Hunky movie star
Daniel Baldwin got the ball rolling for the fifth edition of the
Syracuse International Film Festival, as his presence helped fill
Eastwood’s Palace Theatre on April 25 for a screening of his family
flick The Flyboys. But SIFF isn’t resting on those
opening-night laurels; just check out the cinematic slate brimming with
diverse fare through this weekend at various screening rooms.
Aside from the Palace, 2384 James St.,
and downtown’s Landmark Theatre, 362 S. Salina St., other festival
bijoux include: Gifford Auditorium, located at HBC Hall adjacent to the
Syracuse University Quad; Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St.;
Armory Square’s Bristol IMAX Omnitheater, located within the Museum of
Science and Technology (MOST), 500 S. Franklin St.; Delavan Art Center,
501 W. Fayette St.; Syracuse Center for the Performing Arts, 728-730 E.
Genesee St.; the Redhouse, 201 S. West St.; and the Hotel Syracuse’s
Grand Ballroom, 500 S. Warren St.
Special events to note this week begin
with a “world cinema” night on Thursday, May 1, 6 p.m., at the
Landmark. The evening features drummers, puppets from Open Hand
Theatre, emcee George Kilpatrick, a screening of Red Like the Sky
and a question-answer session with actors Paolo Sassanelli and Luca
Capriotti. The festival has squeezed in two last-minute bookings for
Friday, May 2, at the Center for the Arts: the U.S. premiere of the
Russian film Caucasia at 9:30 p.m., with director Farid Gumbatov in attendance, and a midnight showing of the lovestruck farce Maldeamores, a Puerto Rican flick produced by Benicio Del Toro and starring Luis Guzman, with co-star Silvio Brito making a Salt City appearance.
D.W. Griffith’s 1928 silent Battle of the Sexes will unspool on Saturday, May 3, 7 p.m., at the Palace, with a new
score performed by the Cuong Vu Trio, including bassist Stomu Takeishi,
drummer Ted Poor and composer-trumpeter Vu (see page 14 for Nathan
Turk’s profile on Vu). The closing ceremony on Sunday, May 4, 7 p.m.,
at the Palace will be emceed by Moe Harrington and Mark Eischen, with
presentations of festival awards and a tribute to Israeli filmmaker
Moshe Mizrahi. In fact, Mizrahi will be at several screenings of his
older films at the Center for the Arts, including I Love You Rosa (1972) at 7:15 p.m. and the Oscar-winning Madame Rosa (1977) at 9:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, and the 1984 Tom Hanks drama Every Time We Say Goodbye at noon on Sunday, May 4.
The festival’s outdoor drive-in theater
also returns for another year. A 24-by-32-foot canvas will hang from
the side of Armory Square’s Atrium garage, with patrons encouraged to
park for free in the lot at the corner of South Franklin and West
Fayette streets. Clear Channel will air a limited broadcasting signal
for car radios, while a sound system cranks out more audio for sidewalk
passers-by. A one-hour program of family-oriented shorts will run
continuously on Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, 8:30 p.m. to
midnight, with different films each night. Nearby Kitty Hoynes Irish
Pub and Restaurant will deliver refreshments to your wheels.
The festival’s free forums include
“American Indian Filmmakers’ Perspectives,” on Thursday, May 1, 10 a.m.
to noon, at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St. (443-4008), a Four
Directions Media-sponsored confab with James Lujan, Chris Eyre,
Georgina Lightning and American Indians in Film and Television founder
Sonny Skyhawk. And another round of “New Technologies in Animation”
takes place Friday, May 2, 10 a.m. to noon, with Pixar ’toon experts
Dylan Brown and Cynthia Slavens at the Bristol IMAX Omnitheater
A series of filmmakers’ seminars, with
emphases on the marketplace and how movies are released, will take
place Friday, May 2, at the Point of Contact Gallery, 914 E. Genesee
St. Representatives from home-video divisions will chat about the
dynamics of studio distribution from 10 a.m. to noon, while Syracuse
filmmaker Ron Bonk and other locals discuss how to make movies in
Central New York from 1 to 2 p.m. “Gaming: Creative Opportunities for
Filmmakers” takes place from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Single-admission tickets are $8, with
seniors and students discounted to $6. Ducats for the closing night’s
awards ceremony and reception at the Palace on Sunday, May 4, 7 p.m.,
costs $15, $12 for students and seniors. The Battle of the Sexes program is $15, $12 for students and seniors.
A full festival pass, good for all film programs as well as Battle of the Sexes
and the world cinema and closing ceremonies costs $125, while students
and seniors can snag them for $110. A film buff pass, which includes
access to movie programs only, is $75, with seniors and students
charged $70. A four-pack set of tickets for any four flicks costs $28.
Tickets are being sold at Emerald City
Video, 3208 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt; Sound Garden, 124 Walton St., Armory
Square; festival headquarters at downtown’s Hotel Syracuse, 500 S.
Warren St.; and at the screening rooms. For more information, call
443-8826 or visit www.syrfilm.com. Here's a rundown of this week’s highlights (click for reviews):