Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BMFI's Fall Film Preview

By Dan Santelli, Programming Intern, BMFI

The leaves are turning brown, kids are waiting at the bus stop, and the heat of the summer is giving way to the brisk chill of the winter to come. That’s right, it’s fall. A time for pigskin throwing, pumpkin carving, back to school-ing, and, most importantly, movie going.

Joaquin Phoenix in P. T. Anderson's The Master; starting Friday, Sept. 21st at BMFI.
Now that fall has arrived, Oscar movie season is underway. BMFI is on a mission to bring you the best and most important contenders throughout the coming months, beginning with the new Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood) film, The Master, which starts this Friday, September 21. Other notable features we’re hoping to show include Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law, and Hyde Park on Hudson, starring Bill Murray in an already much discussed performance as President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The kids might be back in school, but mark their calendars to make room for the return of BMFI’s Kids Matinee series, beginning Saturday mornings in October with a month long celebration of Fantastic Fantasy films. From the soaring aerial sequences of How to Train Your Dragon to the swashbuckling swordfights of Spielberg’s Hook, there’s adventure everywhere you look. November will bring the cartoonish antics of Bugs, Daffy, and all our favorite Tunes from the Warner’s gang. The series will end 2012 on a literary note with five film adaptations of popular books—including Spike Jonze’s visualization of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are and the Muppet’s take on Dickens in The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Dustin Hoffman stars as the malevolent Captain Hook in Spielberg's fantasy--screening on Sat., Oct. 27th at BMFI.

One of the most talked about events in cinephile circles this year is the arrival of the films by acclaimed Russian director Aleksei Guerman. Featuring work rarely exhibited outside Guerman’s native Russia, this unique retrospective—including five indisputable masterworks—took New York’s Film Society of Lincoln Center by storm earlier this year. Praised for his inventive and stylized camerawork, in addition to rebelling against the oppressive Soviet ideologies, Guerman has positioned himself as the one of the greatest living filmmakers. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see the films of a cinematic master, showing Tuesday afternoons in late October and early November. For more information on Guerman, read distinguished film critic J. Hoberman’s write-up from 1999 published in Film Comment.

Director Aleksei Guerman (left) at work. A retrospective of his work begins Tues., Oct. 23rd at BMFI

Speaking of important filmmakers, BMFI is proud to continue its tradition of showcasing the best of independent film with a series of five films with distinguished guests conducting post-screening Q&As. The Filmmaker Appearances series will include Judd Ehrlich’s documentary entitled Magic Camp, which follows a summer’s worth of education and fun at Tannen’s Magic Camp, held annually at Bryn Mawr College. The series will conclude with a special screening of Bryn Mawr native Alex Perry Ross’s much debated film, The Color Wheel. Praised by A.O. Scott as “sly, daring, [and] genuinely original,” The Color Wheel explores a brother-sister dynamic as two young misfits trek across the state and discover life’s weird detours.

Filmmakers aren’t the only distinguished guests making appearances at BMFI this fall. The "What’s Up, Doc?" series returns with a slew of great movies, featuring introductions by some of the area’s top medical practitioners. These movies include a seasonal Halloween favorite: schlock maestro William Castle’s spookarama The Tingler, starring the electrifying Vincent Price. From Steven Soderbergh’s medical thriller Contagion to the subtle nuances of Robin Williams and Robert De Niro in Awakenings, the doctor is in. Each "What’s Up, Doc?" screening, will feature a free give away, courtesy of the Bryn Mawr Hospital.

"SCREAM, SCREAM FOR YOUR LIFE." William Castle's classic spookarama The Tingler screens Wed., Oct. 24th at BMFI.

So drop those rakes, put down those leaves, and hold off the pumpkin carving. Satisfy your movie fix and come on down to BMFI, where there’s always something new and something classic. Our One Night Only screenings this season include Tombstone, Renoir’s Grand Illusion, Joss Whedon’s Serenity, and a free-for-members screening of Frank Capra’s hysterical State of the Union (perfectly timed the upcoming election).

Catch the Serenity crew on the big screen, as part of BMFI's The Late Show series, on Fri., Oct. 19th.

For more information about these and all the other filmic delights at BMFI this season, check out the fall issue of Projections, available in the atrium lobby or online. As Siskel & Ebert would say, “we’ll see you at the movies.”

Dan Santelli, BMFI's Programming Intern, is a 2012 graduate of Temple University with a Bachelor's degree in Film and Media Arts. A lifelong cineaste, his favorite films (in no particular order) include Leon: The Professional, The Night of the Hunter, Touch of Evil, Blue Velvet, Brazil, Apocalypse Now, Dressed To Kill (1980), Halloween, and Les Yeux Sans Visage.

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