Magic Lantern promises new batch of indie gems for moviegoers | Events
Over the past 32 years, Rick Kessler has brought esoteric and uplifting films to the Wood River Valley. This year is no different. Anyone fed up with the latest MCU installment or the “Fast and Furious” franchise can check out the Magic Lantern Fall Film Festival.
“It’s a very sophisticated audience here,” Kessler said.
The festival lasts almost three weeks, from September 17 to October 17. 7. All the work is done in-house without any sponsors. Magic Lantern wants to give anyone interested in these films a chance to see them.
“I don’t understand film festivals that show a movie once,” Kessler said
“Wolfwalkers” lasts three days, from September 17th to 19th at 2pm. It was nominated for Best Animated Feature, but ultimately lost to Pixar’s “Soul”. In a magical land, young Robyn goes with her father to hunt the last of the wolves. While exploring, she befriends a member of an enchanted tribe who can transform into a wolf. With fascinating animation and a unique story, “Wolfwalkers” is fun for the whole family.
“Road Runner” runs September 17-23 at 4:10 pm It is an in-depth examination of the complex and magnificent life of the late grand chef, author and television personality Anthony Bourdain. With intimate interviews with those closest to Bourdain, the documentary strikes no punches in the mind of a tortured and talented man.
“Summer of Soul (… Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” will run September 17-23 at 6:50 pm, The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson is leading this exciting project. The documentary examines the forgotten Harlem Cultural Festival, eclipsed by Woodstock in the summer of 1969. The film features restored footage of performances by Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, Nina Simone, the 5th Dimension, the Staple Singers, Gladys Knight & the Pips , Blinky Williams, Sly & the Family Stone and the Chamber Brothers.
“Zola” will run September 17-22 at 6:55 pm “Zola” is a tale as old as time itself: an actual story has become a viral Twitter thread that has become a Rolling Stone article turned into an A24 movie. The waitress Zola befriends Stefani who convinces her to party in Florida with her. What starts out as a 48 hour “hoeism” (not in Webster’s dictionary) quickly turns into something more sinister. Rated R for “strong sexual language and content, graphic nudity, and violence including sexual assault,” this one probably isn’t that fun for the whole family.
“Ailey” will take place September 20-22 at 4:20 pm Documentary filmmaker Jamila Wignot presents the character study of dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey. The film explores general themes such as race in America through archival footage and interviews.
“The Loneliest Whale” runs September 24-30 at 4:15 pm Kleenex will not be provided. Someone finally combined the two saddest things on Earth: whales and loneliness. Can you name a more iconic duo? This documentary details the search for the “52 hertz whale,” which scientists say has spent its entire life in isolation, calling out at a different frequency than all other whale calls.
“Pig” will take place September 24-30 at 4:20 pm The often confusing and often remembered actor, Nicolas Cage, delivers one of his defining performances for his career in the patient “Pig”. He reminds us why, when he sets the right tone, he is one of the best actors in business today. When a truffle hunter loses his beloved pig, he must face his past in Portland in search of him. What looks like a frolic turns out to be idiosyncratic and haunting work.
“The Sparks Brothers” will be taking place September 24-30 at 6:35 pm Sparks is your favorite band you’ve never heard of. Acclaimed genre director Edgar Wright takes you on a roller coaster ride through the enigmatic, art-pop and glam-rock duo’s fascinating career.
“On Broadway” runs October 1-7 at 4:20 p.m. This comprehensive documentary on Broadway history collects testimonies from Hugh Jackman, Helen Mirren, Christine Baranski, August Wilson, James Corden, Alec Baldwin, John Lithgow, Viola Davis and Ian McKellen, as well as archival performances by Lin Manuel Miranda, Patti LuPone, Bernadette Peters, James Earl Jones and Mandy Patinkin.
“Good God, Los Polacos!” takes place October 1-7 at 6:50 p.m. This documentary follows the kayaking trip of university students, spanning two years, involving the Soviet Union, a six-wheeled paramilitary truck, handcrafted equipment and a descent into the deepest canyon in the world. You can’t make that up.
Most of these films have received “Certified Fee” ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. However, Kessler does not believe in such aggregate sites, wanting the public to make up their minds first.
“[Rotten Tomatoes] and since websites seemingly rank movies without any standards for their measurements, ”Kessler said. “Unfortunately, some moviegoers actually choose films based on these imprecise ratings. Imagine art museums rating their pieces this way.
For the fourth year in a row, Magic Lantern will team up with the Sun Valley Museum of Art for the Manhattan Short Film Festival on September 23 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Ten finalists were selected from 967 entries from 70 countries. The finalists are from Afghanistan, Canada, France, Italy, Northern Ireland, Norway, UK and USA.
“Rick has been a tremendous partner for SVMoA over the past few years in showing our film series,” said Bretall. “Don’t miss your chance to see these delightfully told stories while you can.”
Taking a hit with the pandemic, Magic Lantern hopes the festival will invigorate the community to come out more in theaters. The cinema recently had to go from six screens to four.
“My idea is to get people to the movies to see these movies,” Kessler said. “I hope to show them something that they wouldn’t normally see.”