In “I Am Love” (Io Sono L’amore), Tilda Swinton plays Emma, the matriarch of a rich bourgeois Italian family. Wooed from her native Russia by Tancredi (Pippo Delbono), the heir of a Milanese textile fortune, she becomes his perfect wife and ideal mother to their children. She’s trim, stylish, controlled, yet warm; she keeps everyone around her on their mark, she plans family gatherings with precision, she councils wisely. Still, despite outward appearances there’s something unsettled in her.
Although she fully embraces the Italian culture (she speaks the language impeccably, she knows her place in male/female protocol), she remains an outsider and seems unfulfilled. This yearning enables her to understand and accept her daughter, Betta’s (Alba Rohrwacher) newly discovered gay sexuality. It also allows for her own lusty awakening as she falls for her son, Eduaordo’s (Flavio Parenti) best friend, Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini).
So, after "Jesse's Story" I'm talking with director Marc Jacobs and getting ready to leave and my niece. Kayleigh, and her friend, Monika, come into the Island Theater. They are going to see "Ondine," an Irish film starring Colin Farrell. Now the reason I mention this is because nowhere on the movie schedule does it show the screening. And since I'm on the press email list and also signed up for the NBFF Facebook page I would have expected something to come my way regarding this film.
This is part one of three of the last day of the Newport Beach Film Festival so let’s get right to it.
“CleanFlix” is the story about the attempt by some in Utah’s Mormon community to “sanitize” Hollywood films which turned litigious and really ugly. This narrative has more twists and turns than a road to Bear Bear and more dirt than a convention of failed preachers.
It’s too complicated to go into all the permutations but here are the high points:
Maybe I’m just tired and grumpy after long days of festival but today just wasn’t a peak day at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
I didn’t go at all yesterday because of professional obligations so I was looking forward to today.
The first film I saw started the day right although they held the press out until the very last because the showing was sold out. “Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story” is a short (60 minutes) documentary based on a book written by novelist Fredrick Kohner who was the father of the real girl called Gidget by the boy surfers in the late-50's. Gidget (Girl mIDGET) was/is Kathy Kohner (Zuckerman) who at about the time of her fourteenth birthday wanted to surf and hang out with the boys at Malibu.
You know it's a long festival when you find yourself waiting in the lobby of the Island Cinemas for your camerman (Eric Hensman from Lennexe Productions), eating a cold Wahoo fish sandwich left over from the day before, drinking theater coffee, and downing supplements from a ziplock bag - while talking to a short-film director who desperately wants you to come to his film - which you can't because of a scheduling conflict. But he continues anyway and all you're hoping is that you won't be burping up either the sandwich or the coffee in the upcoming screening. Fun.
The first film I saw today was "My Run."
Okay, so student films aren't brilliant, ultra-clean, well-acted productions like professional films. That's a given. On budgets less than dinner for four, the productions often suffer from no production money, too little time, too little experience and perhaps a bit too much youthful hubris.
But the energy...oh, my - what a treat to watch the young filmmakers fairly vibrating with enthusiasm and adrenalin (but trying to look chill) as they participated in the after-screening Q&A.
World premiers - now just how many of those do we get to go to? Tonight, the Regency South Coast Village Theater was host to the Newport Beach Film Festival showing of surf documentary "The Westsiders" which was premiering for the first time anywhere.
I'm an Ohio native - basically landlocked except for Lake Erie. I played in plenty of lakes when I was a kid but surfing? Nada. Zero. No interest. I am a huge fan of biolgraphical documentaries however and this film does not disappoint.
Today started early(ish) at a screenwriting seminar that was well attended. I won't cover it here since another member is going to do a write up.
Afterwards, several of us had lunch and someone commented about the quality of the films, which to this point had been uneven to this point.
I think that's to be expected in a festival. Many of these productions don't have the huge machines behind them that even smaller films out of Hollywood enjoy - like some of the boutique imprints that most studios support.
I wasn't able to go last night to the opening gala so this was my first night at the fest. To see some quick video hits from the opening go here.
In a word the festival is - fabulous.
The first videos of opening night of the Newport Beach Film Festival are up on our YouTube page. OCSWA members Tom Sullivan and Rudy Garcia do the reporting thing.