Sunday, April 10, 2016

'Symphony at the Movies' not a box office smash

There's nothing like hearing memorable film scores being performed live by a full orchestra.

The sweeping sounds of the strings cradle you up in a blanket of happiness as they usher you away from your seat to memories of your favorite stories and characters. Pounding of drums remind us of epics, like Judah Ben-Hur rowing in the gallies in "Ben-Hur" as the drumming ceases to slow. The low, deep moans of the double basses send chills like we're in an old haunted house.

Great music and great moments.

"Gone With the Wind," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Psycho" are in the top five in a list of the greatest film scores published by the American Film Institute, yet none of these scores, nor anything from their respective composers, filled the Upper Darby Performing Arts Center at a recent performance.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Media Film Festival brings great films, nostalgia back to borough

Photo Courtesy of Media Arts Council
Beloved film critic Roger Ebert had a great saying about the length of a film: “No good movie is too long, and no bad movie is short enough."

That was the statement I thought about before the start of the ninth Media Film Festival.

The way Ebert’s wonderful quote applies to the films shown at this year’s festival went like this: can a short film be too long, or not long enough?

Comprised of over 40 short films ranging in length from two minutes to 30, could it be possible that even at such a minute length compared to a feature, do some stories overstay their welcome, and others not stay long enough?

It turns out, yes.

That’s not to say that the artists, from Media to India, did not show off their good craftsmanship, but even on a small canvas, some work cannot fill the entirety of their space with enough substance to keep you intrigued.