Pablo Kjolseth (aka keelsetter)
Pablo Kjolseth

I've been a film exhibitor for over 25 years and have programmed many rare U.S. film premieres in a variety of venues, from small bars to large concert halls. For a small chunk of time I also worked in the acquisitions department of the Starz cable channel, where I read scripts and helped with programming. That was an impressive and mighty ship that was hard to abandon, but a long time ago I decided to jump that ride in favor of being the captain of a smaller vessel: the International Film Series in Boulder, Colorado.

The IFS is like a small tugboat compared to the massive cruise ship of cable tv, but it afforded me the freedom to go into uncharted waters. The IFS is a calendar film program that has been around since 1941, and unfurls over 100 independent and repertory movies a year via two campus venues.

We recently salvaged over a dozen 35mm projectors from nearby multiplexes for parts and pieces that will allow us to continue showing archive and reel-to-reel film prints into the foreseeable future, alongside the digital formats now required. The new DCP format has many advantages, but my goal is to keep both the past and present alive by still showing 35mm prints whenever possible.

I raise my glass to all the rogue agents, private collectors, pirates, and other genuine cinephiles working in smaller distribution companies who are all doing their best to save rare prints from being destroyed, dumped, or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the public sphere. It is because of these heroes that so many otherwise forgotten stories from our cinematic legacy might yet live at 24-frames-a-second, and I salute the people who still make it possible to fly this particular pirate flag high, large, and on the big screen.

Posts by Pablo Kjolseth

Luis Buñuel died in 1983 at 83 of cirrhosis of the liver in a hospital in Mexico City. The Spanish-born filmmaker was famous, in part, for being fearless in his critiques of organized religion and the bourgeoisie. His cinematic career started in 1929 with Un Chien Andalou (aka: An Andalusian Dog), a short film he […]

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FilmStruck has five titles available to view as part of a Behind the Iron Curtain theme. I originally set out to write about Barbara (2012) as it’s an interesting and unfairly overlooked gem dealing with a family doctor banished from East Berlin to a rural community. I still have a great poster for Barbara showing […]

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With the Oscar nominations recently announced, minds turn to the pending awards for specific titles and actors. Many of the technical awards are meant to highlight the people working behind the scenes and who make the movie magic happen. But what about the people behind the people behind the scenes? That’s where the Sundance Institute […]

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Gilliamesque is the title of the recent autobiography by Terry Gilliam (co-written by Ben Thompson). On the cover, the byline announces “A Pre-posthumous Memoir,” but when you open the book this byline has a black mark through it, as does the byline below that, “TG’s Bio(degradable) Autography,” also marked through is the third byline: “A […]

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Today’s topic is probably not the one you were expecting to see on Christmas Day proper, but as a film programmer I’ve always enjoyed counter-programming. With that in mind, my double-feature recommendation for FilmStruck viewers comes in the shape of two black comedies: La Poison (Sacha Guitry, 1951) and The Player (Robert Altman, 1992).

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Back when poster shops could be found next to any video arcades it was one of the more popular designs: an astronaut seated in a Corvette floating in space with a nebula cloud behind him. It was a poster for a movie that provided an anthology mix of animated science fiction and fantasy tales featuring […]

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He was (and remains) a titan in the arthouse world. One of his masterpieces was made for television and this year finally got a Blu-ray release (Dekalog, 1988), but it was The Double Life of Veronique (1991) that launched his international career and paved the way for the Three Colors – a trilogy of films […]

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  FilmStruck subscribers should take special note of the opportunity to acquaint themselves with one of the masters of Mexican cinema: Arturo Ripstein. Chances are that even ardent supporters of local arthouse cinemas are only familiar with Deep Crimson (1996), as that film got decent press and a solid release by New Yorker Films here […]

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The Creeping Flesh (Freddie Francis, 1973) screens on TCM later this week and it’s worth highlighting for several reasons. Oddly enough, for me anyway, the skeleton found in New Guinea by a Victorian scientist – one that can regenerate flesh and which is posited as some ancient embodiment of evil – is low on the […]

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Today heralds the beginning of “Frankenstein Sundays” taking place throughout October. TCM is, of course, referring mostly to Frankenstein’s monster, and not the person who gave birth to him in his mad scientist lab. Boris Karloff’s rendition of the monster is one of the reasons I became obsessed with movies at an early age. My […]

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