The Philadelphia Film Society prides itself on ensuring that its members are the first in Philadelphia to see some of the very best in film – be it through our annual festival (the 21st Annual Philadelphia Film Festival will run October 18-28, 2012) or through our Sneak Preview series that keeps that festival feeling going all year long.
With the Summer Movie Season officially upon us, the Philadelphia Film Society is working hard to make sure that members get a chance to see as many Blockbusters, Spectacles, and Genre Offerings as possible. As a result, in the coming weeks members will be seeing BATTLESHIP, ROCK OF AGES, and CHERNOBYL DIARIES all BEFORE they hit theaters. Another staple of the Summer Movie Season is the Guilty Pleasure… and it doesn’t get more guilty than STEP UP REVOLUTION!
At first glance, the average moviegoer might not be compelled to see A Little Bit of Heaven. I think people saw it starred Kate Hudson and thought I’m not in the mood for a frothy Bride Wars, My Best Friend’s Girl or You, Me and Dupree type of romantic comedy. Not that there’s anything wrong with a traditional rom/com; however this film is the female equivalent of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s 50/50.
Aging – without proper retirement funds, without a spouse, needing a hip replacement, feeling too old to be desirable, put out to pasture, needing closure with a person you fell in love with over 40 years ago. These are all rather depressing subjects; yet, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is anything but depressing. It’s lively, humorous and quick-witted.
The inaugural 4-day film festival, held from April 26-29, 2012, concludes with great success! Events took place at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Theater of the Living Arts (TLA) and World Cafe Live. Approximately 2,300 tickets sold to 26 Screenings of 19 rockumentaries, musician biopics, and films that are defined by great soundtracks.
The latest from the brother duo, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, The Kid With a Bike, vividly depicts the struggles of growing up a lower class Belgian from the vantage point of the young protagonist, Cyril. Cyril (Thomas Doret) is a hostile and unruly 11-year-old orphan determined to set off on a mission to find both his deadbeat dad and his bicycle. Along his journey, Cyril meets an empathetic hairdresser, Samantha (Cécile De France) who decides to care after him.
The horror/comedy film “The Cabin in the Woods” currently has an 89% “fresh” rating on movie website rottentomatoes.com. Not bad for a movie that took three years to be released following its completion. One of the stars of “Cabin”, Fran Kranz (pictured above), stopped in Philadelphia this week for the film’s press tour to share his enthusiasm for the movie that he says is definitely “classic” yet part of a “hybrid-genre.”
Last night PFS presented a sneak preview of the much talked about documentary Bully. Some PFS members may recall this documentary by filmmaker Lee Hirsch was screened last October during the 20th Philadelphia Film Festival when it was titled The Bully Project. I think the shortened title really gives it the impact the film deserves.
A new Food Network produced documentary, HUNGER HITS HOME, narrated by Oscar®-winning actor and longtime anti-hunger activist Jeff Bridges focuses on the devastating hidden crisis of childhood hunger in America. The film is part of an ongoing partnership between Food Network and Share our Strength, whose No Kid Hungry initiative aims to eradicate child hunger in America by 2015 by surrounding children with nutritious food where they live, learn and play. HUNGER HITS HOME premieres on April 14th at 8pm/7pm central on Food Network. www.foodnetwork.com/hungry
I just got back from SXSW, one of the most enjoyable festivals on the circuit, in no small part due to its location in Austin, Texas (one of my favorite cities in the world). While I had a short trip this year, I still managed to squeeze in 23 films, often at the various Alamo Drafthouse’s, quite possibly the best theatre chain in the country.