Archive for February, 2010

Join Northwest Film Forum during our Spring Membership Drive!

February 26, 2010

Now is the perfect time to join or renew your Northwest Film Forum membership! During our Spring Membership Drive (Feb. 26 – Mar. 11), we are offering some special incentives in addition to the standard membership benefits.

Join during the drive and receive:
-One free “Admit-2” pass
-Two additional months of membership
-One raffle ticket to win a movie party for you and fifty friends!

All Film Forum members receive $3 off movie tickets, invitations to special screenings and events, and our quarterly calendar delivered to your door.

Read more about membership and sign up here!

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Local Sightings call for entries – lucky 13!

February 25, 2010

The 13th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival is now accepting entries.

Entry Deadline is July 1

Local Sightings is our annual showcase of current narrative, documentary and experimental film by Northwest artists. The week long festival also features panel discussions, historic NW films, a filmmaker lounge, a stellar opening night party, and juried awards for a winning short and feature film! Submit your work by downloading the submission form from our website: (www.localsightings.org) and send us your screener copy on DVD.  All work must have been completed no earlier than January 2009. The deadline for submission is July 1.

Buy yourself a houseplant, there’s no entry fee!

New Addition: Chan-wook Park’s Vengeance Trilogy

February 24, 2010

As a sort of alternative to the Oscar parties next weekend, here’s a new addition to our program for the spring:

Pan Chan-Wook’s Vengeance Trilogy

March 7, 2010

Co-Presented by Scarecrow Video

Though he first gathered attention for his comparatively subdued thriller Joint Security Area (2000), an enormous hit in his native South Korea, writer and director Park Chan-Wook has since emerged as a world-cinema master with three visionary, violent, and equally popular revenge sagas. Created between 2002 and 2005, these powerhouse films have together been dubbed by international critics as “The Vengeance Trilogy.” Though each tells a separate, unrelated story,

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance share Park’s distinctive auteurist touch, identifiable by a unique blend of ironic humor and blood-curdling horror. Comic book stories with elements of classical tragedy, the films feature morally ambiguous but fascinating protagonists who discover the true nature of evil.

Park is the rare contemporary filmmaker who has found a way to innovate with digitally created imagery while maintaining an emotional center. His expressionistic and frequently hallucinatory spaces, as well as his handling of suspense, has earned him comparisons with Alfred Hitchcock. Screening just before the release of the DVD box set, NWFF audiences will be able to see all three of these deliriously beautiful, pulse-pounding thrillers in their original 35mm wide-screen formats.

More here.

Red Riding is coming

February 22, 2010

There is some great buzz building for next week’s Red Riding Trilogy, three films from Britain that take place against the backdrop of the 1970s Yorkshire Ripper murders. Word is they are dark, suspenseful, and a definite film “event.”

You’ll have to wait until next weekend to see them all, but meanwhile here’s a making-of featurette with all the right trailer-ness to get you hooked:

Link to Red Riding preview

Find out more about the films and our screening schedule here.

The spring calendar abounds

February 19, 2010

Take a peek at our spring calendar!

How? The calendar is on the premises now, and if you are a member it has probably already been delivered, as usual, to your door.

You can also, of course, view our cinematic buffet and workshop menu online.

Or download the calendar here. (Where you can also find all the spots in town that carry it.)

A sampling of next quarter’s lineup includes the highly anticipated Red Riding Trilogy, our annual ByDesign program, and master classes with visiting directors Naomi Uman, Sterlin Harjo and Barbara Hammer.

Tickets for all movies will be on sale by February 25, and online class registration is available now.

Don’t miss it: “For the Love of Movies” this Thursday

February 15, 2010

Here’s something appreciators and students of film history will want to catch this week: For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism, playing Thursday, February 18 at 8pm, with director Gerald Peary in attendance.

As the art of film criticism continues to disappear from the pages of our daily newspapers, Boston Phoenix critic Gerald Peary decided to document the history of the craft in For the Love of Movies.  The result is an insider’s view of the critics’ profession, with commentary from America’s best-regarded reviewers, including Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times), A.O. Scott (New York Times), Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly) and Kenneth Turan (Los Angeles Times). We also hear from young, articulate, internet voices, including Harry Knowles (Aintitcool.com) and Karina Longworth (Spout.com). From the raw beginnings of criticism before The Birth of a Nation to the incendiary Pauline Kael-Andrew Sarris debates of the 1960s and 70s, to the battle today between youthful on-liners and the print establishment, For the Love of Movies motivates audiences to consider reviews by the best American critics as a key component in watching movies in a deeper, more thoughtful way. Narrated by Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April).

Bill White’s entire review at Seattle PostGlobe is worth reading (especially for the bit about how good reviews can’t be cut into pull quotes for advertising…cough), but here’s a snippet: “Gerald Peary crunches a century of film criticism into 81 minutes, capturing the essence of the curve that began as a scheme to induce studios to advertise their movies in the newspapers  and ended in the cacophony of uninformed opinion. … it exceeded all expectations…. the film is bursting with facts that will be new to many.”

Berlinale Keynotes

February 14, 2010

I ‘ve just come from a rather fascinating meeting of the minds, this year’s Berlinale Keynotes, a conversation around urban cinema and architecture. Panelists included architects Norman Foster | Foster+Partners, London and Wolf D. Prix | COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Vienn, filmmakers Deyan Sudjic | DESIGN MUSEUM, London and Heinz Emigholz | Pym Films, Berlin, MK2 founder Marin Karmitz | MK2, Paris, and urban planner and branding specialist Li Edelkoort | Edelkoort Etc., Paris.  The conversation focussed on the future of cinemas as urban spaces with three special presentations from Foster, Karmitz, and Prix. There is much to digest from this discussion, specifically connections between cinema and public space, impacts of the digital sphere on the social sphere, how cinemas can act as centers of urban space, as well as use of the cinema as a means for political and capital gains.  I hope to further discuss this conversation later this evening.  Expect the post to include ideas such as the airport as the future cinematic space, the use of surfaces as screens, and searching for cinemas future in its past. Right now I’ll indulge in some of that past at a rare screening of Fasbinder’s Rio das Mortes.


Update from team “Humpday”

February 13, 2010

‘Hump’ team in ‘Treatment’
Schardt will make feature directorial debut

Joshua Leonard, Jennifer Maas and Steven Schardt — the team behind indie comedy “Humpday” — has come back together for “Treatment.”

“Treatment,” penned by actor-writer Sean Nelson (“The Freebie”), centers on an unsuccessful screenwriter who checks in to an exclusive rehab to pitch an A-list star his project. Leonard is set to star in the comedy, Maas will serve as producer and Schardt is making his feature directing debut.

Besides Leonard and Nelson, cast includes Ross Partridge (“Baghead”), Brie Larson (“Greenberg”) and newcomers Jessica Makinson and Chris Caniglia. Cameos will be made by John Hodgman, Robyn Hitchcock, Katie Aselton, Jack Betts, and Calvin Reeder.

Read the rest here.

Beautiful Darling Star Jeremiah Newton

February 12, 2010

“Candy says I’ve come to hate my body and all that it requires in this world” – Velvet Underground

The real star of  Beautiful Darling James Rasin’s portrait of Warhol superstar Candy Darling, which screened this afternoon at the Berlinale, isn’t the starlet herself. Nor is it any of the regulars of the Warhol community, although many of them make appearances. The real star of this film is Darling’s devoted and amicably gentle sidekick Jeremiah Newton, a man whose dedication to his friend has preserved her image and story warts and all.

Newton hands Raisin a treasure trove of material, which the director  brilliantly  turns into a dual portrait not just of Candy Darling but of of Newton as well as,  who appropriately receives a producers credit on the film. This insightful picture of the tragic life and sudden death of one of Warhol’s most confident stars was only possible because of the tireless efforts Newton put into documenting Darling’s life. Newton interviewed scores of Warhol regulars and salvaged a wealth of personal belongings (photos, films, diaries, clothing etc)  from Darling’s mother which allows Rasin to assemble one of the finest accounts of the Warhol factory, its tragic relationship to its coterie and its profound effect on the lives of its manufactured stars. As told through these collected stories and belongings, Rasin and Newton offer us one of the most authentic and personal portraits that factory has known.

More on the restoration of “The Red Shoes”

February 11, 2010

Last night I was fortunate to be in the audience for The Red Shoes at Seattle Art Museum, where late director Michael Powell’s wife Thelma Schoonmaker was present to answer some questions about the film’s creation and restoration.

She brought with her a clip reel of “before and after” footage from the film – before and after the meticulous restoration, that is – that elicited audible gasps and applause from the audience. I’m working on trying to get a copy of that disc to share with our audiences for the week-long run of the film here at the Film Forum (where it plays February 12-18), but meanwhile, here’s some more information about the impressive and exhaustive preservation effort, as well as a link to a special PDF booklet about the film, from the Film Foundation’s website.

UCLA archivist Robert Gitt explains: “In the restoration process, the entire film has been turned into ones and zeros, repaired, and then converted back into a motion picture again. In order to achieve a proper film ‘look,’ we compared the new digital images with those in an original Technicolor dye transfer print and in a new Eastman color test print struck by Cinetech Laboratories directly from the YCM camera negatives. Careful adjustments were made in the finalized digital version to combine the best qualities of modern color film (greater image sharpness, more sparkle in highlights) with the most pleasing attributes of vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints (bold colors, deep blacks, gentle contrast with a pleasing range of tones in actors’ faces). The end result is a restoration that combines the best of the past with our digital present.”

The UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation began working on the restoration in the fall of 2006. Earlier, in the 1980s, the film had been optically copied from flammable nitrate and acetate materials, including vintage Technicolor dye transfer prints, nitrate and acetate protection master positive copies, original soundtrack elements, and – most important of all – the still extant three-strip Technicolor camera negatives. These original nitrate 3-strip camera negatives have been utilized for this restoration to obtain the highest possible image quality. The negatives, which were damaged by mold and deterioration, were scanned at 4K resolution and digitally restored at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. The new digital negative has been used to strike beautiful new 35mm prints at Cinetech Labs, one of which will premiere in Cannes. These newly restored elements ensure that the film is now properly preserved for posterity.


Read the full article here.

Download a lovely PDF about the film & its restoration here – complete with many stills from the movie

Read more about The Red Shoes at Northwest Film Forum and purchase tickets