Westchester Fall Film Events: If These Knishes Could Talk, YoFi Fest, Shadows in Paradise

If These Knishes Could Talk
September 11
Avon Theatre Film Center, Stamford, CT
(203) 967-3660; avontheatre.org
Do your coworkers make fun of you for having a cup of “cawfee” in the morning? Or do they know exactly what you’re talkin’ ’bout? Heather Quinlin, a director who’s lived in all five boroughs of New York City, set out to make a documentary about the inimitable New Yawk accent. (According to the filmmaker, there’s even a New York twinge to American Sign Language.) Quinlin will be on-hand for a Q&A after a screening of the film at the Avon Theatre Film Center. 

The Red Shoes; courtesy of Jacob Burns Film CenterDance on Film
Opens October 10
Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville
(914) 747-5555; burnsfilmcenter.org
If film excels at one thing, it’s capturing the beauty of movement. The Jacob Burns Film Center celebrates that notion once again with its annual Dance on Film series. Movies range from The Red Shoes, presented in a new award-winning digital restoration, to Dance Like a Man, a documentary about Cuban identical male triplets at Cuba’s renowned National Ballet School, to Pilobolus at Forty, which will be followed by a Q&A with Pilobolus choreographers moderated by dance legend and Mount Kisco resident Peter Pucci. 

YoFi Fest
October 11 – October 13
Yonkers Riverfront Library, Yonkers

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From Goodbye Columbus to Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, we always knew that Yonkers was a hotbed of filmmaking. Now, film and TV pros have banded together to bring a festival worthy of Yonkers to the city, with a slate of feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, and animation—as well as lectures and panel discussions on film. The festival takes place at the state-of-the-art screening room in the Yonkers Riverfront Library. 

Shadows in Paradise
November 8
Copland House at Merestead
Mount Kisco
(914) 788-4659; coplandhouse.org
In the lead-up to World War II, the United States saw its fair share of artistic exiles emigrate from Europe. The documentary Shadows in Paradise: Hitler’s Exiles in Hollywood highlights some of these individuals, who ended up in Los Angeles. Director Peter Rosen introduces a screening of the documentary at Copland House at Merestead. Then, on November 10, Copland House follows up with a performance of the work of East Coast expatriates, including Kurt Weill, Lukas Foss, and Alexander von Zemlinsky. 

Dave SteckYonkers on Yonkers

“Yonkers—and, in fact, all of Westchester, is a terrific place to film,” says Dave Steck, the executive director of YoFi Fest (aka The Yonkers Film Festival) and owner of the award-winning production company Numeric Pictures (numericpictures.com). “With its diverse locations and close proximity to New York City, it has been the backdrop for many great movies and TV shows.” Though Steck admits it’s tough to choose the best, we pressed him for five of his favorite Yonkers-related films (listed in chronological order).

The Hustler (1961)
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
“Legend has it that some of the scenes were filmed in a pool hall near Getty Square in Yonkers called the Seven Wells, at 7 Wells Street. This nuanced and brutal story of character provided a breakthrough role for a young Paul Newman and tells the story of what it takes to be a winner or loser. While it features some amazing pool playing—much of it done by the stars themselves—the game is just a backdrop for some even more impressive filmmaking and performances by the entire cast.”

The Flamingo Kid (1984)
MGM Home Video
“With scenes shot at the Yonkers Raceway, this film features a fantastic performance by Matt Dillon as a Brooklyn kid learning a hard lesson about easy money. It’s one of those rare films that succeeds at simultaneously being both a fun summer coming-of-age comedy and a lesson about family, life, and honesty.”

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The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
The Criterion Collection
“Filmed partly on location in Yonkers, this is a great example of the brilliance of Wes Andersen and the talents of the entire ensemble cast. It tells the absurdly funny and touching story of an eccentric family whose early successes lose momentum as the pressures of adult life—and their father—weigh on them.”

Far From Heaven (2002)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
“This multi-Academy-Award-nominated film was produced by Yonkers’ own Declan Baldwin and shot partly on location in Yonkers, including beautifully sweeping shots of the Yonkers train station. Using filmmaking techniques, color palettes, and scoring styles of the late 1950s, the film brilliantly presents a story of a suburban couple, played by Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid, who are each straining against social mores of the times as their marriage becomes strained and they grow apart.”

Doubt (2008)
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
“Shot partly on location at the Saint Mark’s Lutheran Church’s school in Yonkers and at Yonkers Stage, this film is an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play. It garnered Oscar nominations for several of its stars—Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis—and its writer, John Patrick Shanley. Each of these intense and riveting performances capture the viewer early and hold them throughout this thought-provoking film.”

» For more from the 2013 Fall Arts Preview, click here

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