Sunday, July 14, 2019

Tonight's Movie: Cinevangelist: A Life in Revival Film (2018)

As I've recounted here in the past, I grew up watching classic films in a variety of Los Angeles revival houses. These screenings fed my existing love for classic films and deepened it to an even greater extent, playing a huge role in my developing into the classic film lover I continue to be today.

I was thus interested when Matt Barry let me know about a short documentary he directed, CINEVANGELIST: A LIFE IN REVIVAL FILM (2018).

It's a 25-minute movie about George Figgs, a Baltimore film historian and revival theater owner. Matt was a young film buff in the '90s when he first got to know George, and now years later this documentary pays tribute to his friend.

CINEVANGELIST is essentially a one-person interview, as Figgs discusses his lifelong love affair with films. He describes how he first came to love movies as a very young child at neighborhood theaters, moving on to art films and films shown on TV in the '50s and '60s.

His discussion of the "nostalgia craze" of the '70s especially resonated with me as that was the era when I first attended classic movies as a child in L.A. revival theaters.

He also talks about his work screening films in various venues, including his Orpheum Cinema in Baltimore.

I especially love this quote by Figgs about theater screens: "In my mind it has a memory...screens remember the ghosts of all the films that have run on them." A beautiful thought.

I knew nothing about Figgs prior to watching this film and enjoyed learning about his life and work. I suspect my fellow classic film fans would enjoy this short look at one man's life in the world of classic films.

CINEVANGELIST is available for digital rental or purchase at Vimeo on Demand.  (2020 Update: CINEVANGELIST is no longer available from Vimeo on Demand so I have removed that link.  It is now available for digital rental or purchase at the Kino Lorber streaming platform Kino Now.)

A trailer is available here.

Thanks to Matt Barry for providing an online screener of this film for review.


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