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companies who are all doing their best to save rare prints from being destroyed, dumped, or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the public sphere.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

The title line is an excerpt from noted French film historian Georges Sadoul describing the filmmaking style of Robert Aldrich. When you look up Aldrich’s name on IMDB the three film titles that get highlighted as the ones he’s “known for” are The Dirty Dozen (1967), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), and The […]

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Made on roughly the same budget as The Blair Witch Project (1999) and shot shortly after the assassination of J.F.K., Monte Hellman’s The Shooting (1966) is a western very much of its time that was not properly released in its time. It’s informed by films like The Virginian (1962), One Eyed Jacks (1961), Stagecoach (1939), […]

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A few weeks ago I got a chance to visit Tippett Studio and was given a tour by Phil Tippett himself. He was seven-years-old when he saw Ray Harryhausen’s The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad and knew what he wanted to do with his life. Since then he has worked on Star Wars, The Empire Strikes […]

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If I had to select one day this week on TCM to engage in some binge watching it would be Tuesday, starting with The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston, 1948). The next four films? The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967), The Earrings of Madame De… (Max Ophuls, 1954), The French Connection (William Friedkin, 1971), and […]

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This Thursday, May 5th, celebrate your Cinco de Mayo with The Fast and the Furious. No, not the recent franchise-spawning movie of same name directed by Rob Cohen starring Michelle Rodriguez (who has her roots in Puerto Rico, not Mexico). I refer, instead, to the 50’s version involving a prison escapee and a fast-car loving […]

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Later today TCM is screening Forbidden Planet (Fred Wilcox, 1956), one of the best science-fiction films of all time. That last statement might ring hyperbolic, but anyone familiar with the movie knows it’s true. What could I possibly add that hasn’t already been uncovered about a film that had an influence on everything from Star […]

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Coming up this Wednesday TCM is offering up The Front Page (Lewis Milestone, 1931). This pre-code screwball comedy co-produced by Howard Hughes is based on a scandalous 1928 Broadway play by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, two veteran newspaper writers who had worked at rival Chicago papers in the 1920s. While the play raised eyebrows […]

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A Quiet Place in the Country was nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear at the 1969 Berlin International Film Festival. The film was spearheaded by Italian director Elio Petri, stars Franco Nero and Vanessa Redgrave, and includes the work of Ennio Morricone. Billed as a sadistic and erotic horror film, it reminds me of Piero […]

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Today’s scheduled post has been derailed by a recent conversation between Marc Maron and William Friedkin that I can’t get out of my mind. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour long talk that made me want to revisit the films of Billy Wilder (Ninotchka), John Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), as well as many of Friedkin’s […]

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I’d like to thank Kimberly Lindbergs and Greg Ferrara for subbing for me while I was at Sundance and dealing with other issues. This Tuesday TCM will screen five films starring Dean Martin: The Stooge (Norman Taurog, 1952), The Caddy (Norman Taurog, 1953), Artists and Models (Frank Tashlin, 1955), You’re Never Too Young (Norman Taurog, […]

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