Share & Connect
The 2012 Florida Film Festival pushes on after a successful opening weekend. In the new week, I finally found myself at the festival’s features theater: The Enzian. The Enzian is a wonderful single-screen theater. It has an outdoor bar for regulars to hang out at and talk movies, while the inside of the theater is arranged with dining tables, couches, and comfortable chairs. The theater also provides waiter service throughout the film, providing the ultimate movie experience.
I was in attendance for this year’s Italian Cinema Night, where they pick an Italian classic to screen for the festivalgoers; this year’s selection was Marriage Italian Style notably starring Sophia Loren. The film was about the life and love of an Italian couple, and their very complicated story.
The movie was very creatively told, with two frame stories providing the background for the drama. Speaking of which, the film was very dramatic, but also featured some quality humor to top off the entertainment. Afterwards there were free wine and cheese samples provided by the Olive Garden, to cap off the special night.
The next movie I attended was brought to my attention by very positive word-of-mouth. People who had seen the earlier screening had been buzzing about the movie for a couple days, so I found myself at the second screening of The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. The story is of two down-and-outs who join together to form a band, and attempt to tour cross-country to California. This road movie is genuinely hilarious and displays some great chemistry between the band mates and their female manager.
The movie really shines through with its music. The band consists of an acoustic guitar and child’s instruments, like toys you would find at Toys R’ Us. The result is an extremely fun indie-pop sound that really carries the movie. Afterwards there was a Q&A with some people involved with the film, including writer, director, and star Ryan O’Nan. His charming and funny personality came out there, and showed that the film really reflects him as a person.
Next I was drawn to the Academy Award Best Foreign Language Film nominated Monsieur Lazhar. This movie comes from Canada, out of Montreal. This emotionally tense film is about a class of elementary school students trying to cope with the teacher killing herself, and her replacement. The movie had great performances by many of the students and by their new teacher. The movie stands out mostly because of its very original story, that one could not imagine any American studio ever making.
After five days of very satisfying films, the Florida Film Festival is officially half over.
Image Courtesy of Florida Film Festival – Official