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companies who are all doing their best to save rare prints from being destroyed, dumped, or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the public sphere.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

     “Cry who will, laugh who can.” So begins Lola; with this Chinese proverb that makes clear its intentions.      How does Jacques Demy’s Lola, released over a half-century ago, in 1961, still work its magic on me? Normally any kind of conceit involving a love triangle that includes one character who serves as a […]

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Last January while attending the Arthouse Convergence in Midway, Utah, I was privy to a digital 4K restoration of The Lady from Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1948). It was introduced by Leonard Maltin, and the screening preceded the official Blu-ray release by a couple weeks. It comes to mind now because I see it coming up […]

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This Thursday TCM is featuring four films that fall under the theme of European Auto Racing: Le Mans (Lee H. Katzin, 1971), Grand Prix (John Frankenheimer, 1966), The Racers (Henry Hathaway, 1955), The Young Racers (Roger Corman, 1963), and Speed (Edwin, L, Martin, 1936). Last month I sold the Subaru that I’d owned since 1996. […]

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“I thought you might want to go to the picture show. Miss Mosey is having to close it. Tonight’s the last night.” – Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) How is it that nobody has done a modern version of The Last Picture Show? I realize that Peter Bogdanovich’s 1971 film, based on the novel by Larry […]

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… red shoes and dance the blues. – David Bowie Last week we screened a nice 35mm print of Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952). I’d put it on my film calendar two months ago and had no way of knowing that on the day of the show an arctic blast would slap us […]

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In his book Campus Life in the Movies: A Critical Survey from the Silent Era to the Present (2008), John E. Conklin “explores themes of college life in 680 feature-length films set in the U.S. and released between 1915 and 2006.” By now I’m guessing there are close to 800 movies that depict life at […]

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Pope Francis may have edged out Eric Snowden as “Person of the Year” at TIME magazine, but the contributions by the latter have had a deep and ongoing impact on our national psyche. A lot of whistleblowers wind up dead, behind bars, labeled traitors, or – like Snowden – on the run. Small wonder they’ve […]

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My last post was spurred on (emphasis on “purr”) by the poster for Inside Llewyn Davis. The protagonist of that film at one point passes by a poster for The Incredible Journey (Fletcher Markle, 1963), which is a Disney movie about two dogs and one cat going trying to find their way home. The name […]

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I was going to write about The Hudsucker Proxy (1994), because it’s screening tomorrow on TCM and, also, because the latest Coen brothers film, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), opens theatrically this coming Friday. Instead, I got stuck on the Inside Llewyn Davis poster. There is something about its composition that I find very striking. To […]

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What was it about the script for Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945) that caught Joan Crawford’s eye? And why does the finished product, a film that is a perfect fusion of film noir and melodrama, still resonate with us today? Go to any film school teaching a film noir or women and film course (or […]

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