At the start of the pandemic – when we found ourselves bonded at home – few things offered comfort like the movies.
Whether it’s releasing a new release or revisiting a movie whose dialogue lives for free in your brain, something about hooking up to Netflix or dusting off a darling Blu-ray, brought a little joy to quarantine. Heck, it was almost a passport to the outside world.
The University of Colorado International Film Series turns 80. The series debuted in September at the Muenzinger Auditorium and will continue to offer a variety of free and paid movies until October.
IFS will offer a $ 1 discount to anyone wearing a bicycle helmet and attendees will be able to watch movies for free on their birthday or when helping someone in a wheelchair.
Tickets are only available 30 minutes before show time on the day of the show, so customers are encouraged to get to the auditorium early as they cannot be purchased online.
General admission is $ 9 and CU Boulder students and seniors enter for $ 7. Admission for CU Cinema Studies students is free.
There is also an option to purchase a punch card for $ 60 which grants access to 10 IFS films.
On Sunday, moviegoers can revel in the wonderful, bittersweet heartbreak of “Blue Valentine,” a film whose score was composed by Brooklyn rockers Grizzly Bear.
Award-winning 2010 film writer and director Derek Cianfrance, also a CU alumnus, will be in attendance for a post-screening Q&A.
Some other upcoming IFS films include “The Sleeping Negro”, “The Social Dilemma” and “Mulholland Drive” by David Lynch.
Thursday, “Filmmakers Panel: Cultural Crawl” – featuring industry professionals like Skinner Myers, Trent Harris, Michael Brown, Cory McAbee and Emelie Upczak – will take place at the Fiske Planetarium at 7 pm. Although the event is free, tickets are required and will be handed out on a first come, first served basis at the Fiske box office. Live music will begin at 5:45 p.m. in the Fiske Lobby.
We caught up with Pablo Kjolseth – the director of IFS – to find out how many people are hiding and enjoying this cinematic tradition at CU, his podcast, what movies he enjoyed watching in the chaos of 2020 and his must-see IFS photos for this year. .
Kalène McCort: How have the ticket sales for the films been so far? I imagine people are ready to come together and watch movies again as an audience.
Pablo Kjolseth: Attendance, so far, has been about a third of what it was before COVID. Despite the mask’s tenure and the high vaccination rates in Boulder, people are still wary. I think we will eventually get back to normal attendance levels, but after a long shutdown it was inevitable that old habits would be replaced with new ones – which is why I’m glad we still have the option to show some headlines. virtually through our website, with distributors sharing the product with us.
For those who want to get out of their homes and miss the big screen experience, the good news is that Muenzinger has 400 seats and there is plenty of room for people to physically distance themselves, as we remind them some of the reasons the IFS has been around for 80 years. This includes our reel-to-reel projection capability to project rare archival prints onto 35mm film. It’s just not something you can get at home.
KM: I understand that in conjunction with CU’s International Film Series, you host a weekly podcast. What can listeners expect from this offer?
PACKAGE: Back when director Alex Cox was teaching here at CU, we used to watch movies at IFS together and then go out for a beer to talk about what we just watched. When he left CU to go back to Oregon, we continued to connect by phone every week when it hit thirty to talk about movies and our podcast was born out of that. I wanted the conversations to be short, essentially the length of a 35mm film reel, about 20 minutes.
Whether it is me who tells him about the films I saw at the Telluride Film Festival or which are screened at the IFS, or that he tells me about the films he has worked on or seen recently, it is always linked to the movie theater. They’re just two movie-loving friends who casually talk about movies. Jason Phelps, who takes care of the technical tasks that make the podcast possible, also publishes “The CINE Podcast” which highlights the work of CU Cinema Studies faculty members and is much more refined while focusing on subjects related to cinema.
KM: I see that a screening of Derek Cianfrance’s 2010 film “Blue Valentine” is scheduled for Sunday. I remember this movie stuck with me for a while. What prompted you to add it to the lineup and what do you find particularly moving about it?
PACKAGE: I met Derek when he was a CU student in a film history class. Derek has always been ambitious and talented. He also has a big heart and he was very fond of celluloid and he watched a lot of films at IFS as a student. He still loves celluloid and, in fact, he convinced HBO to shoot “I Know This Much Is True”, starring Mark Ruffalo, on 35mm film. Derek even did a side-by-side comparison for the executives at HBO to show how the film consistently outperformed digital in terms of depth, color, and the specific look he wanted.
For our 80th anniversary, I wanted to bring back some of my favorite filmmakers with the films that initially put them on the map for IFS clients. The choice of “Blue Valentine” was cemented when, after a few months, we finally found a nice on-screen copy with Derek in attendance. What I find particularly moving about “Blue Valentine” is that I remember Derek talking and working on this project for many years and I got to the point where I thought maybe it wasn’t. to be a chimera. But then fate stepped in – and Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams bonded – and the rest is history.
KM: I know 2020 has been a time when a lot of people took comfort in the movies and watched excessively from home. Were there any notable new movies that you discovered in quarantine or favorites that you revisited?
PACKAGE: Some of the favorites I revisited were “Three Days of the Condor”, “Marathon Man” and “Network”. The first two still hold up but, wow, “Network” was way beyond predictability. I also saw a nice restoration of “The Rain People” by (Francis Ford) Coppola in Telluride, which I would like to bring to IFS in the future. I wrote for TCM about “YI YI” by Edward Yang, a mind-blowing film that I would also like to bring back.
New documentaries worth recommending are Raoul Peck’s “Exterminate All the Brutes” and Alex Gibney’s “The Crime of the Century”, both very loud and scary. Spike Lee’s miniseries, “NYC Epicenters 9 / 11-2021 ½”, had many moving and thought-provoking moments. To lighten the load, we can always count on “Rick and Morty” and “What we do in the shadows” to provide the necessary lightness. And, of course, I had to watch Amanda Peet’s “The Chair” series, which hits very close to home.
KM: What are the next movies in the series that you would invite people to see?
PACKAGE: I would recommend anything we show on 35mm film, as seeing anything on celluloid is getting more and more rare with each passing year. I purposely forgot to watch Todd Hayne’s documentary “The Velvet Underground” in Telluride, despite a colleague telling me that it was his favorite film at the festival, because I knew we would show it there. ‘IFS mid-October and wanted to watch it here on campus.
Speaking of film festivals, I saw “Beaver Trilogy Part IV” at the Sundance Film Festival a few years ago and thought IFS clients would be interested in this Brad Besser documentary as it fills in some of the gaps related to the original “Beaver Trilogy” by Trent Harris. ”, Which was a huge success at IFS when we first screened it almost 20 years ago. It had been the subject of “This American Life” and it was something that everyone wanted to see. Now, we’re bringing Trent back, not as a director, but as the subject of a documentary that fixes some of the issues with its protagonist, Groovin ‘Gary.