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Film critics Roger Ebert, front, and Gene Siskel popularized the "Thumbs up, Thumbs down" review system through their TV show in the 1980s and '90s. Photo by Kevin Horan, via Magnolia Pictures.
By Jim Piper 7.15.2014

Ebert captured ‘Life Itself’ in his plainspoken reviews

Roger Ebert hasn’t always been my favorite film critic. I’ve often enjoyed the sharp-edged reviews of A.O. Scott and the looping back and adroit asides of Anthony Lane. But Ebert succeeds as few reviewers do with his Midwestern idiom and subtle powers of observation. Now, there’s a super documentary about Ebert and his legacy, “Life…

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Fun fact: The two young stars of our upcoming film "The Double," Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska, began dating each other after working on the film together. Via Magnolia Pictures.
By Rebecca Horwitz 7.7.2014

Wasikowska, Eisenberg provide double the star power

The Richard Ayoade film “The Double” looks intriguing and compelling on many levels, but the black comedy wouldn’t be billed as one of the best films of 2014 so far without its two young stars, Mia Wasikowska and Jesse Eisenberg. In a dual role, Eisenberg plays the shy and timid character Simon as well as…

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In a dual role as the meek and mild-mannered Simon and his exact-opposite and wildly confident doppelganger James, actor Jesse Eisenberg stars in the dark comedy "The Double." Via Magnolia Pictures.
By Fae Giffen 7.1.2014

Comedic thrillers feed sense of fun, paranoia

For its July 11 movie, Fresno Filmworks takes a dive into a mysterious tale of identity. “The Double,” based on a Fyodor Dostoyevsky novella, stars Jesse Eisenberg as Simon, a mild-manner government clerk who one day finds that his doppelganger has been hired by the same agency. James is Simon’s exact double in every way…

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Oscar-winning volunteer and world traveler Lorna Bonyhadi has been to every continent except Antarctica.
By Rebecca Horwitz 6.25.2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Lorna Bonyhadi

June 2014 Volunteer Spotlight: Lorna Bonyhadi Occupation: Lorna is a retired Registered Nurse. “I was the nurse executive at the V.A. hospital. Now I try to fill my time with volunteer work. I volunteer at the Hinds Hospice Home, Fresno Filmworks and the Central California Women’s Conference that’s held every September.” When you’re not volunteering,…

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British filmmaker Richard Ayoade with actress Yasmin Paige on the set of his 2010 feature film, "Submarine." Via The Film Stage.
By Jefferson Beavers 6.17.2014

An introduction (in music videos) to Richard Ayoade

Richard Ayoade likes to mess with your expectations. The British filmmaker directs our July 11 movie, “The Double” to look like a shadowy, gritty film noir built on psychological anxiety, but he delivers a film instead with the heart of a surreal black comedy. The London-born Ayoade actually got his start in comedy, and he’s…

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The Academy would like to thank volunteers Neal Howard and Celeste DeMonte for their contributions to Filmworks. Via JA Photography.
By Rebecca Horwitz 6.11.2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Celeste DeMonte and Neal Howard

May 2014 Volunteer Spotlight: Celeste DeMonte and Neal Howard Occupations: Celeste works as a technical writer for the software company Famous Software. Neal is a retired pharmacist. Celeste: “I write the help system for the software. If you push the little F1 button [in the application] and help text shows up – I write that.…

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What better way to start your summer movie watching than with the loopy, zany Muppets? Via Universal Pictures.
By Fae Giffen 6.10.2014

10 Family Films to Stream This Summer

School’s out! Time for lazy summer days of swimming, barbecues, and movies. Lots and lots of movies. Summer wouldn’t be complete without family movie night. What’s better than curling up on the couch with some popcorn and the knowledge you don’t have to go to school tomorrow? In honor of the anything-can-happen, adventure-filled days of…

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The historic Tower Theatre gets the hand-drawn treatment in our latest featured video.
By Jefferson Beavers 5.29.2014

Featured video: An animated discovery

Our featured video this month for “Ernest & Celestine” draws inspiration for its animated stars — a mouse and a bear, both out on the town for a night at the movies — not only from the Oscar-nominated family film itself but also from an occurrence most moviegoers might choose to forget. “Everyone has experienced…

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From the award-winning short film "Families Are Forever."
By Jefferson Beavers 5.26.2014

Meet our 2014 festival short film competition winners

One month has now passed since the 2014 Fresno Film Festival. Here’s one last look at this year’s award winners in our annual juried short film competition, as well as our audience awards. JOHN KELLY AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN CINEMATOGRAPHY (tie) “Park 51″ Cinematographer: Isaac Hughes Green Against the backdrop of the 2010 protests against…

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When he's not volunteering for Filmworks, Andrew Ranta enjoys watching horror movies, especially if they're horror movies about horror movies.
By Analise Villalobos 5.8.2014

Volunteer spotlight: Andrew Ranta

April 2014 volunteer spotlight: Andrew Ranta Occupation: Andrew runs a construction and hotel liquidation company called Equity Building Materials. What are some of your hobbies? “I watch a lot of movies and travel.” What is your favorite genre of movie? “I probably have a weak spot for bad horror movies.” Is there a specific one…

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By Analise Villalobos 4.30.2014

Featured video: Following the joy

Our featured video this month for “Following the Ninth” introduces us to three talented players from Youth Orchestras of Fresno who explain both through words and music why Beethoven’s iconic final symphony gives them and the world so much joy. The video is now airing on CMAC TV and on our YouTube channel. Analise Villalobos…

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From "A River Changes Course" out of Cambodia, directed by Kalyanee Mam. Via Migrant Films.
By Jefferson Beavers 4.20.2014

The Rocket joins ranks of celebrated Southeast Asian cinema

If you enjoy homework assignments that involve hunting down and watching a lot of international movies, then get ready to study. Filmworks will present the adventure fable “The Rocket” as part of the 2014 Fresno Film Festival. The international co-production — from Australia, Laos, and Thailand — screens Saturday, April 26 at 4 p.m., and…

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Nanny or artist? The mysterious subject of the documentary "Finding Vivian Maier" turns the mirror on herself. Via Ravine Pictures.
By Fae Giffen 4.18.2014

The Discovered Artist: 3 stories of art and audience

The artist as character makes a fascinating subject. What does it mean to be an artist? Who decides who is an artist? How important is the idea of an artist to the audience? At the 2014 Fresno Film Festival, Filmworks will present a documentary that looks closely at the work of someone who never called…

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