Another look at our design

click to enlarge

It’s been a long time since we’ve had something to report but I can assure that things are moving forward.  In the past month we’ve had some exciting meetings and are very close to finalizing a deal that will put everything in motion for the beginning of 2012.  We’ll give you a more concrete update when we can.

In the meantime, our wonderful architect Joe Self was kind enough to pass along a new rendering that shows you a whole new angle of the building.  I’m also including some nice conceptual hand-drawings that Joe did.  There’s also a few nerdy site plan drawings in there too just for fun.





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LSIFF ’11 – Citizen Suggests

In it’s fifth year the Lone Star International Film Festival is stronger than ever and proving itself to be a true cultural institution in Fort Worth.  We’re one of the sponsors of this years festival and happily so.  Festival Director Alec Jhangiani and his team (including the new Programming Director Kelly Williams) have really outdone themselves this year.  There will be plenty of great films and events to keep everybody happy.

Here’s a list of some recommendation from Amy and I for the festival.

First I’ll start with the highly recommend/anticipated films:

  • The Descendants – The opening night film from Alexander Payne starring George Clooney.  A very solid opener!
  • Pariah – This is the closing night film and we’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this Sundance hit.
  • The Artist – The film world is breathless with adoration for this silent epic.
  • The Bully Project - A solid documentary about one the most exigent topics of our time.
  • Rampart – Oren Moverman directed the critically acclaimed The Messenger and his new film is already garnering Oscar talk for Woody Harrelson’s performance.
  • Searching For Sonny – Made right here in Fort Worth by local filmmakers but that’s not the main reason you should see it.  It’s a very well crafted and entertaining genre-bending comedy.
  • Slacker 2011 – Linklater’s original is an Indie film classic and we couldn’t me more excited to see this retelling by some of today’s top Austin talent.
  • Thelma and Louise – One of the great American films on the big screen.  It’s a no brainer.
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin – It’s a Lynne Ramsay film starring Tilda Swinton.  We’re so there.
  • Thief – This classic 1981 crime film directed by the wonderful Michael Mann will be screening from a 35mm print!  We’ve heard that if you loved Drive you need to see this film.
  • Carrie – Screening on 35mm!  Why wouldn’t you watch this?  If you’ve never seen it on the big screen do yourself a favor.  Plus nobody does it better than fellow Texan Sissy Spacek.
  • The Innkeepers – A truly wonderful slow burning ghost story.  No torture and gore.  Just solidly crafted fright.

Here’s some other films we think are great or we’ve heard great things about:

Silver TonguesCollaboratorFive Time ChampionHigh RoadKevinMarsNatural SelectionParadise Lost 3: PurgatoryShameThe Turin Horse

ShortsThe FortIn Kind8Fatakra, Raytheon’s Blues

And don’t forget about the amazing Distribution Forum happening on Friday featuring some of the top names in world of Indie Film.

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Citizen Suggests – I Love Sarah Jane (short film)

In honor of Jane Eyre opening today check out star Mia Wasikowska’s first role in this great short film.  This is a simple yet fresh take on the zombie film.

I Love Sarah Jane on Vimeo on Vimeo

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Citizen Suggests – Dogtooth

If I had to pick one movie from last year and say it’s my favorite it would probably be Dogtooth from director Yorgos Lanthimos.  You’ve already heard from us about Dogtooth in our favorites of 2010 post and it was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

It’s an amazing, unabashed, art film that is a pitch perfect study of nature vs. nurture and a lot more. FAIR WARNING: This is a challenging film with some very darkly comedic moments that veers toward discomfort.  Not to worry though, it’s all in service of a really great story.

Check out the trailer below:


A hyper-stylized mixture of physical violence and verbal comedy, Dogtooth is a darkly funny look at three teenagers confined to their parents’ isolated country estate and kept under strict rule and regimen — an inscrutable scenario that suggests a warped experiment in social conditioning and control. Terrorized into submission by their father, the children spend their days devising their own games and learning an invented vocabulary (a salt shaker is a “telephone,” an armchair is “the sea”) — until a trusted outsider, brought in to satisfy the son’s libidinal urges, plants the seeds of rebellion by trading VHS tapes for sexual favors. (partially adapted from the New Directors/New Films catalog)


“Somewhere up in the heaven he didn’t believe in, Buñuel is doubtless smiling approvingly.”
- Gavin Smith, Film Comment

“The geometric framing and odd, almost robotic performances place this in the realms of science fiction more than human drama, but its insights into the anomalies of power, influence and manipulation are penetrating to say the least. Highly recommended.”
- Time Out London

“Dogtooth is a delightfully twisted little fable from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos, with all the markings of a cult classic. Lanthimos elevates the material far above the mere exploitative, constructing a uniquely surreal yet oddly believable alternate universe amidst that Lynchian jungle of menace, the suburban backyard.”
- Seth Abramovic, Movieline

“Dogtooth is a darkly comic and imaginative film and a deserved winner of the Prix Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival.”
- Arion McNicoll, TheTime

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I can’t wait to bring films like this to Fort Worth!

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Citizen Suggests – ENTER THE VOID

Paz De La Huerta in Enter the Void

You might recall that we put Enter The Void on our list of top films from 2010.  For my money it still stands up as one of the top cinematic achievements to come out in years and I’d hold it up against AVATAR any day of the week.  Now is your chance to judge for yourself as the film is widely available on DVD/BlueRay/VOD/Streaming.

Check out the trailer:


One of the most anticipated cinematic events of the year, Gaspar Noe’s ENTER THE VOID is a visionary cinematic thrill ride that’s riveted audiences at the Cannes, Toronto, Sundance and SXSW film festivals. At Cannes, Manohla Dargis of The New York Times called it “an exceptional work… What largely distinguishes it, beyond the stunning cinematography, is that this is the work of an artist who’s trying to show us something we haven’t seen before…Mr. Noé, in other words, gets into your body…” The long-awaited follow up to his controversial IRREVERSIBLE, ENTER THE VOID is a cinematic roller-coaster ride that according to Andrew O’Hehir of “represents a revolutionary break from ordinary movie storytelling.” Nathaniel Brown and Paz de la Huerta star in the visceral journey set against the thumping, neon club scene of Tokyo, which hurls the viewer into an astonishing trip through life, death, and the universally wonderful and horrible moments between.


“AN EXCEPTIONAL WORK… What largely distinguishes it, beyond the stunning cinematography, is that this is the work of an artist who’s trying to show us something we haven’t seen before…” “Mr. Noé, in other words, gets into your body…He wants to unsettle and disturb you, not only in the space between your ears, but in the rest of you, too, so that you feel your heart thumping in your chest and the sweat popping on your temples…PURE CINEMA” Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“There’s no way to summarize the paranoid, terrifying and surpassingly beautiful lysergic odyssey between life and death on which Noé takes us…a revolutionary break from ordinary movie storytelling.” “This is a daring, thrilling, awful and wondrous film…one of the most mind-blowing and ambitious feature films ever made.” Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

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The Arthouse Convergence

Last month Amy and I had the pleasure of attending the Sundance Institute’s Arthouse Convergence in Midway, UT.  It’s a gathering of Independent Arthouse theater owners from all over the country.  We had a great time and learned plenty!

I wanted to share with you the opening Keynote address from Russ Collins the event chair.  It’s a wonderful speech and very encouraging for us.  The small piece quoted below really gets to the heart of what The Citizen is all about:

Preserving and promoting the great art of cinema is essential, but just as important is the Art House’s role of serving as a center of community passion and vitality. An Art House can be and should be a dynamic civic center in cities large and small. Art Houses can be exciting, sustainable and practical venues that effectively bolster the vitality of local neighborhoods and transform lives through the creative vision of the people who work there and the poignant cinema found in these remarkable little arts institutions.

Click here to read the whole speech. It’s a quick read and well worth the time!

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Sneak Peek at our Building Plans.

Some of you may have already seen this over at Fort Worthology. If not, here’s a little sneak peek at how the planning is coming along.  Below is a 3D rendering of the building by our architect Joe Self.  It is of course not finalized and there are lots of little details that aren’t represented here.  But it does give you an idea of where we’re going.

(click to enlarge)

Stay tuned here because we’ll be posting more drawings and other information about what to expect on a regular basis.

And don’t forget, if you’re interested in investing now’s the time!  For more information email

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Citizen Suggests – Our Favorites of 2010

Now that it’s officially a new year we thought we’d tell y’all what our favorites were from last year.

Of course there were tons of films that we didn’t get to see that very well could have made this list.

In alphabetical order here are our top 12 movies of 2010:

127 Hours

Dogtooth – If we had to pick one single movie as our favorite it would have to be this astounding piece of cinema from Greece.  It’s a very artful and formidable human study.  If you can see it please do!  You’ll definitely have your chance to witness it on the big screen when The Citizen opens.

Enter The Void – Another one of our top favorites.  It’s a masterful work of cinema blending technical virtuosity with a raw human study.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

The Fighter

Fish Tank – A searing character study with an explosive performance by newcomer Katie Jarvis.



Marwencol – A sublime documentary.  The creative and emotional journey of the main subject is perfectly enthralling.

Tree of Life: Trailer – We know it’s just a trailer but have you seen it, in the cinema, on a big screen?  It’s mind blowing.

True Grit

Winter’s Bone

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Going Crazy For The Holidays > Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy

via Going Crazy For The Holidays > Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy.

If you’re unsure what to give that film-buff friend or relative this year for Christmas, or the last night of Chanukah, might I be so bold as to suggest a gift subscription to Leonard Maltin’s Movie Crazy? We’ll send the lucky recipient our current issue, with my story on the forgotten music of Casablanca and an interview with MGM director George Sidney, along with a personalized gift card. That will be the first of four issues, which are published on an admittedly irregular schedule. If you want to augment the gift you can also purchase back issues which are chockfull of unusual interviews, articles, rare photos and movie memorabilia. For more information click HERE.

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