Monday, April 23, 2007

Seminar Schedules

IT'S REALLY NOT THE WORST problem to have, but it’s the classic Cornerstone dilemma – or trilemma, or quadrillemma, etc: choosing among the available options to plan your personal festival schedule. It’s hard enough figuring out what concerts to attend when there’s always music on a dozen and more stages playing simultaneously. But since the music is often spread across a dizzyingly-broad range of genres and styles, it’s usually just a matter of finding your just niche and getting to the show on time. Even then, it’s rarely that simple. And you wouldn’t want to lock down your plans too tight anyway, because there’s always the chance that something that wasn’t even on your radar at this year’s fest turns out to be what grabs you, pulls you in, and doesn’t let you go.

Working out your personal Cornerstone seminar schedule can be just as daunting a prospect. Especially since people who love to learn tend to be interested in EVERYTHING. Some people try to catch a little bit of everything, seminar-hopping their way through the festival. For best results, though, we recommend choosing a topic you’re interested in and digging in for the long haul. But you still have to choose.

At least we’ve provided some advance information to help you decide. There’s a list of cstoneXchange seminars here, and speakers, and we’ve just posted the schedule grids. (There’s also schedules online for the Imaginarium and Flickerings programs as well.)

Take your time (you’ve got just a bit over two months to decide!) We know its difficult, if not monumentally unfair to have to choose between, say a seminar on N. T. Wright and one led by Shane Claiborne. But if you think it’s hard picking which seminars to attend, imagine how hard it is to plan the whole program and not to be able to attend any!! And no we don’t do it that way on purpose with either seminars or bands, but do as much agonizing with the schedule beforehand trying to minimize the agonizing on your part.

In any case, if it were any easier to plan your schedule, it wouldn’t be Cornerstone.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Flickerings 2007

THE LATEST ADDITIONS TO the 2007 Flickerings program have been posted, including a list of this year's Film Showcase films and filmmakers, along with a page describing the workshops and discussions. Our idea of what Flickerings is has been evolving over the past six years, in large part through interaction with the participants as we've all discovered together just what people are looking for in this venue. To our surprise, we've acquired several very different and faithful audiences: veteran cinephiles and newbies, novice and working filmmakers, along with fans of the shorts program who are usually curious enough to stick around to see what exotic flavor of subtitled film we'll be playing for the Morning Movie. We've got attendees who are vitally interested in the formal aspects of film -- in the films as film -- and others who are more interested in the content or topics particular films address. We could easily fill the entire program keyed to any one of these individual emphases, and balancing the mix over four days is a real challenge; we think the juxtaposition and diversity is exactly suited to Cornerstone Festival and, like the festival, has become both incredibly fruitful for all of us involved and central to our identity as a film venue.

This year's Flickerings program will be shooting from all sorts of angles. The seminars, workshops and discussions cover a range of aspects of film production and the background of specific films. The Featured Screenings program is probably our most accessible yet, with a focus on "J-Pop!", from anime to peppy teen movies to darker films that express more worrisome aspects of Japanese youth culture. Paul Nethercott will be screening a film and giving a seminar on these broader issues of the culture, both at Flickerings and the Imaginarium. (He'll also be bringing over a case of Manga Messiah to distribute, brand new Gospel manga comics by Japanese artists.) Our 2007 Showcase program will present one of the most diverse and exciting programs yet, and many of the filmmakers plan on being present at the festival. Congratulations to all those filmmakers selected for the Showcase and thanks to everyone who sent a film!

(It's not too early to start thinking about next year's Film Showcase. See the 2007 Entry Info to get an idea of what we're looking for and how it's done.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Famous Monsters on Maple Street

THE IMAGINARIUM program has been posted. Some readers will appreciate the Famous Monsters of Filmland pastiche. FM is right up there with Cornerstone (and Wonder) in being an inspiration and influence for the Cornerstone Festival Imaginarium. The program this year is an eclectic mix (surprise) of several things, not least 50s sci-fi movies, and a consideration of the "Monsters on Maple Street" — to reference a famous Twilight Zone episode, in which the "monsters" turn out to be close to home indeed. Paul Leggett bought the first FM off the newstand, he will tell you with little provocation, in New Jersey, in a snow storm, in the actual 50s, and so brings that sort of Maple street-cred to his seminar this year. He'll be examining the censorship and demagoguery and paranoia often associated with the McCarthy Era, especially in connection with the EC comic books controversy. Classic stuff, and unfortunately still highly relevant. Imaginarium regular John Morehead recently interviewed Paul Leggett at his Theofantastique blog, a terrific conversation that will give you a little taste of the conversation at the Imaginarium, a place about which people already brag they were there, on magical hot summer nights, when the June bugs flew into the projector gate, back in the day.

YOU AXED FOR IT! We’ve updated the Imaginarium site with the design we’d originally planned on using. Jason Seiler is already well-known in The Industry as one of the most promising young caricaturists around. And since he works in the office next door, we thought it’d be great to invite him do a Basil Gogos –style cover for our Famous Monsters spoof. He was eager to participate, but what with all those pesky and proliferating New York (paying) clients, we had to wait our turn to finally replace our temp cover with the real deal. Jason’s cover turned out to be such a knockout we re-did the rest of the site, too. And yes, there will be a t-shirt. Thanks, Jason! And keep up the great work! (4-23-07)