July 9, 2008

Old Pasadena Film Festival Starts Friday

By Janette Williams

PASADENA - Breakfast Hobbit-style after an all-night "Lord of the Rings" marathon, or "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn?

Whatever your style, Old Pasadena Film Festival organizers promise there will be something for all movie fans to enjoy over the next three weekends, starting Friday - and all of it free.

"The idea is to unite films within an urban context," said Robin Faulk of One Colorado, which will screen an outdoor Audrey Hepburn series, starting with "Breakfast at Tiffany's," on Friday nights. (Fans who really want to get in the mood can shop at Tiffany's across the street before the showing.)

"I think the concept was how to make movies come alive in a way that utilized the assets in Old Pasadena, the alleyways, the brick buildings - really take a close look at the urban infrastructure," Faulk said. "There will be projections on walls, alleyways, the School House parking structure," courtyards, shops and theaters among other venues throughout the historic district.

But plans to show "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in the creepy setting of the School House basement didn't go down so well with the fire marshal, said Steve Mulheim, president of the Old Pasadena Management District.

"He was not thrilled," Mulheim said.

So the horror favorite will be shown on the School House rooftop July 18, just like "The War of the Worlds" this Friday, with the director, Tobe Hooper, introducing the sci-fi classic.

"Well, it's less claustrophobic," said Gwen Deglise of the non- profit American Cinematheque, who programmed the festival and expressed disappointment at the change of venue. "We've been coming up with locations and movies that match - specific locations create a dynamic discussion between urban life and film-making."

Over three weekends, there will be 20 screenings, celebrity appearances and works by emerging filmmakers, including Pasadena City College, the Armory and Art Center College of Design film students, all at the Armory Center for the Arts on Fridays and Saturdays.

Among the more unusual offerings are vintage shorts with a kitschy appeal for today's audiences, to be shown July 19 in mercantile Alley.

Film archivist Rick Prelinger of San Francisco will present a compilation of the "Mental Hygiene" cautionary-tale films used to tame rebellious 1950s and 60s teenagers.

"It's often compared to government propaganda," Faulk said of the series, which earnestly covered the evils of everything from poor table manners to drug use.

"There's personal hygiene - girls brushing every part of their hair 100 times - and one that advises girls when they're going out on a date: 'When you talk to a boy, don't ask questions, don't be too inquisitive,"' he said. "It's campy today."

Mulheim said the district is expecting a good crowd all three weekends for what they hope will be an annual event.

"We're preparing for the high end and hoping for the best," Mulheim said. "We anticipate it will be well-received, and we would explore making it bigger, extending it to new locations, lengthening it, bringing in new elements - next year a little bit bigger, a little bit better."

This Weekend Festival Schedule:


7 p.m. - Emerging Filmmakers: Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave.

Films and shorts by students and faculty from the Armory Center for the Arts, Art Center College of Design and Pasadena City College.

8:30 p.m. - Classic Hepburn: "Breakfast at Tiffany's," One Colorado Courtyard, 41 Hugus Alley

10 p.m. - "The War of the Worlds," School House Parking structure rooftop, 33 E. Green Street.


7 p.m. - Emerging filmmakers: Armory Center for the Arts

8:30 p.m. - Classic Hepburn: "My Fair Lady" One Colorado Courtyard

-By Janette Williams

Staff Writer

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