Second shot
Revamped JC Film Forum reopens
by E. Assata Wright
Reporter staff writer
Sep 13, 2012 | 4831 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When the Jersey City Film Forum shut down last year after making its debut in April 2010, founder Yvonne Varima vowed the forum would return. She figured it would take a year or so to reorganize.

The film forum made its return over the summer and hopes to fill an important void. At present, there are few movie houses the feature revival films year round. New York City once had as many as five or six such movie houses, and is now down to one or two. The local Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre shows revival films, but only during some seasons of the year.

Like other film forums that exist in several other cities, including New York, the Jersey City Film Forum is run as a nonprofit organization that features screenings of movie revivals and independent cinema. The film forum will distinguish itself from the programming at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre near Jersey City’s Journal Square since their missions are different.

The Loew’s has a permanent home that happens to be an historic institution. Much of what they do, both in terms of the films they showcase and other events they put on, is done to help them raise money for the theater. They are trying to complete theater renovations. So, they need to raise money for their designated home and their programming is tied to that mission. The Film Forum is not tied to a specific space that needs a fundraising stream.

An historic movie theater that opened in 1929, the Landmark Loew’s now considers itself to be an “arts and entertainment center” that hosts classic movies, music concerts, and arts-related conventions. The Loew’s can also be rented by members of the public for such private events as weddings. Run by the nonprofit organization Friends of the Loew’s, the theater has undergone more than $1 million in renovations, though more work is still needed.

The focus of the Jersey City Film Forum will be movies that people either haven’t heard of before, or may have missed when they were originally released, since a lot of smaller or independent films get very limited runs in theaters when they come out.

Fall pairings

This fall, the Jersey City Film Forum will screen Autumn Duets, film pairings that will be shown on consecutive Sundays through October. The four themes that were selected are German cinema, Jersey noir, Andy Warhol, and Halloween.

The forum’s “Jersey noir” diet featured the 1972 movie “The King of Marvin Gardens” with Jack Nicholson on Sunday, Sept. 23. Directed by Bob Rafelson of “Five Easy Pieces” fame, “The King of Marvin Gardens” is described as a modern-day Cain and Abel tale. “The King of Marvin Gardens” will be followed by a screening of “Cop Land” starring Sylvester Stallone on Sunday, Sept. 30.

Two Warhol-related movies will be featured in early October. “It” girl Edie Sedgewick’s rise to fame as part of Warhol’s Factory scene and drug-related death at age 28 are documented in the 1972 movie “Ciao Manhattan,” which will be screened on Sunday, October 7. Its Warhol pairing for the film forum series will be the terrific dramatic feature “I Shot Andy Warhol” starring Lili Taylor. The movie is a biography of playwright Valerie Solanas who did indeed shoot the real Andy Warhol in 1968.

In time for the spooky season, two little-known horror movies – “Suspira,” by Italian Director Dario Argento, and Sam Rami’s 1993 film “Army of Darkness” – will round out the Autumn Duets season on Sunday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 28, respectively.

The German cinema film coupling began on Sunday, Sept. 9 with the acclaimed 2006 movie “The Lives of Others” and will continue on Sunday, Sept. 16 with the 1931 movie “Girls in Uniform.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. with the films screened at 7:30.

Outside beverages are welcome, and are also sold by the film forum staff. Food, however, is not permitted in the screening room.

For more information, visit

E-mail E. Assata Wright at

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