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FEBRUARY 3RD MITTEN MOVIE PROJECT
Conceived by Wayne State faculty members Steve Kahn and Leonard Boehm in 1992, the Math Corps model is predicated on a simple concept: create a nurturing, supportive environment where students are held to a standard of excellence by both adult professional instructors and their older peer mentors. The concept works. Students entering the Math Corps with low math skills (30 percentile) raise their score to the 90 percentile in just six weeks. Since 1995, an estimated 90 percent of Math Corps students have graduated from high school. An extraordinary 80 percent have gone on to college.
“Parents, teachers and school administrators in every city need to see this film,” said Marx, who spent nearly two years researching and shooting the documentary. “The founders of Math Corps, Steve Kahn and Leonard Boehm, are my heroes as are the children they teach. Sure, members of the Math Corps are passionate about helping each other – in school and in life.”
Headlining the animation side of this month’s Mitten Movie Project is the latest claymation short from filmmakers Tom Gurisko and John Mollon. Painstaking to make and cleverly written, this installment in the Snippy series follows Snippy during the holiday festivities as he deals with the effects of alcohol.
Gurisko and Mollon were also the recipients of the Audience Choice Award at December 2008’s Best of the Mitten Movie Project for their kitchen safety short, “Snippy.” Gurisko was “totally taken off guard, very surprised and encouraged” at receiving the Audience Choice Award, an award that beat out 123 other short films that screened at the Mitten Movie Project from Nov 2007 to Oct 2008. “In a town like Detroit, it’s so hard to find people interested in making films and completing them. The Mitten Movie Project is a great venue for struggling, aspiring filimmakers to get an audience and real feedback,” Gurisko said after receiving the award.
In other Mitten Movie Project news, the November 11th Zombie Night was a near sellout with over 260 zombie enthusiasts packing the house at the Main Art Theatre.
The Mitten Movie Project is a monthly film night dedicated to screening independent films the first Tuesday of every month at the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak. Presale tickets are available for $8 at www.myspace.com/mittenmovieproject. Tickets at the door are $10. A pre-screening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Art lobby where moviegoers can mingle with the directors, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. After the screening, a Q&A session will be conducted with the filmmakers in the theatre. An afterglow party will be held at Mr. B’s Pub (215 S. Main Street – 2 blocks south of the Main Art Theatre) to end the night’s activities.
2/3/09 MITTEN MOVIE PROJECT – INDEPENDENT SHORTS – PROGRAM NOTES
Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak, MI - 7:30 p.m.
Pre-sale tickets $8 at www.myspace.com/mittenmovieproject , Door $10
The Mitten Movie Project is a monthly film night dedicated to screening independent films the first Tuesday of every month at the Main Art Theatre (118 N. Main Street, Royal oak, MI 48067). Presale tickets are available for $8 at www.myspace.com/mittenmovieproject. Tickets at the door are $10. A pre-screening reception starts at 6:30 p.m. in the Main Art lobby where moviegoers can mingle with the directors, industry professionals, and film enthusiasts. After the screening, a Q&A session will be conducted with the filmmakers in the theatre. An afterglow party will be held at Mr. B’s (215 S. Main Street) to end the night’s activities.
FINAL LINEUP. Total running time: 1 hr, 42 mins. In order of screening:
LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON-DOG: A SOUTH POLE DIARY [trailer] – Directed by Paul Daniels (01:00) (Antarctica) Moon-Dog captures the winter over the life of 15 scientists and 35 crew members at the U.S. Antarctic research station “South Pole,” located on the harshest continent on the planet. A combination of -100F temperatures, fierce storms, hypoxia, stress and the unexpected illness of the station’s doctor all conspire to push people to their limits. www.myspace.com/moondogmovie
CROSS SWORDS – Directed by Bradley Jones (04:14) (Michigan) Japanese "chambara" films were movies that exploit the tales of the mysterious. They often depicted Samurai or Ninja in crucial times of their lives. Cross Swords is a story of two men with no explained history or relationship engaging in a fight to the death.
LE DERRIERE – Directed by Steven Karageanes (09:18) (Michigan) Annie is a theatrical star who discovered she's been replaced on stage (and off) by a younger starlet. Annie then learns her producer, who fathered her child, is behind it all. Annie confronts her rival on stage, where they both realize who the true enemy is. www.myspace.com/tantricferret
STICKY FINGERS - Bargain Basement Productions (03:20) (Michigan) Written and Directed by Jason Roth. Guy is fed up with his job. But quitting may be more difficult than he thought! Rockabilly animation at it's most, um... billy...
978 E. WOODRUFF – Directed by Jeremy Stefanski (12:38) (Michigan) A hitman’s recurring dream. www.myspace.com/cheoperative
IWO JIMA DIARY - Directed by Michael Pfaendtner (23:00) (Michigan) Part character study, part oral history, Iwo Jima Diary uses the cartoon drawings of 84-year-old Edward “Mort” Denell to dramatically illustrate his combat experiences as a Marine in the closing months of World War II. With excerpts taken from Denell’s combat journal, the story develops into a chronological tale of bloody invasions, differing battle tactics and terrifying accounts of hand-to-hand combat with Japanese soldiers. The story also weaves in several humorous anecdotes and the close calls and near misses that nearly all soldiers experience on the battlefield. Iwo Jima Diary is told in Mort Denell’s own words, both on camera and as narrator. www.iwojimadiarymovie.com
FEET – Directed by Natalie Milbrodt (13:00) (Michigan/New York) Meet several people with little in common besides an unusual interest in feet. A podiatrist, a shoe fetishist, a reflexology expert, a podophobic, a yoga instructor, an artist with severely injured feet, a cultural historian, a pedicurist and a neuro-psychologist, join with others in a lively conversation about the very bottom of our bodies.
GHOST WIRING – Directed by David Moroski (03:00) (Michigan) Neko Case’s haunting music, lyrics and vocals provide the inspiration for this “Folk Art Animation” film about the introspective dialogue between an adult and her childhood memories. Created and animated by David Moroski.
IT ALL ADDS UP – Sue Marx Films (30:00) (Michigan) In 1992, a small group of Wayne State University faculty members developed a program where college students along with Detroit high school and middle school kids teach and learn vital skills in math – and in life. The results after 16 years are astonishing. Thousands of Detroit’s inner-city kids have graduated from high school and gone on to college. This upbeat documentary showcases the teathcers and students whose lives have been changed forever.
SNIPPY’S NEW YEAR - Skeletons in the Closet Films (02:42) (Michigan) Written, directed and animated by Tom Gurisko and John Mollon. Snippy takes a closer look at the effect alcohol has on holiday festivities.