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companies who are all doing their best to save rare prints from being destroyed, dumped, or otherwise permanently withdrawn from the public sphere.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

To view A Bay of Blood click here. A Bay of Blood (1971) shares something in common with Friday the 13th (1980), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Brazil (1985). The first commonality is obvious as A Bay of Blood was clearly a huge influence on Friday the 13th (director Sean S. Cunningham cribs Mario Bava’s […]

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To view The Decline of Western Civilization click here. To view The Decline of Western Civilization, Part III click here. It was in January of 2001 while I was talking to Ozzy Osbourne about David Bradley’s They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1968) that I first met Penelope Spheeris. She and Ozzy were doing press interviews at […]

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To view Dogtooth click here. “Dogtooth has the surrealism of Buñuel, the scalpel of Haneke, the underground horror of a thriller without the splatter.” It’s hard to improve on that summation, made October 22nd, 2009, by the Greek film critic Dimitris Danikas in Ta Nea (The News), a daily newspaper of Athens. Dogtooth won the […]

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To view Jubilee click here. Jubilee (1979) by Derek Jarman, the experimental filmmaker and activist who also made music videos for bands such as The Sex Pistols, Throbbing Gristle, The Smiths, Bob Geldof, Pet Shop Boys and Patti Smith, is a punk, dystopian film that transports Queen Elizabeth I forward in time to the Britain of […]

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To view Eraserhead click here. What do John Waters, Stanley Kubrick, H.R. Giger, and The Pixies all have in common? For starters, they all share a very high regard for a feature film whose script was only 22 pages long and which took five years to make: David Lynch’s directorial debut, Eraserhead (1977). My own […]

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To view The Last Laugh click here. Nowadays when I talk with my friends about F.W. Murnau (1888 – 1931) they are usually familiar with Nosferatu (1922) or Sunrise (1927). Between those two classics is another masterpiece released in 1924 that is usually overlooked, and one that Georges Sadoul, in his Dictionary of Film Makers […]

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To view Art School Confidential click here. Director Terry Zwigoff got his start with a short documentary about an obscure country-blues musician that was titled Louie Blue (1985). In 1994 he hit the big time with Crumb, another documentary but this time one focused on the famous underground cartoonist Robert Crumb. Crumb won countless awards […]

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To view Shoot First, Die Later click here. Here’s how I’d pitch Fernando Di Leo’s Shoot First, Die Later (1974) to any of my friends: If you’d like to see a gritty Italian crime movie that evokes The French Connection (1971) and surely influenced Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, look no further than this grim […]

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To view Accattone click here. Pimps, thugs, prostitutes, thieves and other miscreants, these are the denizens of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Accattone (1961). “Accattone,” a slang term for beggars and bums, is also the nickname given to Vittorio, our antihero, as played by Franco Citti in a break-out role that would bring him fame at the […]

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To view The Red Balloon click here. I like to think of silent cinema as our very own Tower of Babel as built by our great grandfathers in the late 1800′s and early 1900′s. Most pre-talkies required only a few scant intertitles here and there to be translated into different languages before being exported around […]

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