“Waste Land” Documentary Tuesday, 10/13

This Tuesday evening, a very special event, sponsored by the Tang Teaching Museum:

Join us for a 1-night only screening of “Waste Land”, a brilliant, Academy Award nominated documentary exploring the life and art of “garbage pickers” in the world’s largest garbage dump, in Rio de Janeiro. In the film, Brazilian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Vic Muniz gets to know the pickers, and ends up working with them to make art out of their findings. Not a craft project, this collaboration produces stunning works of art.

This screening is sponsored by the Tang Teaching Museum. In September, they opened a new exhibit – “Affinity Atlas” that charts an exploratory path across disciplines built on idiosyncratic treasures from the Tang collection, punctuated with recent works by a roster of contemporary artists including Vic Muniz.

Tang Director Ian Berry will introduce the film and discuss Muniz’s body of work. In addition, a discussion about sustainability will include Ian Rogers, who heads Sustainability efforts at Skidmore, and representatives from Sustainable Saratoga and Skidmore campus groups to discuss sustainability initiatives on the home front.

Here is a review (from of Waste Land.

Don’t miss this BRILLIANT and TOUCHING film. You can see it on our big screen on Tuesday, 10/13.

Doors open at 6:30. We will have discussion BEFORE and AFTER the film.

Tell your friends, and Join us!


Last night of “Tangerine” (7:30 pm) – a film that is grittier than most that we show, and that (frankly) may make some of our fans and friends uncomfortable. The movie details 24 hours in the life of two transgender prostitutes in Los Angeles. We decided to show it, knowing it might put some people off.

So why show it? We are committed to showing a broad range of films – docs, foreign, and independent, as well as the occasional “bigger” movie. Our mission is to entertain, educate, and challenge, and we think this movie does all three. “Tangerine” is truly “Independent” and it will make some feel uncomfortable. This director (Sean Baker) makes smaller films, often about people who are not mainstream. He does it in an authentic way that ignores cliches. The two lead roles are indeed played by transgender women, although they are definitely acting. This is not a documentary. The film portrays their characters as real people.

Much has been made of the fact that the film was shot on an iPhone 5 (albeit with a special lens attachment). Baker makes films that haven’t typically attracted the “big money” and that gives him and his collaborators editorial independence. He is definitely a rogue.

If you haven’t seen “Tangerine” yet, don’t download it online. This film deserves to be seen on a big screen – the super-saturated lighting really gives you the feel of Los Angeles in a way that a computer screen or TV can’t.

Here is an interesting article from The Guardian about “Tangerine”, if you’re curious.…/tangerine-director-sean-baker-…

A Poignant Documentary: “Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine”

Capital Pride may have ended last weekend, but this Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, the Film Forum gives you a chance to catch the only Saratoga screening of the poignant documentary Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine, revisiting one of the most barbaric hate crimes in U.S. history.

On October 7, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a student at the University of Wyoming, was brutally beaten, tied to a fence, tortured, and left to die—all because he was gay. Following the crime, Matt became a news headline, a political and cultural lightning rod, and a symbol. And yet in life he was none of those things. To those who knew him, he was a friend, son, and brother—an ordinary young man still in the process of becoming himself. Michele Josue was a friend of Matt’s. She’s now a filmmaker, and she revisits the case 17 years later, using never-before-seen photos, rare video footage, and new interviews to remember and celebrate Matt’s all-too-brief life through the vivid testimonies of those whose lives he touched—from friends and family, to the bartender who saw him on the night of the attack. Over the course of the film, new revelations emerge about the crime that took Matt’s life. The result is a searing, poignant, and multilayered biographical and sociological portrait, and hopefully a call to arms to keep all the other Matt Shepards in our lives from meeting a similar fate.

On Saturday, we present the final Spring Street Classic for the season, veering off from the traditional film noir fare with Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 romantic comedy/crime caper Out Of Sight. Based on the novel by the incomparable Elmore Leonard, George Clooney stars as an ex-con and prison escapee who ends up having a romantic fling with the federal marshal pursuing him, who happens to be played by Jennifer Lopez. Out of Sight was one of Clooney’s first mega-star-making vehicles.

The Film Forum will screen Matt Shepard Is a Friend of Mine at the Dee Sarno Theatre on Thursday, June 18, and Friday, June 19, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, June 21, at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $8, $6 for students and Film Forum members. Out Of Sight will be screened at the Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring Street, on Saturday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. Admission for the Spring Street Classic series is free, but attendance is limited to the first 30 people. For more information about the Film Forum, please visit

Salt of the Earth

“Salt of the Earth” brings memorable images to life

His most famous photos are of an open pit Brazilian gold mine, looking like the gates of hell with thousands of workers blackened by the soil they are digging under tortuous conditions. Brazilian documentary photographer Sebastião Salgado was trained as an economist, but found a calling to abandon his lucrative profession and travel the world as a social documentary photographer.  “Salt of the Earth”,  by Wim Wenders and Salgado’s son Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, brings to life its subject’s 40-year career with images that are both beautiful and heartbreaking and narration by Wenders, the two Salgados and the photographer’s wife.

“We’re terrible animals, we humans,” Sebastião Salgado says at one point. “Whether in Europe, in Africa, in South America, everywhere, we are extremely violent. Our history is a history of wars. It’s an endless story, a story of repression, of madness.” Yet his ultimate message is not one of despair. The film moves on to chronicle Salgado’s successful project to replant the Amazon rain forest on his family farm as he points out that half the world’s surface is still untouched by man.

Salgado has documented tragic events such as genocides in Rwanda and Yugoslavia and created memorable records of apocalyptic oil-well fires in Kuwait and migratory reindeer herders in the Arctic. Wherever he points his camera he finds drama and a grandeur that often overcomes suffering. Commenting on the power of his photography, the Philadelphia Inquirer said “adept at single-figure portraiture as startling, large-format groupings, Salgado possesses the eye of an artist but the soul of the economist he trained to be.”

“There are just as many breathtaking moments to be found in the film as there are in the work it’s about,” according to the Washington Post. “The film is suffused with his anguish over the state of our species, and our planet. Yet it ends with a change of heart and a turn of events that make a plausible case for hope,” said the Wall Street Journal, adding that “the best way to see “The Salt Of the Earth” is on a big screen, so seize the opportunity if it’s playing nearby.”

The Saratoga Film Forum will screen “Salt of the Earth” at the Dee Sarno Theatre, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs NY 12866.  Show times are Thursday, June 11,Friday, June 12, and Sunday, June 14, at 7:30 pm each day. General admission is $8 for the general public, $6 for members and students. For more information about the Film Forum, please visit, or call 584-3456.


An Oddly Beautiful Western and a Moving Documentary

At Saratoga Film Forum this week, our commitment to fresh independent cinema has led to a change in our previously announced schedule, and we’ll be offering the regional premiere of the acclaimed offbeat Western “Slow West.” The feature debut of Scottish writer/director John Maclean (who in a previous creative life was the keyboardist for the indie-rock act The Beta Band), the movie stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Road” and “Let Me In”) as a lovelorn teen who travels from Scotland to the untamed American West to find his sweetheart. While traversing dangerous territory, the naïve boy meets a roguish gunslinger (beloved actor Michael Fassbender), who joins him on the journey. Other notable cast members include fierce Australian thespian Ben Mendelsohn (“Animal Kingdom” and “The Place Beyond the Pines”) and the imposing Rory McCann, best known as the Hound on “Game of Thrones.”
The winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema division, “Slow West” has garnered comparisons to the work of the Coen Brothers and Wes Anderson, while establishing Maclean’s own unconventional aesthetic. The Village Voice calls the film a “gorgeous Dada Western,” with critic Alan Scherstuhl writing, “Maclean finds time to savor rivers and starscapes and layers of light and mountainous land. The dialogue is flighty yet weighty, each line like some delicate woodcut.”
 On Monday, the SFF is also proud to present a one-night-only free screening of “Here One Day.” Directed by Kathy Leichter, the documentary offers a highly personal look at the effects of mental illness and suicide, with the filmmaker drawing on her experiences coping with her mother, a political activist and artist, taking her own life. Leichter herself will Skype both before and after the film, allowing the audience to talk directly to the filmmaker. This special event is sponsored by the Saratoga County Citizens Committee for Mental Health (SCCCMH), and their mental health professionals will be on hand to discuss the film and its issues as well.
Saratoga Film Forum will screen “Slow West” on Thursday, June 4th; Friday, June 5th; and Sunday, June 7th at 7:30 p.m. “Here One Day” will play on Monday, June 8th at 7:30 p.m. and admission to that event is free. For “Slow West,” general admission is $8, and member and student admission is $6. For more information about the Film Forum, please visit or call 584-FILM.

French Film, Fashion, and Food – It’s Cannes Night at the Film Forum

Join us for a very special evening on Friday, May 15th.  It’s the beginning of the iconic Cannes Film Festival in the south of France, and we are celebrating French Film, Food and Fashion.

Our Film, “Dior and I”, is an insider’s view of the House of Dior as their new designer, Raf Simons, creates his first Haute Couture collection. A big hit at the Tribeca Film Festival, Dior and I melds the everyday, pressure-filled aspects of fashion design with mysterious echoes from the iconic brand’s past, “Dior and I” is a colorful homage to the seamstresses who sew Simon’s vision (by hand, from start to finish)  (90 min). We get a rare, inside glimpse into this process of creating impossibly complex garments by hand.

The evening begins with…

French Food and Wine.  The party starts at seven.  TC Paris, the highly authentic French bakery in Saratoga Springs is serving a lovely selection of the savory and sweet, including dishes from their new summer menu, and their famous French Macarons. You’ll also enjoy a selection of cheeses from Putnam Market, and French wine from the Rhone Valley.


Local Designer Kim Vanyo debuts her new Spring/Summer Collection

Kimism, the Ready To Wear line from Kim Vanyo, represents unconventional, creative alternatives to basic wardrobe pieces. Be the first to see the Spring/Summer collection. Kim also designs and creates custom couture formalwear. Trained at the highly prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology, Kim has an unconventional, artful approach to all of her work.  Her designs are rich with color, inventive texture and pattern. Fit and workmanship are at the center of every garment.

 And the piece de resistance…

“Dior and I” Regional PremiereDocumentary films can be deliciously fun. “Here, Tcheng acts less like a fly on the wall at the House of Dior and more like a silkworm creating the threads. So intimate is his camera that the viewer can feel the fabric of the dresses being made with a special technique called imprimé chaîne (printing the thread before weaving) for newly-minted Dior creative director Raf Simons’ first haute couture show.” (IndieWire). “Like “Ballet 422,” Jody Lee Lipes’s recent film about the choreographer Justin Peck, “Dior and I” generates momentum and interest by showing deadline-driven creative work. In both cases, there is a counterpoint of individual vision and collaborative labor. Mr. Simons, assisted by his longtime collaborator Pieter Mulier, delves into contemporary art and Dior’s history in search of inspiration.” (The New York Times)


Food and wine tasting are included in the price of your ticket. Wine available by the class, at our cash bar.

 Reserve in advance, s’il vous plait, Tickets are $50 per person 

Tickets and Memberships may be purchased on our website

(Cannes Party “button” is just below the film line up on the home page)

Film Forum Premium & Lifetime Members Attend For Free

Whiplash is the right title for this film.

This weekend, we screen Whiplash, the 2014 film nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Co-star JK Simmons won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as the sadistic teacher.

The film is exhilarating, bracing, sometimes poignant and it explores the relationship of teacher and student, where both have serious “issues”.

If you are intrigued by this film, stop by the Crown Grill on Broadway after our 3 pm Sunday screening, to discuss the movie. It’s our second Hangout – a chance to relax, have a drink or bite to eat, and discuss this film, and others, if you like. They are fun! Hangout starts at 5 pm, in their “library” in the back. No cover charge