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What to Look Forward to at Memphis Film Fest!

March 25, 2008

Thursday March 27 Opening Night Highlights:

Delta Rising opens up the fest and then the after party will be at Ground Zero. This will be quite the musical night.

Friday, March 28 (and my birthday!!) Highlights:

1:00 -2:15 is Finding Kraftland, a documentary/narrative that is a rollercoaster ride of fun and obsession. Richard Kraft and his son go on a whirlwind tour of theme parks after the loss of his brother and parents. I have yet to see the film, but it looks like it is going to be one of those docs that pulls at the heartstrings.

Their competition begins at 1:30 with The Memory Thief. A typical L.A. aimless guy meets a Holocaust survivor and becomes psychologically addicted to a new identity of a victimized Jew in World War II. The trailer available on the site looks fascinating. Definitely one to check out.

3:30 to 5:08 p.m. will be Rattle Basket about two train wreck sisters who cause devastation wherever they go.

5:45 – 7:30 is A Snowmobile For George about the two stroke engine snowmobile that was stopped by the EPA and then brought back by George Bush. Todd Darling, the filmmaker, discovered along his journey the stories of those lives that depended upon the snowmobile and the impact it has on the environment.

9:15-10:47 will be a film subject close to my heart: The Art of Travel. After Conner’s wedding plans fall apar, he decides to take his honeymoon trip solo and discovers himself through his travels. I am very excited to see this one!

Saturday, March 29 Highlights:

2:45-4:06 p.m. Beyond The Call is the newest film from Adrian Belic (see Genghis Blues below). The synopsis states that In an Indiana Jones meets Mother Teresa adventure, three middle-aged men, former soldiers and modern-day knights travel the world delivering life-saving humanitarian aid directly into the hands of civilians and doctors. Ed Artis, James Laws and Walt Ratterman inspire through deeds not words, in some of the most dangerous yet beautiful places on Earth, the front lines of war.

6:00 – 7:34 p.m. Blood on the Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls looks fun but I don’t know anything about this film other than it is about women’s competitive roller skating.

7:15 – 8:45 p..m. Low and Behold ‘s synopsis states, “Turner Stull (Barlow Jacobs), an uninspired young man, trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, arrives in hurricane-ravaged New Orleans to work as an insurance claims adjuster. Greeted by his Uncle Stully (Robert Longstreet) a seasoned claim adjuster, and an ambitious group of adjusters, he is quickly immersed into the routine: move fast, don’t get emotionally involved, and make a lot of money. But Turner, not prepared to deal with people who have lost everything, is totally overwhelmed. Turner’s lack of experience and uncertainty only makes things worse. In a moment of crisis, Turner agrees to help Nixon (Eddie Rouse), a local man, find his lost dog. In exchange for Turner helping look for the lost dog, Nixon lends a hand with Turner’s insurance claim’s. Turner and Nixon begin to navigate their way through the storm-ravaged city, a journey that will change Turner’s life.”

Sunday, March 30th highlights:

1:10 – 2:19 PM To Touch The Soul is about the drawing program that CSULB Professor Carlos Silveira began to help children suffering from HIV/AIDS in Cambodia. This will be an amazing documentary.

1:30 – 2:58 p.m. Ghengis Blues is the Oscar nominated and Sundance award winning documentary by Adrian Belic (see Beyond the Call above) about bluesman Paul Pena that taught himself throat singing and traveled to Kyzyl to perform. A well made documentary about a fascinating topic (throat singing is just crying out for documentaries!), Ghengis Blues is a must see.

5:45 – 7:15 p.m. All About Us is written and directedby Christine Lynch and involves two Hollywood filmmakers that travel to meet Morgan Freeman in hopes of getting him to star in their upcoming film.

7:30 – 10:30 p.m. is David Lynch’s Inland Empire starring Laura Dern. The synospsis is that after taking the lead in a new movie Hollywood star Nikki Grace learns the script is based on an old polish film, which was abandoned after the two lead roles of the film were murdered, Thinking the film is cursed Nikki’s imagination runs riot. Should be interesting for Lynch fans.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 27, 2008 4:22 pm

    A Note from the filmmaker of “A Snow Mobile for George”:

    Although the snowmobile in the title of this film is part of the film, it only is about 25% of the film. The stories of salmon fishermen, Wyoming cowboys and New York firemen feature a good bit more prominently.

    This documentary is indeed about the environment, but it is not a stale lecture by some college professor telling the audience to “eat their vegetables”. Instead, it is about people who have no choice but to fight to defend their livelihoods or in some cases, their lives. On the Klamath River, commercial and Indian fishermen witnessed the biggest fish kill in American history, in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin ranchers face an assault from oil companies drilling for coal-bed methane gas, and in New York firemen, paramedics and lower Manhattan workers deal with the health consequences of the federal government suppressing key safety rules in the response to the World Trade Center attacks.

    The snowmobile is the tragi-comic relief on this road-trip, which in the end, provides the final twist, illustrating just how the Bush White House carried out a national program of environmental de-regulation.

    I will be happy to provide you a DVD and a press release if you send me your e-mail.

    all the best,
    Todd Darling

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