The RI International Film Festival Starts

The Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) kicks off Tuesday with an Opening Night Ceremony followed by films at the Providence Showcase Cinema. (There may be something happening on Monday, but I can’t figure it out.)

Documentaries, animation, and narrative films from around the world will be shown at venues around the state, including those here in the city: Providence Public Library, Johnson & Wales, Providence Innovation District Park, the PPAC, Providence Showcase, and the Vets Cinematheque.

It appears that The Whale Guitar: Instrument of Change, with local musician Jen Long (see below), will be playing down at the Misquamicut Drive-In Theater on Thursday, August 10.

Inspired by Herman Melville’s epic tale, “Moby-Dick or The Whale”, a late-blooming singer/songwriter and former toy designer, Jen Long, acts on a startling vision and commissions the design and build of a remarkable custom electric guitar. It’s body is “The Whale” itself as it snags the mad Captain Ahab in the tangled ropes of his own obsession, and prepares to launch a boat of his whalers to their doom. The entire guitar reinterprets Melville’s tale as an Anthropocene climate change warning, with the whale representing the seas and storms of climate change arising on this “third day” of late stage capitalism.

Seen here is the 1926 silent animated film, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, directed by pioneering animator Lotte Reiniger. This is one of the four featured films at ‘Silent Film Pioneers: A Retrospective of Female Directors from the Silent Film Era’ beginning at 7pm, Friday, August 11, at the PPAC.

Opening night, 7pm, Tuesday, August 8, Providence Showcase, (directions)


The embroidered strap features Starbuck’s last words: “oh! Ahab, not too late is it, even now, the third day, to desist.”

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