Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Atlanta Film Festival 365 returns Thursday with a world's worth of fun flicks

If you're looking for something outside the regular wide releases in the coming days (though, trust me, "Water for Elephants" is well worth checking out for Sara Gruen fans and everyone else, too), consider taking a trip just up the road from Macon to the Atlanta Film Festival 365.

The festival, which kicks off Thursday night and runs through Saturday, May 7, offers a great mix of Georgia-inspired and -made movies with many more offerings (well more than 150) from all around the world. Here's just a sampling of what you'll find at the festival, which takes place mainly at the Landmark Midtown Art Cinema, with a few screenings at the Plaza Theatre, too.

The movies that have yet to hit theaters anywhere else start with Thursday's opening night flick, "Terri," a comedy about a teen misfit opening probably in limited release July 11 and starring John C. Reilly and Creed Bratton of "The Office" fame. Other sneak peeks available at the fest are "Things Fall Apart," starring rapper 50 Cent as a college football star struck by a debilitating disease, screening Saturday night, and Denis Villeneuve's international drama "Incendies," which revolves around the situation in Lebanon and screens Friday, May 6, at the Plaza Theatre. Here's the trailer for "Incendies":

And though the Atlanta fest offers films from many different countries, the focus this year is on Africa, and in those offerings are some really intriguing possibilities. Among the movies I'm going to try and catch (yes, I'm using some of my vacation time for this) are "An African Election" (Saturday afternoon), a documentary about the 2008 election in Ghana; "Africa United," the closing night movie on Saturday, May 7, about African kids who journey to see the 2010 World Cup in South Africa; and "Bouncing Cats" (Thursday, May 5), a documentary about bringing hip-hop culture to the children of Uganda. Here's the trailer for "Africa United":

Music, as it does with Macon's own great film festival, runs through many of the Atlanta Film Festival 365 offerings. Among the movies I'm hoping to catch are "Beatboxing - The Fifth Element of Hip-Hop" (Thursday, May 5), which explores the history and evolution of that odd art form, and "Rejoice and Shout" (Sunday), a documentary about the history of black Christianity and gospel music in America. Here's the joyously noisy trailer of sorts for "Rejoice and Shout":

Along with new movies, the Atlanta fest also goes out of its way to bring back to the big screen classic titles that are still very relevant today. Although it was added to the schedule well before the great director's death, the recent passing of Sidney Lumet adds even more resonance to the Tuesday night screening of "Network," his dramatic dissection of TV news, at the Plaza Theatre. Later comes Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver," which screens Thursday, May 5, also at the Plaza Theatre, and just pulses with the kind of rage too many people in American feel right now.

These are obviously just a very few of the offerings available at this year's Atlanta Film Festival 365. For a full schedule and information on tickets, visit www.atlantafilmfestival.com, and if you have the time, definitely take on a chance on some of the intriguing movies on the slate starting Thursday.


Film Conqueror said...

I'm semi-close to Atlanta too-- and I had no idea that this was going on!! This sounds awesome, and all those African-focused features look really fascinating...you did a great job covering every part of that festival!!

Reel Fanatic said...

Thanks ... I've gone to this for the last two years, and along with the Landmark being a great venue, they just offer a lot of really interesting flicks, so I definitely recommend making the drive for at least a few of them