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The 34th Black Maria Film Festival: Short Film Program

In Rhinebeck 
July 10
Friday 7:00
Join us for a special evening of award-winning short films, followed by a q&a with festival director Jane Steuerwald. Tickets $12 Adults / $10 Seniors and Students / $8 Members and Kids under 16. 
The Black Maria Film Festival returns to Upstate Films! Honoring Thomas Edison, inventor and creator of the motion picture, the festival features award-winning narrative, experimental, animated, and documentary shorts. This year’s presentation at Upstate features award-winning films from each category.
Featured titles include:
  • Umbrella House – Documentary. 10 min. by Catalina Santamaria, New York, NY. “Umbrella House” reveals the stories of the squatter community – most of them  immigrants – that took over abandoned buildings in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, reconstructed them and made them into homes.
  • SoundPrint – Experimental. 8 min. by Monteith McCollum, Vestal, NY. Explores the marks left by sonic frequencies on various materials and landscapes, natural and artificial.
  • Egghead – Experimental. 1 min. by Patrick Longstreth, Marina Del Rey, CA. A bizarre breakfast encounter explores gender roles, reproduction, and the cycle of human life.
  • Fishwife – Animation. 4 min. by Luke Jaeger, Northampton, MA. An enigmatic dancing man and a dog-headed woman celebrate the birth of a fish-child, then watch as it takes flight.
  • Steel Mill Rolling – Documentary. 12 min. by Ross Nugent, Pittsburgh, PA. Equal parts landscape, industrial and portrait film, “Steel Mill Rolling” is a document of a functioning steel mill in Western Pennsylvania.
  • The Stick Maker – Documentary. 4 min. by Curtis Albucher, Philadelphia, PA. For the Onondaga, the game of lacrosse is played for the pleasure of the Creator, and has a deep meaning for the players and their community.
  • The Ballad of Holland Island House – Animation. 4 min. by Lynn Tomlinson, Owings Mills, MD. “The Ballad of Holland Island House” tells the true story of the last house on a sinking island in the Chesapeake Bay, brought to life through fluidly transforming animated clay-on-glass paintings.
  • Self Portrait Portrait – Documentary. 6 min. by James Hollenbaugh, Lancaster, PA. Bryan Lewis Saunders has been creating a self-portrait every day for nearly twenty years.
  • Return to Dak To – Documentary. 49 min. by Christopher Upham, San Francisco, CA. Director and combat medic Christopher Upham journeys to vibrant contemporary Vietnam with four veteran comrades.

We have all heard the clichés and assumptions often made about filmmakers working in the short form.  Most typical is that the work is meant to be a “calling card” primarily to gain access to the world of commercial feature length film.  Not true for the filmmakers who continue to push the boundaries of the moving image and who have exhibited their work for decades in the Black Maria.  We appreciate and celebrate the short form in all its permutations for its artistic challenges, aesthetics, and substance. – Black Maria Film Festival

 

Unrated / 98 mins.

Amy

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Starts Friday
in Woodstock 
July 10 – 16
Fri-Sun 5:00 8:00
Mon-Thur 7:30 
(UK/2015/Directed by: Asif Kapadia)
R / 128 mins
Six-time Grammy winner Amy Winehouse, with a voice described as a combination of Billy Holiday, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan, was a pop star/jazz artist who wrote and sung from her heart until her untimely death at 27.
Despite just two albums to her name Amy Winehouse’s appeal crossed cultural and psycho-demographic boundaries. But while her music made her a huge star, her chaotic personal life stole headlines. Featuring extensive unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks, this moving and vital film shines a light on the world we live in. A pure jazz artist in the most authentic sense – her raw honesty and supreme talent resulted in some of the most unique and adored songs of the modern era. Her huge success, however, resulted in relentless and invasive media attention which coupled with her troubled relationships and precarious lifestyle saw her life tragically unravel. Amy Winehouse died from alcohol poisoning in July 2011 at the age of 27.

 It’s a perceptive examination of the singer’s need for love — from her friends, family, colleagues, husband and public — and the ways in which that need went unmet, or was exploited, at the times it ached in her the most.
– Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

View Trailer Read Reviews

Irrational Man

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Coming in July
(US/2015/Writer/Director Woody Allen)
R / 94 mins
In the past few years we’ve seen A SERIOUS MAN (Coen Bros) and A SINGLE MAN (Tom Ford) and now, Woody Allen’s 45th film as writer/director gives us IRRATIONAL MAN referencing the title of a popular 1958 book that was meant to explain French existentialism.
His latest – another film about the “perfect murder” – concocts a tale about a philosophy professor whose dismal depression may be cured by committing a murder, not for love or money, but for a kind of justice. Set at a New England liberal arts college, Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) is the new philosophy prof whose reputation as a womanizing alcoholic precedes him. Soon after his arrival he’s corralled by an unhappily married colleague, Rita Richards (Parker Posey) and he tries fending off a bright student Jil Pollard (Emma Stone). At his Cannes’ Film Fest press conference, Allen said,“I think in everybody’s life there are turning points when you suddenly realize that something momentous could happen if you make a choice. In this case, the choice that Joaquin’s character makes is irrational, but it’s not so irrational given the choices that we all make in our lives.”
View Trailer Read Screen Daily review from Cannes

The Yes Men Are Revolting

Coming Soon
(USA / 2014 / Directed by Laura Nix and The Yes Men)
R / 90 mins.
Yes Man Mike Bonanno in person on Friday July 17th. Time TBA. Upstate Films Rhinebeck.
In need of a funny movie about climate change? Look no further. In THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING, the infamous prankster activists turn their imaginative shaming schemes toward corporations and governments doing little to address the escalating crisis.
THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING chronicles the latest schemes of pranksters Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, the infamous activists known for duping the media with their impersonations of corporate hustlers and government stooges. With global warming at the top of their agenda, the duo travel to Washington, Copenhagen, Uganda, and the Albertan tar sands, recording every step of their journey as they meet with collaborators and pull off witty stunts. But things become challenging as the pair enters a new chapter in their lives. No longer in their 20s, both have university teaching posts to maintain, and both have reached various levels of domestic stability. Mike has a wife and two kids, while Andy has found a committed boyfriend. The stress of nurturing their relationships gives rise to tensions that threaten to fracture the duo’s long partnership. But they can’t quit each other for long, particularly once Occupy Wall Street re-awakens their faith in popular protest. A fresh reflection on the question of how one sustains a life of activism, THE YES MEN ARE REVOLTING is as sincere and heartwarming as it is intelligent and laugh-out-loud funny. If you’ve never seen a Yes Men stunt, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve followed their antics in earlier films, you’ll delight in this latest barrage.
View Trailer Film website

The Overnight

Coming Soon
(USA / 2015 / Directed by Patrick Brice)
R / 79 mins. 
Alex (Adam Scott, Parks and Recreation) and Emily (Taylor Schilling, Orange is the New Black) are desperate to find new friends after moving to Los Angeles’s east side. When the gregarious Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) approaches them at the playground and invites them to his house, the two accept his invitation and unknowingly stumble into an unforgettable evening.
Toting a bottle of embarrassingly cheap red wine, they show up to Kurt’s palatial abode and are welcomed by his beautiful wife, Charlotte (Judith Godreche). After a pleasant dinner and conversation, Kurt’s gentle mastery of lulling children to sleep encourages Alex and Emily’s feelings that they’ve found their new best friends — at least until Charlotte lets her hand wander onto Alex’s leg. As the night winds on, the adults play on, and the sexual tension ramps up. With a perfectly cast quartet of actors and a script that delights in subverting expectations, THE OVERNIGHT is a fresh, sharply observed, offbeat adult comedy that is as unique as it is entertaining.
View Trailer Film Website

Rocks in My Pockets

July 25
Sat 1:00
Origin: (Country/Year/Writer/Director)
A special presentation by The Hudson Valley Programmers Group, the screening will be followed by a q&a with director Signe Baumane. 
Latvia, the late 1920’s. Anna, a young woman, pretty and educated, falls in love with an adventurous entrepreneur, 30 years her senior. But with marriage comes great jealousy, and the entrepreneur hides Anna away in the forest, far from other men, where she bears him eight children. The Great Depression hits them hard. Then Latvia is overrun with invasions by the Soviets, then the Nazis, then the Soviets once again.
Anna is a pillar of strength, defying the hardships, raising her young, teaching them survival secrets of the forest. But something inside her is terribly wrong.
Years later, Signe, a young artist, asks her father, “How did my grandmother die?” Her father is evasive. His seven siblings are evasive, as well. Signe strongly suspects that Anna committed suicide. Clues of mental illness had always leaked through the family stories. Signe suffers from depression herself. Her suicidal fantasies get her locked away for four months in a Soviet mental institute. Three of her cousins, all women, battle madness, as well. Could there be a link between Anna and the four granddaughters? Defying the stigma that silences so many, Signe takes us on a journey deep into her own depression where she looks to confront the family demons. – Hudson Valley Programmers Group
Unrated / 88 mins. 
View Trailer
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