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Summer Cinema Series sparks intent for future events

Summer Cinema Series sparks intent for future events

Midlake musician Eric Pulido performs “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” before “Harold and Maude” screened for the audience.

Summer Cinema Series sparks intent for future events
June 21
16:16 2016

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

@kayleighbywater

The Greater Denton Arts Council utilized new screening equipment this summer to benefit the public through the Summer Cinema Series. The series was a weekly event where public figures and local celebrities in Denton selected movies to be shown through multiple mediums, including film, art and music.

The idea was the brainchild of Jason Lee, a GDAC board member. The vision was to initiate a series of films to have “artist-selected cinema” that would allow Dentonites to come together to appreciate film.

GDAC executive director Tracy Bays-Boothe, who worked alongside Lee to bring the event to life, said that the council had just received a grant from the Denton Benefit League that allowed them to purchase a new film projector and screen to utilize for various events they put on.

Graffiti-inspired art pieces were provided complimentary by local artists to be auctioned off in benefit for the Greater Denton Arts Council. Matt Payne | Features Editor

Graffiti-inspired art pieces were provided complimentary by local artists to be auctioned off in benefit for the Greater Denton Arts Council. Matt Payne | Features Editor

“We were so grateful for the grant and felt that this event would be the perfect way to utilize the equipment we received,” Bays-Boothe said. “People have such a connection with film, and we wanted to celebrate that.”

The Patterson Appleton Arts Center hosted the Summer Cinema Series for the past six weeks. During the Tuesday night events, chairs, beanbags and rugs were set out for attendees to relax on while watching the film of the night. In addition, the event is BYOB and Atomic Candy is there to sell their products to those watching.

The series has shown movies of various genres and eras, including “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” selected by Armand Kohandani of Denton Camera Exchange, and “Broken Circle Breakdown,” selected by Ceren Lee.

“We did not want to limit what movies were shown,” Bays-Boothe said. “Some of our artists selected films that may not be as widely known while others chose films that have cult followings. It was all about providing a time for people to come and appreciate cinema.”

One of the artists who was selected to choose a film for the series was Midlake band member Eric Pulido. Pulido selected “Harold and Maude,” a love story between a young man obsessed with death and an older woman obsessed with life.

Pulido said he selected this movie because it provided a different twist on “love,” suggesting that sometimes the most untraditional relationships in life could be the ones that influence us the most. The movie, which came out in 1971, may not be one that people watch on their own. The series, Pulido said, allows for people to get out of their comfort zones and experience various aspects of cinema.

“I’ve always loved film, and I’m always in for any excuse to get together with folks to further support and promote the arts,” Pulido said. “It’s been cool to see folks come out and enjoy classic and modern films alike while munching on popcorn and candy with friends and family.”

Giant beanbag cushions surrounded by about 100 seats accommodated attendees watching free films during the Greater Denton Arts Council six week Summer Cinema Series. Matt Payne | Features Editor

Giant beanbag cushions surrounded by about 100 seats accommodate attendees watching free films during the Greater Denton Arts Council six week Summer Cinema Series. Matt Payne | Features Editor

Film, however, was not the only thing the Summer Cinema Series was trying to celebrate. Bays-Boothe said one of their goals in creating this event was to make it multi-disciplinary. Alongside film, the series celebrated music and art around Denton.

Before the screening of “Harold and Maude,” Pulido performed the song “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” by Cat Stevens from the film’s soundtrack. While the song did coincide with the movie, utilizing both the film and music allowed for a bigger picture of the overall film.

“Music, art and film goes hand in hand,” Bay-Boothe said. “Each event was curated by the artists themselves. You could see how the film resonated with each of them and how much it impacted those viewing.”

In addition to musical performances, local Denton artist Eric Mancini has created graffiti-inspired art pieces to giveaway during four of the Summer Cinema Series events. Mancini was not asked to commission art pieces, he said that it just happened.

“I have learned with art it’s all about making opportunity. Nobody is going to come find you, you [just] have to make people pay attention,” Mancini said. “[When] they were screening ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ I had a ‘Zoolander’ Ben Stiller piece laying around. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to leave a themed painting for the movie, so I left it out front of the PAAC.”

Mancini, who promotes his art by leaving it around town for free, said people seemed to love the idea of acquiring a piece related to the film. The next week, he wanted to give everyone who came to the event an opportunity to win the piece through a free raffle.

The pieces he creates for the Summer Cinema Series take anywhere from a day to a week to complete. Mancini said he does not mind spending the time creating the pieces for free because it benefits the community’s appreciation for art.

“I feel it adds another dimension and a surprise element [to the series] because, unless you follow me on Instagram, you won’t know what I’m giving away until you show up for the event,” Mancini said. “It’s my way of getting involved in my community. I’ve found I enjoy giving art away more than I do trying to sell it.”

Although the GDAC had originally thought the series would only last six weeks, the response from the event has been a positive one. Bays-Boothe said they had anywhere from 70 to 150 people come to the events, which has got the council wondering if they should continue the series.

“We have really started looking in to whether or not we want to continue the series past this summer,” Bays-Boothe said. “This is a really great way to celebrate the PAAC as a community venue and bring the community together to celebrate the arts, something so important in Denton.”

Featured Image: Midlake musician Eric Pulido performs “If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out” before “Harold and Maude” screened for the audience during the Greater Denton Arts Council six week Summer Cinema series. Matt Payne | Features Editor

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