Category: Film


Worcester Premiere of New Film about Freya von Moltke

Sunday afternoon, May 22, central Massachusetts residents will have an opportunity to see the first showing of a new documentary, Freya, about renowned German anti-Nazi activist, Freya von Moltke. The 45-minute film, presented by Blue Pumpkin Productions, will be shown at 1:30 pm at the Hibernian Cultural Centre, 19 Temple Street, Worcester.

Boston College faculty member, Dr. Rachel Freudenburg added ‘filmmaker’ to her regular career as German Department professor over the past six years, creating a compelling documentary on this remarkable woman who, with her husband, Helmuth James von Moltke, led a resistance effort against the Nazi regime. Helmuth James was executed by the Nazis in January 1945; Freya escaped from Germany and ultimately arrived in the U.S., in Vermont. Prof. Freudenberg will be at the Hibernian Centre on May 22nd to introduce the film and to conduct a Q & A session following the film.

The von Moltkes were also the subject of the 2006 play, A Journey to Kreisau, by the late Worcester playwright, director, and Foothills Theatre co-founder, Marc P. Smith. Smith was involved with Prof. Freudenburg’s film as well, offering both on-going encouragement as well as consultation on various aspects of the project.

Freya von Moltke died on New Year’s Day, 2010 at the age of 98 at her home in Vermont. Her obituary was carried in publications world-wide from the NY Times and The Washington Post to The Guardian and Die Zeit. On January 23, 2011 a memorial tribute to von Moltke was held at the Goethe Institut-Boston where Freudenburg’s film had its world premiere showing and where Smith was a guest speaker.

General admission to the showing of Freya is $10, or $5 for students. No advance ticket sales, but Blue Pumpkin Productions requests an RSVP, bluepumpkinprod@gmail.com .

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LOCAL FILM SEEKS EXTRAS & VOLUNTEERS

Frenemy Films LLC will be shooting the independent feature film Broken Silence beginning mid-May in Worcester. The film, a drama about high school bullying, is being directed by John Stimpson (The Legend of Lucy Keyes, A Christmas Kiss) and Line Produced by Worcester’s Andrea Ajemian (BoyBand, Still Green). Boston based production company Moody Independent is producing the picture. Many local crew-members have already been hired. The film will be cast with a combination of Hollywood and local talent. Producers are seeking volunteers, extras, and private homes to shoot in. If you are interested in getting involved, please e-mail: brokensilencemovie@gmail.com. In the subject line please write: Extra and your name, Volunteer and your name, or Home and your name, depending on your interest level. We are looking for volunteers to start immediately in the production office, located in downtown Worcester.

A Creature Double-Feature at That’s E on 3.30.11

Godzilla Attacks Worcester! A Creature Double-Feature!

The biggest star in Japan prepares to wreak havoc once again!  That’s Entertainment is bringing the King of the Monsters to Worcester with their very own smashing cover featuring Worcester’s pop culture emporium.

To celebrating the dramatic return of Godzilla to comics That’s Entertainment will be hosting a FREE theatrical showing of two of the greatest Godzilla movies.

The movie showing will be at the Elm Draught house in Millbury, Ma on Monday April 4th at 6pm. The titles of the Godzilla movies will be a surprise until the event begins. Between the two movies there will be a free raffle and Godzilla short films.

Tickets to the event will be free to the public on Wednesday March 30th at That’s Entertainment. This will be in conjunction with the official release of the GODZILLA®: KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #1 comic.  Each person who wants a ticket must come in personally to pick it up. They will be distributed one ticket per person while they last.

That’s Entertainment, 244 Park Ave., Worcester, Ma 01609, 508-755-4207, Thatse.com

“Bicycle Dreams” film on screen Nov. 14 in Worcester

Landry’s Bicycles presents the film “Bicycle Dreams,” the true story of the Race Across America, at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14, in Razzo Hall, 92 Downing St., Clark University, Worcester. The award-winning documentary film by Stephen Auerbach, exploring how and why endurance athletes push their limits,  goes beyond cycling and celebrates the human spirit.
Q&A with RAAM rider Patrick Autissier of Boston, one of the riders featured in the film, will follow the screening. Autissier was the first Frenchman to enter the Race Across America and has crossed the finish line both as a solo competitor and a team entrant. In his rookie year in the race, Autissier approached the physical, mental and emotional challenges differently than his competitors, resulting in the compelling drama of “Bicycle Dreams.”

Tickets are $7.50 online, $10 at the door. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Major Taylor Association.

Details and tickets: http://www.majortaylorassociation.org/events/bicycledreams.shtml

Worcester filmmaker, Matt Feinstein, will present his debut feature film, Ciclovida: Lifecycle on Friday, November 12, 2010 at Clark University’s Traina Center for the Arts, 92 Downing St, Worcester from 6:00-9:00pm.

The film follows a group of farmers from northeast Brazil who traverse the entire South American continent by bike in search of natural seeds. The dynamic protagonists inspire viewers with stories of sustainable agriculture projects while exposing the devastating effects of industrial agriculture.Ciclovida: Lifecycle takes you along on the musical voyage, through the storms, family separation, and bouts of isolation on a road filled with seeds of hope.

The film recently had its World Premier in a film festival in Los Angeles, CA and has already garnished praise. Mira Tweti, Festival Director, Blue Planet Film Fest state, “Ciclovida is an official selection of the 2010/11 Blue Planet Film Fest because it is a film everyone should see, farmer or non, and regardless of where you live. It is a road trip on a road map to sustainable living in a world of worsening effects from environmental destruction and an ever lessening supply of fossil fuel.” And film director Craig Saddlemire of Round Point Movies praises Ciclovida: “Terrific! An honest film told by the people whose lives are deeply impacted by corporate agribusiness. It’s a must-see movie for bicycle-lovers, food growers, and activists alike.”

“I am excited to have chosen Worcester for the East Coast Premier of Ciclovida: Lifecycle for all the great grassroots efforts for healthy local food, environmental justice, and climate change activism,” says filmmaker, Matt Feinstein.

The event will include a dynamic panel of speakers from local organizations who are working to address the issues that are raised in the film. Presenters accompanying the filmmakers, Matt Feinstein (from Worcester) and Loren Feinstein (his brother), will be Julius Jones (Community Gardens Network Coordinator), Stephanie Richardson (Shop Manager at Worcester Earn-A-Bike), and Sergio Castillo (Video Coordinator of Toxic Soil Busters / Worcester Roots Project).

More information and tickets are available at http://ciclovida.org

Artigo/Ajemian Films’ latest feature film, “BoyBand; Breakin’ Through in ’82,” which was shot entirely in Worcester County, and ran for two weeks at Showcase Cinema North in Worcester early June, will be making it’s film festival debut this coming Saturday, August 7th at 7pm the prestigious Woods Hole Film Festival in Cape Cod.  Music Producer Kaz Gamble will DJ the after party at the festival. Tickets can be purchased in advance at: http://www.woodsholefilmfestival.org/2010/ or at the festival.  For more information, follow BoyBand on facebook at:http://www.facebook.com/boybandthemovie.

Narrated by Emmy Award-Winning News Correspondent Pat Dawson
Produced/Directed by Emily Driscoll

Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at The Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square, Saxe Room
Worcester, MA
508-799-1655

Two Shows: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

ALB Experts
Rhonda Santos and Clint McFarland  of the USDA Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program in Worcester will discuss their roles in the film and answer your questions!

WATCH TRAILER AT WWW.BUGGEDDOCUMENTARY.COM <http://buggeddocumentary.squarespace.com/>

Bugged is “…frankly one of the most comprehensive and best educational documentaries on ALB that has been made to date….Now, more than ever, the general public needs to remain observant and vigilant in case ALB shows up in your city or neighborhood. This short film will broaden one’s view of this most important and unwanted pest!”

-Richard Hoebeke, Taxonomic and Survey Entomologist, Cornell University


About the Documentary:
Alien invaders live hidden among us. The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) is one of the world’s worst invasive species and could destroy one third of America’s trees. Now, for the first time, the ALB infests a city (Worcester) on the edge of a natural forested area.  Follow the scientists, USDA officials and private citizens who are the front lines in the Asian longhorned beetle eradication war.

Bugged is the first documentary to present the national story of the ALB infestation in America and to explore the
science of eradication.

http://www.buggeddocumentary.com


The organizers of the 15th annual Latino Film Festival in Worcester, MA, being held the week of March 22, are pleased to announce that ticket sales for the Chilean movie El Diario de Agustin (Agustin’s Newspaper) will be donated to the American Red Cross to support relief efforts in Chile following the recent 8.8-magnitude earthquake there. The film will be screened at Clark University’s Cinema 320 at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 23. It will be shown in Spanish, with English subtitles. Admission will be $5 ($3 for students, seniors, and WOO Card holders). All movies are in Spanish with English sub-titles.

The Latino Film Festival is presented by Centro Las Americas, Clark University, WPI, Assumption College, Quinsigamond Community College, and The College of the Holy Cross.

Cinema 320

Jefferson Academic Center, 3rd Floor

Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA

Tuesday,         March 23 @ 7:30 PM  El diario de Agustín (Agustin’s newspaper) (Chile)

Thursday,         March 25 @ 7:30 PM  La mujer sin cabeza (Headless woman)(Argentina)

Saturday,         March 27 @ 7:30 PM Gigante (Uruguay)

Sunday,         March 28 @ 4:00 PM La mujer sin cabeza (Mexico)

Razzo Hall

Traina Center for the Arts

Clark University, 92 Downing St., Worcester, MA

Sunday,          March 28     @ 1:00 PM Cementerio de papel (Buried in paper) (Mexico)

guest-Fritz Glockner, author

Cinema 320 brings Me and Orson Welles to Worcester

Citizen McKay

By Jim Keogh

You’d never heard of Christian McKay. His acting resume is still in its infancy.

That’s what makes McKay’s performance in Me and Orson Welles more than just a nicely wrought turn in a movie. His portrayal of the great Welles is a piece of cinematic serendipity that sends you scrambling to imdb.com to learn what else he’s appeared in (again, not much) and to find the answer to that question nagging you the minute the house lights go up: “Who is this guy?”

Me and Orson Welles begins with a brash high school kid named Richard Samuels (Zac Ephron) who worms his way into a small role in Welles’ groundbreaking 1937 Broadway production of Julius Caesar, which is in rehearsals. The play gives Richard an insider’s view of the messy backstage workings at the Mercury Theatre under the imperious direction of Welles, whose substantial personal flaws — arrogance, self-absorption, predatory womanizing — are countered by his artistic brilliance. And he’d be the first to tell you so.

The film meshes a moderately interesting coming-of-age parable with that wonderful Wellesian performance. McKay, who played Welles in a one-man show called Rosebud, bears a decent physical resemblance to the famous man, including the blocky jawline that morphed into doughiness in later years. But it’s in the voice where McKay really captures his subject, delivering his lines in the same recognizable timber that gave enduring screen life to Charles Foster Kane and sold Paul Masson wine, though not before its time. McKay modulates The Voice as needed, employing it as a bludgeon to shock the audience all the way to the Mercury’s back row, or as a purring come-on to his newest romantic conquest.

Me and Orson Welles is directed by Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunset) as a love letter to Welles and the scene in which he thrived. This is fun stuff, as you find yourself checking off the list of notables who enter young Richard’s orbit: There’s the suave Joseph Cotton (James Tupper), the put-upon John Houseman (Eddie Marsan), and girl-hungry Norman Lloyd (Leo Bill), many decades before he would become familiar to a national audience as the chief medical officer on TV’s St. Elsewhere.

Ephron does a fine job pulling away from his High School Musical roots, and Claire Danes is affecting as the Mercury’s secretary and the object of Richard’s schoolboy crush.

But Christian McKay looms over them all, just as Orson Welles did in his time. It’s tough to outperform a force of nature.

Me and Orson Welles will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, and at 1 and 3:10 p.m. Sunday in the Jefferson Academic Center at Clark University as part of the Cinema 320 film series. cinema320.com

Rebel without…anything

Film Review

YOUTH IN REVOLT

BY DAVID WILDMAN

This latest Michael Cera vehicle raises an important question: If a film with an overdone premise and an overexposed, squirm-inducing star proves to be watch-able, does that make it worthwhile?  For me, Cera’s nerdy nice-guy persona has long overstayed its welcome. Sure, he was good in Arrested Development and excellent in Superbad, but by the time I’d suffered through Juno, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and, gag, sputter, Year One, I was done. So it strikes me as somewhat amazing that I found his performance at the center of this uneven little trifle palatable and borderline enjoyable.

As if to up the ante from the outset, the film starts off with a particularly unsavory scenario: the sounds of Cera in the throes of sexual ecstasy. Then the camera focuses in and our worst fears are realized: he is alone and spanking the sausage in bed. From there his character Nick Twisp, in voiceover, recounts his miserable life and his virginal status. His mother (Jean Smart) is a standard order trashy, busty divorcee with a shifty boyfriend (Zach Galifianakis) who has apparently sold a bunch of sailors a defective car. In order to escape their wrath, the three jump in a car and head off to live in a dingy trailer in some lakeside camp ground (for this “travelin’” scene, director Miguel Arteta tosses in a pointlessly whimsical animation sequence).  Nick meets Sheeni Saunders (Portia Doubleday) the quirky and cute girl of his dreams, who openly talks about her “moist vagina” and spouts bizarre “French Percussionist” poetry, ostensibly written by her supposed French boyfriend.

She falls for him a little too easy, but then again, the first act takes far too long in its setup as it is, so I was happy to do without boilerplate bumbling courtship scenes. Things start to get a little more interesting when Nick has to leave the campground. In order to return, he hatches a plan to get sent into the custody of his father (a tragically castrated Steve Buscemi) and out of the clutches of his mother, who has now taken up with a dirty cop (Ray Liotta). To accomplish this, Nick invents a ruthless persona, Francoise Dillinger, who goads him into stealing his mother’s car, setting it on fire and crashing it into a restaurant. It works, and he goes to live with his father, who he’s managed to trick into getting a job up near the campground. Then he calls Sheeni and brags about what a baddass he’s been, but her mother is listening on the other line, and so she gets sent away to school. His Francoise side convinces him to go visit and bang her, along with his friend, who sleeps with her horny roommate and they both get kicked out on the street naked and Fred Willard shows up to drive them home because he’s a leftist and thinks Nick’s friend is a refugee, and so in solidarity he takes off all his own clothes…

You get the idea. The plot is basically a rambling run-on sentence. Rather than developing any of the characters besides Nick and his pencil-mustached, cigarette-smoking alter ego, the screenplay just throws new ones into the mix. Meanwhile, our main protagonist begins to act in a manner that is increasingly not believable, evil alter-ego or not.

The only reason any of it works at all is the interesting diversion of watching Cera transform from wuss to defiant jerk and back again. But even that dichotomy is blurred, mostly because the premise, rather than spiraling out of control as it rightly should, instead gets buried in an onslaught of extraneous characters, regrettable sight gags and an overall tone of muddled mediocrity.

Three Stars out of Five (* * *)