Monday, May 20, 2013

CinEvent brings retro-film appreciation to Columbus, May 24-27

[CinEvent takes place Friday May 24 th through Monday May 27 th at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Columbus, OH.]

Event preview by Charles Cassady, Jr.

Ever since LeBron James left, the most significant thing about Cleveland has been…uh…er…I can’t really think of anything at the moment. Anyone up for a Memorial Day weekend road trip?

And if anyone still has money to buy gasoline (which leaves me out), the prime destination this weekend ought to be an Ohio Memorial Day tradition, CinEvent. This has been an annual Columbus movie expo for 45 years now, taking place in 2013 at the Ramada Plaza Hotel in Columbus.

For those of you, I think the word is “grownups,” who actually knew that THE GREAT GATSBY was derived from an F. Scott Fitzerald novel, not a superhero comic, CinEvent is more for you than a lot of weekend nostalgia expos. This one is lovingly oriented toward the classics of Hollywood’s golden age (sorry, HANGOVER 3 doesn’t count – and neither will HANGOVER 4 or 5), the silent and the early talkies, plus “late” entries going up to the 1950s and 60s. Fittingly, CinEvent is the state’s oldest and movie expo.

At CinEvent one can participate in one of the region’s biggest auctions of classic movie posters and lobby cards, or browse at more than 170 tables of dealer tables full of movie merchandise, trading in everything from autographed star portraits to animation cels to rare tie-in paperbacks to ephemera, to the ultimate movie collectibles - movies. Not mere VHS or digital discs (there will be those as well), but actual 8mm, 16mm and 35mm reels of celluloid film, tons of it, often sold by the milk-crateful for home hobbyists whose in-home theaters have actual celluloid-film projects. Fan conventions like CinEvent are the primary marketplace for buffs from all over the country to come together and shop for footage.

With so much film in one place, it inevitably gets shown. During CinEvent hours, morning to midnight, there will be nearly continuous movies being screened, all of them oldies, most of them rare, some silent with live piano accompaniment. Treats this year include a silent Moby Dick adaptation starring the legendary John Barrymore called THE SEA BEAST; the 1944 Columbia Pictures horror obscurity CRY OF THE WEREWOLF; a marathon of shorts featuring mustachioed, high-speed slapstick comedian Charlie Chase; and 1953’s THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T, a fantasy about a mad, Bond-villain-like piano teacher that was the ONLY screenplay specifically created for the silver screen by a red-hot children’s book author called…Dr. Seuss.

Off-site, at the illustrious Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, there will be special tie-in screenings Thursday of some early-1930s features, including Edward G. Robinson in LITTLE GIANT and Fay Wray in BLACK MOON, that have a reputation for being unusually sexy/intense, before the installation of the notorious Hayes Code ushered in a long era of morality-dictated studio self-censorship. Or, as some would call it, the good old days when something like MOVIE 43 could never happen – score one for the Hayes Code on that.

CinEvent itself opens Friday at 9 am and runs through Monday, Memorial Day, closing at about lunchtime as well (some of the Out-of-state dealers make an early start home, some don't). Registration for the whole convention is $45 at the door, with special one-day admissions to dealers areas and all films.

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