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In the Northern England town of Bradford, branded by modern industrialization, there lives Arbor (Conner Chapman) and Swifty (Shaun Thomas), two teenaged outcasts from rough backgrounds. The young boys, having been kicked out of school indefinitely, spend their days scavenging and stealing metal to pawn for the vicious scrap metal dealer, Kitten (Sean Gilder).

The boys go around with a borrowed horse and cart from Kitten to search for anything metal. Arbor, with his resourceful and heartless antics, is driven to make as much money from the metal at any risk. Swifty, with a gentle touch and compassion, cares for the horse that accompanies the boys. They journey around town with their horse and cart grabbing and stealing metal, often illegally acquired cable wire. Both boys are also eager to earn money to support their families.

Transfixed by the money earned scrapping metal, Arbor embodies Kitten’s intense “selfish giant” attitude and vows to do whatever it takes to scrap metal, ultimately leading to tragedy and a looming divide between his friendships.

Clio Barnard’s latest film is a modern fable and adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant. Barnard does not mess around and is uncomfortably truthful. She strongly builds momentum of the tragedy from greed, industrialization, and oppression.

Barnard’s film was an official selection at the 2013 Cannes, Toronto, and Stockholm film festivals. The Selfish Giant was also nominated for the 2014 BAFTA for Best British Film.

The film is screening at a/perture cinema a part of a brand new lineup at the theater. Do not miss out because The Selfish Giant will only be screened for a limited time in s/tudio 3.

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While most teenagers choose to spend their youth mindlessly scrolling tumblr, generally lacking cultural and intellectual substance, or burying themselves under a heaping load of advanced placement classes, 14 year old Laura Dekkar chose to spend her prime teen years venturing out to go down in history as the youngest person to ever sail around the world alone for a trip of a lifetime.

Maidentrip is a coming of age story about passionate and prepubescent Laura Dekkar from Holland. A seasoned sailor from birth, she knew early on of her longing to travel the seas. Without anything handed to her, she worked all through her childhood to raise enough money to buy a boat and gear, find sponsors, and even battle her own government before even hitting the water– undoubtedly mature beyond her years. Dekkar’s dream to circumnavigate alone was controversial; some people publicly hoped that she would drown whilst on her journey.

Despite the early offsets, Dekkar gained permission to set off on her boat Guppy, alone at age 14. Unlike those who have attempted to set the record of youngest to sail the world before her, Dekkar chose to see the world. For her, it was not just about setting a record, but more about finding herself through seeing the world. The movie captures Dekkar’s everyday life on her sailboat for over two years through documenting friendships made, frustrations held, and inviting the viewer to watch Dekkar grow up right before their eyes.

Through her emotional and spiritual journey, Dekkar inspires on the screen by taking viewers on deck with her through her filming. Nearly all of the filming done was by Dekkar on board. She filmed not just to provide herself company, but also to share her experience with others and the beauty she found in the world, undoubledly inspiring anyone who watches.

Being the same age as Dekkar when she finished her trip at 16 years old, I find it astounding that she has accomplished so at her age. Maidentrip reminds the teenaged viewers, like myself, that we should journey out to do what we love and overcome adversity to do so. She sets wanderlust within the viewer and shows how communities are vastly different, but all provide enriching experiences. By the time the credits roll, I was tempted to walk into the scene and join Dekkar for another voyage.

Maidentrip was directed by New York filmmaker Jillian Schlesinger. The film made it’s debut at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in 2013 and was winner of the audience award.

A transcendesent adventure, Maidentrip is empowering and brings the audience along for a dynamic journey by sea. This movie will be hitting Winston Salem screens at a/perture cinema starting this Friday, February 28. It truely does make a very inspirational film for teenagers, so drag your kids out to see it– trust me, they will thank you afterwards!

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During the Oscar season, constant buzz surrounds the films that dominate throughout. Many are nominated for best picture and almost every other category. However, a rather important category is often forgotten. The short films are often from up and coming directors, writers, and animators and tell important stories.

The three categories of short films are live action, animation, and documentary. Here, you can find a brief summary on the nominees for live action and animation. I have also included my selections for each category.

You can catch the Oscar shorts at a/perture cinema starting today!

The nominees for Live Action:

“Helium”
By Anders Walter
Language: Danish

HELIUM

When Enzo, a janitor at a hospital, comes across young Alfred, a terminally ill patient with an affinity for hot air balloons and air craft, they form a unique bond as Enzo tells Alfred about an alternative universe; the land of Helium. Helium provides Alfred with a mind oasis during his final days.

My pick for best the best live action short is “Helium.” It was a very hard decision because I thought that every nominee for Live Action was superior, but after close examination I decided “Helium” had a moving story, excellent cinematography, and phenomenal graphics and animation of the land Helium.
“The Voorman Problem”
By Mark Gill
Language: English (UK)

THE_VOORMAN_PROBLEM

Doctor Williams, a psychiatrist played by Martin Freeman (Sherlock) is asked to examine the rather curious Mr. Voorman, an inmate at the state prison. What exactly is up with Voorman? Well, he believes himself to be a God, claiming that he is capable of performing outrageous acts like, perhaps making the country of Belgium disappear right before Tea Time…

“Just Before Losing Everything”
By Xavier Legrand
Language: French

JUST_BEFORE_LOSING_EVERYTHING

This gripping short follows a young boy, emotional teenaged girl, and a middle aged woman throughout the span of a morning. Minimal dialogue adds to the suspense and helps to carry a very powerful message about domestic abuse. It leaves you cheering for the characters and worrying about what happens with them long after the credits roll.

“That Wasn’t Me”
By Esteban Crespo
Languages: English and Spanish

THAT_WASNT_ME

A very graphic short about Spanish Aid workers who come across child soldiers in Africa. This short was at times, very painful to watch, because it features everything you would imagine about an African rebel camp. Not only is it about physical battle, but it also focuses on a character’s battle with themselves between morals and survival.

“Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?”
By Selma Vilhunen and Kirsikka Salari
Language: Finnish

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This short is about a chaotic morning of waking up late on the day of an important wedding. Everything that could possibly go wrong, goes wrong! You can actually feel the struggle of the mother of a family of four with two young girls. This humorous film is surely relatable to any family, or mother to be more specific, when you just cannot seem to get everything and everyone together.

Animated Shorts nominees:

“Possessions”
By Shuhei Morita
Language: Japanese

POSSESSIONS

This animated short is about a Japanese man who is trekking through the woods as a vicious rainstorm falls. He seeks shelter in an abandoned shrine to wait for the rain to subside. When he awakens from a nap, he encounters many seemingly inanimate objects that then come alive.

“Room on the Broom”
By Max Lang and Jan Lachauer
Language: English (UK)

ROOM_ON_A_BROOM

An aloof witch and sassy cat brew up a potion to make a flying broom. During their journeys on the broom, the witch and cat pick up some new friends (and enemies) along the way. With narrations throughout the short, this film is told like a moving picture children’s book.

“Mr. Hublot”
By Laurent Witz and Alexandre Espigares
Language: French

MR_HUBLOT

Similar to Wall-E, this short is about a man made out of bolts and slabs of metals living in a futuristic mechanical world. He rescues a stray puppy who grows quite large… It follows the relationship between a reclusive man and an outgoing dog as it grows.

“Mr. Hublot” is my pick for the animated shorts category because it pulls with your emotions and ends in such a charming way. Not to mention, the animation is very well done!

“Feral”
By Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden
Language: English (USA)

PressKit

When a young boy is found living in the wilderness with the wolves, a hunter takes him under his wing and brings him to live with him in his modern village. He cleans up the boy and enters him into school. However, the boy’s transition into village life is not as smooth as planned.

“Get a Horse!”
By Lauren MacMullan and Dorothy McKim
Language: English

GET A HORSE!
This short takes viewers back to Disney’s classic Mickey Mouse. Mickey and his friends go for a hay ride, but are disrupted by a certain peg-legged enemy who tries to wreck the friends’ joyful wagon ride.

Have you noticed anything different about your moviewatching experience at a/perture in the last few weeks?  No, the seats did not get even more comfortable, nor did the food did not get even more delicious.  I’ll give you a cryptic hint: it’s something you see but don’t see.

Tantalized?  Confused?  Ok, fine, here’s what I’m talking about:

a/perture's newest addition, a digital projector!

Ain’t she something?!  Welcome the newest member of the a/perture family, the digital projector!

If you follow film culture, you might have heard some groans from the industry and die-hard cinephiles about the transition from film to digital.  If you don’t, I can boil it down for you pretty simply.  Rather than having literal reels of film as the source of your image, it is being replaced by a digital file on a computer.

Mainly, the grumbling comes from the nostalgic.  They have an emotional attachment to a celluloid image and love it even though it deteriorates over time.  In a way, going to digital is like giving up your first car.  It may be a little battered and bruised; it’s care-worn with age.  But even when you are upgrading to a brand new car, it’s hard not to think about how much you will miss the beat-up old thing.  After all, it’s the only thing you know.

But if 2011 in movies taught us anything, it’s that the history of the world (and especially film) is not written by those whose gaze is fixed firmly in the past.  Nostalgia is a nice fantasy, but we have to live in the real world.  And whether we like it or not, the future of cinema is digital.

And even though it’s scary to abandon one technology and explore brave new worlds with a new one, we have to count on innovations to move us forward.  Remember, George Valentin did laugh off the advent of the talkies in The Artist … and we saw how well that worked out for him.

So I’m going to put on my Peppy Miller hat and tell you what you have to look forward to in the future from a/perture cinema and our brand spanking new DLP projectors.  The movies you see will now be clearer, sharper, and brighter.  You will get to see them in a range of over 35 trillion colors.  (Yes, that’s trillion with a t.)  These projectors are foremost in reliability and really guarantee that you are seeing the film as the production team wanted you to see it.

But don’t take my word for it.  I talked to Dr. Mary Dalton, a professor of Communication and Film Studies at Wake Forest, with the intent of getting an opinion that perhaps was not at either extreme.  And even she said, “I couldn’t think of a disadvantage […] although it could limit your access to older titles.”

She then went on to say,

“A print is always new.  It’s as new the first day of a run as the last day, and that is really significant because the sound quality and picture quality are always going to be high.  You’re not going to have pops, and you’re not going to have dirt.  Overall, it makes for a more consistent and high-level viewing experience.

Most prints that you used to get in cinema were fourth generation from the negative.  So when you’re working with digital, you’re only looking at a second generation.  Also, you don’t have any change-over reels.

Overall, I think it’s exciting.  I think it’s a win for audiences and I think a win for a/perture in the long run.”

So if you haven’t stopped by to see the new amazing picture quality, come experience the new perks of being at a/perture!  (I’ll spare you another pun on one of our titles.)