Crimespree Goes to the Red Carpet
Crimespree Goes to the Red Carpet
Yup, you read that right. Your dedicated Crimespree reporters Bryan VanMeter and Kyle Joseph Schmidt are headed to the red carpet. It’s all for you, readers. We sacrifice so much.
All kidding aside, we have been bestowed the honor of covering the 27th annual New Orleans Film Festival, October 12-20. This year there are over 220 features packed into one short week. With huge features like LBJ, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, and LION; documentaries about poets, cooks, musicians, wars, prisons, and so many more; and dozens and dozens of shorts, it is a banquet of art and a celebration of film in New Orleans.
Since we have been blessed with two passes, we will be dividing and conquering as many as we can over the coming days. we could go on and on about the films we are most intrigued to see, but as we will be reviewing them soon enough for you, we will stick to just three a piece.
LBJ: From director Rob Reiner and featuring the talents of Woody Harrelson, Jeffrey Donovan, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, the film focuses on the controversial president and his contentious relationship with Bobby Kennedy as he tries to honor JFK’s wishes and pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964
ELLA BRENNAN: COMMANDING THE TABLE: Where would modern cuisine be without the influence of Ella Brennan? No revival of Commander’s Palace. No Paul Prudhomme or Emeril Lagasse. No rebuilding New Orleans as a food paradise. This documenary focuses on the amazing woman and her dedication to build her vision into a reality since she was a teenager in the 1940’s.
DARK HABITS: A collection of seven short films, four of which are world premieres, these pieces explore the dark side of humanity. Some about the parts we hide from the world or ourselves, some about the sinister side of humanity. I don’t know what to expect, other than the fact that I will probably need a drink at the end…
LION: Featuring Dev Patel, the story focuses on a man hunting for his birth parents, who he hasn’t seen since getting lost at the age of five. The constant friction between the past and the present are embodied in his wish to not hurt his adoptive parents but his need to reunite with his lost family. Faced with what seems an impossible task, Patel must search thousands of train stations armed with nothing but a child’s memories and Google Earth.
MULTIPLE MANIACS: Locked up for decades, John Waters’ second feature film comes back to the big screen bursting with all the depravity one could hope for from the iconic film maker. Honestly, neither of us knows what to expect other than a barrel full of over-the-top with a hint of drag and more than a dash of irony.
ANIMATED SHORTS: Featuring 14 animated shorts from 7 countries, these are the films that reinvent the nature, look, and scope of what animation can do. From an adaptation of Jack London’s famous story TO BUILD A FIRE to a worm chained up in a prison, these short films are often so breathtaking as to stay with the viewer far after the lights have come up and the scent of popcorn fades away.
As we said, there are dozens more. Beginning with the red carpet of LBJ on Wednesday, we will be giving features and reviews throughout the entire event. While we already have our sights set on some of our favorites like those above, we are also looking forward to being surprised by some of the other films we plan to see over the course of the week. The amazing thing at a festival of this scope and scale is the chance to encounter a work that is brilliant that you never would have had a chance to encounter anywhere else in the world.
Before we wrap this up, we have to make special note about the coordination of the event. The crew has made a great schedule, an accessible group of screening areas, and on a personal note, have been extremely accommodating to us. More than simply scoring us passes, they have made sure to point out moments of interest and accommodate us in any and every way possible, knowing that this will be our first experience at the New Orleans film festival. We especially thank Emily Reimsyder, an event coordinator who has had the patience of a saint, answered every question we have had quickly and happily, and who has helped us every step of the way. Emily, you’re our hero!
Well, that’s all for now. This will be as new to us as it is to many of you. All I can say is that we are itching with excitement at this amazing festival packed with art and artists from around the globe. We will do our best to keep you informed as the days go on and peek behind the velvet curtain with us. We will wave to you from the red carpet!
– Bryan VanMeter & Kyle Joseph Schmidt