About Jonathan McNeal

Jonathan McNeal, a graduate of Wright State's Motion Picture Production program, has been managing THE NEON in downtown Dayton since the Fall of 2001. Having grown up in a small town in northeast Ohio, the idea of an independent movie theater that showed hard-to-find films seemed like something that could only be found in a major metropolis. Upon moving to Dayton in the early 1990's, finding THE NEON was a was like finding a new home.
McNeal's film work includes the documentary of Dayton's beloved drag troupe - THE RUBI GIRLS. The doc premiered in San Francisco in 2003 and played across the country and as far away as Australia. The film continues to be played at night clubs and on college campuses as an educational and outreach tool.
McNeal himself has been a part of the performance troupe since 1997.

TIFF 2014 – Day #9


Friday, September 12, 2014 Hello. Thanks for coming back to check out my last day of screenings at this year's Toronto International Film Festival.  Even though I didn't see as many as I have during some years, I had a great time and managed to see 30 films, visit with lots of people in various aspects of the industry, and attend a couple fun parties. My first film today was Susanne Bier's A SECOND CHANCE.  I was first introduced to Bier's work at my first TIFF back in 2002.  That's where I saw OPEN HEARTS (her film from the Dogme Movement) and I fell in love…BROTHERS, AFTER THE … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #8


Thursday, September 11, 2014 Welcome back!  Thanks for checking out my Day #8 blog of my TIFF adventures. This morning was so different than the others.  I slept in!  Because I didn't need to be in line by 7:00, I woke up at 9:15 instead of 6am.  It was glorious! My first film of the day was LOVE IN THE TIME OF CIVIL WAR - a French-Canadian film about a 20-something guy with a crack problem.  An alternate title for this film could be DON'T DO CRACK.  I've never seen such a gruelingly monotonous film about drug use.  The lead character smokes to get high, has some sex (in what is … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #7


Wednesday, September 10.2014 Hi Again! I only saw three films today, but I also attended a pretty great, intimate party. First off, I saw OUT OF NATURE - a Norwegian film about a man who decides to spend the weekend hiking in the mountains…away from his job, his wife, his son.  In film school, you're taught to - "Show.  Don't Tell."  This simply means that an audience should be able to figure out what someone is thinking by their strong performance…not by what a narrator or bad dialog is telling us.  This film is a rule-breaker - but it's also the point.  As the protagonist is getting … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #6


Tuesday, September 9, 2014 Hello.  Thanks for coming back! STILL ALICE was my first film today.  Based on a famous novel, this is the story of a linguistics professor who is dealing with early onset Alzheimer's.  We learn in the film that diagnosis can come late in highly educated people - as they learn to have tricks to help retain their memory.  Julianne Moore plays the lead in this film, and she's terrific.  This is a sad story due to the fact that we're watching the terrible effects of a hideous disease…but Moore brings such humanity to the role that you can't let go. There's no … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #5


Monday, September 8, 2014! Hello! It was another late night…and another early morning…but the first film I saw after waiting in line for Wednesday's public tickets was the new comedy from Noah Baumbach - WHILE WE'RE YOUNG.  I loved it!  Unfortunately, most of the films I saw today do not have trailers yet, so still photos will have to do. Full of keen observations on generational differences between 40-somethings and 20-somethings, WHILE WE'RE YOUNG is one of the funniest, most charming comedies I have seen in years!  In its third act, the film goes into some deeper territory, but it … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #4


Sunday, September 7, 2014 Hello Again. Last night was a late night again…so this morning started with a drag…but I don't regret staying out until 2:00.  I had dinner with an old friend (I met Bill in line for Almodovar's TALK TO HER back in 2002) and then met a couple other friends for cocktails.  It was a great night. This morning started in line like all the other mornings.  I managed to get the tickets I want for Tuesday public screenings (including WILD - the buzz for Reese Witherspoon is quite big), and I was then off to my first P&I screening. TOUR DE FORCE was first. … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #3


Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 Hello Again, THE RIOT CLUB was my first P&I screening of the day.  It's the new film from Lone Scherfig - director of AN EDUCATION (the "Best Picture" Oscar nominee that made Carey Mulligan a full-fledged star).  This is a film about a "posh" club of young men at Oxford.  They're a terribly attractive, elite group (the limit for the club is 10) who are  and smart, charismatic, "well-bred," and quite self righteous.  The movie is about their search for 2 new members and their annual dinner that allows them to indulge in debauchery.  There's underlying tension … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #2


Friday, September 5, 2014 Hello Again, After getting the tickets I desired for Sunday (which include THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING and MISS JULIE - 2 films I can't wait to see), I scurried to a screening that I ended up leaving after 20 minutes.  I had been up in the air about seeing it, but when it wasn't working for me, I decided to scurry across the hall and see GEMMA BOVERY - and I'm glad I did. GEMMA BOVERY is a modern take on the Flaubert novel MADAME BOVARY (which is next on my list) - but actually based upon a graphic novel by Posy Simmonds (known for her FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD … [Read more...]

TIFF 2014 – Day #1


Hello Everyone, I got back on track rather quickly this morning. After a couple hours of waiting in lines, I still managed to get the tickets I wanted for the next couple days. (Each day, my pass allows me to get 2 tickets for public screenings that occur 2 days later (i.e. on Friday morning, I'll get 2 tickets for public screenings on Sunday). My pass also allows me to see an unlimited number of screenings that are designated for press & industry.)) After I got my tickets, I went to see a press/industry screening of MOMMY - the Cannes-Award-Winning film from Xavier Dolan. MOMMY is a … [Read more...]

LAND HO! Starts Friday at THE NEON!


Hello Everyone, Wow! We had a terrific weekend...much better than anticipated. Many thanks to all of you who came out to support our films. CALVARY performed better in Dayton than in many other cities, and we're delighted and grateful. BOYHOOD has already screened for the last time, but MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and CALVARY will stick around. In addition, we will open a film that many of you have been asking about - LAND HO! If you've been to THE NEON recently, you've more than likely seen the trailer. Remaining showtimes for this week can be found on our website at … [Read more...]