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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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After serving as our marketing intern in fall 2013, Fresno State student Colby Tibbet has continued to volunteer for Filmworks.
By Fae Giffen 10.2.2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Colby Tibbet

September 2014 Volunteer in the Spotlight: Colby Tibbet. Occupation: “I’m a student and a freelance journalist. I’ll be graduating from Fresno State this year with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. I’m also very involved in the indie music scene in Fresno.” How did you become involved with Filmworks? “I already knew the president,…

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In the zombie romantic comedy "Life After Beth," actress Aubrey Plaza can even make popping your head through a hole in the roof seem completely normal. Via A24 Films.
By Rebecca Horwitz 9.24.2014

Meet Aubrey Plaza, a deadpan delight

Interviews with comic actress Aubrey Plaza — one of the young stars of our Oct. 10 movie, “Life After Beth” — are gold. She’s extremely deadpan. Some of her best interviews have come from appearances with late-night talk show host Conan O’Brien, but there are also many other examples of awkwardly awesome public conversations that…

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By Analise Villalobos 9.19.2014

Featured video: Keep an eye on your zombie

Our featured video this month, inspired by the zombie rom-com “Life After Beth,” introduces us to a young man who can’t seem to get a moment’s peace while keeping an eye on his undead girlfriend. The video, directed by our former intern Analise Villalobos, is now airing on our YouTube channel. Analise Villalobos studies Mass…

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Joss Whedon's "The Avengers," via Walt Disney Studios.
By Rebecca Horwitz 9.17.2014

Good Films: Superheroes

Our occasional “Good Films You May Have Missed” series calls attention to movies new and old. Titles are available from Netflix and other streaming services, and you can also find them at your good old-fashioned public library. As another summer full of superhero movies comes to a close, here are five of our summer intern’s…

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In "May in the Summer," Ziad and May face much more than your average barely controlled chaos that surrounds most weddings. Via Cohen Media Group.
By Fae Giffen 9.8.2014

Films find funny family fodder in weddings, funerals

Family reunions are a natural incubator of drama. Bringing together relatives for graduations, anniversaries, births, funerals, and weddings is a natural fit for filmmakers looking to explore the ways that our families and hometowns continue to shape us long after we think we’ve put childish things away. The natural pressure cooker of affection, resentment, insecurity,…

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