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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I think I may have seen less films this year than any previous.  it wasn't so much my day job that interfered, which by the way, generously let me come in 2 hrs late for work a couple of days during the festival.  No, this year, I didn't count on my new relationship being affected by my film festival-ing or vice versa.

If you're a regular reader, you will have seen recent posts where I've mentioned my new boyfriend James - he wrote the Argo review, and one on the Gotti movies; I mentioned him in a few other posts and I'm in the midst of writing restaurant reviews in which he plays a prominent role. But for reasons I won't go into, we broke up during the film festival.  I really thought this one was gonna work out. So much started out really good. 

But the show must go on, so I managed to pick myself up and continue the festival, earning my press pass, particularly as a constant supporter on facebook and twitter

If you missed my opening night film - Silver Linings Playbook post with red carpet photos, (click link to view). 

Next I saw a double feature, featuring Super Seniors!  

Stand Up Guys - stars Academy Award® winners Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in a tough but touching action comedy as retired gangsters who reunite for one epic last night. - Director Fisher Stevens

I'm forever fascinated with Christopher Walken's off-beat, charming, scary, dead pan humor persona. Especially having watched him back to back first in Seven Psychopaths (which I never had a chance to write about) and then Stand Up Guys– it's not that he plays the same roles exactly, but those elements are always a part of his character. 

Although Stand Up Guys is not due out in theaters until 2013, Roadside Attractions allowed two screenings before the new year, one and only one screening at Philly Film Fest and another private screening in NY. 

The movie has elements of The Bucket List and The Hang Over, as it all takes place in a 24hour period where Walken's character Doc gives Val (Pacino) one last night of debauchery and mayhem after serving a 28 year prison sentence; before killing him at 10am. Along for the ride is Hirsch (Alan Arkin) who they free from a retirement home and put behind the wheel of a sweet, stolen ride, bringing all of Hirsch's old skills back into play. 

The only unfortunate thing about this film was the sound dropped out at the most crucial moment for at least a good 3-4 minutes and due to festival time schedules couldn't be rewound. 

Quartet- Adapted from a play by Ron Harwood, Quartet centers on a retirement home for opera singers and other musicians set in the English countryside, with a focus on the rejuvenating and healing power of music. - Directorial Debut for Dustin Hoffman

This movie truly is a symphony, it's pleasing to the senses. Filled with lovely music, and beautifully shot. I, myself am ready to move into this retirement home for senior musicians; I'm not old enough yet and I don't have a lick of musical talent, but I so love stately, English manors. The plot is light, with a very predicable outcome; which in no way takes away from the getting there. 

The residents throw a concert fundraiser every year, under the strict and pompous direction of Cedric (pronounced Ceeedric) (Michael Gambon). Most of the film is made up of little exchanges and day in the life type scenes that introduce you to the cast of characters. Many of which were real life career musicians and opera stars. With the exception of the four actors that make up the Quartet of Quartet: The very essence of an English gent, and disillusioned by love, Reggie (Tom Courtney), The irascible Wilf (Billy Connolly), daft and sweet Cissy (Pauline Collins) and the incomparable Jean Horton (Maggie Smith) a diva of the royal order and the disillusion-er of Reggie.

Quartet may not be as clever and funny as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but it certainly is a rival in terms of charm.

Here's where I should insert a dining experience between films. 

After all, PFS had Food trucks in varying rotation lined up outside of the Ritz East on Front street all during the festival and the following restaurants participated in deals if you showed your ticket stub or festival pass. 

Too long a story as to why I never took advantage of any of these offers, nor did I get a chance to see Dead Sushi, American Meat  or A Place at the Table, films with food themes. 

Let's just move on... 

Here Comes The DevilArgentine director Adrían García Bogliano (Cold Sweat, Penumbra) returns with an erotic horror film about a couple whose children mysteriously disappear while on vacation in Mexico.

What made me think I was big and bad enough to see a film with this title? I know that anything dealing with supernatural evil scares the be-Jesus out of me! 

The film let out at midnight and I had to make it 5 unnerving blocks to where I parked my car. Then come home to a quiet apartment where I turned on all the lights and watched TV almost until the sun came up. The next night, I was still thinking about some elements of the movie when going to bed, when to my horror, I was awakened at 3am to loud voices coming from the other room. I started just to put my head under the covers and pretend I didn't hear it; but like the idiot in all scary movies, I was compelled to venture forth. I have no idea why, but the TV in my office turned itself on!  Luckily, there were no poltergeist static screens or wraith-like woman oozing out. It was Robert Downey, Jr and Marisa Tomei in Only You, not a very good romantic comedy, but I know Iron Man would never do me any harm, so I turned it off, went back to bed and promptly fell asleep. 

Stay tuned for Part II of my 21st Philadelphia Film Festival Recap, 
which will include a profile on a delightful couple who saw
 32 films during the festival!

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...young Hassan, a soulful-eyed boy with lush, thick eye lashes, places his face into the sea urchin basket, and breathes in the exotic briny scent. He sticks his fingers into the aquatic ooze, takes it to his mouth and is transfixed by the taste. The vendor, oblivious to the thrusting arms of frenzied women, notices the boy and realizes he is the only one worthy of this oceanic prize; he is the one who can “truly taste.” ... READ MORE

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15 Top Food in Film Flicks

15 Top Food in Film Flicks
Cozy Quilt of Food Movies, we'll add more patches as T &T discovers more films where food plays the biggest "roll"

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Videographer Oliver Gallini 5 min short featuring organic-chemist-turned-chef, Townsend Wentz, who got his start at The Four Seasons Philadelphia.


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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.

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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