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Cleveland International Film Festival 2010: Preview

CIFF2010

Growing up in the wilds of northeastern Ohio (and I mean that only slightly tongue-in-cheek), my exposure to independent and art film during my teenage years was limited to IFC and the painfully small local library selection. So it was a fairly exciting thing for me to finally, in my early twenties, make it to my first Cleveland International Film Festival. Barring weather or family emergency, I've gone back every year since. And, every year, I sit down and make a list of the films I'm interested in beforehand.

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Turn Blue: The Short Life of Ghoulardi

Ghoulardi

Like many another native northeastern Ohioan, even ones as young as I am, I have fond memories of Ghoulardi, one of the original television B-movie horror hosts. I of course missed his broadcast heyday (he was only on air from 1963-66), but his spirit, fittingly enough, has flourished far beyond that, and he's a permanent fixture in not only Ohio but cult movie history.

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Cleveland International Film Festival Columbus Preview Party

cleveland-international-film-festival

So since I'm kind of already a Cleveland International Film Festival cheerleader, I decided to make it official and become a titled Film Ambassador. And in my new "official" capacity, I would like to invite you to the Columbus preview party on March 6 at the Wexner Center. Here's the details:

We invite you and your friends to get a sneak peek of the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival at the Official Columbus Preview Party.

Join Amy Juravich, Linda Taylor, and Clay Lowe of WOSU's “Open Line Weekend” along with guests from the Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) and the Wexner Center for a special reception and screening of The Secret of the Grain. Tickets for the screening are $7 ($5 for Wexner Center members, students & senior citizens).

Friday, March 6th

Free reception begins at 6pm. Stay for the screening at 7pm the Wexner Center, 1871 North High Street

Enjoy free food, cash bar, chances to win cool prizes including CIFF All-Access passes and an overnight hotel stay, previews of this year’s films, and take home your very own CIFF program guide hot off the presses!

And a very special thanks to our Columbus partners: Wexner Center for the Arts, WOSU, The Other Paper, The Capital Magazine, and Whole Foods Market.

To RSVP, please e-mail Michele Mooney at mmooney@wexarts.org.

Punk Rock and Trailer Parks

Akron was once cool for, like, five years. I know it's hard to believe now, but it really was.

(Derf, in the University of Akron's Buchtelite.)

I've always been fascinated by the legend of the late seventies Akron, Ohio punk scene that almost became the next big thing. Maybe it's the fact I narrowly missed it myself by being born twenty some years too late, or maybe it's just the northeastern Ohio association. Or maybe it's because I recognize and identify with the quintessential rust belt story element of almost - but not quite - making good, and having to live with that near miss forever on.

In any event, the parts of that legend now exists in graphic novel form, courtesy of Ohio artist Derf, who released last October Punk Rock and Trailer Parks. Sure, it's an outsider coming-of-age tale involving punk rock, a formula already approaching overuse, but it reaches beyond the formula to establish itself as a sincere statement on what a cultural movement like punk meant when it emerged, especially to the misfits of the American working-class Midwest. If you don't identify with that background, the sincerity is still undeniable and compelling. And if you do identify with that background, this graphic novel is like meeting a new friend who instinctively gets what you're about from page one.

Regarding Akron's punk scene, I've posted before about two documentaries on the subject, It's Everything and Then's It's Gone, and If You're Not Dead, Play! I'm having some trouble viewing the video of the first one, but the second is functioning. Along with tales like Derf's, they're a good look into a tiny piece of history, as well as the larger contextual history of punk, that the VH1-style docudramas won't or can't convey.

Cowtown Film Series

Every Thursday for the next few weeks, hte Cowtown Film Series is featuring Ohio-grown independent films. $3 a show, or $10 for all of them, at the Screens at the Continent. Here's the trailer for tomorrow nights, Micky Fisher's Summer Nuts:

PodCamp Ohio

Looks like a movement is underway to hold PodCamp Ohio here in the fair city of Columbus next June. I'm game. Swing on over to the site, or join the Google group to pitch in.

Cleveland's Screaming

Akron native, Zen Buddhist master, punk band member, columnist for Suicide Girls, and director of the doc Cleveland's Screaming, Brad Warner, is going to be back in Ohio soon to talk about hardcore meditation and punk in NE Ohio.

Ohikea!

Wow. And I thought I was excited about Ikea opening in the Cincinnati area.

Harvey Pekar in North Canton

Harvey Pekar @ Walsh University, Oct. 15

Comic legend Harvey Pekar will be speaking at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio on Monday, October 15. If only it were a day earlier, I'd drive the necessary two-and-a-half hours - but on a weekday? Alas, this exemplary new employee cannot beg time off to go see an alternative comic book creator speak. Even if it's free. Which it is. Check it out if you can.