JRFF weekend schedule

Here’s the rest of the James River Film Festival’s schedule. For more info, click here to go to the Richmond Moving Image Coop’s website.   Friday THE MYSTERY OF PICASSO (1956, 86 min., French with subtitles) Title courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts 12 p.m., Richmond Public Library Main Branch, Basement Auditorium Admission: FREE This rarely seen film by […]

Here’s the rest of the James River Film Festival’s schedule. For more info, click here to go to the Richmond Moving Image Coop’s website.



THE MYSTERY OF PICASSO (1956, 86 min., French with subtitles)
Title courtesy of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
12 p.m., Richmond Public Library Main Branch, Basement Auditorium
Admission: FREE

This rarely seen film by Henri-Georges Clouzot (Wages of Fear, Diabolique) captures the charismatic Picasso at work on a series of glass canvases for the camera/viewer – all of which were destroyed after the shoot! A fascinating look of a true master at work, from first line to finished piece.

3:30 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission: FREE

In the past six years more than 200 students have produced over one hundred short and not-so-short films. Please join them for a screening of recent works! The school boasts one of the largest public film programs in the U.S.

4:30 – 6:30 p.m., The Camel
Admission: FREE (Cash bar)

Meet the festival guests and enjoy hors d’oeuvres courtesy of the Virginia Film Office.

Co-sponsored by the Virginia Film Office and the Virginia Production Alliance
7 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission: FREE (Approx. 90 min.)

Every year the James River Film Festival, the Virginia Film Office and the Virginia Production Alliance co-sponsor a national invitational of recently produced short films in any genre – animation, drama, experimental, documentary. And every year we screen the jurors’ selections and award $2,000 in prizes, including the audiences’ favorite!

KEN JACOBS RETROSPECTIVE, PART I with Ken, Flo & Azazel Jacobs (Approx. 76 min.)
9 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission $5

Mr. Jacobs was a major participant in the “underground film” explosion of NY in the early to mid-1960s, a movement that included Jack Smith, Jonas Mekas and Andy Warhol. His seminal works – Blonde Cobra, Little Stabs at Happiness, The Sky Socialist – pushed the ongoing discovery of cinema’s possibilities even further. In the spirit of First Fridays, we offer Richmond a little taste of the New York underground spirit.

CONTROL (2007, 105 min.)
Co-sponsored by WRIR, 97.3 FM
12 a.m., The Byrd Theatre
Admission $5

A must-see for all Joy Division fans, Control is essentially Ian Curtis’ tale – the gloom-punk quartet’s rising popularity and the singer’s suicide on the eve of U. S. tour – as told by wife Deborah, and interpreted by director Anton Corbijn. Corbijn directed Joy Division in some early videos and knew the musicians now played by his actors. (Note: The members of film band play all their instruments and sound remarkably like the real thing.) All the acting is top notch and cast to perfection, especially Sam Riley as Curtis. Filmed in stark black and white like their album covers – a Richmond premiere!



TWO BY JACOBS: Azazel and Ken
The GoodTimesKid and The Whirled (aka Four Shorts of Jack Smith) with Azazel, Ken and Flo Jacobs (Approx. 96 min.)
10 a.m., The Byrd Theatre
Admission $5

You can thank John Mhiripiri, administrative director and exhibitions coordinator at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, for suggesting that we invite Azazel Jacobs (and his parents!) to this year’s festival. In early 2007, Anthology featured Azazel’s second feature The GoodTimesKid for a week’s run, and it made several film critics’ Best of 2007 lists. Kevin Knox of The Cinematheque sums up nicely why this screening is a “don’t miss” opportunity: “When your daddy is one of the lynchpins of experimental cinema in the United States – and the world – your future has got to be a bright one, for you too can become one of the most underrated, underexposed, unheard of by most, avant-gardist auteurs in the history of cinema.

The GoodTimesKid, Azazel Jacobs, son of legendary, if not quite a household name, Ken Jacobs, the man responsible for the brilliantly deceptive 1969 experimental bon mot Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son and the découpage juggernaut, 40 years in the making, Star Spangled to Death, gives us (and by us I mean myself, J. Hoberman and about three other film geeks from the East Village) one of the sweetest, funniest romances of the year. A melange of his paternally encrusted experimental roots, an obvious lust for the early French New Wave, live action Fleischer Brother quirkiness, Jim Jarmusch’s brain in a jar, indie-pop licks and a screwball heart, all glazed over with a sort of low-def Boho Lubitsch touch, Jacobs’ film – which played for exactly seven days in January of 2007 at the Anthology Archives in New York and has still not seen the shiny side of a DVD – is the one film of 2007 most in need of watching – mainly because so many have not.”

Return To The Scene Of The Crime (2008, 92 min., b/w & color, music by Malcolm Goldstein) plus a new short by Azazel Jacobs!
1 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission $5

More than theft of a pig is taking place at Southwark Fair. Why does God, right there amongst the crowd, allow this cheery riffraff such liberties? I haven’t been so shocked since 1969, when I first examined this primitive 1905 movie with my camera (Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son, named this year to the Library of Congress National Film Registry). A better print of the original film, and the power of the computer, allows for deeper and more detailed inspection. Forensic cinema at its most obsessive, the dead rise … and prove quite entertaining.

– Ken Jacobs

Sponsored by WRIR, 97.3 FM
3:30 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission: FREE

Tactical media is creative solidarity in the fight for justice and democracy: resistance to the rampant tendencies toward repression, exploitation, isolation, alienation and corporatization.

– DeeDee Halleck

DeeDee Halleck, filmmaker, co-founder of Paper Tiger Television and the Deep Dish Satellite Network, and Professor Emeritus Department of Communication at the University of San Diego, will present a selection of provocative videos produced by Paper Tiger Television and Deep Dish Satellite Network and discuss the role that independent media can play in building community and promoting social change.

RICHMOND INDIGENOUS GOURD ORCHESTRA plays NANOOK OF THE NORTH (1922, 79 min., silent with live score)
Sponsored by Plan 9 Music
8:30 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
$10 advance @ Plan 9 Music and JRFF events; $15 at door Seating is limited.

Robert Flaherty’s documentary on life with the Eskimos – Itivimuits – of northern Hudson Bay set the standard for narrative nonfiction and made Nanook the Hunter an international celebrity – remember the Eskimo Pie? Flaherty’s chronicle of Nanook’s and his family’s nomadic routine in the frozen North shows man at his best, living harmoniously with his surroundings, i.e. living green in black and white. Seen it before? Hear it new with RIGO’S live accompaniment!

DONNIE DARKO: THE DIRECTOR’S CUT (2004, 133 min.) with Richard Kelly
Co-sponsored by Virginia Film Office
11:30 p.m., The Byrd Theatre
Admission $5

Director Richard Kelly will introduce his widely acclaimed feature, the hallucinatory Donnie Darko, an original and dark comic turn on suburban high school late 1980s time travel angst. Referencing everything from Harvey with Jimmy Stewart, Graham Greene’s The Destructors, Marker’s La Jetée to David Lynch and post-modern doppelgangers everywhere, Donnie Darko is a surprisingly assured first outing for Midlothian native Kelly. It was initially released in 2001, and has since been accorded “official cult status.” Please join us for this very special screening.


MOMMA’S MAN (2007, 95 min.) with Azazel, Ken and Flo Jacobs
Print courtesy of THINKFilm
10 a.m.. The Byrd Theatre
Admission $5

Azazel Jacob’s third feature, Momma’s Man, created quite a buzz among general audiences and critics alike at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, walking away with a healthy dose of critical praise and a distribution deal with THINKFilm. Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman singled out the film as a work that does “nothing less than re-invent, and purify, that Sundance staple – the quirky, angst ridden family drama.” His film tells the story of a 30-something man named Mikey (Matt Boren) who travels home over the holidays to visit his parents, then finds himself incapable of leaving and returning to his wife and newborn baby. What makes Azazel’s unique is that he cast his parents – painter Flo and legendary avant-garde filmmaker Ken Jacobs – as “Mom” and “Dad” and shot it in their TriBeCa loft. Come see here first, before its theatrical release this summer, with the film’s director and his/ its parents.

SOUTHLAND TALES (2006, 145 min.) with Richard Kelly
Co-sponsored by Virginia Film Office & Velocity Comics
12 p.m., The Byrd Theatre
Admission $5

Guest Richard Kelly’s follow-up to Donnie Darko is an apocalyptic sci-fi war story that challenges an audience’s narrative expectations. Naysayed at Cannes, Southland Tales was re-edited and released and championed by critic Amy Taubin as a new form of cinema along with David Lynch’s Inland Empire, a form employing the associative editing and continuity breaking conventions of dreams. Kelly readily acknowledges the multiple pop cultural influences – comics, music videos, movies, internet – in his films but still manages to somehow twist them in his own image. A Richmond premiere!

BEST OF WHOLPHIN with Emily Doe (Approx. 90 min.)
Sponsored by Chop Suey Books
3 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission $5

Assistant editor Emily Doe will screen a selection of films from Wholphin, a quarterly DVD magazine from McSweeney’s that features short films, documentaries, animation, and instructional videos that have not, for whatever reason, found wide release. Come see the world’s most illegal game of border volleyball; a band of Scottish nine-year-olds singing “Satan Rocks” at their county fair; a Wizard of Oz story reinterpreted in a world of evangelical mysticism; a documentary about a thirteen-year-old Yemeni girl who refuses to wear her veil; an Academy Award nominated short; squid birth and more!

BAD GIRLS (2000-2005, 85 min.)
with David Williams
5 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission $5

Another in a series of works into artists’ personalities and processes, Richmond filmmaker David Williams offers a work-in-progress on the local art duo known as “Bad Girl Art.” Keithley Pierce and Georgia Terry make art with an unflinching honesty and a humorous tongue-in-cheek quality derived from their own relationships with men and family. After cultivating a loyal patronage, they’re finally able to quit their day jobs and pursue their one true calling. Stay for a Q&A after the film with Mr. Williams.

Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989, 135 min., Korean with subtitles)
7:30 p.m., The Firehouse Theatre
Admission $5

The first major Korean film to be released in the U.S., director Bae Yong-kyun’s Zen saga relates the last days of an elderly Buddhist monk, and his two charges, a disciple and an orphan. As he prepares for his death, he wisely prepares them for their own life paths. Stunning cinematography in a restored print from Milestone Films. In Korean with subtitles.

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