Tag archives: movies

An Illuminating Evening
By Richard Mineards   |   November 28, 2023

The Music Academy’s Hahn Hall was socially gridlocked when the ILLUMINATE Film Festival, a leading event for evolutionary cinema, celebrated its 10th anniversary and move to Santa Barbara from Sedona, Arizona. The fun fest included an exclusive screening of The Monk and the Gun, a charming and provocative feature film set in Bhutan in 2006, […]

Outing to Ojai 
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 7, 2023

Film festivals are coming fast and furious in the middle of fall, with the Jewish Film Festival continuing for four more days through November 5, and the Ojai Film Festival set to hit the theater November 2-6. The latter fest found in the mountain community will screen more than four score films from around the […]

Focus on Film: Swimming to the Riv
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 17, 2023

SBIFF Cinema Society screens a preview of Nyad at the Riviera, the dramatic biopic of famed distance swimmer Diana Nyad who, at the age of 60 and with the help of her best friend and coach, finally achieved her lifelong dream of completing the 110-mile open ocean swim from Cuba to Florida. The film, which […]

NatureTrack in Goleta
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 3, 2023

The NatureTrack Film Festival is back in a big way for South Coast folks as the nonprofit’s re-mounting of its nascent festival moves to Goleta’s Fairview Cinemas for a weekend packed with nature-centric movies spanning adventures and stories via feature film and documentaries October 6-8. With new curators in place, the fest promises to be […]

A Reel-y Good Time
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2023

Dave Haws worked at Metropolitan Theatres while still in high school, including during the wintertime film festival, which sparked not only a lifelong love for movies, but also the desire to make a living in the industry. Haws, who was born and raised in Santa Barbara, headed out of town to get an education, majored […]

Further Focus on Film: Projecting the Coastal Media Project
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 29, 2023

The Carsey-Wolf Center’s nine-week intensive environmental media production and documentary studies program involves students from a wide range of backgrounds collaborating to produce short films that tell vital and timely stories about the coastal environment. This year’s quartet of shorts include the very up-to-date Stranded, which dives into the phenomenon that resulted in more than […]

Discounts for Devotees of “The Dark”
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 15, 2023

The annual discount derby for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next year is going on right now. SBIFF returns to town – or more accurately, dominates the entertainment calendar – from February 7-17, 2024, with its usual slate of celebrity tributes, industry panels, and 200 or so new independent and international films, including daily […]

‘Contempt’ by Jean-Luc Godard (1963)
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   July 25, 2023

“Cinema shows us a world that fits our desires.” French film critic André Bazin’s quote is spoken by Jean-Luc Godard in the opening credits of his film Contempt.A camera crew tracks along towards us, until the camera itself nearly films the frame. It tilts down and turns its lens on us.  What if the line […]

A Oui Focus on Film
By Steven Libowitz   |   July 18, 2023

Also making its post-pandemic return is SBIFF’s French Wave Film Festival, which takes over SBIFF’s Riviera Theatre July 14-20 to feature 11 new examples of contemporary French cinema – nearly all winners or nominees for César Awards (the French Oscars) or selections at Cannes. Details, screening times, and passes at https://sbiffriviera.com/wave.  

‘Enys Men’
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   April 18, 2023

Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Doing the same thing day in, day out. The same rituals, the same tasks, the same autopilot life? Now imagine that – but you’re on some uninhabited island off the coast of England where your only friends are a group of rare flowers. If you weren’t on […]

Festival Awards Student Filmmakers
By Scott Craig   |   April 4, 2023

The curtain may have closed on the inaugural Montecito Student Film Festival, but there is still a buzz about the spectacular young filmmaking talent in our community. For about five hours, cinephiles filled Westmont’s Porter Theatre to screen 20 student films on March 25.  In the end, Westmont sophomore Campbell Ralph of Fox Island, Washington, […]

The Conformist
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   March 28, 2023

Readers, movie lovers; we’re in for a serious treat. Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 masterpiece, The Conformist, is coming to a theater near you. Oh, count our lucky stars! Based on the book of the same name by Alberto Moravia, The Conformist is about a young Fascist, Marcello Clerici (played by Jean-Louis Trintignant) who is ordered to […]

Fire of Love
By Christopher Matteo Connor   |   March 21, 2023

For all of you that got to see Fire of Love in theaters, I truly envy you. But for those of you who didn’t get the chance, like myself, there’s hope yet! The must-see 2022 documentary by Sara Dosa has finally made it to streaming! Fire of Love tells the story of two daring volcanologists, […]

A Cinematic Symphony
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 21, 2023

Hollywood has never had a more decorated composer than John Williams. The now 91-year-old music maker has composed the music and served as music director for more than 100 films including all nine Star Wars movies, the first three Harry Potter films, Superman, Jaws, Home Alone, Schindler’s List, E.T. The ExtraTerrestrial, Jurassic Park and all […]

Final Weekend for Flying A
By Scott Craig   |   March 7, 2023

Wet weather and storm watches didn’t keep people away from the opening weekend of the Westmont College Festival Theatre’s world premiere Diamond to Dust: A Flying A Fantasy. Director John Blondell and writer Michael Bernard, a local actor, educator and playwright, have brought Santa Barbara’s treasured cinematic history to the stage in a creative exploration […]

Montecito at the Movies: The Lowe-down on ‘Grace Point’
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 21, 2023

It’s no wonder that the young actor, producer, and TV writer, John Owen Lowe, called watching the world premiere of Grace Point – a thriller that marks his debut as a lead actor in a feature film – at the Metro 4 cinemas at SBIFF last weekend a “surreal experience.” “I grew up going to […]

Getting SBIFF-y
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 14, 2023

Here comes the Santa Barbara International Film Festival: more than 200 movies, including 52 world premieres and 78 U.S. premieres, representing more than 40 countries and just about every film genre ever invented, including a wide swath of documentaries elucidating myriad topics. The usual Oscar nominee-decorated/movie star actor tributes and an even more Academy Award-hopeful […]

Talk Explores Bringing Flying A to the Stage
By Scott Craig   |   February 14, 2023

Westmont’s John Blondell discusses the world premiere play that will bring Santa Barbara’s silent film history to the stage in a Westmont Downtown Lecture Thursday, February 16, at 5:30 pm in the Community Arts Workshop (CAW), 631 Garden Street, in downtown Santa Barbara. “The Film Within a Play: Celebrating Santa Barbara’s Flying A Studios on […]

Miranda’s Movie
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 7, 2023

Few and far between are folks who are not familiar with the Miranda warnings, the ones that police have to read to criminal suspects that remind them of their right to be represented by an attorney and to refuse to answer questions at all. Far fewer are the people who know anything at all about […]

Gina Lollobrigida Remembered 
By Richard Mineards   |   January 31, 2023

On a personal note, I remember Italian screen legend Gina Lollobrigida, who has died in Rome at the age of 95. I had a delightful dinner with the actress at a boffo bash in Punta del Este, Uruguay, when I flew there from New York to attend a champagne-soaked party for 550 guests hosted by […]