Sep 262012

A listing of events and commentary on recent film/performing arts news.

By Michael Dean Benton

I am writing an article for the October edition of North of Center about the Kentucky Theater’s upcoming 90th Anniversary celebration and their renovation plans, which includes a move to digital projection in the main screening room.  While preparing to interview Kentucky Theater owner Fred Mills, my colleague Don Boes left a copy of a recent New York Times dialogue between Mahola Darghis and Andrew O’Hehir on “how digital is changing the nature of movies.” 

Their dialogue is part of a larger cultural debate about whether the predicted industry-wide shift to solely digital production and exhibition of movies will irrevocably change how we think about and experience movies. Despite industry claims that the production and exhibition of celluloid film will cease to meaningfully exist, most students of art history will recognize that these claims have been made countless times as new technologies get introduced and change the way artists practice their art. (In fact we only need to look to the introduction of digital in photography or the anxieties that television would permanently siphon off cinema audiences.)  Regardless, there is an industry wide fear amongst cinema owners that they must make the expensive switch to digital production or lose the ability to screen major studio releases—which would effectively mean losing the majority of their audiences.

I will, no doubt, be returning to this issue.

Film events from 9/26 – 10/3

September 26: Knife in the Water (Poland: Roman Polanski, 1962: 94 mins)
Kentucky Theater, 7:15 pm
Polanski’s Polish feature debut is a taut thriller. A tense, claustrophobic tale of personal conflict played out on a small boat on a lake.

September 28: Halloween (USA: Rob Zombie, 2007: 109 mins)
Kentucky Theater, midnight
Zombie’s remake of the legendary 1978 John Carpenter film divided audiences.  Some celebrated it as a bold overhaul and re-imagining of the original story, while others condemned if as a failed attempt full of narrative holes.

September 29: Evil Dead II (USA: Sam Raimi, 1987: 84 mins)
Kentucky Theater, midnight
Legendary cult film that was literally passed along by word-of-mouth as a must see cult classic until it became required viewing for horror fans.  This series launched the career of Sam Raimi as a blockbuster filmmaker and catapulted star Bruce Campbell into cult status.  Also a pioneering blending of horror and comedy.

October 3: Weekend (United Kingdom: Andrew Haigh, 2011: 97 mins)
Kentucky Theater, 7:15 pm
Haigh’s critically celebrated second film was lauded for its adult approach to sex and romance between two London men who meet in a bar. This is the last film of the Rosa Goddard International Film Festival, the first of two film gatherings sponsored by sQecial Media. Their second, a GLSO Queer Film Series, will run at the downtown library’s Farish Theatre beginning in October.

October 3: My Neighbor Totoro (Japan: Hayao Miyazaki, 1988: 86 mins)
Bluegrass Film Society – Main auditorium of BCTC at 7:30 pm
Japan’s master animator Miyazaki and Studio Gihbli’s beloved classic about the adventures of two young girls that move with their dad to the country to be close to their mother. As they begin to explore the countryside they come into contact with magical creatures, including Tortoros, who act as guides to this new magical world.

If you are interested in publicizing your film or performing arts event contact me at

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