Nov 4, 2005

ohmygodohmygodohmygodit'sSISSY SPACEK!

My weekend was a trip down to join the Nevskys (Nevskies?) at the Virginia Film Festival, where a good time was had by all and a cornucopia of film delights came to pass.

Friday night brought Russia/Chechnya: Voices of Dissent, executive produced by Vanessa Redgrave and about as uplifting and lighthearted as you'd expect from a documentary about the Chechen conflict. A panel afterwards about documentary filmaking, despite the dignified presence of Redgrave, soon degenerated into self-promotion as other filmmakers talked up their projects at the expense of the subject. Meanwhile, Vanessa looked as if she was thinking "I've shat bigger ones than these nimrods," but in a dignified way, of course.

Saturday was a triple-feature spectacular, starting with the classic 1962 film To Kill A Mockingbird. Undoubtedly one of the greatest films of all time. So they say. Personally, I was bored except for the trial and Robert Duvall. But it's me. My brain has obviously withered from pop-culture, TV, and that bottle of peppermint schnapps I tried to kill in one sitting as a college senior.

The next film was Nine Lives, an experimental movie featuring a bevy of uber-talented actresses and nine single takes woven together. Not something I would normally see (since it didn't involve robotic exoskeletons) but uniformly well-acted, and the panel afterwards, featuring Sissy Spacek and Kathy Baker, was as entertaining as the earlier panel wasn't.

Final film was Sarah Silverman's Jesus is Magic, and while funny, it seemed to me that it would have been funnier if she didn't try so hard to be offensive. Fortunately, I had missed Silverman's article in the New Yorker, since all of the best jokes were there and Nevsky was spoiled for the movie.

All in all, a great time and a friendly reminder that I'm culturally illiterate.