The big winner of the first annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL was Pascal Chind's mind warping, hilarious and disturbing short film EXTREME PINOCCHIO. The Reel East Film Festival is very proud to award the film with its top prize, the Edison. The film is also the recipient of the Audience Prize which was voted by the audience by ballot along with a special citation to actor, Christophe Fluder for his pitch perfect performance in the lead role. 

There will be more information about the prize winners soon but for now we wanted to make the announcement public as soon as we could...so here are our prizes and the winners...

Reel East Film Festival Awards (for Short Films) 

Audience Award - Voted on by festival audience, the Audience Award posses the critical validation of the viewing public. The Audience Award is often a filmmaker's most coveted prize at festivals.

AUDIENCE AWARD: Extreme Pinocchio (Dir: Pascal Chind)

Best of Festival Prizes (3) 

1. Edison Prize - The festival's top prize. The invention of cinema was a global effort. On American shores, particularly in the Garden State, no name is more synonymous with film's birth than Thomas Alva Edison. With the critical assistance of early film pioneers and technicians like William Dickson, Edison presented the world with the kinetoscope and the Black Maria Studio. And soon the world was captured by the magic of motion pictures.

EDISON PRIZE: Extreme Pinocchio (Dir: Pascal Chind)

2. Porter Prize - An employee of Edison's, Edwin S. Porter directed over 250 films throughout his career as a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Porter was an innovative and inventive filmmaker. His most well-known film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), is a critical American film that pioneered new techniques in production and editing that we still see in today's movies.

PORTER PRIZE: BROKEN (Dir: Bryan Locantore, Barrett O'Neal, Gang Yi)

3. Goodwin Prize - Hannibal Goodwin is a largely forgotten but crucial name in American film history. In a modest house in Newark, NJ, Reverend Goodwin invented transparent flexible celluloid film for roller cameras. Goodwin's patent application was submitted in 1887, two years before George Eastman's celluloid film patent, but remained unissued as it underwent several amendments. Goodwin died in 1900, but in 1913 he was posthumously vindicated when it was ruled that Goodwin’s patent had been infringed upon by Eastman.


GOODWIN PRIZE: The Story of M (Dir:Anna Arlanova)

Achievement in Student Filmmaking Prizes (2) 

1. Audacity Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates a unique vision and a willingness to take risks in order to further film as an art form.

AUDACITY PRIZE: TOUGH CASE (Dir: Stefan Perez)

2. Jury Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates extraordinary achievement in film.

JURY PRIZE: Spirit of Negation (Dir: Alexander Kuribayashi)





 
 
We don't really like showing off here but these award trophies just showed up at our offices and we are really proud of how amazing they look. We could've went with a paper certificate of achievement and coupon to Olive Garden but wouldn't you rather have one of these sitting on your shelf? We just had to share them with you. 

Reel East Film Festival Awards (for Short Films) 

Audience Award - Voted on by festival audience, the Audience Award posses the critical validation of the viewing public. The Audience Award is often a filmmaker's most coveted prize at festivals.

Best of Festival Prizes (3) 

1. Edison Prize - The festival's top prize. The invention of cinema was a global effort. On American shores, particularly in the Garden State, no name is more synonymous with film's birth than Thomas Alva Edison. With the critical assistance of early film pioneers and technicians like William Dickson, Edison presented the world with the kinetoscope and the Black Maria Studio. And soon the world was captured by the magic of motion pictures.

2. Porter Prize - An employee of Edison's, Edwin S. Porter directed over 250 films throughout his career as a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Porter was an innovative and inventive filmmaker. His most well-known film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), is a critical American film that pioneered new techniques in production and editing that we still see in today's movies.

3. Goodwin Prize - Hannibal Goodwin is a largely forgotten but crucial name in American film history. In a modest house in Newark, NJ, Reverend Goodwin invented transparent flexible celluloid film for roller cameras. Goodwin's patent application was submitted in 1887, two years before George Eastman's celluloid film patent, but remained unissued as it underwent several amendments. Goodwin died in 1900, but in 1913 he was posthumously vindicated when it was ruled that Goodwin’s patent had been infringed upon by Eastman. 

Achievement in Student Filmmaking Prizes (2) 

1. Audacity Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates a unique vision and a willingness to take risks in order to further film as an art form.

2. Jury Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates extraordinary achievement in film.




 
 
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There are some books that you first read when you are young but return to over and over later in life. For me, Stephen King's first short story collection, 1978's Night Shift is one of them. Collecting King's early work as a writer, the book contains some of his most famous short fiction including today's Dollar Baby story, Gray Matter

First published in the October 1973 issue of Cavalier magazine, Gray Matter is a kind of distant relative to "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" segment of the King-George A. Romero collaboration CREEPSHOW. It's the story of a young man who claims his alcoholic father is transforming into some kind of monster after drinking beer from a can with some strange gray mold on it. This is King in his horror fan mode. With a knod to Joseph Payne Levering's famous short story, Slime as well as 50s monster movies like The Blob and The Fly, King fuses the old fashioned tale with his own brand of small town horror story. With King's quirky local characters lending believability to the far out story, Gray Matter emerges as something much more ambiguous and disturbing. 

Filmmaker James Burgess Cox has done something unique with his adaptation of the story, Grey Matter and it goes beyond just the spelling of the title. His version smartly shifts the point of view entirely to the young man, Isaac, and focuses on the boy's troubled home life and his attempts to be understood by the authority figures at his school. It's a bold change that takes the subtext of the original story and presents it much more directly and dramatically. The film is extraordinarily well directed with performances that convince you that these characters live lives outside the frame of the film. Even though it's a short film, Cox's Grey Matter has the dramatic weight of a feature film. 


GREY MATTER was produced at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film & Media Arts with the help of film students from USC, UCLA, and AFI. The film was also shot on location in Long Beach and Orange, CA.

Awards Won

Jury Prize at United Film Festival - London
Outstanding Performance at Big Bear Horror Film Festival
Best Student Film at Vail Film Festival
Best Horror Short at Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
Best Student Film at Charlotte Horror Fest
 
 
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This afternoon we look at the third of our Stephen King Dollar Baby selections: BEACHWORLD. One of King's most underrated stories, it was originally published in Weird Tales in 1984, and collected in his 1985 collection Skeleton Crew.  Which is where I first read it back in high school. 

Beachworld is set in the distant future. Federation ship ASN-29 crashes on an unknown planet with only two members of the crew surviving - Shapiro and Rand.

The planet is uninhabited-at least by physical entities. Desert stretches out in all directions. No food and no watter. Despair and insanity creep up on them, sand devours everything and very soon they discover that they are not alone on the planet. 

As novelist James Smythe has written, "More than anything, this is a story about isolation, about being stranded, with nowhere to go." 

Maria Ivanova's animated adaptation of the story is nothing less than hypnotic. Her use of striking black and white imagery along with a powerful ambient soundtrack evoke the early films of David Lynch, as well as Walerian Borowczyk's classic short film, DOM. Particularly in terms of the spellbinding rhythm which she generates through the collision and at times opposition of image and sound and one other, very specific thing-there is no dialogue. The film starts and you are plunged into a world which is immersive and genuinely uncanny. 

For more about BEACHWORLD you can visit Maria Ivanova's website and for another review of this film as well as many other Dollar Babies, you can visit Tony Northrup's website, Through the Black Hole.
 
 
Hmm...who might this be? A work in progress at the "offices" of the Reel East Film Festival.
 
 
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Today's peek at the REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL'S Stephen King DOLLAR BABY selections has to be one of the most intense adaptations of the writer's work ever produced. From Director Billy Hanson, this film is an adaptation of King's Survivor Type  which was first published in the 1982 horror anthology Terrors, and collected in King's 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. Of Survivor Type, King says: "As far as short stories are concerned, I like the grisly ones the best. However the story Survivor Type goes a little bit too far, even for me." 

Though based on King's story, Hanson's film gets under your skin in a way that can only work in the cinema. It's raw and intimate and just ...CLOSE...it invades your personal space. Just when you think the camera is going to cut away from the horror, it does NOT. It just lingers on it. The performance by Gideon Emery is riveting and it has to be since it's a one man show. Emery displays a physical and emotional range that presents a man who starts off as tragically human but ends up primal and absurd.  
 
 
Interview by Melissa Webb


ANDREW REPASKY McELHINNEY is the director of the feature films Magdalen (1998), A Chronicle of Corpses (2000), Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye (2003), Animal Husbandry (2009) and Christmas Dreams (2014).  He is also an author, theater director, installation artist, repertory film programmer and educator. He currently teaches at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey.  His book on 20th Century English Language cinema, Second Takes--Remaking Film, Remaking America is available from McFarland and Company Publishers.

ARMcinema25.com

 1.) Although not the first film he made, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) is often referred to as "the first true Hitchcock movie." Do you feel like this is an accurate assessment? How did it set the stage, aesthetically or thematically, for his later films?

The Lodger has many of the themes audiences associate with Hitchcock.  It’s ripe with gallows humor.  It features an ambivalently innocent man potentially or potentially not wrongly accused.  Hitchcock’s evocation of queasy audience sympathies that turn normative order and ethics on their head. (There is) visual evidence of Hitchcock as both an inventive and experimental film director.  Title cards that anticipate Hitchcock’s later iconic collaborations with Saul Bass (are included), and a climax that visually anticipates and pre-figures the famous Mt. Rushmore finale of North By Northwest.

2.) Talk a little about the construction of the narrative and how it works. For instance, we first find out about the facts of the murders (that blonde women are being killed, that the killer strikes on Tuesdays, that the police have no suspects), and then we are shown the central family. The leading man does not even appear until fifteen minutes after the film begins. What does Hitchcock achieve by setting up the details of the crimes before introducing the audience to the lodger?

The Lodger is subtitled “A Story of the London Fog” and this sense of community, of the London fog, the fog of community, the fog of gossip, of the web our lives weave, especially in the physical pre-digital media days is the texture and soul of the movie.  Hitchcock seems as interested in the social milieu as he does the specific character drama.  This gives the movie a rich and unusual complexity and is something that is largely absent in the three big screen remakes of The Lodger.

3.) Hitchcock once said, "A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality." Talk a bit about what some have called Hitchcock's "obsession" with Jack the Ripper and other historical influences that may have contributed to his making of films filled with the macabre.

The Lodger is a landmark horror movie, and one can trace its influence through to other benchmarks such as M (1931), Stranger on the Third Floor (1939), Psycho (1960), Halloween (1977), and The Blair Witch Project (1999).

The Lodger could be seen as the cinematic birth of what the courts now term “the CSI effect”.  With The Lodger, the medium of cinema has picked up the English gothic tradition from the penny dreadful, Wilkie Collins, et al, and Jack the Ripper—both the fictional serials and the true serial killer.  This cross-pollination helped codify what is now quantified as the crime docudrama or true crime genre.

4.) I read an interview in which Hitchcock says that handcuffs carry with them implications of fetishism and "sexual aberrations through restraint." Handcuffs recur in numerous Hitchcock films (The Lodger, Blackmail, and The Thirty-nine Steps, for example). Could you discuss what you think the symbolic value of the handcuffs is in The Lodger and perhaps elaborate on similar motifs within Hitchcock's oeuvre?

Like many visual artists, Hitchcock is obviously a fetishist.  I mean, in The Lodger and elsewhere (especially Vertigo), he practically uses women’s clothing as dramaturgy!

I think the handcuffs are another representation of the projection of an almost subconscious fear—perhaps very important beyond the characters to Hitchcock the man himself—that, what is inside, cannot be contained, certainly not be contained by the individual, but also by the law or society.  Sort of an “original guilt” everyone possesses.  The other key element this releases for Hitchcock is a Kafkaesque menace and paranoia that runs throughout his work.

5.) When one thinks of music and Hitchcock, one immediately thinks of Bernard Herrmann and his brilliant compositions for films like Psycho and Vertigo. The Lodger, of course, is a silent film, which lacks the extra musical layer of these later films. However, the promise of live musical accompaniment within the theater has continually excited audiences. During the screening of The Lodger at The Reel East Film Fest, we will be providing such an opportunity. Discuss the silent film as it relates to The Lodger: what makes silent films remain compelling in an age of audio? What do we gain from a live musical performance that we do not receive from a film recorded with sound?

I have a passion for silent films, true visual story telling—story-telling more free of the traditions of theater and the proscenium.

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, sound film waged a war against the silents, positioning them as melodramatic, creaky and juvenile.  But now, almost a 100 years later, the power of silent film has not diminished, where as many early sound films are barely watchable.  Thanks now to DVDs and cable TV, silent movies are more available in higher quality editions than ever before.  We talk about pre-code movies meaning sound films from 1930 to 1933, but the real pre-code, the real sizzle, was the silent era.  When a movie has no sound, it can only reach us with gesture and movement—that is, the core of what is human, animal and eternal.

6.) How has Hitchcock influenced your work as a filmmaker?

While not one of my personal favorite directors like Fritz Lang, Edgar G. Ulmer, Stanley Kubrick, or Peter Greenaway, Hitchcock is a filmmaker I deeply respect and admire.  His career spanned a magical time period, silents to sound, UK to USA, David O. Selznick to his own TV show.  And he made at least three undisputed masterpieces: Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, and Psycho.  Add to theses numerous “merely” great films like North By Northwest, Rebecca, The 39 Step, Rear Window, The Birds and add fascinating off-beat experiments like Under Capricorn, Rope, Lifeboat, The Paradine Case, & Frenzy and one totally understands why Hitchcock is at the center of the pantheon of great filmmakers.

7.) Any upcoming projects you'd be willing to share?

I am currently in post-production on my 5th feature film, Christmas Dreams, writing another cinema studies book and developing a few projects to tackle next.  Always looking for a good producer.  For more information visit my website, ARMcinema25.com.

The Lodger will be screened during the Reel East Film Festival on August 22nd at 9:00 PM. For more information, please visit www.reeleastfilm.org.



 
 
Some of you may have already heard about these unique films but for the majority the question will be, "What in the world are dollar babies"?

For years Stephen King has been allowing student and independent filmmakers to legally adapt his short stories (not his novels) for the cost of one dollar. This became known as the "Dollar Deal" and the films as "Dollar Babies". 

Of course, filmmakers cannot profit from the films financially. They can only use the films to practice their craft or to demonstrate their talents at film festivals or private screenings. The most famous of these "dollar babies" is probably Frank Darabont's adaptation of The Woman in the Room. Darabont's fine film was seen by King and eventually led to a long collaboration resulting in Darabont's film versions of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. 

Since these "dollar babies" can only be screened privately or at film festivals this is a very rare opportunity to experience some of the most unique adaptations of the author's work. These filmmakers did not have a studio executive or network to conform to or please. For most of them, the most important audience was the King of horror himself. To make a film which would please the author whose benevolence allowed them to make the films in the first place. 

For the next several days, I will be presenting trailers and background information on the films that will be screening during our own modest DOLLAR BABY FEST which takes place on Saturday August 23rd at 2pm at the Historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ.
We begin with a story that was one of the writer's earliest. First published in Startling Mystery Stories in 1969 and collected in Skeleton Crew in 1985, THE REAPER'S IMAGE is the story of an antique mirror haunted by the visage of the Grim Reaper, who appears to those who gaze into it. Mirrors have a long history in weird fiction and films from Lewis Carroll to The Student of Prague and Dead of Night. We seem to be endlessly fascinated by these tricks of glass in which we get a glimpse of ourselves as others see us. 

In filmmaker Matthias Greving's masterful adaptation of the story, Delver Glass, we find ourselves plunged into a world of reflections. Spangler (Jeff Burrell) is only concerned with facts not the superstition that surrounds the delver mirror. But as he is told, "You should know better." 


Delver Glass is a really handsome looking production with fine performances and the kind of confidence in the craft of cinematic storytelling that one finds in the films of Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg. The camera is always moving but at the same time completely invisible. King's story is one of his shortest and simplest, but Greving finds a way to add another level of complexity without sacrificing the fine suspense mechanics. Not a second is wasted in the story nor in this adaptation. 


So step right up and take a look into the abyss- the following is the trailer for DELVER GLASS. 
 
 
With a respectful knod to 2001 (and 2010), Strauss, Porter's Great Train Robbery and Scorsese's Goodfellas...and a sly wink...we present you with our own modest coming attractions "teaser" for the First Annual Reel East Film Festival...
 
 
The Movie Poster and Book Shop on Clements Bridge Road in Barrington, NJ will be at the 2014 Reel East Film Festival at the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn for those interested in purchasing a piece of authentic movie history or just a great book about movies. (Including books by Festival directors Matthew Sorrento, Andrew Repasky McElhinney and Irv Slifkin-to shamelessly promote their fine work.)
You can also take a peek at what the shop has to offer by clicking here and checking out their online store on ebay.

Here is some info regarding their collection:

 

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    The first annual Reel East Film Festival is honored to bring independent and upcoming feature films and shorts to Camden County and greater South Jersey

    Reel East Film Festival proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world's best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more. Click to submit with FilmFreeway.

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