“Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters” on Friday, June 14th, at 2pm

As part of the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, the Bantam Theater is screening the documentary Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters on Friday, June 14th. The film–an unparalleled view of the moment of creation of the brilliant photographer’s images–will start promptly at 2pm with the doors closing five minutes beforehand.

Since this is the only screening of Brief Encounters during the festival, seating is limited so please arrive early if you are a LOOK3 pass holder. If you are not a pass holder, tickets are $5 (CASH ONLY) if any seating remains available after 1:45pm. We are not taking reservations.

“The Institute” on Saturday, April 27, at 7:30pm

Update–C-VILLE Weekly printed this great blurb yesterday in advance of our screening:

Stealing fiction from fact, The Institute is a bold, mind-warping documentary film for the brave new world where ‘actors’ weave the story of the Jejune Institute, which hosted a complex, thrilling game, designed by Jeffrey Hull, and played by thousands of people using San Francisco’s urban landscape as its venue. Director Spencer McCall blends topics like socio-reengineering, force fields, algorithms, and false prophets into an artful, visually rich collision with reality.

And here is my original post:

Is it a cult? Is it a game? Or is it a life changing adventure? The Institute examines a San Francisco-based alternate reality game, where cryptic narratives and real worlds collide to produce unforeseen and, at times, unsettling consequences. An official selection at this year’s Slamdance and Chicago Film Critics festivals, this riveting documentary takes the viewer on a journey into a secret underground organization teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.

“If We Shout Loud Enough” @ the Bantam on Saturday, April 20th

doubledaggerIn addition to our screening of If We Shout Loud Enough at 7:30pm, Charlottesville filmmakers Gabriel DeLoach and Zach Kiefer will be on hand to discuss their portrait of legendary Baltimore punk band Double Dagger. Their new film is not only being released on the 20th–which just so happens to be Record Store Day–but the band is also dropping its last record ever, the EP 333. Both the DVD and the LP will be for sale at Sidetracks that day as well as at our space that night, and we’ll be playing 333 on heavy rotation in the Bantam if you want to come by early. A special thanks to Sidetracks and Melody Supreme for helping spread the word and please support these local businesses by visiting their stores. Come to the Bantam to support local film.

April at the Bantam

* FEMALES AND THE FRAME (April 6 at 7:30pm): A 70-minute program of short films all produced by female filmmakers, “Females and the Frame” embodies any possible form—color and black-and-white, documentary, narrative, and experimental—while also expressing every type of story. One is a tender portrait of a Venetian artist who has been immersed in art for a lifetime, another is a three-channel installation telling the stories of three women intertwined. There’s also a narrative about a bike messenger who runs roughshod over everyone in her path in a desperate struggle to get ahead. Bettie Page even makes an appearance. Roughly half of the films hail from Richmond, while the rest have national and even international origins. Taken together, these films are not just a reflection of female filmmakers, but emblematic of the world of independent cinema itself.


* THE REP (April 13 at 7:30pm):  A documentary about the preservation of repertory and independent theaters–and the experiences one can have sitting in darkened theaters with a group of people–The Rep details the triumphs and mostly travails experienced by the three owners of the Toronto Underground Cinema as they attempt to mount a repertory theater.


* IF WE SHOUT LOUD ENOUGH (April 20 at 7:30pm / Directors Q&A 9:15pm): This intimate and entertaining portrait follows the pivotal Baltimore band Double Dagger as they complete their final tour and album, tracing the history and growth of the band and of Baltimore’s underground music scene. Meet Nolen, a singer who stutters uncontrollably until he picks up the microphone; Bruce, a bassist who can make his battered instrument sound like an entire rock band; Denny, whose drumset regularly collapses under the force of his pummeling; and dozens of the fans, musicians, and artists who have catalyzed the city’s music community. Directed by the Charlottesville filmmaking team of Gabe DeLoach and Zach Kiefer, If We Shout Loud Enough is showing at the Bantam in conjunction with the release of Double Dagger’s final album on Record Store Day. 


* THE INSTITUTE (April 27 at 7:30pm): Is it a cult? Is it a game? Or is it a life changing adventure? The Institute examines a San Francisco-based alternate reality game, where cryptic narratives and real worlds collide to produce unforeseen and, at times, unsettling consequences. Told from the players’ perspectives, The Institute takes the viewer on a journey into a secret underground organization teeming just beneath the surface of everyday life.

“Females and the Frame” @ the Bantam, Saturday, April 6th, 7:30pm

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In collaboration with Richmond’s Studio Two Three, the Bantam Theater presents “Females and the Frame,” a 70 minute program of short films all produced by female filmmakers. Curated by noted filmmaker (and VCU professor) Mary Beth Reed (her films are in the MOMA’s permanent collection and she has worked with Stan Brakhage), the longest is 13 minutes and the shortest a minute-and-half. Embodying all possible forms—color and black-and-white, documentary, narrative, and experimental—the films also express every type of story.

One is a tender portrait of a Venetian artist who has been immersed in art for a lifetime, providing a funny glimpse into the day-job of making art to pay the bills by a man who couldn’t imagine being anything but an Italian painter. Another is a three-channel installation telling the stories of three women intertwined, in the process questioning issues of identity, generation and motherhood. There’s also a narrative about a bike messenger who runs roughshod over everyone in her path in a desperate struggle to get ahead. Bettie Page even makes an appearance.

Roughly half of the films were produced in nearby Richmond, yet there is a cosmopolitan feel to the collection. A few came out of the Midwest, while one was partially shot in the Czech Republic, and two emanate from Germany and France respectively.

Taken together, these films are not just a reflection of female filmmakers, but emblematic of the world of independent cinema itself. So please join us on April 6th at 7:30pm (doors open at 7) for “Females and the Frame” and the snapshot it provides into current filmmaking.

B Movies @ the Bantam w/Russell Richards

This past weekend, artist and filmmaker Russell Richards came by the Bantam to talk about his short film Bride of the Fly and the 1974 cult classic The Freakmaker, the two movies we’ll be showing on Saturday, March 23rd, beginning at 10pm. Russell will be on hand after that night’s screening to talk more in-depth, but for now enjoy this taste.


Russell Richards Presents “Bride of the Fly” and “The Freakmaker”

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Russell Richards is a local artist with a national following. He is also a filmmaker and at the same time a serious fan of vintage sci-fi and horror flicks. All of these interests come together in our next screening on March 23, beginning with Russell’s 2012 short film Bride of the Fly.

An inventive and zany parody of Atomic Age horror movies–in particular the original 1958 The Fly–the 12-minute short is about a scientist’s desperate efforts to set things right following a disastrous teleportation experiment, and in the process survive a wife bent on swatting him. Shot entirely on Super 8 mm film and featuring intricately crafted creatures and sets, it oozes the vivid, rich colors we associate with the films of the 1950s


freakmakerAfter 
Bride of the Fly, we will be showing The Freakmaker, aka The Mutations, a 1974 cult classic handpicked by Russell (he will be in person to introduce both of the films). With the original tagline of “It’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature… It can be horrifying! Even to them!,” the film centers around an evil scientist (played by Halloween‘s Donald Pleasence) who crossbreeds humans with plants. If that’s not enough to lure you in, then here’s a shortlist of what you can expect: a great cast, rubber-suited monsters, real circus freaks, and “flashes” of nudity. In other words, everything you could want from a cult horror film.

This is all part of an effort to begin a regular late-night (but not too late) of sci-fi/horror at the Bantam. We already have a couple of movies in mind for the near future, but in the meantime come out on the 23rd at 10pm for an old-fashioned night of demented filmmaking.