Indies, documentaries make up FILM series

After its successful summer season, FILM at the Erie Art Museum returns Wednesday with a mix of new and old independent, documentary and foreign films.

FILM celebrates the cultural and social elements of cinema, according to the Erie Art Museum’s website. The weekly series — presented by the Film Society of Northwest Pennsylvania and held in the museum’s multipurpose room — is curated by filmmaker John C. Lyons.

“I want to introduce people to films that maybe they either missed or didn’t get a chance to see in our region,” Lyons told the Erie-Times News.

“I’m hoping this series can pick some little-known gems from each year or the strong indies from each year and get those, oftentimes, before anyone’s heard of them, which is always a challenge.”

All screenings take place Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Individual tickets cost $5, and season passes are $40. Food and drink combo passes are also available.

The lineup is as follows:

Oct. 3: “Side by Side” (2012). A documentary that looks at the history and process of both digital and photochemical moviemaking. It is produced by Keanu Reeves and features film giants such as James Cameron, David Fincher and Martin Scorsese.

Oct. 10: “Sound of My Voice” (2011). This slightly sci-fi thriller, which follows a journalist who gets pulled in while investigating a cult, received positive reviews at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Oct. 24: “Beasts of the Southern Wild” (2012). Six-year-old Hushpuppy faces her father’s declining health and rising waters around the island bayou community she calls home. “Beasts” won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and Sundance Film Festival.

Nov. 7: “8 1/2” (1963). Acclaimed Italian director Federico Fellini draws on his own experiences in this drama about a harried filmmaker. The newly remastered HD version will be shown.

Nov. 14: “The Mayor” (2012). Set in a Texas retirement home, “The Mayor” is a comedic documentary about romance, gossip and 88-year-old “tailchaser” Sam Berger. Director Jared Scheib will attend the screening.

Nov. 21: “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007). This French film tells the true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor of Elle magazine. Beauby suffered a massive stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome — a condition in which a patient retains his cognitive abilities but cannot speak and the body is almost entirely paralyzed.

Nov. 28: “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father” (2008). Kurt Kuenne’s close friend Andrew Bagby was murdered in 2001 and, not long after, Bagby’s ex-girlfriend announced she was pregnant by him. Kuenne directed this documentary to memorialize his friend and as a gift to the child he’d never meet.

Dec. 5: “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (2007). Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck star as the title characters in an Oscar-nominated film about hero-worship and betrayal.

Dec. 12: “Cinema Paradiso” (1988). The 1989 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film, “Cinema Paradiso” follows a famous moviemaker who returns home to his Sicilian village and the memories it holds.

Dec. 19: “Samsara” (2012). A man struggles to find spiritual enlightenment in the Himalayas. This documentary comes from the producers of “Baraka,” which screened during the summer film series.

Info from erieartmuseum.org and IMDb.com.

 

APRIL SHERNISKY

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