[Update on 4/25: We’ve received word that the Jim Henson Company archivist Karen Falk is, in fact, hosting both screenings in this series. Also, the two screenings on May 2 and May 3 will consist of the same video material. It’s definitely worth seeing twice!]

Can you think of a more perfect venue for a series of Henson events than the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland? It’s Jim Henson’s alma mater, and they even have a statue of Jim and Kermit right there on campus.

Over the next week, the university will honor its most famous alum (sorry, Boomer Esiason) with a panel discussion and two screenings of Henson rarities. Karen Falk and Brian Jay Jones are involved, so it’s totally legit! More info is available at MuppetHub.com (the website of J.D. Hansel, who is moderating one of the events), but here’s the breakdown:

DATE: Wednesday, April 25 (TOMORROW!)
TIME: 7:00 PM
An Academic Eye on Jim Henson: A Conversation with Two Brians
Tawes Hall, Room 0320 – UMD

DESCRIPTION: The Program in Film Studies at the University of Maryland will be hosting a public discussion with Brian Real, the professor who teaches UMD’s course on Jim Henson, and Brian Jay Jones (author of Jim Henson: The Biography).

This event is FREE and open to the public (and free parking is available in Lot 1B after 4:00 PM, so bring your 1978 Lotus Eclat)!

DATE: Wednesday, May 2
5:00 PM
EVENT: Jim Henson: Commercials & Experiments (revised & remastered!)
Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library – UMD

DESCRIPTION: Presented in conjunction with The Jim Henson Legacy, this mind-blowing collection of shorts, crazy commercials, and other rarities from the Henson vault was one of The Jim Henson Legacy’s first compilation screenings, and now, it’s even better — remastered in definition from original film elements and revised with newly discovered materials — some of which has not been seen in 50 years. Highlights include excerpts from experimental TV programs The Cube and Youth ’68, and Time Piece, the 8-minute Oscar-nominated experimental masterpiece directed by (and starring) Jim Henson himself. Karen Falk will be hosting this screening.

This one is also FREE and open to the public!

DATE: Thursday, May 3
TIME: 8:00 PM
EVENT: Rainbow Connections: Jim Henson’s Early Works & Experiments
LOCATION: Old Greenbelt Theatre, 129 Centerway Greenbelt, MD

DESCRIPTION: Join us for a special presentation of materials from the Henson vault. Discover rarely seen gems created during Henson’s time at the University of Maryland and beyond including film experiments and local TV commercials.

There will be a post-screening discussion with Karen Falk, Director of Archives at The Jim Henson Company since 1992 and the author of Imagination Illustrated: The Jim Henson Journal.

And let’s see, how much does this one cost… Oh, it’s FREE and open to the public!

[Note: If you haven’t seen any of the newly remastered classic Henson stuff, you should do whatever you can to get to this one. Wilkins and Wontkins have never looked so beautiful.]

If you live anywhere near College Park, Maryland, you have no reason not to check out these events. So go check out these events!

Click here to be remastered in HD on the Tough Pigs forum!

by Ryan Roe – Ryan@ToughPigs.com


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