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The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Blog post written by Blaize Hall, Television-Radio Communications, '15, Georgia, Vermont
Pizza from Sammy’s, gorge jumping, picnics at Buttermilk Falls, great theatre at Dillingham, Apple Fest, Chili Fest, ICTV, The Ithacan, bagels from the Ithaca Bakery. All of these are special traditions of Ithaca. FLEFF, however, offers something more. The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival is a tradition with a purpose.
FLEFF has been an important establishment in Ithaca for 17 years. What began as an outreach project by the Center for Environment at Cornell University in 1997, has become a popular event, highly anticipated by Ithaca College students and faculty, Ithaca residents, and visitors from afar. The broad range of artistic displays, coupled with the focused genre of environmental films make this festival relatable to a wide audience, but still allow for unique themes, (like this year’s theme of Dissonance!). It’s location in Ithaca gives it an approachable low-key feel, while also being a hotspot for activists, world-renowned artists, and film historians alike, and providing the opportunity for meaningful connections. And that’s ultimately the purpose of film festivals, to make those connections and learn not only from the films, but from the guests, and other participants in the festival.
All of these factors make FLEFF a truly valuable Ithaca tradition, one that students should NOT miss out on while they’re here! I’m looking forward to seeing A Touch of Sin at the 2014 festival. What films do YOU want to see this year?
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Robby Aceto: To say preparing a live improvised score for October presented some challenges would pretty much be a massive understatement. Here you have an incredibly complicated film by the brilliant director and film theoretician Sergei Eisenstein who incidentally, is credited with inventing the art of film montage and influencing such directors as Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, and virtually every other filmmaker to come after him; his film is telling the story of one of the most significant and complicated series of events in world history, large events written very large, and anyone who has ever seen this film has seen it presented with a score by the legendary modernist composer Dmitri Shostakovitch. Okay, are we seeing any challenges here?!
I studied this film in college and have seen it many times over the years, so when the prospect of improvising a score for it at FLEFF was floated out to the group, I was initially very excited. But then I was also very daunted. I mean, how does one go about replacing (with an improvising trio!... and in a live setting!) a score by Shostakovitch? (rhetorical question). At first I spent a lot of time trying to track down the written score to see if any of its elements might lend themselves to interpretation by our group. I figured, if such an experiment was successful, it would be the first time Cloud Chamber Orchestra performed using any pre-conceived or written elements. But as soon as I began looking at the score on its own, simply as score and unattached to the film, my first thought was "Oh good grief, it's a total MONSTER!". I must admit I became more than a little paralyzed with fear and wanted to crawl into a hole. Then something interesting happened; I discovered that the score by Shostakovitch was written in 1966; it is known to us now as his tone poem "October". The film October was made in 1927. Anyone alive who has seen October has seen it synchronized with music that was written for it nearly forty years after it was released. I did some further digging and came to the realization that virtually no one knows exactly what kind of musical presentation accompanied the film during its first theatrical performances. There was a light at the end of the tunnel after all! It sort of ligitimized in my mind the notion of us improvising a score in a way that might be relevant today.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Blog was written by Kelsey Greene, Documentary Studies and Production, '13, FLEFF intern, Buffalo, New York
As I mentioned several times in my blog entries, I am looking forward to all the events and guest at FLEFF 2011.
One specific event I am looking forward to at Cinemapolis is the screening of Good Fortune, Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. I am particularly excited about the discussion following it with the filmmakers Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest.
I have a strong interest in these filmmakers because they are Ithaca College alumni and I have talked to a few of my professors about them and their work. It is very inspiring to me that they were able to start their own production company right out of college and pursue their passion in documentary.
I am also intrigued by the complexity of issues involved with the film Good Fortune.
An event I am looking forward to on the Ithaca College campus is the performance of The Rite of Spring with Gustav Mahler's Ruckert Lieder by Brad Haughman and Deborah Martin. The event will be Monday, April 11 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Hockett Hall.
The two very talented individuals, who are also faculty members at the college, came and talked about the event at our intern meeting last week. Their passion about the music was contagious and I cannot wait to see the live performance that will be a once in a lifetime event!