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Ann Arbor Film Festival Selections 

Our film critic's AAFF choice picks.

  • Courtesy photo.

Thursday, March 27 – 5:10PM : PENELOPE SPEERIS
Director, producer and rock and roll anthropologist Spheeris cemented her place in film history with her raucous 1981 documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, which explored and chronicled the  Los Angeles punk scene. Since then she has been producing shorts, docs and narrative features that continue her vision of independent filmmaking, many of which will be screened during the Ann Arbor Film Festival (check the event listings). Spheeris will be joined by Mark Toscano, film preservationist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive, in a discussion about her film career and the current state of cinema. It should prove to be a fascinating conversation. (The Michigan Theater, Main Auditorium)

Friday, March 28 – 4PM: RED HOLLYWOOD
Film critic and scholar Jonathan Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader praised this remastered and re-edited 1996 documentary as “ground-breaking” as Thom Anderson and Noel Burch tackle the work of  filmmakers labeled as Communist by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) and blacklisted during the McCarthy era. The filmmakers set out to dispel the myth that the “Hollywood Ten” and many others were producing vital and entertaining work that presented issues of social conscience that challenged American society at the time and is still over-looked or dismissed today.' (The Michigan Theater, Screening Room)

Always an audience favorite, this program features 10 animated shorts, with subject matter spanning from the experimental and surreal to the political and irreverent. If you're not sure what you'll be getting yourself into, this program should prove to be a fun but challenging introduction to the festival's character and sensibilities. (The Michigan Theater, Main Auditorium)

Saturday, March 29 – 10am: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?
All-too aware that some audiences might not 'get' the point of some of the festival's selections, AAFF has invited Daniel Herbert, Assistant Professor in the UM Department of Screen Arts and Cultures, to screen and lead a panel discussion about several of the short experimental films from this year’s Ann Arbor Film Festival. (Room 2435 North Quad - 105 S State Street)

Saturday, March 29 – 3PM:  FROM DEEP
Brett Kashmere's World Premiere documentary essay on the cultural history of basketball, reflecting on how the sport has evolved from its initial small town roots to the rise of the "Dunkadelic Era" to its current relationship with hip hop culture. Kashmere will be in attendance. (The Michigan Theater, Main Auditorium)

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