Thursday, October 19, 2006
A family-friendly coming of age comedy about a tight-knit French Canadian Catholic clan with five sons. Of course, the father’s favorite, the son he loves best and is trying his hardest to raise as a man’s man, finds himself mesmerized by baby carriages and his mother’s pearls, with both predictable and unpredictable results. A real crowd pleaser, this picture has done well worldwide, but has never had American distribution. 127 mins. Subtitled. NR
3:00pm Two Square Miles
Introduction by Branda Miller and Barbara Ettinger. Q&A with Ettinger after the screening.
Shot over the course of two years, Barbara Ettinger’s documentary on Hudson, N.Y. and the Columbia County-wide battle over the St. Lawrence cement plant is a riveting portrait of a town in turmoil, divided by class and political differences stirred up by the Swiss-owned multi-national that pushed the plant. Rating: NR
5:30-7:30 FilmColumbia Pub Party
Held on the 2nd floor of Main Street’s Peint O’ Gwrw. Film buzz, drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Cash bar. Free admission.
5:30pm Old Joy
Kodak Film Award presentation by Peter Biskind and Sandi Knakal. Intro to film by Kelly Reichardt. Q&A with Kelly Reichardt after the screening.
Set in the wilderness of Oregon’s Cascade Mountains, Kelly Reichardt’s stunningly photographed, self-described “New age western” was the toast of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The Village Voice’s J. Hoberman called it a “grunge” Easy Rider. 76 mins. NR
Introduction by Calliope Nicholas.
Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal. Case closed. But wait, there’s more. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s (Amores Peros, 21 Grams) latest picture begins with a bang… a rifle shot in the Sahara desert that metaphorically ricochets around the world. In one of the director’s signature Rubik cube plots, the tragedy that befalls an American couple pyramids through ignorance, stupidity, and selfishness. Rated R
Friday, October 20, 2006
Noon The Aura
Familiar to Americans for his tricky, Mamet-like thriller Nine Queens, Fabian Bielinsky, one of South America’s most promising directors, was cut off in his prime when he died earlier this year of a heart attack at the tender age of 47. The Aura, his last film, is the alternately amusing and creepy (in the good sense) tale of a unhappy taxidermist who improbably aspires to be a master bank robber.Subtitled. Rating: NR
12:30pm Script Reading of “St. Faith’s Shelter”
St. Faith’s Shelter has its roots in author Mary Gail Biebel’s experience of giving up a child for adoption in 1966 and her subsequent search for him. Directed by filmmaker Courtney Hunt, featuring local and regional actors.
No festival would be complete without a junkie film, and this is ours. Starring Brokeback Mountain’s Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish, and Geoffrey Rush, director Neil Armfield’s sure direction elicits strong performances from the entire cast, particularly Ledger and Cornish. Rating: R
5:00pm The Lives of Others
Set in East Berlin in 1984, the film tells the story of a Stasi (secret police) agent ordered to bug the apartment of an actress and her writer companion at the behest of the Minister of Culture who covets her. The agent becomes disillusioned, providing the engine for a devastating drama. Subtitled. 137 mins. NR
7:30pm Friday Night Sneak
Introduction by Peter Biskind.
The Friday Night Sneak turned out to be Pedro Almodovar’s latest release, Volver. Three generations of women survive the east wind, fire, insanity, superstition and even death by means of goodness, lies and boundless vitality. Volver is not a surrealistic comedy although it may seem so at times. The living and the dead coexist without any discord, causing situations that are either hilarious or filled with a deep, genuine emotion. It’s a film about the culture of death in La Mancha. The people there practice it with an admirable naturalness. The way in which the dead continue to be present in their lives, the richness and humanity of their rites mean that the dead never die. Volver destroys all the clichés about “black” Spain and offers a Spain that is as real as it is the opposite. A Spain that is white, spontaneous, funny, intrepid, supportive and fair.
10:00pm The Host
Based on an actual incident, Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean genre-bending monster mash begins on an American military base, where a U.S. Army officer is responsible for introducing formaldehyde into the Han River that runs through Seoul, with dire consequences not too hard to imagine. The combination of convincing CGI effects, off-beat humor, politics, and solid character development makes for a breathless adrenaline rush. 119 mins. Rating: NR
Saturday, October 21, 2006
10:30am Children’s Program
Introduction by Stephanie Fischette
Now in its fourth year, the children’s short film line-up, programmed by Producers Stephanie Fischette and Patti Greaney of GIRALDI, returns with a kaleidoscope of films from around the globe. Selections are sure to delight kids of all ages. Free admission!
Introduction by Calliope Nicholas.
A haunting and disturbing film directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, Requiem is more akin to the Lars von Triers classic Breaking the Waves than it is to the Exorcist. Nevertheless, it treads similar territory – demonic possession and exorcism, albeit with a much lighter, more sensitive step. Subtitled. 93 mins. NR
2:30pm The Celebration
Introduction by Peter Biskind and Bingham Ray. Bingham Ray will be on hand afterwards to discuss the film and answer questions.
Co-founder of October Films and former president of United Artists Bingham Ray presents The Celebration, the 1998 classic of the Danish Dogme 95 school written and directed by Thomas Vinterberg. The story takes place at a 60th birthday celebration for the patriarch of a large and prosperous family. As the evening unfolds, the family’s dark secrets – involving incest and perversion – are revealed. Subtitled. Rating: R
Director Doug McGrath will be present to introduce Infamous and will be present for a discussion led by Bingham Ray afterwards.
The “other” Capote film. Director Doug McGrath lost the race, but he may have won the war. His talent stuffed version — Sandra Bullock, Jeff Daniels, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hope Davis, Isabella Rossellini, Sigourney Weaver – of the now familiar back-story to Capote’s breakthrough book, In Cold Blood, is preceded by a buzz that is electric. 110 mins. R
8:00pm Saturday Sneak Peak
Introduction by James Schamus, head of Focus Features.
The Saturday Night Sneak was Catch A Fire. Powerfully telling the story of a South African hero’s journey to freedom, Catch a Fire is the new film from the director Philip Noyce (The Quiet American, Rabbit-Proof Fence). The political thriller takes place during the country’s turbulent and divided times in the early 1980s, and in the new South Africa of today. Stars Tim Robbins and Derek Luke.
Sneak Preview and Dish over Dessert!
Attendees enjoyed our sneak preview, Catch A Fire, then joined us at the Blue Plate for lively discussion and autumn sweets.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
10:00am-Noon Kodak Presents FilmColumbia’s Filmmaker Brunch Through the Lens: Creating the Vision of Film
A great brunch and scintillating discussion. FilmColumbia’s panel discussion and brunch featured a delectable brunch menu from East Chatham’s Chef Lisa and a fascinating look at the art of cinematography in film.
We lined up a stellar panel of world-famous filmmakers, including Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, writers/directors of American Splendor and their new film, The Nanny Diaries; Terry Stacey, cinematographer of, In Her Shoes, Friends with Money, and a film currently in production, P.S., I Love You, starring Hillary Swank; local resident Marc Blandori, cinematographer of Mind the Gap, and the tv show, Starved, and Peter Masterson, who just completed work on an independent film by his sister, Mary Stuart Masterson, shot in Catskill.
Cinematography has been called “technology in the service of art.” From the rich black and whites and evocative lighting of Good Night and Good Luck, to the hyper-realistic colors and brilliant brights of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, it’s clear that cinematography has an extraordinary influence on the mood of a film and, at its best, is a visual reference to understanding a filmmaker’s intentions. Our panel of extraordinarily talented filmmakers discussed the impact and contributions of cinematography on some of our most memorable films and examined the techniques they use to create a film’s mood and ambience.
10:30am High School Film Project, Neighborhood Stranger
Written and filmed by Columbia County students under the mentorship of filmmaker John Holser (DigitalFilmFarm). A tale of two neighbors who are strangers until an accident strips them of their identities and turns their worlds inside out. Free admission!
12:00pm Brother’s Shadow
Introduction by Michelle Apland. Q&A afterwards.
“Jake Groden” gets out of prison just as his identical twin brother has dropped dead, prompting his sister-in-law (Susan Floyd) to put the family cabinetry business on the block. Enter Groden, who tries to step into his brother’s shoes with dramatic consequences. Outstanding are East Chatham’s Scott Cohen, who plays the lead, and Judd Hirsch, who plays the twins’ crusty, Old Testament father. Rating: NR
2:30pm Animation For Grown-Ups
Introduction by Gary Leib. Q&A with animators following the screening.
The best in award-winning shorts by the top animators. This program shows you the wide range and expression possible in this medium, ranging from computer generated to hand drawn. Many of these animators will be on hand for Q&A afterwards. Programmed by Gary Leib, animator for American Splendor. Rated: R
4:00-6:00pm Meet the Animators
Attendees mingled and talked with the leading animators in the industry, while enjoying a pint of beer at Peint O’ Gwrw.
4:30pm Iraq in Fragments
Introduction by Michael Gaylin, director of Intellligence. Q&A on Intelligence afterwards.
James Longley spent three years in Iraq trying to get up close and personal with the victims of Bush’s war. The film is divided into thirds, each one presenting the devastation wreaked by the Anglo-American invasion from the point of view of Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. Although there is no narrator and hence no overt political point of view, the footage speaks for itself. Subtitled. 94 mins. Rating: R
Intelligence, a short directed by Michael Gaylin, will precede Iraq in Fragments.
6:30pm Breaking and Entering
Introduction by Peter Biskind, author, writer, editor.
Director Anthony Minghella’s (Cold Mountain) lastest triumph, with an incredible cast starring Juliette Binoche, Jude Law and Robin Wright Penn. Not to be missed.
8:45pm Shut Up and Sing
Introduction by Bob Eisenhardt, lead editor and resident of Malden Bridge. Q&A following the screening.
Academy Award winning documentary director Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck (daughter of Gregory Peck) have crafted a revealing behind the scenes look at the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Dixie Chicks after band member Natalie Maines’ anti-Bush remark (“We’re ashamed the president is from Texas”) at a London concert in 2003 created fierce backlash against the band among their hardcore country fans. The Chicks refused to back down in the face of a blitzkrieg launched by the right wing media, and this intimate, sympathetic portrait catches them recreating themselves, their music, and their audience in the face of their new notoriety. (In the film, an unrepetent Maines says about the president, “What a dumb f—k!”) Distributor: The Weinstein Company. 93 minutes. Not rated