Friday, October 21, 2011
Everything appeared to go as planned last night at the opening of the 20th Anniversary Philadelphia Film Festival. The spacious Zellerbach (Annenberg) theater felt full and the mood was light as we were welcomed by PFS Executive Director Andrew Greenblatt, Artistic Director Michael Lerman and Mayor Michael Nutter.
The film chosen to set off this milestone occasion, would seem an insignificant choice by the description - basically a romance involving two recent college grads, Anna an accessibly pretty, unaffected young woman (Felicity Jones) who is in the US on a student visa from the UK and must return upon graduation. Jacob (Anton Yelchin) is an adorable, curly-haired, furniture maker. The two fall for each other in touching and simple ways. Their only obstacle being Anna's obligation to return home to England, until a work permit can be arranged. When things go horribly wrong in this regard, the film becomes about their attempts to hold onto a long distance relationship, even when all signs point to being better off letting go.
Like Crazy is co-written and directed by Drake Doremus who received the Dramatic Grand Jury prize at Sundance 2011 with Felicity Jones receiving Dramatic Special Jury Prize. We were treated to the attendance of both director and actress at last night's opening. (see slide show above) what you can't see in the pictures are the wonderfully comical, bright lime green shoelaces adorning Doremus' sneakers.
Doremus a graduate of the famed AFI, wrote the outline (50 page scriptment) in March of last year and starting shooting in June; although the story (inspired by true events) had been rattling around in his head and heart for 10 years before being written down, without dialogue, as all the lines in the film were improvised by the actors themselves. This, along with a lot of hand held camera work, gives the film an intimate, natural effect, that the critics are responding favorably too.
Below is a video excerpt of the Q & A. (Please excuse the distance of the shot, I admit to being lazy and shooting from my seat):
And this is a video of a Opening night party attendee giving her feedback on the film:
And for more on the film, Cinedelphia.com interview with Felicity Jones:
C: Could you tell on set that something special was happening with the film?
FJ: Because of the method of making it, it felt very special. We didn’t really think about it coming out, but it felt like we cared, and every single person cared. It was a really small crew and people were prepared to give up their lives for the duration of the film... READ MORE
Check back, much more to come from PFF20!