The Sarasota Film Festival and The Historic Asolo

By twhalliii | THE BACK ROW MANIFESTO by Tom Hall February 12, 2007 at 4:39AM

The Sarasota Film Festival and The Historic Asolo
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This fall, a true treasure re-opened its doors in Sarasota when The Historic Asolo Theater at the Ringling Museum of Art hosted its Grand Opening. The theater is an 18th century playhouse from Asolo, Italy that was disassembled under Mussolini and purchased by an Italian art dealer who sold it to the Ringling Museum, which subsequently brought the dismantled theater to Sarasota, where it was reassembled in the 1950's. Whew! It closed a few decades ago, but thanks to the expansion at the Ringling, it has been fully restored and re-opened in the new Visitor's Center of the museum. It's a beautiful space, and one we're excited to integrate into the festival this year.

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The Historic Asolo Theater, circa 1958

On October 16, 2006, The Sarasota Film Festival launched a new program at the theater when we began our Monday Night Movies series at the Historic Asolo with a five film documentary program. The series was a hit, a chance for people to experience the newly restored theater and see films that otherwise wouldn't be seen in Sarasota. Four weeks ago, we began our second series, this time ten films from the Janus Films Collection*. The series has been a smash hit here in Sarasota, with hundreds showing up on Monday nights to check out the masterpieces we were able to program.

Tonight, one of my favorite films in the series, Yosujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story, hits the big screen at the Historic Asolo. I can't wait.

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Yasujiro Ozu's Tokyo Story


It should be a wonderful night of heartbreak and beauty. Plus, every time you attend, you can register to win a free copy of the Essential Art House: 50 Years of Janus Films Box Set, which we're giving away in a drawing at the March 26th screening of Renoir's The Rules Of The Game (my other personal favorite in the series). If you're in the area on a Monday night, be sure to stop by and catch one of these great movies while we have the opportunity to show them. It is a great experience to see the films in this historic setting, and I hope to see you there...

Treasures From The Janus Films Collection

Previous Screenings

January 22, 2007
La Strada by Federico Fellini
(Presented in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of The Ringling Clown College exhibition)

January 29, 2007
Children of Paradise (Les Enfants du Paradis) by Marcel Carné (1945),

February 5, 2006
Casque D’or by Jacques Becker

Upcoming Screenings

February 12, 2007
Tokyo Story by Yasujiro Ozu

February 19, 2007
Divorce Italian Style by Pietro Germi
(Presented in conjunction with dell’Arte Italiana)

February 26, 2007
Ashes and Diamonds by Andrezj Wajda
(Presented in conjunction with Sarasota Celebrates Poland and its Arts)

March 5, 2007
Knife In The Water by Roman Polanski
(Presented in conjunction with Sarasota Celebrates Poland and its Arts)

March 12, 2007
The Magic Flute by Ingmar Bergman

March 19, 2007
Summertime by David Lean

March 26, 2007
Rules of The Game by Jean Renoir

*Thanks to Sarah Finklea at Janus for her constant support of our festival.