Archive for March, 2009


Suggested Online Viewing: Amazing Mr. X AKA The Spiritualist

30 March 2009

This week, VCI Entertainment releases “Classic Film Noir, Vol. 3”. One of the films included is Bernard Vorhaus’s 1948 thriller, Amazing Mr. X (released in the UK as The Spiritualist). The film was

photographed by the brilliant and eccentric John Alton, one of the seminal stylists of film noir. “It’s not what you light,” Alton once observed. “It’s what you don’t light.”….

“Mr. X” is a gothic thriller starring the Austrian actor Turhan Bey, who brings all his exotic charm (Turkish father, Czech mother) to the role of a fraudulent psychic consultant attempting to draw a wealthy young widow (Lynn Bari) into his clutches.

The New York Times, March 29, 2009

Though Mr. Alton’s work won’t be seen to its best advantage, you can watch the film online at a few sources–I watched it in QuickTime at the Internet Movie Archive site.  Check it (or any of the many other options there) out. (Click onto sidebar link On-Line Viewing Options: Moving Image Archive and search for “Amazing Mr. X”).


George Toles on SUNY Oswego Campus

27 March 2009

Screenwriter George Toles will be visiting the SUNY Oswego campus March 30 and 31.

A Canadian screenwriter of both features and short films, Toles discusses the craft of screenwriting. His screenplays examine psychosexual and complex cultural relationships among modern communities through dynamic, often disturbing, and peculiarly humourous plots. Among his screenplays and writing credits are Edison and Leo (2008), My Winnipeg (2007), Nude Caboose (2006), Brand Upon the Brain! (2006), The Saddest Music in the World (2003), The Cock Crew (1998), Twilight of the Ice Nymphs (1997), Sea Beggars (1994), Careful (1992), and Archangel (1990).  (ARTSwego)

On Tuesday,  March 31 at 12:30 PM, George Toles will give a talk in Room 114 of the Campus Center.


Free Screening: The Vanishing Corporal (Le Caporal Epinglé)

24 March 2009

We’re screening Jean Renoir’s 1962 film The Vanishing Corporal (Le Caporal Epinglé) on Tuesday, March 31, at 5:45 PM. The free screening will be in the Community Room of the Oswego Public Library (120 East 2nd Street). A discussion will follow immediately after the show.

The Time Out Film Guide entry on the film:

A deceptively slight tale of the attempts by three Frenchmen to escape from a Nazi prison camp during World War II, this late addition to Renoir’s impressively wide-ranging oeuvre is nevertheless suffused with the same warm and generous humanism as the great Régle du Jeu or Grande Illusion. Though the whole thing is played as a comedy, the scenes in the prison camp display Renoir’s characteristically sharp eye for regional and class differences, even under the yoke of common suffering. The final parting on the bridge in Paris is a scene which will ring loud and true for anyone with the slightest sense of the value of freedom and friendship.


Syracuse International Film Festival

22 March 2009

This year, the festival runs from April 24 – May 3.

This coming week, the festival is having free screenings of some of the past seasons’ short films:

Monday, March 23, 7 PM: Sugarpearl Espresso Bar (800 Burnet Avenue, Syracuse)

Wednesday, March 25, 7-9 PM: Wescott Community Center (826 Euclid Avenue, Syracuse)


More Film Series on Campus

19 March 2009

In addition to the British Film Series (see earlier post), there are other continuing film series on the SUNY Oswego campus:

Films begin at 7:15 PM in Room 118, Campus Center

German Film Series:

Wed, April 1: One, Two, Three (1961) Dir: Billy Wilder

Wed, April 29: Rosenstrasse (The Women of Rosenstrasse) (2003) Dir: Margarethe von Trotta

Spanish Film Series:

Wed, April 8: Camila (1984) Dir: Maria Luisa Bemberg

Wed, April 15: La historia oficial (The Official Version) (1985) Dir: Luis Puenzo


Best of the Festivals: Frozen River, 3/18

16 March 2009


OFG continues its Best of the Festivals with Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner Frozen River on Wednesday evening, March 18.

The free screening will be in Room P225 of the Campus Center of SUNY Oswego. After the show, we’ll discuss the film.

From the film’s website (

“Filmed in sub-zero weather in upstate New York, March of 2007, Frozen River is Courtney Hunt’s directorial debut…. [The film] is set in a real-life smuggling zone on a Native American reservation between New York State and Quebec where the lure of fast money presents a daily challenge to single moms who would otherwise be making minimum wage. Strapped for money and having been deserted by her husband, working class Ray (Melissa Leo), reluctantly teams up with Lila (Misty Upham), a widowed Mohawk Indian, to smuggle illegal immigrants across the frozen St. Lawrence River from Canada to the U.S. in the trunk of a Dodge Spirit. Both women swear each trip will be their last, but one final run across the river leads to a showdown with the law on all sides.
Frozen River stars Melissa Leo (21 Grams, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Homicide: Life on the Street), Misty Upham (Edge of America, Skins), Charlie McDermott (The Ten), Michael O’Keefe (The Great Santini – Oscar nominee, Michael Clayton, The Pledge), and Mark Boone, Jr. (Tree’s Lounge, Batman Returns).”


Night Out at the Movies: Doubt, 3/16

11 March 2009

The film group is presenting another Night Out at the Movies on Monday, March 16 at the Oswego Cinema 7. We’ll see the 8:20 PM show of Doubt. Immediately after the screening, we’ll meet up in the theater’s upper lobby and have an informal discussion about the film. (All patrons are invited to stay and join the discussion).

Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis star in John Patrick Shanley’s film based on his Pulizter-Prize winning play.

The film opens at the Oswego Cinema 7 on Friday, March 13.

Meryl Streep and Amy Adams

Meryl Streep and Amy Adams