COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF 2008 FILMS & EVENTS
Thursday, October 16
Breakfast With Scot
1:00pm at Crandell Theatre
Based on the novel by Michael Downing, this beguiling gender comedy delivers a family values message with a twist. Set in a rapidly gentrifying Toronto neighborhood, it features Sam, a former hockey player turned sportscaster, and Ed, a lawyer, as a not-so-out gay couple. After his sister’s sudden death, Ed is left to watch over his nephew, Scot, until the boy’s father can be found. Sam and Ed argue as they prepare for Scot’s arrival, but the boy is not quite the young man they expected. This may be the first film about a gay athlete to be supported by a major sports franchise, the Toronto Maple Leafs. Played the Toronto International Film Festival. 95 min. Parental Advisory
I’ve Loved You So Long
3:30pm at Crandell Theatre
Kristin Scott Thomas turns in an Oscar-quality performance as an emotionally traumatized woman, released from prison after completing a 15 year sentence for an unspeakable crime, who tries to reestablish her relationship with her estranged sister and her bourgeois family. Despite its sober subject, the picture bristles with moments of wit and humor. Nominated for a Golden Bear at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival. 115 min. Subtitled. PG-13 for thematic material and smoking
6:00pm at Crandell Theatre
A cross between Little Miss Sunshine and Pulp Fiction, dazzling young actresses Amy Adams and Emily Blunt play two down-and-out in Albuquerque sisters making ends meet by tidying up crime scenes, a la Harvey Keitel’s Winston Wolfe in Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. Alan Arkin reprises his Miss Sunshine role as the blunt talking mentor of Adams’ kid, while Steve Zahn plays a cop. This black comedy, directed by New Zealand’s Christine Jeffs, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. 102 min. R for language, some drugs, sex, and disturbing imagery
The Secret Life of Bees
8:30pm at Crandell Theatre
Based on the best-seller by Sue Monk Kidd, and set in South Carolina in 1964, Dakota Fanning plays Lily, a young girl haunted by the memory of her late mother. Accompanied by her black caregiver Rosaleen, who has run afoul of local racists, she runs away from her abusive father to the town where her mother once lived. There they meet the Boatwright sisters, played by vocalist Alicia Keys (Songs in A Minor) and Sophie Okonedo (Hotel Rwanda), and create a new family. Jennifer Hudson, who stole Dreamgirls from a stellar cast, plays Rosaleen. Also features Paul Bettany (A Beautiful Mind) and Queen Latifah. 95 min. PG-13
Friday, October 17
Full Battle Rattle
Noon at Crandell Theatre
This brilliant exercise of faux battle journalism is set in the Army’s National Training Center near Fort Irwin, California, in the Mojave Desert, where G.I.s train on a simulated Iraqi battlefield before being shipped out. Soldiers and officers are faced with the wrenching life or death choices they will face in Iraq. Constantly bringing us up short with cuts from gory combat deaths to G.I.’s comments during cigarette breaks, the picture adds a level of complexity by thinking about the construction of reality, as both an aesthetic and a political choice. Winner, Special Jury Award, SXSW Film Festival. 85 min. Parental advisory
The Secret of the Grain
2:00pm at Crandell Theatre
Winner of France’s most prestigious film prize, the Cesare for the best film of last year, this lengthy, absorbing tale of an Algerian family running a restaurant on the Mediterranean coast of France, between Marseilles and Spain, is reminiscent of great Italian neo-realist epics, like Rocco and His Brothers. It repays in power what it costs in time, by investigating the dialectic between alienation and assimilation as it affects this North African community in France. 151 min. Subtitled. Unrated
3:00pm at Morris Memorial
When George W. Bush bought a ranch in the tiny town of Crawford, Texas, and called it “home”, the locals were caught up by a tornado of social, political, and economic forces beyond their control. In 2004, the local newspaper endorsed John Kerry, only to find itself the target of a boycott, the following year, the site of Cindy Sheehan anti-war action. Today, with the Bush presidency in its waning hours, tourists have lost interest and for the inhabitants of Crawford, the town doesn’t exist any more. They can’t go home again, even though they never left. 74 min. Unrated
Short: Sittin’ on a Million
Directed by Penny Lane & Ann Marie Lanesey
Hard Times at Douglass High
5:30pm at Morris Memorial
Alan and Susan Raymond spent one year filming at Frederick Douglass High School, which has a rich history of successful alumni, including Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Shot in classic cinema verité style, the film captures the complexities of life at Douglass, fueled by the national debate over the No Child Left Behind Act and focusing on the brutal inequalities of American minority education.
Waltz With Bashir
5:00pm at Crandell Theatre
A hit at this year’s Cannes, the film spotlights Israel’s 1982 war with Lebanon, and the slaughter of Palestinians in the refugee camps. An Israeli army veteran complains of recurrent nightmares in which he is chased by 26 slavering dogs. Filmmaker Ari Folman guesses that the dreams are related to their service in that war, but his own memory of that time is blank. Trying to fill in the blanks, he interviews other veterans, friends and therapists. Folman uses animation to recreate the experiences of the Israeli soldiers, along with live footage, a technique that gives the scenes a surreal edge. Nominated for the Palme d’Or, as well as seven categories by the Israeli Film Academy; a selection of both NY Film Festival and Toronto Int’l Film Festival. 87 min. Subtitled. R for sex, violence, and disturbing imagery.
Film Trivia Party at the Pub
5:30pm at Peint O Gwrw
Wannabe a Wonk? FilmColumbia’s version of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, this live made-for-fun trivia contest is open to all film festival attendees. Moderated by wiz quiz-master Mary Gail Biebel, the contest promises to challenge wonks and wits—while entertaining the rest of us. Prizes (really good ones!) will be awarded. Come participate at this head-scratching trivia contest as you raise a glass of cheer with the FC crew, fellow filmgoers and some of this year’s celebrated filmmakers. We meet at Peint O Gwrw, the area’s hippest watering hole, just steps away from The Crandell. Cash bar & small bites.
Synecdoche, New York
7:00pm at Crandell Theatre
A stellar cast, led by Philip Seymour Hoffman, and including Michelle Williams, Catherine Keener, Emily Watson, Dianne Weist, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, lend their talents to screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’s first foray into directing. Hoffman plays a hot theater director burnished with MacArthur money trying to launch an ambitious play in New York, where everything you can think of goes crazily awry. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, a selection of the Toronto International Film Festival. 124 min. R for language & sex
FRIDAY NIGHT SNEAK PREVIEW
9:30pm at Crandell Theatre
In the great tradition of the raunchy comedies of Judd Apatow, one of the pioneers of this genre struts his stuff in his latest masterpiece. R-rated for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, dirty language, and everything else offensive to the censors. Beware! R
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18
10:00am at Crandell Theatre
Back by popular demand. A kaleidoscope of the best short films from around the world. Curated by award-winning producer Patti Greaney of Giraldi Media for children. No
admission fee in appreciation of our Columbia County community.
FilmColumbia Screenwriting Competition
10:00am at Morris Memorial
FilmColumbia’s first place winner in our 1st annual contest is…Man Of The Word, by screenwriter Dawn Renee Jones. Paying homage to Zora Neale Hurston. It tells the story of a 1930’s preacher who uses his gift for language to reinvent himself. Edgar Acevedo Director. Rose Ross Producer.
Awards will be presented by Mark Dickerman, NYU chair, Screenwriting Department, to the all winners, including Sarah Horne, and Kirk McGee. Out of respect for actors, those arriving late will not be allowed in.
Indie Films On Small Screens: The Next Big Thing?
10:00am at Tracy Memorial
The Internet and digital technology are changing the ways we consume media, ultimately creating an expectation that everything we read, watch, or listen to will be available
on-demand. For Indie films struggling to find distribution in an increasingly rarified environment, it’s the perfect storm of opportunity. Join our panel of industry experts for bagels, coffee, and lively discussion to find out if “small screens” are the new “big thing” for Indie films.
Noon at Crandell Theatre
One of the most promising documentaries premiering in 2009, on finding spirit and hope after a recent catastrophe in America. A work-in-progress. Filmmakers will be present to introduce the film and field questions. 88 min. Unrated
Animation for Grownups
1:00pm at Morris Memorial
At this favorite annual event, programmer Gary Leib presents the best of award-winning and cutting edge animations. It’s too cool to be kid stuff! R
2:30pm at Crandell Theatre
This is that rare thing, a light-hearted comedy from Britain’s Mike Leigh (Secrets and Lies, Vera Drake). Sally Hawkins plays a carefree elementary school teacher aptly named Poppy who breezes through a series of comic episodes. Hawkins glows with good will and high spirits; it’s a tribute to her skill that she is able to channel Mary Poppins without floating up to the ceiling. A selection of the New York Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. 118 min. R for language
Idiots and Angels
3:30pm at Morris Memorial
An often brilliant, animated movie by Academy Award nominee Bill Plympton, wrestling with big questions of good and evil. Told entirely without dialogue in the visual style of R. Crumb crossed with film noir, this is a story of a bad man struggling against his better instincts, manifested in angels’ wings that stubbornly sprout from his back despite his best attempts to cut them off. 78 min. Parental advisory
5:00pm at Crandell Theatre
This year’s Palme d’Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival is Laurent Cantet’s Gallic version ofBlackboard Jungle. Based on the autobiographical novel by Francois Begaudeau, the film presents a year in the life of a man teaching at an inner-city school in Paris. Cantet used non-actors, which gives the picture a documentary feel and avoids the clichés of Hollywood’s profiles in pedagogical courage like Stand and Deliver or Mr. Holland’s Opus. Tough, unsentimental and shot through with shafts of wit and humor. A selection of this year’s New York Film Festival. 128 min. Subtitled. Parental Advisory
5:00pm at Morris Memorial
A comedy of failure, in which a hapless girl struggles to find success in the snakepit of the New York stage. Understudy to a series of egotistic lead actresses in the role of Electra, our girl is patronized by the neurotic director and bullied by the stage manager. The result? A series of shocking events. Includes a cameo appearance by actor Scott Cohen. 102 min. Parental advisory.
8:00pm at Crandell Theatre
You may have loved The Sopranos, The Godfather, andGoodfellas, but this picture tells it like it really is. A selection of the New York Film Festival. 137 min. Subtitled. Parental advisory
MAN FROM EARTH
8:00pm at Morris Memorial
An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he is an immortal who has walked the earth for 14,000 years. 87 minutes.
Visit the official website.
Sweets and Song
After the Sneak at the Blue Plate
Join the FC crew, visiting filmmakers, producers, and film fans for a special dessert party, featuring an irresistible buffet of sweet accompanied by a live musical revue of film’s greatest hits.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2008
Screenwriting Panel Discussion
10:00am at Tracy Memorial
An audience favorite, with actor Scott Cohen (Kissing Jessica Stein) moderating. Regional screenwriters are given a rare opportunity to have their work read by Cohen’s fellow actors, followed by discussion of the work. Bring 10 copies of your 10 minute scene (no more than 5 pages). Actors will read as many as time permits. Bagels & coffee served.
High School Film Project
10:30am at Crandell Theatre
FilmColumbia is proud to announce it’s 7th year sponsoring a summer filmmaking workshop for Columbia County HS students. No Man Left Behind is a post-apocalypse short of teens trying to survive in a time of chaos.
Continental—A Film Without Guns
Noon at Crandell Theatre
In this assured, bone-dry, and quietly wacky debut feature, the “continental” is a line dance in which no one touches anyone else. The dance is a fitting metaphor for the passing
movements of four people connected by the disappearance of a salesman in the opening moments of the film: the salesman’s “abandoned” wife, his business replacement, the
world-weary detective assigned to the case, and a very strange young motel receptionist. The film is full of surprises, and its singular tone, elegant and curiously lucid, remains sharp throughout. Winner of Best Canadian First Feature at the Toronto International Film Festival. 103 min. Subtitled. G
Film Salon with Peter Biskind & Harry Chotiner
Noon at Peint O Gwrw
One of the things that’s always struck us at FilmColumbia is how people gather under the Crandell marquee after screenings and energetically discuss the movie they’ve just seen. This year we’ve formalized this, arranged a gab session where you can vent, argue, or rag on the movies. It also gives us feedback for planning next year’s festival. Cash bar
Under Our Skin
12:30pm at Morris Memorial
Controversial expose of what is considered the failure of the American healthcare system to correctly diagnose, manage, and treat Lyme disease. A must-see for anyone who lives in Lyme disease country. 104 min. Unrated.
Visit the official website.
Watch the trailer.
A Christmas Tale
2:15pm at Crandell Theatre
Starring Catherine Deneuve, with Chiara Mastroianni, and directed by Arnaud Desplechin (Kings & Queen), whom many consider France’s leading director, the ironically named A Christmas Tale recalls Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration, raised to the nth power. A grieving family re-unites for Christmas, only to face madness, death, sexual skeletons in the closet, and yes, even ghosts. Relatives slug it out, Mom neglects to bring her son’s girlfriend back from the mall, and tiny tots discover their mother having sex with a man who doesn’t seem to be daddy. And that’s just the beginning. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, a selection of the New York Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. 150 min. Subtitled. Parental Advisory
The American Ruling Class
3:00pm at Morris Memorial
Is there an American ruling class? The answer, according to former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham is a resounding “Yes!” in this entertaining documentary. Lapham’s whirlwind tour of pundits, right and left, include Walter Cronkite, Robert Altman, James Baker III, Barbara Ehrenreich, Pete Seger, Arthur Sulzberger, Kurt Vonnegut, etc. 88 min. Unrated
Short: All in the Game
Directed by Mark Marino
The Edge of Heaven
5:30pm at Crandell Theatre
Fatih Akin’s followup to his brilliantHead On, shown here in 2004. The Edge of Heaven follows German and Turkish characters as they explore the byways of cultural differences and similarities, stumbling through worlds of prostitution, politics, prison, experiencing life-altering ups and downs. Winner of Best Screenplay at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, nominated for a Cesar, won the German Film Awards in three
categories. 122 min. Subtitled. Parental Advisory
8:15pm at Crandell Theatre
Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow star in the latest from James Gray, the accomplished writer-director of Little Odessa and We Own the Night. Set in his home turf of Brooklyn, Gray gives up guns for roses in this tale of a young man’s attempts to escape the constraints of his family as he chooses between two women, the wild child and the safe but all-too-familiar girl-next-door. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. 108 min. R