August 8, 2016 |
There is a certain awkwardness about Uber. With a taxi or a bus, there's a professional divide that allows passengers to disassociate and pretend the person at the wheel is apart from them. With Uber, the driver could just as easily be on the stool next to you at a bar as behind the wheel of the car. He could be sucked into your life, or you into his. Matthew Cherry's new movie 9 Rides , which plays Sunday at the final day of the BlackStar Film Festival, chronicles a night in the life of one Uber driver.
August 7, 2016 |
FILM DIRECTOR Tina Morton says 80-year-old Adeline Behlin remembers when her family fled South Carolina for Philadelphia. "Her grandfather had been beaten by a mob for trying to organize black people to vote," Morton said. "He had worked on the railroad and when they beat him, they left him on the railroad tracks. He felt the vibration of a train coming and had just enough strength to crawl off the tracks. A neighbor found him. And the family fled the next day. " Morton recounts Behlin's story in "When We Came Up Here," one of several short films about people finding new lives in Philadelphia that will be shown Saturday at International House in West Philadelphia as part of a project called the Great Migration: A City Transformed.
February 22, 2016 |
Next weekend the International House will show back-to-back films by the French auteur Jean-Luc Godard, which were also filmed back-to-back. The pulpy riff on American noir, Made in U.S.A , was shot in the afternoons, while the discursive collage of Two or Three Things I Know About Her was filmed in the mornings. Both features will pain moviegoers with little tolerance for experimentalism. Godard is one of those filmmakers who snugly fit the stereotypes of art-house cinema, largely because his successors have yet to stop ripping him off. An uncharitable reading would find much of his work, especially by the late 1960s (when both of these were made)
February 19, 2016
An alleged Center City bank robber was arrested by police Tuesday after refusing to pay for his meal at an International House of Pancakes restaurant, according to federal authorities. Michael Bellini of Philadelphia was arrested at the restaurant at 13th and Walnut Streets after a manager called police to complain that Bellini had declined to pay his bill, according to charging documents. Bellini - already under federal supervision for a previous bank-robbery conviction - subsequently confessed to robbing three banks in four days starting Saturday, charging documents said.
February 6, 2016 |
It is becoming accepted wisdom that art must be about more than just art. We now expect art to relate to realms outside itself - as a social truth-teller, lens to social injustice, or tool for "activating" civic spaces. I'm not sure where this leaves art for art's sake, since art can settle scores on behalf of humanity only sometimes. And who could have looked into the hearts of anyone in the room Tuesday night, when clarinetist Kinan Azmeh and visual artist Kevork Mourad teamed up for Home Within ?
October 31, 2015 |
Being frightened is not our thing - in fact, we're emeritus members of the Scaredy Cat Crybaby Club. So we're not taking in any All Hallow's Eve horror movies or haunted houses, no matter how much fun they might be. The 2005 animated classic Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is about as intense as we like our thrills to get in our Halloween festivities (that, or a candy apple in our trick-or-treat bag - gaah! ). In this adventure, Nick Park's stop-motion heroes are running a high-tech garden-pest-control company humanely collecting cottontails - until something goes wrong, and they accidentally create a mutant bunny ( gaah!
October 10, 2015 |
Numbers and letters are some of the earliest characters to show up in our lives, and unlike most childhood attachments, they stay with us the whole way (sure, you may still have that teddy bear or toy truck up on a shelf, but your relationship can never be the same). It's natural to anthropomorphize those crooked and curved lines beyond their utilitarian use, something that, say, Sesame Street gets (as does Google, with its mildly annoying "little g" football Sunday doodles). In William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg's animated short The Numberlys , a group of digitally designated friends living in a black-and-white world of integers sets out to create letters and let some color into the place, as well as jelly beans (because, well, jelly beans)
July 31, 2015
The BlackStar Film Festival runs from Thursday to Sunday, featuring some of the best films from black directors, writers, and documentarians encompassing the African diaspora. Films such as BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez and dream hampton's Treasure: From Tragedy to Trans Justice, Mapping a Detroit Story aren't the only must-sees at the fest. We chose five more. All tickets are $12; $8 for students or seniors: Life Essentials with Ruby Dee: Director Muta'Ali Muhammad tells the story of his grandparents, who happen to be famed actors and activists Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis.
April 18, 2015 |
Amazing animal sculptures made from recycled material will be on display at the Philadelphia Zoo through Oct. 31. "Second Nature" features works by 12 artists from around the globe (including some from Philly) using recycled and repurposed materials, like a pink eight-foot crocodile made entirely of chewing gum. Philly artist Leo Sewell shows off his 175-pound rhinoceros sculpted from 250 silver serving trays collected from scrap piles, junk sales, and curbsides. Sculptures range from bunnies and gorillas to flowers made from a car hood.
April 15, 2015 |
When director/screenwriter Nefertite Nguvu appears at International House on Tuesday to screen and discuss her debut feature, In the Morning , she'll talk about sadness, laughter, love, and all the other everyday emotions portrayed in her visually and poetically arresting look at relationships among a group of black Brooklyn friends. That kind of normalcy, she contends, is missing from African American cinema. "In this increasingly vulgar climate of violence against us," Hollywood's penchant is to present black lives in the context of heroism, crime, or racial adversity, says the 38-year-old Nguvu.