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PFS Review – Southpaw


Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Andrea Selitto

Boxing has always been an excellent metaphor for life: at any moment, anyone can find themselves on the ropes, and at any moment, anyone can come back and win the fight. Southpaw is a film about both. Like all great boxing films, it is a tale about facing adversity and finding the strength to overcome life’s greatest challenges.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua and written by Kurt Sutter and Richard Wenk, Southpaw follows boxer Billy “The Great” Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he struggles to find redemption both inside and outside of the ring. After the sudden, tragic death of his wife (Rachel McAdams), Hope finds himself caught in a downward spiral of grief and self-destruction that leads to him losing custody of his daughter (Oona Laurence) and facing the end of his boxing career. Abandoned by his manager and long-time friend (Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson) and demoralized by the loss of his family, Hope turns to trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker) to help him turn his career, and his life, around.

PFS Interview: Rebecca Ferguson of Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation

RebeccaFerguson in MI-RN

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs, Uncategorized

By Alex Gibson

It has been almost two decades since Ethan Hunt first appeared on the silver screen, as he attempted to rescue the NOC List and iconic-ly hovered in a gleaming computer room.  The original Missions Impossible has since led to four sequels, including this month’s Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation, opening July 31.

In Rogue Nation, directed by Edge of Tomorrow screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie, the IMF, a small highly-specialized group of spies, faces its most dangerous opponent yet: the Syndicate.  After being disbanded by the CIA, Ethan (Tom Cruise) and his team learn that the Syndicate, previously thought of as a myth among spies, is real.  This ring of extremely skilled spies, who have thrown out their moral compasses and allegiances, are now plotting to throw the world into turmoil, unless Ethan can stop them.  Left out in the cold by the US government, Ethan and is team race against the clock to defeat rogue spies who will challenge them emotionally, intellectually, and physically.

PFS Review – Amy

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2007 file photo, British singer Amy Winehouse poses for photographs after being interviewed by The Associated Press at a studio in north London. Amy Winehouse, the beehived soul-jazz diva whose self-destructive habits overshadowed a distinctive musical talent, was found dead Saturday in her London home, police said. She was 27. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs, Uncategorized

By Don Malvasi

Originally posted on

Director Asif Kapadia took what was the blessing of Amy Winehouse’s family and record company and then relentlessly actually made the film that needed to be made on the life of Amy Winehouse. His biopic wisely throws out any political correctness and eschews a safe approach for an ultimately honest one. The results offer a movie that is hands-down among the year’s best. A film as tough to sit through as 12 Years A Slave, Amy could go down as the quintessential tragic rendering of the abhorrent cost of fame in this unforgiving age. At once monstrous and life-affirming, Amy is the rare film that elicits many an excruciating reaction while also rendering an odd catharsis. Winehouse here on one level is the indomitable beacon of a pop star. Except for her amazing voice and songwriting, she seems just like you and me in so many ways, yet is ultimately destined for tragedy.

PFS Review – Clouds of Sils Maria


Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Don Malvasi

Originally posted on

See it at the Roxy! copy

Clouds of Sils Maria contains an acting clinic and so much more. French director Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Carlos, Irma Vep, Demonlover) takes many chances with his solid, often wondrous, occasionally mystifying material. The viewer needs to do some work here but the rewards are plentiful. His screenplay is straightforward enough but teasingly opaque like the snake-like cloud formations he photographs so well in Sils Maria, a beautiful region in the Swiss Alps. The cloud formation portends bad weather, and it’s symbolism hangs in the rare mountain air with ravening doom.

PFS Review – Good Kill

Good Kill

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Don Malvasi

Originally posted on

Click here for the full Roxy listing and times.

Click image for the full Roxy listings and times.

Tommy Egan (Ethan Hawke) suffers from a new kind of culture shock. An F-16 military pilot with six Iraqi tours under his belt, he now finds himself inside a claustrophobic trailer that serves as a drone command center near Las Vegas. Major Egan, surrounded by newcomers recruited because they “were a bunch of gamers,” has also become an increasingly rare breed of specialist–one with actual combat experience. The triggerman for numerous drone strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen, he pines to get back in the cockpit of an jet airplane–a place where the fight is at least fair. In a plane he felt an oddly intoxicating fear. Here he feels revulsion and self-loathing.

PFS Review – The Age of Adaline

Age of Adaline1

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs, Uncategorized

By Alex Gibson

The Age of Adaline opens with snow falling in San Francisco in the early 1900s, a momentous occasion considering the climate of the area, but also remarkable because of what happens to 29-year-old Adaline Bowman See it at the Roxy!just minutes later.

On her way to see her young daughter, Adaline skids off the road and from then on, never ages another day. Played exquisitely by Blake Lively, Adaline lives her life one the run decade after decade without aging a single day until the 2010s, when she meets Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman), the first man to whom she’d consider revealing her secret.  The Age of Adaline co-stars Ellen Bursytn, who plays Adaline’s daughter Flemming, and Harrison Ford, the former love of her life, who catches up with her years later.  

PFS Review – American Sniper

American Sniper

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

By Don Malvasi

Originally Posted on

Far from an exercise in yahoo-ism, American Sniper offers us a film startlingly immediate in itsSee it at the Roxy! action scenes. Coming to be known as “The Legend,” Navy Seal Chris Kyle, its subject, went through four tours in the Iraq War, in which he performed around 160 official “kills” (and apparently another hundred unofficial ones). The film does an adequate if not equally proficient job of showing the tally all the warfare takes on his psyche. Like Kyle, director Clint Eastwood seems eager to get back to Iraq. In between the tours, domestic scenes with his wife (Sienna Miller) show an increasingly distant Kyle. More detail could have been presented but his emotional and mental deterioration come across nonetheless. Although Kyle approached his mission with an unwavering patriotism, Kyle viewed himself much differently than his peers viewed him.


Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Press


Historic Live Arts Theater will return to its roots with an added focus on film

Philadelphia, PA, March 9, 2015 – The Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is proud to announce the acquisition of the Prince Theater, located at 1412 Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. Boasting the largest screen in Philadelphia, the 470-seat theater will be the new home to PFS, which includes the annual Philadelphia Film Festival. The acquisition is made possible through a generous grant from theWyncote Foundation, a leading supporter of arts and culture in Philadelphia.

PFS at the Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Featured Image

Written by Alex Gibson on . Posted in Blogs

Last month, the Philadelphia Film Festival sent some of its best to Park City for the Sundance Film Festival.  Here is what Managing Director Parinda Patel had to say:

Me and Earl and the Dying GirlEarlier this month marked the end of the annual Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Running from Thursday, January 22 – February 1, the event has set the tone for the much anticipated line up of 2015 films. One of the most buzzworthy films to keep on your radar is Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, wrapping up the festival with both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film. If you’re keeping up with this year’s Oscar race, you’ll understand why this film has significance. In 2014, Whiplash walked away a winner in the same categories and has now moved on to become a dark horse nominee for Best Picture.

Sleeping With Other PeopleThe rest of the slate was pretty impressive as well, whether they made the awards short list or not. A few notables that I saw included the bawdy, romcom Sleeping With Other People, starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie, and The End of the Tour, based off of Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky’s brief encounter with the late novelist David Foster Wallace while on a publicity tour for his book Infinite Jest – a breakthrough role for Jason Segel as Wallace.

There’s plenty to look forward to this year, both at the PFS Roxy Theater and of course, the Philadelphia Film Festival this fall. It will be interesting to see what carries over to the upcoming Tribeca and South by Southwest Film Festival so please stay tuned for more and watch the year in film unfold with us!


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Candice Roberts