Saturday, June 11 events celebrating the Film Society of Lincoln Center's launch of the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center continued the weekend's mini-film fest that filled each venue and caused more than a little consternation as film fans were forced to choose which screening or panel or Q&A they wanted to grab a seat for.
The rush lines were busy all weekend long as nearly everyone that took a chance on catching a screening or film event on impulse were able to get in and enjoy the new Film Center. (Photo by Justina Walford)
I AM A STUDIO: NOTES ON BRAIN, SELF AND CINEMA
Saturday's kickoff event in the Francesca Beale Theater featured renowned USC neuroscientist Antonio Damasio delivering a presentation on how we experience films. No – how we REALLY experience films. During the course of the presentation, Damasio provided a perspective of what happens as we sit in a theater watching a movie on the big screen. He stated that “we are like an entire studio, not just a camera,” explaining that the brain is equivalent to being both screenwriter, producer, and director, etc. – not organized in the same way, but still functioning as one organism. Damasio also specified that “the cerebral cortex produces detailed images of the world and manipulates them. It doesn’t produce feelings, it reproduces them.” (Reporting by Ivria L. Dubs.)
Antonio Damasio explains that “this is your brain on movies”. (Photo by John Wildman)
Antonio Damasio signs his new book for a new fan. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
FSLC took advantage of Jez Butterworth being in town for the Tonys (as his hit play “Jerusalem” was nominated for 6 awards) to present a very rare screening of his 1997 film MOJO, starring Ian Hart, Ewen Bremner and Harold Pinter. Butterworth held forth afterwards on going from stage to screen as a writer and director, directing Harold Pinter and his thoughts about what it takes to make it as a writer these days.
Jez Butterworth talks movies and stage with FSLC's Scott Foundas. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
Butterworth was amused and admitted he was somewhat surprised by some elements of MOJO, which he hadn't seen in some time. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
NEW FACES OF NEW YORK INDEPENDENT FILM PANEL
The Film Center's Amphitheater played host to a spirited conversation with several young New York filmmakers about the state of making movies independently today. Key quotes included:
“The first time I shot a short I was like, this makes sense to me.” – Lena Dunham
“A friend of mine once said, 'Date as many girls as you can and make as many movies as you can so you can get surprised by some of them.'” – Josh Safdie
“You physically feel cinema when it works.” – Ted Hope
“There is an encouragement in New York City to keep moving, keep moving.” – Josh Mond
“I lost 7 pounds and I haven't had a single idea.” – Lena Dunham (on spending 3 months in L.A.)
“When you see a film that doesn't have respect for people, it's like running into someone on the street who doesn't have respect for people.” – Benh Zeitlin
“All filmmakers have to be criminals.” – Josh Safdie
(reporting by Serena Koch)
The Amphitheater was bursting at the seams with a standing room audience for its inaugural filmmaker panel. (Photo by Justina Walford)
TWILIGHT's Elizabeth Reaser was in the audience to support Gavin Wiesen, her director from THE ART OF GETTING BY. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
TINY FURNITURE's Lena Dunham. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
Back row (left to right) Gavin Wiesen (writer/director of THE ART OF GETTING BY), Lena Dunham (writer/director/star of TINY FURNITURE), Jody Lee Lipes (DP of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE and TINY FURNITURE), Sean Durkin (writer/director of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), Mike Cahill (director/co-writer of ANOTHER EARTH), Josh Mond (producer of AFTERSCHOOL and MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE), Antonio Campos (writer/director of AFTERSCHOOL)
Front row (left to right) Ben (co-director of DADDY LONG LEGS), Ray Tintori (co-writer of GLORY AT SEA), Benh Zeitlin (director/co-writer of GLORY AT SEA), moderator Ted Hope, FSLC's Rose Kuo. (Photo by Godlis)
CINEMATHEQUE FRANCAISE SILENTS PRESENTS “GRIBICHE”
FSLC presented a screening of Jacques Feyder's silent classic GRIBICHE (1926) about a young boy who pines for his dead mother as he struggles to find happiness under the same roof with his stepmother and stepsister. The screening in the Walter Reade Theater was accompanied with a live piano performance by Donald Sosin.
Donald Sosin providing the live accompaniment to GRIBICHE. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
KEVIN SMITH'S SMOVIOLA PRESENTS “VALLEY GIRL”
Kevin Smith gave director Martha Coolidge, director of photography Fred Elmes and star Deborah Foreman their due with a special screening of 80s pop culture staple VALLEY GIRL. During the lengthy Q&A following the film, Smith spoke of the film's influence on his work and happily gave credit for a line or two he may have lifted from the film's dialogue. Coolidge gave much insight into the long and winding road that led her to helm the comedy and how she and Fred Elmes arrived at the now signature visuals. And yes, there was plenty of talk about the young Nicolas Cage's first big screen starring role.
Kevin Smith gives props to VALLEY GIRL director Martha Coolidge, star Deborah Foreman and DP Fred Elmes. (Photo by Godlis)
Martha Coolidge explains to Kevin Smith how much nudity she was required to include in VALLEY GIRL. (Photo by Justina Walford)
VALLEY GIRL Deborah Foreman gets a photo keepsake and VALLEY GIRL fan of fans Kevin Smith gets a memory he'll never forget. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
Film Society of Lincoln Center used the occasion of the Film Center's launch to debut its first From Britain with Love screening, as they showed S.J. Clarkson's TOAST. Starring Helena Bonham Carter and Freddie Highmore, the film is a loving adaptation of Nigel Slater's autobiographical novel.
FSLC's Scott Foundas talks to director S.J Clarkson following the screening of her film, TOAST. (Photo by Andrew Levengood)
FALL ON YOUR SWORD
The celebrated and Clio Award-winning music group performed in the Film Center's new Amphitheater as a warm up of sorts for a special sneak preview screening of ANOTHER EARTH, for which they provided the music score.
Fall On Your Sword performs. (Photo by Justina Walford)