Movies

Film News: Woodstock's Town Hall Theater Goes Digital; Cartoon College Out on iTunes; Global Lens Film Series in Burlington

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The citizens of Woodstock really love their Town Hall Theatre. In 1928, they ponied up to repair it after a fire; in the 1980s, they undertook an extensive restoration. And this past year, when it became clear that THT’s cinema would have to go digital or go dark, like others around the nation, a new generation of townspeople reached into their wallets.

With $60,000 in town funding, the Pentangle Arts Council, which runs the cinema as a nonprofit, raised additional funds and installed digital projection equipment for two screens — one 3-D capable — and 7.1 Dolby Surround Sound. This fall, Pentangle will begin screening HD events such as the National Theatre Live in additional to movies.

The digital theater celebrates its grand opening weekend starting on Friday with free popcorn and no surcharge for 3-D showings of Star Trek Into Darkness. Meanwhile, don’t worry about the fate of THT’s 35mm projectors: They’ll find a new home at Bethel’s Randall Drive-In Theatre, which can use them to host occasional programs of old B-flicks.

Woodstock Town Hall Theatre Digital Cinema Opening Weekend: Friday, June 21, through Monday, June 24, with showings of Star Trek Into Darkness nightly at 7:30 p.m. pentanglearts.org/movies.

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The latest film from director Terrence Malick, To the Wonder, didn’t draw quite the audience or the rave reviews that The Tree of Life did — despite a starring turn from Ben Affleck. Fans of the director’s work who missed its run at the Savoy Theater can catch the film this Thursday at a screening presented by the Burlington Film Society and Main Street Landing Performing Arts Center.

‘To the Wonder’: Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. at Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington. Free, donations accepted. facebook.com/burlingtonfilmsociety

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Anyone who’s ever wanted to draw comics for a living should see Cartoon College, a lively documentary about two years at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. The movie from local filmmakers Tara Wray and Josh Melrod — with cameos from a slew of famous cartoonists — is now available on iTunes and most video-on-demand platforms.

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When you live in Vermont, it’s not easy to see recent films from India, Egypt, Brazil, Iran or Serbia. The Fletcher Free Library, Burlington City Arts, the Vermont International Film Festival and the Burlington Film Society have partnered to change that by hosting the Global Lens Film Series, an annual curated program from the San Francisco-based Global Film Initiative.

Two free screenings will be held monthly through December, one at the library and one at the BCA Center. Up this month are Student, a modern version of Crime and Punishment set in Kazakhstan; and The Parade, in which a gay activist calls on the muscle of a Serbian crime boss to protect an embattled Pride celebration in Belgrade.

Global Lens Film Series: Student, Wednesday, June 19, 7 p.m. at Fletcher Free Library, Burlington. The Parade, Tuesday, June 25, 7 p.m. at the BCA Center, Burlington. Free, donations accepted. burlingtoncityarts.org

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“Your daughter went on her first date tonight, and she didn’t even leave her room,” a woman’s voice laments in a PSA commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, District of Vermont. The catch? Your daughter’s “date” was with an internet predator.

The PSA, which originally aired on WCAX, packs maximum creep value into a minimalist package — the predator appears only as glimpses of a darting eye and fingers on a keyboard. Earlier this month, the spot earned Derek Hallquist of Green River Pictures a New England Emmy.

Hallquist, who was director of photography on Eugene Jarecki’s The House I Live In, is working on his own feature documentary about energy issues. He tells Seven Days he plans to move his production company to New York in the near future but retain a satellite office in Vermont, because he “love[s] this state too much” to pull up stakes altogether.

PSAs are one way to spread a message, but the Population Media Center prefers a subtler approach of educating via entertainment. Soapy entertainment. The Shelburne-based organization produces “soap operas for social change” — compelling serialized dramas seeded with information about reproductive health and family planning.

The PMC’s latest project, “East Los High,” takes place in an East LA high school and has drawn attention as the first English-language serial with an all-Latino cast. The episode synopses promise plenty of drama: stripping, pregnancy, drug deals, blackmail! The Los Angeles Times named the show a TV pick, drawing comparisons to the straight-talking Canadian serial “Degrassi High.”

For a taste, go to your browser instead of the tube: “East Los High” began streaming on Hulu on June 3. Can a teen soap about family-planning issues in the Northeast Kingdom be far behind?

Watch the PSA on vimeo.com or at grpvt.com/internetpredators.

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