Special Events

Please check back frequently to view Specials at Upstate Films!

Woodstock Comedy Festival

Sept 19 – 21
Fri Sat Sun Events all over town
SUNDAY Sept 21st FILM SCREENINGS at Upstate Films 132 Tinker St Woodstock
Sunday at 12:30 IRWIN & FRAN and Sunday at 3:00 A NIGHT AT WHIPLASH
Woodstock Comedy Festival is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation with a mission: Comedy for a Cause. Each year our net profits will be donated to our charity partners Polaris Project and Family of Woodstock for the battle against human trafficking and domestic violence. Our second-annual festival is a three-day weekend event (Sept. 19-21) in the little town with a lot to laugh at, with everything from stand-up comedy to sketch comedy, improv to panels, films and more. 
Irwin & Fran Screening September 21st at 12:30 PM
Life with Professor Irwin Corey and his wife Fran. Irwin is 98 years old and is a well known comedian, entertainer and political satirist. Fran is 95 and his wife of 71 years. Dick Gregory summarizes Irwin’s contributions and family friend Susan Sarandon narrates.
*Q&A to follow with Writer/Producer/Director Jordan Stone. 83 Minutes
A Night at Whiplash Screening September 21st at 3:00 PM
Whiplash is a weekly standup show at the UCB Theatre in New York. Every Monday night at 11pm, people have a chance to see some of the best stand ups in the world today performing ten to twenty-minute sets. Hosted by Leo Allen, Whiplash has become one of NYC’s premiere standup shows. Film includes sets from comedians such as Janeane Garafolo and Eugene Mirman. *Q&A to follow with Director/Host Leo Allen, producer Jeremy Levenbach, and producer/DP Vincent Peone. 86 Minutes 
 AFAD6F5C-7B52-4D50-81D8-DF5021871CAE-150x200WCF was founded in 2011 by Chris Collins, a semi-retired psych professor who believes in a good laugh and a good cause. Either that or he had nothing better to do other than enlist the aid of the funniest people around to spread laughter in the town of Woodstock, while gaining some good karma. Chris and his team of modestly attractive producers will make the Woodstock Comedy Festival a good time (for good causes) this year, and for many years to come.
Click for WCF’s website 

Celebrate Italian Cinema with Prof. Joseph Luzzi

Sept 28
Sunday 1:30 pm $35
(This event is a fund-raiser for our classic cinema series)
Please join us for this excursion into Italian classic cinema with Professor Luzzi who will explore some of the greatest works ever to appear on the Italian screen, showing clips from masterpieces by Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Roberto Rossellinim and others.
Tickets include a signed copy of Luzzi’s new memoir, My Two Italies,
plus a complimentary glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres at Rhinebeck’s Market St. Restaurant (around the corner) where the celebration and discussion continues with Prof. Luzzi. Don’t miss out – the event promises to be an enjoyable celebration of Italy’s remarkable cinematic traditions as well as great conversation and fun. 
Joseph Luzzi is a writer and professor of Italian at Bard College. The first child in his Calabrian family born in the U.S., his recently published memoir, My Two Italies (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is the dramatic story of his Italian family’s immigration and an insider’s look at the turbulence of life in Italy today, especially during the Berlusconi years.
He is a frequent contributor of essays and reviews to publications including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Bookforum, the London Times Literary Supplement, and many others. His first book, Romantic Europe and the Ghost of Italy (Yale Univ. Press 2008), received the Scaglione Prize for Italian Studies from the Modern Language Association, and he is the author of the forthcoming A Cinema of Poetry: Aesthetics of the Italian Art Film (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2014). His work has been translated into Italian and Portuguese, and he has lectured throughout the world on art, film, literature, and Italian culture. He has received an essay award from the Dante Society of America, a teaching prize from Yale College, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. We’ve enjoyed his previous film and discussion sessions here at Upstate Films Rhinebeck, and welcome him back. I love Luzzi.
Visit Prof Luzzi’s website
Read Reviews

Black Maria Film and Video Festival: Documentary Shorts

In Rhinebeck 
October 2
Thursday 8pm
Tickets $12/$11/$10
Thursday October 2nd, Upstate Films will host The Black Maria Film Festival, along with three guest speakers — Festival Director Jane Steuerwald and film directors Theresa Loong and Jay Weichun. We will screen four short documentary films, followed by a q&a at the theater and drinks at Liberty Restaurant (cash bar).
The films that form the centerpiece of the Black Maria Film and Video Festival honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture. The cutting edge work that makes up the festival’s touring program focuses on exceptional short films that are not presented as sidebars to feature length films; they are the heart and soul of the festival.
The program will include the following shorts:

  • A Place of Spirit (Natalie Conn and Jay Weichun, Brooklyn, NY) The story of Andrea Phillips, a Staten Island based artist facing eviction from her home after 44 years.
  • Families Are Forever (Caitlin Ryan and Vivian Kleiman, San Francisco, CA.) Tom and Wendy are devout Mormon parents living in a conservative community when they discover that their son is gay.
  • The Apothecary (Helen Hood Scheer, Palo Alto, CA.) In an impoverished former mining town in the American Southwest, a beloved druggist runs the community’s main hub: the sole pharmacy within 4,000 square miles. He eagerly plays multiple roles as surrogate doctor, life counselor, and community benefactor. His sanguine public persona, however, belies a long-suffered private pain for which there is no drug, no cure, and no relief.
  • Every Day is a Holiday (Theresa Loong, New York, NY.) Growing up in suburban New Jersey, Chinese-American filmmaker Theresa Loong knew little about her father’s past. One day, she discovered his diary, written when he was a teenager and POW in a Japanese work camp during World War II. In it, he vowed to make ‘every day a holiday’ if he survived. “Every Day is a Holiday” tells the painful but life-affirming story of her father’s unlikely journey, from Chinese Malay teenager and Japanese POW, to merchant seaman, Veterans Affairs doctor and naturalized citizen of the country that liberated him: the United States.
This project is made possible in part with public funds from NYSCA’s’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (www.NYSCA.org   www.eARTS.org).
Click here for the Black Maria Film Festival website

London National Theatre: MEDEA

Coming Oct 5
(UK / 2014 / Directed by Carrie Cracknell)
Unrated / 105 mins.
Terrible things breed in broken hearts. Medea is a wife and a mother. For the sake of her husband, Jason, she’s left her home and borne two sons in exile. But when he abandons his family for a new life, Medea faces banishment and separation from her children. Cornered, she begs for one day’s grace.
It’s time enough. She exacts an appalling revenge and destroys everything she holds dear. Helen McCrory (The Last of the Haussmans) takes the title role in Euripides’ powerful tragedy, in a new version by Ben Power, directed by Carrie Cracknell, with music written by Will Gregory and Alison Goldfrapp.
View Trailer Read a Review

London National Theatre: A Streetcar Named Desire

Coming Soon
(UK / 2014 / Directed by Benedict Andrews)
Unrated / Length tba
The fastest-selling production in the Young Vic’s history, Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire will be broadcast from their London home by National Theatre Live… with Gillian Anderson (The X-Files, The Fall) as Blanche DuBois, Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Kill Your Darlings) as Stanley, and Vanessa Kirby (BBC’s Great Expectations, Three Sisters at the Young Vic) as Stella.
As Blanche’s fragile world crumbles, she turns to her sister Stella for solace – but her downward spiral brings her face to face with the brutal, unforgiving Stanley Kowalski. Visionary director Benedict Andrews returns to the Young Vic following his Critics’ Circle Award-winning Three Sisters.
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Martin Scorsese presents Masterpieces of Polish Cinema

Series ongoing in both Rhinebeck and Woodstock
(Poland/1950s into the 1980s)
“In 2011, I had the opportunity to visit the Polish National Film School in Łódź, Poland, at the invitation of the great director, Andrzej Wajda. It was a trip I had wanted to make for years as I had long been drawn to the school and to Polish cinema from the time I was a film student at NYU, studying under my teacher and mentor, Haig Manoogian. It was at NYU—a school modeled after the legendary film program at Łódź – that I learned not just how films are made, but why.The school nurtured in me an unshakable belief in artistic expression grounded in Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, the surreptitious poetry of the old Hollywood masters, and Polish cinema: the great, sweeping, humanistic, intimate and profound movies that were an integral part of what, looking back, seems more and more like a golden age of international cinema.”

 There are many revelations in the “Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” series and whether you’re familiar with some of these films or not, it’s an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish cinema, on the big screen in brilliantly restored digital masters. — Martin Scorsese

“… This is a cinema of personal vision, social commitment and poetic responsibility from which we’ve all learned and which sets a high standard that, as a filmmaker, I strive to achieve with every film, every time out. Each of the films in this special series embodies what Wajda called “the ‘impertinent freedom of creativity in the cinema” These are films that have great emotional and visual power—they’re “serious” films that, with their depth, stand up to repeated viewings. The subtext of great conflict and cultural identity is universal, even if you don’t know the history of Poland, the themes in these films will resonate, as they did profoundly for me. There are many revelations in the “Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” series and whether you’re familiar with some of these films or not, it’s an incredible opportunity to discover for yourself the great power of Polish cinema, on the big screen in brilliantly restored digital masters. I hope you will enjoy these great films as much I do.Thanks to The Film Foundation and Milestone Films in the United States, and Propaganda Foundation, DI Factory and KinoRP in Poland for making this magnificent series possible.”
View Trailer click for films and times


Coming this fall
Date tba
(USA / 2014 / Directed by Robert Greene)
In Person: Director Robert Greene and actress Brandy Burre
With luxurious slow-motion sequences and staging worthy of a ‘50s melodrama, Robert Greene’s celebrated new film follows Brandy Burre, an actress (HBO’s The Wire) who gave up working to start a family and decided to re-start her career years later.
With glimpses of her stint on The Wire and a funny peek at Burre sifting through paltry royalty checks while her daughter plays nearby, Actress presents a sharp contrast between the allure of the spotlight and the dull rhythms that continue once it recedes. But as she returns to work, the affirmative aspect of her careerism is juxtaposed with conventional expectations about what a woman in her late 30s is supposed to want. Pivoting on an off-screen event that feels as impactful as the drama that takes place on camera, it becomes unclear how much Brandy is sacrificing the feelings and futures of her loved ones on the altar of self-interest. Acting, in the end, is not only Brandy’s profession; it’s something that she does all the time, whether interacting with her restaurateur husband Tim, her children, or Greene’s camera. With a dramatic, affective, and polyvalent ending, Greene’s film is documentary portraiture at its finest, taking on the resonance of a densely packed short story. Unrated / 86 mins. 
This project is made possible in part with public funds from NYSCA’s’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (www.NYSCA.org   www.eARTS.org).
View Trailer
Reviews forthcoming