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Screen Shots


Fall brings notable film series and festivals

Thank god that the worst summer movie season in memory has finally ended. (I know that I and others of my ilk say that every September, but every summer the Hollywood blockbusters get worse and worse, and this year I would be very surprised to hear anyone argue that the crop was anything less than third-rate.)

Now that the kids are going back to school and we’re thinking of putting away the shorts and unpacking the sweaters, local film programmers and bookers are readying their fall schedules.

The new entry for 2010 is Buffalo Screams, the first installment of a horror film festival. Although the number of locally made scary movies are probably enough to fill up a weekend (in this case, the weekend before Halloween), Buffalo Screams will bring in films and filmmakers from around the world, including some non-horror genre fare. Organizers and local horrormeisters Emil Novak and Gregory Lamberson, who are certainly tied into the community, give this a better than average chance of becoming a yearly fixture. The first announced feature is the documentary Herschell Gordon Lewis: The Godfather of Gore. Keep up with new announcements at

The next edition of the ambitious Buffalo International Film Festival unspools in October, with a months worth of varied vary at locations including the North Park Theater, the Screening Room in Williamsville, and the downtown library, where a series of movies based on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe will be shown for afternoon audiences. The schedule is also still in development, but among the announced events are a pre-opening gala of a new print of Fritz Lang’s 1925 masterpiece Metropolis, including 25 minutes of recently restored footage, at the Market Arcade on Fri. Sept. 24. For more news, visit

The big event on the Hallwalls calendar this fall is its piece of the puzzle that is Beyond/In Western New York, the exhibition showcasing the work of more than 100 artists over a dozen local museums and galleries. In conjunction with the series, Hallwalls will present Syracuse’s Tom Sherman, whose work involves video in a rural context, on Oct. 29; the collective Virocode, who will present a sample of their work over the past two decades exploring the role of science in our culture (Nov. 5); Toronto’s underground artists Kim Kozzi and Dai Skus, who as Fastwurms have been using consumer media to create performances and installations since 1979 (Nov. 12); and Buffalo theoretical artist Jamie O’Neill (aka “Kurt Weibers”) on Dec. 1. Alfred media artist Jason Bernagozzi will also have a video installation in the vestibule of Hallwalls cinema running throughout the fall.

Apart from Beyond/In, Hallwalls will present on December 5 a screening and reception in conjunction with the Artpark retrospective exhibition at the University at Buffalo including works produced during residencies by Anthony Bannon and Paul Sharits. Look for new Hallwalls announcements at

Sugar City, the Allentown art gallery which began a more-or-less monthly program of free screenings this past spring, continues with a Halloween program of Carnival Of Souls on October 25 and the new animated classic Sita Sings The Blues on November 22.

Williamsville’s The Screening Room will be the venue for some of the above events, along with their own ongoing presentation of alternative film fare. Next weekend you can look forward to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo; over the course of the fall you can also see an week-long run of Metropolis starting on September 25; the local premier of the independent film Lovely Still, starring Ellen Burstyn and Martin Landau (September 24); and the original, uncut version of 1972’s The Wicker Man (TBA).

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