October 2013 – January 2014
Ireland | 2013 | Fiction | English
Run Time: 118 minutes
Film source: IFC Films
Oscar-winning director Neil Jordan returns to the world of the undead, which he visited to great success with Interview with the Vampire in 1994. His latest, Byzantium, plumbs the sexual and psychological effects of vampirism on two ageless-but-young women whose unhappy craving for blood has rendered them unstuck in time and space. Eleanor (Saoirse Ronan, Oscar-nominated for Atonement) and Clara (rising star Gemma Arterton), by choice or by fate, must either succumb to their condition or risk their lives by seeking a cure. The world of Byzantium (the title refers to the run-down guesthouse in the faded resort town where Eleanor and Clara hole up) is rain spattered and neon-hued, vibrant in its sordidness and reflective of the characters’ razor’s-edge existence. Moody and bleak, yet shimmeringly beautiful, Byzantium is, on the surface, a vampire film, but, deeper down, a meditation on the ways that one’s choices in the past resonate in and shape the present – often with dire consequences.
USA | 2013 | Documentary | English
Run Time: 60 minutes
Film source: First Run Features
Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: This is a double bill with the late night screening of Night of the Living Dead (11:30pm, FH)- 1 ticket for both screenings
In 1968 a young college drop-out named George A. Romero directed Night of the Living Dead, a low-budget horror film that shocked the world, became an icon of the counterculture, and spawned a zombie industry worth billions of dollars. Birth of the Living Dead shows how Romero gathered an unlikely team of Pittsburghers – policmen, iron workers, teachers, ad-men, housewives and a roller-rink owner – to shoot his seminal film. During that process Romero and his team created an entirely new and horribly chilling monster – one that was undeaded and feasted upon human flesh. The doc also immerses audiences into the singular time in which “Night” was shot – footage of the horrors of Vietnam and racial violence combined with iconic 1960s music puts the film in context.
USA | 1968 | Fiction
Presented by : Presented by Introduced by Rob Schmidt Barracano - filmmaker and film teacher.
Ticketing Note: a ticket to this film gets you free entry to the screening (8:00pm, BB): Birth of the Living Dead
The quintessential zombie movie, George A. Romero’s first film gave rise to myriad imitators, sequels, and remakes, and reanimated the horror genre. The 28-year-old Romero employed unpolished sound, harsh lighting, hand-held cameras, and non-professional actors, which gave the film a documentary feel, making the terror more realistic. With no budget for complicated dolly-track shots, Romero conveyed movement through editing—via the rapid succession of static shots. One of the key innovations of the film, and a key factor in the film’s realism, is the relocation of the monsters from some far-off land right into middle-American backyards. The monsters are now everyday people and the film’s protagonists can’t escape back into the “normal” world. Released at a time when disillusionment was running rampant in the country—spurred by the Vietnam War and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and JFK—Americans identified with the film’s most shocking suggestion: death is random. No one dies for the greater good. Instead, people die to feed faceless, ordinary America. A metaphor for societal anxiety, the sight of America literally devouring itself and the representation of the desecration of the wholesome American family were “reflections of social hysteria” (J. Hoberman) and served as a release for the country’s repressed trauma.
USA | 2013 | Fiction | Animation
Run Time: 62 minutes
Film source: Filmmaker
Cult animator and Academy Award nominee Don Hertzfeldt has seamlessly combined his three short films about a troubled man named Bill (Everything will be OK (2006), I Am So Proud of You (2008), and It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2011), into a darkly comedic, beautiful new feature film, captured entirely in-camera on an antique 35mm animation stand. Built in the 1940s, it is one of the last surviving cameras of its kind still operating in America, and was indispensable in the creation of the films’ unique visual effects and experimental images. “The film turns into an astonishing epic of the human experience with mortality and the frailty of the flesh, rendered in the combination of Hertzfeldt’s primitive stick figures, flashes of real-world pictures and a jaw-dropping sound design” - Scott Renshaw, SLC Weekly
An Animated Conversation With Noam Chomsky
Directed by Michel Gondry | USA | 2013 | documentary | 88 minutes
From Michel Gondry, the innovative director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, comes this unique animated documentary on the life of controversial MIT professor, philosopher, linguist, anti-war activist and political firebrand Noam Chomsky. [...]
Post screening discussion, led by Emily Manetta, Associate Professor of Anthropology in the program of Linguistics at The University of Vermont