My favorite event each year is the Nashville Film Festival, which starts next week. I’m taking six days off from work and submerging myself in movies, as I’ve done the past several years. I’m tentatively planning on seeing 32 movies - I’ve got the tickets ordered - and if I actually make it to all 32 movies it will be my new personal record. The screenings that I’m looking forward to the most include:
- Nowhere Boy - the opening night film - biopic about a young John Lennon - I usually avoid the opening night film because I have this thing about large crowds, but dammit I can try can’t I?
- Art House - I don’t think there are any mumblecore movies at this year’s festival, which breaks the streak that has been around a few years, but this movie does have Greta Gerwig, who came for Q&A a couple of years ago with Hannah Takes the Stairs - that was a memorable Q&A because Greta had some full-frontal nudity going on in that movie. No, it’s not hard to make me feel awkward.
- Beyond the Pole - I hate movies about expeditions or mountain climbing (“Rock climbing, Joel”) or any such triumph, but this is a witty spoof that features one of the guys in Green Wing, so I think I’ll really like it.
- Saturday Night - with the exception of a few high school years in the late 80’s, I’ve been hopelessly fanatical about Saturday Night Live since the Eddie Murphy / Joe Piscopo era. This behind-the-scenes look at making an SNL episode is must-see for me.
- Do It Again - one guy’s quest to reunite The Kinks - something of an impossible dream.
- For Once in My Life - a group of musicians with various mental and physical disabilities form a band - similar in spirit to the Young@Heart story, so it should be pretty awesome.
- Ne Change Rien - Pedro Costa’s documentary about Jeanne Balibar - I’m really looking forward to it, but I won’t have much to say about it until I see it.
- Dear Lemon Lima - the trailer looks mighty promising, in a quirky way.
- Finding Red Cloud - everyone in the clips seems lonely or eccentric or both, and I think somebody tries to become a superhero or something like that.
- Pickin & Grinnin - Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) directs a film about a road trip to a Nashville Sing-a-Ling contest. What’s not to like?
- The Complete Works of Jamie Travis - a collection of shorts with fascinating visuals by a potential auteur - can’t call him that for sure until I’ve seen his stuff.
- Dogtooth - some fairly odd parents insulate their children by creating a bizarre alternate reality enclosure that is disrupted when an outsider arrives.
- New Low - the trailer seems clever and wry.
- The Good Heart - Brian Cox and Paul Dano
- I Am Love - Tilda Swinton - this list is doing what my lists always do - they start out wordy and eventually become much less wordy due to the length of time I’ve been working on said list.
- Symbol - I love strange Asian movies (Citizen Dog, I’m A Cyborg But That’s OK) and strange Japanese movies in particular (Big Man Japan, Funky Forest, everything by Katsuhito Ishii), and this looks like a movie I could add to that list.
If all 16 of these movies are as good as I hope, and some of the other 16 really deliver on their potential, then this will be another great year for the festival.