Cinemadope: Outside Chance, screenings under the summer stars
May20

Cinemadope: Outside Chance, screenings under the summer stars

Even as they fade from our landscape, there is something quintessentially American about drive-in theaters. They seem, somehow, to contain all the great stages of our lives in one place; in one car, the reckless romance of youth; in another — probably a station wagon — the steady pulse of family life. For a long time, I thought the pull was because of our strong national love affair with the car, and that the drive-in was simply a...

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Cinemadope: Screen Time, breakfast with Curtis
May12

Cinemadope: Screen Time, breakfast with Curtis

Nobody in their right mind would suggest that making a movie is easy. There are so many levels to moviemaking — the writing, the casting, the shooting and editing and sound and music and so on — that it’s a wonder any of them ever come off decently, never mind becoming classics. But any film, whatever the trials of its making, faces another big hurdle after the fact: distribution. Without it, it can be awfully hard for a filmmaker to...

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Cinemadope: He Shoots, He Scores!
May06

Cinemadope: He Shoots, He Scores!

So often when we talk about film, we talk about the people on either side of the camera. We talk about the great actors and actresses whose performances touch some deep part of our secret selves, revealing surprising truths we didn’t know we knew. We talk about the directors and cinematographers whose larger vision creates a world where those truths feel at home. But there is another behind-the-scenes artist whose work can make a film...

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Cinemadope: Rise and Shine, undocumented workers unionize
Apr28

Cinemadope: Rise and Shine, undocumented workers unionize

When we talk about unions, the images that are usually called to mind are those of the Rust Belt —a ging steel mills and auto plants whose unionized workforces were long considered the backbone of American industry. And while the allure of collective bargaining may have faded a bit in an era where workers are job-hopping more often, the truth is that a union can still bring about considerable change in the American workplace. But...

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CinemaDope: Just Dropping In, Films in limited screenings
Apr21

CinemaDope: Just Dropping In, Films in limited screenings

One of the great benefits of the digital revolution is that it has opened up our movie screens in ways the old paradigm could never have allowed. Under the old system, screening a film was always a pricey endeavor, even if it ran for a few weeks. To show a film for a week, or just once or twice in a week, was almost certainly a bad bet. Indeed, there were days during my time in the projection booth when we paid more to ship the reels...

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Cinemadope: Going the distance, The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival turns 10
Apr14

Cinemadope: Going the distance, The Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival turns 10

In any field, a decade is a milestone — one of those moments when one can stop to look back and reflect on all the hard work that has gone into getting to that point in the journey. For a film festival, it’s particularly remarkable. There is just so much that goes into pulling together a successful festival that it’s no surprise that many (even the good ones) don’t go the distance, and instead stall out as one or another moving part...

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