Umbrellas weren't much help when Hurricane Harvey unleashed hell on H-Town, but they'll do just fine when Bun B, Kat Edmonson (Woody Allen's Café Society) and other local musicians riff on Gene Kelly's classic flick, Singin' in the Rain, at a bells-and-whistles celebration and screening at White Oak Musical Hall.
The November 11 event is designed to bridge several art disciplines and is all part of the fun during this year's Houston Cinema Arts Festival. "We're always looking for new partners, new venues," says artistic director Richard Herskowitz, about the addition of the 65th anniversary screening at WOMH. "We'll have people singing and dancing with the movie, a DJ, dancing, performances."
He says the planning of this year's festival changed dramatically after the flooding, causing a bit of retooling and pushing some events to 2018. "Instead, we changed our focus of the festival to be Houston in a much more pronounced way than ever before," says Herskowitz. "I have a lot of filmmakers born and raised in Houston but living elsewhere. Several of them contacted me about bringing their work to Houston.
"Joseph Kahn, who is the hottest music video director in the world right now — he does Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Eminem, Lady Gaga — he has a brand new feature," says Herskowitz about the opening night screening of Bodied at Rice Media Center.
"Bedford Thomason grew up here. He lives in Alabama now. He's coming back for his film, A Life in Waves," says Herskowitz. "Sam Wainwright Douglas was born and raised in Houston. He was our opening-night filmmaker last year." Douglas is back this year with a new documentary, Through the Repellent Force: A Land Art Film, that screens the afternoon of November 11 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Art-world insiders know all about Wayne Gilbert; the local artist and owner of Ggallery transforms unclaimed cremains into works of art. A new documentary by director Wayne Slaten, Ash: The Art of Wayne Gilbert, screens on Sunday afternoon at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, along with local director Cressandra Thibodeaux's movie, Jesse Lott: Artist in Action.
Herskowitz is practically gushing over filmmaker and poet Abigail Child, and they're doing a retrospective of several of her earlier films, so soon we'll all be drinking the Kool-Aid. "She is revered in the experimental film world. She has made close to 30 films. They generally are experimental and political at the same time. Acts and Intermissions is about political activist Emma Goldman," says Herskowitz about the November 13 screening at Aurora Picture Show. "She is the kind of filmmaker who just exceeds all the boundaries. This is one of my favorite films of the year." Child's earlier works, The Suburban Trilogy and Is This What You Were Born For? will show at 4 p.m. November 11 and 12 and DiverseWorks.
Perhaps the biggest category of all is CineSpace, an out-of-this world competition that challenges filmmakers to incorporate NASA imagery to produce new shorts, now in its third year. "This year we had more than 650 entries. We narrowed it down to 13 films that became finalists and, of those, Rick Linklater is in the process of choosing the top three that are going to win the top prizes." CineSpace: The 3rd Annual Screening and Awards presentation takes place on November 10 at 8:30 p.m. at Rice Media Center.
The Houston Cinema Arts Festival runs November 9-13 at various locations, 713-429-0420, houstoncinemaartsfestival.org. $10 to $20.
Thursday, November 9
7:30 p.m., Love, Cecil, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $12
9 p.m., Bodied, Rice Media Center, $12
Friday, November 10
1 p.m., Body and Soul: An American Bridge, Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center of Houston, $15
3:30 p.m., Latest News from the Cosmos, Rice Media Center, $10
6 p.m., Horace Tapscott: Musical Griot, Rice Media Center, $12
7 p.m., Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $12
7 p.m., If You Build It, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, $10
8:30 p.m., CineSpace: The 3rd Annual Screening and Awards Presentation, Rice Media Center, $12
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Saturday, November 11
Noon, Saving Brinton, Rice Media Center, $10
1 p.m., Space is Lit: Recent Experimental Films, DiverseWorks, Free
1 p.m., Through the Repellent Fence, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $10
3 p.m., Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, Rice Media Center, $10
4 p.m., Is This What You Were Born For?, DiverseWorks, Free
4 p.m., The Ballad of Lefty Brown, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $10
5:30 p.m., Texas Filmmaker's Showcase 2017, Rice Media Center, $10
7 p.m., Art & Sex Double Feature: Flames/Pendular, Brasil, Free
7 p.m., Call Me By Your Name, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $12
8 p.m., Beuys, Rice Media Center, $12
9 p.m., Singin' in the Rain, White Oak Music Hall, $20
Sunday, November 12
11 a.m., Prototype, iPic Theaters, price TBD
1 p.m., Films by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan, DiverseWorks, free
1 p.m., No Maps on My Taps; About Tap, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $10
1 p.m., A Life in Waves, Rice Media Center, $10
3 p.m., I Look Up Film Challenge, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, $10
4 p.m., The Suburban Trilogy, DiverseWorks, free
4 p.m., Ash: The Art of Wayne Gilbert and Jesse Lott: Artist in Action, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $10
4 p.m., Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba, Rice Media Center, $10
7 p.m., Rebels on Pointe, Cafe Brasil, free
7 p.m., Belén, Rice Media Center, $12
7:30 p.m., Bomb City, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $12
Monday, November 13
7 p.m., Acts and Intermissions, Aurora Picture Show, free
7 p.m., I, Tonya, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, $12
7 p.m., Columbus, Rice Media Center, $12