Film Forum

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By Olga Verkhotina 1.26.2016

Disney shorts share complexity and realism

The simple world of a short film can be dense with symbols and overwhelming emotions. Quickly digging deep into a story, it seems, wouldn’t leave enough room to capture life’s complexity on screen. Yet the world of Disney animated short films manages to do just that. The characters of the recent Walt Disney Animation Studios Short…

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By Jefferson Beavers 1.13.2016

December 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Satch Gonzales

Occupation: For the past five years, Satch has worked as a self-employed certified massage therapist. A big part of his business is doing chair massage at Whole Foods in Fig Garden Village. He can do specialized massage for relaxation, deep tissue, and sports injuries, among other modalities. One of his specialties is lymphatic drainage, which…

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By Fae Giffen 1.4.2016

Independent Spirit Award Nominees: Directors to Watch

This Friday, January 8, Filmworks is pleased to present “James White”. An intimate and honest character study of modern family and morals, “James White” has emerged as one of the best reviewed independent films of 2015.  Among its many accomplishments is a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature for director Josh…

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By Jefferson Beavers 12.29.2015

Filmworks board picks favorite films of 2015

JEFFERSON BEAVERS “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” — I caught a few smartly done films in the “teen dramatic comedy” category this past year — most notably “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” and “Dope.” But this sophomore feature from Alfonso Gomez-Rejon was the best of them. It innovatively merged an outcast buddy…

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By Jefferson Beavers 12.26.2015

November 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Sasha Khokha

Occupation: Sasha writes about the Central Valley as a journalist for The California Report, a statewide public radio program produced by KQED Public Radio. KQED is the NPR station for the Bay Area, and The California Report is their flagship program that airs on more than 30 public radio stations all over the state, including…

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By Yvette Mancilla 12.15.2015

Breakout Films Birth Future Filmmaker Stars

The perceptive independent drama “James White,” the January 8 selection for Filmworks at the historic Tower Theatre, has been a festival breakthrough for both its lead actor Christopher Abbott and writer-director Josh Mond. Critic Stephen Holden of The New York Times calls the movie an “abrasive portrait of contemporary New York as a place of…

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By Fae Giffen 12.7.2015

Grand adventures: stories that make heroes.

The best adventure stories start with the most ordinary of days and the most ordinary of people. A completely mundane, run-of-the-mill day being hit head-on by the most extraordinary of circumstances, is a universal trope to start a hero’s journey. These stories are especially poignant when they involve those first steps toward independent thought and morality…

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By Jefferson Beavers 11.26.2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Yvette Mancilla

October 2015 volunteer in the spotlight: Yvette Mancilla Occupation: Yvette currently works as the copy editor at The Collegian, the student-run newspaper at Fresno State. “I edit all the stories that come in,” she says. “Except for sports, which I don’t have much experience in.” She has worked at the paper for more than two…

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By Yvette Mancilla 11.17.2015

An Unforgiving Desert Transforms These 4 Adventure Films

While dense, urban places like New York and Los Angeles have appeared staples in numerous films, an unforgiving desert has also been seen as the central setting in movies since they were first produced. The natural landscape of a desert can become a haunting presence that can shape a character’s emotional and physical journeys. The…

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By Yvette Mancilla 11.8.2015

Fatih Akin Shares His Take on Love, Death and the Devil

Award-winning director Fatih Akin’s Armenian historical epic “The Cut” is another exceptional, well-crafted film to add to his already successful career. Over the past 10 years, the Turkish German filmmaker has worked on his trilogy focusing on Love, Death and the Devil. This trilogy finds its conclusion with “The Cut,” which is slated for a…

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By Yvette Mancilla 10.25.2015

3 thriller docs show truth can be stranger than fiction

Sometimes, real-life events that play out amidst a backdrop of political turmoil can lead to some riveting and even absurd moments. They can also make for great cinema that leaves audiences scratching their heads, exclaiming: “Did that really happen in real life?” Recent filmmakers who are willing and able to capture a slice of these…

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By Yvette Mancilla 10.18.2015

What Hollywood gets right (and wrong) about Silicon Valley

When Hollywood finds a lucrative genre or idea (i.e. superheroes) it tends to grab it and hold on to it for a while. Recently, Silicon Valley has been no exception. Since he passed away in 2011, Steve Jobs has been the subject of over-stylized and recycled themes of multiple tech-inspired films. On closing night of…

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By Yvette Mancilla 9.29.2015

A Chip off the Old Block: Fatherhood in Film

Father-son films seem to explore the archetype of male heroism and its role in paternal bonds. Whether the relationship in question is strained or close in nature, particular films are able to question a son’s identity being tied to his father’s and the potential repercussions of such an embodiment or lack thereof. The upcoming Filmworks…

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