Friday, October 17, 2008

The Rehoboth Film Festival and "the best horror movie of the year"?

The biggest news out there today that isn't all about me is that AMC has just signed on for a third season of "Mad Men," but show creator Matthew Weiner isn't yet quite on board.

Given the run the show is on now deep in season two, I just assumed it was signed up for Weiner's planned five-year run, but I guess that shows you just how little I know about business.

As for the show itself which, if I'm not mistaken, only has two episodes left in this season, last Sunday's installment may have been the best yet. Don's first-season party with the hippies was a hoot, but his adventures in La-La land were just crazy on a whole new level (and my co-worker Karen Ludwig asked a question I have to admit had never really crossed my mind - will he come back to New York?) I have to assume so, but I can't wait for the return of "Dick Wickman" if he shows this week.

But the bad news, of course, is that even though the two sides have apparently exchanged contract offers, Weiner is not yet signed up for the further saga of the men and women of Sterling Cooper. If he were to walk, the show is clearly in good hands by now (including "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" vet Marti Noxon and "Gilmore Girls" vet Lesli Linka Glatter, among others), but it would still be a real shame. Stay tuned.

In even better news, though I haven't seen a Broadway show in years, the Great White Way is about to get a serious injection of class.

It seems that "Once," the soundtrack for which still sits on my desk at work and will surely be listened to later today, has been optioned by John N. Hart Jr., Jeffrey Sine and Frederick Zollo to turn the musical into, well, a musical. Luckily, the trio have said they expect stars/composers Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova to be involved in the project (as stars? I'd easily pay $100 for that!) Writer/director John Carney may get in on the game too.

Best of all, it will include not only songs from the sensational movie, but also some more Hansard/Irglova tunes that didn't make the cut. In my mind, I'm definitely already there instead of heading to a 10-hour day for my fifth day of work this week!

Rehoboth Film Festival

It's really hard to complain too much, though, because the day after Barack Obama wins the election I'm headed to Rehoboth Beach, Del., for the 11th (amazing!) annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival. My brother and I had once fantasized about hitting Toronto - me for the movies and him for the soccer - but I think Rehoboth is about as glamorous as it's gonna get for me, and that's just fine.

This year's festival takes place from Wednesday, Nov. 5 to Sunday, Nov. 9, and features a host of great almost-first-run movies. Here's the schedule of what I'll hopefully be watching (assuming we can get tickets for them all), and if you live anywhere near Rehoboth (or are just curious), you can finally view the schedule in a pdf program here.


"Mirageman": All I really know about this one is that it's about some kind of Chilean superhero, and that's enough to get me intrigued.

"Let the Right One In": This is the "horror" movie I referred to in the title of this post, and though I'm way too old for most horror flicks, this looks right up my alley. It's apparently a Mexican movie about a young man who befriends his next-door neighbor, who just happens to be a vampire. Cool, and the trailer, courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes, is below.

"Trouble the Water": I'd have to imagine this doco will be the festival's hottest ticket, so hopefully I can get in. Given the human scale of the tragedy, I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching documentaries about Hurricane Katrina, and this one about a husband and wife who get trapped in their house looks like a real winner.


"The Pope's Toilet": Despite the rather colorful title of this one, I'm fairly certain it won't have any images of Benedict himself doing his private business. Instead, it's a drama about the madness that surrounds a papal visit to Uruguay.

"In a Dream": I never would have guessed, but apparently Philadelphia is just a mecca for outside (and outsider) art. This particular doco looks at the work of mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, and should just be a visual feast.

"Wendy and Lucy": I had never heard of this one, but I really like Michelle Williams, so I'm definitely in. As the titular Wendy, she shows up in Oregon with her dog Lucy to look for work. I like movies about the fringes of American life, and this one should be intriguing.


"Mister Foe": Young Billy Elliott (Jamie Bell) is a little more grown up now and suffering a rather serious oedipal complex. After becoming infatuated with a woman who looks like his mother, he runs off to Glasgow, and surely a lot of nifty indie rock and hopefully good filmmaking will follow.

"The Grocer's Son": My parents recommended this one, which for me makes it a must-see. It's a French flick about a city man who returns to southern France to help in his father's grocery store after the elder man suffers a stroke. Doesn't sound like exactly my cup of tea, but I love being proven wrong.

"Love Comes Lately": It looks I'm not terribly likely to get the job I applied for on a lark to be the "Film Festival Coordinator" for the DC Jewish Community Center, but I won't hold that against Isaac Bashevis Singer. This flick based on a collection of the great writer's short stories is about love, faith and - inevitably - cheating in New York City.


"Under the Bombs": Shot in 10 days as bombs were actually raining down on Lebanon in 2006, this drama uses non-actors to look for some answers in all that madness. Good look with that, but I'll give it a chance anyway.

"Man on a Wire": I'll hopefully close the fest with this doco about Philippe Petit's bold and crazy attempt to walk between the Twin Towers on a wire in 1974. The flick is apparently also about all the loony people who conspired with him to make this all happen, which should make for the most interesting part.

So, there you have it. Please feel free to browse through the rather impressive program and make any recommendations of flicks you may have seen but I have omitted from this list (which is not yet set in stone.)

And I'll leave with you the first 10 minutes of "Sex Drive," which I'll probably go see Sunday for a healthy dose of juvenalia after Oliver Stone's "W." on Saturday. I haven't watched it all yet, but I'm sure you'll want to wear headphones if you're watching this at work. Peace out.


Sachin said...

Actually Let the Right One In is a Swedish film and it is worth seeing, especially before the American remake is made. I believe J.J. Abrams's production company is in talks about that. The Grocer's Son has a nice heart and makes for a pleasant viewing. Thankfully The Pope's Toilet does not have images of anyone doing their private business but it is a very nice film :)

Reel Fanatic said...

I should have figured, Sachin, given the very blond boy in the trailer .. I'm not sure where I got the Mexican thing from, maybe just because it was endorsed by Guillermo del Toro at the end of the trailer .. Either day, I can't wait to see it!

Sachin said...

Oh, I think you are allowed to make a typo per year or so :) In fact, it might even be a requirement in the terms and conditions for a blog -- thou shall insert a typo to test your readers :)

But the line-up you have planned for the festival looks very good. Happy film viewing :)

Mercurie said...

Well, I hope Weiner comes back for a third season of Mad Men. There are a lot of good people working on it, but he seems to be one of the few people I've ever heard of who is as obsessed with the details of a time in history as I am (I have only seen two anachronisms in the entire run of the show!).

Reel Fanatic said...

What are they? I get so wrapped in the intricate story line that I don't tend to notice such things, but I can't think of any anachronisms that come to my mind with this show

Mercurie said...

There were only two so far, both in the first season. And one was forgiveable, as it was one of necessity. As anyone who knows the history of typewriters, the IBM Selectric featured in the first season (1960) were the 1961 models. This was out of necessity, however, as Weiner could not get enough of the 1960 models (not many were made) and the ones he did get had a tendency to jam. He then simply chose to use the 1961 models. And to be honest, in appearance they look so much alike only anyone with knowledge of Selectrics would know the difference. This anachronism is forgiveable in my mind (not like The Kinks showing up in America six months early in American Dreams...).

The other I caught was linked to the Lucky Strike campaign (my fav cigarette of all time). The episode had Sterling Cooper coming up with the slogan "It's Toasted," despite the fact that the slogan had been in use since 1917. The slogan in actual use at that time (and the one that Sterling Cooper could have realistically developed) was "Lucky Strike separates the men from the boys...but not from the girls."

Still, two anachronisms is pretty remarkable for a TV show. And to be honest, even if it had more, the story arcs and characters are so interesting the show could be forgiven if there were more! It's one of the few I watch regularly.

Reel Fanatic said...

You certainly have much more of an eye for detail than I do! ... I never would have known about the typewriters, and as to the latter, I think you can chalk that one up to creative liberty rather than an actual mistake ... But, as you said, only two errors in a show that's so intricately crafted is certainly forgivable .. I can't wait to see if Dick Whitman returns tonight!

Marina said...

A few folks have already mentioned it but if you can, be sure to catch "Let the Right One In" - it's a fantastic little film. I didn't see it but I'd highly recommend "Wendy and Lucy". Director Kelly Reichardt's first film "Old Joy" was came as a surprise. It's one of the film's I'm most upset to have missed at VIFF. "Man on Wire" is brilliant. Another "must see". And I look forward to hearing any thoughts on "Mister Foe" if you get around to it. The trailer looked great and I'm still hopeful it will open around these parts but I'm not holding my breath!

Reel Fanatic said...

I hadn't heard of the flick "Old Joy," Marina, so thanks for the recommendation .. it's still my single favorite thing about writing this blog that I get recommendations fairly often to add to my Netflix account if they're available there!

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