such as Yo La Tengo and Helium, Films In the Living Room represents a far more personal work for Kleiler, focusing on a microculture of cinematic obsessives that operated from and congregated in his childhood home.

– Kevin Monahan