Lehigh Valley Cinema Club

A new film screening series focusing on adventurous works of cinema from yesterday and today, presented by Love's Devotee and curated by Herb Shellenberger. This is a self-funded, roving series which is open to partnerships and collaboration, and will evolve over the course of 2024. 

Please subscribe to the mailing list at the bottom of the page or follow @lvcinemaclub on IG to keep up with the latest events. 

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July 5–7, 2024 – Séance Film Festival

A weekend film festival celebrating cinema as séance and portal to the afterlife, and the parallels between film projection and reincarnation. Combining contemporary and archival short and feature films, live soundtracks and performance, the first Séance Film Festival will be an utterly unique, one-time-only, unrepeatable cinematic event.

First program announcements:

  • Composer and recording artist Garden Gate (North Country, NY, Clay Pipe Music/Library of the Occult) will present the world premiere of "They Walk With Us", a newly-commissioned video and live performance.

  • The inaugural Séance Film Festival artist-in-focus is French experimental filmmaker Célia Hay, whose short films will be shown in a retrospective program with the artist present for a post-screening Q&A.

  • A special presentation of Soda Jerk's "Séance Fictions", an ongoing cycle of works by the renegade video remixologists which stages an encounter between the past and future selves of a deceased screen star. 

Full festival program announced soon.  

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P A S T

Warm Blood

Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at 7:00pm
Emmaus Theatre
19 South 4th Street, Emmaus, PA 18049

Warm Blood, dir. Rick Charnoski, 2022, US, 86 mins, DCP

followed by Q&A with filmmaker Rick Charnoski
and live performance by Wipes

Tickets: $10, via Emmaus Theatre

Inhabiting the fringes of Modesto, California in the toxic haze of the 1980’s, Warm Blood is a politically subversive, searing collage of sound, narrative, documentary and trash B movie meta-narratives, hand stitched by filmmaker Rick Charnoski in his debut feature. We are overjoyed to welcome the filmmaker for a Q&A in his hometown of Emmaus, PA, part of Warm Blood's cross-country tour. 

Red is a driven young runaway who returns to her hometown to track down her wayward father. As she wanders the streets selling stolen drugs to finance her next mission, she reflects on her early teen life through reading a journal that she finds in her old bedroom. Tom, a young drifter—possibly a figment of Red's imagination—continues to reappear in his '73 Duster and scoop her up after she runs away over and over again. There may be an ominous conspiracy about a chemical induced sickness that threatens their entire town. Is this a dream or is this just what a town full of corruption and dishonesty looks like when you leave and come home two years later and two years older?

Shot on 16mm film by renowned cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt (First Cow, Emma, Night Moves) and nine years in the making, Warm Blood weaves jagged textures of old photos, scrawled letters found in the trash, interviews done in the midnight gloom under bridges, fake news broadcasts and random audio samples together like a freaky quilt. Warm Blood is an inverted vision of two lost souls shot in the same town as George Lucas‘s American Graffiti; a distress flare of a film shot into the night sky... a kaleidoscopic hitchhiker's guide to the underbelly of America.

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Wipes is a noise-rock trio from the Lehigh Valley comprised of Michael Dumoff, Ben Roysdon and Ray Gurz, former members of Tile, Bad American and Gods & Queens. In a recent review, Hex Records says, "They can take a very simple riff and then just beat it to death through tons of distortion and feedback to the point where you're just as honked off as they are." Just off a short tour of the Pacific Northwest and with a new cassette release on Avarice Records, WIPES represent the best of Emmaus, Pennsylvania's forward-thinking, skateboard-influenced punk music scene. 

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Gabbeh


Gabbeh, dir. Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996, Iran/France, 75 mins, digital

Thursday, February 29, 2024 at 7:00pm
Landis Cinema (Buck Hall), Lafayette College
219 N 3rd St, Easton, PA 18042

Lehigh Valley Cinema Club and Lafayette College's Department of Film and Media Studies present a screening of Iranian filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf's 1996 feature Gabbeh

Tickets: free with registration

A poetic, dreamlike vision from one of Iran's most celebrated filmmakers, Gabbeh portrays the traditionally nomadic Qashqai people of Southern Iran. Makhmalbaf Film House describes the film's narrative: "On the banks of a stream, an old woman and her husband are washing their Gabbeh [a type of traditional Persian rug]. From this carpet comes forth a beautiful young woman—aptly named Gabbeh—who shares her epic tale: she is desperately in love with a mysterious horseman who follows her clan from [behind]. Though her father has agreed to let her marry the man, season after season, the horseman follows Gabbeh—always present, always waiting, howling songs of love after nightfall."

Winner of awards at Tokyo and Singapore International Film Festivals, as well as the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival, Gabbeh is a visual feast of color and a masterful example of cinematic tableaux. Makhmalbaf effortlessly merges the rural and traditional setting with a visionary cinematic perspective, resulting in an unforgettable and stunningly beautiful work of film art. 

Thanks to Bret Berg (American Genre Film Archive), Drew Swedberg and the faculty and staff of the Department of Film and Media Studies, Lafayette College

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Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You

Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You

Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You, dir. Ryan Daly & Will Oldham, 2023, US, 47 mins, 16mm-to-DCP

Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 7:30pm
Theatre 514 (Civic Theatre of Allentown)
514 N 19th St, Allentown, PA 18104

Tickets: free with registration

Lehigh Valley Cinema Club presents the Pennsylvania premiere of Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You, the visual album of Bonnie "Prince" Billy's 2023 album of the same name, a collaboration between filmmaker Ryan Daly & musician Will Oldham.

We go to the cinema to see movies. Can we also go to hear records? This is what Will Oldham and film/visual artist Ryan Daly are eager to explore with this special presentation of Bonnie Prince Billy’s newest album Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You. The album was recorded in the winter of 2022–23 and is composed of songs which date back to the harrowing lockdown year of 2020. Many of us experienced an unprecedented focus of intention and energy during this period, and Oldham found a way into distilling songs and presenting them with newfound clarity and candor.

Echoing the spirit and themes of the album, Ryan Daly utilizes his vast archive of 16mm film prints—working in the avant-garde tradition of ‘found footage’ film making—to assemble a tour de force visual juxtaposition of Will Oldham’s new album. Drawing from the techniques and theories of Soviet montage, Daly’s footage recalls, re-imagines, and suggests an alternative, timeless counterpoint to the era of the most recent pandemic.

About the filmmakers

As an actor, Will Oldham (born 1970 in Louisville, KY) has worked with a diverse scope of directors including John Sayles (Matewan, 1987), Harmony Korine (Julian Donkey Boy, 1999), Kelly Reichardt (Old Joy, 2006 & Wendy and Lucy, 2008) and David Lowery (A Ghost Story, 2017). As a songwriter, Oldham has released over 20 albums—first as Palace and since 1998 as Bonnie “Prince” Billy—throughout his nearly thirty-year career. He has received praise from The New Yorker, New York Times, American Songwriter, NPR and Rolling Stone, to name a few. His most recent album, Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You, was released on August 11, 2023 via Drag City Records, and he recently completed tours with Quebecois singer-songwriter Myriam Gendron and Welsh musician Jon Langford.

As an archivist, Ryan Daly (born 1979 in Louisville, KY) maintains a vast collection of 16mm film prints. His library consists of rare, often one of a kind, ephemeral home movies, newsreels, television commercials, educational and industrial film prints. Having been the source of several 16mm prints for leading national archives, Daly turned to digitizing his collection prior to the pandemic. As a filmmaker, Daly's understanding of the history of filmmaking, provides unique insight to magic of montage. Having graduated from Pittsburgh Filmmakers in 2003, Daly was among the last of a generation to learn the craft of filmmaking on celluloid.

Thanks to Drag City Records (Kathryn Wilson, Bailey Davis, Sue Ng), Civic Theatre of Allentown (Drew Swedberg), Ryan Daly and Will Oldham. 

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