Friday, June 6, 2008

Lake Placid Film Forum

June 12 to 15 are the dates of the annual Lake Placid Film Forum. This year the guest of honor is director Jonathan Demme, a strong advocate for human rights, who has directed over 25 films, including Melvin and Howard (for which he won the New York Film Critics’ Award as best director), The Manchurian Candidate, Something Wild, Philadelphia, The Silence of the Lambs, and Neil Young: Heart of Gold. LPFF is a little different from other film festivals in that it is a forum with a panel discussion free to all participants. The topic for the panel discussion is: “Does size matter?” It is a discussion of story-telling vs. format, i.e. “What works in one format may not work in another. A story beautifully told in 35 mm on the big screen might be risible streaming onto your iPod.” In addition to the panel discussion are classes on screen writing and directing as well as many films. William Kennedy and Richard Russo are the two writers participating this year, Melissa Leo the actor, and several producers, teachers, etc. The big films being shown are Demme’s New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward, Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (with live organ music), Before the Rains from India, and Frozen River starring Melissa Leo. The LPFF provides a great opportunity for young filmmakers to network with industry people and with each other but it is also fun for those of us who just like film. I attended the first four festivals and had a blast. The drive up is pleasant and it’s just fun to mingle with people who are talking film. For more information see:
(Again, all films mentioned, except the new ones, are available in the UHLS collection)

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