Author Archive

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – Sophie’s Choice


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By Andrea Selitto

Most people who know me also know that I have what must be the world’s longest Netflix queue. I’ve kept films on there for years, revising the order of the DVDs to be sent by mail, sifting through the various movies available for streaming, adding more as new releases become available. Over time, I’ve amassed quite a collection; among them, a multitude of film classics I always find myself scrolling by and mumbling, “I really should watch that sometime.”

One of these films, which I still can’t believe it has taken me until recently to finally get around to, is Sophie’s Choice. Released in 1982, the film was received favorably by critics and earned a multitude of award nominations. Most notably, Meryl Streep’s performance in Sophie’s Choice won her both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for best actress. The film has gone on to become a cultural touchstone; one of which I’d had second-hand knowledge, but had never actually seen, until now.

So Bad It’s Good – Vampire’s Kiss


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By Dominic Vadino

Sometimes you see a terrible movie and after watching it, you think to yourself: “Wow, I am never going to watch that again.” That thought process is justified by the time wasted watching some films. Other times you find yourself a gem that is so bad, that you actually enjoyed it. I’ve found a gem.

Vampire’s Kiss (1988) is the film where you’ll see Nicolas Cage at his core. In this film you’ll get to see Cage put on this really strange, unidentified accent, while making himself believe he is truly turning into a vampire. He plays the part perfectly!

A Night at the Roxy – BYO: Pretty in Pink


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By Andrea Selitto

Anyone who has watched a movie on the big screen in a theater full of people who are all fans of the film knows that it makes for a unique movie-going experience; add in a drinking game, and you’re definitely in for a night at the movies unlike any you’ve experienced before.

It was such an occasion this past Wednesday night at the Roxy Theater, when I joined a crowd of John Hughes aficionados as they made their way, bottles in hand, into the theater for a special screening of the 1986 film, Pretty in Pink, starring Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, and Jon Cryer. For those unfamiliar with Wednesday nights at the Roxy, guests of the 21-and-over persuasion are invited to bring their own beverage of choice— whether it be a bottle of wine or my personal selection, a bright pink cocktail to suit the evening’s film selection—and enjoy a sip (or two) while taking in the movie. Bottle openers and cups are provided for guests in the lobby, and I also found that the cup holders by each seat in the theater are just the right size to keep a bottle handy for refills.

Become a Founding Member of the PFS Theater at the Roxy!


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PFS members receive a ton of great benefits with their annual contribution to the  Film Society, but in 2013 there are two additional incentives to becoming a member: The PFS Theater at the Roxy and recognition as a Founding Member!

Everyone who made a contribution to the Philadelphia Film Society and the PFS Theater at the Roxy in 2013 will be recognized as a Founding Member. Memberships and gifts of $500 and below will be honored on the Roxy screens before each film. Contributions of $500 and above will be listed on a permanent plaque in the PFS Roxy Theater lobby.

Be apart of this historic year and join our community of film lovers with a PFS membership! New levels begin at $35 and include benefits to the annual Philadelphia Film Festival, Philadelphia Children’s International Film Festival and the PFS Theater at the Roxy!

Learn more about the different levels and sign up today >> 

#GivingTuesday – A New Day of Giving


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With the holiday season rapidly approaching, it’s easy to get wrapped up in all the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, Shop Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. But this year, another event has been brought to my attention, #GivingTuesday.  On Tuesday December 3rd, the nation will come together to celebrate and encourage the charitable activities that support nonprofits, who work tirelessly throughout the year to build their communities, and PFS is happy to be one of 5,000 organizations participating.

PFS is fortunate to be able to give back to the community in a variety of ways.  During the Philadelphia Film Festival, we have the PFF on Us and Student Education programs.  Most recently, we were able to make 30% of the inaugural Philadelphia Independent Children’s Film Festival free of charge, and we are look forward to beginning our Filmadelphia at the Roxy Series, through which local filmmakers can screen their work.  None of these programs would be possible without the your support.

One of Philadelphia’s greatest attributes is its booming art culture and we’re proud to be listed among Philadelphia’s nonprofit staples like the Art Museum, the Zoo and The Barnes Foundation (to name a few…). We can’t wait to officially re-open the PFS Theater at the Roxy, the new home of PFS, and launch year-round screenings and education programs that will enhance cinematic culture throughout Philadelphia.

Come Tuesday Dec. 3rd (#GivingTuesday), we invite you to support PFS in our efforts to complete the renovation of the PFS Theater at the Roxy through our Text To Give campaign. By having our own venue, PFS will be able to expand our free ticketing programs exponentially and share the power of film with the entire Philadelphia community. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your generous support.

Can’t wait until Dec. 3rd? Donate $10 now by texting “PFS” to 80100 or click here >>


Terms and Conditions:
A one-time donation of $5.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Donor must be age 18+ and all donations must be authorized by the account holder (e.g. parents). By texting YES, the user agrees to the terms and conditions. All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Donations are collected for the benefit of the Philadelphia Film Society by the Mobile Giving Foundation and subject to the terms found at Message & Data Rates May Apply. You can unsubscribe at any time by texting STOP to short code 80100; text HELP to 80100 for help.

PFF22: Interview With ‘Nebraska’ Director Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne

Written by Media on . Posted in Blogs, PFS, philadelphia film festival, Philadelphia Film Society

By Ben Silverio

One of the most talked about films of this year’s festival was ‘Nebraska’. It even ended up on my top five favorite films of the festival. Originally, star Bruce Dern was meant to come out for the screening and receive the Lifetime Achievement Award that has previously gone to the likes of Roy Disney, Jeff Daniels, and Morgan Freeman, but he was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. However, in his place, his co-star Will Forte and director Alexander Payne came out for an engaging Q&A with the audience at the Prince Music Theater. But prior to the event, the pair walked the red carpet and chatted with some press, including yours truly!

In part one of our coverage of this red carpet, Zach of The Pretentious Film Majors spoke to Payne about the benefits of film school, making movies in the state of Nebraska, and his journey since making ‘Election’. You can see the whole interview in the video below:

Were you able to catch the screening of ‘Nebraska’? Was it one of your favorites of the festival as well? Let us know by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.

PFF22: Opening Night Red Carpet With ‘All Is Lost’ Director J.C. Chandor


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By Ben Silverio

As the 22nd annual Philadelphia Film Festival comes to a close, you can relive the fun that was had at the festival’s opening night with this blog post. Attendees raved about ‘All Is Lost’, the gripping nautical tale of solitude, determination, and survival, as well as the stellar performance from veteran actor Robert Redford.

Prior to the opening night screening at the Kimmel Center, director J.C. Chandor walked the red carpet and talked with The Pretentious Film Majors about the incredible film. In the following video, you can see Chandor talk about the unconventionally short shooting script, the train ride that inspired the story, and more:

Did you have fun at the opening night of PFF22? What did you think of ‘All Is Lost’? Was it one of your favorites of this year’s festival? Let us know your answers to all these questions by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.

PFF22: Interview With Rising Star Award Winner Kerry Bishe

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By Ben Silverio

There are a number of awards given out during the Philadelphia Film Festival recognizing the excellence of works from the present. But there is only one that honors the future. The Rising Star Award acknowledges a talented young artist early in his or her career who has displayed great potential in the filmmaking process. Previous recipients of the award were Ben Foster, Mark Webber, and Shane West, and this year the distinction goes to Kerry Bishe.

The star of PFF22 films ‘Blue Highway’ and ‘Grand Piano’ appeared at the Ritz East to accept her award in front of an enthusiastic festival crowd, but afterwards she took a few moments to talk to The Pretentious Film Majors and I about her most recent honor, as well as her work on various projects such as the two films of hers in the festival, ‘Scrubs’, Ben Affleck, Kevin Smith, and much more. You can check out the whole interview in the video below:

Are you a fan of Kerry Bishe and her work? What did you think about her films in the festival this year? Let us know your answers to all these questions by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.

PFF22: Interview With PFS Artistic Director Michael Lerman

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Written by Media on . Posted in PFS, philadelphia film festival, Philadelphia Film Society

By Ben Silverio

Last night, we kicked off the 22nd annual Philadelphia Film Festival in a HUGE way. If you missed out on the festivities at the Kimmel Center and Del Frisco’s, don’t worry because it was just the beginning of all the fun to be had at this year’s Festival. However, in a program of over 90 films, it might be a little hard to decide what to see. Luckily, my Pretentious Film Majors colleague, Zachary Shevich, had a chance to catch up with the Philadelphia Film Society’s Artistic Director Michael Lerman in order to chat about the ongoing Festival and some films that are definitely worth checking out.

Prior to the Festival, a few of the programmers assembled the film society members together for an exclusive member only curator event to talk about what to expect out of this year’s line up and some gems that might be over looked in the program guide. Check out the video below to see which films Michael and Zach suggest you make a part of your schedule over the next few days:

If you’re still stumped about which films to check out during this festival, keep an eye out for some of my most anticipated films, along with exclusive interviews, giveaways, and announcements from PFF22 right here on the Philadelphia Film Society blog.