Last updated on December 1, 2008. Please check back later for additions.
Coming Attractions Trailer Night, Winter 2008
Coming Attractions Trailer Night, Winter 2008
The results are in from the latest Coming Attractions Trailer Night, Winter 2008. Attendees were polled at the recent preview of upcoming winter films about what films they were most anticipating seeing based on the trailers we showed. They are:
KINDA INTERESTED IN
The Wrestler: Darren Aronofsky Gets Rourke to Wrestle His Demons Away
By Ronn Levine, DC Film Society Member
The Cinema Lounge
The next meeting of the Cinema Lounge will be on Monday, December 8 at 7:00pm. The topic to be discussed is "What the hell did I just watch, a.k.a. 'bad hooks'."
The 15th Annual Austin Film Festival and Conference
By Anita Glick, DC Film Society Member
Producers: $650 - all-inclusive, all parties, open conference panels and all films
Conference: $375 - welcome, pitch finale & conference wrap parties, open conference panels and all films
Weekend: $225 - pitch finale & conference wrap parties, open conference panels on Saturday and Sunday and all films
Lone Star: $95 - open conference panels on Saturday, pitch finale party and all films
The four day AFF Conference ran from late morning until late afternoon and covered a variety of formats and subjects conducted by filmmaking professionals. I especially enjoyed the Conversations with Danny Boyle and James Cromwell. They were interesting, entertaining and informative.
The AFF 2008 Extraordinary Contribution to Filmmaking Award went to Danny Boyle for his commitment to outstanding scripts and innovative filmmaking. His body of work has included film noir, horror, science fiction, family, adventure, romantic comedy, television production and Royal Shakespeare direction. His second feature, Trainspotting, is one of the highest grossing British films of all times.
The Outstanding Television Writer Award was presented to Producer and Director Greg Daniels. Daniels has been associated with groundbreaking television including Saturday Night Live, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and King of the Hill. Currently, Daniels is Executive Producer of The Office and is working on a new series with Amy Poehler to air in early 2009.
The AFF's Young Filmmakers Program (YFP) introduces students ages 9-17 to screenwriting and filmmaking. The Arts Education Program offers 300 students and teachers from all over the state the opportunity to meet with industry professionals. The YFP offers panels for both students and teachers. Additional awards were given for Screenplay and Teleplay. Pitch competition allows contestants in 90 seconds to give their best pitch to a panel of industry professionals. I met several women who read and evaluated over 100 scripts each. These screenplays had been submitted to be eligible for competitions.
My Conference Badge granted access to all panels, all films, welcome party, pitch finale party, conference wrap party, meet and greets, and exhibit hall.
Short Q&A with James Cromwell
James Cromwell, at 68 years and six feet, five inches tall, looks distinguished even wearing blue jeans. Oliver Stone called him and they met with Josh Brolin to discuss W. Cromwell found Brolin to be inordinately charming. He became a vegan after filming Babe, for which he was nominated for an academy award. "If you love animals, you can't eat them."
Question: Tell us a little about your background.
James Cromwell: My father was John Cromwell, a noted film director. I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Manhattan and educated at Middlebury College and Carnegie Tech. I went into the theater (like both my parents) doing everything from Shakespeare to experimental plays. I struggled somewhat early in my career due to my height and the fact that few producers wanted someone towering over their leading men.
Q: How did you feel when Oliver Stone called and asked you to discuss the part?
JC: I went to the hotel; Josh (Brolin) was there. He is inordinately charming. It had been his suggestion that I audition for Oliver.
Q: What is it like playing a living former President?
JC: A living person (even a former President) is just playing another character and a relationship. I have played presidents four times.
Q: How did you prepare for the part?
JC: I read Kitty Kelly's books. George Walker Bush was greatly affected by his father Preston, who was an alcoholic. As a result he had no mechanism to deal with situations with his heart. He was very strict. Christian Bale was originally scheduled for the part of George W. and Robert Duvall was asked to play the Dick Cheney part. There was no financing available in America. The money was raised by Producer Moritz Borman in Germany. Brolin was (initially) insulted to be asked to play an unpopular President.
Q: What is it like to work with Oliver Stone?
JC: Oliver is very persuasive, the consummate filmmaker and he is very demanding. Josh has same background issues with his own father, James Brolin, a very powerful man. During the making of the film Josh internalized and worked through his past.
What to see and do while in Austin
Austin is the capital of Texas and one of the country's most popular cities. As the "Live Music Capital of the World," you can find live music playing in approximately 200 different venues. Sixth Street is the center of the historic entertainment district. Austin is alive with history: I visited the State Capital, Bob Bullock Texas History Museum (featuring Austin's only IMAX theater), Mexico-Art Museum, and the Blanton Museum of Art. I especially enjoyed the LBJ Library and Museum. Congress Avenue Bridge shelters a bat colony. Just prior to dusk large numbers of people line up to see more than 1.5 million fly out. I did not!
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest in the nation, home to 48,000 students. The weekend I was there they played and beat Oklahoma in their 98,000 capacity stadium. The tailgate parties were unbelievable! Both teams are in the top five. After all, you can't have a motto like "Keep Austin Weird" and be buttoned-up. Austin is laid-back, full of energy and, yes, a little weird. They love that description! Austin has internationally renowned music, film, food and media festivals throughout the year.
Mellow Johnny's bike shop is co-owned by Lance Armstrong and his business manager Bart Knaggs. The store occupies a converted 9,000-square-foot brick warehouse. It is a block north of the planned Lance Armstrong Bikeway that will run east-to-west on the left bank of Lake Austin past the almost-finished Austin Music Hall. But MJ's is more than a store. There is a coffee shop, where Austinites can get their morning fix after bike commuting into downtown and having a complimentary shower in the bike shop's locker room. Armstrong is eager to promote bike riding for exercise and good health in his overall campaign of fighting cancer through preventative medicine. Not surprisingly, "museum piece" bikes hanging from the rafters of this too-cool building are mostly Treks: ones that Armstrong rode to victory in seven Tours. Clearly, besides the racing set, the new store is out to capture a new type of cyclist, and Armstrong is hoping that his Mellow Johnny's will be a catalyst for motorists to start switching to bike commuting as gasoline prices rise.
Whole Foods Market is amazing and overwhelming. In 2005 the world's leading natural and organic food supermarket opened a landmark store in Austin, Texas, their world headquarters. The new store is the company's largest, at 80,000 square feet. This location is a few blocks from where the first Whole Foods was located 25 years ago. Cooking demonstrations, food sampling, sit-down dining and takeout selections mingle with thousands of fresh and all natural ingredients in every department. Atop it all is a rooftop, park-like plaza and community meeting place for gatherings and live music. Even before you enter the store, the Market Hall, reminiscent of an outdoor farmers market, greets you with the freshest fruits and vegetables in season, along with lots of local products, fresh-cut flowers and gardening essentials. From three different types of ovens (deck, hearth, and wood stone), 50 fresh-baked breads are available daily along with dozens of chef-prepared pastries, candies and desserts. More than 1,800 types of wine include a wide selection of local and organic varieties. Thousands of beers from around the globe are stocked in the walk-in cooler that measures almost 400 square feet. The hand-selected coffees and teas come from farms across the globe.
The 19th Washington Jewish Film Festival
The 19th Washington Jewish Film Festival: An Exhibition of International Cinema presents 59 features, documentaries and shorts from 10 countries, in seven venues, during the December 4 - 14, eleven-day Festival. This is one of the largest Jewish film festivals in the world. The Festival opened 19 years ago with 8 films screened at the old Biograph Theatre in Georgetown, bringing in an audience of 1,500. Along with the increase in films presented throughout the years, the Festival grew its programs surrounding the films, increased its audience by more than four times, moved to multiple venues, diversified its programming and increased its special guest roster. The Festival has presented more than 600 films on the Jewish experience from over 30 countries. An audience of 7,000-plus is expected to attend this year’s Festival.
We Need to Hear From YOU
We are always looking for film-related material for the Storyboard. Our enthusiastic and well-traveled members have written about their trips to the Cannes Film Festival, London Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Reykjavik Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival. We also heard about what it's like being an extra in the movies. Have you gone to an interesting film festival? Have a favorite place to see movies that we aren't covering in the Calendar of Events? Seen a movie that blew you away? Read a film-related book? Gone to a film seminar? Interviewed a director? Taken notes at a Q&A? Read an article about something that didn't make our local news media? Send your contributions to Storyboard and share your stories with the membership. And we sincerely thank all our contributors for this issue of Storyboard.
Calendar of Events
The 19th Washington Jewish Film Festival
December 4-14. See above.
The Capital Irish Film Festival
The Capital Irish Film Festival takes place December 4-7 at the Goethe Institute. On December 4 at 9:00pm is Frontline (David Gleeson) shown with the short film A Film from My Parish. On December 5 at 8:00pm is Adam and Paul (Leonard Abrahamson) shown with the short film Joyriders. On December 6 at 3:00pm is O'Donoghue's Opera (Kevin Sheldon) and Flea Ceoil (Louis Marcus) shown with the short film Ding Dong Denny's History of Ireland. On December 6 at 8:00pm is Small Engine Repair (Niall Heery) shown with Marion agus an Banphrionsa. On December 7 at 3:00pm is Oileán Thoraí (Patrick Collins) shown with The White Dress. Admission is $10.
On December 9 at 10:30am is "Arch Campbell: My Life and the Movies." Hear about the Emmy Award-winning movie enthusiast's life story.
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