309 Cherry St.
The Toynbee Tiles are a remarkable phenomenon, particularly within Philadelphia. The tiles are usually found embedded in streets and on the pavement, and they’re often inscribed with a bizarre reference to resurrecting the dead on the planet Jupiter. Though the origin of the tiles remains a modern mystery, filmmaker Jon Foy set out to unravel their story in his 2011 documentary, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Foy focuses on the research of Justin Duerr, a Philadelphia native, musician and visual artist who has searched for an explanation of the Toynbee Tiles for years.
The cast and crew of the film are heading to Gallery309 later this month for a screening and discussion, though tickets are limited. Prior to the show, you can also check out Stranger Things Have Never Happened, Duerr’s installation in the gallery. Resurrect Dead was a hit on the festival circuit, and a film that touches so close to home should have you on the lookout for these strange tiles next time you’re wandering about town.
Best Way to Appreciate What’s Going on in Film Right Now: The Future and Beginners: The Artist as Filmmaker
401 S. Broad St
The Philadelphia Film Society is a fairly reliable cultural aggregator, and though being a member has its benefits (free sneak previews of Pirates: Band of Misfits!), many of its events are also open to the public. On July 11, the PFS will screen two films at the Gershman YMCA, artist/fiction–writer/filmmaker Miranda July’s latest, The Future, and her husband Mike Mills’s enthusiastically–received Beginners. Both were released in the last couple of years and (as the program’s title implies) were made by directors who ventured from the visual arts into movie–making. The fact that July and Mills are married is, well, incidental, but the screening itself forms part of a monthly series celebrating the confluence of film and other art forms. Tickets are free for students.
3701 Chestnut St
Still on campus in mid–May? Because the International House is showing something you definitely haven’t seen before, art snob. “Secret Cinema Blind Date” celebrates 35mm film — the toast of every cinema purist — which will be discontinued as a format for new movies in 2013. Having recently obtained a 35mm projector, I–House will play all of the reels they’ve collected throughout the years, none of which they’ve ever seen. The nature of these mystery clips is eclectic: trailers, short films, company videos and more. What binds them all is I–House’s supposed knack for collection, but you can be the judge of that. Tickets are $8 for students and the screening will take place in the Ibrahim Theater.
Rocky helped define Sylvester Stallone’s career, but it also added a certain (further) rough–and–tumble flavor to our dear Philadelphia, city of the underdog. This summer, make the movie a reality with the Awfully Nice Tour of Rocky and Rocky Balboa’s filming locales, from the Italian Market to the PMA steps. Wait, on second thought, don’t. While the concept itself is a fantastic idea, Awfully Nice Tours is charging over a $100 per person (discounts on group rates!) for this adventure, something you could easily organize yourself.
Ditch the grotesque commercialization on this one and just take yourself on your own montage — run up the PMA steps, browse the Italian Market, jog along the Schuylkill, digest the American dream at Pat’s and explore City Hall. For a full list of walkable locations, just watch Rocky. Or Google it. But don’t surrender yourself to this exploitative drek; live Rocky with some friends, not strangers and tour guides.