A Night at the Roxy – Filmadelphia // The Backyard Philly Project

March Filmadelphia

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Last month, the PFS Theater at the Roxy hosted Amanda Danziger’s The Backyard Philly Project for it’s monthly Filmadelphia at the Roxy series.

The Backyard Philly Project explores the lives of four teens growing up in the Philadelphia inner-city neighborhood known as Penn Town.  Shot partially by the teens themselves, this documentary give an insightful look at life amidst city housing unites where scenes of violence, poverty, friendship, and inspiration are edited together.  Including a spotlight on the Helping Hands Rescue Mission, the films reveals the necessity of support encouragement, and a positive environment for young people in the city.  The film was inspired by former Kixx player Adam Bruckner, now a Philadelphia resident and after school program director.

During the Q&A session after the film, Danziger told us a bit about the inspiration, the process, and the future of the Backyard Philly Project.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch

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By John Smith

The year is 1913. A small town in Texas is alive with music, children laughing, and a Temperance Union parade. Life is simply happening, but soon death and destruction invades the town and symphony of pain and gunfire erupts. This sudden contrast of mood and the unflinching, unapologetic violence makes for one of the most intense and memorable introductions in film history. It also sets the tone for Sam Peckinpah’s brutal anti-Western, The Wild Bunch.

PFS Rapid Review – Nymphomaniac Volume I

charlotte nymphop

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By Davis Rivera

Nearly three years after being declared persona non grata at Cannes, Lars von Trier has returned with Nymphomaniac Volume I.  Stellan Skarsgård steals every scene he is in as Seligman, the solitary polymath to whom Charlotte Gainsbourg‘s character Joe tells her story.  His endless rebuttals to Joe’s supposed guilt over her joyless compulsion are interesting and usually humorous but, ultimately, one leaves the film wanting to know more about his story rather than Joe’s.

So Bad It’s Good – Mutant Girls Squad

Mutant Girls Squad

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By John Smith

Guilty pleasures are a necessary recourse for any cinephile, no matter what genre or style you gravitate towards. My poison comes in the form of the over-the-top, blood splattering films of the Sushi Typhoon production company. These films barely classify as B-movies, and one of my personal favorites is Mutant Girls Squad. This film is vulgar and has pretty poor production value, but I can’t help but enjoy it just for the pure madness that it has to offer.

And You Call Yourself a Film Buff?! – North By Northwest

north by northwest

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By Gary Kafer

It’s often said that you know a Hitchcock film when you see it: the platinum blonde seductress, the motif of mistaken identity, the deployment of famous landmarks, and, of course, the oh-so-oedipal mother/son relationships. Cued in a majority of his movies, these integral elements not only produce groundbreaking moments of suspense, but also signal an auteur at work. It perhaps seems somewhat suspicious, or shall I even say sacrilegious, to consider myself a “film buff” without seeing his 1959 masterpiece North By Northwest, which screenwriter Ernest Lehman reportedly deemed: “the Hitchcock picture to end all Hitchcock pictures.”

PFS Rapid Review – Tim’s Vermeer

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By Davis Rivera

In Tim’s Vermeer, inventor Tim Jenison appears to be a man who realizes that stressing over things is a waste of our emotional reserves and inspires the viewer to rejoice instead.  It is this optimism in a world of nonsense that makes it easy to understand why Penn & Teller would be friends with him.  Their bond also allows Teller to direct in a relatively straightforward way, allowing Tim’s enormously engaging obsession to take center stage.

So Bad It’s Good – The Room, Live at Midnight

the-room-4

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By Alexander Goodlive

Surrounded by the nostalgic feel of a double-level theater, the 35mm projector, and a hundred fans anticipating a movie they’ve seen more than their fair share of times, the silver screen flickers to life. The cheap blue logo of a film franchise only known for one movie spins its way to the screen, and the crowd cheers its presence. Are we in for another riveting tale of cinematic excellence, guaranteed to take us on a timeless adventure through the magic of celluloid?

Not really.

But are we in for a fun time? You better believe it.

PFS Rapid Review – About Last Night

About-Last-Night-Poster

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By Davis Rivera

Perhaps not since Eddie Murphy has there been a stand-up comedian who has proven themselves to be as adept at that most difficult art of making us laugh in person and on the big screen as Kevin Hart.  When Hart speaks, he conquers all listeners and in Steve Pink’s About Last Night… he displays a love and command of language so impressive one can imagine that even David Mamet might stand back in awe.

PFS Rapid Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Grand Budapest Hotel.jpg

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By Davis Rivera

Reading the works of Stefan Zweig has always left me with the sensation that any lover of both literature and film might feel: Why has there never been a modern adaptation of this author’s work that shows a keen understanding of his prose the way Rossellini and Ophüls did nearly a century ago?  Thankfully, Wes Anderson has made the ultimate tribute to Zweig with his masterful and staggeringly gorgeous new film The Grand Budapest Hotel.