Weekend Roundup: Zombies, Film Festival, and Jugglers

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Last night was the opening of the Philadelphia Film Festival, a 12 night series of “cinematic bacchanalia” from around the world. While you can (and should) visit www.phillycinefest.com for a full list of screenings and locations, I’ve highlighted a few of this year’s notables including “Is Anybody There?” starring Sir Michael Caine as a retired magician and “(500) Days of Summer,” an anti-romantic comedy about a greeting card writer played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt which won a standing ovation at Sundance.

The festival includes a range of features including international comedies, a tribute to Black Cinema of the 21st century, a series on Latino films, and Cinema of the Muslim World. “Love, Soccer and Other Catastrophes,” (or more accurately “Amore, bugie, e calcetto”) is an Italian comedy well explained by its title while “Eldorado” describes itself as a ‘weird existential road movie’ from Belgium. Finally, fans of animated films might enjoy “Sita Sings the Blues” which blends Bollywood, autobiography, shadow puppetry, and the Ramayana.

In keeping with the quirks of many of the international pieces being showcased, you could also stop by the Free Library of Philadelphia on Sunday for a free show of vaudeville-style juggling. If you happen to be in a Francophonic mood (and the ten or so French films at the Festival aren’t enough) you could check out a show at the Perelman Building of the Philadelphia Museum of Art entitled “Henri Matisse and Modern Art on the French Riviera.” Alternately you could just mellow out to good jazz on Saturday night at Bobby’s Watson’s performance honoring John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderly at the Kimmel Center.

Finally, because I was asked to re-recommend it, you could catch the closing show of “William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead” on Saturday evening at the Plays and Players Theater, which, remarkably enough, pairs Shakespeare with zombies.

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