Will The Circle Be Unbroken?
by Jordan Canahai
Cultivate Cinema Circle begins fall 2015 screening series
The Cultivate Cinema Circle (CCC), an emerging screening series that aims to help foster a healthy, fervent film culture in the Buffalo area, is set to commence its Fall 2015 series this week, with a showing of Agnes Varda’s Cléo from 5 to 7 at the Canisius College Science Hall Wednesday evening. The following night they will screen of Satyajit Ray’s Aparajito at the North Park Theater. The series is curated by Buffalo-based film critic Jordan M. Smith, alongside fellow critic and the series’ Artistic Director Jared Mobarak. Smith was inspired to start the CCC out of his passion for cinema and his desire to bring film lovers in Buffalo together.
“As a film critic working for online trades which cover the international market, rather than whatever comes out in the local multiplex, I found it frustrating to see all the exciting, beautiful films that never made it to Buffalo streaming through theaters week after week across the nation but not here. While that is understandable, considering Buffalo isn’t a large market for cinema and thus smaller films are often overlooked, the fact that there are very few local outlets programming repertoire cinema, hosting one-off screenings of new films or attempting to bring filmmakers to the city of Buffalo, just seemed a little sad to me,” explains Smith. “In a city bursting with artistic endeavors, I found myself thinking, can film culture thrive here?”
The answer, Smith shortly found out, is yes. Through Smith’s contacts in the industry, his thoughtful selection process, and the cooperation of local theaters, the series’ Summer 2015 screenings proved very successful. “We’ve been very lucky to be working with the fine folks at the gorgeous North Park Theatre to screen outstanding new restorations of films like Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt, as well as recent releases like Brett Morgen’s instant rock-doc classic Cobain: Montage of Heck,” says Smith. “In addition , we’ve worked this past summer to revive the Downtown Central Library’s beautiful Mason O. Damon theater by hosting events with international filmmakers like Fredrik Gertten and Stephen Broomer, and even going so far as to reintroduce 16mm back into the projection booth thanks to the help of Squeaky Wheel.”
Since the series’ inception, Smith has hoped to present various types of programs of films in order to draw out themes and ideas between works and within oeuvres of filmmakers. The series expansion to showing films at Canisius College presented Smith and his partners with the opportunity to show a series of films in collaboration with their Women & Gender Studies Program. “Instantly I thought of Agnès Varda [director of Cléo from 5 to 7], grandmother of the French New Wave, master of the essay film and feminist to the core. She’s an incredible, unique force in the history of cinema and she’s still producing films,” explains Smith.
Smith is also very excited about other films being screened this season. “Playing on the idea of paired films, we thought screening a double feature of Orson Welles’ noir films, Touch of Evil and The Lady from Shanghai, would be a perfect start. Additionally, we’re bringing the two Ray films that followed in the wake of his Pather Panchali, with Aparajito, and as soon we lock down a date, Apur Sansar, because the recent restoration of these films is a remarkable achievement in film preservation that Buffalo deserves to see. Lastly, we chose Carl Theodor Dryer’s Day of Wrath because we wanted to show a film for Halloween that centered on that pivotal but cinematically overlooked spook, the witch—and Dreyer’s haunting rumination on the dark arts is nothing short of remarkable.”
By bringing filmmakers and audiences together through great films, discussion, and drinks, Smith is very hopeful the screening series will continue to do just what its name suggests—cultivate cinema culture in Buffalo. “I believe our city is a community full of cinephiles who just haven’t met one another yet. We hope to make that connection through the glory of the silver screen.”
For more info visit cultivatecinemacircle.com.blog comments powered by Disqus
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