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'Weird Worlds' Film Series Kicks Off at Millburn Library This Week

The family friendly films will be shown through April at the Millburn Public Library beginning Saturday.

The film "Spirited Away" will be shown Jan. 18. Photos Courtesy of Victoria Plummer
The film "Spirited Away" will be shown Jan. 18. Photos Courtesy of Victoria Plummer

“Weird Worlds”, a series of family friendly films, will be screened at the Millburn Free Public Library over four months, startingSaturday January 18 and continuing once a month until April 26.  The return of this winter series for the third annual season is a continuing joint venture by the Millburn Free Public Library and the Millburn-Short Hills Arts Advisory Committee, spearheaded by committee member Victoria Plummer.

This series will feature films that explore the bounds of imagination, taking the audience to fantastic places.  Some films will do this through animation, and some will do it by looking at our world through a new perspective. Each film will be introduced beforehand, with a discussion session afterward for audience members who wish to remain.   All films start at 2 pm, and audience members are welcome to bring their own popcorn and snacks to enjoy while they watch the films.  The Four Week Film Festival (4WFF) series is free to the public.

Michael Banick, Library Director says, “The Millburn Library is glad to host this film series.  Libraries are more than just places where you can borrow a book or access the internet. Libraries are places where people can come to connect with each other and broaden their horizons, and the 4WFF does both.  It is a chance to enjoy some unique films with other folks from town and then engage in some discussion about the craft of cinema.  It is really an excellent program for people of all ages.” 

First up is “Spirited Away”, an animated film by renowned Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki on January 18 at 2 pm. “Spirited Away” tells the story of a young girl, Chihiro, transported into a magical world, where her parents are turned into pigs. She must battle with mysterious creatures and discover a way to change her parents back. Along her journey in this visually stunning film, Chihiro learns about herself and navigating the process of growing up.  Recommended for ages 10 up.

Next to be screened is “Koyaanisqatsi”, a film by director Godfrey Reggio, on February 15.   How do you tell a story without any words, characters or plot? This groundbreaking film takes the audience from outer space to untouched desert beauty to the bustle of Las Vegas. Translated as “Life out of balance “ in the Hopi language, Koyaanisqatsi’s experimental ride is accompanied by a soundtrack by Philip Glass. Recommended for ages 11 and up.

On March 15, “ A Trip to the Moon” and “The Lost World” take us back to the beginning days of filmmaking - and science fiction. Georges Méliès’ classic tale of space travel from 1902 is paired with this precursor to Jurassic Park from 1925, in gloriously restored black and white. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

April 26 brings cult classic “Fantastic Planet” to the library. Hand drawn stop-action animation is used to tell the story of humans who are pets to 40 foot aliens. A groovy soundtrack and some weighty themes give this film from 1973 a long-lasting reach. 

Recommended for ages 12 and up.

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