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?
But are we in for a fun time? You better believe it.
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.
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.
By Davis Rivera
If the heart is our most valuable organ then Hayao Miyazaki, with his ability to challenge us and make the viewer feel things we never thought possible, was our most valuable artist working in animation before his retirement. The Wind Rises, his fictionalized biography of engineer Jiro Horikoshi, is as beautifully told and lushly detailed as his classic tales of a freelance bounty hunter pig or a young Emishi warrior and cannot be missed.
By Caroline Meuser
Though I was exposed to Goodfellas early in life, I did not experience the type of positive introduction that most “cinephiles” probably have. To me, it was one of those films that TNT constantly featured and, while my dad sat enrapt as Joe Pesci pumps seven bullets into his friend’s chest, I classified it as a film I may watch in full eventually, but for the time, I could do without the emotional disturbance incurred by seeing men willfully destroy their lives and the lives of others through organized crime.
Martin Scorsese adapted Goodfellas from the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi. By 1990, Scorsese and Pileggi organized an utterly triumphant cast and screenplay. Ray Liotta narrates most of the film as Henry Hill, an aspiring-turned-successful Brooklyn gangster. In a menacing, poignant performance, Liotta illustrates Hill’s tumultuous existence – from his collaboration with mob figures Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) in 1955 to his dramatic fall from criminal grace in 1980. Within this time period, the glamour of violence and riches blind Hill and company. With each murder, drug deal and robbery, the line distinguishing their actions between dutiful and disturbing rapidly fades.
This past Sunday at the Philadelphia Film Society’s celebration of the Biggest Night in Hollywood at the PFS Theater at the Roxy, guests participated in a game of Awards Night Quizzo during commercial breaks. Winners will be notified soon, but below are the answers for anyone wondering!
In celebration of PFS Oscar Week & PFF22 Alum 12 Years a Slave bringing home the biggest award on Sunday:
12 Years a Slave is potentially one of the most important films ever made. Director Steve McQueen skillfully guides his unflinching camera through some of the worst evils mankind has ever perpetrated against itself. The film is not an easy watch, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender and newcomer Lupita Nyong’o in particular giving earth-shattering performances. I can guarantee you will not be quite the same once the credits start rolling.
The 86th Academy Awards are less than two days away, and with such an amazing year in film behind us, everyone at PFS is buzzing with excitement. Below, some of the staff put their votes in on who would go home with the night’s biggest prizes.
If you want to watch the glitz, performances, and acceptance speeches with us, come to a live streaming of the Awards Ceremony at the PFS Theater at the Roxy on Sunday! Click HERE for more info.
By Avery Maehrer
Joe Lee was horrified to make the call.
An idea had sprung in his head for a documentary about Sue and Ron Witman, whose family made headlines after their son was found guilty of brutally killing his younger brother. But for Lee’s vision to come to fruition, he had to pick up the phone and convince the married couple to tell him their story. After Lee overcame his nerves and reached out to the Witmans, they met in person. The rest is history.
“They kind of fell in love with us,” Lee said. “And we fell in love with them.”
The result of what followed Lee’s phone call is “The Witmans” – one of three short films by local filmmakers showcased on Feb. 18 in the
Philadelphia Film Society’s Filmadelphia at the Roxy program. In addition to Lee’s work, Doris ChiaChing Lin’s “Maquette 1:1000” and Hilary Brashear’s “Triptych” were also screened in front of a packed theater.