Tinsel & Tine: 21st Philadelphia Film Fest Recap (Part II)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This is Part II of Tinsel & Tine's 21st Philadelphia Film Festival Recap & Reviews. Hope you had or will have a chance to check out Part I.



This year, a nice addition to the going's on, was the VIP Bar located at 110 Chestnut Street. Pass holders, filmmakers and staff were invited to hang out between screenings and enjoy sponsored events by: Alma de Cuba, Empson USA, Tony Lukes, Barefoot Wines & Bubbly & Bourbon Blue.

David Bentley with PFS Blogger Ben Silverio
I had a nice chat with David Bentley, wine rep with Empson USA. You know how wine connoisseurs will say, this was a good year or that was a stellar year or this was a horrible harvest? Well, David gave me pointers for Italian wines from certain regions, harvested between 2008-2012. I loved learning about it, the problem being, I didn't write any of it down or record it, so of course, I can't regurgitate a word of it.

I did however, capture him speaking on the two wines offered during the tasting. Here's the video:



I also met a wonderful couple during the final VIP event – Barbara & Julian Smetana who screened 33 films and celebrated their anniversary during the run of this year's festival.
Barbara & Julian Smetana
 Overall they have attended 20 of the 21 Philadelphia Film Festivals, but it wasn't until they both retired that they could begin to see the large numbers of films they now fit in over the 10 days.
A few of their favorites for this year: The Iran Job, Sapphire, Shadow Dancer and both felt Silver Linings Playbook was the best opening night film they've seen in a long time!


Jade Elysan, Dave Coleman & Shane Bissett

This Time Tomorrow - An aspiring writer ventures to Philadelphia and tries to revive a previous relationship as the world’s demise looms overhead.- Director Shane Bissett

This film became a stand-out for me. Jonathan Demme protege, Shane Bissett is impressive. And so was the fact that the film has no written dialogue, just nice, authentic performances.

Originally, however, I only wanted to see the film because of it's premise- this movie's foundation is based on one of my favorite subjects - the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012. Project Camelot is an organization that deals with all things freaky, sci-fi, supernatural, spiritual and black op. They were the ones to really draw my attention to this date. Will it have any real significance in our Universe? Will it be a catastrophic end to the world? Or just a subtle shift in the world as we know it, with only those in tune to benefit or make notice of it? Could be when aliens finally reveal themselves to all? Or like in this film, (*spoiler alert - just another Friday).

This Time Tomorrow, uses 12/21 a jumping off point for a romance in the style of Julie Delpy's Before Sunset. Stacey (Dave Coleman ) arrives in Philadelphia on December 20th and pretends to casually drop in on an old girlfriend, Parker (Jade Elysan). The couple haven broken up a little more than a year ago. During the course of their evening, Stacey eventually reveals that if the world does end in the next 24 hours, he wants to spend his last moments with her. Which is hard to understand why, because Parker is pretty much a straight up “B”.

Here's a video of the post screening Q & A:



Gaby -A straight yoga instructor and her comic book loving, gay best friend decide to have a baby together, the old fashioned way, in this hilarious and touching crowd-pleaser by fest alum Jonathan Lisecki.
Matthew Wilkas & Jenn Harris in "Gaby"
This film was well received as a short at the 20th Film Fest inspiring filmmaker Jonathan Lisecki to expand it to feature length. The fact that best friends Matt (Matthew Wilkas) and Jenn (Jenn Harris) think it makes perfect sense to continue their respective dating lives while making the commitment to have this gay-baby, makes the film outrageously entertaining! I do have a small issue with this style of filmmaking, which is representative of so many films shown during Qfest; to put it bluntly, the feel is just a notch above porn. Let me clarify, I don't say that because there's anything X-rated or over-the-top. And I want to see movies with gay characters; the problem being there's often an overall look and tone to the production of these gay themed movies that don't do the films justice.

And while I've already put myself in potential hot water, is there a way to tactfully comment upon the cavernous caves under Jenn's eyes? Probably not.
Here's a link to Jonathan Lisecki's post screening Q &A on youtube.



I was excited about the screening of Cloud Atlas during the film fest. However, this movie deserves it's own post. My plan is to see a second screening before doing a write up of this complicated, future, past, present, multi-layered movie.

I saw a few more films during the festival and had intended to do a 3rd installment from #PFF21, but I gotta tell you, between breaking up with James, Hurricane Sandy, and not that I minded, but my Mom and sister stayed with me while their power was out, not to mention, I had no internet for 4 days - my momentum and energy for writing about the festival has passed.

I would like to send positive energy to all those who truly suffered loss during the hurricane. May God be with you to bolster your strength and give you comfort.

 


If you want more from the 21st Philadelphia Film Festival - Comcast Xfinity customers can watch select films in the comfort of their own home! Click on the "local" section on your OnDemand menu under Philadelphia Film Festival.
And listed below are all the Jury Prize Winners - Congratulations to these honored filmmakers:
Audience Award Winner // The History of Future Folk (dir. John Mitchell, Jeremy Kipp Walker)
Honorable Mention for American Independents - Gayby (dir. Jonathan Lisecki)
Honorable Mention for Special Presentations - Silver Linings Playbook (dir. David O. Russell)
Honorable Mention for Documentary Showcase - Brooklyn Castle (dir. Katie Dellamaggiore)
Honorable Mention for The Graveyard Shift - John Dies at the End (dir. Don Coscarelli)
Honorable Mention for Greater Filmadelphia - From the Shadows (dir. Matt Antell, David Hearn)
Honorable Mention for Masters of Cinema - Caesar Must Die (dir. Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani)
Honorable Mention for New French Films - Three Worlds (dir. Catherine Corsini)
Honorable Mention For Spanish Language Cinema - Clandestine Childhood (dir. Benjamín Ávila)
Honorable Mention for Sports in Motion - Waiting For Lightning (dir. Jacob Rosenberg)
Honorable Mention for Spotlights - The Sessions (dir. Ben Lewin)
Honorable Mention for World Narratives - A Royal Affair (dir. Nikolaj Arcel)
Honorable Mention For Best Actor - Tim Heidecker in The Comedy (dir. Rick Alverson) 
Honorable Mention For Best Actress - Begüm Akkaya in Kuma (dir. Umut Dag) Jury Members: Jeff Deutchman, Daniel Guando, Jen Yamato

Best Documentary Feature // Step Up to the Plate (dir. Paul Lacoste) Honorable Mention - Only the Young (dir. Elizabeth Mims, Jason Tippet) Jury Members: Jennifer Cochis, Natalie Difford, Jeff Reichert
Pinkenson Award For Best Local Feature // Future Weather (dir. Jenny Deller) Honorable Mention - From the Shadows (dir. Matt Antel, David Hearn) Jury Members: Wendy Cox, Nancy Glass, Jamal Hill
Archie Award For Best First Feature // The Woman in the Septic Tank (dir. Marlon Rivera) Jury Members: Ruth Perlmutter, Joy Bannet, Dr. Aaron Bannett, Bunny Glick, Therese Obringer, D. Stanley Shapiro
Best Short - Belly (dir. Julia Pott) Honorable Mention For Best Original Song - Don't Hug Me, I'm Scared (dir. Rebecca Sloan, Joseph Pelling) Jury Members: Doug Jones, Amanda Lebow, Adele Romanski



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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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