Archive for April, 2009


Saviours Screens 4/30 on SUNY Oswego Campus

27 April 2009

The Irish documentary Saviours will be screened on Thursday, April 30 at 7 PM in Room P322 in SUNY Oswego’s Campus Center. (There is no charge for admission).

(Room P322 is in the Poucher wing of the Campus Center. That’s on the far right of the complex. There are several entrances to the Center: on the left side, the center, and the right side.  Room P322 is one flight up and just across the hall from where Frozen River was screened.)

‘Saviours’ is the directorial debut of Liam Nolan and Ross Whitaker, two Dublin filmmakers who came together to produce a 25-minute documentary but realised they could gather enough material for a feature film. Filming then took place over the following two years but with no budget.

Set in St Saviours Olympic Boxing Academy…, in the heart of Dublin’s north inner city, the film follows the fortunes of three boxers whose fights come in and outside the ring.

Abdul Hussain is originally from Ghana but is seeking asylum in Ireland because he fears for this life should he return to his native country….

Dean Murphy is the local lad trying to make good….He has the talent and ambition to make a good career from the sport, but he needs to overcome injury and the distractions of working class life.

Before Darren Sutherland was winning Olympic medals and being pursued by the sport’s top promoters, he was a young Dublin lad trying to combine college life with a promising amateur boxing career…..

The fighters are coached and cajoled by their wily, humorous trainers, brothers Jim and Pat McCormack. Both were champions in their heyday and have been passing on their knowledge to generations of local lads for over 30 years. They treat the fighters as family: they are upset by Darren’s lack on interest; take Abdul to their heart and treat Dean as one of their own sons….. (Glenn Mason, RTÉ Entertainment)

The film has been judged “a small wonder…The film is raw and deglossed. But it contains riches….’Saviours’ is the kind of film-making that bottles inspiration and itself is the product of such. If this is what impoverished fim-making can do, then bring it on.” [Paul Lynch, (Irish) Tribune Arts]

In my favorite flipside to screaming hyperbolic film blurbs, there’s this:

Entertaining and honest, ‘Saviours’ fails to disappoint. (Gavin Burke,


Syracuse Film Fest: Ben-Hur (1925) w/New Score

24 April 2009

The Syracuse International Film Festival opens with a screening of the silent feature Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ at the Palace at 7 PM. Directed by Fred Niblo, the film stars Ramon Navarro and Francis X. Bushman. The Syracuse screening features a new score by J. C. Sanford with the Central New York Jazz Orchestra.

The 1925 extravaganza cost approximately $4 million (making it, by some accounts, the most expensive silent ever). Such an undertaking involved, predictably, plenty of revisions to the original plans for the picture.  The production, originally shot in Italy, was moved to California. (Unconfirmed:  the “famous chariot scene was filmed at what is now the intersection of LaCienega and Venice Boulevards in Los Angeles.”) The film features some scenes in two-strip Technicolor. Supposedly, dozens of Hollywood’s future stars were among the film’s extras. (Who can be spotted in which scene? Unknown. But keep your eyes peeled.)


“Don’t See Your Film in My Film!”

22 April 2009

I was thinking of a museum screening I attended of an Indian film years ago. The director was there: I remember him wearing a pale, pale blue scarf, perched on the edge of a metal chair. He was seated next to a moderator who asked him a few questions after the film.

When questions from the audience were taken, one gentleman was called on and, in the course of his question/comments, apparently gave his interpretation of the director’s work. The director immediately jumped out of his seat. Glaring, he shook his finger at the audience member impudent enough to put forth his take, responding, “No! No! Don’t see your film in my film!” The whole room froze. After some uncomfortable moments, the flustered moderator quickly drew the question and answer period to a close.

What a change from a common response by an artist to the question: “What did [X] in your work mean?” The answer is so often something along the lines of: “Well…, it means whatever you think it means.” Ha! With this director, what he meant was his business, not yours. (You want to know what something means? Hey, you go write something!)


Trouble the Water Airs 4/23 on HBO

19 April 2009

A documentary that the film group had recently looked into bringing to town, Trouble the Water, will be shown this Thursday, April 23 from 8:30-10:15 PM on HBO.

New Orleans’ Ninth Ward residents Kimberly Rivers Roberts and husband Scott didn’t have the means to leave town when Hurricane Katrina blew in. But they did have a camcorder, and Kimberly’s harrowing footage of her neighborhood’s nightmarish ordeal is woven seamlessly into directors Tia Lessin and Carl Deal’s Oscar-nominated documenatry about the disaster. Human in scale, the film follows the charismatic Robertses and their family and friends as they rebuild their lives after the storm. It’s a fascinating, heartbreaking, and hopeful must-see.

[Rating:] A–Missy Schwartz in Entertainment Weekly,  April 24-May1 issue

For more information on the film, please visit its website:


A Screening of Foxy Brown, 4/16

15 April 2009

There’ll be a screening of Foxy Brown, starring Pam Grier, Thursday, April 16 at 7 PM on the SUNY Oswego campus in Lanigan Hall 107.

A talk-back session will be held with SUNY Oswego History professor Ken Marshall.


OFG Profiled in Syracuse Post-Standard

9 April 2009

The group snagged the front page of the April 9 Neighbors section (Oswego County) in the Post-Standard. (See the link under Press).

Anyone who’s checking out our blog because of the article: welcome! Please send us your e-mail ( and we’ll put you on our mailing list. Also, become a friend of our Facebook group (search Oswego Film Group).

Thanks to some folks who were not included in the article or cover group photo (not viewable with the on-line article, I’m afraid): planning group member Mac McKinstry and Matt Tunis (who headed the group with Tiffany after Jon’s departure).

Also, OFG founder Mr Peck’s  first name is spelled Jon.


Syr Intl Film Fest ’09: Tickets

7 April 2009

Tickets are now on sale at the Syracuse International Film Festival’s website  for this year’s entries.

Click onto the link on the sidebar to take you to the site.