July 11, 2015 |
Communiy development and independent cinema combine in Movies on the Block, a series of free outdoor screenings sponsored by the Philadelphia Film Society and backed by local foundation Fierce Advocacy Fund. PFS established Movies on the Block to increase access to films across the city, adapting existing urban spaces to meet the needs of areas with "chronic concerns," such as gun violence and health issues such as obesity and diabetes. "When movie houses started, it was always a community gathering place," said Allison Koehler, education and programs director at PFS. Now, "a lot of us feel that going to the movies is an individual experience, and we want to bring back movie-going as a gathering place.
March 25, 2013 |
Max Irons and Jake Abel are chasing each other up and down a hallway at the Ritz-Carlton in Center City while Stephenie Meyer looks on with a maternal smile. They're blowing off steam after a solid block of media appearances to promote their new film, The Host , an adaptation of Meyer's 2008 best-seller. The film, Meyer's follow-up to the blockbuster Twilight series, opens Friday. The actors - either of whom could give Robert Pattinson a run for his money as a movie heartthrob - form two sides of a very peculiar love triangle (or perhaps more accurately a love rectangle)
January 23, 2013 |
PITTSBURGH - FrackNation is a new documentary that attacks opponents of fracking for oil and gas, but it also raises a bigger question: Is it possible to criticize environmentalists without being a tool for big industry? Fracking - or hydraulic fracturing - is a method of stimulating oil and gas from deep underground that has led to a historic boom in U.S. production while also stoking controversy over its possible impact on the environment and human health. FrackNation , an independent documentary produced by Los Angeles-based filmmakers Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, addresses the issue from an unusual perspective.
December 22, 2012
Gil Friesen, 75, who achieved success in films and television but was best known for helping to establish A&M Records as an artists' haven for an eclectic stable of performers that included Carole King, the Police, Barry White, and the Carpenters, died Dec. 13 at his home in Los Angeles. The cause was complications of leukemia, said Herb Alpert, the trumpeter and band leader who cofounded A&M Records with the music promoter Jerry Moss in 1962 and hired Mr. Friesen as one of its first employees.
September 21, 2012 |
"KEEP THE LIGHTS On" is such an honest and intimate depiction of a troubled relationship, the audience can't help but feel like a pack of voyeurs. The award-winning independent film, featured at this year's Frameline film festival in San Francisco, is a powerfully poignant account of a gay couple dealing with one partner's drug addiction. Writer/director Ira Sachs ("The Delta") based the story partly on his own experience of loving an addict, and every situation resonates with a been-through-it-all realness.
September 14, 2012
The murder of U.S. ambassador to Libya John Christopher Stevens was made more tragic by the irony that he was one of that country's biggest fans, and thoroughly committed to helping its democracy blossom. Initially, the attack Tuesday on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, which left Stevens and three other Americans dead, was believed to be a spontaneous response by Muslims to an independent film made in America that depicts the prophet Muhammad as a sexual deviate. That film was also blamed for a similar attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo; no one died in the Egyptian incident.
July 13, 2012 |
Queer cinema finally has come into its own, says Ray Murray, cofounder of Philadelphia QFest, the region's leading festival of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender films, which opens Thursday night with director Terracino's romantic dramedy Elliot Loves. "There are only a few films this year about coming out" of the closet, says Murray. "Those films have almost been retired, whereas 15 years ago they were the staple. " Adds Murray, "That is one of the greatest changes" since QFest was founded 18 years ago, "and it marks real progress.
May 11, 2012 |
PHILADELPHIA NATIVE Rel Dowdell had a fairy-tale baptism in the world of independent film. While at film school at Boston University, Dowdell pitched his idea for a student short film to Esther Rolle, expanded that to a feature called "Train Ride," released it on DVD and saw it heralded as one of the top 10 titles of the year for 2000. That's the good news. The bad news: Dowdell had exhausted his lifetime supply of good news. He was about to discover firsthand just how hard it is to make and distribute a truly independent movie.
May 1, 2012 |
A DYING ARTIST, a crooked cop in search of his kidnapped son, a murdered civil-rights pioneer and a woman in love with a mechanical man are taking the Bolt Bus down from New York for a two-night stand in Philly. Four films that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, the film fete co-founded by Robert De Niro, will play for free at the Trocadero Theatre courtesy of the Awesome Fest. "Our goal from day one has been to bring the best of the best [of independent film] through this city," said Josh Goldbloom, founder of the Awesome Fest.
March 27, 2012 |
CAN THE HOODIE be rehabilitated? I ask that because, in the wake of the tragedy and furor surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, in Florida, the hoodie has been used as a symbol by those rallying for the arrest of Zimmerman. There have been million-hoodie marches in New York, Miami and two in Philadelphia. In the middle of this hoodie discussion rides Geraldo Rivera, Fox News host, who has said, "I believe George Zimmerman, the overzealous watch captain, should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law, and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted.