ART hound

Geneva Anderson digs into art

Camera Obscura, an experimental cinema salon, at Hotel Petaluma all weekend

Canadian film director Michael Snow with the machine he and engineer Pierre Abeloos designed to film Snow’s 180 minute long experimental film La Région Centrale (1971) which was set and filmed on a mountaintop in a remote locale in northern Quebec. The film screens Saturday at noon at CAMERA OBSCURA Second Annual Report at the Hotel Petaluma. The photo was taken by Joyce Wieland in October 1969 on the fifth and final day of the crew’s presence on the mountaintop. Considered a masterpiece for its exploration of camera movement, the film will be introduced by Antonella Bonfanti, director Canyon Cinema. Photo: Joyce Wieland, production still, 1969

Canadian film director Michael Snow with the machine he and engineer Pierre Abeloos designed to film Snow’s 180 minute experimental film “La Région Centrale” (1971), which was set and filmed on a mountaintop in a remote locale in northern Quebec. The film has it world premiere Saturday at noon at CAMERA OBSCURA Second Annual Report at the Hotel Petaluma. Canyon Cinema will supply the 16mm projector necessary to screen the film, which does not exist in digital form. The production still was taken by Joyce Wieland in October 1969 on the fifth and final day of the crew’s presence on the mountaintop. Considered a masterpiece for its exploration of camera movement, the film will be introduced by Antonella Bonfanti, director Canyon Cinema. Photo: Joyce Wieland, 1969

For film programmer and curator Amanda Salazar of the San Francisco Film Institute and Petaluman Jonathan Marlow, FANDOR co-founder and currently chief strategy office of Kanopy, the on-demand streaming video service, it was their mutual love of experimental film and making it more accessible to audiences that led them to look back in time to the CAMERA OBSCURA Film Society (COFS).  This eclectic organization was founded in the late 1950’s by Lawrence Jordan and Bruce Connor, together with a handful of other artists, and presented pop-up experimental cinema programs throughout San Francisco until 1962.  Salazar and Marlow picked up the mantel and contacted Lawrence Jordan, who happens to live in Petaluma now, and got his permission to revitalize the organization.  They will be presenting The Second Annual report of the reconstituted CAMERA OBSCURA over the weekend at Hotel Petaluma’s art gallery which has been converted into a pop-up screening room that seats 50.  Lawrence Jordan will be in attendance  on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. for the world premiere of his 2016 film Night Light , shot on film, and to introduce Werner Herzog’s short, Lessons of Darkness (1992), which screens before Night Light.  The event kicked off on Friday evening (November 18, 2016) and picks up at noon on Saturday and runs through late-night Sunday.  “Our intent,” says Amanda Salazar “is to create a salon and to start a dialogue about where cinema is at, where it is going, and its relevancy.  We want people to feel free to drop in and see one film or to spend the weekend with us. ”

CAMERA OBSCURA day I : Friday, Nov 18

OPENING NIGHT:  7:00pm

CAMERAPERSON (2016) dir. Kirsten Johnson

– preceded by the short film – SPEAKING IS DIFFICULT (2016) dir. AJ Schnack

[feature courtesy of Janus Films | short courtesy of the filmmaker and Field of Vision]

— followed by —

opening night reception [Hotel Petaluma ballroom]

 

CAMERA OBSCURA day II : Saturday, Nov 19

12:00pm | [introduced by Canyon Cinema Director Antonella Bonfanti]

LA REGION CENTRALE (1971), dir. Michael Snow

– preceded by the short film –

THE WATERSHOW EXTRAVAGANZA (2016) [U.S. premiere], dir. Sophie Michael

[feature courtesy of Canyon Cinema | short courtesy of the filmmaker

— followed by —

4:00pm | [introduced by Camera Obscura Film Society co-founder Lawrence Jordan]

LESSONS OF DARKNESS (1992)

dir. Werner Herzog

– preceded by the short films –

NIGHT LIGHT (2016) [world premiere] dir. Lawrence Jordan [in attendance]

EDGE OF ALCHEMY (2016) [work-in-progress screening] dir. Stacey Steers

[feature courtesy of WHF GmbH | shorts courtesy of the respective filmmakers]

— followed by —

7:00pm | THE SON OF JOSEPH [LE FILS DE JOSEPH] (2016) [regional premiere] dir. Eugene Green

– preceded by the short film –

OH WHAT A WONDERFUL FEELING (2016) [regional premiere] dir. Francois Jaros

[feature courtesy of Kino Lorber | short courtesy of La Boîte à Fanny]

— followed by —

10:00pm | [introduced by Alamo Drafthouse SF Creative Manager Mike Keegan]

THE ASTROLOGER (1975) dir. Craig Denny

– preceded by the short film –

PLENA STELLARUM (2016) [regional premiere] dir. Matthew Wade

[feature courtesy of AGFA | short courtesy the filmmaker]

 

CAMERA OBSCURA day III : Sunday, Nov 20

1:00pm | IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE (2015) dir. Patrick Shen [prod. Brandon Vedder in attendance]

– preceded by the short film –

FLOWERS OF THE SKY (2016) [regional premiere] dir. Janie Geiser

[feature courtesy of the Cinema Guild | short courtesy the filmmaker]

— followed by —

4:00pm | Sunday SEA TO SHINING SEA (2016) [work-in-progress screening] dir. Maximon Monihan [in attendance]

– preceded by the short film –

EXILE EXOTIC (2015) [regional premiere] dir. Sasha Litvintseva

[feature courtesy of Bricolagista | short courtesy the filmmaker]

— followed by —

CLOSING NIGHT:  7:00pm | DARK NIGHT (2016) [regional premiere]dir. Tim Sutton

– preceded by the short film –

[TBA] (2016) [work-in-progress screening]

dir. ——– [in attendance]

[feature courtesy of Cinelicious Pics | short courtesy of the filmmaker]

— followed by —

closing night party [secret location TBA]

Details:  Camera Obscura Second Annual Report is Friday through Sunday, November 18-20, 2016 at the art gallery of Hotel Petaluma, 106 Washington Street, Petaluma, CA, approximately 1.5 hours north of San Francisco.  Screenings (“events”) are for members only. A single screening is $20; a full day membership is $50 and the full weekend, including a one year membership and subsequent Quarterly report screenings) is $100.

For more information: www.cameraobscurafilmsociety.com

Kid friendly alert:  the programming is intended for adults

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November 18, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival resumes Tuesday with additional screenings and a venue consolidation–all shows now at Sixth Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa

The Argentinian film “The Camera Obscura” (2008), directed by María Victoria Menis, is set in the late 1800's in an agrarian Jewish colony in the scenic Entre Rios Province, Argentina. Nominated for 8 Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards. Image courtesy: SCJFF

After a three-week break, the 15th annual Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival resumes its 2010 season this Tuesday with a venue consolidation and several schedule changes,  including a newly added  7:15 pm screening this Tuesday of “Camera Obscura” at the Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa.  All Petaluma shows have been cancelled due to projection issues at the Boulevard Cinemas and Petaluma tickets will be honored in Santa Rosa.  All shows for the remainder of the 2010 season will be at the Sixth Street Playhouse, 52 West 6th Street, Santa Rosa.   The festival is sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County and is the main platform in Sonoma County for new independent and foreign films that otherwise get little exposure outside of the film festival circuit.  

Still left in the series—

Camera Obscura: Growing up in late 19th century Buenos Aries, Gertrud  is a disappointment to her mother from the moment of her birth. As the invisible ugly duckling, she is compelled to create beauty in everything she does, while remaining unseen. Married off to an older Jewish rancher, her husband hires an itinerant photographer for a family portrait. Through the photographer’s eyes, Gertrudis becomes visible for the first time. This luminous, artistic film uses archival and surrealistic photographs, black and white film, and hand drawn animation.  Drama, Argentina, 86 minutes, Spanish and Yiddish, English subtitles.  Tuesday, November 16, 7:15 pm, Wednesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. (7:15 show sold out- waitlist)

 Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg:  For two and a half decades, Gertrude Berg, the creator of the wildly popular radio and TV show, “The Goldbergs” was the most famous woman in America, and the winner of the first ever Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The Oprah of her day, Gertrude Berg’s blend of comedy and social commentary, with Jewish characters at the center, endeared her to audiences and made her an American cultural icon. This highly entertaining feature length documentary blends interviews with Ed Asner, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Norman Lear,and Susan Stamberg, among others.  Documentary, USA, 92 minutes, English.  Wednesday, November 17, 4 p.m., Sunday, November 21, 8:30 p.m.

Saviors in the Night:  Based on the true story of three German farm families who hid and saved a Jewish family during Nazi rule, the film reveals the complex relationships and emotional and physical hardships of saviors and saved. Ultimately hopeful, this example of a new self-reflective German film movement shows the potential for the heart to care for all humankind. The names of the farmers have been immortalized in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.  JFF audience award winner.  Drama, Germany, 95 minutes, German, French and English, English subtitles.    Sunday, November 21, 6:30 p.m.

Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueberger: In this coming-of-age comedy, Esther, a feisty outsider at her posh private girls’ school, becomes desperate to fit in and discover her true self at the time of her Bat Mitzvah. Secretly, rebelling against her “perfect” upper middle class parents, Esther befriends Sunni, a public school bad girl and her super hip mom. Adopting a new identity, Esther becomes entangled in a web of lies, betrayal and bullying, ultimately finding a more honest self in the process. Actors include Keisha Castle- Hughes, Toni Collette and Danielle Catanzariti (winner of AFI Young Actors Award). Comedy, Australia, 103 minutes, English.  Tuesday, November 30, 7:15 p.m., Wednesday, December 1, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. (7:15 show sold out—waitllist)

Nora’s Will:  Nora plots to reunite her family and friends by ending her life on the eve of Passover. In this dark comedy, her curmudgeonly ex-husband of 30 years propels the zany and poignant events forward, including hilarious burial plans, the expectations of several orthodox rabbis, answers to long held secrets and Nora’s meticulously pre-planned Seder. Winner of seven Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Awards) including Best Picture, Best Original screenplay and Best Actor,  Comedy,  Mexico, 92 minutes, Spanish, English subtitles.  Tuesday, December 7, 7:15 p.m.

Tickets: $10 per matinee tickets, $12 per evening ticket. For further information on tickets, locations and times, contact the Jewish Community Center, Sonoma County (707) 528-4222 or Ellen Blustein (707) 526-5538  or ellenb@jccsoco.org or visit the JCC website www.jccsoco.org and click on Film Festival.

November 15, 2010 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival turns 15–Something for Everyone, October 5 – December 1, 2010

Gertrude Berg in a scene from "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg," sold out at the Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival. Gertrude starred in the domestic sitcom that started on radio and moved to television and established the character-driven domestic sitcom as a tv staple.

Looking for a mid-week lift?   The 15th annual Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Sonoma County is in full swing and the line-up is excellent.  In fact, whether you’re Jewish or not, you will appreciate having the world at your feet with this diverse mix of new international films that includes dramas, comedies, and documentaries, many of which have won numerous awards.  With the recent closing of the Rialto Lakeside Cinemas, The Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival is the main platform in Sonoma County for new independent and foreign films that otherwise get little exposure, outside of the film festival circuit.   The series of six films runs on Tuesday evenings at 7:15 pm at Cinema West’s Boulevard Cinemas in Petaluma and on Wednesdays at 1 pm and 7:15 pm at the Sixth Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa.  Screenings are selling out fast but individual tickets are still available for screenings at both venues.

The festival is the brainchild of Ellen Blustein, program director, who says that she and a dedicated programming committee screen films from around the world that are about engaging with life and that also have a Jewish connection.    The idea was originally to expand the outreach of the Jewish Community Center, a non-religious Jewish cultural organization in Sonoma County.   “Film was perfect.  What life lessons don’t get addressed in film?    That’s what keeps people in our community coming out to this festival.”  

Blustein is also proud that the festival  is financed entirely through private contributions.  At each screening, the sponsors for that particular film are asked to stand and are warmly applauded.  And, at every screening, there is a raffle—$2 buys a chance to win a fabulous prize, for example, dinner for two at Everest Restaurant and theatre tickets at the Cinnabar Theatre.  

Still left in the series—

 Yoo-Hoo Mrs. Goldberg:  For two and a half decades, Gertrude Berg, the creator of the wildly popular radio and TV show, “The Goldbergs” was the most famous woman in America, and the winner of the first ever Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. The Oprah of her day, Gertrude Berg’s blend of comedy and social commentary, with Jewish characters at the center, endeared her to audiences and made her an American cultural icon. This highly entertaining feature length documentary blends interviews with Ed Asner, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Norman Lear,and Susan Stamberg, among others.  Documentary, USA, 92 minutes, English.  Tuesday, October 12, 7:15 p.m. PETALUMA and Wednesday, October 13, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. SANTA ROSA

 Nora’s Will:  Nora plots to reunite her family and friends by ending her life on the eve of Passover. In this dark comedy, her curmudgeonly ex-husband of 30 years propels the zany and poignant events forward, including hilarious burial plans, the expectations of several orthodox rabbis, answers to long held secrets and Nora’s meticulously pre-planned Seder. Winner of seven Ariel Awards (Mexican Academy Awards) including Best Picture, Best Original screenplay and Best Actor,  Comedy,  Mexico, 92 minutes, Spanish, English subtitles.  Tuesday, October 19, 7:15 p.m. PETALUMA and Wednesday, October 20, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. SANTA ROSA

Saviors in the Night:  Based on the true story of three German farm families who hid and saved a Jewish family during Nazi rule, the film reveals the complex relationships and emotional and physical hardships of saviors and saved. Ultimately hopeful, this example of a new self-reflective German film movement shows the potential for the heart to care for all humankind. The names of the farmers have been immortalized in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.  JFF audience award winner.  Drama,  Germany, 95 minutes, German, French and English, English subtitles.  Tuesday, October 26, 7:15 p.m. PETALUMA and Wednesday, October 27, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. SANTA ROSA

Camera Obscura: Growing up in late 19th century Buenos Aries, Gertrud  is a disappointment to her mother from the moment of her birth. As the invisible ugly duckling, she is compelled to create beauty in everything she does, while remaining unseen. Married off to an older Jewish rancher, her husband hires an itinerant photographer for a family portrait. Through the photographer’s eyes, Gertrudis becomes visible for the first time. This luminous, artistic film uses archival and surrealistic photographs, black and white film, and hand drawn animation.  Drama, Argentina, 86 minutes, Spanish and Yiddish, English subtitles.  Tuesday, November 16, 7:15 p.m. PETALUMA and Wednesday, November 17, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. SANTA ROSA

Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueberger: In this coming-of-age comedy, Esther, a feisty outsider at her posh private girls’ school, becomes desperate to fit in and discover her true self at the time of her Bat Mitzvah. Secretly, rebelling against her “perfect” upper middle class parents, Esther befriends Sunni, a public school bad girl and her super hip mom. Adopting a new identity, Esther becomes entangled in a web of lies, betrayal and bullying, ultimately finding a more honest self in the process. Actors include Keisha Castle- Hughes, Toni Collette and Danielle Catanzariti (winner of AFI Young Actors Award). Comedy, Australia, 103 minutes, English.  Tuesday, November 30, 7:15 p.m. PETALUMA and Wednesday, December 1, 1:00 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. SANTA ROSA

Tickets: $10 per matinee tickets, $12 per evening ticket. For further information on tickets, locations and times, contact the Jewish Community Center, Sonoma County (707) 528-4222 or Ellen Blustein (707) 526-5538 or visit the JCC website www.jccsoco.org and click on Film Festival.

October 14, 2010 Posted by | Film | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment