On the eve of yesterday’s Primary, I joined the Philadelphia Film Society and about 20 other attendees for a screening of Philadelphia in the mayor’s screening room. I was expecting a 19th century meeting chamber retrofitted with stadium seating and surround sound, but in reality it was just a room in City Hall equipped with a small screen/projector. Seeing the film within one of its shooting locations was a treat regardless, especially since I’d never actually seen Philadelphia. It’s a strange film to assume our city’s namesake, an Academy Award winner that’s filled to the brim with the type of mass paranoia embodied in Reefer Madness, McCarthyism, and the Cold War. The city looks suitably dull and gray, which it is for the most part, and ever since I’ve been wondering if any film has ever captured our city in a flattering manner. The current crop of Philly-based filmmakers certainly aren’t: Lebanon, PA, now in theaters, features a protagonist who discovers the small-town delights that exist far from the workaday world of Center City while a clueless, wide-eyed youth relocates in the opposite direction where she will someday learn the same. Cost of a Soul, which opens in theaters this Friday, features what is perhaps one of the most unflattering depictions of our city ever committed to film (well, video). I’ll be posting a review of Cost… this Friday and will try to dig up a positive, visually interesting celluloid depiction of our city by then. Any ideas, Cinedelphia readers?
Author: Eric Bresler
Eric is the Founder/Site Editor of Cinedelphia.com whose additional activities are numerous: Director/Curator of the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art (PhilaMOCA), founder of Tokyo No Records, the brain behind Video Pirates, and active local film programmer including the Unknown Japan screening series. He’s served as a TLA Video Manager, Philadelphia Film Society Managing Director, and Adjunct Professor in Cinema Studies at Drexel University. He is shy and modest. Email Eric.