This is our traditional, opening night bash and your chance to meet filmmakers, artists, experts in their various fields as Film Days kicks off for another fast paced and engaging weekend. This year we are hosting the opening night party in the the Smithy surrounded by the curious narrative work of Ted Lott and Yeon Jin Kim.
*includes buffet, cash bar*
Drawing on a rich archive of material from the period, along with riveting oral histories and the on-camera insights of scholars, writers, musicians, artists, religious leaders, and ordinary American travelers, the film explores the genre of travel literature aimed at helping black travelers navigate Jim Crow America.
Filmmakers Brian Kaufman and Kathy Kieliszewski in person
12th and Clairmount powerfully documents the 1967 Detroit riots—by all accounts the fiercest of the civil disturbances that occurred in America during the “long hot summer of ’67.” Using a massive range of archival newsreels, home movies, contemporary photographs, artwork, and interviews recorded on the spot, the film’s director, Brian Kaufman, creates a vivid portrait of a city on the edge of harrowing change.
The Cooperstown Art Association’s Holiday Show & Sale kicks off with a public opening the evening of Friday, November 9th from 5 – 7 pm. The work in the show is geared toward holiday gift giving and includes cards, ornaments, glass, sculpture, jewelry, apparel, woodwork, paintings, prints, stained glass, photos, fiber arts, toys, furniture, pottery and much more.
At the age of 85, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the second woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, has cemented her status as a widely revered legal mind and cultural icon. A Brooklyn native of humble origins, Ginsburg was one of only nine women in her class at Harvard Law School and eventually made the university’s prestigious Law Review.
In Lovers of the Night, seven aging monks in a small rural Cistercian monastery in Ireland strive to keep their spiritual life and their fragile community going. Rendered Small reveals delicate structures to an audience that would not otherwise get to see them, while also conveying, in the words of the collectors, what it’s like “to live amongst so many treasures and, as a married couple, with each other’s obsessions.”
All This Can Happen follows the footsteps of the protagonist as he walks through his entire day—small adventures, reflective moments, and chance encounters. A short cinematic poem, Wilderness is based on the writings of naturalist, author and environmental philosopher John Muir—an ode to wilderness, filmed in the Scottish Highlands.
Legendary Grande Dame of French filmmaking Agnès Varda teams up in Faces, Places with the hipster installation artist JR to create one of the most uplifting cinematic expeditions of the year. (The New York Film Critics Circle voted it Best Non-Fiction Film of 2018.)
An exceptional work of humanist cinema—witty and warm, while at the same time gently mocking his own countrymen and delivering some distressing facts about immigration and asylum seekers. Young protagonist Khaled, fleeing Syria, ends up in Helsinki in a shelter with fellow refugees. When his plea for refuge is rejected, Khaled goes on the lam.
Join us for brunch as Professor Peter Rutkoff (Kenyon College) once again leads a post-screening dialogue following the 28 minute film. A documentary on (arguably) the most important anti-Vietnam war demonstration of the 1960s, is focused on the march to the Pentagon in 1967.
A fascinating cinematic journey with the brilliant British land artist Andy Goldsworthy—whose maxim “You can walk along the path, or you can walk through the hedge” conveys his urge to know nature more intimately—reveals his latest artistic interventions with natural phenomena near his home.
In Modified, filmmaker Aube Giroux and her mother embark on a personal and poignant investigative journey to find out why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labeled in 64 other countries around the world. Shot over a span of nine years, the film follows the citizen-led movement to label GMO foods.
Dwelling in Greece, Dutch filmmaker Joost Conijn managed to worm his way through a hole in the fence of a migrant camp guarded by soldiers at a deserted airfield. Then in France, outside the notorious Calais ‘jungle’, he waited in a dark field with some newfound acquaintances for trucks going to England. Conijn boldly lives with and follows the inhabitants of several refugee camps—embracing no agenda or preconceived plan.
Bagages opens as a performance, but then turns the spotlight on newly arrived teenage immigrants studying at Paul-Gérin-Lajoie-d'Outremont High School in Montréal.The film offers fresh and open insights into passage, arrival, and assimilation into a strange and foreign environment—in this case, into our neighbor to the north, Canada.
At the core of Genesis 2.0 is the emerging area of scientific research known as “synthetic biology,” a relatively new field trying to control evolution by designing biological systems not occurring in nature. Traveling back and forth—from the New Siberian Islands where a team of local prospectors is unearthing woolly mammoth tusks and carcasses from the melting permafrost, to the woolly mammoth museum in Yakutsk, to a gene data bank in China, to a biotech firm in South Korea that made headlines because their stem cell research was fraudulent, to a successful dog-cloning company, to a Harvard genetics lab hoping to soon produce a hybrid mammoth-Asian elephant embryo from ancient DNA—Genesis 2.0 is best summed up in a review from The Hollywood Reporter, “a real-life thriller structured like a double helix, simultaneously frightening and unforgettable.” Swiss filmmaker Christian Frei, who embedded with the mammoth hunters for an entire season, received an Oscar nomination for his earlier documentary War Photographer.
A cherished classic animation from the legendary artist Don Bluth (The Land Before Time, Anastasia)—once a celebrated Disney animator who later split off to form his own animation studio—follows the beguiling immigrant Fievel Mousekewitz, a refugee from Russia who, after an exhausting odyssey, finds himself separated from his loving family en route to a new home in America. Landing in this bizarre foreign land all alone, young Fievel sets out to reunite with his family. Along the way he attracts a host of eccentric critters who try to assist in his quest. Featuring ageless and unforgettable songs and a compelling story of survival and transformation, An American Tail is a portrayal of the immigrant experience for the entire family to view together. (Don Bluth, 1986, 80 minutes)
2,300 Miles to Work
The filmmaker Tim Brown and the illustrator George Butler teamed up to capture one of the world’s largest migrations in “2,300 Miles to Work,” that also touches on themes of survival, the bonds of friendship and family. It profiles two young Tajiks who encounter the same dilemma — to remain at home with dwindling work prospects or to head to Russia for possible work. Fusing the intimacy of pen and ink with the vérité of cinema, they created a work that tells a story that would be impossible to convey through either medium alone. They provide an intimate depiction of another phenomenon: contemporary migration, as people travel in search of money, opportunity and safety. (Tim Brown, 2018, 11 minutes)
What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade? Knife Skills follows the hectic launch of Edwins restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. In this improbable setting, with its mouthwatering dishes and its arcane French vocabulary, we discover the challenges of men and women finding their way after their release. We come to know three trainees intimately, as well as the restaurant’s founder, who is also dogged by his past. They all have something to prove, and all struggle to launch new lives — an endeavor as pressured and perilous as the ambitious restaurant launch of which they are a part. (Thomas Lennon, 2017, 40 minutes)
Under the Husk
“Ohero:kon - Under the Husk” is a documentary following the journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Kaienkwinehtha and Kasennakohe are childhood friends from traditional families living in the Mohawk Community of Akwesasne that straddles the U.S. / Canada border. They both take part in a four- year adolescent passage rites ceremony called Oheró:kon “Under the Husk” that has been revived in their community. This ceremony challenges them spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. It shapes the women they become. (Katsitsionni Fox, 2017, 26 minutes)
Paint the Alpacas
Taking place in the remote countryside of upstate New York, this film revolves around a 70-year-old man named Arthur, his sister, and his son, all dealing with the recent death of Arthur's beloved wife. Arthur is a devout Christian and a fear-stricken man. Just moments before her death, his wife confessed her religious doubt, causing Arthur to resist burying her in fear that he will never see her again, not even in heaven. (Aidan Macaluso, 2016, 18 minutes)
to benefit future Film Days
The wrap party is our last toast to Film Days before we pack up for next year. There will be a cash bar, Turkish buffet and auction to benefit future Film Days. Paintings generously donated by Susan Jones Kenyon and Tracy Helgeson.
This Turkish buffet menu is still being developed but will be something like this:
Ezma Salata, a very famous Turkish salad dip (Served cold)
Tavuk Guvek Chicken, split peas, eggplant dish in app size (Served hot)
Hummus Turkish style with Yogurt Tahini sauce (Served cold or warm)
Dolmathakia me Kima, Creamy Dolma with meat (Served hot)
Mirza Ghasemi without eggs, an Iranian dish similar to Baba Ghanouj but with a few extra ingredient (Served hot or warm)
Through the eyes of seven of these felines, the history and intensity of the city’s relationship with these complex animals unfolds. Far from any resemblance to typical cat footage, however, Kedi presents a brilliantly photographed and choreographed exposé, a sort of philosophical treatise of the concept of home.
Thirteen-year old Aisholpan, a member of the Mongolian Nurgaiv clan, practices the ancient art of eagle hunting just as the men of her family have done for generations. The fact that she happens to be the family’s first female eagle huntress has outraged older members of the Kazakh community, even though her father supports and teaches her, and takes great pride in her skill.
Foreman Kun, his family, and their helpers (a family of migrant workers) run a plastic-recycling factory on the fringes of an industrial wasteland in China. Their dwelling is simple—their days are spent mostly on mounds of dirty imported plastic waste—but they raise a family here, decorating with colorful bits of wrapping and discarded papers and engaging in the quotidian chores of running a household, discussing school, and dreaming of new luxuries.
A quiet Midwestern town about an hour’s drive from Indianapolis, Columbus, Indiana is home to a surprisingly large concentration of modernist architectural masterpieces. From the mid 1940s on, architects like Eliel and Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi, Susana Torre, Kevin Roche, Deborah Berke, and others were commissioned to design its banks, churches, houses, schools, and other civic buildings.
Four shorts explore the theme "Home": My Deadly Beautiful City (Victoria Fiore, 2016, Russia, UK, USA, subtitled, 11 minutes), Minka: A Farmhouse in Japan (Davina Pardo, 2012, USA, 16 minutes), Winter’s Watch (Brian Bolster, 2017, USA, 14 minutes), and Palmerston Blvd. (Dan Browne, 2017, Canada, 14 minutes).
Produced in the late 1930s when the industrial cities and towns of America were polluting the atmosphere at an incredible rate, The City, commissioned by the American Institute of Planners, promoted a romantic vision—the building of planned green cities such as Greenbelt, Maryland—and thus tried to encourage an exodus from overcrowded and “evil” cities to peaceful suburbs (following the film’s logic, these should emulate New England towns).
Tickets may be purchased at the door.
Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is a rebellious orphan whose world is rocked after he’s placed in a foster home in the middle of nowhere in his homeland of New Zealand. After tragedy strikes this new family and he’s threatened again with abduction by a well-meaning but clueless social services agency, Ricky flees into the New Zealand wilderness.
Mexico is rich with beautiful topographies and diverse ecosystems, but none is more fascinating than the cloud forest of Huatusco in Veracruz—“a hypnotic place,” according to one outsider, “a haunted landscape forever cloaked in mists and secrets.”
Novelist Wendell Berry (b. 1934 in rural Kentucky) is one of America’s most thoughtful, outspoken, and philosophical environmental activists. LOOK & SEE revolves around the divergent stories of several residents of his home, Henry County. All are trying to cope with serious situations that could radically remake their relationship with the land.
The titular character of the feature animation Louise en Hiver is an elderly woman who finds herself abandoned and alone when she misses the last train at a beachfront resort town. Through sheer resourcefulness, she is able to survive through an entire winter, scrounging for supplies and food. However, her isolation brings back memories from her distant past, which the film depicts in beautifully surreal fashion.
In the late 1970s hundreds of reels of nitrate film were found buried in the permafrost below a one-time public pool and hockey rink in Dawson City, Yukon, the site of the Klondike Gold Rush. This cultural treasure trove—which included long-missing Hollywood narratives and unique footage of events such as the 1919 World Series—became the source material for artist Bill Morrison’s extraordinary compilation Dawson City: Frozen Time—a riveting journey to a forgotten era that reveals the history of a community through a finely woven tapestry of ephemeral film fragments, historical footnotes and poetic storytelling.
The Cooperstown Art Association’s Holiday Show & Sale kicks off with a public opening the evening of Friday, November 10th from 5 – 7 pm. The work in the show is geared toward holiday gift giving and includes cards, ornaments, glass, sculpture, jewelry, apparel, woodwork, paintings, prints, stained glass, photos, fiber arts, toys, furniture, pottery and much more.
The city of Amsterdam in Holland is famous for urban experimentation and one of its more successful recent projects has been the reclaiming of a polluted ex-shipyard known as De Ceuvel. A group of mostly young people from different walks of life took the initiative—with little financing—to turn this empty and contaminated piece of land into a living work and meeting place.
This event has SOLD OUT.
Between 1912 and 1932, over 5,000 school houses (known as Rosenwald Schools), vocational shops, and teachers’ houses were constructed across fifteen states, and among their more famous alumni were Maya Angelou, Marian Anderson, Gordon Parks, James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston. Many of these buildings have been in a state of abandonment or disrepair for a long time, but many others have now been saved through grassroots community efforts to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse them. Filmmaker Aviva Kempner shares her experiences researching the life of Julius Rosenwald (a son of immigrants) and she discusses the significance of the Rosenwald School story in today’s world.
Not only an account of an iconic house and its eventual demise, Windshield: A Vanished Vision is also a study in family lore and legend told through home-movie footage, interviews, and audio recordings of Elissa Brown’s family members, including her father J. Carter Brown, a prominent museum director and well-known champion of access to the arts for everyone.
In recent years on tiny Martha’s Vineyard the number of outsized “trophy” homes has been on the rise, placing in jeopardy, many would argue, the island’s unique historic character. Twelve years in the making, Thomas Bena’s One Big Home is constructed like a journal, a personal mission to try to figure out this trend toward bigger houses.
“New York was his town, and it always would be…” Manhattan, possibly the greatest paean to a hometown ever made by a filmmaker, catches the city’s bravado, its chaotic clatter, egocentric quirks, and robust beauty—all the stuff that makes New York so endearing and enduring, as only a native New Yorker could grasp. It’s the late 1970s, in many ways an idealized and innocent era, and the lyricism of both Allen’s direction and Gershwin’s music merge to form a true city symphony.