Hamptons Film Festival 2013 was full of Amazing Films and Talent
- Vanessa Leggard
- October 18, 2013
- Hamptons Happenings
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Hamptons Film Festival 2013 was full of Amazing Films and Talent…Greetings Hamptons Mouthpiece readers, I had the pleasure of attending the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) last week and what a treat it was, The opening party at East Hampton Point was fun, the DJ was mixing some really cool sounds, and I danced the night away at until I fell flat on my face and bruised my Pride and bloodied my knee. The parking could have been more organized and the appetizers were limited, but the drinks were delicious.
I met 2 of my favorite actors Steven Moyer who plays Bill Compton on the HBO hit series “True Blood” and my ultimate favorite actor of all time Ralph Fiennes. Each actor was there to promote their new film that either they directed or produced. Steven Moyer was there to promote “ FREE RIDE” a new film that stars Ann Paquin (his real life wife), directed by Shana Betz and produced by both Ann & Steven. Ralph Fiennes new movie “THE INVISIBLE WOMAN” starring Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones and Directed by Ralph Fiennes.
There were so many movies to see this year and I am really not a person that goes out to movies, I prefer to watch them at home “On Demand”, but I do enjoy seeing documentaries and shorts. This year I saw more movies than I have in the past, I chose to spend my time this year reviewing movies than attending the press hour, simply because I thought my readers would prefer to hear my opinion on the films I did have an opportunity to see.
I am sad that I was unable to see a couple of films that I was looking forward to see, but due to earlier engagements my schedule would not allow. These films are either in the theaters now or will be hitting the theaters/cable-tv soon after:
- Burton & Taylor with Helena Bonham Carter, Dominic West
- Effie Gray, Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Julie Waters (they did not show at the Festival)
- Philomena, Judi Dench, Steven Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Charles Edwards
- August: Osage County, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin
- Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Stacy Keach,
- Kill your Darlings: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan,
- About time: Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams
- Free Ride: Ann Paguin, Drea De Matteo
- Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: Idris Elba, Naomie Harris
- Labor Day: Kate Winslet, Josh Brolin, Gattlin Griffith, Tobey Maguire
The films that I did see were:
Closing Feature 12 YEARS A SLAVE : directed by Steve McQueen, Cast included: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt (who was also one of the producers) and Lupita Nyong’o: Variety‘s 10 Actors to Watch.This film was based on a true story of one man’s fight to survive and freedom. It was both riveting and incredibly uncomfortable to watch. It is difficult to imagine there was once a time when people owned people and was allowed under the law to treat them anyway they wanted. To be stripped and put on display to be sold to the highest bidder to work for FREE. To beat them until they tore the flesh off the body, to work them until they could stand no longer, to rape the women they say they were revolted by. To turn the people against each other because if you were lighter skinned then you could live in the Master’s house and not be subjected to field labor. To be beat day in and day out if you dared to look the wrong way or not produce the work load set for you for the day. Hard to imagine that there was a time when this level of cruelty and evil existed, even harder to comprehend that you could be one day be a free man and the next day a slave, simply because the color of your skin. During the movie there were several Caucasians that left during the movie because it was too horrid to watch, you can sit through something like this when you think it is fictional but it is a bitter swallow when you know this really happened to human beings simply because their pigmentation was darker, their hair was kinkier. At the end of the film several people looked my way and with their eyes I felt their pain and their need to apologize for how black people were treated in the past. It is interesting I have always known how black people were treated as slaves and the torture that was endured, yet children of all races are not taught this in school. They are taught the gory details of the holocaust but not slavery, I wonder why? African-Americans as we are called now are still being discriminated against, our history is not told in it’s entirely in school, we are given a small passage in the text books, and this really must change. As I watched this movie I sat there enraged that the N word is still being used today, and in such a casual way. You hear it in most rap songs, white, black, asian and hispanic youth using the word as a term of endearment. THIS MUST END! The music industry leaders like Russell Simmons, Jay Z, Diddy and several others must stop encouraging the N word to be used in the lyrics. Could the song do just as well without the N word? I think our youth today really do not understand the significance of this word and this is why I employ everyone to see this movie. You will cry, you will be angry, you will be uncomfortable, you will clinch your fists, but you will walk away with a deeper understanding as to why so many African-Americans get so emotional about the N word and why we must educate our youth to stop using it as a term of endearment or as a way to hurt someone. Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves and Oscar nomination for his role in this amazing movie, thank you Steve McQueen for telling this story, it was difficult to watch but one that I am very happy I chose to see. I do believe we will be seeing more of new comer Lupita Nyong’o her performance was chilling and yet I was fascinated with her portrayal of this young woman that was so deeply abused. This was Lupita’s first feature film and one that just might get her a nomination.
LOUDER THAN WORDS: Directed by Anthony Fabian, cast included: David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton, Olivia Steele Falconer. Imagine one day your child is well and the next day they are fighting for their life, how emotionally draining do you think that would be for a parent, for the siblings, friends, aunts, uncles, grand parents? Imagine being in a hospital where the conditions are similar to being in a jail cell. Louder than Words is based on a true story, this family that has been torn apart by the sudden death of their daughter and sister, they unite and build a children’s hospital so that parents and sick children can at least be comfortable when going through something so terrible. This is a story about a family filled with so much grief but they unite and share their story that might be able to save another child’s life. It touched me,and made me realize that God placed me on this Earth for no other reason than to be my daughters advocate, their mouthpiece. I loved the movie, and I cannot wait to see it again, it was not a sad story it was inspiring. I was so happy to meet the family the story was based on and the Actors.
Bob Birdnow’s Remarkable Tale of Human Survival and the Transcedence of Self: directed by Eric Steele, cast included: Barry Nash, Robert Longstreet. As I watched this movie all the long I thought this was based on a true life experience, and to my surprise it was not. It is 78 mins long, yet it did seem longer. This movie is based off a a one man show played by Barry Nash. Mr. Nash knew this character inside and out, and I really felt his anguish as he told his story. I remembered this one line from the movie that stays with me..Gods delays aren’t God’s denials..
Tasting Menu: directed by Roger Gual, cast included: Jan Cornet, Claudia Bassols, Vincenta N’Dongo, Fionnula Flanagan, Stephen Rea…This was a foreign film with 80% in sub-titles. I wanted to see this film because it was preceded by a short film that I wanted to see “The Brunchers” I enjoyed both films, I found them delectably delicious. A lighter mood than the darker movies I had seen. I love foreign films, especially ones with sub-titles. The Brunchers made it’s East coast premiere, 19mins, starring Tom Burke and Games of Thrones Natalie Dormer (she plays Margaery Tyrell), This film reminded me of the Hamptons in so many ways. The constant need to fit in, to be scene at the right restaurant, to attend the popular parties, the most talked about events. Take a look at my chat with filmmaker Matt Winn.
The Invisible Woman: directed by Ralph Fiennes, cast included Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones, Nelly (Felicity Jones) is a happily married mother and schoolteacher haunted by her past. She grew up in an acting family with her mother and sisters, and at 18 years old met Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes). Dickens, married with ten children, was at the height of his fame and creativity when Nelly became his passion and muse. Their affair was one of secrecy, and one in which only offered Nelly an invisible, “hidden” life. This a film that you must see for yourself especially if you are a sucker for love stories.
I was very selective on the films that I wanted to see, I do regret not seeing Burton & Taylor, Free Ride and Mandela, I guess I will have to catch them when they are released for the public. I met and chatted with the Karate Kid Ralph Macchio, he was there to promote his Short Film “ Across Grace Alley” that he directed. I was unable to see it because it was sold out. We chatted about our kids and the rising cost of College, good to know that this is a concern even to the celebrities . I had a wonderful experience this year at the film festival, everyone was very kind, the volunteers were wonderful. I want to give a shout out to my fellow Press friends, you guys do a wonderful job and sadly never get the recognition you deserve.