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.