Monday, December 17, 2012

BMFI's Holiday Gift Guide for Movie Lovers

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI

Happy holidays from all of us at Bryn Mawr Film Institute! Have you trimmed the tree and baked the cookies, but are still looking for the perfect gifts? Here are some of our favorite film-related gifts to give and receive.

Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit
Suggested by Patricia Wesley, Director of Development and Communications

The Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game challenges your memory of characters, places, elvish languages, and plot points of the great J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy PLUS your knowledge of Peter Jackson’s film adaptations. Surviving a round of this game is the litmus test for prospective suitors in our family.

Swag from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League
Suggested by Nicole Redman, Executive Assistant

A League of Their Own is one of my favorite movies. The All American Girls Professional Baseball League has some great merchandise for the female sports fan, including some fun callbacks to the film, like this t-shirt. Plus, the proceeds support the non-profit AAGPBL Players Association.

Footsteps in the Fog: Alfred Hitchcock's San Francisco by Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal
Suggested by Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education


This book is a wonderful gift for any serious Hitchcock fan, and especially for those who enjoy his Bay Area-set films: Shadow of a Doubt (1943), Vertigo (1958), and The Birds (1963). In addition to wonderful then-and-now photographs, behind-the-scenes dirt, location maps, and an introduction by Hitch’s daughter, Patricia, this book is a great help when planning a Northern California itinerary. Just ask my wife, who saw far more of Bodega Bay (setting of The Birds) than she bargained for during our trip to San Francisco.

Overlook Hotel Hat
Suggested by Valerie Temple, Programming Manager


Fans of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining are sure to appreciate this funky knit hat, the pattern of which is meant to emulate the garish carpeting of the Overlook Hotel--the creepy manor featured in the film. The bold print may not be everyone's cup of tea but this distinctive piece is sure to bring some much-needed color to the bleak winter months. Remember: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!"

Serenity "Aim to Misbehave" Apron
Suggested by Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager

I'm fan of Joss Whedon's work, especially his show Firefly and subsequent film, Serenity. I gave a similar apron as a gift last year to another fan so that they could cook with abandon and show their loyalty to the "browncoat" cause. I think Mal's example might have even encouraged them to take more risks in the kitchen!

PS. Of course, Bryn Mawr Film Institute has gift cards, gift memberships, tickets for a night out on the town at The Best Exotic Oscar Party, and raffle tickets to win a seven-night stay in Rome. To assist you with your last-minute gift purchases, the Box Office is open early every day this week.


Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Erin Korth: Why I Love THE SOUND OF MUSIC

In celebration of our enormously popular annual The Sound of Music Sing-along on Tuesday, December 18, BMFI Intern Erin Korth shares why she loves this "utterly irresistable" classic. Check back for more posts from BMFI staff and community members that discuss the films we love.



Why I Love The Sound of Music
By Erin Korth, BMFI Intern
 
I joined the musical appreciation club a bit late in my movie-watching career. For years my parents were haunted by the sounds of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on permanent repeat, and while I did enjoy the occasional musical film outside the animated genre, if it didn't involve a dancing candlestick, I generally wasn't interested. That's since changed.

There is something about the musical genre that gives it an aura of timelessness. Watching the luminous Julie Andrews charm her way into the hearts of the von Trapp clan, even for the first time, feels like sinking into a warm and well-worn armchair, and while my first time watching The Sound of Music was just a few years ago, I think on it with the fondness of having loved it all my life. 

Julie Andrews fills the hills with "the sound of music" in the 1965 film.
But what is it, exactly, that makes this film so utterly irresistible? 

Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
Is there anything more toe-curling than watching the steely-eyed Captain von Trapp fall for that indecently optimistic Maria? He’s miserable and wry and she makes clothes out of his curtains, and by the middle of the film I’m head-over-heels for the love story I never even saw coming (because she is a nun, after all). The snappy duo share screen time and hero credentials with an almost draconian evenness. Christopher Plummer sulks in the background as Andrews melts the hearts of Austria with her guitar and her inability to take orders from anybody, and after the wedding (the film’s figurative and literal midpoint), Plummer plays with all the good humor and coifed hair of a proper Disney prince, defeating the Nazis, and even crooning a tearful goodbye to his beloved Austria in the process. Plummer likened working with Julie Andrews to “being hit over the head with a big Valentine’s Day Card, every day.” I can only say that watching the couple spring across screen with all of their smiles, scowls, and songs has much the same effect.


Maria and Captain von Trapp share a moment while dancing the ländler.
Triumph against the odds
Let’s face it; despite the flowers and frolicking on the movie poster, this film is pretty dark. There's Maria, who wants so badly to be a nun, but just can’t find the self-discipline. The young von Trapp family is subject to the misguided parenting of the grieving, widowed Captain who doesn’t know how to relate to his children. Lurking behind the beautiful scenery and iconic songs is the ever-present Nazi party, with their very clear message for the von Trapps: join or die. Yet even the impending danger does not detract from the just-plain-happiness that underlines this wonderful story. Maria and the von Trapps find joy in music and each other, and in the end, defeat the bad guys with a song and a morning hike over the Swiss Alps. It doesn’t get much more uplifting than that.

Spoiler alert: the von Trapps have a happy ending.
The sound of all that music
Even before I saw the film, bought the soundtrack, and noted it on my top ten list of favorite movies, I knew at least three Sound of Music songs by heart. This wasn't due to my love of show tunes, but simply by merit of having been a child at one point in my life. Much like that theme of familial happiness that overshadows even the threat of Nazism, each song in The Sound of Music has such joie de vivre that they have no trouble becoming instant and often-sung classics. Whether it be learning the notes of a scale, braving a thunderstorm, or lamenting with Liesl about all of the things I still don’t understand, each time I watch this film I fall in love completely and all over again with the joyful, achingly catchy music, “whether or not I should”.

The family "do-re-mi"s their worries away.
Are you a Sound of Music fan? What are some of your favorite musicals?

Get your toes tapping with Maria and the von Trapps at BMFI’s two sing-along showings of The Sound of Music on Tuesday, December 18 at 7:00 pm and 7:15 pm. Free popcorn if you wear a costume!
 

Erin Korth is currently an intern at BMFI and a thesis-writing senior at Bryn Mawr College, studying English and Film Studies. Along with The Sound of Music, some of her favorite films include It's a Wonderful Life, The Sting, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Bringing Up Baby, Titus, and The Hurt Locker.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Adapting ANNA KARENINA: Social Charades on Screen

In honor of the new film adaptation of Anna Karenina, which starts today at Bryn Mawr Film Institute, BMFI Intern Mireille Guy takes a closer look at Joe Wright's production and a few of the previous film versions of Tolstoy's tragic novel.

Adapting Anna Karenina: Social Charades on Screen
By Mireille Guy, BMFI Intern

Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina is not a retelling of Tolstoy’s classic, but rather an adaptation that brings out the beauty and tragedy of the story while bearing its director's mark. The familiar doomed love story is seen through a different lens, thanks to the brilliant screenplay by Tom Stoppard.

Keira Knightley stars in Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, which starts today at BMFI. Jude Law and Matthew Macfadyen, period piece veterans, co-star.
 
Tom Stoppard’s screenplay draws out the conflicts within the plot in a sometimes ironic and always clever fashion, revealing the social charades in which the characters engage. Director Joe Wright takes advantage of these social pretensions by using a theater as the setting for most of the film, stating that:

“They were living their lives as if they were on a stage, and this gave me the idea to set the majority of the film in a theater.”
 

A theater and a stage are used as the setting during
the majority of the film.
By doing this, the audience is continuously reminded of the charades constantly being staged by the characters. Although the theatrical setting also serves a reminder that we are watching a story with an already established ending, it highlights the conflict between characters and reminds us of the social rules controlling them.

The costumes reinforce the staging, bringing to life late 19th century Russia, the height of the Russian Empire. During this period, the aristocracy was constantly looking west to France for the latest culture and style, parading around the Winter Palace in wild gowns and French hairstyles. Costume Designer Jacqueline Durran, who also designed costumes for Atonement (for which she won an Academy Award) and Wright's Pride& amp; Prejudice, holds true to the Russian aristocracy's obsession with all things French and brings this social charade to the forefront of audience's minds.

The film’s lavish, grandiose design, star power, and the bold staging create a refreshing adaptation while remaining true to the themes Tolstoy incorporates into his novel.

Other Film Adaptations
Tolstoy’s epic, tragic love story has drawn the attentions of many filmmakers. Each adaptation both reflects the time and place it was made as well as holds true to the themes and emotions Tolstoy's novel evokes.

Here are a few of the many adaptations of Anna Karenina:


Anna Karenina (1914)
This early film adaptation by Russian director Vladimir Gardin emphasizes the train sequence, with the train rushing towards the camera and filling the frame.
Love (1927)
Greta Garbo plays Anna Karenina in this silent film adaptation that features an alternate happy ending. This was the first film shown at the Seville Theater, Bryn Mawr Film Institute’s home.

Anna Karenina (1935)
Greta Garbo reprises her role as Anna Karenina, this time with sound and the original tragic ending.

Anna Karenina (1948)
Filmed during Hollywood’s Golden Age, this adaptation stars Vivien Leigh.
River of Love (1960)
An Egyptian adaptation of Anna Karenina co-starring Omar Sharif.  

Anna Karenina (1977)
This BBC series includes ten 50-minute episodes, allowing for it to elaborate on the book's plot.
Anna Karenina (1997)
Filmed completely on location in Russia, this theatrical version includes a great soundtrack that includes music by Tchaikovsky.



Mireille Guy is a sophomore at Swarthmore College currently interning at Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Filmmaker Thomas Florek: Why I Love Open Screen

By Erin Korth, BMFI Intern

On Monday, Bryn Mawr Film Institute celebrates local filmmakers at the first Open Screen Showcase, a compilation of some of the most interesting work from our Open Screen Mondays program. The free event, which includes food and drink, will be emceed by actor/comedian and former MST3K host Joel Hodgson, and is curated by BMFI Lead Manager Mike McCracken.
 
Open Screen Monday regular contributor Thomas Florek is an award-winning videographer, documentary filmmaker, audio recording engineer/producer, composer, and software designer. He has an impressive list of writing and directing credentials to his name, including his most recent Particle Board and Cherry Veneer”, a short film examining the “our culture’s glorification of phoniness.” He also co-hosts the weekly radio program The Tom and Doug Show.


Filmmaker Thomas Florek always appreciates the feedback
he receives at Open Screen Monday events. His work is
featured in Monday's Open Screen Showcase.
Mike McCracken interviewed the filmmaker via email about the importance of the Open Screen Monday program.
Why is an Open Screen outlet important for the filmmaking community? 
Open Screen is a fantastic place to get to meet people who are actively interested in the process of creating film. It’s a supportive environment for people to show their work and learn.
How is the Open Screen format different than a selective format? 
It means that all sorts of levels of work can be shown. Working professionals show their work, but semi-professionals and newbies are also welcome to show their work. BMFI is great about facilitating discussion about every single thing that is shown. As a viewer we get to understand who the person is who made the film, and what they were trying to communicate. At a selective festival, films are more or less complete; here, many films are still works in progress, so as viewers, when we share our reactions, we are part of the process of making the films.
How does this format benefit you as a filmmaker? 
There is no better or more effective way for me to find out if the film I am working on is creating the things that I am hoping to communicate. BMFI Open Screen functions as a great and relaxed test audience for anything I might want to try to make. I have found out a wealth of information about my own work that allowed me to create better and more effective films. 
What did you learn about your work through Open Screen? 
Sometimes I learn that a particular segment I am working on does not really work, or is too long. Sometimes I learn that something in my film really is entertaining in a way that I had hoped it would be. BMFI Open Screen audiences are open to watching a lot of different kinds of work. I've gotten great feedback about commercials, and I've gotten great feedback about experimental work, as well as narrative pieces. One time I showed a few pieces that were made to appear as part of a multimedia kiosk presentation, and I received a whole lot of great feedback that made it possible for me to make the final product much more effective. I can get useful and honest reactions from people at the Open Screen events that allow me to go back and make my work better. 
What’s the best thing you've ever seen at Open Screen? 
Almost every time I attend, there is something there that is surprising and wonderful. I love to see the works of Kevin Corcoran, and of course I’m proud to have been able to see an early segment of Jon Foy’s Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles years before its celebrated release. I was so excited that I bored and annoyed Jon encouraging him to complete the film. Recently there have been some excellent young filmmakers (who work at the theater) who are doing really well done formalist film. Then there was Maurice Paramore’s film. All of those are just from the past few months. In the past several years attending BMFI Open Screen Mondays, I have seen a multitude of great work.
Thank you, Thomas! See some of Thomas Florek’s short films, "Decapitation" and "People are Mean", at BMFI's Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm.


Erin Korth is a senior at Bryn Mawr College currently interning at BMFI.

Filmmaker Grant Shaud: Why I Love Open Screen

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI

On Monday, Bryn Mawr Film Institute celebrates local filmmakers at the first Open Screen Showcase, a compilation of some of the most interesting work from our Open Screen Mondays program. The free event, which includes food and drink, will be emceed by actor/comedian and former MST3K host Joel Hodgson, and is curated by BMFI Lead Manager Mike McCracken.

You may recognize Open Screen Monday contributor Grant Shaud from his role as Miles Silverberg on the long-running TV series Murphy Brown. In the years since, he's been a frequent guest star on such TV series as Law and Order, Pushing Daisies, and Louie. But he comes to Open Screen as a budding filmmaker, and his short "A Five Minute Epic Love Story" is featured in Open Screen Showcase.


Actor and filmmaker Grant Shaud's loves the supportive environment of Open Screen Mondays. His short film is featured as part of Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3. (image via)

Mike McCracken interviewed the actor and filmmaker via email about the importance of the Open Screen Monday program.
Why is an Open Screen outlet important for the filmmaking community?
Open Screen is a fantastic place to get to meet people who are actively interested in the process of creating film. It’s a supportive environment for people to show their work and learn.

How is the Open Screen format different than a selective format? 
It's just friendlier and more relaxed. Everything in this country is now about a competition. At the Open Screen, people bring in work that is still in development and not finished. That's how supportive it is. And because of the nurturing environment, some of these projects have gone on to great success at festivals such as Sundance. But they were able to breathe and grow at BMFI. BMFI has tapped into a great source of talent in the Main Line area, but they didn't seem to do it for that purpose. Again, they did it just by encouraging people to come on by and bring their films.

How does this format benefit you as a filmmaker?
It takes the pressure off by not being so results-oriented. If you're not so worried about being "good", you can stumble on to "great".

What did you learn about your work through Open Screen?
I've learned that if you're motivated to actually make a film, it's beneficial to let people see it. I mean, nobody threw me out. They were actually quite effusive in encouraging me to continue to make films. Again, it's an incredibly kind environment. I like being in it whether I have a film to show or not.

Thank you, Grant! See Grant Shaud's short film, "A Five Minute Epic Love Story", at BMFI's Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm.


Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

Abracadabra in Bryn Mawr: An Interview with MAGIC CAMP Filmmaker Judd Ehrlich

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI

When I think of summer camp, I think of swimming, weird craft projects, and long hikes. But to the budding magicians who make the pilgrimage to Bryn Mawr College for Tannen’s Magic Camp, camp teaches them sleight-of-hand and showmanship, and gives them a place to be themselves. For one glorious week each year, they learn from top illusionists like Criss Angel and David Copperfield as the “magician’s code” of secrecy is lifted.

Emmy-nominated director Judd Ehrlich, a former camper himself, decided to revisit this oasis of alchemy for his latest documentary, Magic Camp, which will have its Pennsylvania Premiere at Bryn Mawr Film Institute on Tuesday, December 4, followed by a Q&A with Judd and a magic performance by campers and counselors.

A magic performance by campers and counselors will follow
BMFI's screening of Magic Camp on Tuesday, December 4
In advance of the premiere event, Judd answered some questions over the phone from his office in New York. Keep reading for his advice to aspiring filmmakers, the challenges of documentary production, and which filmmakers inspire him.
What drew you to this project? How did you discover Tannen’s Magic Camp?
I went to it as a camper. I grew up a couple of blocks away from Tannen’s Magic Shop, which is the oldest magic store in New York. I would hang out there and learned about the camp. When I arrived, I found this completely unique place where people from all over the country could share their passion for something that not everyone understands. This group of about a hundred kids were obsessed with the same thing. It was 24/7 magic with a staff of professional magicians who volunteered their time. There were no secrets; you could ask anyone how anything was done. I think that feeling extended beyond magic. It was a safe environment for kids who were not the captains of the football team, where they were free to be themselves and be accepted.
At Tannen's Magic Camp, loving magic is always in style.
Later when I became a filmmaker, I knew I wanted to do something about magic. The camp had been approached to do different projects—reality show type things—but it was important to them to work with somebody they could trust and that they knew understood the kids, the camp, and magic. They had to trust [the filmmaker] not to reveal too much about the secrets of magic, but also not take advantage of the campers and the special environment at camp. It was an honor and responsibility, and important as a filmmaker, because so much of making a documentary comes down to access and trust.

I was also thrilled that Tannen’s is now at Bryn Mawr College. When I went to the camp it was at a military academy on Long Island, but Bryn Mawr has a magical quality. I loved having the campus as a backdrop for these kids’ stories; it almost became another character in the film.
Tucked away just off the Main Line, Bryn Mawr College serves
as the campers' "real life Hogwarts".
This is your third documentary. What is your favorite aspect of documentary film production? The most challenging?
I love the whole process. In documentary you’re working with a very small crew so you have to be involved in every piece of it along the way. I come from an editing background, and a film really does get made in editing, especially a film like this that is a verite documentary. You go in with an idea of the story you’d like to tell but it’s dependent on what you capture. It can be very exciting but also daunting when you get back to the editing room with hundreds of hours shot. So many different films could be cut from the same footage; you have to find the best story.

What were some of the unexpected challenges of working with the film’s younger subjects?
When you make a documentary, you spend a lot of time trying to get your subjects to be comfortable in front of the camera and opening up. With camp being only a week long, we didn’t have the time to develop the kind of trust that we would if we were filming over a year or several months. I was worried that given the time constraints, some might not develop that trust and let us into their lives. But what I found time after time was that these kids were comfortable being themselves and talking about everything. Almost from the beginning, campers and staff gave themselves over to the process.
Ehrlich found the young magicians far from camera-shy.
You’re active in educating young filmmakers about documentary production. What is the #1 piece of advice you would give to an aspiring filmmaker?
Try to watch as many films as you can and draw inspiration from them. In a way, it comes back to the purpose of magic camp. It’s all about finding your voice and finding who you are. That is the project of adolescence in general, but it is also the challenge for the filmmaker, to find out who you are as an artist.

One thing that is unique about the film industry is that it’s still about apprenticeship. If you have a good work ethic and are passionate about what you are doing, you can start at the bottom and work your way up. I’ve seen a lot of people do this successfully. If you’re in a position to start interning, it’s a great way to prove yourself to be someone who is invaluable and it can lead to a job and you can work your way up. There are so many specialties in film—post-production, lighting, cinematography—where you can join a union and make a living doing something you love.
"[Magic Camp] is about finding your voice and finding who you are."
Speaking of inspiration, what are some of the films and documentaries that inspire you?
I took film classes in college, but I wasn’t a film major. For about four years after graduating I worked in social work and was in graduate school for counseling. It was a big change to make the leap into film, and documentary in particular. No small part of the decision was because my first apartment was half a block from the Film Forum. I would go to films constantly. These weren’t the movies playing at a multiplex; it was like my film school in a way. The filmmakers would be there and you could talk to them. I’d go to see Frederick Wiseman, Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, all these luminaries that have such a unique way of approaching documentary. When you see a lot of films outside of the mainstream you gain an appreciation for what the medium can do and how far it can be pushed.
I hope that our local aspiring filmmakers take the same kind of inspiration from Magic Camp and Judd’s Q&A at Tuesday’s Pennsylvania Premiere of the film.


Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sundance-winning Director Jon Foy on Why Open Screen is Important

By Erin Korth, BMFI Intern

Open Screen alum Jon Foy at BMFI's screening
of his Sundance-winning documentary,
Resurrect Dead
On Monday, Bryn Mawr Film Institute celebrates aspiring local filmmakers at the first Open Screen Showcase, a compilation of the best of Open Screen Mondays. The event, which includes food and drink, will be emceed by actor/comedian and former MST3K host Joel Hodgson, and is curated by BMFI Lead Manager Mike McCracken.

Jon Foy, a documentary filmmaker and Philadelphia native, made headlines with his critically acclaimed debut film, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Foy screened his unfinished work for BMFI Open Screen audiences several years ago, and returned this past January as a visiting filmmaker to hold a Q&A session following the screening of his completed documentary, which had recently won a Best Directing Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

Mike McCracken interviewed the acclaimed Open Screen alum via email about the importance of Open Screen:
Why is Open Screen important for the filmmaking community?
Competitions can sometimes take the fun out of filmmaking, so it’s nice to have a space where you can experiment and be playful in a setting where no one’s expecting polished pieces from you. 
How is the Open Screen format different from a selective format? How does this format benefit you as a filmmaker? 
You learn different things when you watch a film without a filter. You can learn common pitfalls of first-time filmmakers (sound issues, for instance) that would normally get filtered out before they reach a film festival audience, and that’s valuable.
What did you learn about your work through the Open Screen experience?
The theater sound was so much better than my home setup, so I actually learned a bit about sound editing by listening closely to see if I’d masked my interview splices well enough. I know that doesn't sound exciting to people (sound issues rarely do), but my understanding of sound editing took a big leap forward the day I showed a sample of my film. I think it’s a good idea to take your film-in-progress for a test drive early rather than wait until the premiere to hear what it sounds like in a theater.
What’s the best thing you've ever seen at Open Screen?
I don’t know about “best”, since it’s pretty apples and oranges, but Yoon Jung Lee’s Remember O Goddess stunned me with production values I’d typically expect from a theatrically released film. But I think “best” isn't the right word to use in this situation. Everyone knows that you can just go to a theater to see something professionally produced, so that’s not really the point. The value of Open Screen Night is that you see things that are different, some of them quite out there, that you simply couldn't catch in a normal theater setting. Unpolished work has its own charm.
Thank you, Jon! You can find out more information about Resurrect Dead here. The documentary investigates the mysterious Toynbee tiles, anonymous messages found embedded in the streets of over twenty major cities across the world. The tiles’ inscriptions are thought to reference a science-fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, and their origin is often traced back to Philadelphia in the 1980s.

Check out a selection of work from Open Screen Mondays for yourself at Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm.


 
Erin Korth is a senior at Bryn Mawr College currently interning at BMFI.

A Children's Book-to-Screen Primer

By Erin Korth, BMFI Intern

There is something both heart-racing and heart-wrenching in seeing a beloved book adapted for the silver screen. On one hand, how wonderful it is to experience the physical manifestations of the characters that only existed as wisps of imagination; on the other, how terrifying is the prospect that not even the most beautifully adapted film could do those long-cherished literary heroes justice.

According to PBS Masterpiece Theatre, nearly one third of all films ever produced are based off of a novel. Some stories have had extraordinary adaptations, while others have not been so lucky. In a salute to BMFI’s December Kids Matinees theme, Good Book/Great Movie, which celebrates movie adaptations of beloved children's stories, check out these five films that made excellent page-to-screen transitions.

The Phantom Tollbooth
Written by Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of a bored young boy named Milo, who arrives home from school one day to find a mysterious tollbooth in his bedroom. A peek through the magical portal finds him in the Kingdom of Wisdom, where he and his companion Tock, the “watchdog”, must journey through the whimsical land to rescue the princesses Rhyme and Reason, and restore harmony to the kingdom. Along the way they “eat their words” at a banquet in the city of Dictionopolis, defeat the Senses Taker in the Mountains of Ignorance, and venture into the number mines to haggle with the Mathemagician.

Directed by Chuck Jones, the master animator behind Looney Tunes and How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, the film is a visual delight, and stays true enough to the original story that fans of the book will quickly find themselves as immersed in Milo’s on-screen adventures as they were in his in-print exploits. 
Milo and Tock on the Road to Expectations in The Phantom Tollbooth
Good book, great movie? Decide for yourself at BMFI’s showing of The PhantomTollbooth, Saturday, December 1 at 11:00 am.
.
Mary Poppins
The iconic Disney classic is an adaptation of a book series by P. L. Travers. Jane and Michael Banks, along with their baby siblings John and Barbara, spend eight books gallivanting off on spectacular adventures with the fantastic, though intimidating, Mary Poppins. The 1964 film Mary Poppins condenses the escapades of the Banks children, told over several books in the series, into one story, and Julie Andrews’s character is a much kinder and lovelier version of the British nanny, whose literary counterpart--though likewise magical and mischievous--can be a hard-nosed, vain, and irritable woman. The Disney film is just as much fun as the book series, and will not instill in children a fear of sour British nannies.
Burt and Mary have a jolly holiday in Disney's Mary Poppins
A Little Princess (1995)
A Little Princess was written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1905, and adapted for film several times in the succeeding century. When her father invests in an Indian diamond mine, wealthy young Sara Crewe is enrolled in Miss Minchin’s boarding school for girls. Her belief that “every girl is a princess” is put to the test when the news arrives that Sara’s father has died of jungle fever. Penniless, she is forced to live in squalor and work as a servant, but her misery is abated by the arrival of a mysterious Indian gentleman to the house next door.

Most recently, director Alfonso Cuarón tackled the classic tale in his 1995 film adaptation, A Little Princess. His adaptation makes several major changes, moving the story from London to New York, sending Sara’s father off to World War I, and tweaking the ending. It is, however, as equally enchanting and immersing as the book, and received wide critical acclaim and two Academy Award nominations.
Sara tells stories to keep her spirits high in A Little Princess
Decide which film version of the heartwarming story is your favorite. BMFI is screening the 1939 adaptation of A Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple, on Saturday, February 23 at 11:00 am as part of a month-long tribute to the pint-sized superstar.

Alice in Wonderland
Like many Disney adaptations, the Alice in Wonderland cherry-picked the best bits from its literary source and transformed them into mind-boggling animation. Based almost entirely on Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Disney does borrow sequences from Carroll's sequel Through the Looking Glass. Nearly all of Alice’s on-screen adventures are faithful adaptations of the book, including her tea party with the Mad Hatter, and head-spinning haggling with the Cheshire Cat. Lewis’s book, a famous example of the literary nonsense genre, translates spectacularly to the zany animation talents of 1950s Disney.
Alice crosses paths with the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
The 1961 Disney film One Hundred and One Dalmatians is based on a story by Dodie Smith, published five years before the movie’s release. In Smith’s novel, Pongo and Missis enlist the help of animals across England to hunt down Cruella de Vil and rescue their kidnapped puppies. True to happy-ending form, Pongo's friend, a dog named Perdita, reunites with her long lost love, Prince, who becomes the family’s 101st Dalmatian. Fans of the book will note changes made in the name of story simplification, such as combining Perdita and Missis into a single canine hero. Many characters skip from book to screen intact, however, including Colonel, the Old English Sheepdog, and Cruella de Vil in all of her prancing, smoking, cartoon glory.
Pongo and Roger are unimpressed with Cruella de Vil
in One Hundred and One Dalmatians
Was your favorite book ever made into a movie? How do you think it turned out?

Experience wonderful children's stories on the big screen throughout December with BMFI's Kids Matinees: Good Book/Great Movie, including The Phantom Tollbooth, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Where the Wild Things Are, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and the 2011 version of Winnie the Pooh.   

Erin Korth is a senior at Bryn Mawr College currently interning at BMFI. With a few exceptions, she is horribly possessive of her favorite childhood books, and won't go near their film adaptations with a ten-foot pole.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Alan Webber: Ingmar Bergman Resurrected

Film fan Alan Webber discusses the perceptions about Ingmar Bergman's work in honor of BMFI's two upcoming classes about the Swedish auteur and our screening of Bergman's Wild Strawberries.



Ingmar Bergman Resurrected
By Alan Webber, BMFI Patron and Film Fan

When I was a young adult in the late ‘60s and thought seriously about movies for the first time, Ingmar Bergman was a God. He was always part of the conversation when serious cinema was discussed and he even became part of the language of movies. A film was “Bergmanesque” if it was in black and white, had subtitles, had pretensions to high art, and was incomprehensible. But, unknown to me, there were always serious reservations in intellectual and critical circles about his value and importance as a filmmaker.

Ingmar Bergman is the subject of two upcoming film classes at Bryn Mawr Film Institute
This is humorously dealt with in a scene from Woody Allen’s Manhattan (1979). Isaac (Woody), a 44-year-old television writer, has just been introduced to Mary (Diane Keaton), who is the current mistress of Isaac’s best friend, Yale (Michael Murphy). Isaac is walking with the two after accidentally meeting them at a gallery with his current flame, 17-year-old Tracy (Mariel Hemingway). While strolling, Yale and Mary have been discussing new additions to their personal “Academy of the Overrated,” which currently includes such notables as Isak Dinesen, Carl Jung, Gustav Mahler, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Walt Whitman. The conversation proceeds with further additions to the Academy:
Mary: Ah, well, how about Vincent van Gogh?

Isaac: Van Goch? She said Van Goch? Van Goch...

Mary: Or Ingmar Bergman?

Isaac: Bergman? Bergman is the only genius in cinema today, I think.

Yale: He's a big Bergman fan.

Mary: God, you're so the opposite, I mean you write that absolutely fabulous television show, it's really, really funny, and his view is so Scandinavian, it's bleak, my God, I mean, all that Kierkegaard, right? Real adolescent, you know, fashionable pessimism, I mean, the silence, "God's silence": OK, OK, OK, I mean, I loved it when I was at Radcliffe, but I mean, all right, you outgrow it, you absolutely outgrow it.

Isaac [aside]: Get her away from me, I don’t think I can take much more.
Ingmar Bergman makes the "Academy of the Overrated" in Woody Allen's Manhattan.
In this scene, Keaton confirmed all my beliefs about Ingmar Bergman at the time; I had probably not even seen one of his films yet, though I was an avid movie fan.

At the time of Manhattan’s 1979 release, Ingmar Bergman had been part of the psyche of serious American moviegoers for nearly 25 years and he had been making films in Sweden since 1946. Beginning with a series of films in the mid-50s which included Smiles of a Summer Night (1955), The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957) and The Magician (1958), Bergman introduced a new seriousness to cinema which critics and audiences around the world relished with abandon. As Stephen Holden has noted: “Attendance at Mr. Bergman’s films was a lot like going to church... (he) was an intellectual god whose work could reward a lifetime of intellectual study.” The doctrine of this church was that film was art of the highest order and many young people in the '50s who saw a Bergman film for the first time were overwhelmed with an almost religious conversion. For a young Woody Allen it was primarily Wild Strawberries that struck him the most profoundly and told him Bergman was a magical filmmaker. He noted: “There had never been anything like it, this combination of intellectual artist and film technician. His technique was sensational.”

The Seventh Seal - Art or “Fashionable Pessimism”?
But, as Mary reflected in her wonderful and funny response to Isaac above, there were dissenters in the ranks. Many critics lashed out at his films as obscure, meaningless, and perhaps, as Mary says “adolescent fashionable pessimism.” But he would often win back critics and audiences alike with films like Persona in 1966. Yet in 1968, Pauline Kael of The New Yorker thought that Bergman was "a tiresome deep thinker of second-rate thoughts…absurdly gloomy and self-absorbed – a man living in alone in the world and stewing in his own intellectual juice." She felt that a “pall of profundity” had come to signify his work and many people had unfortunately “come to believe that this pall was art.” Ouch! That’s a pretty devastating commentary from an important thinker. Ironically, it came in a glowing review of Bergman’s Shame (1968), which she called a masterpiece. But it was the “pall” that kept me and many others from looking at his films with any seriousness and attention. I took it for granted that they were beyond my capacity for understanding. In the late ‘60s, I was more interested in the charms and sentimentality of Frank Capra and the seriousness of George Stevens. In the ‘70s, during a great golden era of American film, my interest then turned to Terrence Malick, Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen.

Times changed and for many it appeared by the early ‘70s that the religion of high art that dominated the 1950s and ‘60s was increasingly quaint and provincial and Bergman’s reputation began to slide. And today, as Richard Corliss has noted, “not many artists worry about God’s silence” at all and there are “few tortured agnostics.”

April 1966 - A Bergman Obsession
Even upon Bergman’s death in 2007, in spite of the glowing accolades, some voices were heard commenting on OP-ED pages of his relative unimportance to current cinema studies and maintained that Bergman truly was “overrated” and that his star had rightly faded as evidenced by the fact that he was not being studied in film schools or debated among film buffs with the same intensity that accrued to Alfred Hitchcock or Orson Welles.

So is Ingmar Bergman still relevant today? Does he remain an important filmmaker? Woody Allen appears to think so:
"I think his films have eternal relevance, because they deal with the difficulty of personal relationships, lack of communication between people and religious aspirations and mortality, existential themes that will be relevant a thousand years from now. When many of the things that are successful and trendy today will have been long regulated to musty-looking antiques, his stuff will still be great."
I know I’m going to give him another look. I must. Bergman is a towering figure in the history of film.



Alan Webber is a BMFI patron and film fan.

Through a Lens Darkly: The Films of Ingmar Bergman, Part I begins November 28 at BMFI, taught by Maurizio Giammarco, Ph.D., of the Intellectual Heritage Program at Temple University. The class is sold out, but a second class continuing the discussion of Bergman and his work will be taught in January. Details will be posted soon on BrynMawrFilm.org. BMFI will also be showing Wild Strawberries on the big screen on Wednesday, December 12.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Six MAGIC Films Shot at Bryn Mawr College

By Erin Korth, BMFI Intern

“Welcome to the real Hogwarts,” Magic Camp’s tagline boasts. This award-winning documentary chronicles the lives of campers at Tannen’s Magic Camp, a prestigious convention for young magicians held annually at local Bryn Mawr College. Magic Camp documents the campers as they compete to become the next Houdini, hoping to follow in the footsteps of famous camp graduates like David Blaine. This heart-warming film sees each young magician struggle with his or her own demons as the campers blossom into self-confident professionals.

An aspiring young magician pulls tricks with flair in Magic Camp
In honor of Bryn Mawr Film Institute’s screening of Magic Camp, check out these five other films shot at Bryn Mawr College.

Wide Awake (1998) 
Philadelphia-area native M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed this 1998 drama-comedy, which tells the story of a schoolboy’s search for God at a Catholic boys’ school. Bryn Mawr College’s sweeping architecture served as a double for Waldon Mercy Academy in Lower Merion, where much of Shyamalan’s filming was done. Wide Awake follows a ten-year-old boy, who, in dealing with the death of his grandfather, seeks the answers to life and death.
Joseph Cross gets advice from baseball-loving nun Rosie O'Donnell in Wide Awake
The Sterling Chase (1999)
Double-cast with Rosemont College, Bryn Mawr played the part of the fictional Chadley University. The Sterling Chase revolves around three highly competitive college seniors, their pursuit of the coveted Sterling Chase Award, and the sacrifices required as each makes serious decisions about the type of person they want to become as they graduate.

The Paradigm Shift (2008)
Bryn Mawr College's signature stone architecture and old wooden staircases act as the backdrop to indie short The Paradigm Shift, the story of a frustrated history professor who asks his students to design a plan to assassinate the President of the United States.

Dare (2009)
Dare was written by BMFI Advisory Council member David Brind and stars top-billed performers Alan Cumming, Emmy Rossum, Rooney Mara, and Sandra Bernhard. The drama follows three graduating high school seniors as they wrestle with issues of identity and sexuality in the months preceding their graduation. Dare premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and received critical acclaim, with New York Magazine hailing it as “surprising and dangerous.”
Dare shoots inside Bryn Mawr College's Taylor Hall
Tenure (2009)
In Tenure, Bryn Mawr College snagged the role of Grey College, a fictional east coast liberal arts school. The quirky indie comedy traces the exploits of down-and-out English professor Charlie Thurber (played by Luke Wilson), whose only aspiration is to be a published, tenured professor. His life gets complicated when the college brings on Professor Elaine Grasso (Gretchen Mol), an impressive new hire whose credentials unwittingly threaten Charlie’s future at the school. Funny-man David Koechner joins Wilson and Mol as Charlie’s best friend and a Bigfoot-obsessed Anthropology professor, who convinces Charlie that the only logical course of action is to sabotage the endearing Professor Grasso’s career.
David Koechner and Luke Wilson prank the new professor in Tenure
Bryn Mawr College’s foray into the film industry has been brief but notable. Experience the fun of seeing this local Hollywood hot-spot on the big screen in Magic Camp, showing at Bryn Mawr Film Institute on December 4. The event will conclude with an appearance by director Judd Ehrlich, and performances by talented young magicians from the camp.

What are your favorite movies shot at local spots?


Erin Korth is a senior at Bryn Mawr College currently interning at Bryn Mawr Film Institute.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Carrie Rickey on Robert Zemeckis - PLUS Win Tickets to Their Talk

Philadelphia Inquirer film critic and BMFI board member Carrie Rickey will be interviewing Robert Zemeckis at the Perelman Theater at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, October 27 at 3:30 pm as part of her "Close Encounters" series of discussions with filmmakers.

Win Tickets: As a special benefit for BMFI patrons, we will be giving away two pairs of complimentary tickets to the event. Enter your name* and write your own tag line for your favorite Robert Zemeckis movie (eg. "No man is an island" for Cast Away, etc.) Our two favorite entries will win. Entries are due by Thursday, October 25 at noon. We’ll announce the winner right here on our blog.


On Robert Zemeckis
By Carrie Rickey, Film Critic and BMFI Board Member

A recurring image in Robert Zemeckis films is that of a solitary figure surprised and delighted by human connection.

There’s Kathleen Turner as the romance writer who lives out one of her literary adventures in Romancing the Stone (1984). There’s Michael J. Fox as the time-travelling teenager in Back to the Future (1985) who in better understanding his father’s adolescence improves his own. There’s Tom Hanks as the modern Robinson Crusoe in Cast Away (2000) who, denied human companionship, learns its blessings.


Robert Zemeckis on the set of Flight
And now there’s Denzel Washington as the high-flying airline pilot in Flight, a lone eagle who finds solace as one in the flock. Flight will close the Philadelphia Film Festival on October 27.

But before the PFF screening, Oscar-winning filmmaker Zemeckis will join me at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts to talk about his singular career, which includes Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Forrest Gump and Contact.

A wizard who weds bleeding-edge technology to humanist narrative, Zemeckis films are as intriguing for their digital effects as they are for how he integrates them to tell primal stories. No matter how many times I watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), I always gasp at the seamlessness of the 3-D human world of private eye Bob Hoskins and the 2-D “toon town” where he investigates a crime that might be the sequel to Chinatown.

Because Zemeckis has always been an early-adopter of the newest technology (consider the special effects he employed in 1992’s Death Becomes Her or the motion-capture animation of 2004’s The Polar Express) he has, somewhat unfairly, been tagged as one more interested in effects than story. If you look at his films in sequence, as I have, you’ll be reminded that in them character comes first and that effects are used in the service of advancing the story.

Zemeckis favors long takes that inevitably put the moviegoer into the character’s shoes and a fluid camera that communicates the character’s context.


Jodie Foster stars in Contact
My favorite Zemeckis movie? Glad you asked. Contact (1997). Jodie Foster delivers one of her finest performances as the lonely radio astronomer, orphaned in her childhood. In this film that suggests the coexistence of science and faith, while listening and looking for signs of intelligent life in the universe Foster’s scientist receives a sign from a lost parent.

It’s in Contact that the filmmaker who first took us Back to the Future and then through the American Century in Forrest Gump takes us to the edge of the cosmos.

What’s your favorite Zemeckis film?

Carrie Rickey, longtime Inquirer movie critic, teaches at UPenn and writes for various publications, including The New York Times. Follow her at www.carrierickey.com.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Aleksei Guerman: Insight into the Russian Auteur

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager

Aleksei Guerman
Next week Bryn Mawr Film Institute begins a five-film showcase of the work of Russian filmmaker Aleksei Guerman with screenings of The Seventh Companion and his masterwork Trial on the Road on Tuesday, October 23. BMFI is one of a select group of cinemas showing the first North American retrospective of Guerman's work.

Russians consider Guerman one of their greatest living filmmakers, but Guerman’s work is little known, little distributed, nearly impossible to see outside of Russia, and not available on home video in the English-speaking world. Guerman’s entire directorial repertoire from his 40 year career consists of a handful of films to date, but his unique style and approach to his subjects marks him as an auteur of the highest caliber.

Each of the screenings will be introduced by Tim Harte, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of the Russian Department at Bryn Mawr College, which is co-sponsoring BMFI’s Aleksei Guerman Retrospective.

Our intern Erin Korth interviewed Tim Harte via email about Aleksei Guerman’s films. Keep reading to learn more about the work of this exciting filmmaker and his influence.
Why do you think it is important that we in America have a chance to see Guerman’s films, especially now?
Guerman is finally receiving the credit and high praise in the West that he deserves, as evidenced by the recent (March/April 2012) Film Comment article on him. Guerman’s masterful rendering of bygone Soviet eras, particularly those of the Stalinist period, provides a uniquely Russian take on the so-called “period piece” that Western filmgoers can glean a tremendous amount from and appreciate. Guerman’s exploration of memory and the distant past rivals that of any filmmaker in the world. In certain respects, Guerman follows in the celebrated Soviet filmmaking tradition of Andrei Tarkovsky, who made makes such rigorous, visionary films. And from an academic perspective, U.S. students who are familiar with the theoretical writings of Mikhail Bakhtin, particularly Bakhtin’s notions of the chronotope, the carnivalesque, and polyglosia, will see considerable overlap with Guerman’s films.

Guerman is called one of the greatest living filmmakers in the world, and yet he has only completed five films in the course of his career. Do you feel, even with such a small repertoire, that this title is earned?
Guerman is without a doubt one of the greatest living filmmakers in the world, even if he remains relatively unknown in the West and boasts such a small repertoire. I’d first point to Guerman’s perfectionism: he painstakingly recreates even the most minor details of the distant past in his work. It’s what makes his films so unique, but it’s also why his cinematic output is relatively meager. I’d also note that Tarkovsky, also a perfectionist and the one Soviet filmmaker to whom Guerman is continually—and deservedly—compared, also made only a handful of films. And like Tarkovsky, Guerman fell victim to Soviet censorship in the 1970s, which partially explains his low output as a filmmaker. He continually ran into Soviet roadblocks when making his films. Since the downfall of the Soviet Union, Guerman has also had to contend with the vagaries of the free market, for his aesthetic is hardly one that makes buckets of money at the box office, and thus he has struggled to complete his most recent work, The Story of the Arcanar Massacre, a science-fiction film that is finally in post-production.

Aleksei Guerman on the set of his latest film, The Story of the Arcanar Massacre, an adaptation of the sci-fi novel Hard to Be a God.
What do you personally think it is about Guerman’s writing and aesthetic that makes him such an acclaimed director?
Guerman has established a film aesthetic that is all his own and unmistakable. Shooting primarily in black and white, he vividly recreates the past, evoking the sounds and everyday details of these past eras. Even the smells of the past seem to emerge in his films. No other filmmaker delves into the past and memories of the past like Guerman. Moreover, a certain sense of chaos and the carnivalesque arises in his films, as characters come and go, blurting out dialogue that doesn’t always seem apropos of anything. And through polyglosia—where layers of sounds and dialogue reverberate—Guerman establishes a vision of the past that comes alive in a way that most films, whether they take place in the present or the past, can never achieve.

Which of Guerman’s films is your favorite and why?
Visually, Trial on the Road is stunning (and all the more effective on the large screen), but I prefer the Guerman film My Friend Ivan Lapshin, which so tenderly evokes the spirit of the Soviet 1930s, despite all the horror and repression that was occurring or about to occur at the time. None of Guerman’s work is “easy” per se, but if you give his films a chance, they can transport you to the past in such a genuine, rewarding fashion. Lapshin does this extremely well. 

My Friend Ivan Lapshin was based on a novel written by Yuri Guerman, Aleksei's father.
I’d also mention Khrustalyov, My Car!, which is by far Guerman’s most difficult film (and the one work of his, alas, that we haven’t included in the retrospective due to the prohibitive costs of the print): when I first saw this film in Boston, the theatre was packed with Russians, most of whom left part-way through the film. Even for native speakers of Russian, it’s hard to understand the film’s dialogue, but that’s ultimately the point. The film’s events take place during the last days of Stalin’s life, when whispers, lies, and intrigue were all such a conspicuous part of Soviet existence. I find the Fellini-esque atmosphere of the film intoxicating.

What can we take away from this series regarding Russia and the Soviet Union?
Guerman uses actors in a way that reflects a Russian ethos of egalitarianism; so-called stars often fade into the background of Guerman’s films, as non-professional actors overshadow them. And in several of his films (Twenty Days without War, My Friend Ivan Lapshin, and Khrustalyov, My Car!), Guerman delves into life within the purely Soviet construct of the communal apartment, where families and individuals had to live together in very tight quarters. Guerman’s work provides such a vital, hyper-realist look at these quickly disappearing facets of Soviet life. And when watching Guerman’s films, American audiences should keep in mind that Russians find these films extremely faithful to the Soviet era they depict.


Trial on the Road, Aleksei Guerman's most lauded work, was censored and its release postponed for 25 years by the Ministry of Culture of the Soviet Union.
Can you talk a bit about the suppression of Guerman’s film Trial on the Road? What made it so controversial? Is there a concern that its suppression has added political layers to the film that Guerman may not have intended?
From what I understand (details of what happened are somewhat murky), the censoring of Trial on the Road stemmed from the film’s treatment of its various protagonists, all soldiers fighting in World War II. Soviet cinema’s depictions of its soldiers in the Great War, as it was called, were almost always positive, following in the tradition of socialist realism, which arose in the 1930s and mandated a romanticized, highly unrealistic depiction of Soviet heroes. 

Guerman fights against this tradition in Trial on the Road, as his protagonists prove to be highly complex individuals finding themselves in ambiguous situations where they must make difficult moral decisions. Prior to the fall of the Soviet Union, the suppression of Guerman’s film may have influenced its reception, but now I think we can view the film for what it is, which is simply an excellent, well-made war film.

Guerman co-wrote many of his films with his wife, screenwriter Svetlana Karmalita. How does his position as writer and director affect his films, for better or for worse?
The fact that Guerman has written or co-written the scripts for most of his films reinforces his auteur status. As I’ve suggested, his films are uniquely his own, and even when he has taken a work by someone else (for instance his father, a celebrated Soviet writer), he has always made it uniquely his own by diverging from the script and advocating image over plot. Guerman merges images and dialogue in such a rigorous fashion that it seems strange to even think about him making a film that isn’t entirely Guerman’s. If there is any downside to Guerman writing or co-writing the scripts for his film it’s that the process of writing has slowed down Guerman’s work rate and is thus partially responsible for the low number of films he has directed.
Thank you, Professor Harte! View the complete series schedule and find information about the films here.


Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!