New Winter Film Series in Port Townsend

This from our friends up at Centrum and the Port Townsend Film Festival :

The Port Townsend Film Festival and Centrum have partnered to create “3 by 3: The Fort Worden Winter Film Series.” Curated by Tom Skerritt , Reel Grrls , and Kathleen Murphy , the series will screen nine films, one every Tuesday evening from Jan. 6 to March 3. Each film will be introduced by one of the guest curators, and a question-and-answer period with the guest curator will follow each film. Films will be shown in the historic Joseph F. Wheeler Theater, built in the 1940’s to serve as the Fort Worden’s original movie house. Tickets are $12; $8 with current student ID, and are available by calling Centrum at 360-385.3102, Ext. 117 and online at www.fortwordenwinterfilms.com. Series passes are $95. Tickets are also available at the Wheeler Theater box office one hour before the film begins.
* Reel Grrls is a unique after-school media & technology training program that empowers girls to critique media images and to gain media technology skills in a safe, open environment, mentored by a network of multi-cultural women media professionals. Each of the three films selected by Reel Grrls will be preceded by a five-minute short film. Reel Grrls chose films that were female-directed and women-focused, taking care to match each of the feature films with Reel Grrls’ participant-created shorts similar in subject matter or theme.
* The films of Tom Skerritt — an Emmy Award-winning American actor — include "M*A*S*H," "Alien," "Top Gun," "Steel Magnolias," "A River Runs Through It" and "Smoke Signals," among many others. His television series include "Gunsmoke," "Picket Fences" and "Cheers." The three films in this series offer a retrospective of his choices as an actor and testify to his range.
* Kathleen Murphy has served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington where she founded a Cinema Studies program and headed the UW Arts and Humanities Department in Continuing Education. She has served on the selection committees of the Seattle International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Murphy’s selection was based on films that artfully express the complicated connections between art and life, creativity and experience.

The schedule:
Jan. 6: "Cléo de 5 à 7 ;" screened with: "Dedicated to My Family " (Reel Grrls, 2003). Agnes Varda portrays a slice of Cléo’s life in faux real time, but this stretch from 5 to 7 p.m. is a far from random choice: It’s the last two hours Cléo must wait until hearing the results of a test for cancer. At first facing her mortality with pouty petulance, the singer wends her way through the city, eventually achieving a last-minute epiphany. With this, a more mature response to Breathless Varda transforms the typical French cinema gamine into a complex, tragic figure: the girl who’s all too good at playing plaything, forced to face the hollowness of her youth. Directed by Agnès Varda. (1962/France/90 minutes. Unrated.)
Jan. 13: "Whale Rider ;" screened with: "Definition " (Reel Grrls, 2008). Niki Caro’s movie tries to reconcile old and new, tradition and progress, just as it tries, stylistically, to reconcile the mundane and the magical–merging a thousand-year-old legend of the whale-riding founder of the Ngati Kenohi people into the world of jobless lowriders and tourist kitsch. By the time the story takes its climactic leap into the mystical, we’re ready to follow it anywhere. Directed by Niki Caro. (2002/New Zealand/101 minutes. Rated: PG-13.)
Jan. 20: "But I’m a Cheerleader ;" screened with: "Coming Out… " (Reel Grrls, 2004). In a plea for tolerance, which embraces the need for self-expression, and the idiocy of denying it, this is a comic canter through the young life of Megan who, because she likes tofu and has a picture of a girl in her locker, is deemed by her parents to be gay. Believing that the straight and narrow can be learned, they deposit her at True Directions, a camp where homosexual people are converted to heterosexuality by the “treatment director.” Directed by Jamie Babbit. (1999/USA/85 minutes. Rated: R.)
Jan. 27: "The Turning Point ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt. A film about the choices we make in life, The Turning Point presents Skerritt in a secondary but pivotal role that established his range as an actor. In the mid-twentieth century, ballet saw its brightest stars capture the public’s imagination with the flights of, among others, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Leslie Browne, both featured in this film. Often dismissed as “a woman’s picture,” in truth The Turning Point speaks to the human condition. Also starring Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine. (1977/USA/119 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 3: "Contact ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt. Based on popular scientist Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, Contact shows scientific quest as a mirror of humanity’s hunt for spiritual assurance. In this film, ‘”Do you believe in God?’” and ‘”Do you believe in aliens?’” are questions of equal magnitude. Skerritt plays an over-reaching scientist who’s determined to tie his name to the search for life beyond earth. Also stars Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. (1997/USA/153 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 10: "A River Runs Through It ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt Based on the famed novella by Norman Maclean, "A River Runs Through It" is an evocation of a time long since past. Skerritt, in one of his meatiest roles, plays a stern and strict but loving father whose guidance and instruction is rooted in his Presbyterian ministry. A celebration of fly fishing and a salute to the beauty that is Montana, "A River Runs Through It" won an Oscar for cinematography. Also starring Brad Pitt and Brenda Blethyn. (1992/USA/123 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 17: "Jules et Jim ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Jules et Jim embraces contradiction to create meaning—sad yet humorous, breathless yet contemplative, universal yet hermetic. Jules et Jim is one of the early, instantly definitive films of the French New Wave, its impact on countless scores of subsequent films impossible to gauge. An almost insurmountable liberty in the use of cinematic form, the film rises above the standard depictions of the ménage a trois. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner Directed by Francois Truffaut. (France, 1962, 105 minutes. Unrated.)
Feb. 24: "The Hours ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Nothing happens. And yet everything happens. That quiet paradox powers The Hours, an exquisitely insightful exploration of life’s little revelations — and the connections that reverberate among people who’ve never met, yet manage to touch each other’s lives just the same. Starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Ed Harris. Directed by Stephen Daldry. (USA, 2002, 114 minutes. Rated: PG-13)
March 3: "The Last Tango in Paris ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial drama is a dark, torrid masterpiece about love and grief. Marlon Brando plays Paul, a 45-year-old American in Paris, who deals with his wife’s suicide by shacking up with 20-year-old Jeanne (Maria Schneider) in an empty apartment. Like the dance it’s named after, it’s a film of passion and violence as Brando’s character pirouettes towards self-destruction. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. (Italy, 1972, 136 minutes. Rated: X.)

More later … — MM

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