Thursday, October 13, 2011

Contest: Choose a Film for BMFI’s New Film Series!

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI

Attention, film geeks! Bryn Mawr Film Institute is programming a brand new series of screenings starting in January. Called “The Late Show,” this BYO series will feature an eclectic mix of five cult films showing on Friday nights at 10:30 pm.

“It’s going to be awesome,” says Valerie Temple, BMFI’s Programming Coordinator. “There’s a lot of fun, unusual fare out there that is rarely shown. We want to spotlight it.”

Best yet, you get to decide one of the films that we’re showing! That’s right, we’re taking your suggestions.

How it Works:
In the comments section below, write the title of the film that you’d like us to show, and a few sentences about why you think we should feature it. (Hint: Try to make it something that isn’t shown in theaters very often.) Make sure to leave your name!* Entries are due by Wednesday, October 19 at 6:00 pm. We’ll announce the winner on Thursday, October 20, right here on our blog.

We’ll choose the film suggestion and write-up that we like best from your entries, and (pending film availability) it will be the final film in the series!

What You Win:
If you’re selected, you’ll win four tickets for you and your friends to go see the movie you chose on the big screen, plus four popcorn and drink passes. A version of your write-up will appear in Projections, our programming guide, and on our blog (with credit, of course). You can also introduce the film the night of the event as well—but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

I look forward to reading your entries!

*Please Note: When posting your comment, you will be asked to select a log-in from a list. If you do not have a Google account, etc., please select either 1) "Name/URL", which requires that you have a valid website address of your own, or 2) "Anonymous". If you select the latter, please be sure to sign your name in the post.


  1. You guys should show Belvaux & Bonzel's "Man Bites Dog." It forces you to shatter the mirror in which we see ourselves and our society. We not supposed laugh at murder, but in "Man Bites Dog," we're not only allowed to laugh but revel in the game of human depravity.

  2. Eddie and the Cruisers

  3. I would nominate Delightful Water Universe made by Trent Harris. The filmmaker is a well known cult film director based out of Salt Lake City. This film is his latest and really exposes the eccentricities of his work. It would be great to see his film at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

    Candee Wilde

  4. Dark Star. THis low budget, almost 'student film' is the first film from John Carpetner and Dan O'Bannon, the writer of Alien. You can see the beginnings of trademarks of both their future works in the film, which turns out to be kind of a dark comedy more than anything else.

  5. I nominate EYES WIDE SHUT (1999) by Stanley Kubrick. However, it would need to be the unrated/international cut from the 2007 DVD/Blu-Ray special edition release. The "uncensored" cut was not screened in 1999, and has seen very few projection screenings in the US at all.

    Besides that small detail, the film in general is incredible. To this day, it receives mixed reactions from "genius" to "awful", even though Kubrick himself is still praised as crafting at least half-a-dozen timeless masterpieces in his lifetime. The film is one of his only to truly cut into the vulnerable side of humanity rather than (primarily) being a cynical allegory for society.

    Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman give career-best performances. The minimalist score is inspired. The cinematography is unrivaled. The story is gripping, if often misunderstood. EYES WIDE SHUT is a film that people still need to see.

    Tristan Dahl

  6. I have a few thoughts for a series. One is a Billy Wilder series, which must feature Sunset Boulevard, and preferably The Apartment, Some Like it Hot, Love in the Afternoon, The Seven Year Itch and possibly (subbing for one of the others) Double Indemnity. Another thought is to have a Vincent Price feature. In this series, you could show Laura, House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax, Dragonwyck and what the heck...maybe even The Ten Commandments.

  7. I nominate “M,” a 1931 German film by director Fritz Lang. “M” was Lang’s first sound film and is set in Berlin, and stars actor Peter Lorre as a tormented serial killer. Lang and Lorre (both having Jewish heritage) each fled Nazi Germany for Hollywood shortly after making this film. Critics generally cite “M,” made in the German Expressionist style, as the beginning the genre of film noir: a shadowy movie full of fear, despair, bleakness and loss of innocence. Lorre’s monologue at his “trial” is stunning in its power and agony, and will not soon be forgotten.

    Sharyl Overhiser

  8. I nominate Nightmare Alley (1947)

    Watch Tyrone Power's greatest performance, cast against type, as Stanton Carlisle, a carnival barker, whose fascination with a particular sideshow leads him to a spectacular rise and fall. In this movie the viewer will learn what a "geek" really means. Since first seeing this film 20 years ago, my worst "nightmare" was that if things got really bad I could end up like "Stan".

    Adapted from William Gresham's sordid novel that began each chapter with a different Tarot Card.

    With Colleen Gray, Joan Blondell and Helen Walker

    Would be great paired with Tod Browning's "Freaks" - Program could be called "Freaks and Geeks"

    Alan Webber

  9. I nominate "The Pruit-Igoe Myth: A new Urban History" by Chad Friedrichs

    The Pruitt-Igoe apartments were a place, but they have a greater presence as an epithet. Dynamited by St Louis authorities on live television in 1972, and eventually leveled over next the next four years, the housing projects became a concrete argument against high-rise, high-density public housing, and against spending money on the undeserving poor. The demolition created a mushroom cloud of urban planning textbooks. This new documentary tries to persuade those willing to listen that things didn’t need to turn out that way. Former residents of the project recall their years in Pruitt-Igoe as some of the best of their lives. The real villains, we hear, were neglect, racism, and abandonment.

    Janet Grace

  10. I'd nominate Orson Welles' "The Stranger" about
    two mysterious persons who come to a New England college town just before World War II.

    To say more would give things away but it is beautifully photographed with great production values. Most of all it is a civilized movie
    with settings that would be recognizable today.

    In addition to Welles, the cast includes Edwsrd G. Robinson and Joseph Cotten.

    John Alexander

    P.S. Not for this contest, but I think a good approach would be to create a history of the US
    via a group of films. From "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Our Daily Bread" for the depression, to too many to mention for WWII, to "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "No Down Payment" for the postwar period. These are just a few that
    could be considered. It could start even earlier.

  11. Please consider the 1969 movie Head starring the Monkees. This plotless film did what the creators wanted: showed the ‘zany, goofy’ Monkees in a different light. Written and produced by Bob Rafelson and a pre-Easy Rider Jack Nicholson, Head captures psychedelia in a raw and avant-garde way. Sprinkled amongst the psychedelic chaos are some great musical numbers and unusual cameos (Annette Funicello, anyone?) to spot.

    Ann Capozzolo

  12. I nominate Fantastic Planet. Animated films rarely receive the attention they deserve and this is one of my favorites. Surreal animation, the likes of which I would call incomparable. A strange, touching story. I was given the film on VHS by my uncle as a child, possibly a little young to fully appreciate it, and it's stuck with me ever since.

  13. Hello! Please consider the 1940 film, "Rebecca". Based on the acclaimed novel by Daphne Du Maurier, it's a psychological/dramatic noir thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock as his first American project. Aided by its stars (the wonderful Laurence Olivier and Jane Fontaine), a mesmerizing use of gothic imagery, and a twisted, suspenseful plot, this film is a treat that deserves to be seen more by modern viewers!

    Taylor Stone

  14. I nominate Primer by Shane Carruth, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2004. Amazingly, the film's budget was only $7,000. While it covers topics featured in sci-fi films before, I've never seen it done like this. None of the jargon or concepts are dumbed down for the sake of the audience. I predict that many who watch it will badly want to immediately watch it again. The film is only 77 minutes long, so I would actually suggest that you go ahead and show the film twice. You'll be surprised by how many people stay for both!

    Chris Pikula

  15. I would love to see Velvet Goldmine, because, really, what is better than 70's glam rock?! While the concept might be a little out there, the essence of the movie is that a man's image can take over his life. One of my favorite lines from the film is: "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he'll tell you the truth."

    Plus, it stars Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Toni Collette and Eddie Izzard!

  16. "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid" (1987)
    This film has never been available on DVD. It's a great, sprawling sex comedy from director Stephen Frears, who'd go on to Oscar nominations for "The Grifters" and "The Queen," and writer Hanif Kureishi as a followup to their collaboration on "My Beautiful Laundrette." It's a smart film about the chaotic lives of politically aware and sexually active Londoners; set against a backdrop of riots in the streets, I expect it'll still feel relevant. With great music and some hilarious set pieces, it's ultimately a moving and moral film about love and politics.
    - Frank

  17. My choice would be John Boorman's "Excalibur" (1981). It includes standout performances by Helen Mirren as Morgana and Nicol Williamson as Merlin, with Liam Neeson as Gawain, Patrick Stewart as Leondegrance, and Nigel Terry as Arthur. The film also redeems John Boorman for his 1974 "Zardoz".

  18. HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH does everything the best movie musicals do, but in warp speed and high heels: the songs are melodic, the images are hypnotic, and best of all - the wigs! No, best of all is the heartbeat of the film, the belief that is carried through from frame one of the movie to the end of the credits: if you believe in your art, if you believe in yourself, it all works out just fine. I have seen this movie with enthusiastic audiences in Boulder, Colorado and Tokyo, Japan - and now I want to see it in my own backyard. Thanks for considering.

    - Rosemary Connors

  19. "Days of Heaven", the 1978 film by Terrence Malick, would be a good choice. It is a beautiful movie with a great musical score and mesmerizing cinematography.

    Joe Gorman

  20. I nominate Swingers... so many quotable lines in that movie.


    Liquid Sky
    It will change your hair style.

  22. Please show Heroes of the East!

    A Chinese man marries a Japanese woman, whom he hasn't seen since childhood. They argue over which is better--Chinese martial arts or Japanese martial arts. A series of misunderstandings leads her to leave for Japan. In order to win her back, he must defeat seven Japanese martial-arts masters! Starring Gordon Liu (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Kill Bill), Heroes of the East is one of the best romantic-comedy-martial-arts films of all time!

  23. We chose our favorites, but are awaiting booking confirmation... we'll announce the winning entry as soon as its availability is confirmed with the distributor. Thank you for your patience!