As if to answer the music industry’s popular Record Store Day, the film business has concocted Art House Theater Day. Organized by the Art House Convergence (a consortium of independent, community-based, mission-driven movie theaters), the event aims to be a nationwide celebration of the country’s small, independently owned specialty film theaters that we’ve come to love and cherish (and take for granted).
The inaugural event takes place this year on Saturday, Sept. 24. To commemorate the event, the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque will offer a special program that includes a collection of recent French animated shorts and a two-part, three-film “Cahn Film Festival” featuring the work of director Edward L. Cahn, best known as the director of several B-movies. At the start of his career, he made “three shockingly grim and startlingly good films” that “form a kind of unholy triptych, three variations on the bottomless theme of American corruption and violence.” Nice!
Film curator Dave Kehr, who recently programmed this trio of Cahn classics at MoMA, describes his significance in the following manner: "Eddie Cahn's films are amazing. This guy was a major, major talent who just got washed out of the business because he was so far ahead of his time and so grim. They are just jaw-dropping…unbelievable."
The New Faces of French Animation program begins at 5 p.m. on the 24th. Tickets are $2. The Cahn Film Festival includes two programs. The first takes place at 6:40 p.m. and then repeats at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25. The second, dubbed a “pre-code double feature,” takes place at 8:30 p.m. Admission to each of those programs is $11, $8 for Cinematheque members, CIA & CSU I.D. holders, and those age 25 and under.
Paul Bauer will introduce Saturday’s films and TV critic Mark Dawidziak will do the honors on Sunday night. The two co-authored the 2011 book Jim Tully: American Writer, Irish Rover, Hollywood Brawler
, which will be on sale at both shows.