Nota Bene: Film Forum Reopens

August is here and, just in time, Film Forum has reopened after a long-overdue renovation. The place is almost a half-century old. “Not bad” (as their website notes) “for a scrappy non-profit that started with 50 folding chairs and a 16mm projector the size of a breadbox.”

More than just another arthouse, Film Forum is one of the last standing temples of American cinephilia, the sort of place that can mix obscure spaghetti westerns and avant-garde documentaries with an Andrei Tarkovsky retrospective and the latest in Iranian or South Korean cinema without missing a beat. Plus, the popcorn is amazing, even sans butter.

The Times published some recollections about Film Forum, from filmmakers like John Turturro to Christopher Nolan. Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) speaks for many cinephiles’ aching backsides:

Their renovations sound wonderful, because, yes, we all know, their seats were a little uncomfortable and the sightlines were not ideal — but their programming was so impeccable that we went anyway.

At the Movies: Don’t Talk, Really

As anybody who has gone to a movie in the theater in the last few decades can attest, the whole “no talking” thing has never been completely adopted by the larger population. Some people, in fact, seem to view exercise of going to the movie theater as no different from watching TV at home with family and friends. Different strokes.

All theaters make some pretense of telling people to be quiet and turn off their phones. But nobody is as hardcore about it as the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, Texas. The Alamo (which is now starting to expand around the country) has long been an oasis of film fandom, with their mix of deep repertory selections, cult classics and smartly curated second-runs—not to mention a great menu and beer selection.

They also really don’t like talkers and texters, bless their hearts. As can be attested to here: