Day 2 begins early and then with a delicious breakfast. I had to ask the chef her secret to making her eggs so tasty and she told me. But I promised I would keep her secret. On my way out I got to chat say hello and chat briefly with documentary filmmaker Dan Schneidkraut I told you about yesterday.
I had a delicious Latte at Rhythm and Brew and and wrote my daily blog entry and worked for a couple hours more before leaving for the festival venue.
I drove to the Gerold Opera House, the home of Wega Arts and the Weyauwega International Film Festival. I am recovered from a long day yesterday and I am eager to see today’s line up of films and meet more filmmakers and fans. As expected today the attendance is heavier than the first day.
By the way: It is not my intention to write about each fine offering. I do not mean to imply anything by not writing about a film. I simply want to feature highlights while at the festival.
As a filmmaker it is my position to not review other’s films. Since I know the labor and love, the hardship, of movie making I reserve my film opinions for close friends and do not dispense it for the public.
DAY 2 began with a talk by Dr. Jack Rhodes on Stanley Kramer’s ‘The Men’ starring Marlon Brando. Since this is a favorite film of mine, and Brando’s first screen appearance, it was wonderful to listen to Dr Rhodes discuss the film and then watch it.
Some of his points. First, 45 members of the cast were not actors but actual paraplegics. This fact is also pointed out in opening credits of the film.
Brando spent from 2-4 weeks in the hospital preparing for his role. He shared a story of Brando faking a spontaneous healing. A woman seeing the men in a restaurant all in wheel chairs mentioned to them that she wished deeply that they could be healed.
Brando struggled painfully to get up from his wheelchair and took some halting steps exclaiming ‘I can walk! I can Walk’ while the paralyzed men looked on and smiled knowingly.
Brando received 4 oscar nominations during his first 5 years as an actor. He won for ‘On The Waterfront’. After, ‘One Eyed Jacks’ 1961 his career went downhill until it was revived by ‘The Godfather’, 1973. He won another Academy Award which he declined.
Director Fred Zinnemann made numerous movies focused on this theme: A loan man triumphs over tremendous odds and institutions. ‘High Noon’, ‘From Here To Eternity’, ‘The Old Man and the Sea’, “A Man For All Seasons’, ‘Behold a Pale Horse’, and ‘Day of the Jackal’ among these.
He insisted ‘The Men’ have the gritty look of news reel footage. He went on to use virtually all of the crew, except for the cinematographer, on ‘High Noon’.
Dr Rhodes taught a graduate course on Rhetoric of Film at the Miami University of Ohio and he teaches seminars on film at Lawrence University, events in Door County and at Waupaca Library. He was enjoyable to listen to and the audience in attendance acknowledged this with applause. Then ‘The Men’ was screened. Great to see it again ON the big screen too!
It seems we have forgotten much about filmmaking as we advance our technologies. For me, there is nothing more fun than watching movies with an audience on a large screen. Film instead of digital is still my preference, as is story over CGI, and performance over costuming. It was great to see this movie again.
The movie ended to applause. Then the shorts began. I remind you to check the showing schedule for information about the films shown. Plus, you can read more about Kathy and Ian AND listen to my Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat discussion, right here in these blog pages, anytime 24/7. Simply visit the link below or at the official site (link provided at bottom).
Its mid afternoon and Dan Schneidkraut stopped by to say ‘so long’ he is traveling back to Minneapolis to continue to work on his next doc project. It is one I would like to see. So we friended on Facebook to stay in touch.Kathy and I got to sit and catch up for a while and discuss plans for the coming year. John Pata showed up and we said hello and chatted awhile. I particularly liked his creepy short film “PITY’ shot in Oshkosh last year. Actor Jake Martin did a fine job, a disturbing job. Too disturbing. Thank goodness he is much nicer in real life.
John revealed secrets about the film. Based on a short story inside an album by Pig Destroyer called ‘Prowler In The Yard’ he aptly named the film PITY.I liked to sound design. The sound track score is comprised of the actors voice and breath converted to notes by Milwaukee musician Nicholas Elert. It was shot on the red it looks great and is well edited. Pata presents a short suspenseful portrait of a very disturbed character in ‘Pity’.
This evening I also enjoyed the well made narrative feature directed by Shawn Telford, ‘BFE’. It appears to be non-union and crowd funded. Well made, acted, edited and entertaining. I liked an animated short by Wei lu, ‘Run Crab Run!’ and its score.
A few shorts followed the feature and the evening ended well. Tomorrow Nov 14, DAY 3 the festival begins earlier at 10 am. I made it back to the lovely inn I am at and am currently enjoying getting cozy in my room. I look forward to what tomorrow brings in general and at the festival. It has been a wonderful couple days so far. Two more days to go.
On Sunday I have a special private screening to attend before I return home. I miss my family back there and it will be great to see them. In the meantime more movies! See you tomorrow
OH By they way some of my upcoming guest on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat include; producer Rocky Lang, director Bill Rebane, director Peter Marshall, writer, producer Michael Frost Beckner, Actors Michael Spears and Eddie Spears and others. So be sure to stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted.
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