Archive for April, 2010

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Link Added to 360/365 Film Festival

27 April 2010

We’ve added a link (see sidebar under Links) to the upcoming 360/365 Film Festival (May 5-10) in Rochester, New York. The festival, at the Eastman House, is the current incarnation of what was the Rochester/High Falls International Film Festival.

"It Came From Kuchar" Screens at 360/365

This year’s diverse schedule of films includes current releases such as the Oscar-nominated animated feature, The Secret of Kells, the documentaries Still Bill (on singer Bill Withers) and It Came From Kuchar (on the Kuchar twins’ unique contributions to ’60s cinema), the Sundance winner Winter’s Bone (based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell)–plus, from the past, classics (The Red Shoes) and curiosities (No Orchids for Miss Blandish).

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Link Added to PBS’s “Independent Lens” Series

26 April 2010

We’ve added a link (under Cable/On-Air Viewing Options) to PBS’s series of independent films, Independent Lens.

Check out the trailer for for the film Garbage Dreams, airing tomorrow.

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For (a Belated) Earth Day: “Plastic Bag”

26 April 2010

“Plastic Bag,” an 18-minute film directed by Ramin Bahrani and narrated by [Werner] Herzog, follows the title character, a lowly plastic shopping bag, from ‘birth’ at a supermarket checkout aisle, through a happy life with his ‘maker’ (the woman who took her groceries home in him and used him for random daily chores) to cruel abandonment in a garbage dump. After years searching for his maker, during which the human race disappears, the bag meets its final reward in the Pacific Ocean’s notorious ‘Garbage Vortex,’ where it finds rueful solace among its dispossessed and stubbornly un-biodegradable tribe.

…, “Plastic Bag” has become a hit on the Internet since appearing on YouTube and the Independent Television Service Web site a month ago. The film was commissioned by ITVS as part of its online “Futurestates” project, in which 11 filmmakers were asked to make digital shorts about present-day issues and their implications for the future….

Though it was created for online viewing, “Plastic Bag” has been shown at renowned film festivals such as Telluride and South by Southwest…..: Filmed with spare elegance by cinematographer Michael Simmonds, “Plastic Bag” elaborates on a visual trope that recurred throughout “American Beauty” and found its first expression in Jem Cohen’s 1996 experimental documentary “Lost Book Found.”

“Plastic Bag” also unites…Herzog, who with “Fitzcarraldo” and “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” has long sealed a legendary reputation as one of film’s most obsessively passionate directors; and Bahrani, who has proven to be one of the most promising members of a new generation of American neorealists, since he made a stunning debut with “Man Push Cart” in 2005 and followed with “Chop Shop” and “Goodbye Solo.” (from “Web Hit ‘Plastic Bag’ Blows Into D.C. For  Environmental Film Fest”, Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post, 4/23/10)

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Speaking of Those Oscar-Nominated Docs…

16 April 2010

…the evening before one of this year’s contenders for Best Documentary, Food, Inc., airs as part of the POV series on PBS (see post), another Academy Award nominee will be shown on HBO: Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country.  The film is scheduled for April 20, 9:30 PM.

Another nominated documentary, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, will be shown on POV sometime this fall.

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POV on PBS: Link Added/”Food, Inc.” Airs 4/21

16 April 2010

We’ve added a link to the television schedule to the documentary series POV on PBS. (See Cable/On-Air Viewing Options on the sidebar).

Please note that Food, Inc. (for those who missed our recent screening and for those who’d like to see it again) will be shown on Wednesday, April 21 at 9:00 PM. As they say, check your local listings.

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Quote for the Day (Every So Often)

14 April 2010

Nature doesn’t work for me. The light’s no good.

From John Logan’s play, Red, about the artist Mark Rothko (quoted in John Lahr’s review in The New Yorker, April 12, 2010)

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Syr Int Film Fest Prescreening Events

8 April 2010

The 7th Syracuse International Film Festival takes place this year October 13-17.

The festival has been holding a series of prescreening sessions for a committee to review prospective festival entries; these session are open to the public (who are invited to share their opinions on the screened films). Here are the particulars of the remaining sessions:

Thursday, Apr 8: 7 pm, SUNY Cortland, Sperry Building, Room 105

Sunday, Apr 25: 2 pm, Cazenovia College, Catherine Cummings Theatre

Monday, Apr 26: 7 pm, Le Moyne College

The festival’s announcement notes that the “sessions are free, but space is limited”; for a reservation, please call 315-443-8826.

For more information on the festival, please check out their website: www. syrfilmfest.com