Pablo Kjolseth (aka keelsetter)
Pablo Kjolseth

I've been a film exhibitor for over 25 years and have programmed many rare U.S. film premieres in a variety of venues, from small bars to large concert halls. For a small chunk of time I also worked in the acquisitions department of the Starz cable channel, where I read scripts and helped with programming. That was an impressive and mighty ship that was hard to abandon, but a long time ago I decided to jump that ride in favor of being the captain of a smaller vessel: the International Film Series in Boulder, Colorado.

The IFS is like a small tugboat compared to the massive cruise ship of cable tv, but it afforded me the freedom to go into uncharted waters. The IFS is a calendar film program that has been around since 1941, and unfurls over 100 independent and repertory movies a year via two campus venues.

We recently salvaged over a dozen 35mm projectors from nearby multiplexes for parts and pieces that will allow us to continue showing archive and reel-to-reel film prints into the foreseeable future, alongside the digital formats now required. The new DCP format has many advantages, but my goal is to keep both the past and present alive by still showing 35mm prints whenever possible.

I raise my glass to all the rogue agents, private collectors, pirates, and other genuine cinephiles working in smaller distribution companies who are all doing their best to save rare prints from being destroyed, dumped, or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the public sphere. It is because of these heroes that so many otherwise forgotten stories from our cinematic legacy might yet live at 24-frames-a-second, and I salute the people who still make it possible to fly this particular pirate flag high, large, and on the big screen.

Posts by Pablo Kjolseth

A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King (Laurent Bouzereau, 2011), an hour-long documentary with the iconic best-selling author, premiered three years ago on TCM and is being brought back this Saturday. The topics covered include the early horrors that both scared and inspired him as a kid, moving on to films like […]

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(This article was written on Sep. 20th while visiting family in Lake Tahoe, and scheduled to post on Sep. 21. It was scuttled by a server malfunction and is here revisited in the spirit of “better late than never.”) The etymology of “smother” is based on old German and Dutch words for “smolder,” and are […]

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I spent the Labor Day weekend at the 41st Telluride Film Festival. There were many highlights, but at the top of my list was a 35mm print screening of California Split (Robert Altman, 1974), which was presented by TCM. And, no, I’m not just sucking up to the folks who sign my paycheck on this […]

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Coming up soon on TCM is an interesting political thriller by John Frankenheimer that usually gets lost in the shuffle. Seven Days in May (1964) is based on the novel by Fletcher Knebel and was co-authored by Charles W. Bailey II, with a script by Rod Serling. Knebel’s career in writing was sparked by a […]

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(* … or not. As an alert reader just pointed out, Bergman has been replaced with a tribute to James Garner. Still… I’ll leave this post for future reference, as I’m sure TCM will eventually bring some of these films back.) I recently screened a 16mm print of Ingmar Bergman’s (1918 – 2007) The Magician […]

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Peter Yates (1929 – 2011) is primarily known as the director of Bullitt (1968), which set the bar for car-chases. Anyone who has seen The French Connection (1971) or To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) will not be surprised to know that William Friedkin, TCM‘s Guest Programmer for July, credits Bullitt for being “one […]

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Unlike Chris Marker (1921 – 2012), I am not an editor, poet, videographer, novelist, digital multimedia artist, or filmmaker. Even on a strictly personal level we are worlds apart, him having been a Salinger-like enigma who famously avoided interviews and photographs, me being a “nothing close to Salinger-like on any level” kind of guy who […]

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Screening this week as part of the TCM Imports lineup is Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski’s (1941 – 1996) Three Colors trilogy. As a film exhibitor I have very fond memories of showcasing Kieslowski’s work. Both The Double Life of Veronique (1991) and the aforementioned operatic triptych made Kieslowski a huge arthouse hit who would pack […]

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If you missed A Hard Day’s Night (Richard Lester, 1964) when it screened at the recent TCM Film Fest, you’ll get another shot tomorrow when it airs as part of an evening celebrating the British Invasion. A Hard Day’s Night marks the Fab Four‘s debut in front of the cameras for a feature film and […]

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I can’t let a month featuring a Friday Night Spotlight on Australian Cinema go by without putting in a plug for a small gem coming up later this week; Peter Weir’s The Plumber (1979). Shot on 16mm and made for TV, this quickie project shot in under three weeks was a middle step-child between Weir’s […]

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