7 Movies to Watch This Week


PAAFF Preview Party @ Mayor’s Conversation Hall at City Hall | Thursday, October 20
Get a sneak peek of what you’ll be watching during the ninth annual Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, running November 10th-20th. The festival will feature more than 70 films, along with related talks, an academic conference about Asian Americans in the media, music and theater performances, and culinary exhibitions. The full lineup of screenings and events will be revealed at the preview party, where you can also check out movie trailers and sample food from Chabaa Thai chef/owner Moon Krapugthong.

La La Land @ Prince Theater | Thursday, October 20
The 25th Philadelphia Film Festival opens with the red carpet Philly premiere of Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, a throwback musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Chazelle will be on hand to introduce the film. It’s sold out to the general public, but there are limited tickets available if you have a PFF badge or you bought tickets ($250) for the Opening Night Celebration with M. Night Shyamalan.

Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell @ Annenberg Center | Thursday, October 20
The 1984 documentary Streetwise, about homeless kids in Seattle, included a then 13-year-old Erin Blackwell, known as Tiny. The filmmaker, Martin Bell, and photographer Mary Ellen Mark continued to check in with Blackwell over the next 30 years, leading to Mark’s 2015 book, Tiny: Streetwise Revisited, and Bell is now releasing another doc, Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell. He’ll be discussing the movie after the screening with a panel of University of Pennsylvania film and social policy professors. Read more »

Watch Back to the Future with Christopher Lloyd


Christopher Lloyd Goes Back to the Future @ Keswick Theatre | Saturday, September 24
Head to the Keswick to watch Back to the Future on the big screen and hear stories straight from Doc Brown himself about making the movie and working with Michael J. Fox/Marty McFly and director Steven Spielberg. There will be a Q&A, so come prepared with your most pressing time travel questions. Read more »

Watch the Gross-out Movie Antibirth With Director Danny Perez


Director Danny Perez, who used to live in Philly, will be at a special screening of his feature debut, Antibirth, hopefully to provide comfort. International House is showing the gory film, starring Natasha Lyonne and Chloë Sevigny, on Saturday, September 3rd, followed by a Q&A with Perez — if you can make it through the movie. Read more »

BlackStar Film Festival Starts Today

Lambadina, directed by Messay Getahun, gets its East Coast premiere on Friday. It's part of the four-day BlackStar Film Festival.

Lambadina, directed by Messay Getahun, gets its East Coast premiere on Friday. It’s part of the four-day BlackStar Film Festival.

BlackStar Film Festival @ University City | August 4-7
This fifth annual film fest showcasing movies by and about people of African descent from across the world kicks off today with a series of features and shorts, followed by an opening reception tonight at Johnny Brenda’s. The festival’s theme is “migration,” with more than 60 films being screened over four days, mostly at International House and Drexel University’s Pearlstein Gallery, along with artist talks, panels and workshops. On Saturday night, the Kimmel Center is the site of the BlackStar Awards, hosted by actors (and spouses) Dorian and Simone Missick. Filmmaker Julie Dash — she made Daughters of the Dust, which likely inspired Beyonce’s Lemonade — is being honored at the awards ceremony. Read more »

EDITOR’S PICKS: My Top 10 LGBTQ Movies on Netflix

Oscar winner Michael Douglas won an Emmy award for his role as flamboyant entertainer Liberace.

Michael Douglas won an Emmy for his turn as flamboyant entertainer Liberace.

1. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

This Oscar-nominated comedy/drama stars acting heavyweights Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as they navigate lesbian parenting and love in one of the most reflective gay films of the decade.

2. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

Hillary Swank won her first Oscar for this emotional biopic on the troubled life of Brandon Teena, a transgender lover who lost his life due to a hate crime in a Midwestern town. Read more »

REVIEW: Manon Lescaut is a Triumph

Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna in Puccini's "Manon Lescaut". Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera.

Kristine Opolais and Roberto Alagna in Manon Lescaut. Photo: Ken Howard/ Metropolitan Opera.

Sometimes there is an opera staging that is so artistically sound that lovers of the art form can take a deep breath and think, “We’re okay!” Sir Richard Eyre’s luscious new production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, which opened at the Met Opera on Friday evening, is one of those moments.

The icing on the cake for local opera fans is that the staging will be broadcast live on March 5 at a host of Philly-area movie theaters for those who can’t make the trip to New York (the list is below), although you really ought to grab a train or a bus and catch the gorgeous soprano Kristine Opolais and her dashing co-star Roberto Alagna in-person. Read more »

Temple Grad Directs Sort-of-Sequel to J.J. Abrams’ Cloverfield

The trailer for the upcoming 10 Cloverfield Lane — which the Inquirer reports was released without warning on January 15th — is downright eerie, to say the least. We have first-time director, Philly area native and 2003 Temple graduate Dan Trachtenberg to thank.

Everything seems fine at first. Three people pass the time with puzzles and board games in a cozy bunker set to “I Think We’re Alone Now” — until we see that something more sinister is going on.

As per IMDB, in Trachtenberg’s sort-of-sequel to Cloverfield (2008), a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) hunkers down with two men, (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.) but her suspicion grows that she has been abducted. They insist that a chemical attack has rendered the outside world uninhabitable and that they saved her life after she was involved in a terrible car accident. Read more »

How Clemson’s Football Coach Used Creed to Inspire His Players


In case you missed it in the New Year’s Eve madness, the Wall Street Journal last week published an article about Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney’s habit of having his team break down film the day before its games. Nothing new in that. But Swinney isn’t screening footage of Clemson’s opponents. He’s showing his team the latest Hollywood flicks. And since his team is undefeated and ranked number one in the nation, his method must be working. Clemson plays Alabama in Monday’s national championship game. Read more »

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