We got dressed up for a Gatsby preview and party in KC!
Chicago-based marching band Mucca Pazza entertains before a screening at the 2013 True/False Film Fest.
If I have an excuse for taking so long to post about the True/False Film Fest (February 28 – March 3 in Columbia, MO), it’s this: I just didn’t want it to be over. In its ten years of bringing the best documentaries (and kinda documentaries) to the heartland, True/False has created an army of fanatics who talk about the fest with fervor usually reserved for barbecue and college teams ’round these parts.
I attended last year and was converted to the event’s infectious spirit immediately. The fest is designed to break down the walls between filmmakers and film-goers. Each screening has a filmmaker Q&A, parties mix fans and documentarians, and the compact festival traffic patterns ensure you’ll run into the person responsible for that fantastic film you just saw in line for coffee or a slice of Shakespeare’s pizza. The fest also seems calibrated for filmgoers’ maximum happiness. “Buskers” serenade you while you wait for films to start, hundreds of friendly volunteers keep things running smoothly, and an ingenius “Q” system helps latecomers get into sold-out films.
Shelves courtesy of a friend's basement. Yellow floor pillows from West Elm. Quilt from Grandma.
Shelves courtesy of a friend’s basement. Yellow floor pillows from West Elm. Quilt from Grandma.
Just a quick post to say my DVD shelves are up! My movie-watching blankets are folded! Most of this moving-and-unpacking craziness is past! I’ll be back next week to blog about the Oscar madness. Can’t wait!
Being a writer, the Oscar screenwriting categories are always a highlight of Oscar season for me. I love the opportunity it gives me to go back and discover other films the writers have worked on, and the extra minutes of fame it gives the original brains behind the stories we’ve been dissecting and comparing obsessively.
In the adapted screenplay category, Argo‘s Chris Terrio, Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s Lucy Alibar and director Benh Zeitlin, Life of Pi‘s David Magee, Lincoln‘s Tony Kushner, and Silver Linings Playbook director David O. Russell will compete for 2012 bragging rights. My personal favorite in this category is Alibar and Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. The first-timers adapted Alibar’s original play and created an entirely unique and believable world in their tightly themed screenplay. I think David Magee might have an edge in this category, though, because so many people called Life of Pi (by Yann Martel) an un-adaptable book…he may get Herculean-effort points. And Kushner managed to make legislative bargaining with a foregone conclusion suspenseful and visually compelling…so I’m split on which way to bet. Thoughts?
Spielberg is the reigning Oscar king of this bunch. He’s won two Best Director statues: Schindler’s List in 1994 and Saving Private Ryan in 1999. (Schindler’s List took home the Best Picture title, too.) He’s been nominated as Best Director four other times for Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1978, Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in 1983, and Munich in 2006. Lee also has a directing Oscar under his belt for Brokeback Mountain in 2006. He was nominated for Best Director for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2001 as well. To round out the veterans in this category, David O. Russellearned a Best Director nomination for The Fighter in 2010.
Have you made your movie-going plan to see all nine best picture nominees? I’ve already seen (and written about)Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. I’ve seen but haven’t yet written about Silver Linings Playbook. (That one just didn’t sit right with me, and I’m still trying to figure out why.) I saw Argo yesterday (review to come ASAP), planning to see Les Miserables soon…and waiting patiently for some kind Kansas City theatre to play Amour.
Right now, my personal vote for Best Picture would go to Zero Dark Thirty, being that my definition of “best” currently includes intriguing storytelling (and a story in need of telling), cohesive sense of tone and purpose, compelling visuals, acting that makes me forget they’re Acting, and a film that is trying to have a human conversation with its audience (as opposed to one that is made to impress, frustrate or pander).
Short on holiday shopping time, holiday shopping cash and holiday shopping ideas? Sit down, put your feet up and click your way through your list because Amazon just put it’s boxed sets on super sale for the season. Here are some suggestions:
For Uber-Loyal Star Wars Nerds
Get episodes I through VI on Blu-ray for your favorite Jedi. You know. The one who still argues Jar Jar got a bad rap. Includes audio commentary, a feast of archival footage and a host of documentaries, including 91 minutes on Star Wars spoofs. $69.99 (regularly $139.99)
Let’s do this, guys. Pack up your second breakfast and get your furry feet to a theatre tomorrow! Here’s a rundown on your Hobbit viewing choices (HFR 3D, IMAX 3D, RealD 3D and classic 2D). Find tickets to a local theatre here.
Only two days until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens. Do you have your tickets? Have you done your Peter Jackson research? Checked out Hobbiton? Entered the Hobbit giveaways on Reads, Style and Life? Still need more Hobbit activities to kill the remaining hours? Then why not stream these Hobbit-connected stories that will let you see Bilbo, Gandalf and Thorin in a whole new light?
Last week, I bought my tickets to a midnight showing of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (it opens at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 14) and discovered it was a little more complicated than just picking a location and a time. The film is being shown in 2D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D and High Frame Rate (HFR) 3D. Depending on what tech your local theatre uses, you’ll have up to four ways of seeing Bilbo Baggins begin his long trip toward the Lonely Mountain. Here’s a quick rundown to help you decide.