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Philadelphia Film Festival Coverage

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

So I’m going to start from last night’s Stewart Bradley fundraiser at the Sumo Lounge at RAW and work my way backward to Saturday, with quick commentary, so that I can catch up with all my recent activity at the festival.

This fan pictured with Bradley is not indicative of the crowd, which was mostly very young. Which is super to see a younger set supporting PFS. But I’m starting to feel very old, I really don’t enjoy club scenes at all anymore. I just wanted to survey the layout, get a nibble or two and get out. The eats were butlered: dumplings and bite size sushi rolls, including my favorite shrimp tempura Dulce Vida Spirits provided a sample organic beverage Jalapeño Hibiscus Martini (Dulce Vida Reposado, jalapeno, agave hibiscus syrup, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur and fresh lime juice). I really loved how the flavors swarmed your taste buds, but a little less agave would have made it perfect.

I attended the Megamind workshop and discovered I was standing behind
a PFS Board Member, Ralph Hirshorm, his wife Natalie and family, Jack Stevens, Rosemary Osborne and Robert Hass (pictured). Mr. Hirshorm’s favorite film so far this festival is Alamar.

We weren’t
actually privy to a preview screening of Megamind; however, director Tom McGrath was in attendance to answer questions and set up clips from the movie. He didn’t want to use a microphone and has a soft spoken quality, so I couldn’t tape the Q & A. I do recall he said the script was not originally written for animation, it was written back in 2003 as a live action movie and made it’s way to Dreamworks. I also asked him if he likes to work in 3D or is it just mandatory at Dreamworks. And I added, because I find 3D for the most part, annoying! He said he enjoys telling the story in 3D but the reason they still release the movies in 2D is for people like me. The movie looks very clever and funny, but it’s gonna take a lot to beat out Toy Story 3 for best animated flick this year.

Monday – since I’m going backwards I’ll start with Parade. I liked the description of this film, four roommates who don’t really know each other share a living space. When a stranger begins living with them, it goes unnoticed for sometime, as they figure it’s a friend of one of the others. The film is supposed to reflect how we come and go in our busy lives, not taking note of those around us, that relationships are often superficial so that you don’t really know anyone. However, the execution of this theme is poorly relayed. The four roommates are not ships that pass in the night. They are friends and hang out together a lot. They even have a ritual of saying “welcome back” anytime one of them reenters the apartment. The stranger showing up in their lives, doesn’t really stir the pot. The fact that one of them holds a deep dark secret, is not due to their dismissal of one another, but rather this one roommate is very good at hiding his twisted soul.

Tiny Furniture – this was truly an amusing film. Click the link to see how well this movie is being received. Lena Dunham, 23 is the writer/director and lead in this funny little film about coming home after college. Her character, Aura has studied film at a college in Ohio, she’s sort of a video artists, but not particularly enthusiastic about her work. Her mother, Siri (Laurie Simmons) is played by her real life mother, both of which are successful photographic artists. Her sister Nadine (Grace Dunham) is also played by her real life sister, she’s graduating high school, but seems to have it more together than her older sister.
Dunham’s self-effacing humor puts you in mind of old-school comediennes Janeane Garofalo or Margaret Cho. It’s not th
at a lot happens in this film or she comes up with any answers at the end, that’s not the point. What’s interesting to watch are the dead on characteristics and qualities of the people she hangs out with. It’s crushing on a guy, but regretting having sex with him in a tube on the street. It’s her artist mother who is so fond of saying “I don’t care”, until her wine disappears, there’s no more frozen entrees and her privacy is disturbed by a guy Aura let’s stay at their gorgeous Tribeca loft. It’s that Aura and her friend are very aware of feeling self-entitled and thinking that’s okay. It’s life!

Sunday - I spent with Blomkvist & Salander. What a great screening opportunity to see this trilogy back to back! Even more intruiging than the films themselves is the fact that Stieg Larsson, the author of the books the films are based on, never got to witness this phenomennon. He had a heart attack just 5 short months before his first book The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo was published. This fact was brought to my attention by this couple, Lynne and Robert Rossi. I met them after the first film, sat with them for the next two and had a great time discussing all three movies. Lynne had read the first two books and was in the middle of reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, she said the films hold up well to the novels, not much is changed. She also said this normally wouldn’t be the type of reading she enjoys, but her husband bought her the first book and eventually she got really into the series. However, Robert has a knack of giving her gifts that are really more for him, like Happy Birthday honey, look it’s season tickets to the Eagles!

I also met Sandy Goldberg a member of PFS Membership Comm. She and her friend also stayed for all three films. As for me, of couse all the intrigue, brutality, espionage, dynamics of the films suck you in. Rather reminescent of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code there’s even a blond brut of a monster that runs around reeking havoc, much like Da Vinci Code’s self-flagellating Monk. All three films are subtitled (American version in the works) so I suppose I can now brag and say I too have read all three books!

Which finally brings us to Saturday, I still don’t have time to transcribe the excellent panel discussion on Making Film in Philadelphia, that’s still for a later post.

My Saturday viewing consisted of I Love You Phillip Morris, starring Jim Carrey as a homosexual, Con-Artist who falls madly in love with a genteel, inmate (Ewan McGregor). The films starts out with Carrey’s character Steve dying in a hospital room and he takes us back to how he got there. To begin with he is neither openly gay nor a con-artist, but a series of events, leads him to living his life to the fullest in Miami and trying to take care of a really cute boy toy in style. That’s where the film begins to take on a Catch Me If You Can quality. Steve begins to morph into whatever or whom ever he needs to be in order to embezzle, steal, trick and eventually become a master escape artist from jail. Of course it’s hilarious, but it’s not really a comedy, not like Bruce Almighty; it’s off-beat, but not like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

I interviewed this couple after the film, they said they choose the movie because they’re big Jim Carrey fans and see all his movies - Both their ballot rips for I Love You Phillip Morris were on the line for Excellent!

Whew! Okay now I’m caught up.



Tomorrow will be Commentary and Q & A on the film project 11/4/08, in which filmmaker, Jeff Deutchman collected footage from various filmmakers and others with a camera on the history making day of President Obama's election. The film premiered tonight in Philadelphia and simultaneously in 20 other cities around the country who then tweeted their questions at our Q &A.

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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