Here's a cool film site that's new to me: Tugg.
And here's how it works:
As of this posting time, the organizer needs 57 more folks in order to reach the goal of 85 seats sold, which thereby launches the screening.
The award-winning film takes aim at teenage girls living in the U.S. who were adopted from China due to the country's "One Child Policy." Check out the trailer below.
Well, that time has arrived, amigos.
Click on the following document for full details on date, dress code and sample costume photos for the first shoot:
It's that time again.
The Telluride Film Festival recently ended, and as he's done for us for the past two years, Kimball's Peak Three general manager Matthew Stevens has taken a few moments to jot down some impressions of films he was able to catch, on his own time and dime.
Telluride Film Festival is the first major film festival to kick off the Oscar season. Directors, celebrities, and cinephiles flock to this gorgeous mountain town every year to be the first to view the year’s best picture and award winning performances.
And here's a batch of mini film reviews, all unedited, in his words, with movie trailer links where available:
Hyde Park on the Hudson
HYDE PARK ON THE HUDSON is a glimpse into the life of Franklin Delano Roosevelt (portrayed by Bill Murray) and a visit in 1939 by the new and timid King and Queen of England to his upstate New York home. World War II is looming and England needs America’s help. The film isn’t political or a history lesson, but rather the secret relationship between FDR and his fifth cousin, Margaret “Daisy” Suckley (Laura Linney). One day, Daisy is requested by the president’s mother to spend time with FDR while he is visiting his estate in upstate New York. At first their relationship is strictly platonic, but quickly changes. Daisy says it best in a voiceover, that they are no longer “just fifth cousins, but very good friends.” Daisy is not the only woman in the president’s life; FDR juggles his relationships between his wife, Eleanor (Olivia Williams), and his secretary Missy (Elizabeth Marvel). Director Roger Michell (KNOTTING HILL, VENUS) shows the audience a picture of FDR in true form as a charismatic and sometimes vulnerable president. While not spoiling the entire movie, I recommend watching this film with a hot dog in hand.
Ginger and Rosa
Ginger (Elle Fanning) is a typical teenage girl in London 1962 — spending all her time with her best friend, Rosa (Alice Englert), shrinking her jeans in the bathtub, writing poetry, listening to smooth jazz, and changing the world by protesting against the impending nuclear crisis. Directed and written by Sally Potter (YES, THE MAN WHO CRIED, ORLANDO), GINGER AND ROSA is a coming-of-age story about the lives of two teenage girls who grow up together, their mothers met in the hospital during childbirth. Rosa’s father long abandoned her and her mother. Ginger’s father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola), hates being referred to as father and considers himself a staunch activist and pacifist writer, he leaves Ginger’s mother (Christina Hendricks) for other “opportunities.” Soon after, Ginger leaves her mother as well to live with Roland. Rosa views this opportunity to begin a relationship with Roland. Ginger is horrified when she discovers her best friend is sleeping with her father. Ginger personifies her internal turmoil onto the nuclear crisis, convinced of humanity’s certain end. Elle Fanning has stepped beyond her sister Dakota’s shadow and proved herself a wonderfully dynamic actress.
Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os)
RUST AND BONE is the story of Ali (Matthias Schoenaerts), a single father who moves from Belgium to northern France with his 5-year-old son he barely knows, and Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard, Oscar winner - LA VIE EN ROSE), a killer whale trainer who suffers a horrific accident. Ali works odd jobs to try and support himself; bouncer, security guard, but more importantly, illegal street fighting. When Stéphanie is attacked at a club where Ali is a bouncer, he comes to her rescue. After giving her a ride, they soon part ways, intending to never meet again. Stéphanie trains orca whales for a local ocean theme park. During one show, an orca destroys the stage and injures Stéphanie. The injury results in Stéphanie having her legs amputated and her stable life thrown into pure chaos. Stéphanie is devastated by ordeal and reaches out to Ali for support. RUST AND BONE is truly a masterpiece of two actors mastering their craft. I would be surprised if Marion Cotillard doesn’t win an Oscar for her performance.
In 1988, Chilean voters prepare to head to the polls to vote on the future of their brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet. René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) is a masterful ad exec, who employs charismatic and ground breaking tactics to sell cola (well, groundbreaking for 1988). Saavedra is put in charge to defeat Pinochet; the problem is the majority of Chileans believe the referendum is rigged and Pinochet is almost guaranteed victory. Saavedra must create an advertising campaign to stir the people to vote, he creates a campaign of happiness, instead of focusing on the cruelty and injustices of Pinochet. Saavedra creates an advertising campaign of a better and happier Chile, complete with rainbows and mimes (just like those in his cola commercials). This campaign doesn’t appeal to everyone and often alienates the Left and Right. Director Pablo Larraín transports the audience to Chile 1988 by filming on equipment from the 80’s in traditional 4:3 aspect, instead the modern 4k, high definition, anamorphic digital cameras. NO doesn’t require a background in Chilean politics for you to be immersed in the struggle against Pinochet.
At Any Price
Farming used to be simple. Put seeds in the ground and let them grow. However, that has quickly changed with the advent of genetically modified seeds, GPS guided tractors, and small farms bought and turned into huge conglomerate farms. Director Ramin Bahrani (GOODBYE SOLO, MAN PUSH CART) and co-writer Hallie Elizabeth Newton spent six months living with Iowa farmers to learn of the changing agricultural society in America. Their conclusion — farmers must expand or die. AT ANY PRICE is the story of farmer, Henry Whipple (Dennis Quaid), who is the top seed salesman for seven counties. Whipple has the so-called perfect life; he has a wife (Kim Dickens), two boys, one that has fled the country on a road trip and the other, Dean (Zac Efron), who dreams of leaving too by becoming a professional NASCAR driver. Henry’s farm was handed to him by his father and Henry wants to pass the farm to his sons as well. However, Henry’s sons have other plans. Quaid and Efron are perfectly matched as father and son; you feel the mounting pressure both characters share.
How much can change in five years? EVERYDAY explores the relationship between a man (John Simm) imprisoned for drug smuggling and his wife (Shirley Henderson) over the course of five years. The film was shot over five years, utilizing a family of four real-life siblings. Director Michael Winterbottom (24 HOUR PARKTY PEOPLE, A MIGHTY HEART) has made twenty films in fifteen years, an astonishing accomplishment for any director. EVERDAY is seemingly boring at times, a lack of conflict and plot progression is more frustrating than everyday life. This film is just as the title states.
An average guy wakes up and heads to his job at a recycling plant, but during his commute to work, people begin to take his picture and request his autograph. This is the premise for Xavier Giannoli’s SUPERSTAR. Martin Kazinski (Kad Merad) is common. He does not want fame. Martin is happy with his current station in life, but after his ordeal in the subway, Martin is shocked and confused by his sudden fame. A television news producer, Fleur Arnaud (Cécile De France), wants to know why Martin is suddenly famous as well; she invites Martin on her program to explore the cause of her sudden fame. When the host refers to Martin as “common”, the audience turns against the host, creating pure chaos and leading internet clips of Martin Kazinski that further solidify his fame. SUPERSTAR explores the concept of fame. What makes someone worthy of adoration and praise — especially Kim Kardashian?
Twenty-five years ago, a journey of love began for Buttercup and Westley, Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, and all the hilariousness that is The Princess Bride.
Why do I mention this?
Because Dave Minkus, of the locally run film and TV review site ScreenGeeks.com, has organized a 25th anniversary big-screen showing of the film for 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12.
There's one catch: He's got to have at least 95 people reserve tickets ahead of time in order to make it happen, and he's got until Sept. 5 to do so. As of this writing, he's just 19 shy of that figure.
If you've always wanted to see the Cliffs of Insanity insanely big, now's your chance. For just $10, you can join in on the fun at Chapel Hills Carmike Theater, AND even maybe win prizes.
Get all the details here, but don't let it go to your head.
Yes, I know, I am totally not Louis Fowler or Justin Strout, the Indy's go-to DVD review men.
But that's not to say that I don't own a Blu-ray/DVD player and have an opinion on the films I choose to watch.
So in the style of our Mr. Fowler, who graciously posts his extra write-ups on our Indyblog periodically, I offer this brief review of a July 24-released Cinema Libre Studio film, which was sent to our office.
I've long respected CInema Libre's socially conscious documentaries, including the must-see, must-follow (as in, launch a major algae fuel network globally) flick Fuel. The documentaries are seldom short on important messaging and some are rather lively and entertaining, beyond informative. Unfortunately, Genetic Chile is a bit of mental work to trudge through, though its topic couldn't be of more import. There's a lot of voice-over on top of statistics that flash across the screen (such as how a World Food Program study in 2010 revealed over 1 billion people hungry globally due to increased food prices), and it's actually difficult to pay attention to both at the same time, as the voice-over is often talking about something related, but different than the text you are trying to read. At the film's heart is the issue of New Mexico State University's complicity in allowing genetic modification of the state's culturally coveted chile pepper, after officials had previously held firm against tinkering with nature. As with all GM tomfoolery — which among other fears has opponents concerned about pollen drift and crop migration and an excuse for big bad bully Monsanto to come in and sue your ass, even though you didn't actually plant their seeds — there's much pondering here over potential impact in our world's food supply. Which makes Genetic Chile forgivable for its PowerPoint-presentation feel and cinematic shortcomings if you take it as more of a fact-finding mission and public service of film journalism.
On Tuesday, we reported on the demise of the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival after a 12-year run in Colorado Springs.
We mentioned the departure of a number of board members as well as infighting between organizer Alma Cremonesi and other members of our local LGBT community. We also mentioned Cremonesi's willingness to pass the torch to an earnest and capable party should they care to carry on under the Lavender banner.
Turns out, at least for the time being, that won't be necessary.
Former Lavender board president (for the last two years) and 10-year member Paul Forsett has stepped forward under the new name of Rainbow Cinema, which will be put on by a soon-to-be-formed Colorado Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 501(c)(3) organization.
Rainbow tentatively plans to show six feature films between Nov. 16 and 18 in Colorado College's Cornerstone Arts Center — all for free.
Colorado College's community relations director Connie Dudgeon has played a key role in keeping some form of the LGBT festival alive, saying, "CC has given huge in-kind support to Lavender in recent years and we'll definitely continue to do so for its 'offspring'."
Dudgeon is also excited by the later dates this year, as students will be back on campus then to benefit from the film fest. (Previously, she notes, the fest took place during a block break week.)
Forsett says he hopes to expand the festival's offerings next year, after formalizing a new advisory board early in 2013 (with several former Lavender members). He also has plans to incorporate gay and lesbian theater under the 501(c)(3), to carry on the legacy of Tony Babin, who passed away in late 2009.
A regular attendee of the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, Forsett says he also hopes to borrow some of its format for 2013, such as choice seating lines (based on membership levels).
As for this year's films, Rainbow won't be paying for newly released flicks (hence the free entry), but Forsett plans to show some recent favorites such as Shortbus and 20 Centimeters, as well as a late night Rocky Horror Picture Show screening.
Briefly addressing the infighting and contention with Cremonesi, Forsett says, "I saw we needed change, which wasn't happening ... I've seen so many wonderful films in San Francisco that I wanted to bring out here, and she was always censoring them, saying that our audiences wouldn't like them ... I want to see it open up a little bit, I want to see who we can get back in terms of the audience."
Think of this year as a transition year, between a longstanding fest and a newbie, with a gap filled by some older but still worthy programming. To Forsett, "Rainbow is a continuation of gay and lesbian films in Colorado Springs — it's what we need in Colorado Springs."
I'm thinking if we don't have some kind of a breakout year, then maybe we should raise the question, 'Should we keep doing this?'
But perhaps we were thinking back to the earlier years, when Cremonesi also talked about the need to "break out" — but always kept the festival going anyway, even as turnout stagnated.
A number of factors prompted Cremonesi's decision to let her hard work go after 12 years. She said she'd already picked the programming for this year's fest on her annual trip to San Francisco, but finally made the call to kill it in late July.
One factor is attrition, both on her organizing board and with audience numbers. Six of 10 members left the board recently, and Cremonesi says attendance dropped from around 1,300 people for the first eight years (when the fest was held at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center) to around 1,000 for the ninth through 11th years and down to 950 people in 2011 (once the fest had moved to Colorado College).
"Most festivals have a breakout period," she says. "We never got to that point."
Still, she adds, "I had plenty of money to go forward. The problem wasn't external, but internal."
Cremonesi describes what she calls "horizontal hostility" between her and some of the LGBT community, sharing one anecdote about how after she sent out notice to all the former supporters of the fest regarding its cancellation, "the only thing I heard back was, 'What are you going to do with the money?"'
On a personal note, she adds that she turned 70 last December, having launched the fest as a "retirement activity." She says that, "when you get old, you want peace and to look after your own health ... I didn't want to deal with it anymore" — referring to the infighting, not the actual production so much.
She notes that the straight community in Colorado Springs was always supportive of the festival, but that she was disappointed by the turnout from the LGBT community: "The census said there were 30,000 same-gender households in Colorado Springs, which doesn't count single gay and lesbian people — so for only 1,300 of those people to come out, a lot from other places ... it just wasn't supported to the extent we hoped."
The Gill Foundation, after supporting the festival annually since its inception to the tune of around $3,000, also withdrew a portion of its support this year, according to Cremonesi. This year, rather than an outright donation, they were going to move to a challenge grant, she says.
Also, the fest was pushed back two weeks on the calendar, behind the Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival, to the beginning of Thanksgiving week. Cremonesi says she could have used that festival to publicize hers, but still, she had some concerns about the timing.
So, looking at the potential for anyone to revive the fest, $25,000 would be a realistic starting point in terms of reproducing the past 12 years' scale. Email Cremonesi directly at email@example.com if you are interested in truly taking the reins.
Menschen has begun a new round of fundraising in order to aid in upcoming promotional costs.
Visit the film's new online store for products like shirts, a hoodie, posters and stickers.
Here's a brief press release that explains, in part, how new funds will be used:
Also, check out this new behind-the-scenes video:
And the latest trailer:
——- ORIGINAL POST, TUESDAY, MAY 15, 11:44 A.M. ——-
News from the filmmaking front-line, Tuesday, May 15: "Filming began Saturday, May 12, near Greeley and continued today in Colorado Springs. We will be filming around the state until June 1."
You know, stuff like this:
Filmmaker Sarah Lotfi raised $5,585 through her Indiegogo campaign and that was apparently enough to get going, though a link on the film's home page still seeks tax-deductible donations toward a $30,000 goal to help pay for pyrotechnics, ammunition blanks, crew meals and much more.
Take another look at the authentic costuming and equipping of the actors:
Considering how our community and many outsiders rallied to help raise $70,151 for Creep! to move forward, it's certainly not unrealistic to think we could dig a little deeper to make sure Menschen gets to the festival circuit on time.
I know one person who'd really be thankful:
Now this is how you get an editor's attention inside the first line of a pitch letter:
Hello, I am with a group of local film makers who are working to produce a pilot for a television series here in the Colorado area about two friends that travel to 1774 where they must team up with George Washington to chop down a mutated cherry tree that is causing the dead to rise from their graves.
Short, sweet, local ... and oh yeah, zombie-centric.
Ambitiously, perhaps too much so, Fenczik has set a Kickstarter goal of $98,700, thus far backed by 11 donors for a total of $1,221.
By contrast, Sarah Lotfi only asked for $9,658 in assistance to make Menschen. (She got $5,484.)
And veteran filmmaker Pete Schuermann set his sights at $65,000 for Creep! (He got $70,151.)
But who knows, perhaps backers will respond with strong support for this fantasy, historical time-travel series, which has much more in store if it can first get that mutated cherry tree chopped down.
From the Kickstarter site, here's what would be ahead:
Whether it’ s fighting zombie’s with George Washington, trying to sink the Titanic to keep murderous monsters from reaching land, bringing Amelia Earhart to the future, helping John Wilkes Booth destroy a robot Abraham Lincoln, or facing off against Nikola Tesla as he tries to steal their technology and use it himself… It’s never what you’d expect or learned about in history class.
Check out this brief video for a couple laughs and the general tenor of Fenczik's humor:
And a whole lot of fundraising and fuss since then.
Cameras will roll starting Monday, June 25 and the production schedule calls for 35 days currently.
A press release from earlier today says the film will be shot 95 percent in Colorado Springs with a production team almost entirely assembled from in-state as well.
We'll keep you posted throughout the filming, editing and post-production process. Here's wishing it won't take two more years to land a distributor and all that.
May the digestive fury and slow-moving power of the carpet monster be with the crew as they venture into action.
(That's like saying "break a leg," but a little less cliché and more fear-based.)
Whenever I sing, I'm told I sound just like Celine Dion.
Kidding. I invite comparisons to a lawnmower being run over rocks or feral cat with strep throat. If you sound better than either of those things, check out Pikes Peak Sings, a Pikes Peak Leadership project seeking people for a filmed local rendition of "America the Beautiful." You trivia junkies may recall that Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song after she visited the summit of Pikes Peak, so it's ideal for promoting the region.
There will be two public filming sessions this month:
June 18 at 8 a.m.
Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum
West Side Entrance
215 S. Tejon St.
June 27 at 8 a.m.
Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center
Upstairs Outdoor Balcony
1805 N. 30th St.
Pikes Peak Sings is also accepting individual submissions, preferably those shot in scenic locations around the city. If you would like to make your own video, read up on the submission rules here. The finished product will be shown during the Spirit of the Springs celebration at America the Beautiful Park on Aug. 14.
The project draws inspiration from "The Grand Rapids LipDub." The video, shown below, has received over 4 million hits on YouTube since it was posted in May 2011, and film critic Roger Ebert calls it "the greatest music video ever made." Tim Leigh, city councilman, who led a small group that decided on a Colorado Springs version, aims for it to garner similar national attention.
CC has announced approval of the major, in addition to a new minor in global health, stating in a release that "The film and new media studies major is a response to student interest, expertise, and demand. It also is a result of the Cornerstone Arts Initiative, which stresses interdisciplinary teaching of the arts, using technology to facilitate collaboration between departments."
The global health minor "is a result of a growing student movement for global health equity and social justice, which has sparked a desire to understand complex issues of health inequality. The minor encompasses interests of students from a wide range of departments, including biology, political science, economics, sociology, and anthropology."
According to spokesperson Leslie Weddell, both the major and minor will go into effect at the start of the fall semester.
"Can you really love your neighbor as yourself and then punch him in the face?"
And so do lots of others, apparently.
Welcome to Fight Church.
The first rule of Fight Church (which I'm totally making up, in contrast to Fight Club, obviously), is "talk about Fight Church, please, a lot," then donate some money to its Kickstarter campaign.
It's one of Junge's current projects "about the overlay of Christianity and violence," he says.
As described on the Kickstarter page:
The film follows several pastors and fighters in a quest to reconcile their faith with a sport that some consider violent and barbaric. Faith is tried and questions are raised.
With 15 days left to go and $7,737 raised thus far, the filmmakers are hoping to reach a $30,000 goal.
Check out this five-minute teaser to see if this is something you can get behind ... you know, someone's corner of the ring you care to stand in:
Given the biblical tales of sinners being cast into hell and suffering eternal damnation, I'm guessing you probably can.
In any case, that's the goal of Harmless, a Christian cautionary film produced and directed by Colorado Springs resident Rich Praytor.
Referred to in the release as a faith-based horror film, it tells the story of "a husband and father and his battle with pornography. He unknowingly releases an entity that begins to torture his family, friends and relationships. It’s a social commentary on how pornography can destroy someone’s life."
In order to make the story more compelling, and to avoid showing actual pornographic images, the filmmaker came up with the idea of personifying porn as an ominous entity lurking off-screen, in the style of faux documentaries like Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project.
As noted in an earlier blog post, Praytor explains that he "took a page from the Steven Spielberg school and didn’t show the monster, just alluded to it like in Jaws.”
To finish production and finance a DVD and limited theatrical run, Praytor and company launched a Kickstarter campaign. Unfortunately, the deadline for reaching its $12,500 fundraising goal is this evening, and pledges have so far only reached $586, so it looks like Harmless may have to seek out other funding.
In the meantime, you can still view the Harmless trailer right here:
With under two days to go, Creep! has reached $61,984 of its $65,000 goal.
So if you were hoping to play the hero role and step in at the last minute with a fat pledge, um ... now would be the time.
Menschen looks to have timed out at $5,585 of its $9,658 goal.
And Harmless has five days of fundraising left ahead of it. It's currently at $486 toward its $12,500 goal.
——- ORIGINAL POST, 4:14 P.M., TUESDAY, MAY 1 ——-
Aside from all having one-word titles, the following three films have a couple things in common: They're being launched out of Colorado Springs, and currently are in the fundraising phase.
Two we've already checked in on, and may be familiar to you by now; the third is something we just learned of a couple weeks ago.
Let's start with Creep!, the most ambitious and costly of the three, which we've covered extensively dating back to Jill Thomas' cover story in June 2010.
Its Kickstarter campaign began in mid-March, and after a generous, recent $10,000 donation, the project currently sits at $22,799 raised toward its $65,000 goal, with 10 days to go to lock down the pledge money.
Now onto Menschen, which we last updated here.
Currently, the project's Indiegogo page sits at $1,730, with $9,658 left to raise in the next five days.
Lastly, meet the "faith-based horror film about pornography" (only in Colorado Springs ...) called Harmless.
It's also running a Kickstarter campaign, and sits at $225 of a $12,500 goal with 14 days left to fundraise.
Since we haven't previously talked about this film, you may want to check out its trailer here:
Assuaging worries of skin in an anti-porn movie, the filmmakers say the following in their press release: “We had to be very created [sic] on how we portrayed the pornography in the film. We couldn’t just show images of magazines and video. We took a page from the Steven Spielberg school and didn’t show the monster, just eluded [sic] to it like in Jaws.”
So now that you're aware of the calls for help from our local film community, take a moment to check out each page and decide if there's a film (or three) that you care to get behind. The monster, soldiers and conservatives thank you.