Movies

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Documentary About Energy CEO Christine Hallquist Premieres in Vermont This Week

Posted By on Sun, Jun 12, 2016 at 8:05 AM

Still from Denial - MOSAIC FILMS
  • Mosaic Films
  • Still from Denial
Last week, Indiewire called Denial one of "11 Films We Cannot Wait to See at the 2016 Los Angeles Film Festival." The indie-film news source offered a tantalizingly cryptic description of the documentary directed by Vermont native Derek Hallquist:

Some of the best documentaries end up in drastically different places then [sic] they began … Derek Hallquist’s film seems to follow along similar lines, ostensibly beginning as a deep dive into the history of alternative energy sources in his home state of Vermont. But as Hallquist looks closer at his family’s involvement in those efforts, the on-camera interviews reveal more than he expected. 
So what exactly does Denial reveal?

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Friday, May 6, 2016

RiffTrax Spoofs the Most Memorable Film Ever Made in Rutland

Posted By on Fri, May 6, 2016 at 4:04 PM

DVD art for Time Chasers. - EDGEWOOD STUDIOS
  • Edgewood Studios
  • DVD art for Time Chasers.
A Castleton University professor has made a startling invention. It looks like a normal small airplane, but it's actually … a time machine!

After taking a jaunt to 2041 — full of cellphones, bikes and tall buildings! — the prof signs a contract with a Sinister Corporation to exploit his invention. But he soon starts to suspect that time travel might not be as fun, harmless and profitable as it appears. When he and his reporter girlfriend make a second journey to the 2040s, they discover a dystopian wasteland. Even worse, moans the prof, in this tainted version of the future, "Castleton T-shirts might not be cool!"

That line isn't actually in the screenplay of Time Chasers, the 1994 debut of Rutland writer-director-producer David Giancola. It was an ad-lib from the wags at RiffTrax, who provided mocking running commentary for the film at a screening broadcast live last night by Fathom Events.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Three for Three: UVM Students Win Another Visit From Seth Rogen

Posted By on Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 5:46 PM

From left: Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen and Ryan, John and Griffen Fox - RICK KISONAK
  • Rick Kisonak
  • From left: Lauren Miller, Seth Rogen and Ryan, John and Griffen Fox
Signs of April in the Queen City: The last traces of ice vanish along the waterfront. Hundreds of ice cream lovers line up for Ben & Jerry’s annual Free Cone Day at the company’s shop on the Marketplace. And, dependably as a swallow to Capistrano, the planet’s most famous stoner, the man Forbes ranks as the 26th highest paid actor in the world, comes to town to thank three students at the University of Vermont.

For the past three years, triplets Griffen, John and Ryan Fox have raised more money for HFC U — Hilarity for Charity’s national collegiate competition — than some 100 other student groups across the country. Their prize, as always, is a hang with Seth Rogen, who, along with his wife, Lauren Miller, created the nonprofit in 2012 as “a movement to inspire change and raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among the millennial generation.” Affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association, it’s raised more than $5 million.

Saturday morning at Essex Cinemas, the couple held a press conference to talk about the cause, explain why they got involved, and lavish praise on the three brothers, who lost their grandfather to the illness in January 2014.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Movies You Missed (or Might Miss): Award Season Edition

Posted By on Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 8:44 AM

Cate Blanchett looks like she has a Christmas present for Rooney Mara in Carol. - WEINSTEIN COMPANY
  • Weinstein Company
  • Cate Blanchett looks like she has a Christmas present for Rooney Mara in Carol.
'Tis the time of year when movie critics receive piles of screeners — films that may or may not have played at your local theater (in Vermont, generally not), but that studios and distributors want to push for year-end awards.

This year, the studios are doing something new, presumably to discourage piracy: requiring a signature for those packages. Let's just say I've become well acquainted with my UPS guy.

So I thought I'd write up five films you can't (yet) see in local theaters —  movies to look forward to at the multiplex or art house, or to seek out on DVD or your favorite streaming service.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On Screen This Week: Pirates and Cyborgs

Posted By on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 at 2:25 PM

Güeros - KINO LORBER
  • Kino Lorber
  • Güeros
On Vermont screens this week, you’ll find everyone from senior citizens to pirates (sort of) to cyborgs. Oh, and sharks! Whether it’s acceptable to use the term "everyone" to refer to a cyborg is something we’ll leave to the grammarians, roboticists and ethicists. This is an article about movies.

Wednesday, June 24

At South Burlington's Palace 9 Cinemas, the film that kicked off the New Hollywood movement of the 1970s gets the royal treatment. Steven Spielberg's Jaws, still toothy after all these years, is 40 years old, and the Palace 9 is hosting a celebration of this important film and its legacy. Shown in its original aspect ratio and with an introduction from the folks at Turner Classic Movies, Jaws screens twice, at 2 and 7 p.m.

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Friday, June 5, 2015

Dinosaurs Arrive in Vermont, 68 Million Years Late

Posted By on Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 2:42 PM

Colin Trevorrow, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on the set of Jurassic World - COURTESY OF NBCUNIVERSAL
  • Courtesy of NBCUniversal
  • Colin Trevorrow, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard on the set of Jurassic World
The fossil records of nearby states such as Massachusetts and Connecticut indicate that dinosaurs terrorized those lands long before drunken Bruins fans ever did. Though prehistoric creatures once dwelled in the tropical sea that became Lake Champlain, no dinosaurs ever stomped around the Green Mountains. Until now.

Jurassic World
, the long-delayed third sequel to the 1993 film Jurassic Park, will have an unusual premiere in Burlington two days before its national release. The film, directed by Burlingtonian Colin Trevorrow, is the main attraction of a fundraising event for the Vermont International Film Foundation. Though the bread and butter of VTIFF is screening “small,” independent and foreign films that do not receive widespread theatrical release, the local connection to this $150 million summer blockbuster was a perfect opportunity to raise money for and awareness of the organization.

After directing just one mid-budget independent film, 2012’s Safety Not Guaranteed, Trevorrow was tapped by none other than Steven Spielberg and his producing team to join the ranks of Big Hollywood Players. Though his first feature contains no dinosaurs, and his second feature would appear to contain little in the way of “quirky” romance, Trevorrow says that the two films are more alike than they might appear. This week, Vermonters will have the chance to decide for themselves.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Screen This Week: Earnestness Aplenty

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 4:03 PM

The Homestretch - COURTESY OF JOHNSON STATE COLLEGE
  • Courtesy of Johnson State College
  • The Homestretch
Vermonters can’t seem to get enough of well-intentioned social-issues documentaries. They’re playing on screens all over the state this week.

Tuesday, March 31

Tonight, in the Cinema Room of Johnson State College’s Stearns Student Center, PBS’ monthly Community Cinema series touches down with a screening of the documentary The Homestretch. The film follows three young men who have brains, talent and ambition — but do not have homes. The subjects of the film challenge all the stereotypes about what it means to be homeless, and provide ample evidence that their struggles, though serious, are much like those of teens everywhere.

The film plays for free at 7 p.m. and is open to the public. Conversation to follow.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

The Curtain Falls on Burlington's "Cheap Seats" Theater

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 3:18 PM

The "cheap seats" come down. - COURTESY OF MERRILL JARVIS III
  • Courtesy of Merrill Jarvis III
  • The "cheap seats" come down.
Local cinephiles marked another sad milestone in Burlington's ever-shifting theater landscape last week when the former Ethan Allen Cinema on North Avenue in Burlington was torn down. Better known to longtime local moviegoers as "the cheap seats," the four-screen movie house was long a venue where wallet-conscious film buffs could catch up on recent releases by simply waiting a few weeks until they'd cleared pricier first-run theaters.

Ethan Allen Cinema went out with both a bang and a whimper. Though the building was unceremoniously razed by a wrecking ball in a matter of hours last Friday, the theater sat dark and vacant for nearly a decade. For years, only a popcorn machine, visible through the front window, reminded passersby of its past purpose.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

On Screen This Week: Decay, Cartoons and Indie Darlings

Posted By on Mon, Feb 9, 2015 at 3:55 PM

The Kronos Quartet performing "Beyond Zero" - COURTESY OF THE HOPKINS CENTER FOR THE ARTS
  • Courtesy of the Hopkins Center for the Arts
  • The Kronos Quartet performing "Beyond Zero"
The weather outside may yet be frightful, but inside most movie theaters, it’s nice and toasty. (Except for the Palace 9 during my weekend viewing of Jupiter Ascending, during which I had to use my coat as a laprobe. What’s up with that?) Venues all over the state this week present warm, movielicious treats in store.

Tuesday, February 10

Among the film offerings this week, perhaps the most intriguing takes place just over the state line at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in Hanover, N.H. The Hop itself commissioned The Kronos Quartet in “Beyond Zero: 1914-1918,” a multimedia artwork that brings together the acclaimed neoclassical group, the Serbian-born composer Aleksandra Vrebalov and the talented filmmaker Bill Morrison.

Morrison is known for finding the inherent, bizarre beauty in old and decaying films, a subject he explored most memorably in the unique film Decasia, which exists at the crossroads of documentary and experimental film.

Morrison again resuscitates nearly expired celluloid for “Beyond Zero,” the subject of which is what your great-grandparents called "The Great War": World War I. This one-of-a-kind film-and-music event is worth the drive. See hop.dartmouth.edu for more information. (Tickets: $17-$50.)

Wednesday, February 11

On January 20, A Path Appears, the documentary about women who break free from the yoke of forced prostitution, played at Johnson State College; if you missed it there, you have another chance to see it this week in Burlington. The film will screen for free at the Fletcher Free Library at 6:30 p.m. See fletcherfree.org for more information.
A Path Appears - COURTESY JOHNSON STATE COLLEGE
  • Courtesy Johnson State College
  • A Path Appears

Saturday, February 14

The nominees for animated short films all will be screened at the Hop in Hanover, N.H. This is a great way to gain an edge in your office’s Oscar pool, because the “little” categories like this one are often decided by the tossing of a metaphorical dart. The full list of nominees is here; visit hop.dartmouth.edu for more details about the 7 p.m. screening. (Tickets: $5-$8.)

Another film playing locally on Valentine’s Day may not necessarily be the best date movie in the world, but it certainly attracted a lot of attention in indie-film circles over the last couple of years. Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha, starring indie darling Greta Gerwig (who also coscripted the film), plays for free at the Hirschfield International Film Series at Middlebury College at 3 and 8 p.m.
Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha - IFC FEATURES
  • IFC Features
  • Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha
The film is sort of about … nothing, really. A young woman in New York City has friends and wants a better job and is charming and quirky. As you can probably tell, this film does not do much for me, but I’m an old crank. Don’t listen to me. Also, get off my lawn.

Tuesday, February 17

For the continuing Architecture + Design Film Series at Burlington City Arts, VTIFF presents the documentary 16 Acres, about the design and rebuilding of New York City's  Ground Zero site. The film recounts the story behind the massive, complex, decade-long, $20 billion project that has transformed lower Manhattan. It plays at 6 p.m. at 135 Church Street. The screening is free, but the pre-film cash bar (by definition) is not; stick around afterwards for discussion.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Palace 9 Will Show The Interview

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 5:30 PM


Merrill Jarvis III, co-owner of several Burlington-area theaters, has just announced that he will screen The Interview at the Palace 9 in South Burlington starting on December 31.

Last week, Sony Pictures cancelled the planned Christmas release of the Seth Rogen-James Franco buddy comedy after a group of hackers thought to be affiliated with the North Korean regime threatened terrorist violence against theaters. The film features a scene — leaked by the hackers — in which Korean leader Kim Jong-un is assassinated.

After public outcry about the censorship of the film, Sony announced today that The Interview will be available to theaters after all. Whether it will play at multiplex mega-chains like Regal Cinemas remains uncertain. What is certain is that Burlingtonians will get a look.

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