1.) Indie authors night
A grass-roots mini-book conference at Peeve’s Public House on the Fulton Mall. For self-published authors and/or local book fans, the event will have readings, signings and general literary-business discussions. Musician Glen Delpit (himself a huge book fan) will perform.
2.) Winter Dance Party
For fans of ’50s rock and roll. Or the movie “La Bamba.” The Winter Dance Party was the tour that Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper were on where they were killed in a plane crash in 1959 (and the music died). This Winter Dance Party, which plays tomorrow night at Visalia Fox Theatre, is a tribute to all three artists and features a Broadway star, a Vegas star and the Big Bopper’s son.
3.) Narco Cultura
If you watched “Breaking Bad,” you’ll be hip to narco cultura, the pop-culture phenomenon where the Mexican drug cartels are seen as anti-heroes. It’s a very real thing and it’s documented in this film, which opens today Manchester Stadium 16. Thanks to Roque Rodriguez for the head’s up.
OK, so after taking off a couple weeks, I’m back with a new round of 7 picks for 7 days – a list of fun thing to do each day Friday, Nov. 15 through Thursday, Nov. 21. This week’s picks include a hot country band live at the Save Mart Center, a touring Broadway musical at Saroyan Theatre and this month’s silent movie at the Warnors Theatre.
UPDATE: Winners of the “Son of Rambow” tickets are Kaila and Ron. Thank you to all you responded.
ORIGINAL POST:Fresno Filmworks will present the 2008 British coming-of-age drama “Son of Rambow” at 3 p.m. Nov. 9 at the Tower Theatre. I will be giving away two (2) pair of tickets through a random drawing of anyone who sends a comment about local films to this post. You have until 4 p.m. Nov. 6 to post a comment.
The film from director Garth Jennings tells the story of a young boy named who lives in a strict religious community. After discovering a pirated copy of “Rambo: First Blood,” the boy teams up with his school’s bully to re-create stunts and action sequences from the movie.
The screening leads up to the 12th edition of the Swede Fest that starts at 6:30 p.m. Admission to the festival is free.
If you don’t win one of the pairs of tickets, advance tickets for “Son of Rambow” cost $5 general admission, and they can be purchased by check or cash at the Tower Theatre box office, 815 E. Olive Ave. Go online to FresnoFilmworks.org for tickets and details.
Winners can pick up the tickets at the will call table in front of the Tower Theatre before the screening.
The Germ film festival is a catalyst for local filmmakers. It’s a reason to create, the little push that could move them from talking about a project to actually getting it done. It lays out a set of criteria (a germ) that the filmmakers can interpret however they see fit.
For instance, the inspiration could be a song (“Tables and Chairs” by Andrew Bird) or photograph (“Near Greenwood, Mississippi” by William Eggleston) or a word (summer). Maybe the film has to be shot on a camera phone, or include at least for characters or a line of dialog in a foreign language. From there, it’s up to the filmmaker.
Since its inception last January, the festival has screened 75 short films and had more than 1,100 different directors, producers, writers, actors and attendees either create work or attend the screenings. That includes me.
October is full of things to do, including these 7 picks for Oct. 17-23. From a silent film at the historic downtown Warnors Theatre to Fresno State Football, a beer festival and a big-time rock concert, these are some of the best bets for your entertainment.
Ted Neeley, who played the title role in the 1973 film “Jesus Christ Superstar,” and who came to Fresno several times in the live stage version of the show, will be on hand for Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. screening of the movie at the Tower Theatre. Neeley is so firmly associated with the role — which he played into his late 60s on stage — that he’s sort of become the AARP version of the architect of Christianity, along the lines of “What Would Jesus Look Like on Social Security?” Also at the screening: Barry Dennen, who played Pontius Pilate.
Both will participate in a Q&A discussion before the screening and a “meet and greet” with the audience afterward. Tickets to the event are $15.
I’m giving away two pairs of tickets to Beehive readers. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite song from “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Thursday. One comment per person, please. I’ll be informing winners at 10 a.m. via email, so check yours around that time. If you’re a winner, you’ll be able to pick your tickets up at Will Call. Rules are on the jump.
It’s hard to imagine a more glorious place to see a silent movie than the Warnors Theatre. A new season series kicks off tonight with a screening of the Charlie Chaplin 1925 classic “The Gold Rush.” In a story in today’s Life section, Rick Bentley tells us what to expect. The program will include local silent film expert Nate Butler as emcee, and local film educator John Moses will present a brief history about the movie.
You’ll get to hear music and sound effects from the theater’s historic Morgan organ, purchased almost a century ago.
All this for a ticket price that seems ancient in itself: just $3. Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.
Here’s the rest of the series schedule:
“The Phantom of the Opera” (1925), Oct. 17.
“Hot Water” (1924), Nov. 21.
“Big Business” (1929), Dec. 19.
“The General” (1926), “The Iron Mule” (1925) and “The Great Train Robbery” (1912), Jan. 16.
“Pollyanna” (1920), “What Drink Did” (1909) and “The Narrow Road” (1912), Feb. 20.
“Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World” (1925), “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1904), March 7.
Tonight’s opening festivities for the 24th Fresno Reel Pride Festivities include an appearance by the area’s own Michael Willett, star of opening night film “GBF.” Willett is a veteran of productions with Good Company Players and Clovis West High School. The Bee’s Rick Bentley talked to Willett for a story in today’s Life section.
I love this photo of Willett with Emily Pessano in the 2007 GCP production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
UPDATE, Sept. 9: Today, Entertainment Weekly posted an update on the J.J. Abrams mystery trailer revealing that it’s for a new book. Here’s a bit of the book description from EW:
S.is basically about the relationship between a grad student named Eric and a college senior named Jennifer. They trade notes in the margins of a (fictional) 1949 novel by a mysterious author named V.M. Straka. S.contains the novel within the novel;
And here is the second half of the trailer, which includes a look at the book cover:
Fresno Filmworks has built an audience by filling the void created by the city’s cineplex monopoly. The group screens first-run films (both international and American, both feature and documentary) that would otherwise get delegated to the Netflix cue (or Amazon Prime, I suppose). The films tend toward the unconventional (for those with blockbuster tastes) and the venue is no multiplex.
Like, you can order a scotch in the lobby. And drink it. In the theater.
For June, Filmworks is pushing even those boundaries some, with its first ever double feature. That’s two different independent films in one night. The award-winning independent comedy “Gimme The Loot,” will screen at 5:30 p.m., followed by the campy B-movie throwback “The Ghastly Love of Johnny X,” at 8 p.m.
As a bonus, “Johnny X” director Paul Bunnell, star Will Keenan, costume designer Kristina West and executive producer Mark Willoughby will be on hand after the screening to talk about the film.
As a double bonus, there will be an after-party at The Voice Shop. Admission is free with a ticket stub from either program. There will be music, snacks and a cash bar.
Filmworks has generously offered us tickets to give away to our readers. To enter, simple leave a comment below telling us what’s the best movie you’ve seen Filmworks present (I particularly liked “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson”). The contest will close at noon, June 13. Winners will be chosen at random and notified via email.
We will give out one pair of tickets to each show, so be sure to tell us which you’d like to see.
You can read more about eachfilm over at the Filmwork’s Film Forum blog. Check out the film trailers (and the full contest rules) below.
My brother shared this video (actually, Audi commercial “Zachary Quinto vs. Leonard Nimoy: “The Challenge” that was posted May 6 on YouTube) with me on Facebook and I just had to share it with you. It made this sci-fi girl happy. Plus, it gives me an excuse to tell everyone how much I loved “Star Trek Into Darkness.” It’s AWESOME! Beehiver Rick Bentley shares that enthusiasm, read his “A” review here. You can also watch video interviews with cast members Simon Pegg, John Cho and Alice Evehere. Enjoy.
Actors are fortunate if they are part of one large film franchise. Not only does it often mean multiple paychecks but there is a notoriety that comes from being associated with such endeavors.
I had the chance to interview Simon Pegg in San Francisco for his upcoming portrayal of Scotty in “Star Trek Into Darkness.” During our talk, I pointed out that his role in the relaunch of the “Star Trek” franchise, coupled with appearing in the long-running British science fiction series “Doctor Who,” makes him the only actor to have appeared in the two biggest sci-fi franchise on the planet.
He portrayed a character called The Editor in the 2005 episode of the British series “The Long Game.”
The 9th Annual Fresno Film Festival kicks off tomorrow night at the Tower Theatre. The festival, presented by Fresno Filmworks, runs the full weekend, with five feature-film presentations, more than a dozen short-film screenings and a number of post-screening discussions and other fun stuff for all you cinephiles.
Our movie critic Rick Bentley screened two of the features (“Paris-Manhattan” and “Blancanieves”) and word around the office is they were stellar. You can read his reviews in tomorrow’s 7 Section.
In the mean time, we have tickets to festival to give out to couple Beehivers (that’s you). Because the festival starts tomorrow, this is a quickie. Leave a comment on this post. Tell us why your love Fresno Filmworks (or haven’t yet been introduced). We’ll pick two winners at random. Contest will close at 4 p.m. today and winners will be notified by email. NOTE: These are actual physical tickets, so winners will need to come down to The Bee’s front lobby by 5 p.m. tomorrow to pick them up.
No repeat entries, please. Check your email tonight to see if you’re the winner. Complete rules are on the jump.
It seems like this is the week of cool new movie trailers. I shared the one for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” earlier this week. A couple other big names released new trailers this week. Maybe it’s just the geeky fangirl in me, but I’m super excited for what’s dubbed summer movie season. There’s a lot of action coming our way, so be on the lookout for Rick Bentley’s summer movie preview in print this Sunday.
If you look closely at the poster for this year’s Fresno Film Festival (which kicks off next weekend), you will see the woman has the Fresno Filmworks’ logo tattooed on her arm. A bold choice, if I do say.
Playing on that theme, Fresno Filmworks and Faithful & True Tattoo are offering up two festival passes to anyone willing to get the Filmworks’ logo tattooed on their body. Just stop into the shop anytime between noon and 8 p.m. tomorrow. Looks like tattoos are $30. So you’ll get a cool tattoo and save some money on the festival passes. That is a win-win. It’s really too bad Travis Sheridan isn’t in town anymore.
For more info on the festival itself, here’s a video:
It’s always funny how minor characters can become so popular. Ask someone who has seen “Despicable Me” and they will talk more about the Minions than anything else.
In the case of “Oz the Great and Powerful,” the breakout supporting player should have been Finley, the flying monkey voiced by Zack Braff. It’s a cute character. But the supporting player who steals most scenes is the China Girl. She’s the most interesting film character made of porcelain since Chip from “Beauty and the Beast.”
The steady stream of 3-D movies continue to invade theaters and most don’t offer enough visual splendor to make it worth the extra cost for the ticket. Sadly, 3-D movies are here to stay. Because there’s no end in sight, directors like Sam Raimi, the magician behind “Oz the Great and Powerful,” are getting educated about the process to help them deal with some of the complaints about 3-D — such as the headaches they can cause.
Raimi visited special effects houses to hear what the different visual effects artists had to say about working with the 3-D systems. After the meetings, the director went so far as to shoot some test scenes to see how the convergence was going to affect the audience. He didn’t want anyone to get a headache. He knows what that’s like because he’s got a headache from watching 3-D movies.
I just finished chatting with Leslie Mann (“Funny People”) about the upcoming release of her movie, “This is 40,” on DVD. We talked about: how the comedy is a spinoff of “Knocked Up”; working with her husband, director Judd Apatow; and having her own children play her children in the movie.
Would-be film makers: It’s time to pull that cardboard out of recycling, sharpen up the box cutters and get to work on costumes for the next Swede Fest.
You have until May 13 to come up with your take on a film classic for entry into Swede Fest 11. Once again, only the first 20 entries will be accepted, so even though the deadline is two-months out you’ll want to get to work ASAP.
Other stuff to remember: The time limit is 4 minutes, the film must be suitable for all ages and contain no content that violates any law.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and three new movies are opening if you are looking for a date option: “Safe Haven,”“Beautiful Creatures” and “A Good Day to Die Hard.” The first two have a romantic element that make them obvious picks. “Dies Hard” doesn’t seem like the kind of film that fits a romantic date but the studio is promoting it as a film where “you can get some action.”
All three are good selections but don’t forget “Warm Bodies.” The romantic comedy about a girl and her zombie is a great date movie because it blends falling in love elements with killing zombies.
If you go see the movie, you might recognize Analeigh Tipton who plays Nora, the best friend to the zombie lover. Before getting into acting, she appeared on the 11th edition of the TV reality competition series “America’s Next Top Model” and finished third.
Here are five questions with the young actress/model:
Alden Ehrenreich has two movies coming out in the next few weeks — “Beautiful Creatures” on Valentine’s Day” and “Stoker” March 1 — but he’s done little else that would make you think he’s one of the major players in Hollywood. That’s why it was a surprise to hear that despite his limited acting credentials, Ehrenreich initially turned down the leading role in “Beautiful Creatures.” And, he turned it down without reading the script.
To be fair, the 23-year-old actor wasn’t shown the script by his agents because they didn’t think it was the kind of movie he wanted to make. The kind of movies he’s trying to avoid are the ones where a mortal teen feels the angst of falling for some type of vampire, zombie, mummy or Frankenstein type monster.
When producers pitched him the idea again, he read the script and signed on to play the lovestruck Ethan Wate. The object of his attention is Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), a young woman who on her 16th birthday will either become a very good or very bad witch.
I know. It sounds like all of the other teen angst movies. But, Ehrenreich saw a real humor and intelligence in the script that made him confident this wouldn’t be just another mortal-meets-supernatural-creature story.
If he had read the script earlier, Ehrenreich would have had a chance to do some research so that he wouldn’t have been caught off guard by the high heat and humidity of working in New Orleans during the summer.
“It was very, very hot. We had a lot of people spritzing us,” Ehrenreich says.
An earlier read also would have given him a chance to read the books in the “Beautiful Creatures” series before filming started. During his down time — when he wasn’t battling the heat — Ehrenreich read the books. They ended up being an instruction manual as to how to play the character.
The one thing about his character he didn’t need to research was how the teen longed to leave the sleepy little town where he’s lived his entire life.
“I know exactly what it’s like to want to leave somewhere,” Ehrenreich says. “I hated summer camp but my mother sent me to 10 different ones when I was growing up. I would write long letters to family members to tell them how much I hated being at camp.”
If you’re like me, you love the Academy Awards. Every year, I try to see all the Best Picture nominees, though I usually end up a couple shy. And every year, I scour a bunch of entertainment sites (even though I read all about the movies for this job) and then apply my knowledge to a pick-the-winners contest with a bunch of my movie-buff friends. I love it!