Sunday, December 4, 2011


Swarthmore College
Film & Media Studies presents:

The Schulberg/Waletzky Restoration

One Screening Only
Monday, December 5, 2011
7:00 pm

Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema
Swarthmore College

Special guest Sandra Schulberg -- daughter of filmmaker Stuart Schulberg & producer of the restoration -- will speak about the making of Nuremberg and its subsequent suppression in the U.S.

Co-sponsored by German Studies, History, Peace & Conflict Studies. Event made possible by the Serendipity Fund

Sunday, November 27, 2011

5 Short Documentaries at I-House

Five MFA graduates from Temple's film program are screening documentary work at the International House this Tuesday, November 27, at 7:00pm. I've personally seen some of this work, either in-progress or completed, and I can say that it's quite strong and represents a range of approaches to documentary, including observation, animation, self-reflexivity, and poetic approaches.

The program, titled "The Things They Carry," comprises five shorts:

3956 County Road 15 (Ellen Knechel) 26m
Inheritance (Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz) 29m
Pigment (Alexis McCrimmon) 12m
Roy: Dream Catcher (Andrew Bateman) 65m
Things We Keep (David Cooper Moore) 20m

More descriptions can be found at the event's homepage. In all, it's a cohesive program worth catching.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ides of March at Bryn Mawr Film Institute

The mainstream film may turn some people on the right side of the political fence off, but there is no doubt that this power house drama is among the best that 2011 has to offer. This is the last chance to catch the film during its time at the cineplex, being pulled on November 22nd. So make sure to get over there!


"George Clooney goes behind the camera for the fourth time to direct The Ides of March, an adaptation of Beau Willimon's play Farragut North. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Meyers, an idealistic deputy campaign manager for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), who is in a major political battle in Ohio that could be the key to winning the Democratic presidential nomination. When the opposing candidate's campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) offers Stephen a job on his staff, Stephen neglects to inform his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Just as that omission is revealed, Stephen uncovers a dirty personal secret that could sink Morris' political career. The Ides of March screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival."

The film provides phenomenal supporting performences from Paul Giamatti and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who should both be appearing at the Oscars with nominations come this February.

If you want to see some of Clooney's new work, Alexander Payne's "The Descendant's" is beginning at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute on November 23rd! If you can't wait until then, it opens at the Ritz in center city Philadelphia this Friday, 11/18.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Film Festival offerings

Kevin, a Temple film student who has been helping me on this site, posted some upcoming highlights from the Philadelphia Film Festival. Given the scope of the offerings, I thought I'd add to his list by highlighting a few films I'm particularly interested in.

Dreileben (Three Lives). This German trilogy has been a bit of a festival hit, partly because it explores a crime mystery/art film hybrid across three separate self-contained films from three different filmmakers. David Bordwell had a fuller discussion of the films. (Wed 10/26 and Sun 10/30).

The Kid with the Bike. The Dardenne brothers' latest film gets a rave from Jonathan Rosenbaum, who calls it one of the best films he's seen this year. (Sat 10/22, Sun 10/23)

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia. Winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes, this Turkish film sounds to be a slow-cinema version of the police procedural, with stunning cinematography. (Fri 10/28, Sun 10/30)

Life Without Principle. Hong Kong filmmaker Johnnie To is better known for his action films, but lately he's been venturing into other territory. This one is about the recent financial crisis and its impact on Hong Kong society. (Tues 10/25, Sat 10/29)

And as a reminder, our downloadable iCal calendar has the film festival included, so you can import and even copy the films you want to see into your personal calendar.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Animate Art! series

Karen Beckman, from Penn's Cinema Studies and Art History programs, has curated for the ICA a series of media makers using animation:
The Animate Art! series foregrounds the recent interest that artists have shown in a variety of animation practices within the museum context. Through conversation with artists from a variety of geographic locations we will consider a variety of questions, including: the relationship between animation and other media; contemporary artists' engagement with the histories of art and film; the role of music; the differences among various forms of animation; and animation's treatment of history, time, and place.
This Thursday, at 6:30pm, the series continues with Jennifer Levonian, a local artist who works in cut-paper animation. Levonian will screen her latest film, The Oven Sky, with a live performance by New York-based artist and singer Rachel Mason.

Fall Calendar update

The Repertory Film calendar has been updated. You can download it and import into iCal, Google calendar, or similar program. We've even included the upcoming Philadelphia Film Festival calendar for your convenience.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bryn Mawr Film Club-The Guard

The Bryn Mawr Film Club screening and discussion this Thursday Sep 29th is The Guard, "an acid-sharp comedy starring Brendan Gleeson. With the humour as black as a pint of Guinness and just as Irish."

Directed by Irish filmmaker John Michael McDonagh with photography directed by Larry Smith (cinematographer for Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut), the film is McDonagh's directing debut and in the spirit of his brother Martin McDonagh's In Bruges(2008). To date The Guard is the most successful Irish independent film of all time according to the box office.

(R) 1 hr 36 min - in English
2011 Starring Don Cheadle, Brendan Gleeson

"A small-town Irish policeman (Brendan Gleeson) reluctantly teams up with a straight-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle) to investigate a drug case in this wry crime comedy from Irish filmmaker John Michael McDonagh."

Thursday, September 29, 2011
5:30 PM
Admission: $7.00 for students with valid I.D.
Discussion: 7:10 - 8 PM Community Room (just off the arcade, across from MilkBoy)

Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 W. Lancaster Avenue
PO Box 1058
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

The Bryn Mawr Film Club meets bimonthly for screening and discussion of movies currently in theaters. Stay tuned for updates!

Philadelphia Film Festival 2011 Schedule!

Hey everyone!

The schedule for the Philadelphia film festival schedule is now online!

There is a downloadable copy on the website and we will have a downloadable version on the blog soon.

There are many different genres and films this year that are being showcased at the festival with a few specifics standing out for landmark directors.

Lars von Trier's "Melancholia" is premiering at the festival on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 2:20 PM at the Prince Music Theater. As many have read, his Nazi-ist remarks that he made at the Cannes film festival earlier this year have put him on the map for being a truly controversial director. However, the controversy between that, and his last bleak drama "Antichrist" have made him a director to keep an eye on at the festival this year.

"Melancholia" stars Kirsten Dunst stars as a young woman named Justine, who on the night of her marriage finds out that a planet named Melancholia is heading on a collision course with Earth. This sci-fi drama is a strange direction for the genre, but not for Von Trier who is familiar to the abstract craft.

The film is facing comparisons toward Malick's acclaimed film from earlier this year, "The Tree of Life", as both are taking unfamiliar views on the creation and destruction of life as we know it. Both use less dialogue and more vivid imagery helping ramp up the viewers ability to interpret a scene rather than have a theme imposed on them. Melancholia should prove to be an interesting view nonetheless.

Also premiering at the festival is Cronenberg's new film "A Dangerous Method", starring Viggo Mortenson, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley. The film follows Dr. Jung (Fassbender), who teams with Sigmund Freud (Mortenson) to diagnose and help an extremely unstable patient named Sabina (Knightley). The film follows both of the doctors sexual desires and how they lead to methods never before performed on patients.

The film follows some factual basis, but also takes many liberties and Cronenberg with his signature dark style, helps to add sexuality in a glorious amount to the content. His last film 2007 "Eastern Promises", was notorious for Mortenson's full frontal nude fight scene, both for it's use of the naked body as well as the gratuitous violence. However, his films always have excellent commentary on the desensitization of today's audiences towards violence in cinema.

Another film worth mentioning in Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous" starring Rhys Ifans. It follows the story of the controversy over who actually compiled William Shakespeare's work. As it has plagues the minds of countless philosophers for centuries, the film partly grounded in facts expriements in a art house format to bring the time period to life.

This film is a real step back for Emmerich, who's directed the blockbusters Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. His first full fledged drama ever put on screen will be an interesting watch, and based on preliminary reports by critics, is his "best film yet". (Honeycutt)

So the Philly film fest is shaping up to be a great one this year with plenty of other films that I have yet to even mention! So check out the website attached and find out more synopsis' to see what you are interested in!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Bruce Conner Retrospective

(from Report)

This weekend is a Bruce Conner retrospective at the International House, cosponsored by Bryn Mawr's Film Studies program and introduced by film scholar Bruce Jenkins. It's a terrific opportunity to see Conner's work, famous both for its early exploration of the possibilities of found-footage filmmaking and for its accessible, humorous avant-garde ethos.

Program I
Friday, September 23 at 7:30pm

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1961, 16mm, 4 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1958, 16mm, 12 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1967, 16mm, 7 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1968-73, 16mm, 13 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1964, 16mm, 4 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1965, 16mm, 10 sec, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1966, 16mm, 5 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1981, 16mm, 5 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1977, 16mm, 5 mins, color

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1979, 16mm, 5 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 2006, video, 4 mins, b/w and color

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 2008, 16mm, 10 mins, color

Program II
Saturday, September 24 at 7pm

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1978, 16mm, 3 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1981, 16mm, 4 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1963-67, 16mm, 13 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1976, 35mm, 36 mins, b/w

dir. Bruce Conner, US, 1996, 16mm, 14 mins, b/w

Full descriptions available at the I-House site.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Scribe events with Kevin Jerome Everson

This Wednesday, Scribe is bring Kevin Jerome Everson to the International House to screen his work Erie, a series of one-take black and white 16mm shots filmed near Lake Erie. Thematically the work connects the Great Migration to the contemporary experience of African-Americans.

Having seen some of Everson's work, I can recommend it for its formal rigor and an evocative approach to experimental narrative.

Full Exposure: An Evening with Kevin Jerome Everson:


Sep 21, 07:00 PM at the International House
Presented as part of Scribe Video Center’s Producers’ Forum series.

Q+A with Kevin Jerome Everson following the film.

"Materials, Process, Procedure and Subject"

Sep 22, 07:00 PM at Scribe Video Center (6PM reception)

Admission: $15. Free for Scribe, PIFVA and Reelblack members, Temple and University of Penn students, faculty and staff. (Everson in person)

In this special topic lecture, Everson discusses how he creates his works that document and reflect on the "gestures or tasks caused by certain conditions in the lives of working class African Americans." Everson will screen a selection of his recent short films. Films courtesy of the artist and Picture Palace Pictures.

(Erie still: Video Data Bank)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Philadelphia Film Festival Schedule

The schedule for the upcoming Philly film fest is going on sale on September 28th! Remember, you need to be a member of the Philadelphia Film Society to buy discount tickets! All-Access Passes start at $300 for members and $350 for non-members, giving you admission to any film playing at the event! Stay tuned for the schedule release.

The festival runs from October 20th-November 3rd!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Temple's Urban Archives screening at The Piazza

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, Sept. 13) at 7:30PM, the Piazza at Schmidts in Northern Liberties will be hosting a reprise of a program of nontheatrical films from Temple University's Urban Archives. Called "Sound and Vision" the program highlights recent preservation and digitization work done on the archive's film and video holdings; it is curated by John Pettit and Kathryn Gronsbell. Some contents:
  • David Bowie visiting Veterans Stadium
  • free-jazz performer Sun Ra and his Arkestra
  • synthesizer expert Gerson Rosenbloom
  • Philadelphia International soul legends McFadden & Whitehead
  • punk/ wave stalwart Ken Kweeder
  • the organist at the Spectrum
  • jazz-vibraphonist Khan Jamal
  • The Mummers string band
  • the original Electric Factory concert venue
I take it the screening will be in video projection. The event is free and open to the general public.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

This weekend the International House is showing the premiere of a local documentary, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles, about the cryptic tiles appearing on city streets in Philadelphia and other cities. Philadelphian Jon Foy won an award for Best Documentary Director at Sundance 2011 for the film. (dir. Jon Foy, US, 2011, HD, 85 mins, color)

Saturday, September 10 at 7pm and 9:30pm
Sunday, September 11 at 7pm
Monday, September 12 at 7pm

Each screening features the West Philadelphia director, producers, and cast members in person, answering questions as well as providing surprises including live music, tile-making demonstrations, photography exhibitions and more.

UPDATE: Because of the sell-out crowds so far, the I-House is adding an extra screening on Tuesday evening at 7pm. Having seen the film, I can say that it's a gripping experience, in part because of the invocation of the paradoxical publicity and anonymity of the subject matter and the insight into a previous period of history.

NYT on Microcinemas

Via the Cinemathèque Internationale of Philadelphia, I see that Dennis Lim has a writeup on microcinemas in the New York Times. It diagnoses the bourgeoning cinematheque scene in New York (Brooklyn especially):
Throwbacks to the folding-chair cinematheques of yesteryear, many microcinemas — to use a term often applied to these intimate spaces — are also very much of this long-tail moment, content to stay small and specialized, and quick to respond to an artistic landscape that is changing with ever greater speed.

The most enterprising microcinemas promise not just a film that isn’t showing anywhere else but also an experience tailored around it.
I think the latter sentence gets to the heart of what distinguishes microcinemas from their antecedents, film societies. I don't think the difference is a bad one, but it's notable that the cinematic experience has changed enough that people feel the need to self-consciously recreate the aura around it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Music-Themed Secret Cinema

There are two Secret Cinema events this week. First, tonight (Wednesday, Aug 3) is a Velvet Undergound themed screening, Sister Ray Slam, at the Institute of Contemporary Art (118 S. 36th St.). It features rare Andy Warhol short films, including his Screen Tests, accompanied by live bands performing "Sister Ray." 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm. Admission free.

Friday is a fund-raising screening of Paul Anka films at The William Way Center to benefit the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania. Food and drink start at 6:00 pm. At 7:30 pm: Screening of Look in Any Window (1961), plus bonus short Lonely Boy, introduced by Richard Barrios. Admission: minimum tax-deductible donation of $20 advance at the AIDS Law Project site, $25 at the door. All funds raised will go to the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, a non-profit, public interest law firm that provides free legal services to people with HIV/AIDS and others affected by the epidemic.

Fuller descriptions of the films and bands available at the Secret Cinema website.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Underground Cinema and Apes

The International House is having a mini-series of films with/by Underground Cinema actor Pierre Clementi.

Friday, July 29 at 7pm

Pierre Clémenti: Unreleased Reels
with live musical accompaniment from David First, Chris Forsyth and Koen Holtkamp

Featuring Pierre Clémenti, Philippe Garrel, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Viva, Catherine Deneuve, Nico, Tina Aumont, Frédéric Pardo, and many more, these rarely seen and newly restored films by French actor Pierre Clémenti constitute a major period of creative expression and experimentation. Akin to the works of Andy Warhol and Kenneth Anger, Clémenti’s films are lyrical and hypnotic and function both as portraits of those closest to him and distinctive visions from the mind of a world famous actor, poet and free spirit.

Souvenir souvenir …(Reel 27)
dir Pierre Clémenti, France, 1967-78, 16mm, 27 mins, color, silent

Positano (reel 30B01: soleil)
dir Pierre Clémenti, France, c. 1968, 16mm, 28 mins, color, silent

La Deuxième femme (reel J)
dir Pierre Clémenti, France, 1967-78, 16mm, 48 mins, color, silent

Saturday, July 30 at 7pm

Wheel of Ashes
dir. Peter Emanuel Goldman, France, 1968, digital transfer from 16mm, 95 mins, b/w

American filmmaker Peter Goldman made his second feature film in France with Pierre Clémenti in the leading role. Poetry and promiscuity merge as young Pierre searches for meaning in his tormented world. Goldman is an under-recognized auteur whose unique films serve as excellent example of American independent filmmaking during a defining era.

Saturday, July 30 at 9pm

dir. Franco Brocani, Italy/UK, 1970, 16mm, 92 mins, color

A surreal and disturbing distillation of Western Civilization, Necropolis is the unhinged vision of Italian director Franco Brocani. Pierre Clémenti is Attila the Hun, naked and on horseback, while Warhol superstar Viva is a drunken and abusive Countess Bathory. A pop pastiche for the psychedelic generation, Necropolis features a soundtrack by Gavin Bryars.

Also, Sunday from 11:00 AM—11:00 PM they are running a Planet of the Apes marathon. $20 gets you entrance to any or all of the 5 films. Matt Prigge has the round up.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Man Who Fell To Earth

I've been traveling and otherwise estivating over the summer break so far, but I hope to pick up more postings here. All this next week, the Ritz Bourse is showing Nicholas Roeg's The Man Who Fell to Earth, perhaps most famous for starring David Bowie. Matt Prigge has a write-up, with the pithy summation, "It’s a mess, but the kind of mess that goes to unexplored areas, and is open to odd touches..."

Showtimes: 1:00, 4:00, 6:50, 9:40

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Secret Cinema: Top Secret Films

The Secret Cinema at Moore College of Art & Design presents


Friday, April 29, 2011
8:00 pm
Admission: $8.00

Moore College of Art & Design
20th & Race Streets, Philadelphia
(215) 965-4099

On Friday, April 29, 2011, the Secret Cinema at Moore College of Art & Design will present a program of short films never intended for viewing by the general public.

TOP SECRET: FILMS YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEE includes films produced to convey private information from the government, the military and big business, instructional or motivational in nature, to carefully targeted audiences of battle forces in the field, farmers, middle management and wholesale buyers of products. Spanning from World War II through the 1960s, these forgotten reels reveal long hidden and often surprising views of mid-century America. At least one of these films was originally marked as containing "Restricted" information (and for all we know it is still officially restricted!).

There will be one complete program, starting at 8:00 pm. Admission is $8.00.

As always with Secret Cinema events, the films will be shown using real film (not video) projected on a giant screen.

Just a few highlights of TOP SECRET: FILMS YOU WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEE are:

ARMY-AIR FORCE COMBAT DIGEST #53 (1944) - A weekly newsreel made just for soldiers, bringing news, developments in the war, and aerial footage of bombing missions right to the barracks via portable 16mm projectors. This episode is from October 4, 1944.

CULL FOR PROFIT (1951) - Made by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, this color educational film argues in favor of eugenics in egg farming, advising farmers to carefully remove from their coops hens that are lower egg producers. It might have just as easily been called KILL FOR PROFIT.

INSIDE TEST CITY U.S.A. (1953) - A promotional film from Readers Digest magazine that declares "Industry has discovered that what happens in Columbus (Ohio) today will be happening all over America tomorrow." The filmmakers interview local businessmen and consumers, all of whom are loyal Reader's Digest readers. Two comment that "most people read the Bible and the Digest." The narrator points out with pride that the Reader's Digest has greater market penetration in affluent areas than in poorer ones.

RECOGNITION OF AFV'S (1943) - Adapted by the U.S. Signal Corps from a British training film, this short aims to teach soldiers a valuable lesson: how to distinguish Allied tanks (or Armored Fighting Vehicles) from those of the enemy.

1104 SUTTON ROAD (1958) - Motivational dramatization shows the story of a dissatisfied factory worker who imagines what it would be like to become foreman or the company president. He learns that every employee must be productive to succeed. Sponsored by the Champion Paper and Fibre Company, with blazing Technicolor views of home and workplace life.

Plus an in-house training film from Bell Telephone, NAVAL AIRCRAFT WORKERS' DIGEST, THE DELCO 12-VOLT SYSTEM, and much more!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pop Cinema series

A terrific series tomorrow and Friday at the International House:
Pop Cinema: Art and Film in the UK and US, 1950s – 1970s

Thursday, April 28 at 7pm
UK Pop

O, Dreamland
dir. Lindsay Anderson, 1953, 16mm, 12 mins, b/w
Mama Don’t Allow
dir. Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, 1956, 16mm, 22 mins, b/w
Pop Goes the Easel
dir. Ken Russell, 1962, video transfer from 16mm, 45 mins, b/w
When I Was Young
dir. Peter Whitehead, 1965, video, 4 mins, color
Trilogy: Cineblatz; White Lite; Marvo Movie
dir. Jeff Keen, 1967-68, 16mm, 9 mins, color
Richard Hamilton
dir. James Scott, 1969, 16mm, 24 mins, color

Friday, April 29 at 7pm
US Pop

Jamestown Baloos
dir. Robert Breer, 1957, 16mm, 6 mins, color
Broadway by Light
dir. William Klein, 1958, 35mm, 12 mins, color
Achoo Mr. Karoochev
dir. Stan VanDerBeek, 1960, 16mm, 2 mins, color
I Was A Teenage Rumpot
George and Mike Kuchar, 1960, 16mm, 12 mins, color
dir. Bruce Conner, 1962, 16mm, 4 mins, color
dir. Marie Menken, 1964, 16mm, 8 mins, color
Kustom Kar Kommandos
dir. Kenneth Anger 1965, 16mm, 3 mins, color
Oh Dem Watermelons
dir. Robert Nelson, 1965, 16mm, 11 mins, color
— —— (aka Short Line Long Line)
dir. Thom Andersen and Malcolm Brodwick, 1966-67, 16mm, 11 mins, color
dir. Juan Drago, 1967, 16mm, 21 mins, color
American Time Capsule
dir. Chuck Braverman, 1968, 16mm, 3 mins, color
dir. Bob Cowan, 1968, 16mm, 9 mins, color
dir. Chas Wyndham, 1969, 16mm, 3 mins, color
Up Against the Wall Miss America!
dir. Newsreel Group, 1968, video transfer from 16mm, 6 mins, b/w

Saturday, April 30 at 2pm
Pop Art and Cinema panel discussion with:

Derek Boshier, Artist and Filmmaker
William Kaizen, Assistant Professor of Aesthetics and Critical Studies, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Kalliopi Minioudaki, Art Historian
Jacob Proctor, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Saturday, April 30 at 7pm

dir. Derek Boshier, 1970, video transfer from 16mm, 14 mins, color
dir. Peter Whitehead and Niki de Saint Phalle, 1973, video, 90 mins, color
The curators may be taking a little bit of license in tying all of these films to Pop Art (then again I've not seen the majority of these), but with a screening of such hard to see experimental and documentary work from the 60s and 70s, who's quibbling? Having recently screened Momma Don't Allow, I was struck by how palpable the sense of a new cinematic vocabulary and a new postwar consumer prosperity was.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Temple Cinematheque: City Documentaries

This Friday, Temple Cinematheque pairs two influential but often overlooked documentary shorts that aim to give a snapshot of a city subculture. Both will be screened in 16mm.

In the Street
(1948, US, James Agee, Helen Levitt, and Janice Loeb, 16m)
A silent short using hidden cameras to document Harlem street life in New York in the 1940s. The work continues photography Helen Levitt's interest in street photography, especially portraits of children, and Agee's interest in social documentation.

Momma Don't Allow
(1955, UK, Karel Reisz and Tony Richardson, 22m)
Pioneering documentary of the Free Cinema movement, documenting one evening at a North London jazz club in the 1950s. The film influenced the soon-to-emerge British New Wave, and both Reisz and Richardson went on to become key figures in that movement.

The program screens this Friday, April 22, at 3 PM in Annenberg Hall (Room 3), 13th and Norris St.

Monday, April 18, 2011

John Akomfrah at Scribe

Tonight, at Scribe Video Center:

Father of Black British Cinema, John Akomfrah, Comes to Scribe, 7PM for an in-person conversation with Louis Messiah.

In Conversation with John Akomfrah (in-person)
April 18
at Scribe Video Center

Please join us Monday April 18, 7PM at Scribe for an in-person conversation between acclaimed British filmmaker John Akomfrah and Scribe's executive director Louis Massiah. Considered one of the founding fathers of Black British Cinema, Akomfrah will screen excerpts from his new works and the audience will have the opportunity to ask questions.

Presented in partnership with Temple University's Department of Film and Media Studies and the University of Pennsylvania's Program in Cinema Studies, Center for Africana Studies, and the English Department - Latitudes Reading Group. $5, free for Scribe members, Temple University and University of Pennsylvania students and faculty. Seating is first-come first-serve. Attendees may also pre-register for this event by calling 215-222-4201.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peter Rose film screening

Language, Time, and Fiction - Six works by Peter Rose

Peter Rose will show six works that propose sly philosophical questions about consciousness and language, time and space, and appearance and reality. The screening will conclude with the Philadelphia premiere of a new work that presents a luminous nocturnal portrait of a vanished culture.

University of Pennsylvania
Van Pelt Film Studies Center
Room 425 Van Pelt Library

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Works on video format.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend of Avant-Garde and Science Films

This Saturday, the International House will screen three programs of science and experimental films, very few of which are easily seen. For full descriptions of the films, consult the I-House website.

Saturday (Apr 16) 2:00pm
Secret Cinema and Cinema Studies at UPenn present

A program of some of the oldest surviving educational films about science and nature and features an assortment of fascinating “popular science” shorts. These ultra-rare reels, many of which haven’t been seen in eight or nine decades, are still potent in their powers to entertain, amuse, and educate modern-day viewers about a variety of subjects. Many of the films have never been shown by Secret Cinema or anyone else since the 1920s! Introduced by science film scholar Oliver Gaycken. Highlights include:

Honey Makers
Pathe Screen Studies, UK, circa 1920s, 16mm

Trip to the Sky
prod Jean Painlevé, France 1937, 16mm

The Battle of the Plants
British Instructional Films, Ltd., UK, circa 1920s, 16mm

Laws of Motion
Encyclopedia Brittanica Films, UK, 1952, 16mm

The Science of Life
Bray Educational Films, US, circa 1920s, 16mm

Saturday (Apr 16) 5:00pm
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts:
Independent Artist Movement in Cinematography (shorts)

Rien que les heures (Nothing but Time)
dir. Alberto Cavalcanti, France, 1926, 16mm, 45 mins, b/w, silent

Amor Pedestre (Love a Foot)
dir. Marcel Fabre, Italy, 1914, 16mm, 10 mins, b/w, silent

Ritimi di Stazione, Impressioni di Vita N.1 Rhythms (Impressions of Life # 1: Railway Station)
dir. Corrado D’Errico, Italy, 1933, video, 10 mins, b/w, silent

Rennsymphonie (Race Symphony)
dir. Hans Richter, Germany, 1928, 16mm, 5 mins, b/w, silent

La Marche des Machines (The March of the Machines)
dir. Eugene Deslaw, France, 1929, 16mm, 9 mins, b/w, silent

Life and Death of 9413 – A Hollywood Extra
dir. Robert Florey, US, 1928, 16mm, 11 mins, b/w, silent

L’Histoire Du Soldat Inconnu (The History of the Unknown Soldier)
dir. Henri Storck, Belgium, 1931, 16mm, 10 mins, b/w, silent

Saturday (Apr 16) 7:30pm
Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts:
Independent Artist Movement in Cinematography

Mario Peixoto’s visually entrancing Brazilian classic is a stunning silent poem inspired by a photograph by Andre Kertesz. Described by Peixoto as ‘a tuning fork’ to capture the pitch of a moment in time, it recounts a simple story of three people adrift on a boating trip.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring calendar update

I have updated the Philly film calendar, including among other things the Cinefest screenings. Download and import into your Google calendar or iCal for a handy reference.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flaherty Seminar shorts

Tomorrow night, Wednesday, April 6, the International House is programming shorts from this past year's Flaherty Film Seminar, on the topic of "work." Screening is at 7PM.

dir. Michael Glawogger, Austria, 1987, BetaSP, 3 mins, color

Haiku uses the clang of metal forming as the basis for an earsplitting rhythm that mirrors the repetition of life structured by the factory’s whistle.

dir. Mika Rottenberg, US, 2008, BetaSP, 16 mins, color

Cheese conflates farm-girl imagery with the fairy tale Rapunzel into a story loosely based on the Sutherland Sisters, renowned for their extremely long hair. Floating through a pastoral yet mazelike setting of raw wooden debris cobbled together into a benign shantytown, six longhaired women in flowing white nightgowns ‘milk’ both their locks and their goats to generate cheese. As nurturing caretakers, these women represent maternal aspects of Mother Nature.

Me Broni Ba
dir. Akosua Adoma Owusu, US/Ghana, 2008, BetaSP, 22 mins, color, Twi and English w/ English subtitles

Who dictates the whims of fashion and what can these whims tell us? Me Broni Ba remixes the traditional anthropological documentary (including the classic story about Euro-colonialism) into a mad and inventive fusion of both forms and formats. Titled for an Akan term of endearment (me broni ba or my white baby), Me Broni Ba is a lyrical and impressionistic portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana, combining images of Ghanaian women who practice braiding on discarded white baby dolls with a child’s story of migrating from Ghana to the United States.

The Pottery Maker
dir. Robert Flaherty, US, 1925, BetaSP, 14 mins, b/w, silent

A humble experiment using the new Mazda incandescent lamps instead of mercury vapor lights, The Pottery Maker was shot in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s basement in collaboration with the Arts and Crafts Department and proved to be important as a preliminary study for the pottery-making sequence in Industrial Britain.

The Sixth Section
dir. Alex Rivera, US/Mexico, 2003, BetaSP, 26 mins, color, Spanish and English w/ English subtitles

The Sixth Section is a portrait of a Mexican migrant community inhabiting a transnational space between the village of Boquerón, Puebla and Newburgh, NY, where they formed a niche enclave, ready to supply their labor in menial occupations. Having come north with the intent of supporting families back home, Newburgh’s Poblanos shrewdly consolidate their efforts into Grupo Unión, a benevolent society (headquartered in a backyard tent) dedicated to public-welfare projects in Boquerón. Rivera leafs through Grupo Unión’s jaw-dropping portfolio: the construction of a 2,000-seat baseball stadium; purchase and delivery of an ambulance for the village clinic; instruments for a marching band; completion of an abandoned, half-dug well; and more — all done from upstate New York.

The Way
dir. Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand, 2006, BetaSP, 6 mins, color, Thai w/ English subtitles

A man with a young boy on his shoulders maneuvers through a tall thicket. “This is the old way,” he says, reassuring the boy that they have not much farther to go.

Temple Cinematheque: Experimental Shorts

The next screening in the Temple Cinematheque series will be a program of experimental shorts from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. All of the titles will be screened in 16mm:

Director: Jan Krawitz
16mm, b/w, 10 minutes, 1976

Jan Krawitz has been making documentary films for 35 years. Her work has been exhibited and awarded at film festivals in the United States and abroad, among them: In Harm's Way, Mirror Mirror, Drive-In Blues, Little People, Cotton Candy and Elephant Stuff, Afterimage, and Styx. Her film Styx is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is a Professor in the Graduate Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University. She has a B.A. from Cornell and a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Temple University.

" quickly establishes a tempo, a rhythm, and an almost symphonic kind of form that brings the everyday into a superbly balanced conjunction with the realm of the extraordinary suggested by the title..."
San Francisco Chronicle

Director: Standish Lawder
16mm, b/w, 11 minutes, 1969

An underground classic, cited by Richard Linklater (SLACKER, A SCANNER DARKLY), as one of his favorite shorts, NECROLOGY is an anthropological film about life and death in New York City - a roll call of the recently deceased. Shot in Grand Central Station, director Standish Lawder, who is best known for his photography, captured 12 minutes of anonymous commuters in their daily routine. The finished film shows lines of people ascending and disappearing into a shadowy abyss with the haunting suggestion of people on their eventless way to hell. Lawder added a lengthy list of bogus credits to the end for a touch of morbid humour that leaves viewers to ponder their own fate.

"The film is one of the strongest and grimmest comments upon the contemporary society that cinema has produced." Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice

Life is a Bitch and Then You Die
Director: Nina Gilberti
16mm, b/w, 5 minutes, 1985

Re-editing film footage from Joris Ivens’ 1928 silent film, THE BRIDGE, Nina Gilberti added music and narration to create a completely new work that is different in mood and meaning from what Ivens’ intended. The individual shots have been re-assembled to work more closely with the narrative content. Flipping shots and screen direction, combined with rapid editing and a frenetic score, the filmmaker offers us a humorous glimpse into the narrator’s thoughts and feelings.

Last Movement of a New World Symphony
Director: Nikola Kulish
16mm, color, 11 minutes, 1974

Using the music from the last movement of Dvorak’s New World symphony as a foundation, Kulish directed this harried tale of a man on a seemingly desperate mission. With a montage that rises and subsides in conjunction with the protagonist’s energy and resolve, the film compels us to empathize with the hero until he confronts what ultimately awaits him.

The program screens this Friday, April 8, at 3 PM in Annenberg Hall (Room 3), 13th and Norris St.

Monday, March 28, 2011

El General at Haverford

A screening at Haverford this week, with the director in person:

directed by Natalia Almada 2009

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
7:00 pm
Sharpless Auditorium
Haverford College

Filmmaker Natalia Almada will be present to introduce and discuss the film.
In 1910 a revolution erupted in Mexico. Among its rallying cries was "the right to vote." Nearly a century later this same cry is heard as thousands take to the streets during a hotly contested presidential campaign. Through the legacy that filmmaker Natalia Almada inherited as the great-granddaughter of Mexican president Plutarco Elias Calles (1924-1928), one of Mexico's most controversial revolutionary figures, accused of having been a dictator, an "Iron Man" and a "Nun-Burner," yet also acclaimed as the "father of modern Mexico," El General is a portrait of a family and a country under the shadow of the past.

Natlaia Almada was the recipient of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award for El General; her previous credits include All Water Has a Perfect Memory, an experimental short film that received international recognition, and Al Otro Lado, her award-winning debut feature documentary about immigration, drug trafficking and corrido music. Almada’s films have screened at The Sundance Film Festival, The Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum and The Whitney Biennial and have been broadcast on the PBS series P.O.V., The Sundance Channel, ARTE, VPRO and others.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ed Halter at Temple

The Visiting Filmmakers series continues at Temple, with a speaker known more for his curatorial work. Ed Halter is curator of the New York Underground Film Festival and founder and director of Light Industry, a venus of film and electronic art in Brooklyn.

The event takes place tomorrow, Wednesday, March 23, and starts at 5:15 in Temple's Annenberg Hall (13th and Norris), room 3.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cheryl Dunye at Swarthmore

This, Friday, filmmaker Cheryl Dunye will be at Swarthmore in person with her latest feature film The Owls.

Friday, March 25

Science Center 101
Swarthmore College

Opening the 2011 Queer and Trans Conference, “Queer Futures”

Written by Dunye, the Philadelphia-raised director of such acclaimed films as The Watermelon Woman and Stranger Inside, and novelist and playwright Sarah Schulman, The Owls reunites the stars of the lesbian classic Go Fish in a humorous generational anthem for “Older, Wiser Lesbians.” Raised in the shadow of “pathological lesbian” films like The Fox, The Children’s Hour and The Killing of Sister George, these women embraced the utopian vision of a Lesbian Nation. Now, approaching middle age, they are caught between a mainstream culture that still has no place for them, and a younger generation of queers who are indifferent to their contributions. In this low-budget, collectively produced film, Dunye returns to the signature style of her “Dunye-mentaries”--hybrids of fiction and interview footage capturing lesbian communities in all their intrigue. Murder! Infidelity! Dinner parties! The Owls premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was produced by feminist film scholar and video activist Alexandra Juhasz.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mizoguchi tonight

Tonight the International House will be screening Sansho the Bailiff (dir. Kenji Mizoguchi, Japan, 1954, 35mm, 124 mins, b/w, Japanese w/ English subtitles).
When an idealistic governor disobeys the reigning feudal lord, he is cast into exile, his wife and children left to fend for themselves and eventually wrenched apart by vicious slave traders. Under Kenji Mizoguchi’s dazzling direction, this classic Japanese story became one of cinema’s greatest masterpieces: a monumental, empathetic expression of human resilience in the face of evil.
Film starts at 7:00pm. All Proceeds Donated to Philadelphia – Japan Disaster Relief Fund.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Kiss Me Deadly

Image: DVD Beaver

Tonight (Thursday, March 17), the International House is screening Aldrich's baroque noir Kiss Me Deadly (1955) in all it's 35mm sumptuousness. It's a cult classic that's about... well, I won't spoil the ending for those who don't already know. I'll just say it's an over-the-top and remarkable narrative.

As a bonus, Village Voice critic J Hoberman will be in person to discuss the film and to promote more generally his new book, An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War. Screening starts at 7:00pm, with book signing to follow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Scribe screenings at I-House

The International House continues to host screenings by the Scribe Video Center.

Tonight, March 15, they will be showing Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968 (dir. Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson, US, 2009, video, 57 mins). Director Judy Richardson will be there in person.
"On February 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three young men dying and at least 27 wounded on the campus of South Carolina State College in Orangeburg, SC. All of the police were white and all of the students African-American. This powerful yet disturbing documentary film explores the eye-witness accounts of student protesters and police officer participants."
Tuesday, April 5 they will screen When the Spirits Dance Mambo (dir. Dr Marta Moreno Vega and Robert Shepard, US, 2002, video, 90 mins). Director Robert Shepard will be there in person.
"Tracing the role of sacred African thought and practices in the formation of Cuban society, culture and music, Cuando los Espíritus Bailan Mambo (When the Spirits Dance Mambo) is a tribute to the spiritual energy that traveled from West Africa to Cuba and New York."
Both screenings begin at 7:00pm.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Calendar Spring update

I have updated the iCal calendar.

Any suggestions on how to make this a helpful feature are welcome.

Temple Cinematheque: Trader Horn

Temple University Cinematheque Presents:

Trader Horn
1931, W.S. Van Dyke, 122m

Time: 3 PM, March 18, 2011
Location: Annenberg Hall (Room 3 - Basement), 13th and Norris St., Philadelphia, PA

"While on safari in an unexplored area of Africa, Trader Horn and Peru find missionary Edith Trent killed by natives. They decide to carry on her quest for her lost daughter Nina. They find her as the queen of a particularly savage tribe, and try to bring her back to civilization."

This pre-code era film is the first non-documentary shot in Africa and was nominated for an Academy Award (Best Picture) in 1931. Most of the crew contracted Malaria, including Director W.S. Van Dyke and actress Edwina Booth. An African crewman fell into a river and was eaten by a crocodile. Another was killed by a charging rhino (which was captured on film and used in the movie). The film will be shown on 16mm.

This screening is being programmed by Temple University Film & Media Arts ungraduate Katy Gronsbell.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Director Alison Kobayashi in person

At the International House tomorrow, Feb. 24, 7:00pm, performance and video artist Alison Kobayashi will be presenting her work.

Kobayashi’s pieces address the migration of desires, alongside the transmission of ideas and memory across distances and time. In other words, the works function as mediation through migration. Kobayashi is captivated by found objects that contain traces of private experiences.

Films with artist's notes below.

Dan Carter
dir. Alison Kobayashi, 2006, Canada, video, 15 mins, color
Dan Carter donated his answering machine to a secondhand store. Dan Carter did not remove the cassette tape. So I took it. This film is based on the messages.

From: Alex To: Alex
dir. Alison Kobayashi, 200,6 Canada , video, 6 mins, color
In the fall of 2003 I found a letter on the Winston Churchill Blvd QEW overpass. It was labeled From: Alex To: Alex. This is a film based on the contents of that letter.

dir. Alison Kobayashi, 2009, Canada, video, 11 mins, color
I catalogued my family’s home video collection. I came across videos of my sister and I in Brownie and Girl Guide ceremonies. It made me want to DO GOOD. It made me want to invite others to DO GOOD too. Five Brownies created new badges. Each Brownie made a video that ex¬plained what was required to earn her badge. You are invited to participate in DO GOOD.

dir. Alison Kobayashi, 2011, Canada , video, work in process, color
John Massier found a letter at a bus stop outside of Dickie’s Dounuts in Buffalo, New York. He gave me the letter.

Pleasure Dome
dir. Alison Kobayashi, 2010, Canada, video, 12 mins, color
Very little is publicly known about what is inside Pleasure Dome. We sought to learn more about Pleasure Dome by closely examining its characters. The goal was to create an objective look at a very singular place. This video is a sample of those findings.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Visiting Filmmaker: Kathryn Ramey

Fall (Kathryn Ramey, 2006)

As part of the Visiting Filmmaker Series sponsored by Temple's Film and Media Arts department, filmmaker Kathryn Ramey will be discussing her work, which uses experimental film techniques to address anthropological and socio-cultural research.

The event starts at 5:15 in Temple's Annenberg Hall (13th and Norris), room 3.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Temple Cinematheque: 60s/70s Animation

The next screening in the Temple Cinematheque series will be a program of Academy Award-winning animation shorts from the 1960s and 1970s. All of the titles will be screened in 16mm:

Pas de Deux (Norman McLaren, 1968, 13m)
Closed Mondays (Bob Gardiner and Will Vinton, 1974, 11m)
Special Delivery (Eunice Macauley and John Weldon, 1977, 7m)
Afterlife (Ishu Patel, 1978, 7min)
The Critic ( Ernest Pintoff, Mel Brooks and Bob Heath, 1963, 4m)
Frank Film (Frank and Caroline Mouris, 1973, 9m)

The program screens next Friday, February 18, at 3 PM in Annenberg Hall (Room 3), 13th and Norris St.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Calendar winter update

The Philly Repertory Film Calendar is now updated. An iCal download, it can be saved then imported into your iCal or Google calendar. It's a handy way to keep up with local screenings and events.

Look out for another update in mid-March.

Stan Douglas in conversation

Stan Douglas in conversation with Diedrich Diederichsen and Nora Alter

Monday, February 14, 2011
6:30 pm
Slought Foundation (4017 Walnut)
Free; reservation not required

Slought Foundation and the Temple University Department of Film and Media Arts are pleased to present artist Stan Douglas in conversation with Diedrich Diederichsen and Nora Alter on Monday, February 14, 2011 from 6:30-8:30pm at Slought Foundation. This program has been organized by Nora Alter, Chair of Film and Media Arts at Temple University. The conversation will engage Douglas’ Vidéo (2007), an audio-visual meditation on Samuel Beckett’s Film (1965), as well as the artist’s more recent public art project Abbott and Cordova (2009), a photo reenactment of the Gastown riot of 1971. The event will begin with a special screening of Vidéo (35 min; 2007).
"I'm always looking for this nexus point, the middle ground of some kind of transformation. I guess this accounts for the embarrassingly consistent binary constructions in my work. Almost all of the works, especially the ones that look at specific historical events, address moments when history could have gone one way or another. We live in the residue of such moments and for better or worse their potential is not yet spent."
-- Stan Douglas in conversation with Diana Thater (London: Phaidon Press, 1998).
Stan Douglas was born in 1960 and attended the Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. His film and video installations, photography, and work in television address the history of literature, cinema and music, the technical and social aspects of mass media, and modernism in terms of its failures as a theoretical utopian concept and its manifestation in present day urbanism. His work frequently engages in subtle societal criticisms and investigations of authorship and subjectivity, and has often been imbued with tropes associated with Blues and Jazz. They are media machines, Automats of a sort, which involve the viewer in their mechanics; they reflect an era of transition from literally mechanical reproduction to electronic saturation. Douglas's widely appreciated work has appeared in the 1995 Whitney Biennial and three Venice Biennales; at Documenta 9, 10 and 11; at the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao; and at the Museums of Modern Art in San Francisco and New York. He has had solo exhibitions at the Dia Foundation for the Arts in New York, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among others. His work has also been shown in New York at The Studio Museum, Harlem, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Dia Center for the Arts.

Diedrich Diederichsen was editor of two music magazines in the 1980s (Sounds, Hamburg; Spex, Cologne) and taught at several academies in the 1990s in Germany, Austria, and the U.S. in the fields of art history, musicology, theater studies, and cultural studies. He was Professor for Cultural Theory at Merz Academy, Stuttgart from 1998 to 2006, and is currently Professor of Theory, Practice, and Communication of Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Art in Vienna. Recent Publications include Psicodela y ready-made, Buenos Aires 2010; Utopia of Sound, Vienna 2010 (co-edited with Constanze Ruhm); Rock, Paper, Scissor—Pop-Music/Fine Arts, Graz 2009 (co-edited with Peter Pakesch); On Surplus Value (of Art), Rotterdam/New York 2008; Eigenblutdoping, Cologne 2008; Kritik des Auges, Hamburg 2008; Argument Son, Dijon 2007; Personas en loop, Buenos Aires 2006; Musikzimmer, Cologne 2005.

Video Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Will Schmenner, a Penn grad student who is bringing his film programming experience to our benefit, is curating a series of artists' films and videos at The Museum of Art. The first screening in the series is this Sunday, February 13:

Kiss (Robert Bowers, 1971, 6 minutes)
True/False (Colin Campbell, 1972, 9 minutes)
This Is My Mouth (John Watt, 1973, 10 minutes)
Birthday Suit with Scars and Defects (Lisa Steele, 1974, 13 minutes)
Semiotics of the Kitchen (Martha Rosler, 1975, 6 minutes)
My Rectum Is Not a Grave (To a Film Industry in Crisis) (Steve Reinke, 2007, 7 minutes)

Screening starts at 2:00pm.
Film at Perelman
Location: Perelman Media Room
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Perelman building

Single ticket: $8 (members and students with ID $6), includes Perelman building admission
Series ticket: $38 (members and students with ID $30), includes Perelman building admission
Series details here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Human Rights Watch Film Festival selections

This week, the International House is presenting selections from the 9th Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

Wed, Feb. 9
Iran: Voices of the Unheard
The untold story of Iranian secularists through three fascinating characters – each from a distinct social, economic and educational background – but all sharing a love for their motherland and in need of a country free from political repression and theocracy. (dir. Davoud Geramifard, Canada, 2009, BetaSP, 68 mins, color, Farsi w/ English subtitles)

Thurs, Feb. 10
In the Land of the Free…
Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox and Robert King – aka The Angola 3 – have spent a combined century in solitary confinement in Angola, the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Targeted by prison officials for being members of the Black Panther Party and for fighting against terrible prison conditions, they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard. New evidence continues to emerge as they continue to challenge the verdict. Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, In the Land of the Free… presents the ongoing story as dramatic events continue to unfold. (dir. Vadim Jean, UK/US, 2009, BetaSP, 84 mins, color)

Fri, Feb. 11
Pushing the Elephant
An intimate family drama set against the backdrop of the 1998 conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pushing the Elephant tells the story of Rose Mapendo, who was separated from her five-year-old daughter Nangabire. Rose survived the atrocities of those years and eventually resettled in Phoenix, Arizona with her other children. Now, after 12 years apart, Rose and her daughter Nangabire are reunited in the US. Through the story of their reunion, we come to understand the excruciating decisions Rose made in order to survive and the complex difficulties Nangabire faces as a refugee in the US, torn between her painful past and a hopeful future. (dir. Beth Davenport and Elizabeth Mandel, US, 2010, BetaSP, 84 mins, color, English, Kinyamulenge and Swahili w/ English subtitles.)

Sat, Feb. 12
Youth Producing Change
Young people are on the frontlines of many of the world’s human rights crises, but we rarely get to hear their points of view. The third edition of Youth Producing Change shares powerful stories from young filmmakers across the globe as they turn the camera on their own lives and share their visions of change. Youth Producing Change Short Film Program was founded by Adobe Youth Voices. Full list of titles available at the International House website.

All films begin at 7:00 pm and are presented in video projection.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Companion Blog

For those interested in the more academic side of film studies, I have a separate blog run for the Philadelphia Cinema and Media Seminar. The seminar itself is a monthly meeting organized around the presentation of academic papers. The weblog will list events in the series and any other talks in the field taking place in the Philadelphia area.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

1960s Omnibus Art Film

One of the semi-forgotten genres of the 1960s wave of international/European art cinema is the omnibus film. Producers would package feature length compilations of short films by New Wave and art cinema directors, often around an organizing theme. The practice would help market the work of lesser known directors and could take advantage of coproduction-oriented film policy.

This Thursday (Feb. 3), Secret Cinema is screening The Oldest Profession, an omnibus film about prostitution, featuring leading female stars of the decade (Raquel Welch, Jeanne Moreau, and Elsa Martinelli) and auteur directors, including Jean-Luc Godard and Philippe de Broca. The print is a dye-transfer 35mm print, including the Technicolor sequences of the American print. That means, too, it is dubbed in English, but it's worth noting that all versions of films like this were post-dubbed, since they had international casts.

Screening takes place at 7:00pm at the International House's cinema. Admission: $8.00 ($5.00-$6.00 for members, students & seniors)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sam Green at Temple

Weather permitting, this Wednesday evening (Feb. 2) documentary filmmaker Sam Green (The Weather Underground, Utopia in Four Movements) will be presenting and discussing his work at Temple University's Film and Media Arts department. The event starts at 5:15 in Temple's Annenberg Hall (13th and Norris), room 3.

This is the first in a series of visiting filmmakers, so stay tuned for future announcements.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Temple Cinematheque

Temple Cinematheque is beginning a semester of (mostly 16mm) Friday afternoon screenings. First up is a pair of Student Academy Award-winning documentary films made by students in Temple's Film and Media Arts (nee Radio Film and Television) program in the 1970s. The films screen this Friday, February 4th, at 3 PM in Annenberg Hall (Room 3), 13th and Norris St.

You See I've Had a Life
1972, B/W - a film by Ben Levin

- A 13-year-old boy does his best to live a normal life despite the fact that he has been diagnosed with leukemia.

Ben Levin was born in Joliet, Illinois. After attending the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, he served in the United States Marine Band in Washington D.C. He then entered Temple University to pursue an MFA with an emphasis in documentary production -- the start of a 17-year relationship with that institution -- culminating in his directing the MFA program there for seven years. Levin is currently Film Professor at the University of North Texas

Through Adam's Eyes
1978, B/W - a film by Bob Saget

- A portrait of a young boy with a facial birth defect. Narrated by Adam, it deals with corrective surgery performed on him and his post--surgical social adjustment.

Bob Saget - TV actor, writer, director, and producer - was born in Philadelphia. His father, Benjamin, was a supermarket executive, and his mother, Rosalyn, was a hospital administrator. Saget lived in Norfolk, Virginia, and Encino, California, before moving back to Philadelphia and graduating from Abington Senior High School. Saget originally intended to become a doctor, but his Honors English teacher saw his creative potential and urged him to seek a career in films. He attended Temple University's film school, where he created Through Adam's Eyes, a black-and-white film about a boy who received reconstructive facial surgery, and was honored with an award of merit in the Student Academy Awards. He graduated with a B.A. in 1978.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Atom Egoyan retrospective

I am working on updating the repertory film calendar for the winter. In the meantime, I wanted to flag an Atom Egoyan retrospective series going on this weekend at the International House. It kicks off tonight:
Thurs 1/20. Next of Kin (1984, 72m) 7pm
Fri 1/21. Family Viewing (1987, 96m) 7pm
Sat 1/22. Speaking Parts (1989, 92m) 5pm
Sat 1/22. Calendar (1993, 75m) 7pm
All screenings in 16mm.

The image above from Calendar - Jonathan Rosenbaum's review is a good orientation to the Armenian-Canadian director's work.