Small screen discoveries

Posted July 5, 2007

Trying for gold

In addition to the big-screen films shown every night at Island movie theaters, there are three smaller-screen pictures that are worth seeing, brought here by different organizations and shown at individual venues.

This Friday, July 6, The Martha's Vineyard Film Society presents "So Glad I Made It: The Saga of Roger Salloom, America's Best Unknown Songwriter," at the Katharine Cornell Theatre. By filmmaker Chris Sautter, the story is about singer/songwriter Roger Salloom, and his attempt to boost his career. The subject of the film, Roger Salloom, is a Massachusetts native from Worcester. His influences ranged from Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie to Ray Charles and the Kingston Trio. He has played with greats such as The Band, Van Morrison, and Santana, survived band breakups, currently performs yearly in Western Massachusetts's largest free concert of the year, and continues to make music out of love.

Join the filmmaker after the film for a Q&A session, which will be followed by a set of live songs by Roger and his band.

"So Glad I Made It: The Saga of Roger Salloom, Friday, July 6, 8 pm, Katharine Cornell Theatre, Spring Street, Vineyard Haven. Martha's Vineyard Film Society. $10; $8 for members.

At the Hebrew Center

At the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, "The Ashkenazim," a film about European-born Jews who live in Israel, plays this Sunday, July 8, at 7:30 pm. Directed by Dalia Mevorach and Dani Dothan, the film is a short 52 minutes with subtitles, and is considered "avant-garde comedy and wrenching emotional confession," by the Boston Jewish Film Festival. It chronicles how the young Jews of Ashkenazi descent fight, reclaim, or discard their European history, and their attempt to assimilate Israeli and European culture.

Prior to the film, guest speaker Rony Yedidia, Counsel of Israel at the Consulate General of Israel to New England, will give a talk.

Following the feature film, a 22-minute short film, "West Bank Story," will be shown. An Oscar-winning short in 2006, this is a comedy about an Israeli soldier who falls in love with a Palestinian girl.

"The Ashkenazim" and "West Bank Story," Sunday, July 8, 7:30 pm, doors open at 6:45 pm, at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center, 130 Center Street, Vineyard Haven. $10. 508-693-0745.

Laughing at death's door

The Martha's Vineyard Film Society presents their second film of the week, "Expiration Date," on Tuesday, July 10, at the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs. Described as a romantic tale, the film tells the story of Charlie Silver Cloud III, whose father and grandfather were killed on their 25th birthdays by milk trucks.

The film begins with Charlie's 25th birthday approaching. He has accepted his fate, to the dismay of his mother, who is demarking milk truck routes on their city map of Seattle. While he is trying to be reasonable, such as shop for a casket, she works to prevent his death.

The story gets romantic as Charlie meets Besse, who also claims to be at death's door. The two's philosophies, her take on dying and his refusal to keep living, bind the two together. When hidden truths and agendas are discovered, the story gets out of hand. Doors open at 7:15 pm, and the film begins at 8 pm.

"Expiration Date," Tuesday, July 10, 8 pm, Tabernacle, Campgrounds, Oak Bluffs. Martha's Vineyard Film Society. $8; $5 for members.