What are vampires, really? They sleep all day, come and go as they please; they are full of superstitions and are picky eaters. In recent cinema history, directors have taken it upon themselves to explore the effects of vampirism, purposely avoiding the traditions set by Bram Stoker. What if there were people out there whose minds had simply fooled them into believing they were among “the undead”? What would the psychological effects look like? This series of four films poses these questions. In each of the films, vampirism can be seen as ambiguous or simply devoid of the traditional vampire folklore, making it that much more terrifying. In Ganja and Hess [read more]

The Labor Series, sponsored by the Rochester Labor Council and organized and curated in collaboration with Jon Garlock, is now celebrating its twenty-fifth year. To commemorate this anniversary, we will be screening eleven films selected from past programs. Each one serves to remind us of the challenges facing workers in every walk of life and how indebted we are to them.

The series kicks off with Nine to Five, a comedy on a very serious subject: women’s rights in the workplace. Next is the powerful and not-to-be-missed documentary Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, and the following week we screen Workingman’s Death, a moving tribute to the common laborer. Charlie Chaplin’s classic Modern Times and Bill Duke’s 1984 The Killing Floor round out… [read more]

Hi-diddle-de-de! The actor’s life for me! Every actor dreams of playing Hamlet or Hedda, and not so incidentally, receiving thunderous acclaim. Unfortunately, the reality is often quite different: long, hard hours of rehearsal, clashing egos, disappointment, jealousy, sometimes poor wages (and worse, bad reviews), and in the end, possible anonymity. The Actor’s Life series contains six eclectic films that begin with theatre of the Restoration and end with digital age of film. In Stage Beauty, a male actor who plays women’s roles loses his job to a real woman; It’s a Great Feeling is a funny and shrewd take on breaking into films; Bicycling with Molière (a Rochester Premiere) provides a canny and often… [read more]

From September to December, Tuesday nights in the Dryden will be silent, except of course for the music accompanying the diverse selection of silent films that we will screen. In conjunction with the University of Rochester Film & Media Studies program, the series is curated each year by Philip Carli (who teaches silent film history and accompanies most of the films on the piano) and Anthony L’Abbate, preservation officer in the Moving Image Department.

This year, the work of some of the greats of silent film history will be featured… [read more]

“You know that old cliché; . . . [the] ‘nothing’s worth it unless it’s hard to do,’ kind of thing. I wear that on my sleeve sometimes when I’m working.” Philip Seymour Hoffman

Dedication, concentration, introspection—these are the tools that Hoffman deftly wielded to create his screen (and stage) characters. He believed acting to be… [read more]