Keyframe Spotlight: Two Weeks In the City of Cinema Guild

"In the City of Sylvia" is just one of several outstanding recent titles from Cinema Guild.

Being a dedicated film-goer in New York City throughout the 2000s, I thought I knew all of the key distributon companies of the specialty arthouse films I faithfully followed. So when I made my year-end top ten list for 2009, I was startled to find that three films on my list – Beeswax, 35 Shots of Rum, and 24 City – were all distributed by a company I had never heard of: The Cinema Guild. In 2010 they followed up by releasing my #1 film for that year, Everyone Else. Again, I wondered, who were these guys, and how did they come from out of nowhere to carry so many of my favorite new films?

I was surprised to learn that the company wasn’t a young upstart but had been established since 1968, founded by Philip and Mary-Ann Hobel, producers of several documentaries and features, including the Oscar-winning Robert Duvall vehicle Tender Mercies. In recent years, under the operational guidance of Ryan Krivoshey, the company has experienced something of a revival, steadily increasing its acquisitions of worthy international and American independent films from some of the most intriguing filmmakers working today. The results speak for themselves; at least they’ve made their impact known on my annual top ten lists.

So I am pleased and honored to dedicate this week and next to a fortnight of coverage on Cinema Guild. Each day Keyframe will post essays, interviews, videos and other features related to films from this stellar label. I hope this content will offer you the same sensations of delight and discovery that I had when I first encountered the films of Cinema Guild. Best of all, you can watch the films here on Fandor – click on any of the titles to the left.

FEATURE INDEX (to be updated throughout the two-week Cinema Guild fortnight):

When You’re Agnes Varda, Life’s a Beach (of Your Own Making)

Essential Images: Finding Beauty “In the City of Sylvia”

German Precision in a World Gone Haywire: The Films of Christian Petzold

Mixing and Manipulating China’s History: Jia Zhangke’s “24 City”

Musings on the Muse: The Actress as Inspiration in “À tout de suite”

A Lifetime of Images at Play on “The Beaches of Agnes”

Bringing New Life to Arthouse Films: Interview with Cinema Guild’s Ryan Krivoshey

Watching The Movies That Watch Us, From “Sherlock Jr.” to “Shirin”

The Social Network: Talking Beeswax

Essential Timecode: The Painterly Beauty of “Eccentricities of a Blonde Haired Girl”

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