Do Savannnah

Film Scene: Enjoy seven days of cinematic wonders in Savannah

 

Film Scene: Enjoy seven days of cinematic wonders in Savannah

26 Oct 2017

Thanks very much to everyone who came out this past Sunday night to support the first movie screening at Savannah’s newly opened LGBT Center.

As one of the co-presenters (via the Psychotronic Film Society), it was heartening to see a packed house for “Paragraph 175,” the emotionally trying, award-winning documentary on Hitler’s little-known persecution of homosexuals during the Holocaust.

The cozy quarters of the center’s meeting room provided space for about 30 viewers, and attendees seemed to appreciate the opportunity to see acclaimed LGBTQ-oriented motion pictures in a casual and welcoming environment. Hats off to the First City Network (which runs the center) for sponsoring that event, which myself and programming director Max Arnzen hope will be the first of many more in the future, under the series banner “The Look Back.” Keep reading Film Scene for advance notice of forthcoming screenings at this DIY venue.

Christmas for film lovers

This is that time of year when diehard movie lovers — and even those who are only moderately interested in cinema — go flat-out bonkers in our neck of the woods. That’s because the 20th annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival kicks off with a bang Oct. 28, running through Nov. 4.

Each year, more than 50,000 audience members attend this weeklong juried showcase of some of the finest examples of feature films and short subjects on the international festival circuit (and special screenings of older titles), along with dozens of major filmmakers, actors, screenwriters, distributors and film critics and journalists.

All-access passes to this year’s event have already sold out, but there are usually tickets available to individual screenings (even to most sold-out shows, if you are willing to queue up early in the “standby” line).

Need some help wading through the 115 different features, shorts, live panels and group discussions which make up this year’s celebration? See my personal list of festival picks here. It’s a good place to start.

Not up for braving those downtown crowds (even if it means you might run into the likes of Salma Hayek or Aaron Sorkin on their way to dinner)? There’s plenty more big-screen entertainment taking place in our area over the next seven days.

Rom-com on the island

Let’s start with the Tybee Post Theater’s Oct. 26 presentation of director Billy Wilder’s 1954 Oscar-winning romantic love-triangle comedy “Sabrina,” starring Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. This one-show-only revival starts at 7 p.m., with admission including a glass of wine or beer (if you’re old enough). As always, admission prices to all events in this column can be found in the adjoining sidebar listings.

Horror marathon

Just two nights later on Oct. 28, the Post plays host to one of the coolest annual movie events around, the Graveface Fright Fest, a 10-hour marathon of classic and cult horror movies curated by Ryan Graveface, the internationally known ultra-indie record label mogul (and record store proprietor) who’s made Savannah his home base of operations for a while now.

In addition to five different feature films, there will be a live appearance by Ryan’s own band The Marshmallow Ghosts, and guest appearances by a couple of the filmmakers — plus food trucks and horror memorabilia vendors on the lawn of the venue itself. Everything starts at 1 p.m. and advance tickets are going fast. Read my standalone feature to learn more about this extremely ambitious cinematic happening.

‘Spirited Away’ and more from Fathom

Looking to world of corporate multiplexes, this upcoming week, Fathom Events is digitally streaming several high-def programs in a few area theaters. If you appreciate Japanese animation (and seriously, who doesn’t on some level?), their Studio Ghibli Fest continues with three — count ’em, three — showings of visionary director Hayao Miyazaki’s Oscar-winning 2001 masterpiece “Spirited Away,” which stands as the biggest box-office hit of all time in Japan. This mesmerizing fantasy flick inspired a new generation of animators and broke all kinds of ground here in the U.S. for the viability of foreign-made animated features. Catch it at 12:55 p.m. Oct. 29 (dubbed in English) or at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 (subtitled in English) and Nov. 1 (dubbed) at the Cinemark in Bluffton, S.C. Sorry, but that’s the closest it’s coming to Savannah.

The same night “Spirited Away” opens at that Cinemark, another Fathom event streams into that Bluffton multiplex, as well as into our own Regal Stadium 10 behind the Savannah Mall: the director’s cut of … wait for it … Frank Oz’s 1986 filmic version of Howard Ashman’s musical-comedy stage play adaptation of Roger Corman’s no-budget 1960 horror clunker “The Little Shop of Horrors.”

Adored by a loyal group of fans worldwide, this intentionally campy, family-oriented take on the tale of a nerdy sad-sack florist who finds his life improved tremendously after discovering a bloodthirsty, man-eating plant features a stellar cast drawn from both stage and screen, including Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia and Steve Martin.

Initially a flop at the box office, it became a sleeper to more than one generation of viewers through occasional cable TV airings and the advent of home video. This special edition of the film features an alternate ending, and is notable for, among other things, cutting out all of actor Jim Belushi’s appearances and replacing them with those of beloved improv actor Paul Dooley (who for some reason had himself been cut out of the theatrical version and replaced by Belushi, much to director Oz’s dismay). Showings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on both Oct. 29 and 31.

The next day, Nov. 1, at the same two venues as above, there will be an encore screening of the program “REVIVE US 2: A National Family Meeting,” in which host Kirk Cameron and a panel of guests (including Dr. Ben Carson) discuss their firmly held belief that Evangelical Christianity and conservative Republican politics should be even more intertwined than they already are. 7 p.m. showtime.

Then, on Nov. 2, Fathom presents the new indie film “I’ll Push You,” which took home the Audience Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Newport Beach Film Festival. The true and inspiring story of two lifelong friends who set out on a 34-day, 500-mile hike through the mountainous Northern Spanish desert country of El Camino de Santiago is made all the more amazing and poignant by the fact that one of the two suffers from a rare neurological disease and is wheelchair-bound, hence the title of the movie. It’s said to be a tribute to generosity and to overcoming adversity. 7:30 p.m. only at both the Regal Stadium 10 and Bluffton’s Cinemark.

Failed Pilot Society

And, last but not least, on Nov. 1 at The Sentient Bean, the Psychotronic Film Society’s ongoing weekly series of overlooked and/or downright obscure features from around the world continues with the second-ever installment of something the PFS calls the Failed Pilot Society (or FPS for short).

For this occasional detour from big-screen motion pictures, they dig deep into their archives to present one (or more) pilot episodes for proposed TV series that were never given the greenlight. In other words, these were either made-for-TV movies meant to launch a weekly show of the same name, or simply trial episodes of weekly series which the networks passed on.

For every TV series that makes it to air (whether it winds up succeeding or not), there are literally hundreds of discarded pilots that are never shown publicly or released commercially. The vast majority of these are hidden away forever, but occasionally some leak out into the hands of private collectors.

Each Failed Pilot Society night runs between 60 and 90 minutes, and includes one or more of these “lost” gems. The exact title(s) to be shown remain a closely guarded secret right up until showtime, but they are guaranteed to either be so bad they are enjoyably laughable, or so good that you’ll find yourself frustrated they never made it to series. Take a chance, buy a ticket and prepare yourself for some true television strangeness. 8 p.m. show, with discounted craft beer and organic wine, as well as a full vegetarian menu.

Don’t forget, by the way, that advance tickets to the big PFS fundraiser Nov. 10 at the Lucas Theatre are on sale now at savannahboxoffice.com. That night at 8 p.m., they’ll screen director Dario Argento’s newly re-released 1977 Italian horror classic “Suspiria,” pristinely restored direct from the original camera negative, for the first time in 40 years. Don’t you dare miss it!

Until next issue, see you at the movies, be kind to those around you and don’t forget to turn off that cell phone.

Jim Reed directs Psychotronic Film Society of Savannah. Email psychotronicfilms@hotmail.com.

IF YOU GO

What: “Sabrina”

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 26

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $10

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: Graveface Fright Fest

When: 1-11 p.m. Oct. 28

Where: Tybee Post Theater, 10 Van Horne Ave.

Cost: $20 in advance, $25 at door

Info: tybeeposttheater.org

What: 2017 SCAD Savannah Film Festival

When: Oct. 28-Nov. 4

Where: Trustees Theater, 516 E. Broughton St., and Lucas Theatre, 32 Abercorn St.

Cost: Varies

Info:filmfest.scad.edu

What: “Spirited Away”

When: 12:55 p.m. Oct. 29 (dubbed); 7 p.m. Oct. 30 (subtitled); 7 p.m. Nov. 1 (dubbed)

Where: Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $12.50

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “Little Shop of Horrors – The Director’s Cut”

When: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 29 and 31

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $13.38

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “REVIVE US 2: A National Family Meeting”

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 1

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $13.38-$16.05

Info: fathomevents.com

What: “The Failed Pilot Society — Vol. 2”

When: 8 p.m. Nov. 1

Where: The Sentient Bean, 13 E. Park Ave.

Cost: $6

Info: instagram.com/pfssav

What: “I’ll Push You”

When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 2

Where: Regal Savannah Stadium 10, 1132 Shawnee St., and Cinemark, 106 Buckwalter Pkwy., Bluffton, S.C.

Cost: $14.98

Info: fathomevents.com

Sections: 
Top