CRIB NOTES, PART 1 OF 2

I celebrated the new year by proofing a final mock-up of my Spring arthouse calendar film series program. It will screen about 50 films. Some new. Some old. The selection usually nets an equal amount of praise and criticism. I put out a sneak preview of coming attractions on my FaceBook page the other day and within a few minutes received one enthusiastic remark from a reader looking forward to the latest Steven Soderbergh documentary about Spalding Gray (that one called And Everything Is Going Fine) while simultaneously getting one smack-down from a reader wanting to know why I won’t be screening González Iñárritu’s Biutiful, or Charles’ Ferguson’s excellent documentary regarding the details of our recent financial collapse, Inside Job, or even something so obviously winning as L’illusionist, which displays the latest animation of Sylvain Chomet of The Triplets of Belleville fame – especially as it is working from an unpublished screenplay by Jacques Tati. What could be more perfect for an arthouse theater? For those curious how this particular film curator made his final choices, here are my answers. [...MORE]

Northwest Cinemas

I’m visiting Portland for the weekend and was originally planning on interviewing the TCM V.P. of New Media about his erotic fantasies involving Joe Eszterhas, but he decided to stay in Atlanta instead. (Something about a wife, a birth, and a child – but I bet what he’s really doing is hiding out in his man-cave playing Halo 3 instead.) To be fair to him, it’s not so much Eszterhas as Showgirls which gets him excited. In his words, Showgirls is “a brilliant political commentary on the moral bankruptcy and depravity of American culture.  It’s film negative should dipped in gold and displayed next to the Constitution on Capital Hill with a permanent 24hr angel choir stationed nearby.” His words, not mine. Me? I’m in Portland enjoying the offerings of a vibrant film community that honors both the past and the present – no angel choirs needed, just some good beers to accentuate the good cheer. [...MORE]

The Oldest Theater West of the Mississippi

Historic Park Theatre

Last week I was privy to an unexpected ghost story involving a shattered romantic who died behind the screen. That’s right, this is not an on-screen drama to view from the customer’s perspective in the theater chair, but rather a story that unfolds behind the scenes and reaches its mortal conclusion on the darker-side of the projected image. [...MORE]

2009 Art House Convergence

the Peery Hotel in SLC

I’m packing my bags and heading for Sundance. If it seems a bit early (the festival runs from January 15 – 25), that’s because I’m first going to a three-day Art House Convergence event that is being held in Salt Lake City’s Peery Hotel. The Art House Project was spearheaded by Sundance in 2006 to “celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Sundance Institute and pay tribute to to Art House theatres nationwide.” My organization was one of twelve selected, but this year six new theaters have been added to the fold – thus bringing the AHP up to 18 members. Here’s an overview of the participating theaters, in alphabetical order: [...MORE]

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