Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ross McElwee tonight

Ross McElwee will be presenting and screening his latest film Photographic Memory tonight at University of Pennsylvania:

Thursday, November 8, 2012
401 Fisher Bennett Hall
University of Pennsylvania

Friday, September 28, 2012

Philadelphia Film Festival 2012 schedule

The Philadelphia Film Festival 2012 has posted its schedule online. They have a handy feature that organizes your screenings for you, or you can even download the entire schedule into iCal.

Tickets are currently on sale for Philadelphia Film Society members. General public tickets go on sale Monday, October 1.

UPDATE: As a follow-up on earlier news on free ticket vouchers for the Festival, the PFF website mentions the films eligible for the free tickets. They're all from the American Independents series, on first-come basis. Details here. I'm actually surprised the free tickets are not incentives for daytime weekday screenings, but hey, it's their promotion!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Plans for the Roxy?

It's all in the preliminary/rumor phase, but Molly Eichel of the Inquirer reports that the Roxy is planning both a renovation and a switch to a first run/repertory mix. If true, that would be an amazing addition to Philly's film offerings.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Complimentary Tickets to the Phila Film Fest

The Philadelphia Film Festival is coming up in October. They release the schedule on Sept. 27 and I will give an update then. In the meantime, they are offering a special promotion for complimentary tickets for those who register on their website (scroll to the bottom of this page). Only certain screenings will honor the comp tickets and it's on a first-come basis, but still, it's a great way to supplement your festival viewing or to see some of the festival on a budget.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fringe Philadelphia events

PIFVA has updated their calendar and are listing the remaining media-oriented events in the Philly Fringe festival.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Africa, I Will Fleece You

The Cinémathèque Internationale of Phildalphia
presents in conjunction with The African American Museum in Philadelphia

Africa, I Will Fleece You! 

Directed by Jean-Marie Téno  
Cameroon/France/Germany 1993 
88 minutes 

Thursday, September 20, 2012 
from 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

The African American Museum in Philadelphia
7th and Arch St, Philadelphia

Part of the Territories: Africa series

This documentary of repressive political realities in Cameroon begins with the 1990 publication of an open letter to President Biya calling for a national conference – and the immediate arrest of the letter’s author and publisher. The narration then examines the nation’s colonial history, beginning with the first German missionary in 1901.

Presented in partnership with The African American Museum in Philadelphia, Territories: Africa is a foreign film series featuring filmmakers and stories from Africa and across the Diaspora. The intention of these screenings is to expand the discussion surrounding international film language and to challenge and explore modern and historic representations of and by Africans around the world

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lecture on Media, State, and Power in Iran at Temple University's Center City Campus

Please join PCMS for our last event of the season, co-sponsored with Temple's Middle East and
North Africa Study Group:

War Cultures and Culture Wars: Media, State, and Power in Iran

Thurs., April 26, 5:00-6:30 pm
Room 308, Temple University Center City (TUCC)

Niki Akhavan is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies at The Catholic University of America. Her
research focuses on the relationship between digital technologies and Iranian transnational
political and cultural production. She has published on the Iranian blogosphere and trends in
discourses about Iranian media, and is currently completing a manuscript entitled "Electronic Iran:
The Cultural Politics of an Online Evolution".

Monday, April 16, 2012

Screening of "Bed and Sofa" and perfomance with Psoy Korolenko

Moscow’s renowned troubadour, “wandering scholar” and “singing professor,” Psoy Korolenko, presents a film screening and performance of his live sound track and rap style-commentary to the Russian silent movie classic 'Tretya Meshchanskaya' ('Bed and Sofa') by Abram Room and Victor Shklovsky (1927; 75 min).

Saturday April 28th, 9:00pm
Doors open at 7:30pm
Fergie's Pub - 1214 Sansom St.

For more information, check out the Facebook event page!

The Mark of Zorro with Live Score at Bryn Mawr

The Bryn Mawr Film Institute will be holding a screening of Douglas Fairbanks' 1920 The Mark of Zorro accompanied by a flamenco/tanjo/salsa/mariachi quintet playing an original score to the film.

The quintet is an unusual mash-up of players from many corners of the Philly music scene: the brass band The West Philly Orchestra, the tango group Oscuro Quintet, the avant-improv group Inzinzac, and the rock band Tj Kong and the Atomic Bomb.

Tuesday May 22, 7:30pm

Bryn Mawr Film Institute
824 W. Lancaster Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA

Below are the links for the band rehearsal and a trailer for The Mark of Zorro with the new score.



Monday, April 9, 2012

Peter Greenaway at Slought

Penn Cinema Studies presents

Peter Greenaway in person

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
5:00pm & 8:00 pm
at the Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street
Screening: The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover and Rembrandt's J'accuse

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
University of Pennsylvania, B1 Meyerson Hall
Lecture: "Cinema is Dead, Long Live Cinema"

Thursday, April 12, 2012
at the Slought Foundation, 4017 Walnut Street
Conversation with Jean-Michel Rabaté and Alan Singer: "Golitzius and the Pelican Company"

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Presentation on Laura

Tonight at the County Theater and tomorrow at the Ambler, I will be giving a presentation on Laura (1944, Preminger) as part of their "Film 101: Inside the Classics" series. The film will not screen, but I will be showing clips.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Region Centrale showing tonight

The International House is showing Michael Snow's La Région Centrale, perhaps a magnum opus of structural experimental film. Be forewarned about the running time!

La Région Centrale was made during five days of shooting on a deserted mountain top in North Quebec. During the shooting, the vertical and horizontal alignment as well as the tracking speed were all determined by the camera’s settings. Anchored to a tripod, the camera turned a complete 360 degrees, craned itself skyward, and circled in all directions. Because of the unconventional camera movement, the result was more than merely a film that documented the film location’s landscape. Surpassing that, this became a film expressing as its themes the cosmic relationships of space and time. Cataloged here were the raw images of a mountain existence, plunged (at that time) in its distance from civilization, embedded in cosmic cycles of light and darkness, warmth and cold.

Michael Snow, Quebec, 1971, 180 min, 16mm, color
International House
Monday, April 2
7:00 pm

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cinematheque: Veronika Voss

Bryn Mawr's Homay King will be introducing this next meeting of the Cinematheque Internationale:

Veronika Voss
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
(1982, 104′, Germany, German with English Subtitles)

Wednesday, March 28
Doors open at 6:30pm
Films begins at 7:00pm
Discussion following each film.

Once-beloved Third Reich–era starlet Veronika Voss (Rosel Zech) lives in obscurity in postwar Munich. Struggling for survival and haunted by past glories, the forgotten star encounters sportswriter Robert Krohn (Hilmar Thate) in a rain-swept park and intrigues him with her mysterious beauty. As their unlikely relationship develops, Krohn comes to discover the dark secrets behind the faded actresses’ demise. Based on the true story of a World War II UFA star, Veronika Voss is wicked satire disguised as 1950s melodrama.

Speaker: Homay King, Associate Professor at Bryn Mawr College - Department of History of Art

Homay King is Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, where she also directs the Program in Film Studies and the Center for Visual Culture. Her book Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and the Enigmatic Signifier was published by Duke University Press in 2010. Her essays on film, photography, and contemporary art have appeared in Afterall, Camera Obscura, Discourse,Film Quarterly, The Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Qui Parle, and edited collections. She is a member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective, and is currently working on a book about virtuality.

Cinémathèque screenings take place at L'Etage every 2nd Sunday and 4th Wednesday.
Please use the south entrance, located at 624 S 6th St in Philadelphia.

Strong! at Haverford

STRANGE TRUTH Documentary Film Series presents

A screening and conversation with Filmmaker Julie Wyman and Olympic Weightlifter Cheryl Haworth

Wednesday March 21, 2012
Sharpless Auditorium, Haverford College

Cheryl Haworth is a young woman with a big dream: to be the strongest woman in the world.
As the 300-pound Olympic weightlifter prepares for Beijing 2008, she struggles with injury, confidence, and her place in a world where larger women are not readily accepted.

Sponsored by the John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Leaves of Grass Fund, and Independent College Programs
Organized by Visiting Filmmaker Vicky Funari in conjunction with the Exhibitions Program

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Screening and Q&A with director John Greyson


Screening and Q&A with director John Greyson
Wed., March 14
7:00 PM

KINSC Sharpless Auditorium
Haverford College

Fig Trees is documentary opera about AIDS activists Tim McCaskell in Toronto and Zackie Achmat in Capetown, as narrated by an albino squirrel, an amputee busker and St. Teresa of Avila. Organized at Haverford College by Farid Azfar (History Department) and Vicky Funari (Filmmaker, Independent College Programs).

The recipient of the 2000 Toronto Arts Award for film/video and the 2007 Bell Award in Video Art, John Greyson is a filmmaker, video artist, writer, activist and educator whose productions have won accolades at festivals throughout the world. In addition to Fig Trees, his feature films include Urinal, Lilies, Uncut, and The Law of Enclosures). As a televisor director, his credits include episodes for Queer as Folk, Made In Canada, Drop the Beat and Welcome to Paradox. Greyson is active in various anti-censorship, AIDS, peace and queer activist media projects. He has taught film and video theory and production in Canada, the United States, Cuba and South Africa. He joined the full-time faculty in the Film Department of York University (Ontario, Canada) in 2005.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Syrian Film Screenings

In collaboration with the DOX BOX Documentary Film Festival in Syria,
the Temple Middle East North Africa Group

2 Evenings of Syrian Cinema

Wednesday, March 15
A Flood in Baath County,
Omar Amiralay, Syria/France 2003
Rami Farah, Syria, 2006

Thursday, March 15
Six Ordinary Stories,
Meyar Al Roumi, France/Syria 2007
Before Vanishing,
Joude Gorani, France/Syria 2005
+ a special, surprise film about current events

All screenings run from 5:30-7:30 in Tuttleman 101 on Temple University's main campus and are free and open to the public.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dinner Cinema

Tonight and next Wednesday, Ambler and County Theaters are hosting an event pairing a 35mm screening of Babette's Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987), one of the ultimate food movies, with a meal inspired by the film.
On March 8th, the lobby of the Ambler will be transformed by Chef [Joseph] Koye as he presents his interpretation of this meal. On March 14th, Chef [Drew] Abbate will transform The Vine and Fig Tree Bistro (across the street from The County) into a candle-lit version of the movie with his own take on the film’s signature dishes.


The screenings begin at 5:45 and will include a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres. Dinner will be served at 8pm immediately following the screening. Tickets are available online for both the movie (which includes wine and appetizers) and the full movie and feast package.
Tickets are limited and need to be bought in advance. More details available at the theaters' blog.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Contemporary Chinese Cinema

Ghost Town

In addition to a screening of Godard's Contempt this evening, the International House is running a series of contemporary Chinese Cinema this week:

Thursday, Feb 23
07:00 PM
Street Life
(Nanjing Lu)
dir. Zhao Dayong, China, 2006, video, 98 mins, color, Mandarin w/ English subtitles

Friday, Feb 24
07:00 PM
Ghost Town (Fei Cheng)
dir. Zhao Dayong, China, 2008, video, 169 mins, Mandarin, Nu and Lisu w/ English subtitles

Saturday, Feb 25
01:00 PM
Digital Underground in the People’s Republic
dir. Rachel Tejada, US, 2008, video, 18 mins, color, English and Mandarin w/ English subtitles
San Yuan Li
dir. Ou Ning and Cao Fei, China, 2003, video, 45 mins, color

Saturday, Feb 25
02:30 PM
Tape (Jiao Dai)
dir. Li Ning. China, 2010, video, 168 mins, Mandarin w/English subtitles

Full descriptions are available through their website. It looks like a great series of works that do not screen regularly.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Memories of Underdevelopment

Tomorrow, the International House shows Memories of Underdevelopment (Tomás Gutierréz Alea, 1968). It's a classic of Cuban cinema, that combines European-style art cinema with an examination of the role of the intellectual in a post-revolutionary society. It's formally exciting work that inspired a generation of Third Cinema filmmakers - and it's definitely worth seeing on film.

Thursday, February 16
7:00 PM
The Ibrahim Theater, International House

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Temple Cinematheque: David Holzman's Diary

This friday writer/actor/producer L.M. "Kit" Carson will come to discuss his role in the production of David Holzman's Diary, this week's Temple Cinemathèque film presentation. The documentary will be shown in 16mm

Friday, Febuary 17
Annenberg Hall, AH 3 (basement screening room)
13th and Norris
Temple University main campus

SCT Film Lab Coordinator Len Guercio will introduce the film as well as moderate a post-film Q&A.

In a career characterized by a diverse body of work and a singular independent filmmaking aesthetic, Carson will also discuss his latest documentary, Africa Diary, which will premiere this March on the Sundance Channel.

As before, the screening is free and open to all. However, seating is limited so please arrive early.

This Cinemathèque screening is made possible by support from Temple's FMA Department & faculty as well as the SCT Operations department.

Monday, February 13, 2012

General Idi Amin Dada

I've been meaning to mention the regular screening series of the Cinematheque Internationale of Philadelphia. They screen films of video, but with full rights clearance and with a good discussion afterward - something useful to the repertory film experience.

I will be leading discussion next Wednesday at their screening of Barbet Schroeder's Général Idi Amin Dada: Autoportrait.

Wednesday, February 22
Doors open at 6:30pm. Films begins at 7:00pm.
L'Etage at Beau Monde
624 South 6th Street
Discussion following each film.
$10.00 General Admission
$5.00 Students and Artists

Upcoming films:

03.11.12: THE SCAR – Krzysztof Kieslowski
03.28.12: VERONIKA VOSS – Rainer Werner Fassbinder
04.15.12: PERSONA – Ingmar Bergman
05.06.12: COME AND SEE – Elem Klimov
05.23.12: HUKKLE – György Pálfi
06.10.12: VEILED VOICES – Brigid Maher
06.27.12: BEIRUT: THE LAST HOME MOVIE – Jennifer Fox

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Experimental: Austrian Avant-Garde and Canyon Cinema

There are two screenings of experimental work at the International House this week. The first, part of the "Archive Fever" series, features found-footage compilation films by Austrian avant-garde makers. The program is tomorrow (Wednesday) and starts at 7:00PM.
dir. Elke Groen, Austria, 1998, 16mm, 5 mins, color

14. März 1938-Ein Nachmittag
dir. Christoph Weihrich, Austria, 2008, 16mm, 10 mins ,color

Notes on Film 05 CONFERENCE
dir. Norbert Pfaffenbichler, Austria, 2011, 35mm, 8 mins, color

Oceano Nox
dir. Georg Wasner, Austria, 2011, HDCAM, 15 mins, color

Coming Attractions
dir. Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2010, 35mm, 25 mins, color and b/w

Dichtung und Wahrheit (Poetry and Truth)
dir. Peter Kubelka, Austria, 1996-2003, 35mm, 13 mins, color

To the Happy Few
dir. Thomas Draschan, Austria, 2003, 16mm, 4 mins, color, sound

Metropolen des Leichtsinns (Metropolis of Recklessness)
dir. Thomas Draschan, Austria, 2000, 16mm, 12 mins, color, sound
This Saturday, Feb. 11, a Bruce Baillie retrospective screens at 5:00pm, while a Chick Strand retrospective starts at 8:00pm.

Program 1, at 5PM: Bruce Baillie’s Early Canyon Cinema Years
Early Canyon Cinema Years comprises seven of Baillie’s films of the early Canyon years. Made between 1961 and 1966, they include canyon “CinemaNews” films as well as some of Baillie’s most famous early experimental works.
On Sundays
dir. Bruce Baillie, US, 1960-1961, 16mm, 27 mins, b/w, sound

The Gymnasts
dir. Bruce Baillie, US, 1961, 16mm, 8 mins, b/w, sound

Mr Hayashi
dir. Bruce Baillie, USA 1961, 16mm, 3 mins. b/w, sound

Here I Am
dir. Bruce Baillie, US, 1962, 16mm, 11 mins, b/w, sound

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

Mass For The Dakota Sioux
dir. Bruce Baillie, USA, 1963-1964, 16mm, 20 mins, b/w, sound

Castro Street
dir. Bruce Baillie, US, 1966, 16mm, 10 mins, color, sound
Program 2, at 8PM: Chick Strand: Beginnings, Ends and In-Betweens
This overview of Chick Strand includes both experimental and documentary works. In the mid-1960s, Strand left Canyon Cinema to move to Los Angeles where she began her own filmmaking career. Her intimate, sensual camerawork combined with an exploration of women’s personal and domestic worlds, make her films, shot largely in California and in Mexico, absolutely unique.
dir. Chick Strand, US, 1967, 16mm, 3 mins, color, sound

dir. Chick Strand, US, 1979, 16mm, 7 mins, b/w, sound

Soft Fiction
dir. Chick Strand, US, 1979, 16mm, 54 mins. b/w, sound

Señora con Flores
dir. Chick Strand, US, 2011, 16mm, 15 mins. color, sound
Full descriptions of the Austrian program and Canyon Cinema programs available from the website.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Flaherty on the Road

The International House is exhibiting a series of films from the Flaherty Seminar.

Program 1: The Artist and the Process
Thursday, Feb 02
07:00 PM

The Artist and the Computer (dir. Lillian F Schwartz, US, 1980, video, 11 mins, color)

Pixillation (dir. Lillian F Schwartz, US, 1970, video, 4 mins, color)

UFOs (dir. Lillian F Schwartz, US, 1971, video, 3 mins, color)

From Zero (dir. Frank Scheffer, Netherlands, 2011, video, 60 mins, color)
From Zero incorporates extensive footage of Scheffer’s first interview with American composer, philosopher, and poet John Cage, much of it never before seen. A Cagecollaborator, Scheffer created From Zero expressly for the 2011 Flaherty Film Seminar, completing it on the morning of its premiere.

Program 2: City Symphonies
Friday, Feb 03
07:00 PM

Window Cleaning in Shanghai (dir. Laura Kissel, US, 2010, video, 3 mins, color, Chinese w/English subtitles)
Media artist Laura Kissel describes her subjects simply as “two workers I met, hanging off the edges of my apartment building in Shanghai.” This arresting moment captures places, people, and events that suggested the qualities of everyday life in contemporary Shanghai. A work self-aware of the verité tradition it inhabits, Window Cleaning uses only location sound and defers to long takes. Yet Kissel also has a photographer’s eye for composition, structuring her window on the world in ways that are beautiful, honest, and only occasionally ironic.

Tan Mian Hua (dir. Laura Kissel, US, 2011, video, 15 mins, color, Chinese w/ English subtitles)
While documenting the contemporary textile industry in Shanghai, Kissel found the Zhu family on Chongming Island, who demonstrated the disappearing art of making a quilt with simple tools. Tan mian hua (beating cotton) is the process of assembling this type of handcrafted quilt.

Singapore GaGa (dir. Tan Pin Pin, Singapore, 2005, video, 54 mins, color, English, Mandarin and Arabic w/ English subtitles)
Tan Pin Pin’s work shows a studied devotion to the audio dimension of contemporary life, particularly as experienced in her home city. Official declarations – school songs, patriotic parades – are heard in contrast to marginalized voices: a wheel chaired busker, avant-garde musicians, and the
multilingual polyphony of everyday life.

Program 3: Heart and Soul
Saturday, Feb 04
05:00 PM

Multiple Sidosis (dir. Sid Laverents, US, 1970, video, 10 mins, color)
Sid Laverents, a retired Convair engineer, has long been a legend in the amateur film community. Multiple Sidosis is a kind of latter-day trick film, in which Sid reprises the one-man band act he performed as a traveling Vaudevillian in the ‘20s and ‘30s. This self-reflexive masterpiece features Sid– or rather many, many Sids – hysterically performing the song “Nola,” recorded with his ingenious sound-on-sound looping technique and filmed with the use of his handmade in-camera mattes. – Ross Lipman, Filmmakers

Yard Work Is Hard Work (dir. Jodie Mack, US, 2008, video, 30 mins, color)
What if Caroline and Frank Mouris (Frank Film, 1973) had made a narrative operetta about the difficulties of romance and home ownership in the cell-phone era? A handsome, hyperactive, funny, cut-out animation tour de force, Yard Work is of considerable length for such a labor-intensive form. Accomplished animation technique aside, the music is memorable and delightfully sung (by director Mack and others), with a “libretto” of wit. To go from making dozens of miniatures in this form to producing a film of such depth is a major achievement in the art of animation.

The Florestine Collection (dir. Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas, US, 2011, video, 30 mins, color)
Animator Helen Hill (1970-2007) was beloved for her enchanting, whimsical movies, her passionate advocacy for her craft, and her radical dedication to making the world better for more people in the experimental cinema and DIY art worlds. Her shocking murder in New Orleans after Katrina was incalculably tragic, but her life and work have since inspired many. Completed posthumously by her husband and creative partner Paul Gailiunas, The Florestine Collection was always conceived as being about the connection between two New Orleans DIY artists. The film tells the story of African American seamstress Florestine Kinchen, and Helen’s discovery of Kinchen’s handmade dresses on a trash pile one Mardi Gras morning.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Los Angeles Plays Itself

The ICA and The International House, with Penn Cinema studies, is hosting an ongoing series examining the use of archival image in moving-image art: Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema will present works in video, installation, and traditional “black box” cinema that respond to a particular historical moment and cultural movement through the engagement of archival material.

This Saturday, January 14, at 1pm, they will be screening Thom Andersen's LA Plays Itself (2003, 169 min.), an essay film that juxtaposes Hollywood's depiction of Los Angeles with the city's social and political history.

The will be followed with a roundtable discussion with myself and Timothy Corrigan, from Penn's Cinema Studies' program.

Saturday, January 14
International House (3701 Chestnut St.)
$9 and $7 for Students/Seniors (Free for ICA and International House members)