by Sam Juliano
The Film Preservation Blogathon commences on Wednesday at Ferdy-on-Films, and will continue until Sunday, May 17, the day when Wonders in the Dark will be playing host. This exceedingly noble venture is aimed at securing support for the restoration of the 1918 silent film Cupid in Quarantine. The target figure has been set at ten thousand. The theme of the blogathon is science fiction, and reviews of any sort within that genre are strongly welcomed and encouraged. Anyone planning a review at their blog or at Wonders in the Dark are asked to have their piece ready for the 17th, where they will be properly linked. Following the early days at Ferdy will make everything much easier. Marilyn Ferdinand and Roderick Heath have been running this blogathon for a number of years.
For the third consecutive year (though I did attend six other times over the years) I served as a chaperon on the eighth grade Philadelphia and Washington D.C. trip held over three days from the 6th through the 8th. Traditional visits to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery -where designated Lincoln School kids offered up a wreath- to the various Memorials (Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam War Memorial, Korean, Martin Luther King, FDR, Air Force, Washington Monument, Iwo Jima, and World War II; three Smithsonian Museums, a tour through the Pentagon and the Washington Zoo, was negotiated with what was documented by my colleague Broadway Bob as around 18 miles walked. For me with a torn miniscus, this was a daunting endeavor, and at times accompanied by pain. But with my daughter Jillian on the trip it was mainly a fun time, though a scorching sun made the temperatures feel close to 90 degrees.
Lucille and I attended two films at the Montclair Film Festival and one other new release over the past week:
Stinking Heaven ** (Monday night) Montclair Film Festival
Christmas Again ** (Tuesday night) Montclair Film Festival
Ex Machina **** (Saturday night) Regal Cinemas
EX MACHINA does contain some original ideas, and some startling set pieces, and terrific performances in this cerebral artificial intelligence thriller. STINKING HEAVEN is a stinking mess made by a rank amateur, but my very good friend Jason Giampietro gives a splendid performance in it. Likewise another Brooklyn made inde called CHRISTMAS AGAIN is tedium incarnate.