Northwest Nightmares Film Festival Seeks Submissions

Northwest Nightmares Film Festival. A blood-spattered man grins disarmingly at the viewer. Screening October 27th at the Welden Theater in St. Albans, VT.Northwest Nightmares, the horror film festival hosted by Northwest Access TV in St. Albans, rises from the grave for a new program of terrifying selections. Registration to join the festival is open until October 13th, and final films must be submitted by October 20th. The big night is October 27th at the Welden Theater in St. Albans.

Categories of distinction include: Best Editing, Best Effects, Best Acting, Best Story, Best Sound Design, Best Cinematography, and, of course, the Sleeping With the Lights On Award. Additionally, winner of Best Picture receives a BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which is a very spiffy piece of filmmaking hardware. That alone should send anticipatory chills up and down your spine.


Savoy Theater: SF Offerings

This is rare: Montpelier’s Art House theater, The Savoy, has not one, but two SF films screening, at the same time. Montpelier’s snooty veneer is cracking!

Right now, you can catch Under the Skin in their Upstairs theater, starring Scarlett Johansson as an alien who cruises around England looking to eat men. Downstairs, you can catch Only Lovers Left Alive, starting Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton (what a match that is!) as a pair of vampires.

It’s easy to see just why the Savoy has picked up both films: both have gained a considerable amount of critical buzz, even if the subject matter really isn’t that of what you typically find in your summertime Scifi fare. In a lot of ways, it goes to show just how pervasive science fiction ideas are, especially in this day and age. It’s impossible to deny the influence and impact of technology, and humanity’s relationship to it, and it seems to be bleeding into the types of films that the Savoy typically picks up. Also see Her, which recently screened at the theater, while Jodorowsky’s Dune is coming later this month.

Still, I have a visceral  dislike of a dismissal of modern science fiction films. Movies such as MoonPrimer, Gravity, District 9, Minority Report, Children of Men, and others carry with them real weight as entries in SF film canon, and shouldn’t be dismissed in the same breathe as films such as Transformers. However, even films such as Star Trek, Avatar and Pacific Rim have real qualities that not only make them huge summertime spectacles, but also often with some excellent points to pull out and examine.

Under the Skin is Upstairs at 6:30 & 8:30 each evening and with 1:30 & 4:00 matinees on the weekend.

Only Lovers Left Alive is Downstairs at 6:00 & 8:15 each evening, 1:00 & 3:30 matinees on the weekend, and with a special, 11pm screening tonight.

So, maybe it’s time for us to rethink our feelings on the Savoy. Maybe they’ll be on track to bring in some of the latest, critically acclaimed SF films that theaters such as the Majestic 10 and Essex Cinemas wouldn’t touch. Either way, I’ll likely be getting tickets soon.

Film – Life Drawing


This is pretty neat. This past weekend, White River Junction was home to the White River Junction Film Festival (which we seem to have missed completely). Part of the weekend was a 48 hour film challenge. This year’s winners are Jesse DuRona and Randall Drew, graduates of the Center for Cartoon Studies, with their film Life Drawing.

The Playhouse Projector Project

photo-fullRandolph’s Playhouse Movie Theater is one of many movie houses all over Vermont facing the leap to digital projection. As the movie industry phases out distributing films on film in favor of cheaper, more efficient hard drives and digital files, it falls to theater owners to replace their projection equipment in order to screen those films.

The Playhouse is Vermont’s oldest purpose-built movie theater, dating from 1919. To raise the money to convert the venue’s single movie screen to digital projection, they’ve turned to crowdfunding via Kickstarter. Backer rewards include vintage paper 3D glasses, popcorn vouchers and movie posters randomly selected from the last 25.

Visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about the fundraising efforts, of which crowdfunding is only a part, and the people behind the effort.

Geek Things for August 16th

  • Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 9AM–9PM, Bread Loaf Campus, Ripton. Lectures and readings are free and open to the public; see for schedule. (Writing)
  • Computer Lesson, 5–8PM, Champlain Senior Center, McClure MultiGenerational Center, Burlington. $5 donation. (Computers)
  • ‘After the Harvest: Fighting Hunger in the Coffeelands’ & Media That Matters Film Showcase, 7PM, Film House, Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center, Burlington. Free. (Film)
  • Ben & Jerry’s Outdoor Movie Festival – TRON: Legacy, 9PM, Ben & Jerry’s, Burlington. Free. (Movies)
  • ‘The Aliens’, 7:30PM, Weston Rod & Gun Club, Weston. Tickets start at $24. (Theater)
  • ‘Cinderella’, 2PM, Lebanon Opera House, Lebanon. $25-85. (Theater)
  • Neil Goodwin – The We Go As Captives: The Royalton Raid and the Shadow War on the Revolutionary Frontier, 7PM, Old Town Hall, Brookfield. Donations accepted for the Old Town Hall restoration fund. (Authors)
  • Willard Sterne Randall – Ethan Allen: His Life and Times, 7PM, Town Hall Theater, Middlebury. Free; cash bar. (History)
  • Boardgame Night, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • HeroClix!, 7:30pm – 11:00pm, Game Lounge, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Paper Cup Telephones, 11am, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Fingerprints, 3pm, Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Green Drinks: CVPS smartPOWER, 7 – 9pm, 51 Main at the Bridge, Middlebury. (Environmentalism)


Geek Things for April 6th

  • Chittenden County Philatelic Club, 6:15PM, GE Healthcare Building, South Burlington. Free. (Stamps)
  • ‘Dead Poets Society’, 7PM, Savoy Theater, Montpelier. Free. (Film)
  • High School Book Group, 5–6PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Libraries)
  • Middle School Book Group, 4–5PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Libraries)
  • Science Magic. Preregister. 3PM, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. Free. (Kids)
  • ‘How to Compost’, 7–9PM, Robert Miller Community & Recreation Center, Burlington. Free. (Composting)
  • ‘Tech Savvy’, 6–8PM, Bradford Public Library, Bradford. Free. (Computers)
  • Chris Wren – “The Rule of Law and the Arab Revolt: A Journalist’s Perspective,” 5:30pm, Oakes Hall, Room 012, Vermont Law School, South Royalton. Free. (Current Events)
  • Dave Zirin – “Sports and Resistance in the United States: A Political Legacy,” 4:30PM, Concert Hall, Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College, Middlebury. Free. (Politics)
  • Gordon Robison – “The Obama Administration and the Middle East,” 7PM, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury. Free. (Politics)
  • Haviland Smith – “Dealing With Instability in Today’s Middle East.” 7PM, Goodrich Memorial Library, Newport. Free. (Current Events)
  • Mark Stoler – Historical perspective on the United States and the war in Vietnam, 7PM, Cornerstone Community Center, Hartford. Free. (History)
  • Meg Brook – “World Without Borders.” 6:15PM, Burlington College, Burlington. Free. (Talk)
  • Peter Schumann – Bread and Puppet Theater, 6PM, Fleming Museum, UVM, Burlington. Free with museum admission, $3-5, or $10 per family. (Talk)
  • Robert Hager – “Courting Disaster: From the Vietnam War to 21st-Century Terrorism.” 7PM, Rutland Free Library, Rutland. Free. (Current Events)
  • Shahan Mufti – “A World of Trouble: Reporting a Clandestine American War in Pakistan.” 7pm, Cardinal Lounge, Angell College Center, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh. Free. (Current Events)
  • ‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’: Dress Rehearsal for Senior Citizens – 3–5:15PM, Albert D. Lawton Intermediate School, Essex Junction. Free. (Theater)
  • ‘Romeo and Juliet’, 7PM, McCarthy Arts Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester. Free. (Theater)
  • Poetry Alive! Various downtown locations, Montpelier. Free. (Poetry)
  • Magic Booster Draft – $12, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Pathfinder Society, 6:30pm – 11:00pm, Game Lounge, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Book Talk: American Plastic, 5:15 – 7:15pm, 51 Main at the Bridge, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
  • Books About Libraries, 10am, Barnes and Noble, South Burlington. (Kids)
  • Naruto, 4:30pm – 8:00pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Wednesday Night Board gaming at Triple Play, 6:00pm – 10:30pm, Triple Play, Lebanon, New Hampshire (Gaming)
  • D&D Encounter, 6:00pm – 8:30pm, The Gamers Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • L5R Night at Triple Play, 6:30pm – 10:00pm, Triple Play, Lebanon, NH. (Gaming)
  • Touch the Sound at NU, Sullivan Museum, Northfield. (Museum)
  • Do Bats Really Attack Humans? All about bats, presented by Barry Genzlinger. 1:30pm, VT College of Fine Arts, Noble Hall, Montpelier. $5 for non-members. Info. 454-4675. (Bats)
  • April Showers Bring Salamanders. Preschool discovery program for kids age 3-5. Dress for a walk on the trails. 10-11:30am. North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier. $5 per child, Info. 229-6206. (Kids)
  • Red Cross Blood Drive, 10:30am-3:30pm, Vermont Law School, South Royalton. (Blood Drive)

Geek Things for March 18th

  • Physics Colloquium: “Density Functional Theory and Its Time-Dependent Extension: Success and Challenges,” 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Davis Student Center, The Jost Foundation Room, UVM, Burlington. (Physics)
  • American Red Cross Blood Drive, 12–6PM, VFW Post, Morrisville. Free. (Blood Drive)
  • Friday Night Flick – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, 7:30PM, Vergennes Opera House, Vergennes. Free. (Films)
  • Green Mountain Film Festival. Visit for details. 4–10PM, Various locations, Montpelier. (Films)
  • ‘Salt’, 6:30–8:30PM, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. Free. (Film)
  • Science & Stories, 11AM, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
  • Ann Armbrecht – “Thin Places: A Journey Through the Himalayas.” 2PM, Faith United Methodist Church, South Burlington. $5. (Talk)
  • ‘Underneath the Lintel’ , 7:30PM, FlynnSpace, Burlington. $24.30-32.50; special $10 tickets available at the door 10 minutes before curtain. (Theater)
  • ‘My Zombie Romeo’, 7PM, Enosburg Opera House, Enosburg Falls. $3-5. (Zombies)
  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – Draft – $15 Entry Fee, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic, The Book Garden, Montpelier. (Gaming)
  • ConnCon (, Mar 18 – 20 2011, Stamford, CT (Conventions)
  • Vericon, Mar 18 – 20 2011, Harvard University, Cambridge MA (Conventions)
  • Death and the Powers: The Robots’ Opera, 7:30pm – 7:30pm, Boston, MA (Robots)
  • Lunacon, Mar 18 – 20 2011, Rye Brook, New York (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)


Geek Things for March 8th

  • Green Drinks, 6–8PM, The Skinny Pancake, Montpelier. Free. (Environmentalism)
  • American Red Cross Blood Drive, 11AM–4:30PM, Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax. Free. (Blood Drive)
  • American Red Cross Blood Drive, 10AM–4PM, American Legion Post 27, Middlebury. Free. (Blood Drive)
  • Radio Amateurs of Northern Vermont Ham Radio Club Meeting, 7–9PM, O’Brien Civic Center, South Burlington. Free. (Radio)
  • ‘GasLand’, 7PM, Catamount Arts Center, St. Johnsbury. $4-7. (Documentary)
  • Creative Tuesdays, 3–5PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Kids)
  • Open Computer Time, 3–4:30PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Computers)
  • Science & Stories, 11AM, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
  • Brown Bag Lunch History Talk – The life of Joseph Hoag, a Quaker who moved to Vermont in the 1790s. 12PM, Sheldon Museum, Middlebury. Free. (History)
  • Debby Bergh – “Penguins By the Thousands: An Expedition to the Falklands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.” 6:30PM, Pierson Library, Shelburne. Free. (Penguins)
  • Dr. Quinn Mecham – exploring what’s at stake in the Middle East, in light of recent democratic revolutions. 7PM, The Barn Door Restaurant at the 1824 House, Waitsfield. Free. (Current Events)
  • Boardgame Night, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • HeroClix!, 7:30pm – 11:00pm, Game Lounge, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Keith Reeves Lecture – “the impact of racial politics on electoral behavior and public policy issues.” 4:30 – 6pm, Robert A Jones ’59 Conference Room, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
  • “Living In Emergency: Stories of Doctors without Borders”, 7:30 – 9pm, McCullough Social Space, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Documentary)
  • “Mental Machines” Film Series [], Mar 6 – 13 2011, Cambridge, MA (Film)
  • Welcome Back, Redwings. 10-11:30am, North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier. $5 per child. Info. 229-6206. (Kids)


Geek Things for February 25th

  • M.O.V.E. Book Sale, 10AM–6PM, Alliot Student Center, St. Michael’s College, Colchester. Free. (Books)
  • ‘Name That Movie!’, 5–6PM, The CinéClub, Savoy Theater, Montpelier. $2.50. (Films)
  • Daily Design Challenge, 12PM, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, Burlington. Regular admission, $8.50-10.50; free for kids 2 and under. (Kids)
  • Family Movie – Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, 6:30–8:15PM, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. Free. (Movies)
  • Kids Movie – Despicable Me, 3PM, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. Free. (Movies)
  • ‘Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles!’, 8:30AM–6PM, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. Free. (Puzzles)
  • Department of Psychiatry Grand Rounds – “Using fMRI to Study Cognitive Fatigue in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis and Traumatic Brain Injury.”, 10:30–11:45AM , Davis Auditorium, Medical Education Center Pavilion, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Burlington. Free. (Science)
  • Jude Scarl – The Mountain Birdwatch project, 7–8:30PM, Unitarian Church, Montpelier. Donations accepted. (Talk)
  • Paige Rinker – “From Symmetry Comes Simplicity: Using Abstract Algebra to Simplify Analysis of Voting Data.” 3:45PM, Room 202, St. Edmund’s Hall, St. Michael’s College, Colchester. Free. (Math)
  • Roberta Harold – “Vermont and New York in the Gilded Age: The Historical Roots of Heron Island.” 2PM, Faith United Methodist Church, South Burlington. $5. (History)
  • Wendell Potter – How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans discusses the health-insurance industry, 7–8:30PM, Burlington City Hall Auditorium, Burlington. Free. (Health Care)
  • ‘Antigone’, 8PM, FlynnSpace, Burlington. $20; $10 for Champlain College staff with ID; free for Champlain College students with ID. (Theater)
  • ‘Complete Hollywood: Abridged’, 7:30PM, Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid. $12-14. (Film)
  • ‘Eurydice’, 8PM, Moore Theater, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover. $5-16. (Theater)
  • ”Star Trek’ Live’, 2PM, 7PM, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Stowe Mountain Resort, Stowe. $13-20. (Star Trek)
  • Felding Winter Ball, Barony of Carolingia – Wellesley, MA (SCA)
  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – Type 2 / Standard – $8 Entry Fee, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Theoretical & Applied Physics Colloquium – “Chemical Effects” in Surface-Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS), 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Lafayette Hall L207, UVM, Burlinton. (Physics)

Monshire Museum of Science, Norwich:

  • 11:30 a.m. Leaf Cutter Ants The Leafcutter ant colony is a community of “insect fungus farmers” that grows its own food. Help provide the colony with its morning supply of leaves and get a close look at these amazing insects.
  • 3:00 p.m. Optical Illusions Play tricks on your brain and eyes while discovering that things are not always as they appear.
  • Ruth Messinger Lecture, Global Hunger 2011 and Our Role as Global Citizens, 12:15 – 1:30pm, Robert A. Jones ’59 Conference Room, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Poverty)
  • Total Confusion 25, Feb 24 – 27 2011, Mansfield, MA (Conventions)
  • “China Comes to Norwich” Faculty Lecture Series – “The World Comes to Shanghai: The Architecture of Expo 2010”, 12-12:50pm, Chaplin Hall, Norwich University, Northfield. (Architecture)
  • The Very UnMerry Adventures of Robin Hood, 5:30pm, Lost Nation Theater, Montpelier. $5, 229-0492.(Theater)
  • Star Party at GMO, 7:30pm-11:00pm, Weather permitting, Green Mountian Observatory, Observatory Road, Hinesburg, VT
  • (Call Jack St. Louis 802-658-0184 (H), 802-656-1287 or Paul Walker 802-388-4220 (H), 802-861-8640 (W) for more information) (Astronomy)
  • Ground Zero Games East Coast Convention, Feb 25 – 27 2011, Oswego, NY (Gaming)
  • Westford Strategy Board Gaming, 6pm – 11pm, Westford Public Library, Westford. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)