Monday, September 7, 2009

'The Tent' To Screen at the Pawtucket Film Festival!

We are pleased to announce that 'The Tent - Life in the Round' has been selected to appear at the 10th Annual Pawtucket Film Festival next Sunday, September 13 at 12:30pm at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center Theatre (175 Main Street). Our friend Michael Janusonis wrote a great piece on the entire festival and we hope you will be able to come and support the film and the many other wonderful artists, musicians, and filmmakers who will be showcasing their achievements. Larry Bonoff will be on hand to screen the film and answer questions. Thanks for your continued support!

Pawtucket Film Festival, Something for Everyone
01:00 AM EDT on Thursday, September 3, 2009
By Michael Janusonis
Journal Arts Writer

The Alloy Orchestra will perform for the opening night of the Pawtucket Film Festival at Jenks Junior High School. The three-man ensemble plays live, original scores to silent films using unusual objects as part of their instrumentation.

A classic silent film with a live musical accompaniment, an Academy Award-nominated feature, a short about beekeeping in the heart of New York City, the celebrated documentary about the Warwick Musical Theatre, plus musical guests, complimentary refreshments and a free T-shirt. All these things are some of the draws when the 10th annual Pawtucket Film Festival gets under way Friday night, with shows through Sunday and again Sept. 11 to 13.

Most events will take place at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center Theatre at 175 Main St., but Friday’s screening of the 1920s-era Man With a Movie Camera, accompanied by the renowned Alloy Orchestra, will be at the William E. Tolman Senior High School Auditorium at 150 Exchange St. because it is expected to pull in a large crowd.

Friday’s show at Tolman, which begins at 7 p.m., will open with a performance by the Alloy Orchestra’s Roger Miller, who also is a singer, guitarist and keyboardist and who also performs with the groups Mission to Burma and The Binary System. The entire Alloy Orchestra (which actually consists of only two other members) will then play for Soviet director Dziga Vertov’s experimental Man With a Movie Camera, which is billed as a day-in-the-life portrait of a city from dawn to dusk. The film grew out of Vertov’s belief that the true goal of cinema should be to present life as it is lived, but although it is supposed to reflect life in a single city, he actually shot footage in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa, emphasizing buildings and machinery.

The Alloy Orchestra works with an assemblage of peculiar objects pulled from what they call a “rack of junk,” plus electronic synthesizers to thrash and grind their original musical score. So far this year they have accompanied Man With a Movie Camera at screenings in Baltimore, New York City, Washington, D.C., and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The Pawtucket Film Festival, which is part of the broader ongoing Pawtucket Arts Festival, continues Saturday with a 12:30 p.m. program at the Blackstone Valley Visitor Center Theatre that seems designed to bring together two very different groups. On stage, Hope Roth will sing her melancholy and deeply personal songs of loneliness and heartbreak, followed by an interactive video folk art presentation by Jacqueline Schnabel that is designed to appeal to children.

In this portion of the program kids will choose stories, create characters out of recycled materials, rehearse and star in a video folk art film. Several movies will be made; at the end they will be turned into a DVD that the children can take home. It is suggested that participants bring recyclable material with them, such as cereal boxes, plastic, cardboard and old magazines that can be used to make characters for the video folk art films.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday the tone will shift with a performance by Preacher Jack, who will play boogie-woogie piano and tell “honky-tonk” tales. He will be followed on screen by Melissa Lohman’s documentary short Rooftop Bees, about a man who maintains three beehives on his Brooklyn rooftop, and the feature film Frozen River, for which Melissa Leo was nominated for a best actress Academy Award earlier this year. In Frozen River she plays a struggling abandoned wife and mother who joins forces with a Mohawk Indian woman to smuggle illegal immigrants in from Canada across the frozen St. Lawrence River.

On Sunday Jeremy Lyons, a New Orleans singer-guitarist who has relocated to Massachusetts, will perform on the Blackstone stage at 12:30 p.m., followed on screen by director Gita Pullapilly’s feature-length documentary The Way We Get By, about three senior citizens who gather every day at a small airport to thank American soldiers who are departing for and returning from Iraq. As it follows the three, who are struggling with their own futures, the film turns into a meditation on aging, loneliness, war and mortality.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday singer-kazoo player Ed “Moose” Savage will deliver his one-of-a-kind cult songs, such as “Bread Is Dangerous,” “Clove Cigarettes” and “Rrrats.” He will be followed on screen by director Elika Portnoy’s Tricks of Love feature film in which a fashion photographer accepts a bet that he can transform any girl into a fashion model and sets out to remake a fishmonger into a knockout.

The film festival will continue the following weekend with programs that include Bronx Princess at 7 p.m. Sept. 11, about a headstrong young woman who follows her father to Africa where he is a tribal chief, and THE TENT: Life in the Round, the story of the Warwick Musical Theatre, which goes on screen at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13.

Tickets for all programs are $10 at the door.

mjanuson@projo.com