Posts Tagged ‘Film Festival’

The Undead visit Old Pasadena

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Night of the Living Dead poster

This weekend marks the final weekend of free screenings for the third annual Old Pasadena Film Festival, but we aren’t going out with a bang… more like a shuffle and moan.  Saturday night, July 31st, we are inviting all zombies and their respective families to Central Park (click here for map) for an outdoor screening of the quintessential “zombie movie” George Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead.  A $100 gift certificate for spending anywhere in Old Pasadena will be awarded to the most creative zombie attire!

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
(Central Park, 120 S. Raymond Avenue) 8:30pm
Bring your own chairs and blankets.
The first of six “Dead” films directed by George Romero, this 1968 black-and-white zombie movie is considered groundbreaking. It tells the story of Ben and Barbara’s efforts, along with five other people, to survive the night trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse avoiding the mysterious reanimation of the recently dead. Arguably the classic horror film, Night of the Living Dead is on American Film Institute’s list of 100 Most Thrilling Movies.

I was curious about the popularity of zombies in light of the recent record-breaking annual Zombie Walk in Seattle (final count of the undead was 4,233), the great enthusiasm with which the announcement of our movie screening was received, and the fact that there are 11 million results on Google for “Night of the Living Dead”  and 43 million for “zombie”.  Even communications students in the Elon in Los Angeles program will be attending the Old Pasadena Film Festival on Saturday with a choice of viewing NOLD (that’s Night of the Living Dead for the un-initiated) or All About Eve at One Colorado Courtyard (click here for map), arguably another must-see classic.

I checked the Google Trends for “zombie” and was intrigued to find that the Philippines beat the United States in search volume.  More importantly, even with all of the Twilight hype, I compared trends and people search on “zombie” one third more than “vampire”!  So now you know.

The Zombie Research Society informs us that May is official Zombie Awareness Month, and that many zombie films are set in May, including Night of the Living Dead.  As a point of reference, the Society’s mission is three-fold:  Science; Survival (and I quote, “surviving the coming zombie pandemic“); and Art.  I will end this post with their catchy slogan: “What You Don’t Know Can Eat You!”

Google image results for NOLD

Google image results for Zombie

Unique Experiences at the Old Pasadena Film Festival

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Old Pasadena Film Festival 2009

This year’s edition of the Old Pasadena Film Festival included a very special occasion.  We were offered the opportunity to present a recently restored version of the Mary Pickford silent film Daddy Long-Legs (1919), her 226th film appearance at the age of 27, with a newly commissioned score composed by Maria Newman.  This particular film coined Mary Pickford as “America’s Sweetheart” and one of the most beloved actresses in history.

Daddy Long Legs

The composer Maria Newman was born into one of the most famous and influential musical families in Hollywood. The youngest daughter of the nine-time Academy Award-winning composer/conductor, Alfred Newman (The King and I), she grew up in a family of renowned musicians and composers, including Randy Newman (Toy Story).  Ms. Newman has received numerous commissions from the Mary Pickford Foundation to compose original music for newly restored vintage classic films of the silent era.

Maria NewmanSo it was that on a balmy Saturday evening in Old Pasadena, members of the Malibu Coast Chamber Orchestra performed the exhilarating musical score to the silent film under the direction of Maria Newman.  On July 11th, the film was screened for  a capacity crowd in the Courtyard at One Colorado and the musicians received a warm standing ovation at the end of their performance.

We have received wonderfully enthusiastic praise for this event and heard from many people who treasured this magical evening. Don’t miss the last weekend of the 2009 Old Pasadena Film Festival featuring An American in Paris and Gypsy on Friday, July 24th, West Side Story and Twilight on Saturday, July 25th.