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The boy in "La Luna" may contain a piece of us all. Via Pixar.
By Megan Ginise 1.20.2015

Seeing the World Through Animated Eyes

Short films may not be as small as you think. From Marvel studios to Pixar productions, short films can be a powerhouse tool for creating meaningful experiences expressed within a [short] time frame–everything you need from live action, documentary, and animated stories. There’s a little bit of little in all of us, and short films…

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Directors Kaniella Koffler and Eitan Shefer delve into the unknown in "Stairs to No End." Via Short of the Week.
By Olga Verkhotina 1.13.2015

Shorts as Therapy

We’ve probably been asking ourselves “What is the purpose of art?” for as long as art has existed. In their collaboration book “Art as Therapy,” modern-day philosopher Alain de Botton and historian John Armstrong give us a break from digging deep. Instead, they offer a neat outline of ways to use art as a tool…

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In "Force Majeure," the sheer power of the French Alps serves as backdrop to the fragility of one couple's marriage. Via Magnolia Pictures.
By Fae Giffen 1.4.2015

On Mother Nature: A force unlike any other

Problems, villains, obstacles, MacGuffins: Whatever you call them, the movies need them. Without a crime to solve or a couple to fall in love against all odds, we don’t really have much to talk about, do we? The greater the stakes, the greater the reward. We need something to test us and give us the…

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"Birdman" from Alejandro González Iñárritu. Via Fox Searchlight.
By Jefferson Beavers 1.2.2015

Filmworks board picks favorite films of 2014

JEFFERSON BEAVERS President “Birdman” — A film student’s dream movie, this imaginative black comedy from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is edited to look like one long, bleary take. I see the story of Michael Keaton’s aging superhero struggling to claim some sort of relevance as a much-needed commentary in a year fully saturated with…

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Kristy Page has been volunteering at Filmworks movies for so long that she can't actually remember how she got started.
By Jefferson Beavers 12.25.2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Kristy Page

December 2014 volunteer in the spotlight: Kristy Page Occupation: Kristy works as an elementary school substitute teacher, and she’s studying at National University online to become a special education teacher. “My mom was a special ed teacher. I hung out a lot in her classroom and I got interested from there.” What do you like…

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The warm, muted tones of a family's lives on the inside contrasts with the harsh, bright tones of their lives on the outside in the Swedish drama "Force Majeure." Via Magnolia Pictures.
By Olga Verkhotina 12.19.2014

The Landscape of Swedish Cinema: An Introduction

If you need to visualize the saying “small but mighty,” consider Swedish cinema. According to the Swedish Film Institute, an organization established to support the Scandinavian country’s national cinema, this country of fewer than 10 million people releases 40 to 50 feature-length movies a year. So it seems natural that Sweden also has the most…

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By Fae Giffen 12.8.2014

On letting go, holding on, remembering, and forgetting

What happens to us and what we experience are not always the same thing. The facts of our lives can be added into many different sums. We hold on to some facts. We walk away from others. We struggle to find a theme to place all those kept and discarded facts into. Our own minds…

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Olga Verkhotina was our first Filmworks marketing intern, and she continues to volunteer by helping with development and producing content for our blog.
By Jefferson Beavers 12.2.2014

Volunteer spotlight: Olga Verkhotina

November 2014 volunteer in the spotlight: Olga Verkhotina Occupation: Olga lives in Los Angeles where she works in nonprofit marketing and event planning. “‘Communications,’ you can say. I work at the Pacific Meso Center, a nonprofit research center at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, where we are focused on finding better treatments for…

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Can surrealist cinema enhance our illusions? Our perception? Via LIFE Photos.
By Olga Verkhotina 11.23.2014

Surrealist cinema: Making sense of confusing imagery

We all have that one friend who keeps asking questions during the movies. “What just happened?” “What did they say?” “Why did he do that?” Now imagine taking that friend to see a surrealist film. Born in France in 1920s, this avant-garde genre tries to do everything but make sense at a first glance. Surrealists…

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A 340-ton granite boulder rounds Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles on its way to LACMA in a scene from "Levitated Mass," one of many films that tell a uniquely L.A. kind of story. Via First Run Features.
By Fae Giffen 11.11.2014

Getting there: L.A. stories

An argument could be made that every city in America is modeled after either New York or Los Angeles. Pre-war and post-war, pre-car and post-car, classical and modern. If New York is a grown-up America competing with the great cities of Europe, Los Angeles is a kid ever pushing boundaries, happily unaware that such things…

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By Rebecca Horwitz 10.29.2014

Featured video: A natural spectacle

Our featured video this month for the American independent documentary “Levitated Mass” introduces us to a natural spectacle: the 340-ton granite boulder that serves as the protagonist in Doug Pray’s film, which documents the unlikely collision of art, engineering, and nature as seen through artist Michael Heizer’s massive land sculpture at the Los Angeles County…

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Our October volunteer in the spotlight, Rita Bell, also gives her time to serve Arte Américas, Earth Day Fresno, and her kids' schools.
By Jefferson Beavers 10.15.2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Rita Bell

October 2014 volunteer in the spotlight: Rita Bell Occupation: For 12 years, Rita has worked as a paralegal at Dowling Aaron Inc. in north Fresno. “I do legal research. I do a wide variety of stuff. It’s the client’s call. If they need something, I research how to get it done for them.” What else…

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By Fae Giffen 10.6.2014

3 Hollywood Halloween films that won’t die

“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out.” Happy Halloween, everybody! It’s time to tap your inner strange and become someone else for a night (or a whole month). Are you secretly a pixie, goblin, or ghost? Your time has come. We are fast approaching the one night of the year when you can shed…

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Every second Friday of the month, Fresno Filmworks screens first-run independent and international movies at the historic Tower Theatre.