Welcome Address by Russ Collins, Director, Art House Convergence
January 15, 2013 – for the Art House Convergence conference, Zermatt Resort, Midway, Utah
Welcome to the Art House Convergence. Welcome as we celebrate the Brave New American Art House. Thank you for taking the time and trouble to gather here in Utah with colleagues and friends and, with strangers who will soon be friends, to execute the mission of the Art House Convergence.
The mission of the Art House Convergence is to increase the quantity and quality of Art House cinemas in North America. We hope you will help us pursue that mission by constantly improving your Art House, as well as helping colleagues make their Art Houses better place for audiences to experience cinema art and be highly effective community centers.
This conference would not be possible without the hard work by a dedicated group of volunteers. Thanks to Art House Convergence Conference Committee – if you participated in one or more of those Friday calls that happen throughout the year as we plan the Art House Convergence, stand and be recognized.
It is so great to see so many of you here! How many are here for the first-time? Wonderful, welcome to Utah to the Art House Convergence. How many of you are staying, for at least a day or two to go to Park City and check out the Sundance Film Festival?
I see a lot of friends; friend that have grown from the 25 brave souls who came to this first Art House Convergence to this year, with nearly 350 registered delegates at this, the sixth annual gathering of community-based, mission-driven cinema operators.
The strong theme of this year’s conference is The Brave New American Art House. So, what’s the Brave New American Art House?
The Brave New American Art House is a set of ideals that looks something like this:
· It is located in Canada, Mexico or the USA.
· It is focused on frequent and regular screenings of Art House movies – classic, foreign, documentary, independent and experimental cinema (and sometimes other cultural programs the community demands).
· It actively seeks community support – it believes philanthropy and volunteers are important and viable sources of revenue and support.
· It is a cultural institution – it teaches its community about the art, craft, grammar and historical importance of cinema.
· As possible it is dedicated to quality celluloid AND digital exhibition methods – providing state-of-the-art image and sound across all eras and formats (including live music for silent-era films).
· It believes excellent customer service is paramount – it trains it employees and manages its marketing, facilities, event presentations and staff to put the customer’s experience first.
· It makes cinema come alive – with intelligently curated programs and ever expanding relationships with living filmmakers.
· It is community-based – it is not part of a national chain.
· It is mission-driven – it has a triple bottom line: A triple bottom line calculated in: 1) community benefit; 2) artistic quality; and 3) financial success.
· Its business management is strategic – it plans effectively and does not expect Deus ex Machina* to magically provide for its financial success.
· The Brave New American Art House annually sends staff and board members to the Art House Convergence to have fun learning and being inspired by dedicated and resourceful colleagues.
The “Brave New” of the Brave New American Art House is an intentional literary reference to both Aldous Huxley and Shakespeare – because, you know, Art House people are just a little smarter and better-read than your average movie exhibitor (some might say “snooty,” rather than smarter and better read, but I think “smarter and better read” works better with this audience). Huxley’s novel expressed the notion that the fast-paced world of the future would force dehumanizing changes, causing anxiety, the loss of intimacy and individuality. Plus, Huxley also predicted that movies in year 2540 would be called “feelies,” a cinema-style entertainment that creates the illusion of an entertainment reaching out and literally touching the audience. Which given the ironic nature of the novel supports the poetic notion that 3-D is the movie technology of the future – and it always will be!
Of course Huxley and the Convergence both stole the phase “brave new” from Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. The play’s most famous lines are said by the Prospero’s daughter Miranda, who looked on in wonder as drunken sailors stagger in a disorderly manner from their wrecked ship, and said:
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.”
And although Shakespeare’s words spoken by is character Miranda were ironic, I believe, stated without irony, that this “brave new” notion is correct, because today and for the next several days the Zermatt and Homestead resorts will be full of goodly people; goodly community-based, mission-driven Art House people. How beauteous it is; O brave new world, to have such people, such Art House people in’t!
The ethos of the Art House Convergence is a commitment to quality, openness and community. It is the antithesis of the “whatever the market will bear,” cutthroat and mass market dynamics of commercial exhibition. Please know I’m not saying one is better than the other – both of these commercial dynamics are viable, even needed, but the ethos of each are juxtaposed. The Art House Convergence ethos embraces the notion that philanthropic subsidy from a community will create a stable, culturally significant center for cinema to be experience, taught, supported and loved for cinemas intrinsic artistic and cultural worth and for civic enrichment of communities.
The community-based, mission-driven exhibitor is a powerful but subtle aspect of the movie business; too subtle to be deeply appreciated in a blockbuster obsessed media or in a greed driven entertainment industry. And, let’s be honest the Art House movement will not create millionaires and it will not be the hot new thing that transform media culture.
At this point cinema is an old art form, like painting and writing, sculpture and dance, theater and music. Although artists always do new things with their forms of art, the art of cinema itself is now an old form. It can no longer be a shiny new thing and that’s OK; because cinema presented on a big screen in a darken room full of strangers is a great thing; a profound thing that can deeply move the human psyche and transform lives.
Although the financial scale of the Art House, compared to half-a-billion dollar superhero blockbuster, is rather small, it is significant and the long-term impact is critically important; because the Art House plays an essential role in preserving and promoting the best and the brightest of cinema for diverse audiences. Your Art House is a sacred shrine and home to the most profound form of creative expression created in recent human time.
And just as important, Art Houses are exciting, sustainable and practical venues that effectively bolster the vitality of local neighborhoods and transform lives through the creative vision of the people who work there and the poignant cinema found in these remarkable little arts institutions.
Over the decades, the Art House community has had a hard time finding its voice, a hard time believing it is in fact a community and a hard time feeling like it is a citizen in the wider cinema world. But now, with the Art House Convergence we have found our collective voice, we are starting to believe in our potential and we are growing the number of communities throughout North America who are demanding community-based, mission-driven Art House cinemas in their towns.
Your Art House as a key community institution – feel it, own it. You provide a vital service and you are an important economic driver in your neighborhood. Being a community-based, mission-driven, not-for-profit Art House you can be much more than mere movie venue and employer, or recipient of charity and coordinator of volunteers. You are a flagship asset, an essential cog and an indispensable part of a healthy community.
Over the next few days, what will be most important for those of us gathered here in Utah is to feel the strength and joy of being among kindred souls, of benefiting from shared knowledge and experience and feeling anchored to this non-profit Art House movement.
Welcome to the 2013, Art House Convergence celebrating The Brave New American Art House. We hope all delegates, who this year come from around the world, will share with great enthusiasm all that is wonderful and brave and new about their Art House and their community. Thank you for coming to the Convergence. And as the Bard of Stratford on Avon almost said, “How beauteous it is; O brave new world, to have such people, such Art House people in’t!” Enjoy the 2013 Art House Convergence.
Saturday, December 15, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada City Film Festival present “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, the ultimate family holiday film, starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid. Considered a modern classic, “Christmas Vacation”, with its laugh out loud moments and awkward family scenes, captures an undeniable and genuine Christmas spirit. The special screening is part of the Food & Film Series, pairing popular movies with a unique and fun dining experience.
The film will be screened in the historic Osborn and Woods hall at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center where state of the art projection and concert sound is brought in for the audience’s viewing pleasure and has been beautifully decorated for the holidays.
Chevy Chase returns as the head of the Griswold family in the fourth installment of the National Lampoons series. He mugs, trips, falls, mashes his fingers and stubs his toes as he prepares to invite numerous dysfunctional relatives to his household to celebrate Christmas. Amidst the more outrageous sight gags (including the electrocution of a cat as the Christmas tree is lit) the film betrays a sentimental streak, with old wounds healing and long-estranged relatives reuniting in the Griswold living room.
Get into the Yuletide spirit by wearing your ugliest holiday sweater or sweater dress and strike a pose with friends in our Holiday Photo Booth (yes, there will be prizes for best ugly sweater!), enjoy a full bar including eggnog and other traditional holiday drinks, and a delicious dinner.
California Organics puts an organic twist on the typical holiday feast with two sumptuous entrees including a Meatloaf Dinner with brown sugar glaze, garlic-rosemary potatoes and roasted veggies and one of their signature dishes a Sunshine Loaf Dinner with a sunflower seed loaf topped with cashew gravy, garlic-rosemary potatoes and roasted veggies. This option is vegan and gluten free. And for dessert, pumpkin and apple pie that are 100% organic and made from scratch. Located in the 7-Hils business district, California Organics is both a market and restaurant that features 100% certified organic meats, wild and sustainable caught seafood, produce and dairy products. Dinner $12, Pie $5.
Yes, you could stay home and watch countless reruns of the edited version of “Christmas Vacation” on television, but what fun would that be?
WHAT: Food & Film Series presents “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”
WHEN: Saturday, December 15, Doors 7pm, Film 7:30pm
WHERE: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: Ticket includes film and one drink ticket, $12.00 Members / $15.00 Non-members. Dinner for purchase and no-host bar.
Tickets are available online, by phone, or in person at the Nevada City Box Office, (530) 265-5462, www.nevadacityboxoffice.org or at Briar Patch Co-Op.
The only thing better than receiving is giving. Give a gift membership to the Magic Lantern Film Society to friends, family, co-workers, teachers, or anyone you care about who enjoys going to the movies. We guarantee they will be tickled pink!
- Support local filmmakers by underwriting their submission fees to the Festival and through the exhibition of their work at the Festival.
- Host filmmakers from around the globe at the festival.
- Present creative, diverse, independent films from around the world that would otherwise have little or no other outlet in our region.
- Curate and present film programs and other related events, including our Young Filmmakers Grant and Young Filmmakers Music & Film Project.
- Create a world-class international film festival in Nevada County that has a significant economic impact to our local economy
With only two screenings left, the Miners Foundry Cultural Center and Nevada City Film Festival will wrap up the 2012 season of their monthly Food & Film Series with the 1934 classic comedy-mystery, The Thin Man, Friday, November 16 and the holiday slapstick comedy National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Saturday, December 15.
The series that kicked off last April, pairs a popular film with a unique dining experience, and has shown such films as The Big Night, Amelie, and Mamma Mia alongside an Italian feast, French crepes and Greek cuisine, prepared by local restaurateurs and caterers. Films are screened in the historic Osborn and Woods hall at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center where state of the art projection and concert sound is brought in for the audience’s viewing pleasure. A full-bar, along with either tasty treats or a sumptuous dinner depending on the film is available for purchase.
Friday, November 16, the Food & Film Series screens The Thin Man directed by W.S. Van Dyke, and based on the novel of the same name by Dashiell Hammett, the film stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. Nick is a hard-drinking, retired private detective, and Nora a wealthy heiress. Filmed on what MGM considered a B-picture budget and schedule (14 days, which at Universal or Columbia would have been considered extravagant), The Thin Man proved to be a “sleeper,” spawning a popular film, radio, and television series. Nick Charles (Powell), a retired detective, and his wife Nora (Loy) are attempting to settle down when he’s pulled back into service by a friend’s disappearance and possible involvement in a murder. The murderer is finally revealed in a classic dinner-party scene that features all of the suspects. The film’s strong suit is the witty repartee between Nick and Nora, who manage to behave like saucily illicit lovers throughout the film even though they’re married. A fun fact about the film, some of the interior scenes were shot inside the Bidwell Mansion in neighboring Chico, California.
Renowned Chef Willem DeGroot of The Truffle Shop in Nevada City will complement the cocktail party theme with an array of decadent truffles and tortes. All truffles are created with an imported Belgian chocolate and not only taste amazing they are small works of art. Truffle Tortes contain two layers of a rich truffle filling (ganache) layered with dark chocolate cake, covered in a smooth chocolate glaze, and topped with the appropriate decoration. Truffle Tortes are available in Cafe Mocha, Raspberry and Hazelnut. Chef Willem DeGroot’s products have been sent to the White House, the Vatican, and other discriminating customers around the world. The Truffle Shop will also be serving their famous Nevada City Ice Cap.
Save the Date! Saturday, December 15, Chevy Chase, is back as the head of the Griswold family to skewer the Yuletide season in National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. Chevy mugs, trips, falls, mashes his fingers and stubs his toes as he prepares to invite numerous dysfunctional relatives to his household to celebrate Christmas. Amidst the more outrageous sight gags (including the electrocution of a cat as the Christmas tree is lit) the film betrays a sentimental streak, with old wounds healing and long-estranged relatives reuniting in the Griswold living room. National Lampoons Christmas Vacation also stars Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Johnny Galecki, Juliette Lewis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and written by John Hughes and directed by Jeremiah Chechik. The film is considered a modern holiday classic, inspiring ugly holiday sweater parties across the globe.
California Organics puts an organic twist on the typical holiday feast. They feature 100% certified organic meats, wild and sustainable caught seafood, produce and dairy products.
KNOW & GO
WHAT: Food & Film Series presents “The Thin Man”
WHEN: Friday, November 16, Doors 7pm, Film 7:30pm
WHERE: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
TICKETS: Ticket includes film and one drink ticket, $12.00 Members / $15.00 Non-members
Tickets are available online, by phone, or in person at the Nevada City Box Office, (530) 265-5462, www.nevadacityboxoffice.org or at Briar Patch Co-Op.
The Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada City Film Festival presents “Labyrinth” (rated PG) the Jim Henson cult classic starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, Friday, October 19 at the Miners Foundry. The special screening is part of the Food & Film Series, pairing popular films with a fun and unique dining experience. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with the film beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $12.00 for Miners Foundry or Magic Lantern Film Society members, and $15.00 for non members, $5 for kids under 12. Children under 13 should be accompanied by an adult. The ticket price includes one drink ticket. Get your tickets here.
Hailed as a masterpiece of puppetry and special effects, Labyrinth has delighted and amazed audiences of all-ages for over twenty-five years. George Lucas (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) produced and Jim Henson (The Muppets), directed this gothic fantasy, which pits living and breathing actors Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind) and David Bowie (who, along with Trevor Jones, provides the film’s music) against a motley collection of Muppet monsters. The film centers upon teenage Sarah (Connelly), who lives in a fantasy world of myth and magic, evil spells, and wondrous enchantment. She is baby-sitting her little brother when she cavalierly wishes that goblins would take him away. She gets her wish, and a coterie of goblins abduct him. She then encounters Jareth (David Bowie), the ruler of a mystical world one step removed from reality. He tells Sarah that the only way to get her brother back is to find her way through a M.C. Escher-like labyrinth and find the castle at the center. As she makes her way through the maze, she faces a number of horrific challenges (like the Bog of Eternal Stench) before she finds her way to the gravity-defying castle, where her brother is being held by the evil goblins. Henson creates a fantasy and largely without computer-generated effects instead relying on detailed puppetry, excellent visuals and a phenomenal set design. This was Henson’s final feature film before his death in 1990.
“Labyrinth” will screen in the historic Osborn and Woods hall at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center where state of the art projection and sound will be brought in for the audience’s viewing pleasure.
Get into the fantastical Halloween spirit by dressing up as Bowie’s Jareth (oh that jacket and hair!) or Connelly’s Sarah (remember her rainbow eyeshadow) from the ballroom scene. Enjoy an array of chocolates, candy, popcorn, cotton candy, and other treats and “Labyrinth” themed cocktails from the full bar before, during and after the film.
Tickets available at Nevada City Box Office, (530) 265-5462 or at BriarPatch Co-op,
NCFF Monthly Picks at The Magic Theatre – The Big Easy Express
September 21 – September 27, 2012, Showtime 9:15pm, Doors Open 15min before Showtime
Tickets available at the door, $8/GA, $6.50 Student and Senior
Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City, CA
3 bands, 6 cities, 1 train, and thousands of miles of track…the BIG EASY EXPRESS documents a cinematic musical journey. Directed by renowned filmmaker Emmett Malloy (THE WHITE STRIPES UNDER GREAT WHITE NORTHERN LIGHTS) this incredible new film captures nothing less than history in the making.
Indie folk heroes Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Tennessee’s Old Crow Medicine Show, and Britain’s acclaimed Mumford & Sons, climbed aboard a beautiful vintage train in California, setting out for New Orleans, Louisiana on a “tour of dreams”. The resulting film from this journey is nothing short of magical.
Part road movie and part concert film, BIG EASY EXPRESS bears witness to the birth of a new musical era. With poignancy and beauty, Malloy documents these incredible musicians as they ride the rails and wow the crowds, from Oakland… to New Orleans.
So climb on board for a vibrant, raucous railway adventure. Filled with joyous crowds, late night laughter, endless music…and a train that was bound for glory.
Friday, September 21st – Don’t miss the raucous, outrageous party that combines the film Mamma Mia! with delicious Mediterranean cuisine and an ABBA dance party! Grab your friends, dress up and get ready to dance and sing your worries away!
“Mamma Mia!” is part of the “Food & Film Series” presented by the Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the Nevada City Film Festival, that pairs a popular film with a unique and exciting dining experience. “Mamma Mia! is set on the colorful Greek island of Kalokairi, the plot serves as a background for a wealth of ABBA songs. A young woman about to be married (Amanda Seyfried) discovers one of three men (Pierce Bronsan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard) could be her father. She invites all three to the wedding without telling her mother, Donna, (Meryl Streep) who was once the lead singer of Donna and the Dynamos. The men quickly surmise the reason they were invited, each believing he is indeed Sophie’s father. As complications ensue from the misunderstandings, Sophie and Sky’s wedding and relationship may be jeopardized. Hollywood.com calls Mamma Mia! “An absolutely hilarious, rousing and joyous celebration that ought to have you dancing in the aisles.”
Following the film, Nevada City Marketplace will have delicious Mediterranean dishes such as Greek Salad, Dolmas, Falafels, Mezze platters, Baklava, and more available for sale. Attendees can also enjoy an array of Greek wines.
Friday, September 21
Miners Foundry, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA
Doors 5:30pm, Film 6pm, Food, Full Bar and ABBA dance party 8pm
Food will be available for purchase along with a full bar
Tickets are $12.00 for Magic Lantern Film Society and Miners Foundry
Members and $15.00 for Non Members.
The ticket price includes one complimentary drink ticket.
Tickets are available online at www.minersfoundry.org, in person or by phone at the Nevada City
Box Office (530) 265-5462, or in person at Briar Patch Co-Op.
Shut Up And Play The Hits – One Week ONLY!
Friday, September 7th – Thursday, September 13th, 9:15pm
**Beer & Wine available for purchase on Friday, September 7th ONLY
“Shut Up and Play the Hits manages to effectively display the power of that final concert while putting the band’s leader into thoughtful cultural perspective.”- NPR
Nevada City Film Festival and the Magic Lantern Film Society continue to present their film series “NCFF Picks” at the Magic Theatre in Nevada City. These films delve deep into the human condition with inspiring, though-provoking storytelling that captures audiences hearts and minds.
Shut Up and Play the Hits is a 2012 documentary film directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace that follows LCD Soundsystem frontman James Murphy over a 48-hour period, from the day of the band’s final gig at Madison Square Garden to the morning after the show. The film also features intermittent segments from an extended interview between Murphy and pop culture writer Chuck Klosterman. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2012, and was released in the USA for one night only on July 18, 2012. UK showings began on September 4, 2012.
James Murphy performs a duet with the comedian and musician Reggie Watts for one song during the show.
Several members of the band Arcade Fire provide backing vocals during LCD’s performance of North American Scum. The film’s title is a reference to the moment Win Butler of Arcade Fire shouts ‘Shut Up and play the Hits’ as James introduces the song.
The film also features brief appearances from the Juan MacLean and David and Stephen Dewaele, from the band Soulwax (thereby mirroring James Murphy and Nancy Whang’s appearances in the Soulwax film Part of the Weekend Never Dies). There are also fleeting glimpses of both Aziz Ansari and Donald Glover in the crowd at Madison Square Garden. Aziz can be seen crowd surfing during ‘Yeah’.
The Magic Theatre, 107 Argall Way, Nevada City, CA
Showtime 9:15pm, Box Office Opens 15 minutes before screening
Tickets $8 GA, $6.50 Student/Senior
SIDEWAYS starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, and Virginia Madsen
“Intelligent, funny and moving.
“By far the year’s best American movie.
How much trouble can an unsuccessful writer and depressed middle school English teacher get into during a road trip through the Santa Ynez Valley wine country? Plenty! For one night only, The Nevada City Film Festival and Miners Foundry Cultural Center present the Award winning film “Sideways”, plus a hearty and delicious dinner featuring California cuisine by A Family Affair, 5 tastings of local wines, and live jazz music.
“Sideways” will screen in the historic Osborn and Woods hall at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center where state of the art projection and sound will be brought in for the audience’s viewing pleasure. Following the film, enjoy five tastings from vintage cabs and buttery chardonnays by local award-winning foothill wineries. A delicious and hearty meal prepared by A Family Affair will be served in the beautiful Stone Hall. The Sierra Jazz Society will provide a sonic back drop of live jazz music.
Part of the “Food & Film Series”, “Sideways” is about two men reaching middle age without much to show for it. They embark on a week long road trip to explore California’s wine country while ultimately searching for their identities. “Sideways” stars Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Sandra Oh, and Virginia Madsen. A surprise hit, “Sideways” became popular in the US and internationally. Santa Ynez Valley, where much of the film is set, attracted increased tourism.
Throughout the film, Giamatti’s character Miles speaks fondly of the red wine varietal Pinot Noir, while denigrating Merlot. Following the film’s U.S. release in October 2004, Pinot Noir sales increased 16% in the Western United States while Merlot sales dropped 2%, possibly due to Miles’ disparaging remarks about the varietal in the film.
Make it a weekend!
“Sideways” kicks off Nevada City Uncorked: Wine & Food Experience, August 4, 2012, 1-5pm, in historic downtown Nevada City. The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce and the Sierra Vintners present this annual event that brings together early 20 wineries and restaurants. For more information, visit www.nevadacitychamber.com.
On Sunday, August 5, 2012, the Miners Foundry will host the annual Nevada City Craft Fair. The independent, juried craft fair showcases the local region’s top Etsy vendors, artisans, do-it-yourself crafters, featuring their unique, handmade, original & vintage items.
10am-8pm, $3, Children under 12 free.
Friday, August 3rd
Food & Film Series presents Sideways plus Dinner & Live Music
325 Spring Street, Nevada City, CA 95959
4:30 p.m. Wine Tasting / 5:30 p.m. Film / 7:30 p.m. Dinner & Music
Ticket $40.00 Members / $50.00 Non Members. RSVP by July 20th.
Buy your tickets here!