This one’s for you, classic film fans: Gone With the Wind, the 10-time Oscar-winning film based on Margaret Mitchell’s gangbusters 1936 novel, turns 75 this year. To celebrate Warner Bros. Home Entertainment and Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is rolling out two days of big-screen viewings across the country. The Civil War saga will be shown in its original 1:37 aspect ratio at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m on September 28th and October 1st.
8 Things To Do This Week In Philly: Battle of the Burger, David Lynch Film Screenings, What to See at FringeArts, and More
5 New Films You Should Stream Right Now on Netflix: Killing Them Softly, An Officer and a Gentleman, Girlfight and More
Finally through the slog of (actually a pretty damn nice) summer and onto bigger and better things. If we can rip our attention away from the gridiron and Chip Kelly’s miraculous offense and those endless back-to-school sales, we can settle in for some pretty engaging stay-at-home entertainments.
All Is Lost: A well-to-do solo yachtsman tries to survive after the hull of his boat is pierced on the Indian Ocean. A nearly wordless film has Robert Redford struggling to keep body and soul together after a series of setbacks put him on the edge of survival. Filmmaker J.C. Chandor (whose previous film, the under-appreciated Margin Call, was anything but wordless) finds a way to tell his story in deceptively simple and deeply affecting tones. In a season of bombast and melodrama, this flick plays like a Zen koan dropped into a bath of brine.
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A Summer’s Tale: You lucky people get to watch a veritable masterpiece from famed French auteur Eric Rohmer, originally from 1996, but finally being released now for the first time on American screens. The film, the third installment of his “Four Seasons” quadrilogy, is both extremely light on its feet and utterly captivating. The story concerns a young man (Melvil Poupaud) on the eve of his first professional job, who takes a seaside vacation and gets caught up in a complicated romantic triangle with his off-again/on-again girlfriend (Aurélia Nolin) and a young woman (Gwenaëlle Simon) he meets on the shore. Francophile cinema freaks are literally bouncing off the walls in ecstasy for a chance to finally see this treat on the big screen. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%
With all the news surrounding Mo’ne Davis and the Taney Dragons, there has arguably been no better time for Philadelphia youth in sports. Maybe that’s why ESPN has chosen to run “Hell Week” all week during Sports Center.
The documentary spotlights an annual camp where football teams from across the country gather to train for their next season. Each year Dick’s Sporting Goods teams with Tribeca Digital Studios to offer a behind-the-scenes look at individual teams and athletes as they push through a week of preparation, and this time around the spotlight is on Philadelphia’s Martin Luther King High School football team, the Cougars.
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Frank: There aren’t many actors of Michael Fassbender’s stature who would consent to star in a film in which he would have to wear a giant, papier-mâché head for its entirety, but I guess we’re just lucky to have him. Lenny Abrahamson’s wickedly funny film, about a young man who dreams of being in a band sounds every bit as fun and outrageous as the late actor/comedian Chris Sievey’s “Frank Sidebottom,” upon whose giant head-wearing alter ego this production is based. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar: Not, in fact, another sequel from the similarly named popular animated series. Actually, this live-action documentary from director David Douglas is an IMAX treat, following a real group of endangered lemurs as they struggle to stay alive in the almost alien world of Madagascar, their adopted home. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, naturally, the film—a 39-minute, G-rated mini-doc—sounds both fascinating and necessary, and would make for a pleasant family outing, especially if your kids are nature lovers. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 77%
In April word got around that QFest—Philly’s only LGBT film festival—would be cancelled this year, but organizers hinted that something new may be coming our way in the fall. Today I’m getting word on just what that something new will be.
In a video released today, QFest head Thom Cardwell announced that he is launching qFLIX Philadelphia, a weeklong festival that will focus not on traditional film, but on new media. More from the group’s mission statement:
Our vision is to preserve the tradition of the exhibition of American and international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer independent film in the Philadelphia region. qFLIX Philadelphia presents this film festival for, by, and about our community. We produce this festival for the education, entertainment, and enjoyment of past, present and future generations. …
Film as an international language allows qFLIX Philadelphia to foster, support, and give access to independent filmmakers and to encourage and nurture younger ones in the art of filmmaking. Queer film inspires the imagination and encourages the journey of discovery and acceptance by both the ever-growing region’s LGBTQ and the mainstream communities.
Cardwell is getting help from Michael Busza, writer and producer of the Emmy-winning local gay web series One of the Guys. In the video, Busza explains the kinds of things you can expect to see at the festival. “New media is a new form of entertainment that is web-based. We’re talking about webisodes, web cam series. things posted directly to YouTube, things that are posted on Facebook. Anything that isn’t traditional television or traditional film.”
The complete schedule hasn’t launched yet, but Busza says they will be premiering new episodes of One of the Guys (finally!), and a brand new show called Tainted Dreams—“things that haven’t been accessible online yet.” True to QFest form, there will also be panels with new media filmmakers.
The festival is scheduled to take place at the Kimmel Center September 18-22. To get folks interested, organizers have released the below video starring drag queen Brittany Lynn, who will also serve as qFLIX’s events coordinator. It features the leggy queen strolling around the Gayborhood, dancing with locals in bars and on the streets. (She even runs into G Philly at U Bar!) The video also serves as a means to crowdsource extra funding for the festival. To donate, you can go here. And for more information on the festival: here.
Recently I was looking for a way to pass a rainy day and turned, as I often do, to Netflix. It then came to my attention that its “Comedy” section includes some questionable choices. You won’t laugh if you select any of these movies, but the fact that Netflix dubs them all comedies is kind of a joke in itself.
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Land Ho!: (One of two exclamation-point films this week! Go figure!) Former brothers-in-law (Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn), now well-aged, travel to Iceland together in order to call-back their wild and freewheeling youth in everything from Reykjavik nightclubs to the alien terrain of the raw Icelandic outback. This American indie film, an unmitigated hit at this year’s Sundance, promises poignant laughs in the appropriately throwback style of the classic road-trip comedies of an earlier era. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
The Ritz Five in Old City is one of 300-some-odd theaters to screen PAFA grad David Lynch’s latest film, Unstaged, for one night only on September 10th.