Thursday, December 31, 2009

This week's films

Playing this week:
Up in the Air, The Young Victoria, Nine, Sherlock Holmes, Invictus, A Serious Man

Music in the cafe:
Thursday: Watkins and the Rapiers, Friday: The Westview Project, Saturday: Fred Stone Progressive Jazz Trio

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Opera in Cinema Series--Thais for 2 Showings only!

From the Teatro Regio di Torino (Italy)

Tuesday, January 5 at 7:00pm and Sunday, January 10 at Noon. Tickets $20/$18 Members, students, seniors

See the trailer here.

Thais is an opera in three acts by Jules Massenet, to a French libretto by Louis Gallet, based on the novel of the same name by Anatole France. It was first performed at the Opéra in Paris on March 16, 1894, with the glamorous American soprano Sybil Sanderson, for whom Massenet had written it, in the title role.

The monk Athanaël attempts to convert the beautiful courtesan Thaïs to Christianity, despite the many warnings of his friends. After Athanaël rejects her advances, Thais eventually agrees to renounce her worldly possessions and join a convent. It is only upon their arrival at the convent that Athanaël realizes he will never see the beautiful Thaïs again. After their separation, he is consumed by desire for her, and has a vision of her immenent death. He returns to convent to see her, and finds her on her deathbed. He confesses his love and extols the power of earthly desire, but Thaïs has been changed forever—she sees him only as the man who brought her to salvation. Thaïs receives heavenly visions and dies Athanaël’s arms, while Athanaël is left in despair and anguish.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Indie filmmakers in Rochester, NY

If you are an indie filmmaker or know someone who is that would like to be profiled in a blog article, let us know. Contact

We would love to help you tell people about your projects.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Thanksgiving • 15:33 minutes • Stan Main • Rochester, NY

DJINN • 15:00 minutes • Eliane Lima • Binghamton, NY

Vietnam: The Puerto Rican Experience • 22:16 minutes • Ismael Rivera • Rochester, NY

Backwards • 4:30 minutes • Aaron Hughes • Brooklyn, NY

Total running time: 57:17 • Tickets $5.00

Visit the Emerging Filmmakers Series page for more information.

The Emerging Filmmakers Series is made possible through support from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Social Media Club of Rochester

The Social Media Club of Rochester, NY holds monthly get-togethers so people interested in social media can meet face to face & share ideas. If you are into social media check them out. They have monthly meetups, etc.

Sherlock Holmes--Opening Dec. 25th

About the Film
“Sherlock Holmes” unfolds against the backdrop of London in 1890, when the
city seems at the center of the world, with technology extending mankind’s reach and all
things new racing to replace the old. “There’s a growing engagement in technologies of
the near future, and this sense of wonderment,” Robert Downey Jr. observes. “They’re
verging on all these incredible things.”

But for all the polish and prestige, 1890s London is also a cesspool into which all
the criminals of contemporary society drain…which makes it the ideal city for a man like
Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes has made his reputation finding the truth at the heart of the most
complex mysteries. With the aid of Dr. John Watson, his trusted ally, the renowned
“consulting detective” is unequaled in his pursuit of criminals of every stripe, whether
relying on his singular powers of observation, his remarkable deductive skills, or the
blunt force of his fists.

But now a storm is gathering over London, a threat unlike anything that Holmes
has ever confronted…and just the challenge he’s looking for.
After a string of brutal, ritualistic murders, Holmes and Watson arrive just in time
to save the latest victim and uncover the killer: the unrepentant Lord Blackwood. As he
approaches his scheduled hanging, Blackwood—who has terrorized inmates and jailers
alike with his seeming connection to dark and powerful forces—warns Holmes that death
has no power over him and, in fact, his execution plays right into Blackwood’s plans.

And when, by all indications, Blackwood makes good on his promise, his
apparent resurrection panics London and confounds Scotland Yard. But to Holmes, the
game is afoot.

A Bit from Behind the Scenes
In creating a tangible feel of Sherlock Holmes’s London, Guy Ritchie wanted to
portray a city at the crossroads between the past and a newly dawning future—an
expansive and gritty place with bold new architecture being layered over the old.
“As the
center of the Industrial Revolution, London really was throbbing with enthusiasm and
creative energy,” Ritchie observes. “Tower Bridge was being built, one of the many very
ambitious things the Victorians were undertaking at the time.”

“The film is set when the British Empire is at its height,” adds Robert Downey Jr.
“There was a sense of being on the cusp of the modern age, with a real interest in
technological developments.”

The directive on all levels of design was to be at once authentic and grounded in
the reality of the times while also creating a fresh look for Holmes’s world. “That was
the key to this film,” says costume designer Jenny Beavan. “My instruction was to avoid
the infamous deerstalker hat that has become emblematic of the old Holmes,” she
continues, noting that the deerstalker hat did not come from Conan Doyle’s words but
from an early illustration of one of the stories. “Our Holmes has a rumpled, scruffy look.
You get the sense that he throws his clothes on the floor when he’s done with them and
picks anything out of the pile when he gets dressed. For example, he wears a dinner
jacket for the meal with Watson and his fiancée Mary but gets the shirt and cravat just
slightly wrong. There’s a bit of a vintage store feel to his clothes.”

What's Being Said About the Film
"If you can get over the idea of Sherlock Holmes as an action hero -- and if, indeed, you want to -- then there is something to enjoy about this flagrant makeover of fiction's first modern detective into a man of brawn as much as brain. "--Variety

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This week's films

Opening Tonight: Up in the Air

Opening Friday: The Young Victoria, Nine, Sherlock Holmes

Continuing: Invictus, A Serious Man

Emerging Filmmakers Series Mon. 28th 9:15pm, tickets $5.00

Holiday Film Openings: The Young Victoria

Edited by Rochester's own Matt Garner!

About the film
From Martin Scorsese & the makers of Gosford Park and The Departed, comes the story of Queen Victoria’s early rise to power. From an object of a royal power-struggle in to her romantic courtship and legendary marriage to Prince Albert, Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) gives a stunning performance as The Young Victoria.

The Duchess of York on "The Young Victoria"

Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is the ex-wife of Prince Andrew, a one time confidante to Princess Diana, a Weight Watchers spokesperson, Britain's traditional punching bag and, now, a movie producer -- and she's out on the circuit doing press for "The Young Victoria," her first venture into film production.

Americans are suckers for British accents and aristocracy, so regardless of any accompanying infamy, it was inevitable the Duchess would show up and give good copy to promote the release...Read the Full Report Here.

What's Being Said About the Film

"With a transcendent Emily Blunt in the title role and Rupert Friend splendid as Prince Albert, director Jean-Marc Vallée has created a terrific period piece that retains a modern-day freshness."--The LA Times

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday week film openings: Up in the Air

Opens Dec. 23rd

About the film:
Up in the Air is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and co-written by Reitman and Sheldon Turner. It is a film adaptation of the 2001 novel, Up in the Air, written by Walter Kirn. The story is about a corporate downsizer in his travels and follows his isolated life and philosophies, along with the people that he meets along the way.

Kirn wrote the book after meeting another passenger in a first class cabin who enjoyed being on the road more than 300 days a year. Reitman started adapting the book in 2002, but did not complete the screenplay until 2008 because of directoral duties for both Thank You for Smoking and Juno. Reitman wrote the parts specifically for George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, Melanie Lynskey, Amy Morton, Sam Elliott and Zach Galifianakis. Reitman included twenty-two recently laid off workers who played themselves being fired. Filming was primarily in St. Louis, Missouri which substituted for a number of other cities shown in the film. Several scenes were also filmed in Detroit, Michigan, Omaha, Nebraska, Las Vegas, Nevada and Miami, Florida.

What People Are Saying:

"People I meet always ask if there is something wonderful to see at the movies. Now I have an answer. See Up in the Air, a transporting comedy from slump-resistant director Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking, Juno) that jet-fuels the Oscar race, rattles with romantic turbulence, rumbles with the terror of living in a cratering economy and takes a never-better George Clooney on the ride of his acting life."—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Link to the trailer here.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday hours-Christmas, New Year's

Our holiday hours are as follows:
Christmas Eve Thurs 12/24- Theatre & Cafe CLOSED

Christmas Day Fri 12/25 - Theatres will be open regular business hours. Cafe is closed.

New Years Eve Thurs 12/31- Theatre & Cafe open regular business hours.

New Years Day Fri 1/1- Theatre & Cafe open regular business hours.

Nine--Opening Dec. 25th

Director Rob Marshall Talks About Casting

The corridors of New York’s historic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel are lined with black-and-white photographs of famous visitors and guests who have stayed there in the past. But it is unlikely that the hotel has ever before seen such an august gathering of stars as the group of six Oscar winners and one nominee who met there the other day to talk about their roles in the lavish movie adaptation of the stage musical Nine.

“I was just upstairs with the entire cast, and I still can’t believe it,” says the film’s director, co-writer and choreographer Rob Marshall as he joins me in a fourth-floor suite. “It’s overwhelming.” Read the whole UK article here.

About the film
Arrogant, self-centered movie director Guido Contini finds himself struggling to find meaning, purpose, and a script for his latest film endeavor. With only a week left before shooting begins, he desperately searches for answers and inspiration from his wife, his mistress, his muse, and his mother. As his chaotic profession steadily destroys his personal life, Guido must find a balance between creating art and succumbing to its obsessive demands.

The movie boasts the highest density of Academy Award-winning talent than any film this holiday season: Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren and Penelope Cruz. For a movie about moviemaking -- the plot is inspired by Fellini's "8 1/2" -- the casting is a triumph.

What's being said about it
"...the movie is a feast for the eyes, highly stylized like "Mad Men" all’italiana..."—New York Times

So many openings this week

We've got a huge slate of openings this week. Because we have so many to cover, I'll be posting more in-depth bits about them all week. We wish you and yours a safe holiday--and we hope to see you at the movies!


Dec. 23rd
Up in the Air (Directed by Jason Reitman, Starring George Clooney and Vera Farmiga)

Dec. 25th
Nine (Directed by Rob Marshall, Starring Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench, Daniel Day-Lewis, Fergie and Kate Hudson. Holy cow--all of them in one film?! Screenplay by the late Anthony Minghella and Michael Tolkin)

Sherlock Holmes (Directed by Guy Richie, Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Rachel McAdams)

The Young Victoria (Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. Starring Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Opening this week: La Danse - The Paris Opera Ballet (one week only)

About the film:
The Paris Opera Ballet is one of the world’s great ballet companies. The film follows the rehearsals and performances of seven ballets: Genus by Wayne McGregor, Le Songe de Medée by Angelin Preljocaj, La Maison de Bernarda by Mats Ek, Paquita by Pierre Lacotte, Casse Noisette by Rudolph Nureyev, Orphée and Eurydice by Pina Bausch, and Romeo and Juliette by Sasha Waltz. The film shows the work involved in administering the company and the coordinated and collaborative work of choreographers, ballet masters, dancers, musicians, and costume, set, and lighting designers.

“La Danse,” however, does more than offer intimate access to great dancers. It showcases performers like Nicolas Le Riche and Agnès Letestu and choreography by Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch, but it also ventures beyond the stage and studios and into sewing rooms, cafeterias and administrative offices. Like most of Mr. Wiseman’s movies it is above all a portrait of an institution.–Dennis Lim, The New York Times

About the Director:
In 1993, in Frederick Wiseman's film BALLET, he followed the American Ballet Theatre rehearsals in New York and performances in Europe. For a long time Wiseman had wanted to make a film in France and in 1995 he tackled that most French of institutions, The Comedie Francaise. Both in BALLET and LA COMÉDIE-FRANÇAISE Wiseman raises questions about the conditions necessary for artistic creation: how to create those conditions which allow a director, an actor, or a dancer to achieve the goal of a perfect even sublime performance; how the specific dialect for the theatre works, the dialect which both places in opposition and transcends the solitude of individual creation and group collaboration. Read more about him here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Opening this week: Amreeka (playing one week only)

About the film:
Amreeka chronicles the adventures of Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. In America, as her son navigates high school hallways the way he used to move through military checkpoints, the indomitable Muna scrambles together a new life cooking up falafel burgers as well as hamburgers at the local White Castle.

About the Director:
is a film that writer/director Cherien Dabis very much needed to make. It’s a personal story that draws on her own memories of growing up with her Palestinian/Jordanian family in rural Ohio.

“My parents immigrated to the U.S. right before I was born. I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in rural Ohio and Jordan. When people ask me where I’m from, it’s always a confusing question,” Dabis explains. “For most of my life I felt like I wasn’t American enough for the Americans, nor was I Arab enough for the Arabs. And as a Palestinian, I inherited my father’s quandary in not having a nation or a national identity, which only exacerbated my sense of not belonging anywhere. My own desire for a place to call home, a place where I belonged, was always a very big part of my identity.”

In Ohio, during the first Gulf War, Dabis’s family was ostracized. Dabis, who was 14 at the time, says, “We got death threats and the Secret Service even came to my high school to investigate a rumor that my 17-year-old sister threatened to kill the President.”

As Dabis’s family returned to Jordan regularly, she was able to see what was happening in the world from different perspectives. “In my travels to and from the Middle East, watching and reading news from different perspectives, from Arabic satellite to English news, I started to see how the media often made way for more conflict and misunderstanding, perpetuating stereotypes that affected me and my family in this small Ohio town.” Read the whole interview here.

Amreeka made its world premiere in dramatic competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and played as Opening Night of New Directors/New Films, a co-presentation of The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. "Amreeka" made its debut internationally in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. The film has been nominated for three Film Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Twitter and its box office impact

Once upon a time, word-of-mouth about a film used took days to circulate; now it can happen directly from the movie theater. It used to be when films opened strongly their first day of an opening weekend, they would stay strong all weekend. But now studios are noticing new patterns--upswings or dropoffs (and dramatic ones at that) before the weekend is even over.

More and more people are Twittering opinions as they leave the theater--likewise, they are listening in to Twitter chatter to determine if they will attend a film or not. Generally, people will pay attention to what the people in their network have to say because they have things in common with them.

When "Inglourious Basterds" (which played here) was being marketed, the Weinstein Company went all out to court Twitter users. A couple of examples include: their screening at San Diego's Comic Con was filled with people who won their seats on Twitter, they also conducted the first "Red carpet Twitter meetup" which generated lots of celebrity-level tweets about the experience.

What do you think? Do you pay attention to Twitter input when deciding about movies? Do you like the ways studios are trying to use it as a marketing tool?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Golden Globes are Golden for The Little

The 67th Annual Golden Globe Award nominations were announced this week and films that played (or will be playing very soon) at The Little accounted for 41 total nominations!

Films receiving nominations include: Julie & Julia, (500) Days of Summer, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, An Education, A Serious Man and Invictus.

Nominated films showing on our screens in the coming weeks include: Up in the Air, Nine, The Young Victoria, Sherlock Holmes, Crazy Heart, Broken Embraces and The Messenger.

For a complete list of nominations please click here.

What are your opinions? Overlooked films? Performances? Any nominations you are particularly happy about? Let us know.


Why We Blog

Welcome to the Little Theatre's blog. We've been connecting with our friends, fans and supporters via Facebook and Twitter--however, there are topics we'd like to cover in more detail than those formats allow. This is our inspiration for the blog. Our goal is to pull back the curtain a bit and share our take on modern cinema from many different viewpoints.

We'll also keep you in the loop on doings here at The Little. Let us know what you think by commenting on our posts--we love opinions and dialogue.

See you online--and at the movies!