Westchester Magazine's Guide to Fall 2011 Events and Activities in Westchester County, NY: Films, Movies, Screenings, Film Festivals, Q&A with Celebrities, and More
❯❯❯ Talk Cinema
September 13, October 4, October 25, November 29, December 13
The Performing Arts Center
Film writer Harlan Jacobson screened The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—the original Swedish version, of course—before almost anyone else here had a glimpse of Noomi Rapace’s nose-ringed face, thank you very much. And he doesn’t plan on getting scooped this season, either. For his Talk Cinema series, Jacobson shows an indie or foreign film before its release, then hosts a discussion afterward with a filmmaker or critic. You don’t get to know what film you see beforehand, but speculating is half the fun.
❯❯❯ West Is West
The Avon Theatre Film Center
Presented by the Avon and the Global Organization for People of Indian Origin, Connecticut Chapter, West Is West—the sequel to Brit hit East Is East—follows Sajid Khan, an adolescent growing up in the multicultural Khan family (Pakistani father, English mother). Producer Leslee Udwin will be present at the screening, and she’ll stick around for a Q&A afterward. It might be hard to focus the questions on the movie, though, because Udwin’s personal life—her first producing project was based on her legal struggle with her criminal landlord—is as fascinating as anything you can put on screen.
❯❯❯ A Tribute to Steven Spielberg
photo by Brian Bowen Smith
Jacob Burns Film Center
Chances are, something from a Steven Spielberg film has stayed with you long after the lights have come up, be it a love of Reese’s Pieces inspired by E.T. or a fear of swimming after Jaws. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary, the Jacob Burns Film Center will honor the legendary director at a tribute (co-chaired by newly elected board member Ron Howard). Spielberg will be on-hand himself to collect the JBFC Vision Award, and proceeds from the gala benefit the Center’s education and outreach programs. Keep an eye out for other Spielberg-related sightings and screenings.
❯❯❯ The Westchester Italian
October 14 to October 16
The Picture House
Italian culture in a Pelham location—that’s amore. The three-day film festival features films imported from across the Atlantic. The current program has not been announced yet, but, in the past, the lineup has featured both classic and contemporary films, and last year’s offerings included Giovanna’s Father and The Cézanne Affair. Look for special events and guests, too—a perfect excuse to visit the newly renovated theater if you haven’t already.
If the Italian films didn’t do it for you, maybe the French will: the Avon Theatre Film Center and the Alliance Française of Greenwich host a screening of Le Rayon Vert as part of their French Cinémathèque series (September 22). Think about the outdoors, even when sitting in a climate-controlled movie theater, with the Jacob Burns Film Center’s Focus on Nature series (October TBA). Ron Simon, curator of television and radio for the Paley Center for Media, pays a visit to the Greenwich Classic Film Series to host a screening of Marty (November 7, 8).
[Anniversary Watch: 10 Years]
Jacob Burns Film Center
Q&A with Steve Apkon, Executive Director
Photo by Lynda Shenkman Curtis
Is the Jacob Burns Film Center where you wanted it to be when you started out ten years ago?
Everything that has happened has so far exceeded any of our expectations. I think that the most important thing we’ve been able to accomplish is a sense of community.
Why did you choose Steven Spielberg to be the main attraction at your tenth anniversary gala?
If there’s one director working in film in the past ten years to have come, who could be better than Steven Spielberg? He’s been such an inspiration to filmmakers. He’s been one of the most important American filmmakers of the past decades because he’s a true storyteller, and storytelling is at the core of our mission.
Our first outdoor screening was of E.T. I have this wonderful email he sent to our audience about how the idea for E.T. came to him when he was outdoors looking at the sky, and how great it was to have it screen outdoors. For ten years, it’s been a dream of mine to one day welcome him to Pleasantville, and now that it’s happening on the occasion of our tenth anniversary—it’s an anniversary gift that’s better than anything I could have asked for.
What’s your favorite Spielberg movie?
It depends on the moment, but it’s hard to go wrong with Jaws. Too many horror directors today show too much on screen. It’s too easy to do that. It’s harder to hold back and show restraint and build the kind of suspense that Jaws has.