Dreams come true at a Fantastic Film Festival
Howl’s Moving Castle, part of Studio Ghibli Fest, courtesy of Fathom Events.
November is jam-packed with local screenings, and also remember to check out this month’s overview of the Toronto International Film Festival.
Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival 2017: There are more Western New York film festivals now than ever before, but one of the most unique is still Buffalo Dreams. Devoted to horror, action, fantasy, and sci-fi movies from around the world, it’s also one of the most fun. The festival is divided into two section, with two different locations. The first week, running from November 3 to 9, is held at the Dipson Eastern Hills, while week No. 2 is November 10 to 12 at the Screening Room in Amherst. Whenever you choose to attend, you can expect appearances from many of the filmmakers and actors involved. Last year’s lineup included everything from a remake of 1959’s cult classic The Killer Shrews to a documentary about OTB. That’s some serious range. Visit buffalodreamsfantasticfilmfestival.com for the full 2017 schedule, including, titles, plots, and dates. (Nov. 3-9 at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema, 4545 Transit Rd., Williamsville; Nov. 10-12 at the Screening Room, 880 Alberta Dr., Amherst; buffalodreamsfantasticfilmfestival.com)
Thursday Night Terrors—Curtains: Terrors goes slasher this month, with 1983’s Curtains. Director Richard Ciupka’s film, which stars Animal House’s John Vernon and The Brood’s Samantha Eggar, is a story of murder in the world of filmmaking. Like many of the Terrors selections, it made little impact on release but has developed a devoted following. (7:30 p.m. on November 16 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; facebook.com/thursdaynightterrors)
GKIDS Presents Studio Ghibli Fest 2017—Howl’s Moving Castle: The Fathom Events series featuring the animated classics of Studio Ghibli carries on with another of Hayao Miyazaki’s greats, Howl’s Moving Castle. This two-day event will also feature GKIDS Mini-Fest, a collection of animated shorts from around the world. (Dubbed version: 12:55 p.m. on November 26; subtitled version: 7 p.m. on November 27; at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)
Buffalo Film Seminars: The BFS goes all foreign language for its November lineup, and each pick is an absolute gem. November 7 features Tran Anh Hung’s Vietnamese stunner, The Scent of Green Papaya. Studio Ghibli animation genius Hayao Miyazaki’s final (for now) film, The Wind Rises, is November 14. The somber, anti-Putin Russian drama Leviathan screens on November 21. And November 28: Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film, the very underrated Julieta, is November 28. Note that there is only one BFS entry in December, Billy Wilder’s Some Like it Hot (on December 5). (7 p.m. on November 7, 14, 21, and 28 at the Dipson Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main St.; csac.buffalo.edu/bfs.html)
Noir Essentials—Touch of Evil: Orson Welles as the obese, evil Captain Quinlan, Charlton Heston as a Mexican, and Marlene Dietrich as a madam? It can only be Welles’s smoldering Touch of Evil. It’s a wonderful pick for the Noir Essentials series. (7:30 p.m. on November 15 at the Dipson Eastern Hills Cinema, 4545 Transit Rd., Williamsville; dipsontheatres.com)
Roycroft Film Society—The Salesman: There are few filmmakers more consistent than Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation and The Past. He won an Oscar for his latest, the complex moral drama The Salesman. (4 p.m. on November 12 at Parkdale Elementary School, 141 Girard Ave., East Aurora; roycroftcampuscorp.com)
Casablanca, ©1942, all rights reserved., courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Inc
TCM Big Screen Classics—Casablanca: Is it possible to get tired of Casablanca? I’m not sure it is, and much of that is thanks to Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Let the greatness of this wartime classic wash over you on November 12 and 15. (2 and 7 p.m. on November 12 and 15 at the Regal Elmwood Center, 2001 Elmwood Ave., and Regal Transit Center, 6707 Transit Rd., Williamsville; fathomevents.com)
Long Time Running at the North Park: The news on October 18 that Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie had passed away after a battle with cancer was not unexpected. Nevertheless, it hit fans hard. There will most definitely be some tears during the one week run of Long Time Running, the documentary chronicling the final Hip tour, at the North Park. The film premiered to great acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. (9:30 p.m. on November 3-9 at the North Park Theatre, 1428 Hertel Ave.; northparktheatre.org)
The Strange Little Cat, presented by Cultivate Cinema Circle: The first feature from German director Ramon Zürcher is the latest CCC screening. It’s an aesthetically bold, fascinating story of one day in a family’s Berlin apartment. (7 p.m. on November 1 at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Arts Center, 617 Main St.; cultivatecinemacircle.com)
Audrie & Daisy at the Burchfield Penney: Sadly, the documentary Audrie & Daisy is more timely in 2017 than ever before. It’s the study of sexual abuse and bullying centered around two underage young women. (7 p.m. on November 3 at theBurchfield Penney Art Center, 1300 Elmwood Ave.; burchfieldpenney.org)
November at Squeaky Wheel: In addition to The Strange Little Cat, a busy month at Squeaky includes the Oscar-nominated documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin? Filmmaker Christine Choy will be present for the screening of her film, about the murder of a Chinese-American man in 1982. The month also includes One Day Pina Asked …, Chantal Akerman’s 1983 look at the work of choreographer Pina Bausch and her dance company. (Who Killed Vincent Chin: 7 p.m. on November 10; One Day Pina Asked … : 7 p.m. on November 29; at Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, 617 Main St.; squeaky.org)
William Hooker and A Page of Madness at Hallwalls: Drummer and composer William Hooker accompanies the 1926 silent film A Page of Madness. The strange, fascinating, long-lost Japanese film takes place in a country asylum. (8 p.m. on November 4 at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, 341 Delaware Ave.; hallwalls.org)
Old Chestnut Film Series: Anna Karenina: The second film in the latest season of the long-running classic film series stars Greta Garbo as Tolstoy’s tragic heroine. (7:30 p.m. on November 17 in the Community Room of the Phillip Sheridan School, 3200 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore; oldchestnut.com)
Free films courtesy of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library: The Town of Collins Public Library has scheduled a free screening of the Morgan Freeman comedy Going in Style on November 3, while the Central Library’s free family film screening is again set for the first Saturday of the month. In addition, the Julia Boyer Reinstein branch has “family movie night” set for November 20. (1 p.m. on November 3 at the Town of Collins Public Library, 2341 Main St., Collins; 1 p.m. on November 4 at the Central Branch, 1 Lafayette Square; 6 p.m. on November 20 at Julia Boyer Reinstein Library, 1030 Losson Rd., Cheektowaga; buffalolib.org)
November at the Screening Room: How does a beer tasting and a movie sound? That’s the plan for the screening of The Godfather at Amherst’s Screening Room Cinema on November 3 (5:30 p.m.). Francis Ford Coppola’s mob classic also screens on November 4 in a special dinner and a movie event (6 p.m.). Also this November is a thirty-fifth anniversary run for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Considered by many Trek fans to be the finest in the series, Khan screens on November 17, 22, 24, and 25. The screening on November 24 also includes trivia. Remember to check screeningroom.net for times and a full schedule of films and events. (The Screening Room, 880 Alberta Dr., Amherst; screeningroom.net)
Christopher Schobert is a film critic for the Buffalo News and other outlets.