Sunday, February 25, 2007

Kin Flicks Kicks Off

It’s 2am and I just got back from the Film Festival’s first annual Pre-Oscar Bash. I announced the 20th annual Film Festival’s new theme, KIN FLICKS, and  dates, November 1-4, 2007. The press release should be up on our website shortly with more information about the kinds of family films and  films about families (The Shining, Joshua) and film families (The Wilsons, The Fondas, the Rossellinis, etc.) we’re looking for.

This blog is now re-open for business, and I need suggestions, for titles, guests, and sidebar events (art exhibits, musical performances, etc.). Last year’s blog sparked a lot of great programming ideas I would not have had otherwise.

I’ll update this blog regularly with news as the program comes together, and reactions to your suggestions.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another terrific theme which opens the door for so many ideas of films, guests and activities!

Taking the comedic route, I couldn't think of a better symbol for the typical goofy American Dad other than Chevy Chase himself.

Through classic films such as Vacation, Funny Farm and Cops and Robertsons... Chevy captured the idealistic nature of a loving father/husband who tried maybe a little too hard to achieve that perfect family scenario.

I'm not sure what Chevy is up to these days, but I think he would be an entertaining guest, especially if he is working on another "family" project... if not, perhaps at least pay homage to one of his classic family comedies which we all could relate to!

12:14 PM  
Blogger Yolande van der Deijl said...

I love it and find it too bad that I do not live in VA!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

What a great theme. I look forward to the festival (again). I'd recommend the 1989 movie "Dad" with Jack Lemmon, Ted Danson and Ethan Hawke. Perhaps someone from the movie could pay us a visit as well. I would love to hear from the novelest or screen playwright.

5:13 PM  
Blogger CmdrSue said...

Who feels more strongly about their Mom than Norman Bates? Ok, I'm just kidding... sort of. :)

7:53 PM  
Anonymous amn4n said...

I recently found the '05 French-Canadian gem C.R.A.Z.Y. about a family of five sons and their parents. I really enjoyed it and it seems like the perfect kind of film for the VA Film Fest.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Marc Lipson said...

I think it would be great to have a set of films focusing on families from the child's point of view to match up with homegrown film Joshua. For example (some of my foreign language favorites): Fanny and Alexander contrasts the childrens sometimes frightening view of the world with the adults presumption that their lives are pure childish joy; My Life as a Dog portrays the struggle of a child and family to redefine family after a disruptive change; Children of Heaven has the contrast of worlds as well as sibling bonding and all that in a very different culture.

All told, this is promising theme!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

I think you should include the 1993 movie "Searching for Bobby Fischer". I just checked and it is based on a real child named Josh Waitzkin, an actual chess prodigy.

The parents are determined to raise their son with a 'normal' life even if he is a child prodigy in Chess.

The scene where he tests his parents reaction to his losing a game and the scene where he offers a draw to another child out of kindness are each quite memorable.

Performers include Max Pomeranc,Joe Mantegna,Joan Allen,Ben Kingsley,Laurence Fishburne. Fun if any of them wished to come.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Ethan said...

As a C-ville newcomer, this past year was my first festival. I brought my mom along, visiting from PA, and we were thoroughly entertained.

As soon as I heard this year's theme, the film LaLee's Kin came to mind.

I saw it five years ago and it remains one of the most powerful movies I've ever seen. I guarantee it'll keep people talking for a while.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Corleones.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Larry Jacksina said...

My favorite dysfunctional family is that of R. Crumb, in "Crumb". How the cartoonist survived that cuckoo's nest and found success and acceptance is amazing!

10:40 PM  
Anonymous C.Kitchin said...

Jules et Jim

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Ordinary People" left me angry, and full of "what ifs"..I think it would be a grand flick to open discussions on roles and communication within family. Mary Tyler Moore is a favorite of everyone and she adores Charlottesville. JMMG

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James Journey to Jerusalem; generational conflict is not its main theme, but, an important part of the movie

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Chris said...

One film that stands out in my memory is Kramer vs Kramer. The women's movement was pretty new then and lots of us wanted out of bad marriages. Merryl Streep personified that tension, and she continues to deliver to this day. How have we evolved, and how has marriage and family changed?

Also just read The Namesake, which is about to released as a film, and could be the jumping off point for a discussion on our culturally melding (or not) families.

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of my favorites is Truffaut's "Small Change." It definitely deals with family dynamics.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:44 PM  
Blogger info said...

Hi hi. Sounds like a great theme for a festival. Here's our list:

Silent Films

MARE NOSTRUM (father, mother, son...still plugging for this one...)
THE PATSY (Marion Davies)

Sound films:

THE GOLDEN COMPASS (if available)

Best, Donald and Joanna

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grave of the Fireflies is crushingly depressing and follows a boy and his 5-year-old sister trying to survive in 1945 Japan.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Richard,

"Souffle au coeur, Le/
Murmur of the Heart" (1971).
Dir. by Louis Malle.

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's an American artist living in London, Ellen Cantor, who has a film which takes clips from the "Sound of Music" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre". It was actually quite powerful. At one point it overlays the family dinner scenes from those 2 movies.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brideshead Revisited

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of kinship
There's also Su Friedrich's "Sink or Swim" about her father. Alan Berliner's "Nobody's Business" about his father, Nathaniel Kahn's film "My Architect" about his father.
There were a couple of beautiful short films about her mother that a VCU film professor made that I saw a couple of years ago. Sorry I can't remember her name.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This festival definitely looks promising:

Try these classics from cinema powerhouses:

Fanny & Alexander- Bergman (already been mentioned, I couldn't think of a better cinematic family)

Tree of Wooden Clogs- Olmi (Just saw this recently and was blown away. One of the truest depictions of family life and struggle I have ever seen)

Tokyo Story- Ozu (Ozu's the king of family life)

The Leopard- Visconti (Another good Italian family drama, way before the Godfather)

Yi Yi - Wang (great depiction of a more recent Japanese family)

A Woman Under the Influence - Cassavettes (One of the many stellar Gena Rowlands performances)

Julien Donkey Boy- The most disfunctional family ever caught on film)

Stroszek- Family of misfits escapes Berlin to meet up with family in Wisconsin to live the so called "American Dream" with special guest WERNER HERZOG perhaps, who also happens to be in Julien Donkey Boy!

5 Easy Pieces- Another great performance by Jack Nicholson and his disfunctional family to add to The Shining, any possibilities on getting him?

Juliet of the Spirits- Fellini, His first color film brings back his wife in the leading role as a woman trying to recover from her husband's infidelity and dealing with her catholic guilt, asking her family and friends for advice, (I'd love to see a Fellini film make it to the festival this year!)

12:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about:

Spirit of the Beehive (beautiful)
Tortilla Soup

and for an alternate lifestyle pic,

Fassbinder's "Fox and his Friends"

"Ja Vais Bien, Ne T'en Fais Pas" is another film I just recently caught at the VCU Film festival that was a powerful "family" film

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't a restored copy of "The Rules of the Game" currently touring America? This is a classic "household" film that would do the "Kin Flicks" festival proud!

5:05 PM  
Blogger Scott Burnet said...

I have had little time to sit down and send suggestions, but weeks ago the first film to come to mind for this topic was Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt," in which Joseph Cotten's charming Uncle Charlie struggles to conceal from his adoring (but sharp) niece and proud sister that he is a wanted murderer. Well known as Hitchcock's favorite among his films, it is also one of mine.
Another good possibility, though it offends many, is Mark Waters' "House of Yes," based on Wendy McLeod's play. Yes, it is indeed about sibling incest, and, yes, it sometimes seems to imply that the only thing really wrong with that is Parker Posey's character's sexual fixation on the JFK assassination, but it is also a funny and, at the same time, a touching portrait of a hopelessly messed up family. Parker Posey is brilliant and would be someone worth pursuing for an appearance.
On a decidedly more conventional note, how about "Spencer's Mountain?" Based on the novel by our own Earl Hamner, it was the first iteration of "The Waltons"--transported to the Rockies. My recollection, perhaps erroneous, is that Hamner was not that fond of the film, but bringing in Hamner would draw in his loyal fans. His Book festival appearances have been huge (this year and two years ago), and he also filled the Newcomb theater in the first few years of the Film Festival, when he screened a couple of "Walton's" episodes.
I second another contributor who suggested, among others, "Five Easy Pieces," not that it is a favorite of mine, but it fits the theme so well. One of the most talked-about films of the 70s, it is now largely forgotten. (Does anyone remember a few years ago when Littlejohn's Deli here in Cville temporarily changed the name of its "5 Easy Pieces" sandwich because so few customers remembered the movie it was named after?)
It might be more of a stretch to connect to the theme, but how about "The Wrong Box," Larry Gelbart's very free adaptation of a forgotten Robert Louis Stevenson book? (I've read the book and it is actually good, and marginally better than the film, which is funnier in different ways.) Directed by Bryan Forbes and starring John Mills, Ralph Richardson, Michael Caine, Peter Cook & Dudley Moore, Peter Sellers, and a busload of 60s-era British actors, it the exceptionally funny story of the fight between two estranged brothers (Mills and Richardson) and their assorted cousins, wards, and hangers-on over which will be the last survivor of a tontine--and this win a massive fortune. Audiences would love it.
One should also not forget some of those classic big-family movies, such as "Cheaper by the Dozen" and "Meet Me in St. Louis," well-made and enjoyable films that fit the theme (and could spark good discussions, especially about the 40s & 50s nostalgia for the 1890-1910 period, shown in both films).
I hope these spark some interest.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Scott Burnet said...

Since I see my more recent comment posted, which I thought I had botched, but do not see my original post from weeks ago, I assume that I actually had fouled up the original. If so, I'm sure it's way too late for those suggestions, but, just for the record, I'll run through them again:

Hitchcock's SHADOW OF A DOUBT, in which Joseph Cotten's adoring family is slow to recognize that he is a psychotic murderer.

THE HOUSE OF YES, a brilliant and brittle comedy about sibling incest, as certain to offend as to amuse. Great work by Parker Posey.

SPENCER'S MOUNTAIN, film version of Earl Hamner novel (precursor to the Walton). Bring back Hamner for a big event, though I recall he was not thrilled with the film.

THE WRONG BOX, a comedy about the feuding branches of a well-off English family competing for a fortune. The script by Larry Gelbart is based on a largely forgotten Robert Louis Stevenson novel, and the English cast includes Ralph Richardson, John Mills, Michael Caine, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and Peter Sellers.
Others I mentioned before include CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. Sorry if this all duplicates the previous comment(if it survives and will be posted later), and sorry it is all too late to be useful.

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great theme for the VA Film Festival this year. Some other kin flicks are:

A Thousand Acres with Jason Robards

Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (cousin rivalry) or Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (sibling rivalry)

The Little Foxes with Bette Davis

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Paul Newman

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

The Long Riders - a decent Western starring four sets of brothers (Dennis & Randy Quaid, Robert, Keith & David Carradine, Stacy & James Keach, and Christopher & Nicholas Guest)

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about considering:

Barbarian Invasions
or Breaking the Waves

8:02 PM  
Blogger wameen said...

Hello Richard, Lots of great suggestions already, but I don't see "Mother", possibly Albert Brooks's funniest film and Debbie Reynolds's best role, plus one of the funniest lines ever ("It tastes like an orange foot!"). See you in November! Bill Ameen

1:09 PM  

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