WORLDWIDE FILM AL FRESCO
Three of San Diego's film festivals have curated a collection of international movies, which'll be screened at the outdoor Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park at 8 p.m. every Thursday through July.
The International Film Series is yet another cool event organized by local artists and arts organizations for Balboa Park's centennial. As the now-familiar narrative goes, these grassroots efforts have managed to save the celebration despite the lack of funding from the city, which burned through millions of dollars on consultants who came up empty-handed.
"Through all the controversies and the whole process, we've been around as someone who could bring together the different film festivals for a great community event," says Brian Hu, artistic director of Pacific Arts Movement (Pac-Arts), which organizes the San Diego Asian Film Festival and other film happenings. "And from the very beginning we knew we wanted various film festivals to have a turn to pick a film. All we told them was it needs to be something appropriate to play outdoors in a public park and it should be a film they're proud of."
Hu and his team (CityBeat film editor Glenn Heath Jr. works for Pac-Arts) asked the Latino Film Festival and the Italian Film Festival to pitch in. Each independently ended up selecting documentaries.
Pac-Arts' pick, Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, a compilation of clips from decades of Indian cinema, will screen Thursday, July 9. The Latino Film Festival's contribution, Messi, about one of the world's best soccer players, will screen Thursday, July 16. And the Italian festival's look into the history of the world-famous Italian Orchestra, The Italian Character, shows Thursday, July 23. A collection of short films curated by the three festivals will screen Thursday July 30.
"And these aren't just leftover films we've shown at past festivals," Hu says. "These are films we specifically chose for this—films that will work best at this historic outdoor site. They really are perfect pairings."
AMERICA AT PLAY
Coney Island gets the highbrow treatment with "Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008," opening at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park Saturday, July 11. Locals can see the famous theme park through the eyes of painter Reginald Marsh, photographer Walker Evans, multimedia artist Red Grooms and several others who've documented Coney Island from its early-1900s heyday through the twists and turns that kept it culturally significant. In addition to more than 100 pieces on display, a handful of film and sound samples representative of the Coney Island experience will also be playing. Keep your eyes peeled for tons of summer programming focused on this quirky show, including the "Painting on Tap" event at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30, at Panama 66. $12 general admission.
YUK IT UP
You can argue our city's standing in the world of music, or just relax and enjoy an evening of "Sounds Like San Diego VII" at the Museum of Making Music (5790 Armada Dr.) in Carlsbad. The artists on tap, all with local connections, include guitarist Greg Douglass (Steve Miller Band, Greg Kihn Band), Lester Abrams (Doobie Brothers co-writer of "Minute by Minute") and Roni Lee (Runaways co-writer of "I Wanna Be Where The Boys Are"). The lineup, with more artists on tap and some more to be announced, is presented in partnership with Blindspot Records and curated by journalist/musician Bart Mendoza. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Tickets range from $20-$25; museum members get a 10 percent discount.
Does your event deserve to be featured here? Email Kinsee Morlan.