May 022012

Charade opens series on May 30

By Barbara Goldman

Entering the 10th season of its Summer Classics Movie Series, the Kentucky  Theater is eager to get started on Wednesday, May 30, with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn gracing the screen together in Charade.

“Our audience is very diverse. The movies bring people back to the theater that used to come here when they were children, teenagers, or university students,” says Kentucky Theater General Manager Fred Mills. “We are very very lucky to have it here.

Mills, who has been with the theater since 1963, credits film series booker Larry Thomas with helping to once again make this film series a huge success.

“The booker has a lot of tough issues to overcome when finding us films. We seek out 35mm prints that are available and still in release,” says Mills. “Once we find those prints available the question is then raised as to what kind of condition the film is in.”

In addition, the theater receives film request from patrons throughout the year.

“People ask and offer suggestions, give us hand written notes at the ticket stand, email us. They send us hundreds of suggestions, all of which we suggest to the booker.”

The 2012 season

This season is getting kicked off in usual fashion with a rarely seen and rare studio print.

Charade is one of the best ‘Hitchcock non Hitchcock’ films there is,” says Mills about the film.  After finishing this film, Cary Grant was quoted as saying, “All I want for Christmas is to make another movie with Audrey Hepburn.”

Mills is excited to bring several films back to the series after they received such a response from the public.

“We showed The Wizard of Oz several years ago. It’s always a huge favorite. We are also very excited to be bringing back Casablanca for its 70th anniversary. A lot of folks have a very strong affection for the movie. It’s one of my favorites. It’s a feel-good movie and it’s always entertaining.”

This year’s movie variety will certainly offer something for everyone. Movies range from Woody Allen’s Oscar winning Annie Hall, to Mary Poppins, The White Heat, Pillow Talk, and It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

Classic film fans who don’t see their favorite flick listed need not be disappointed. For the second year in a row, the folks at Sqecial Media (located at 371 South Limestone) will help sponsor additional Wednesday movie nights, the selections for which are still to be decided.

“Last year the Sqecial Media stepped up and helped the series continue longer. It was a huge success. It exceeded expectations,” says Mills. “It really tapped into the University community and people who enjoy foreign films. This year instead of just sponsoring three, they wanted to do four!”

$5 per seat for all shows. Most films show twice on Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m, with the exception of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which will also play at 4 p.m. due to the Fourth of July Holiday. For more information on the series, including the schedule, go to

Mar 072012

By Barbara Goldman 

Almost daily throughout the fall and finishing this January, Lexington artist Aaron Skolnick recreated the same image of former American First Lady Jacqueline Onassis Kennedy, known more popularly as Jackie O. The images, 55 of them, which all depict Onassis at the time of her husband John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dealey Plaza, Dallas Texas, were the result of Skolnick’s daily artistic exercises that included physical constraints, time limits, and drawing the image from memory.

One of the 55 Onassis images. Photo by Aaron Skolnick.

Although the pieces travel through a series of styles and mediums that grew from the artist’s daily exercises, they stay true to the original iconic image: the former first lady, adorned in her signature pink suit and hat, white glove in front of her mouth. Each piece spotlights different facial elements visible at different times. Continue reading »

Dec 072011

By Barbara Goldman

On Wednesday, December 14, a FREE film opportunity will be available for any and all who wish to educate themselves about the past, present, and future of Appalachia. From 6:30-9:30 PM, Natasha’s Bistro & Bar (112 Esplanade) will host a critical fundraising event in support of the Appalachian Media Institute.

The AMI is a branch of Appalshop, the non-profit multidisciplinary arts and education center in the heart of Appalachia that produces original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, and multimedia. Since 1988, AMI has given central Appalachian youth the skills, technology, and resources to explore media production. The youth, in turn, create films concerning themselves and the communities from which they come. Continue reading »

Sep 142011

By Barbara Goldman

In its third, and most generous year yet, Boomslang: A Celebration of Sound and Art is a multi-venue festival presented by Kentucky’s leading student-run radio station, WRFL. One of the many characteristics setting this year’s festival apart from past years will be the strong film component, including screenings and workshops which are free and open to anyone with a curious appetite.

“Boomslang is a celebration of sound and art, and that definitely encompasses film. I always envisioned film as being a part of the festival, but wanted to incorporate the groups from Lexington doing off the cusp arts events,” says Boomslang mastermind, visionary, and orchestrator Saraya Brewer. “We have opened the door to anyone who wanted to bring any original events.”

“The first year there was not a lot of film involved. There was a lot to take on,” says Brewer, who adds that one film was shown the second year. “Lots of the musicians incorporate film, videos, and projection into their shows, but we’ve never had as many full length films shown. This year has really taken shape with three full length films.” Continue reading »

Jul 272011

By Barbara Goldman

Lexingtonians looking to raise their film IQ or perhaps tune into some fresh film chatter need not look any further than their radio dial. For shortly over a year now, WRFL has invited brave listeners everywhere to tune-in between ten and eleven A.M. to Surreelfilm, a local film show put on by local people.

The series began las spolt summer as the brain child of two of the show’s four hosts, Chris Ritter and Sam Burchett .

“We were both very cinematically curious. We found ourselves scouring movie blogs and talking about films constantly,” said Ritter. “We had the notion to share the experience.”

What began on a trial basis between the wee hours of 4-5 A.M. on Thursday nights quickly transformed into a hit show within three months and found its permanent slot on Monday mornings. Two additional hosts were added, and more and more reoccurring guests began to appear. Continue reading »

Jul 132011

Short film nears completion

By Barbara Goldman

If you’ve been doing double takes at what appear to be mermaids in downtown Lexington recently, your eyes aren’t betraying you. Sightings of the legendary long-tailed sirens of the sea have occurred in area creeks, pools, parks, restaurants, and even a clawfoot bathtub.

Local urban fantasizers and artists have found a way to bring the mythical creatures to life with the short film Waterbody, written by central Kentucky poetry/publishing diva Bianca Spriggs. The film concluded principal photography on June 12th and is anticipated to debut early this fall. Continue reading »

May 112011

Academy Award-nominated film now available on DVD

By Barbara Goldman

With a bit of magic, deceased French filmmaker and actor Jacques Tati returns to the screen in The Illusionist (L’Illusionniste), a 2010 Oscar-nominated animated film directed by Sylvain Chomet.

Tati, who died in 1982 at the age of 75, became a global legend for his silent film style. His films transcended borders with a quiet physical grace attributed to “no subtitles” being necessary no matter what language viewers spoke. Continue reading »