Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival – Wade on Birmingham http://wadeonbirmingham.com News, features and essays about Birmingham and Alabama Thu, 01 Mar 2018 03:47:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 2407551 Sidewalk 2011: Your first in-depth look at Birmingham’s film festival http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2011/07/05/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2011-movie-film-first-look/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2011/07/05/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2011-movie-film-first-look/#comments Tue, 05 Jul 2011 21:18:01 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=13183 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalWhen the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival returns a month earlier for its 13th edition, it will offer a new venue unlike any other: an outdoor screen and stage.

]]>
sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, Alabama Theatre

The crowds will converge on the Alabama Theatre downtown
a month earlier for the 13th annual Sidewalk Moving
Picture Festival.

Note: This is an expanded version of a story that originally appeared on Magic City Post.

The state’s biggest film festival is hitting the streets.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalWhen the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival returns a month earlier for its 13th edition, it will offer a new venue unlike any other: an outdoor screen and stage.

The free area, Sidewalk Central will feature live music and comedy, as well as panels and one or two evening screenings. It will run all day Aug. 27 and 28 in conjunction with the annual downtown event, which shows more than 200 movies from local and out-of-state filmmakers. The festival had taken place in late September in previous years.

“We’ve tried a variety of things over the years,” says Chloe Collins, festival executive director, about finding a way to feed attendees on site. “This is providing a central hub for everybody to possibly be entertained, definitely get something to eat or drink, hang out for a while and cool off in the misting tent.”

Food vendors at Sidewalk Central will include Bottletree Cafe, Brick and Tin, Carmella’s Italian Ice, the Dreamcakes Bakery cupcake truck, the Cantina food truck, plus beverages from Buffalo Rock. Also available will be vegetarian options, beer, wine and frozen drinks.

Schaeffer Eye Center, which will sponsor the audience choice award, will do a special promotion on site, though Collins declined to elaborate.

Take it outside

The new outdoor hub will be just west of the Alabama Theatre, on a closed-off portion of 18th Street North between Third and Fourth Avenues. In case of rain, Sidewalk Central will still offer food and drink service, but the stage will be shut down.

Festival organizers have tried other options in the past, including asking area restaurants to stay open for the weekend and including their info in the program, and providing on-site caterers. In 2010, the SideLot was to be a meeting place in the parking lot across from McWane Science Center, with bands, sponsor tables and a food vendor.

Instead, it hit a series of mishaps and became the focus of ire for many attendees. The lot’s owner changed the allotted space to one-half the original size a few weeks before the festival; the food vendor didn’t open for business until late Saturday afternoon; sponsors tables went unstaffed for most of the weekend.

While the outdoor area will serve as a gathering place, it’s the indoor venues that will again serve as film oases from the brutal August heat. Sidewalk dropped a venue and shrunk the festival “footprint” considerably: All seven venues encircle a two-block area.

“I’m really excited about the footprint,” Collins says. “Pulling everything closer together is going to force more interaction. It’s going to be really obvious that an event is taking place.”

Map: Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival 2011 layout

No more long walks or drives uptown to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Alabama Power headquarters or even the Birmingham Museum of Art. (In fact, sponsor Landers McLarty Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram is providing five Dodge Durangos for continuous shuttle service around the site.)

[Update July 11: Scratch that. The festival swapped in Alabama Power and dropped the Harambe Room in its venue list. The map above has been updated to reflect the change.]

The festival still plans to cross-promote with the Civil Rights Institute during Aug. 27 and 28, offering free or discounted admission to the museum with certain Sidewalk passes and booth space.

The footprint has shrunk, but one major genre has spread out. Like 2010, both Sidewalk and gay/lesbian film festival Birmingham Shout will take place the same weekend. Shout screenings, which had all been at the Hill Event Center at the Alabama Theatre, will be interspersed throughout all venues in 2011. As before, a 1- or 2-day pass allows entrance into both Sidewalk and Shout screenings.

Downtown concentration

The total number of venues for the combined festivals will be seven, one fewer than in 2010, though Collins says the total number of films to be scheduled, more than 200, will be only slightly less than in previous years. That’s because Shout is dropping a single film block, the opening night film that had been on Thursday night in 2010.

Even the awards ceremony has moved on site to the Alabama Theatre, after having been held for years on Sunday night at WorkPlay in Lakeview.

Both festivals will share a single 8.5- by 11-inch program, though with only a one cover this year (2010 had dual covers for Sidewalk and Shout). In addition, Collins says the festivals will offer a pocket-size version, similar to other film festivals, because of audience demand for something more portable.

And both festivals continue to be programmed by separate committees, with separate entry processes for submitting filmmakers. In addition to a Sunday night closing film for each festival, organizers may also have a Saturday night spotlight film for each. (While the festival will have two encore screenings s on Sunday, the Edge 12 will offer more Sidewalk encores in a 5-week series in the fall.)

No lineup has been announced for either festival, though organizers plan to show previews of a few selections at the free monthly Sidewalk Salon at 6 tonight at Rojo on Southside. In addition, the Filmmobile will be stopping by. The blue bus from Echo Park Film Center in Los Angeles is on a 6-week cross-country tour showing movies and providing filmmaking workshops.

Sidewalk itself has been on the move, having completed a 2-week online fund-raising campaign last week to bring in $20,682.

The momentum has Collins cautiously optimistic, looking to increase revenues by 7 percent.

“This year, I feel really good, and I’m knocking on wood that that’s not an omen of bad things to come,” she says, with a laugh.

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival takes place Aug. 26-28 downtown. Tickets are $10 for a single film up to $275 for a VIP pass and can be purchased online. For more information, visit theSidewalk Moving Picture Festival site.

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2011/07/05/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2011-movie-film-first-look/feed/ 6 13183
EXCLUSIVE: Sidewalk Film Festival moves to August for 2011 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/11/29/exclusive-sidewalk-film-festival-moves-to-august-for-2011/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/11/29/exclusive-sidewalk-film-festival-moves-to-august-for-2011/#comments Mon, 29 Nov 2010 23:30:46 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=11607 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, Alabama Theatre

Festival plus fund-raisers help organization break even for 2010

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival has announced dates for 2011 for the annual downtown film event, but it’s not late in September. The event is scheduled for Aug. 26-28, the first time the festival has been held outside of September since the inaugural outing in 1999.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalDates for the Birmingham Shout gay/lesbian film festival have not been announced. Shout and Sidewalk were combined in September for one festival for the first time.

Executive director Chloe Collins said she and board members held discussions and focus groups with attendees, peers, colleagues and supporters about Sidewalk. Those talks determined that late September had a large number of competitors to Sidewalk, including the Jewish High Holidays and college football.

Even competing film festivals such as Austin’s Fantastic Fest were considered competitors for a limited number of jurors in the awards selection process.

Late August became the new event date, especially after determining that fewer film festivals are scheduled at that time and more potential attendees would be available.

Dates have already been reserved at key venues such as the Alabama Theatre, Carver Theatre and Alabama Power headquarters.

With the new timeline, the festival will start its call for entries on Wednesday and extend the submission period by 2 weeks.

Collins said that the board was in discussion over Shout, but did not indicate when an announcement would be made.

Balanced budget

The 2010 festival in September pulled in $65,000 in ticket sales, about even with 2009, according to Collins. That sales figure represents the combined revenue of both Sidewalk and Shout.

Attendance for 2010 also remained even with 2009, determined by ticket sales, free passes, venue attendance counts and ballots.

Two fund-raisers have helped the Alabama Moving Image Association, the nonprofit group that puts on both events, break even for 2010. Earlier this month, a raffle netted $12,000; the winner’s name has not been released. And in August, a 2-week campaign earned $6,000, with an original goal of $10,000.

Collins said that if the 2011 budget is approved and remains on track, the organization’s outstanding debt would be paid off by the end of that year. She added that if 2010 could end with a profit, albeit a small one. At this time in 2009, the group was $20,000 in the black.

Sidewalk 2011 could see some other changes. Collins said some options could be to drop a venue to save money, or create a gated festival with a smaller footprint to streamline entry and ticket sales. However, no plans have been finalized to date.

Meanwhile, Sidewalk will close the year with another monthly Salon Dec. 7 at Rojo on Southside. The 7 p.m. event will feature a screening of Media That Matters docs from Arts Engine, along with a video chat with one of the filmmakers.

Photo: Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/11/29/exclusive-sidewalk-film-festival-moves-to-august-for-2011/feed/ 1 11607
Sidewalk 2010: The shutterbug wore tennis shoes http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/22/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-teenage-paparazzo-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/22/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-teenage-paparazzo-movie-review-video/#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 17:00:33 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10793 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: Fame has a dark side, even for a 14-year-old celebrity photographer, as seen in the documentary "Teenage Paparazzo."

The documentary opens the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival on Friday.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Teenage Paparazzo’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: Fame has a dark side, even for a 14-year-old celebrity photographer, as seen in the documentary “Teenage Paparazzo.”

Teenage Paparazzo

Austin Visschedyk, left, and Adrian Grenier,
in a scene from “Teenage Paparazzo.”

Austin Visschedyk appears to be a normal kid. His voice hasn’t cracked, and his face makes him look 10, even though he’s really 14. His whole life is still ahead of him.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalBut how many 14-year-old boys do you know who have a promising career in progress? And whose working hours seem like those of a bartender? Who travels the streets of Los Angeles by skateboard at 2 a.m. to chase celebrities in hopes of getting that perfect picture?

He’s the titular hero of the documentary, “Teenage Paparazzo,” which opens the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival on Friday.

Austin is a prodigy at photography, and life. Constantly on the phone with other Hollywood paparazzi, he always seeks out the next big celebrity sighting. His work has appeared in the biggest entertainment magazines and websites.

All was going as planned, until he met “Entourage” star Adrian Grenier, who points the camera at him in a reversal of roles.

Austin feels conflicted in his new relationship. Sometimes, he loves the attention and newfound fame. Other times, it becomes an annoyance and a hazard to his career. Grenier, both co-star and director of this film, becomes emotionally entangled with Austin while trying to open his eyes to other more fulfilling opportunities in life.

Is fame really all it’s cracked up to be? You be the judge. With cameos by Matt Damon, Eva Longoria, Paris Hilton, Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg, the movie presents a different perspective of Hollywood in a compelling way.

“Teenage Paparazzo” is a fabulous film because it offers Hollywood glitz and glamor, along with resulting delusions. The appeal of fame should carry a warning: Be careful what you wish for.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@thejenwestquest) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She will manage the SideTalk panels at Sidewalk. And her blog, The Jen West Quest, has been featured in Health magazine.

“Teenage Paparazzo” will open the festival at 8 p.m. Friday at the Alabama Theatre.

Video: Interview with Adrian Grenier, director of “Teenage Paparazzo”

Video: “Teenage Paparazzo” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/22/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-teenage-paparazzo-movie-review-video/feed/ 1 10793
Sidewalk 2010: The Sidetalk panel you don’t want to miss http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-2010-the-sidetalk-panel-you-dont-want-to-miss/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-2010-the-sidetalk-panel-you-dont-want-to-miss/#comments Tue, 21 Sep 2010 19:00:54 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10823 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThis year's lineup of Sidetalk panels will include "Media Criticism: Is It Dead?" with me, Wade Kwon, Birmingham's best blogger (if not most humble).

]]>
sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalFor those looking to get away from the excitement of movies and live music at this weekend’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, we have a special announcement. This year’s lineup of Sidetalk panels will include “Media Criticism: Is It Dead?” with me, Wade Kwon, Birmingham’s best blogger (if not most humble).

Joining me on the panel are …

Aaron HillisAaron Hillis (@cobblehillis), movie blogger in Brooklyn, editor of GreenCine Daily, contributor to the Village Voice and vice president and co-founder of Benten Films, a boutique distribution label.

Claudia PuigClaudia Puig (@claudiapuig), Los Angeles-based movie writer for USA Today. Prior to joining the newspaper in 1997, she worked as a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times for 11 years.

What to expect:

In a world in which everyone can critique concerts, albums and films via blogging and other forms of online writing, do the opinions of professional critics in the industry still matter? What is the state of media criticism, and what is its future?

The hourlong panel takes place at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Birmingham International Center, 1728 Fifth Ave. N. [map].

Also of note: Our Shout movie critic Chance Shirley will be on the panel “Changing Forms of Distribution,” taking place at 11:30 a.m. Sunday in the same location. And one of our Sidewalk movie critics, Jennifer West, will be managing all the Sidetalk panels on Saturday and Sunday.

Sidetalk panels are free and open to the public. For more information on this and other panels, visit the Sidewalk website.

• • •

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival takes place Friday through Sunday in downtown Birmingham. Tickets: three-day pass, $50, $40 for members and students; one-day pass, $20, $15 for members and students.

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-2010-the-sidetalk-panel-you-dont-want-to-miss/feed/ 1 10823
Sidewalk 2010: Mothers’ crusade http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-not-my-son-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-not-my-son-movie-review-video/#comments Tue, 21 Sep 2010 15:00:57 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10672 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: "Not My Son" shows Birmingham mothers determined to move beyond tragedy to healing and improving their community.

The movie screens Saturday at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Not My Son’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: “Not My Son” shows Birmingham mothers determined to move beyond tragedy to healing and improving their community.

Not My Son

A mothers’ support group, seen in “Not My Son.”

“Man, the world ain’t supposed to work like this. I’m supposed to be able to do my job without having to ask you if I can. That dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you ripping him off. Everything is supposed to be different than it is.”

— Simon (Danny Glover), “Grand Canyon”

This bit of dialogue kept echoing through my head as I watched the film, “Not My Son.”

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe documentary screens Saturday at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

The movie focuses on Birmingham-area mothers left behind after the murder of their children, though not on the reasons behind these killings. Whether the victims were innocent bystanders or gang members is ultimately unrelated and unimportant to the parents, who bury their offspring before they reach adulthood.

The public-television quality is a bit off-putting, sadly, more akin to a PBS documentary special than a feature film for a theater setting.  Regardless, an important message emerges from Dwight Cammeron’s film, and not just for the black community or for families in underprivileged neighborhoods. Problems like this shouldn’t exist, and solutions to them are possible only with a true community effort, whether you’re black or white, rich or poor, single or married, childless or the head of a huge clan.

Films like “Boyz n the Hood” show the nihilistic perspective of the young men and women growing up in today’s mean streets. “Not My Son” shows the hope and determination of mothers to help others carry on, even when their future feels like it’s been taken away.

Perhaps everything is supposed to be different than it is, but these women do a commendable job not only in dealing with the way things aren’t supposed to be, but trying to make them better.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”). His song “Theme for an Imaginary Revenge” was used in the music video of the same title, screening at Sidewalk on Sept. 25.

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“Not My Son” will screen at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Alabama Theatre Studio Loft.

Video: “Not My Son” Trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-not-my-son-movie-review-video/feed/ 1 10672
Sidewalk 2010: Sibs and the city http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/20/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-gabi-on-the-roof-in-july-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/20/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-gabi-on-the-roof-in-july-movie-review-video/#comments Mon, 20 Sep 2010 20:11:01 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10954 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: The actors in "Gabi on the Roof in July" used improvisation to define their tiresome, self-centered characters.

The movie screens Saturday at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Gabi on the Roof in July’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: The actors in “Gabi on the Roof in July” used improvisation to define their tiresome, self-centered characters.

Gabi on the Roof in July

A scene from “Gabi on the Roof in July.”

Cheering for the hamster in a movie about underdogs trying to make it in the big city might be all the warning you need.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival“Gabi on the Roof in July” focuses on young artists living in New York struggling to discover themselves. Gabi leaves college for the summer to spend time with her brother Sam and escape from the emotional fallout of her parents’ divorce.

The movie screens Saturday at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

I appreciate the unique tack that writer and director Lawrence Levine took letting the actors develop their characters through improvisation, then developing the storyline of the script itself. The acting is truly great, but I found it extremely hard to identify in any way with the characters themselves.

The main character, Gabi (Sophia Takal), comes across as a spoiled and annoying child. It’s really difficult to listen to her talk even for brief moments. You just want to yell “Grow up!” at the screen each time she speaks (or strips in an attempt to be an “artist”).

Her brother Sam (Levine) is no better. At first, he seems like the only character about whom you might actually care, but he quickly blows that by adopting his sister’s self-indulgent behaviors. Neither seem to care about anyone else but themselves, which in turn makes it hard to care about them.

I lost all interest about halfway through the 99-minute runtime, making for an endless second half. Only one word comes to mind when considering the entire movie: pretentious.

I did really like one character, the hamster. He didn’t say a damn word the whole time. And just in time for the credits, the hamster finally gets put out of his misery, just like us.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@thejenwestquest) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She will manage the SideTalk panels at Sidewalk. And her blog, The Jen West Quest, has been featured in Health magazine.

“Gabi on the Roof in July” will screen at 11:20 a.m. Saturday at the Alabama Theatre Studio Loft. The short “Hipster Job” precedes it.

Video: Gabi and Garrett make a bet, in a scene
from “Gabi on the Roof in July.”

Video: An art dealer checks out Sam’s work,
in a scene from “Gabi on the Roof in July.”

Video: “Gabi on the Roof in July” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/20/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-gabi-on-the-roof-in-july-movie-review-video/feed/ 1 10954
Sidewalk 2010: To know a mockingbird http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/16/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-hey-boo-harper-lee-to-kill-a-mockingbird-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/16/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-hey-boo-harper-lee-to-kill-a-mockingbird-movie-review-video/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2010 18:00:16 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10849 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: "Hey Boo: Harper Lee and 'To Kill a Mockingbird'" goes beyond the famed novel into the soul of its mysterious Alabama author.

The documentary screens on Sept. 26 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Hey Boo: Harper Lee and “To Kill a Mockingbird”‘

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: “Hey Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird'” goes beyond the famed novel into the soul of its mysterious Alabama author.

Hey Boo Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee, center, receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom
in 2007, in a scene from “Hey Boo.” Other recipients
are Brian Lamb, head of C-SPAN, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
president of Liberia.

To know Harper Lee is to know Alabama.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe Monroeville native is a mysterious and quiet woman that only wrote one book in her lifetime. This year, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” turned 50. An important documentary takes a look between the lines of the novel and Lee’s life.

“Hey Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird'” screens Sept. 26 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

The movie explores many facets of the literary phenomenon, from the author herself to the civil rights movement entwined in the book’s DNA. Writer and director Mary Murphy possesses a passion for Lee that drives this doc. [Note: Murphy says that the festival version is a “work in progress.”]

We see an enlightening look into Lee’s childhood with neighbor and friend Truman Capote, her personal journey and her process as she writes the book. We also see her quiet retreat from the public eye after “Mockingbird’s” huge success. Insightful and rare interviews with her sister Alice Lee take us deep into the soul of the author.

Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, James McBride, James Patterson, Wally Lamb and Oprah Winfrey offer informative and moving commentary. It is fascinating to see how many powerful people Lee’s novel has deeply touched.

This film is especially important to see for Alabamians touched by racism and the civil rights movement. State history is discussed in-depth in relation to the novel, which helped spark a new movement of freedom and state of mind in the Deep South.

In that sense, “Hey Boo” is required reading, ahem … required viewing.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@thejenwestquest) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She will manage the SideTalk panels at Sidewalk. And her blog, The Jen West Quest, has been featured in Health magazine.

“Hey Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird'” will screen at 11 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Harambe Room.

Video: “Hey Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird'” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/16/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-hey-boo-harper-lee-to-kill-a-mockingbird-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10849
Sidewalk 2010: Pickup games people play http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/15/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-pelada-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/15/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-pelada-movie-review-video/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2010 19:00:15 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10598 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: The documentary "Pelada," about pickup soccer games around the globe, feels hollow and lacking, in spite of all that it does well.

The movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Pelada’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: Soccer doc “Pelada” showcases pickup games around the world, but needs more local flavor at each stop.

Pelada

A pickup soccer game in Marseille, France,  from “Pelada.”

As an on-again, off-again soccer player during the past 25 years, I was really looking forward to seeing “Pelada.” This documentary about pickup soccer games around the globe feels hollow and lacking, in spite of all that it does well.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

The main problem is that the film feels watered down. For all the marketed focus on soccer across geographical, political and religious borders, the point in the end seems to be more of a life lesson for stars Gwendolyn Oxenham and Luke Boughen, who also serve as two of the four co-directors. That split in the framing makes the movie inspirational and fun, but also perhaps sets expectations a little off-base.

The filmmakers, who have some experience playing in college, wisely avoid going too deep into the intricacies of the sport, but they seem to gloss over a lot of seemingly important or interesting cultural information.  The narration reads glossy and flat, and its presentation doesn’t help at all.

However, the editing is skillful, the soundtrack is engaging without becoming distracting, and the pacing is strong. The result is a film that sags under the weight of its featured subjects but remains afloat until the end.

With all the reality TV shows out there, it’s surprising that no one has “Pelada” as weekly series. The film views much like a pickup soccer version of the Travel Channel show, “Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations,” with a hint of cultural background providing the backdrop for an area’s version of pickup soccer.

Spreading both that exploration as well as the narrators’ stories would have seemed much more natural, in an expanded version. As it is, “Pelada” is well worth seeing for fans of soccer and the international varations thereof, but for those looking for a film with heft or depth will likely be disappointed.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”). His song “Theme for an Imaginary Revenge” was used in the music video of the same title, screening at Sidewalk on Sept. 25.

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“Pelada” will screen at 4:45 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Carver Theatre.

Video: “Pelada” trailer

Video: Interview with “Pelada” filmmakers Luke Boughen,
Rebekah Fergusson, Gwendolyn Oxenham and Ryan White.

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/15/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-pelada-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10598
Sidewalk 2010: Supermarket sweep http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/14/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-bag-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/14/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-bag-movie-review-video/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2010 17:00:41 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10783 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: The winning doc "Ready, Set, Bag!" shows the speedy agility of champion baggers, while moving at an unnecessarily slower pace.

The movie screens Sept. 26 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Ready, Set, Bag!’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: The winning doc “Ready, Set, Bag!” shows the speedy agility of champion baggers, while moving at an unnecessarily slower pace.

Ready, Set, Bag!

James Hunter takes home the California bagging
trophy in a scene from “Ready, Set, Bag!”

Sometimes, our whole grocery store experience is based on how quickly we can get through the checkout line. Other times, our experience is based on whether or not our bread gets smushed. A good bagger’s got your back.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival“Ready, Set, Bag!” gives the audience a glimpse of big ambition from small towns across the United States in the form of bagging groceries.

The documentary screens Sept. 26 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

These workers train for months, even years, to perfect their bagging skills and qualify for the annual Best Bagger Competition. The film follows several goal-oriented state champions, who are funny and charming.

A few competitors really stand out, like Jacob Richardson from Virginia. This chatty 17-year-old bagger will win your heart from the very first scenes. Utah’s Brian Bay makes you silently root for him as he demands a rematch in Las Vegas for the national title. And don’t forget Roger Chen of Huntsville, who competes to help fund his college education.

While directors Justine Jacob and Alex D. da Silva nail the tone and the story in many ways, the film begs to be about 30 minutes shorter. Nonetheless, “Ready, Set, Bag!” is a great family film, one that will leave you smiling.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@thejenwestquest) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She will manage the SideTalk panels at Sidewalk. And her blog, The Jen West Quest, has been featured in Health magazine.

“Ready, Set, Bag!” will screen at 4:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Alabama Theatre.

Video: Georgia champion Michael Henghi enjoys the support
of co-workers and customers, in a scene from “Ready, Set, Bag!”

Video: “Ready, Set, Bag!” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/14/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-ready-set-bag-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10783
Sidewalk 2010: Blacker than the blackest black times infinity http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/13/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-until-the-light-takes-us-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/13/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-until-the-light-takes-us-movie-review-video/#respond Mon, 13 Sep 2010 20:18:30 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10621 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: "Until the Light Takes Us" shines the spotlight on a dark corner of music history, Norwegian black metal.

The movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Until the Light Takes Us’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: “Until the Light Takes Us” shines the spotlight on a dark corner of music history, Norwegian black metal.

Until the Light Takes Us

A scene from the documentary, “Until the Light Takes Us.”

For those of us who listened to the fringes of music in the 1980s and ’90s, black metal was the outer limit: fast, bone-crushingly heavy, raw. VH1’s “Behind the Music” may have overlooked the Norwegian black metal scene, but a documentary from filmmakers Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell makes up for that gap.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival“Until the Light Takes Us” screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

I was excited to watch this film because metal doesn’t usually get the big-screen treatment.

Black metal is the antithesis of slickly produced pop radio crap. It has also had a history of controversy, with its creators involved in vandalism, arson and murder, all in the name of Satanism.

“Until the Light Takes Us” is, to my knowledge, the first time to hear the stories told by those involved, going beyond the news reports of the time. And these fascinating stories — true or false, biased or unbiased — range from the origins of the style to the violent and arguably tragic happenings in the community.

The film is beautifully shot: It’s fascinating that some of the ugliest music comes from one of the most beautiful and tranquil parts of the world. The soundtrack is equally haunting, disturbing and engaging, wisely eschewing for the most part the noise of the genre, exploring more ambient beds instead.

At times, the narrative seems disjointed, bouncing from topic to topic and back again with no real flow.

Still, for any fans of music, metal or otherwise, or culture, “Until the Light Takes Us” is highly recommended for its rare and insightful look into a unique branch of rock history.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”). His song “Theme for an Imaginary Revenge” was used in the music video of the same title, screening at Sidewalk on Sept. 25.

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“Until the Light Takes Us” will screen at 5:40 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Harambe Room. Opening short is “Delmer Builds a Machine.”

Video: Fenriz, in a scene from “Until the Light Takes Us”

Video: “Until the Light Takes Us” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/13/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-until-the-light-takes-us-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10621
Sidewalk 2010: Angst? No thanks. http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/10/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-phillip-the-fossil-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/10/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-phillip-the-fossil-movie-review-video/#respond Fri, 10 Sep 2010 17:00:28 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10684 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: "Phillip the Fossil" offers a well-worn tale of a slacker's attempt to, you know, like grow up and stuff.

The movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Phillip the Fossil’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: “Phillip the Fossil” offers a well-worn tale of a slacker’s attempt to, you know, like grow up and stuff.

Phillip the Fossil

Behold the Phillip (Brian Hassenfus), protagonist
of “Phillip the Fossil.”

A sub-genre of indie films can be found at almost every festival: the pseudo-reality film that revels in its angst. “Phillip the Fossil” is definitely a film that fits into that category, and whether it’s worth your time can be decided almost entirely on that knowledge alone.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalIt screens on Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

The film tells the story of Phillip (Brian Hassenfus), an overgrown slacker finally taking steps to turn his dead-end life around. To move on to the next phase of his life, he must get out of his slump, unfortunately trickier than he hoped. The eventual climax is apparent from the beginning, as set forth in fairly exaggerated characters.

While the acting and even the story and dialogue are all fine, the characters make no real progress in the 70-minute runtime. Tighter editing, cutting just 5 minutes of meandering footage, would have made for a stronger movie from director and writer Garth Donovan.

“Phillip the Fossil” is like the popcorn movie of the festival scene. It’s predictable and only cursorily satisfying, much like summer blockbusters. What you hope you see is pretty much what you’ll get, even if it is OK in execution.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”). His song “Theme for an Imaginary Revenge” was used in the music video of the same title, screening at Sidewalk on Sept. 25.

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“Phillip the Fossil” will screen at 9:40 p.m.. Sept. 25 at the Harambe Room.

Video: Interview with Garth Donovan, director and writer of “Phillip the Fossil”

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/10/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-phillip-the-fossil-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10684
Sidewalk 2010: Fortress of solitude http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/09/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-dogtooth-movie-review-video-kynodontas/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/09/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-dogtooth-movie-review-video-kynodontas/#comments Thu, 09 Sep 2010 17:00:39 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10710 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: When parents keep children trapped at home for decades, we become sucked into the intriguing yet disturbing world of "Dogtooth."

The movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘Dogtooth’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Jennifer West

Review at a glance: When parents keep children trapped at home for decades, we become sucked into the intriguing yet disturbing world of “Dogtooth.”

Older Daughter (Aggeliki Papoulia), left, and Younger Daughter
(Mary Tsoni) are ready to party in a scene from “Dogtooth.”

Imagine an upbringing where parents purposefully isolate their children from the outside world … for their entire lives. “Dogtooth” is a dark, twisted film that explores this concept, with creepy results.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

This Greek import (originally called “Kynodontas”) with English subtitles is funny and incredibly interesting, despite the nervous, uneasy tension permeating it. A brother and and his two sisters, left nameless in the movie, reach their late 20s, having never left their parents’ seemingly idyllic home. The couple built a wall around the entire property to protect their children from the evils of the outside world.

Director Giorgos Lanthimos layers his work with subtext about the suppression of free will, but the most engaging part was how these adult children deal with their sexuality. No brother-sister boundaries exist, just basic human needs that must be met.

The universe created by these siblings is disturbing on many levels, but you will not want to look away. This is a reality where airplanes fall from the sky and cats are the enemy, a home where the absurd is borne out of boredom.

“Dogtooth” leaves so many questions unanswered. Why are the parents doing this? Were there really other children? Do any of them escape? But like the best mysteries, sometimes it’s better left to the imagination.

Jennifer WestJennifer West (@thejenwestquest) won the Sidewalk Audience Choice award for her romantic comedy “Piece of Cake” in 2006, which she wrote and directed. She will manage the SideTalk panels at Sidewalk. And her blog, The Jen West Quest, has been featured in Health magazine.

“Dogtooth” will screen at 9:20 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Alabama Theatre.

Video: It’s time to dance, in a scene from “Dogtooth.”

Video: “Dogtooth” trailer

Video: Interview with Giorgos Lanthimos, director of “Dogtooth”

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/09/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-dogtooth-movie-review-video-kynodontas/feed/ 1 10710
Sidewalk 2010: Welcome to the Terrordome http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/07/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-american-jihadist-movie-review-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/07/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-american-jihadist-movie-review-video/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2010 20:07:33 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10630 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalMovie review: "Until the Light Takes Us" shines the spotlight on a dark corner of music history, Norwegian black metal.

The movie screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

]]>
Movie review: ‘American Jihadist’

sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com
By Kenn McCracken

Review at a glance: “American Jihadist” is the must-see documentary at Sidewalk, an objective look at American-born Muslim Isa Abdullah Ali.

Isa Abdullah Ali, American Jihadist

Isa Abdullah Ali is the subject of the
documentary, “American Jihadist.”

What drives a person to kill? In the case of jihadists, the answer seems fairly straightforward: religious fervor. As the movie “American Jihadist” shows, though, the answer is rarely that simple or black-and-white.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe documentary screens Sept. 25 at the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.

“American Jihadist” is a traditional documentary on some levels, made fascinating by a very unique subject: American-born Muslim Isa Abdullah Ali, born Clevin Raphael Holt. Director Mark Claywell does a phenomenal job of exploring Ali’s story through archival and current footage and extensive interviews with him, his family and religious and government experts and officials.

The result is a penetrating and compelling look into the mind and the heart of a man who has fought for his native country, as well as causes on the other side of the world.

One of the best examples of a feature-length documentary, “American Jihadist” exhibits expert shooting and production, with a strong and fluid narrative thread. Most importantly, though, it presents evidence to answer questions raised, but allows audience members to decide for themselves without an predetermined agenda. A well-produced, truly objective documentary about such an intriguing subject is a welcome addition.

Though the film contains descriptions and depictions of graphic violence, they never feel gratuitous. Instead, the story explores and emphasizes the world that shaped Ali.

I would recommend “American Jihadist” as a must-see among the docs at Sidewalk, particularly in this day and age.

Kenn McCrackenKenn McCracken (@insomniactive) is a director and an award-winning screenwriter (2005 Sidewalk Sidewrite grand prize, “Muckfuppet”). His song “Theme for an Imaginary Revenge” was used in the music video of the same title, screening at Sidewalk on Sept. 25.

He’s also a writer (Birmingham Weekly, Spin.com, mental_floss), a bassist for the Exhibit(s), an eight-time cat juggling champion for Malta and an ongoing experiment in sleep deprivation. He occasionally steals your best ideas to claim at his blog, Dairy of a Madman.

“American Jihadist” will screen at 2:45 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Alabama Theatre Studio Loft.

Video: Isa Abdullah Ali gives a glimpse into his soul,
in a scene from “American Jihadist.”

Video: Director Mark Claywell talks about
the message of “American Jihadist.”

Video: “American Jihadist” trailer

Also:

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/09/07/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-2010-american-jihadist-movie-review-video/feed/ 0 10630
EXCLUSIVE: Sidewalk 2010 to open with Adrian Grenier’s ‘Teenage Paparazzo’ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/26/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-adrian-grenier-teenage-paparazzo-movie-film-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/26/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-adrian-grenier-teenage-paparazzo-movie-film-video/#respond Thu, 26 Aug 2010 18:31:50 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10462 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalSidewalk Moving Picture Festival: The documentary about fame and exploitation opens the film festival on Sept. 24.]]> sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

Actor Adrian Grenier is returning for another opening night in Birmingham.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalSort of.

The “Entourage” star directed the documentary “Teenage Paparazzo,” which opens the 2010 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival on Sept. 24. Grenier also stars in the movie. He was also in the 2008 Sidewalk opening night film, “Adventures of Power.”

“Teenage Paparazzo” features 13-year-old photographer Austin Visschedyk and Grenier as they develop a relationship based on fame, celebrity and mutual exploitation. Grenier turns the tables on his pursuer by filming Austin and his budding career as a paparazzo.

Also added to the lineup:

• • •

‘Teenage Paparazzo’

  • Starring Alec Baldwin, Lewis Black, Noam Chomsky, Matt Damon, Whoopi Goldberg, Jake Halpem, Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, Martin Landau, Lindsay Lohan, Eva Longoria Parker, Mario Lopez, Rosie O’Donnell, Michelle Rodriguez and Jaleel White.
  • Directed by Adrian Grenier.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook | Sidewalk page
  • 8 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Alabama Theatre.
  • Scheduled to attend: co-producer Evan Ferrante.

• • •

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival takes place Sept. 24-26 in downtown Birmingham. Tickets: three-day pass, $50, $40 for members and students; one-day pass, $20, $15 for members and students.

• • •

The lineup is set, but which movies will you see? Let us know in the comments.

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/26/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-adrian-grenier-teenage-paparazzo-movie-film-video/feed/ 0 10462
EXCLUSIVE: Shout 2010 — the lineup http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/24/exclusive-shout-2010-lineup-film-movie-festival-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/24/exclusive-shout-2010-lineup-film-movie-festival-video/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2010 15:00:41 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10425 The fifth annual Birmingham Shout film festival returns in September with a new venue and a new season. Wade on Birmingham has an exclusive on the lineup.

Birmingham ShoutAs previously reported, the gay/lesbian film festival will take place the same weekend as the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival; in the past four years, Shout took place in the spring. The Alabama Moving Image Association manages both festivals.

The opening night film, “Howl,” will be Sept. 23 at WorkPlay, the night before Sidewalk’s Sept. 24 kickoff. The remainder of the Shout festival will be Sept. 25 and 26 at  a new location, the Hill Arts Center, adjacent to the Alabama Theatre.

Here are a few highlights from the 24-film lineup …

• • •

‘An Ordinary Couple’

Orin Kennedy hailed from a Jewish family in New York, while Bernardo Puccio grew up in an Sicilian community in Birmingham. Both came of age in the 1970s. And since 1981, the two have been in a committed monogamous relationship, making their lives in Los Angeles. The documentary “An Ordinary Couple” tells their story as they work on a monument to their relationship at the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery.

  • Starring Orin Kennedy and Bernardo Puccio.
  • Directed by Jay Gianukos.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook
  • 5 p.m. Sept. 26 at Hill Arts Center
  • Scheduled to attend: Kennedy and Puccio.

• • •

‘Howl’

Shout opening night film: The story of poet and poem, “Howl” looks at young Allen Ginsberg (James Franco) on his journey to create his masterpiece work. It also follows the 1957 obscenity trial in San Francisco to determine if the book should be banned. The biographical story shows how the leader of the Beat Generation brought forth the counterculture movement.

  • Starring James Franco, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Mary Louise Parker, David Strathaim and Bob Balaban.
  • Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffery Friedman.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook
  • 7 p.m. Sept. 23 at WorkPlay
  • Scheduled to attend: Kennedy and Puccio.

• • •

‘The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls’

Shout closing night film: Meet the world’s only comedic, country song and dance, yodeling lesbian twin sisters. The documentary “The Topp Twins” shows Jools and Lynda from childhood in New Zealand to mainstream entertainers in a 50-year span that includes one sister’s fight against breast cancer, their worldwide touring and their prime-time TV show.

  • Starring Jools Topp and Lynda Topp.
  • Directed by Leanne Pooley.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook
  • 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at Hill Arts Center

• • •

Tickets: three-day pass, $50, $40 for members and students ($40 and $30 in advance); one-day pass, $20, $15 for members and students.

Also:

• • •

Do you like having Shout in the fall? What movies are you going to see? Tell us in the comments.

Action! Complete Shout festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/24/exclusive-shout-2010-lineup-film-movie-festival-video/feed/ 0 10425
Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival 2010: First look at the lineup http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-lineup-local-movie-film-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-lineup-local-movie-film-video/#comments Sun, 22 Aug 2010 03:23:22 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=10386 Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalSidewalk Moving Picture Festival: Here's a sneak peek at movies in the lineup with a local connection.]]> sidewalk.wadeonbirmingham.com

Sidewalk 2010 is just 5 weeks away, but the lineup is almost complete.

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe 12th annual Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival has 208 films scheduled so far; yet to be announced are the opening night and closing night films, along with the Shout lineup (running concurrently with Sidewalk).

Let’s take a look at movies in the lineup with a local connection …

• • •

‘Hey Boo: Harper Lee and “To Kill a Mockingbird” ’

A timely look at Monroeville author Harper Lee. (You may know her for her classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.) Lee’s life story is shared in the documentary through family, friends and admirers such as Oprah Winfrey and Tom Brokaw.

• • •

‘Lifted’

The latest Hunter Brothers (Alan and Hugh) production tells the story of Henry Matthews, a boy from the South who takes part in a reality TV singing competition to escape his crumbling world. he finds out his father has been re-deployed to Afghanistan. The film, shot in Alabama, includes several local and regional actors.

  • Stars Nicki Aycox, Uriah Shelton, Dash Mihok, Trace Adkins and Ruben Studdard.
  • Directed by Lexi Alexander.
  • Official site | IMDB | Facebook | Sidewalk page
  • 11 a.m. Sept. 25 at Alabama Power
  • Scheduled to attend: Alexander, cast and crew.

• • •

‘Man in the Glass: The Dale Brown Story’

Directed by Birmingham’s Patrick Sheehan, the documentary follows the career and beyond of Louisiana State men’s basketball coach Dale Brown. The story covers his winning over fans in a football school and his battles with the NCAA over student-athletes. Not only is Brown a legend in college basketball but also continues to work as a human rights activist.

• • •

‘Not My Son’

The documentary examines gun violence through interviews with Birmingham mothers whose children were killed. Featured is Carolyn Johnson-Turner, who founded the Parents Against Violence Foundation in 2004 after her son, Rodreckus, 20, was shot and killed on his way to a friend’s birthday party.

• • •

‘Ready, Set, Bag!’

Follow Huntsville’s Roger Chen in his quest for a championship. This Chinese immigrant, born in Trinidad and Tobago, studies computer science and needs the prize money after earning the state title.

The sport? Bagging groceries. The documentary focuses on Chen, a bagger at Publix, and seven other contestants headed to the annual Best Bagger Championship by the National Grocers Association.

• • •

Shorts blocks

  • Life and Liberty Shorts, 1:15 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute [lineup]
  • Local shorts No. 1 — Dramatic Narrative, 10:20 a.m. Sept. 25 at the Carver Theatre [lineup]
  • Local shorts No. 2 — Comedic Narrative, 1:15 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Harambe Room [lineup]
  • Local shorts No. 3 — Documentary, 1:15 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Harambe Room [lineup]
  • Music videos (including winners from July’s Scrambled Jam), 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Harambe Room [lineup]
  • National and local shorts — Narrative, 3:50 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Alabama Theatre Studio [lineup]

• • •

The Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival takes place Sept. 24-26 in downtown Birmingham. Tickets: three-day pass, $50, $40 for members and students; one-day pass, $20, $15 for members and students.

Also:

• • •

Are you planning to go? Which movies are on your list? And which ones should we review? Let us know in the comments.

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/08/21/sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-lineup-local-movie-film-video/feed/ 1 10386
EXCLUSIVE: The reshuffling of Sidewalk http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/03/02/exclusive-reshuffling-sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-film-movie-shout/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/03/02/exclusive-reshuffling-sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-film-movie-shout/#comments Tue, 02 Mar 2010 22:51:17 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7889 Gay film festival moves to fall; new hires in the works

Wade on Birmingham - Sidewalk Moving Picture FestivalThe Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival has made major moves for 2010. Its parent organization, the Alabama Moving Image Association, has filled out its event calendar, shuffled a festival and made room for two new positions. Executive director Chloe Collins shared the details via e-mail.

Birmingham Shout, the organization’s springtime gay/lesbian film festival, will move to fall, specifically Sept. 24-26. So, both Shout and Sidewalk 2010 will take place on the same weekend in downtown Birmingham.

Collins says that the move allows for “exciting cross promotions, audience development, important interactions and a stronger focus on serving each event’s mission.

“Though the dates and footprint will be the shared, Shout and Sidewalk will be distinct events with unique marketing, community steering, volunteers, parties, events and, of course, programming. Shout will have its own venue — screening films both Saturday and Sunday — allowing patrons more opportunities and flexibility compared to last year which offered two screens on one day, forcing patrons to choose one film experience over another.”

Shout started in 2006, having grown and shrunk in its previous four runs. (Coincidentally, Sidewalk started in 1999 as a spring festival before moving to the fall the following year.) The festival’s revenues and financial health remain unclear.

Collins and other staff members will oversee Shout, while the festival’s programmer will be Billy Ray Brewton, co-founder and president of Theatre Downtown.

Two-day passes will allow entrance to both festivals. Filmmakers submitting movies with gay/lesbian themes will choose which festival or festivals to enter, rather than the programming committees. Collins added that the two festivals will work together to avoid double-programming any film.

• With the approval of the 2010 budget, Sidewalk is looking to hire a development/communications manager (a newly created staff position) and an education and outreach coordinator (a contract position).

The festival terminated the project coordinator position, most recently held by Natalie Hummel.

After the 2009 event, the organization went from a $10,000 deficit to a $20,000 surplus.

Update: Rebecca Pugh is the new development/communications manager. She previously worked as an assignment editor at NBC 13 before spending the last 3 years in a similar role at Tampa’s ABC affiliate.

Upcoming Sidewalk events include:

  • Tonight | monthly Sidewalk Salon, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rojo on Southside, featuring Mark Stricklin of the Birmingham-Jefferson Film Office
  • Thursday | Pre-Oscar Bash fund-raiser, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Kress Building, 301 19th St. N., downtown. $20, $15 for Sidewalk members. For tickets and more information, visit the site.
  • March 9 | Sidewalk Silver Screen Encore Series, featuring “That Evening Sun,” 7 p.m., Virginia Samford Theatre, 1116 26th St. S., Southside. $8. For tickets and more information, visit the site. [Review from Wade on Birmingham]
  • March 15 | deadline for submissions for Sidewalk 2010.

• • •

Action! Complete Sidewalk Festival coverage.

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2010/03/02/exclusive-reshuffling-sidewalk-moving-picture-festival-film-movie-shout/feed/ 1 7889
Wade on November 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-november-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-november-2009-video/#respond Thu, 31 Dec 2009 16:51:08 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7315 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: Mary Buckelew gets probation
instead of jail time: “Justice was served today.”

Nov. 2 | Our Vote 2009 resumed coverage as a special election for mayor of Birmingham was set. As each of the 14 candidates announced, as each forum and town hall emerged, we had the info. And still, the campaign continues …

Nov. 3 | Birmingham looks to Austin for a way to spur badly needed economic development. Can the city and the Birmingham Business Alliance match the Texas metropolis’ success?

Nov. 4 | Do Birmingham’s nonprofit organizations and their volunteers deserve awards? YP Roundtable thinks so, but we call it “selfishly egotistically uncharitable.”

Nov. 6 | A Wade on Birmingham exclusive: How Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival went from being in debt to $20,000 in the black. All it took was budget cuts, fast fund-raising and more ticket sales.

Nov. 6 | ABC’s “Supernanny” visits Hayden to help a family of five with discipline problems. One household down, many many more to go.

Nov. 12 | Speaking of discipline … Former Jefferson County Commission president Mary Buckelew escaped with a slap on the wrist, or 3 years probation and $20,000 fine for lying to a grand jury. She had faced 12 to 18 months in prison.

Nov. 18 | HealthSouth chief executive officer Jay Grinney says the way forward for the city and county is combined government, along with the Birmingham Business Alliance’s economic development plan. He was a keynote speaker at the Birmingham Economic Summit.

Nov. 18 | Birmingham took a big bite out of crime in 2009, with a 12 percent drop in the first three quarters. Despite the effort, the city still placed seventh nationally in city crime rankings.

Nov. 23 | Campaign oddity exhibit A: “Cooper Rap.” Exhibit B: Candidate arrested for disorderly conduct at a bar.

Nov. 24 | A council coup, of sorts. Roderick Royal becomes incoming city council’s new president and interim mayor, ending Carole Smitherman’s short tenure.

Nov. 30 | Two calendars, A Picture of Health and Brave Beauties, raise money for charity. Two weeks later, the cover model for “A Picture of Health” died from ovarian cancer.

See all of our November coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

the iron bowl in 17 syllables (Nov. 26)

Tradition, empty
malls, rivalry, crimson white,
orange blue, braggin’ rights.

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/31/wade-on-november-2009-video/feed/ 0 7315
Wade on September 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-september-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-september-2009-video/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2009 04:09:48 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7312 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: Gov. Riley attends the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
closing film, “Alabama Moon.”

Sept. 11 | September in Birmingham means two things in downtown culture: Artwalk and Sidewalk. For Artwalk, we presented an hour-by-hour guide to the two-day art festival.

Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival | All eyes were on the 11th annual film festival with a new executive director in place and sizable debt to overcome. Our contributing reviewers watched 11(!) movies to size them up for you in advance, including the opening night documentary feature, “Best Worst Movie.” How do we do it? Volume, volume, volume.

See all of our September coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

at the drive-in [Sept. 8]

I declared my love
over shakes and a burger,
hold the mushiness.

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-september-2009-video/feed/ 2 7312
Wade on August 2009 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-august-2009-video/ http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-august-2009-video/#comments Thu, 31 Dec 2009 00:05:09 +0000 http://wadeonbirmingham.com/?p=7310 A look back at all things and people and events 2009 …

Video: Bill Blount joins Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks
with a guilty plea.

Aug. 1 | We counted down the days to former mayor Larry Langford’s original Aug. 31 trial date with our greatest series ever, Birmingham’s Biggest Crooks. Seriously, look how many criminals we stuffed into one month …

Who didn’t make the list? Langford, convicted Oct. 28. And pipe maker McWane Inc., whose latest fine is $4 million.

Aug. 10 | A juicy morsel: Wade on Birmingham had the exclusive scoop on the exclusive screening of the documentary “Food, Inc.” P.S. We love our news tipsters.

Aug. 11 | The dirge continued as we presented the Birmingham Heritage Festival lineup and demise in the same day. P.S. Never piss off Ludacris. Ever.

Aug. 25 | Our Vote 2009 coverage kicked into high gear with our extensive look at the Birmingham city council and board of education races. Later, we had results from all 18 races, nine of which were headed to runoffs.

Aug. 27 | The end of August also means the start of our monthlong coverage of the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival, with an in-depth look at the local films plus the opening night documentary, “Best Worst Movie.”

See all of our August coverage.

• • •

Haiku flashback

football season: dear coach (Aug. 31)

Please take us to the
national championship
(or else, you’re fired).

• • •

365 days of Birmingham’s best and worst: Wade on 2009

]]>
http://wadeonbirmingham.com/2009/12/30/wade-on-august-2009-video/feed/ 2 7310