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Moonlight has been making critical maelstroms in the independent film world since its debut at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals in September, two months ahead of its November 3rd wide release date. Based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue, by Tarell Alvin McCraney, this tripartite film seeks to chart a queer black man from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. It marks Barry Jenkins' return to the Philadelphia Film Festival after his 2008 feature Medicine for Melancholy hit the screens here first.
Film festival season is starting to
ramp up, with Philly’s own cinematic
celebration flourishing in its 25th year
of existence. Hosted by the Philadelphia
Film Society, the people behind the
Roxy and Prince theaters, the Philadelphia
Film Festival is bringing 3,542 films
to theaters all over the city from October
20–30. And to up the ante, filmmaking
dignitaries like Todd Haynes and Robert
Zemeckis and actors of the likes of Susan
Sarandon, Kerry Washington and more
will be in attendance.
Another day, another Quaker film on the silver screen. Gavin O’Connor, the director of new action–thriller The Accountant, attended Penn from 1983–1986 and came back in 1991 to finish up his sociology degree. He broke into the filmmaking scene with his 1999 com–dram Tumbleweeds, and has since been honing his craft of making muscular action movies including 2011’s Warrior and last year’s Jane Got a Gun.
Adam Conover has taken a
break from finding the silver
lining in the things you
hate and finding fault with
everything you love to hit the
road. In his 15–city American
tour, the J. Crew–styled Adam
Ruins Everything star will
be making a slight departure
from his usual debunking
of popular false ideas. He
attempts to answer a pressing
question in this heated debate
season: Is this the craziest
election of all time? He looks
to history for answers in his
traveling show, attempting
to shed light on previous
presidential trash talking, the
role of women in past political
affairs and the growing red–blue divide in America.
“Are the walls still pink?” asked
Alan Sepinwall, the former managing
editor of Street (Ed note: His
reign was in 1995, aka the year I
was born). He cut his teeth writing
for our beloved magazine, and
is riding the wave of excitement
following the release of his second
book, TV (The Book): Two Experts
Pick the Greatest American Shows of
For Katherine*, a senior in the Huntsman Program of International Studies and Business, there were many good reasons to study abroad in Cuba. But one surpassed all the rest: getting As. Students often look to upperclassmen for advice on going abroad—an experience that seems to be the pinnacle of exploratory learning at a university level. For Katherine, the advice was concise: Go to Cuba, you’ll get As.
Street: Tell me about your background as a documentary filmmaker, and what kind of projects you’ve done in your experience at Penn.
Noam Osband has always
seen filmmaking as the
ideal way to bridge the gap
between his intellectually
curious side and the side of
him that hungers for more
artistic forms of expression.
The candidate for a
PhD in Anthropology has
also broken ground in the
College of Arts and Sciences
by having his documentary
film, In the Pines,
which examines the work
of Mexican and American
reforestation workers in
the South, accepted as a
doctoral dissertation. And
now, with funding from
the Penn Dean's Award for
New Media and Research,
Osband has finished up a
new documentary short
that's just set out on an
extended festival run.
Life is all about the ebb and flow, and nothing exemplifies this better than Netflix's seasonal recalibrations of their streaming options. To remind you of the ephemeral nature of everything beautiful, they'll be retiring several of their selections every few days for the entire month. But fear not, as you kiss Fringe, Zoolander and The Bridge on the River Kwai goodbye, Netflix will be replacing them with another seemingly random assemble of entertainment.
This was a Pandora’s box that I didn’t want to open, and thankfully didn’t have to during the height of its Twitter hype and meme–making. The arc of its eight–episode Season One run has been compared to a cineplex feast, an eyelid tiring movie marathon on a summer afternoon. For many, this was the way to watch the compactly unfolding series, in a two–or–three–day stretch based on a friend’s recommendations.
The Philadelphia Film Society’s Movies on the Block (MoB) program began last year as a way to use the unifying power of independent cinema to spotlight community issues, as well as to encourage linkage among citizens and regional leaders in different locales across the city. Already in the midst of its second annual run of screenings, it remains the perfect opportunity for Penn students to breach their self–seclusion and experience Philadelphia neighborhoods from within, while meeting representatives from local organizations always in need of volunteer support.
Ira Sach's latest film Little Men begins in a chaotic classroom with a mousy boy in the eye of the maelstrom. The boy, eighth-grader Jake Jardine, is intent on his drawing, an abstract scene of yellow stars sitting in a green sky. After scaring the children back into their seats, his teacher shuffles down the aisle and looks over his shoulder, offering a comment about the improbability of such a skyscape. As early on as the opening scene, the film hints at the ways in which adults seem to fail children, and thus force them to mature.
Luxembourgish director Anne Fontaine's latest release Les Innocentes is a film of quiet and private grief, of feminist choice, of faith and guilt. Put simply, this story is about how French Red Cross doctor helps several pregnant nuns bend their faith when faced with the bitterness of war and life itself.
Alex Gibney's Zero Days opens with a silhouette and a dubbed voice speaking about a war unraveling between "democracies who play by the rules" and those "who think democracy is a joke." It has the montage of flag-burnings, the sound bites, anti–US sentiments echoed by Ahmadinejad, and Hillary Clinton herself denying any American involvement in Iran. Just five minutes in, the film had laid the foundational faultless victim complex, and I braced myself for a long two hours of American exceptionalism and plaudits for Western imperial involvement.
It was a beautiful Tuesday
afternoon when I was greeted by security guards outside the new Le Cat Café in
North Philly. Two men in suits gestured me into a doorway titled “Keanu’s
Crib,” flanked on both sides by six–foot tall posters of the namesake kitten in
a do–rag. Method Man of Wu–Tang Clan
and Peele, of the iconic comedic duo of Key and Peele, were hosting a roundtable
amongst snoozing cats in support of their new movie Keanu, hitting Philly theaters on April 29th. The film
follows two cousins, played by Key and Peele, as they feign the thug life and
join a gang of “Blips” (read: Bloods + Crips) in order to reclaim a kitten that
was robbed from them by a gangster named Cheddar (played by Method Man). Phew.
“Can you imagine being a
child in the Catholic church
and having a priest pay attention
to you?,” commented Dr.
Steven J. Berkowitz, halfway
through his talk about sex
abuse and childhood trauma
at the 2016 Levin Family
Why are you emptying the ATM
across the street from Rumor when you could be watching some French New Wave? Although
only in its second semester of existence, Penn Cinema Initiative has already
established itself as an important pre–weekend fixture on campus.
It’s rare that dramas get prequel
installments, especially 20
years after their characters were
created. But when you’ve had
a career like Arnaud Desplechin's,
genre conventions no
longer matter. A darling of the
French film circuit, the French
director screened his tenth
feature film My Golden Days in the Directors' Fortnight
program at the 2015 Cannes
Film Festival, where it won the
SACD (Authors Society) prize
for its screenplay.
“Can I be the girl?” asks
Benjamin Dickinson as he slides into the booth side of the table at White Dog Cafe.
With the Academy Awards approaching, we asked some of our most beloved professors for their all–time favorite films and picks for this year's Oscars.