The First Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival is Coming!

SLEEPY HOLLOW, NY – September 10, 2019 - The first annual Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival (SHIFF) will take place in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York, on October 10-13, 2019.

The festival is a celebration of outstanding genre cinema and includes: feature film premieres and groundbreaking new films and screenplays in competition; a 20th Anniversary presentation of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow; a 70th Anniversary screening of Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; a special celebration of Brian DePalma’s Phantom of the Paradise; and a salute to the 1935 classic The Bride of Frankenstein. In addition, live stage events at The Tarrytown Music Hall during the festival include Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe in Nevermore, and a live reading of Plan 9 from Outer Space! with an all-star cast including Dana Gould, Bobcat Goldthwait and more.

It’s an auspicious year for the debut of the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival, as the region marks the 200th Anniversary of the publication of Washington Irving’s classic tale, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” with an 18-month bicentennial celebration.

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The SHIFF festival is a cornerstone event during the bicentennial, with screenings at The Tarrytown Music Hall and nearby Warner Library offering everything from family-friendly fare to cult classics beloved by enthusiasts of the supernatural genre.  SHIFF celebrates the legacy of artistic inspiration and achievement that Washington Irving first established in the region, and that has been extended by generations of writers, artists, and filmmakers. 

In a year of remarkable anniversaries coinciding, 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the beloved 1949 Walt Disney animated classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, which will be screened as part of an exclusive presentation of Disney’s Hollow-een Treat. 2019 is also the 20th anniversary of Tim Burton's acclaimed 1999 film, Sleepy Hollow, which will be featured at SHIFF

A special celebration of Brian De Palma's cult classic feature film Phantom of the Paradise with stars Paul Williams and Gerrit Graham and producer Edward R. Pressman in person, adds to the roster, along a salute to the legendary TV and film franchise Dark Shadows (two feature films of which were shot in Sleepy Hollow and at Lyndhurst, in Tarrytown). 

Acclaimed actor Jeffrey Combs will appear live on stage as Edgar Allan Poe in his remarkable one-man performance of Nevermore. Comedians Dana Gould, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jean Grae, among others, offer a hilarious, one-of-a-kind live script reading of Plan 9 from Outer Space

SHIFF strives to bring important works from current and future filmmakers to the fore with exciting new films in competition and premiere screenings, such as the U.S. premiere of the acclaimed documentary The Phantom of Winnipeg and a screening of Making Apes. The excitement continues with Friday the 13th composer Harry Manfredini celebrating the 35th anniversary of Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, and a special 25th anniversary showing of cult classic The Crow. The classic The Bride of Frankenstein will also grace the fest with a screening and guest speakers. More panels and screenings will be programmed at Warner Library, including a free showing of Return to Oz with special guest, composer David Shire

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Advance tickets for the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival are available online at www.tarrytownmusichall.org

For general inquiries and sponsorship opportunities,

contact info@sleepyhollowfilmfest.com

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Charliefits and the House of Wolfman

Charliefits and I first met (along with Bobzig) backstage at a Danzig show at Chicago’s beloved Congress Theater (RIP) in 2008. We clicked immediately over our love for “Uncle” Glenn’s music as well as a variety of other shared interests. In the years since, I have watched from afar as Charlie has taken something he excelled at and apply it to all of his various interests in music and film to create gorgeous DIY collectible figurines. So skilled was Charlie in his work that what started as a fun hobby has turned into a full scale business operation with many, many satisfied customers along the way.

Watching this from the sidelines has made my heart gush open, proud as hell for my friend. I am so happy for his success and only hope that it continues to grow bigger and bigger. I think I gravitate to this story in particular because it is a phenomenal example of how investment of time, energy, and love in one’s passions yield success as a byproduct and not the desired end result.

If YOU reader are into REALLY COOL collectible figurines of your favorite pop culture horror/scifi icons, then go check out Charlie’s ESTY HERE - https://www.etsy.com/shop/HouseofWolfman

Follow him here at @Wolfman138 on Instagram

#SUPPORTINDIEART

#SUPPORTINDIEHORROR

In the words of our beloved band, I only say to you - Charliefits, “GO! GO! GO!….. WHOAAAAAAA!!!!!”

Tarantino’s 9th FEETure: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Review

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Tarantino’s 9th FEETure:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

It makes sense that QT is planning to retire after a 10th film (although it won’t last in the long run). He has been slowly evolving over the last 15 years to a point where he is beyond making films and now he is simply working in the wrong format. The change really started with Kill Bill (a flawless masterpiece on every level) and seems to have reached a breaking point with Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood.

Each new “film” he makes feels more like a tapestry of wonderful scenes with phenomenal dialogue that suffer from overindulgence. This due in part to the possibility that QT is surrounded by too many “Yes Men” who are not going to help him shape and sculpt his work into something that cohesively feels like a singular cinematic movie instead of the sprawling collage of tangled (yet entertaining) structureless narrative.

Initially, OUTIH started out as a novel and it really shows as it feels like a completely different beast from everything else he has done. The dialogue is vastly different, not for the worse - but more of a departure from the signature stylized voice that he is synonymous with. I also found the minimal plot to be far too bare for Tarantino’s usual self-indulgence. Brad and Leo’s “arcs” feel much more like POV chapters in a book. And without a more structured plot to drive us forward, I felt the running time much more than I normally do when seeing a QT film, even The Hateful Eight. Of all his films, Kill Bill truly encapsulates the perfect ratio of plot/running time in a QT movie (after the beginning of this evolution to long form TV). Not sure if that makes any sense… It does in my head.

Also, that is not to say that the subject matter, individual scenes, characters, setting/production design, scenes (on an individual level) were not enjoyable - but it was not as smooth and easy to digest as the others. I think it will probably take a second or third viewing to further cement these feelings.

Tarantino has said this is his most personal film. My friend “Tony” floated me the idea that Rick Dalton is simply an extension of Tarantino and his anxieties of trying to stay relevant as he obsesses over what his legacy will be. Perhaps this all plays into his planned retirement after one more film?

Partners

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as the almost-washed-up-drunk Rick Dalton and his lethal stunt double sidekick Cliff Booth have wonderful chemistry together. Their partnership and underlying characterization plugs right into QT’s obsession with cowboys, cops, and the like from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And much like Kato from The Green Hornet, it’s the sidekick (and his wonderful dog) who mostly ends up doing the heavy lifting.

Sharon Tate

I personally detest most true crime stuff and was very nervous about what he would do with the tragedy of Sharon Tate. Whatever happened would definitely affect the way I would feel about the overall film. It didn’t help that there was a bunch of controversy surrounding how much screen time Margot Robbie had - which began to fuel my suspicion of the worst: Sharon Tate would be nothing more than an exploited sacrificial “prop” meant to be gutted in the background while QT’s characters (probably Leo and Brad) would be bumbling around in their own storyline, right under history’s nose. 

To my great relief, the resulting film couldn’t be farther from that truth and I thought it was a touching gesture considering all of the disgusting reenactments/retellings of this poor (pregnant) woman’s final terrifying moments. Instead, we are given a (pseudo-clumsy) sleight-of-hand magic trick where we think we know where it is going despite knowledge gleaned from the past.

I didn’t specifically read anything into her lack of dialogue. While she doesn’t speak much, she exudes a graceful presence. Margot channeled a living candlelight vigil to the real Sharon Tate and all of her hopes and dreams, the pride she showed in her work, and most importantly allows us to imagine what could have been for her (more on that below). 

The sad reality is that many of us, (myself included) casually know Sharon Tate as the pregnant actress who was brutally slaughtered by Charles Manson’s followers or simply as Roman Polanski’s actress wife and nothing more. QT changes that with OUTIH by showing us (the real) Sharon Tate acting opposite Dean Martin in The Wrecking Crew. It was a touching, respectful tribute and a true testament to his intentions of having Sharon Tate in the film. Furthermore, we only see Charles Manson in a brief moment in what could have been (and usually is) all about the twisted life/mind/events of Manson and his “family.”

Bruce Lee

While QT goes to thoughtful lengths to delicately handle Sharon Tate’s subject matter, Bruce Lee (in one of the best scenes in the movie) is kind of treated with clumsy abandon. Here, we see one of martial art’s greatest icons reduced to some what of an aggressive, cocky, cartoonish fool in Cliff Booth’s fantasy to help himself feel better about not being selected to work on set with Rick Dalton. Within it’s full context, I don’t think Mike Moh is actually meant to be playing Bruce Lee. Instead, he is playing Bruce Lee as how Cliff Booth imagines Bruce Lee to be. The idea and the scene are brilliant and add to Cliff’s characterization…

Oops

And as I think back to the scene itself, and the recalls to Cliff killing his wife, I am now realizing that perhaps I am wrong and it wasn’t a projection of what would happen but rather a flashback to what had happened before. If that is the case, then it is I who is misunderstanding the scene. Uhhhhh...

Feet

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QT LOVES feet. I mean, he really, really, really, loves them. There are marvelous stories about how much he loves women’s feet. OUTIH goes out of the way on a few occasions to remind us of that in a big way. It makes me wonder a whole bunch about the casting process on a QT film. I would not be surprised if they were shoeless auditions.


Slapstick Violence

Tarantino has gotten to a place where he loves to communicate brutality through comedic means. Continuing a trend that also sort of started with Kill Bill, OUTIH crescendos with goofy, over-the-top slapstick violence. So much so that it leads me to believe that Quentin Tarantino would be the perfect candidate to make an Evil Dead (or 3 Stooges) film. If Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert, and Bruce Campbell reigned in Tarantino on a short enough leash, we would wind up with a great fourth entry.

I am not sure if it is QT’s intention, but he always seems to justify his punishment-through-violent-wrath with the lowest common denominator of common sense morality of good and evil. Which is not to say that it is invalid or weak, but merely common sense. There is no Walter White nuance here.

I found this antagonistic device satisfying as I watched the hilarious depictions of Chekov’s dog and flamethrower destroy two evil women and one evil man. Is it exploitation? Misogyny? I am not sure, probably on some Freudian level.

Playing with history

Watching the conclusion of OUTIH feels like therapy in a certain sense, by confronting the demons of a real life traumatic event in our pop culture’s history. 

I cannot speak to this experience (and wish to remain sensitive), but I have heard survivors of rape discuss how they have worked through/confronted/dealt with personal trauma by watching movies like Last House on the Left and I Spit on your Grave. If QT is a purveyor of pop culture mash up or as I read recently on Facebook, “A Cultural DJ” of sorts, is this his way of dealing with this tragic, traumatic, public historical event as a whole? It might be a bit tasteless/inappropriate to try and compare the two in this analogy, but perhaps the ideas behind both are similar in nature. I’ll leave it at that.

Bottom line, seeing Sharon live and the Mason Family killed in this alternate history left me with a cathartic feeling as the credits rolled. Yes, she died IRL, but this one time, she didn’t and it was beautiful.

Insider Baseball

Regarding the “Cultural DJ” observation gleaned on Facebook, there are oodles of noodles of tasty cinematic easter eggs/nods like all other Taratino affairs. But QT takes the insider baseball to a (somewhat agonizing) whole new level with OUTIH. The level of care and detail is astounding. I’ve heard various people online essentially exclaim that this is Tarantino letting his geek flag fly loud and proud. But isn’t every Tarantino affair a similar flag waving? Is it too distracting? I think cinemaniacs (like myself) are so blindly frothing at the mouth over stuff like the fictional filmography/history of obscure spaghetti westerns that they are overlooking a lot of problems with the movie as a whole. 

On an individual level, the detailed TV production/Hollywood business scenes featuring Rick Dalton are wonderful to watch, but don’t work as well when Cliff Booth’s storyline is far more interesting. Every time we cut back to a long Rick Dalton scene, I found myself pulled out of the movie, wondering where this was all going. 

The Big Screen has gotten too Small.

Tarantino ultimately needs to go from the big screen to the small in order for him to continue telling larger and larger stories. With a few heavy hitter producers keeping him in his lane and a solid TV network that will give him the keys to the kingdom, he’ll be able to make some of the best long form episodic, serialized television we have ever seen.

The Pixies: On Graveyard Hill

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The Pixies

…“On Graveyard Hill.”

The Pixies have been trying out their newest songs live as they make their rounds touring - in anticipation of their forthcoming studio album in September, 2019. It is called “Beneath the Eyrie” and available for preorder HERE.

Songs played live include: Death Horizon, Saint Nazaire, Catfish Kate, Bird of Prey, This is my Fate, and The Arms of Mrs. Mark of Cain.

All in all, the new material is fantastic, but there is one song in particular that really feels like it could have been written sometime between 1987 - 1988. It’s called “ On Graveyard Hill.”

There is something inherently magical about music and lyrics of Pixies songs. They invoke surreal, visual imagery. “On Graveyard Hill” is a profound addition to their catalogue.

Thanks to Lukretiah 101 and AKF Live on YouTube, I was able to listen to it over and over - until inspiration struck for a music video using the live footage/audio.

This song felt like it needed juxtaposition with silent cinema like the Swedish documentary film - Haxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (1922). Additionally, I incorporated some shots from the Fritz Lang’s epic Metropolis (1927).

With other cinematic influences like this or that, I’d like to imagine that the Pixies would approve of my choices and until we get the studio version, this tweaked live mix will do.

Lyrics

From the user “yarbles” - rank “Cult of Ray” at the Frank Black Forum:
”GRAVEYARD HILL (aka The Witching Hour, members of the band's crew have confirmed to a couple people that the song is actually named Graveyard Hill)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9DREvvlM3M

LYRICS (as best as I can make out)

And when the moon grows smaller
Donna picks out a flower
Gives her a witchy power
In the witching hour
In the witching hour

Donna taking a potion
Eating all my devotion
Fucking up my emotion
In the witching hour
Donna picks out a flower
In the witching hour

On the graveyard hill she's calling out her curse
I'm taking my last breath with each chapter and each verse
and soon I will be killed

In a poisonous forest
Donna lighting her torches
Her eyes are flying saucers
Her hair is black and gorgeous
I see her down at the crossroad
She could lead me to madness
She taking me into darkness
In the witching hour
In the witching hour
In the witching hour

On the graveyard hill she's calling out her curse
I'm taking my last breath with each chapter and each verse and soon I will be killed

On the graveyard hill she's calling out her curse
I'm taking my last breath with each chapter and each verse
and soon I will be killed

Yes soon I will be killed

Other Cinematic Influences