Sometimes Miami has a stigma in the world of the arts. It’s cultural scene unfortunately exists in the shadow of beaches and nightlife. Though we here at Indpendent Ethos have long championed its unique music, from Holly Hunt to Boxwood, to most recently Xela Zaid, and such pioneering film events like the first Horror Film Festival in Florida to filmmakers like Jillian Mayer, Monica Peña and Carla Forte, the prejudice of a party city always seems to (unfairly) haunt this place. Further south, in the islands of the Caribbean, a place known for its resorts, it only seems worse. But just like Miami, the Caribbean has so much more to offer, including surprising music and human stories unique to the area.
Secret Celluloid Society’s Nayib Estefan talks making 35mm experiences and reveals Aug. and Sept. lineup — An IndieEthos Exclusive
July 29, 2016
It’s been four months since Secret Celluloid Society made its move to O Cinema Miami Beach after a long, well-received stint at Coral Gables Art Cinema. The line-up in July has varied wildly in selection, offering 16 films so far, with Mommie Dearest, Robocop, Reservoir Dogs, The Witches, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, among others. Now, Independent Ethos has the scoop on August’s and September’s line-ups alongside an exclusive interview with founder/director/art director of SCS, Nayib Estefan, who says his dreams for O Cinema Miami Beach have finally come true.
June 23, 2016
The past, nostalgia, memories and history are all very distinctive things, but embodying it all is Obsolete Media Miami. Called OMM for short, the space houses a variety of once mainstream mediums, from film to VHS cassettes, now deemed “obsolete.” Its home is located on the second floor of a building in Miami’s Design District, up a stairwell that smells like an old high school. The vintage scent befits a place like OMM, which also features equipment that was once ubiquitous in high school AV rooms, like 16mm projectors (pictured above) and slide projectors.
Tickets for Florida’s premiere horror movie fest Popcorn Frights on sale today; a chat with the fest’s creators
June 17, 2016
With an incredibly successful inaugural year behind them, Igor Shteyrenberg and Marc Ferman have been busy at work keeping the Popcorn Frights Film Festival going year-round. It’s been a busy series of months, full of screenings — including some free ones — for genre fans looking to enjoy some classics and new releases. But now comes the second annual fest, expanded to almost a week and featuring more movies than the previous year.
Not long ago, director Kelly Reichardt’s debut feature film, River of Grass (1995), underwent a restoration. We covered its run at the Miami Beach Cinematheque for a special series of screenings with some extensive coverage. This writer gave it a review in retrospect (River of Grass captures snapshot of disaffected Gen-Xers in South Florida — a film review) and even had a conversation with Reichardt (Miami-born Director Kelly Reichardt talks about finding inspiration in her hometown for debut feature River of Grass).
Watch the Sundance-selected, Miami-made short “The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal” plus a Q&A with co-director Ronnie Rivera
May 2, 2016
It’s been a while since I first saw the short film “El sol como un gran animal oscuro” or “The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal” by Bleeding Palm, a.k.a the filmmaking duo Ronnie Rivera and Christina Felisgrau. When I wrote about Borscht Corp., the group that helped facilitate the short film’s production, almost a year-and-a-half ago in the Miami New Times (Borscht Film Festival Returns With a Five-Day Showcase of Local Works), I didn’t even mention it (for shame). It went on to premiere at Sundance and has traveled to many film festivals since (including a screening at the Miami International Film Festival). Upon first viewing, I knew it was something special, but it’s a challenging film upon first sight. Despite any inclination to knee-jerk react to the seemingly archaic digital animation, there are many moments of beauty in “El sol como un gran animal oscuro” that stand in poetic contrast, from artist Agustina Woodgate’s reading of the eerily self-reflexive narrative (in Spanish with English subtitles) to the pulsing, beeping soundtrack by Otto von Schirach and Nayib Estefan.
April 20, 2016
From its awkward sense of humor to capturing parts of nondescript South Florida that no longer exist, there are pleasures to be found in writer-director Kelly Reichardt’s modest debut feature, River of Grass. Shot in 1993 in and around North Miami, the short feature film was recently restored and re-released by New York-based indie distributor Oscilloscope. Shot on color 16mm, the film also captures that Generation X zeitgeist of slackerdom that transcends the current nostalgia by fashion designers to bring back the era in clothing. For those who actually lived the ‘90s in South Florida, there’s also the bonus of the film’s time capsule quality.