The AFS Screening Series at LPCA resumes Jan. 26-27 with WONDERSTRUCK,
“a lovely ode to the imagination” from the director of “Carol”

Based on the novel of the same name by Brian Selznick, who wrote the film’s screenplay, this mystery-drama tells the story of two deaf children from eras 50 year apart who set out on quests that unfold with mesmerizing symmetry.

poster Wonderstruck-3376x5000LAKE PLACID, NY—Directed by Todd Haynes, whose previous films include the highly acclaimed “Carol,” this mystery/drama tells the story of two children from two different eras who secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known, while Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his home and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out on quests that unfold with mesmerizing symmetry.

WONDERSTRUCK is based on the novel of the same name by Brian Selznick, who wrote the film’s screenplay, and stars Oscar winner (for “Still Alice”) Julianne Moore, Oakes Fegley, Millicent Simmonds, Jaden Michael, Cory Michael Smith, Tom Noonan and Michelle Williams. The film was nominated for the 2017 Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, the festival’s highest award.

Full synopsis: In 1927, a young girl runs away from home in New Jersey and makes her way to Manhattan, hoping to find someone who was an important part of her past. Fifty years later, a deaf boy befallen by personal tragedy finds a clue about his family that leads him to run away from rural Minnesota to New York. As their adventures lead them to strange new places, where mysteries about themselves and the world seem to lurk around every corner, their stories of discovery reach across years of silence and regret, and find each other through a mesmerizing symmetry driven by wonder and hope.

Millicent Simmonds as Rose.

Millicent Simmonds. Photo: Myles Aronowitz.

For Rose (Millicent Simmonds), life under the strict control of her father is typical for a deaf child of her era, kept out of public view with little connection to the world outside of her beloved scrapbook, an elaborate, living work of art dedicated mostly to the career of an actress, Lillian Mayhew (Julianne Moore). When Mayhew comes to New York to open up a new play, Rose manages to find her way into Manhattan, hoping to connect to the silent movie star. For lifelong Minnesotan Ben (Oakes Fegley), his deafness is recent, the result of a freak accident that occurred shortly after the loss of his mother, free-spirited Elaine (Michelle Williams). Sorting through her things, he finds a clue about his unknown father – a souvenir book from New York City. He boards a bus, unbeknownst to his bereft aunt, and eventually arrives in Manhattan.

For both young people, their inability to hear and communicate (neither know sign language) makes their quest in the big city fraught with excitement and danger. Their simple goals quickly turn complex as the chaos and confusion of city streets derail them. Despite their maturity and determination, they are easily overwhelmed and reluctant to seek help. Both wind up seeking solace at the American Museum of Natural History, where new and old friends join them in confronting the questions that Rose and Ben so desperately need answered.

“Todd Haynes’s cleverly bifurcated tale of two children is a lovely ode to imagination and to the stories that make us who we are.”—Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“It says something about the power of Selznick’s books that first Martin Scorsese and now Todd Haynes [have] lovingly adapted his beautiful stories into films that adults and older children enjoy.”—Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media

Rated PG * Running time: 115 minutes

Julianne Moore and Oakes Fegley

Julianne Moore and Oakes Fegley. Photo: Mary Cybulski.


At the top (left to right): Jaden Michael, Oakes Fegley and Julianne Moore. Photo: Mary Cybulski.

All images courtesy of Amazon Studios and Roadside Attractions

Adirondack Film Society: A Tradition of Innovative Programming

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Best-known as the organization that brings you the annual Lake Placid Film Forum, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) has been doing innovative film programming on an ever-widening North Country canvas for more than 15 years now.

In addition to the Film Forum, the AFS has presented a slew of silent film classics—with live organ accompaniment—at the historic Palace Theatre in downtown Lake Placid; initiated a mostly monthly Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in September 2014, now in its fourth year; and played an instrumental role in the “Go Digital, Go Dark” campaign that resulted in several North Country movie houses receiving the necessary funding to purchase and install digital equipment to enable to continue to operate as first-run film venues. In fact, the AFS is currently collaborating with one of the movie houses—the Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake, NY—on a second season of special programming during the summer of 2017.

The Adirondack Film Society, in its dual role as the Adirondack Film Commission, is also in the process of developing a program to encourage filmmakers to make movies and shoot videos right here in Essex County, NY, and assist them when they are here, as well as to nurture homegrown filmmaking among the many talented artists already living in the region.

When it comes to programming, the Adirondack Film Society doesn’t just screen films—it curates, analyzes, and seeks to help educate audience members about the films it presents. One way it often does this is by presenting the creators of the films themselves, in intimate, small-venue settings—where filmgoers can actually meet the filmmakers or, when they are presented remotely such as via Skype, experience these artists as real people.

Thank you for visiting and for your interest in, and ongoing support of, film as art and the art of filmmaking!

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