Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Own Private Film Festival

Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday and the best place to see many of the nominees stroll down the red carpet will be at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival which opens tonight and runs for ten days.

Considering the fact that striking members of the Writers Guild forced cancellation of this year’s Golden Globe Awards and are threatening to do the same with the Academy Awards at the end of February, the red carpet closest to the front doors of the Kodak Theater in Hollywood may very well be the one rolled out in front of the Arlington Theater here in Santa Barbara.

Cate Blanchett, who will be honored with the film fest’s Modern Master award this Saturday evening received two Oscar nominations. One for Best Actress, (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age”) and Best Supporting Actress for ”I’m Not There.”

Javier Bardem who received a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his performance in “No Country For Old Men,” will be honored next Monday at the film fest with the Montecito Award.

Casey Affleck, also a Best Supporting Actor nominee (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) will be honored at the film fest next Wednesday night at the Lobero with a Virtuoso Award.

Also being honored that same night at the Lobero are Best Actress nominees Ellen Page (Juno) and Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) along with Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Ryan (“Gone Baby Gone”).

Best Actress nominee Julie Christie (“Away From Her”) will be honored this Friday night at the Lobero with a special tribute and Tommy Lee Jones, nominated as Best Actor for his role in “In The Valley of Elah” will receive the film fest’s American Rivera Award on February 1st at the Arlington.

So many films (over 200 of them in fact) so little time. I’ll be covering the film festival and I’ll be “blogging live” and posting photos direct from many of the events.

So what will I be going to see? Here’s the actual list of the films and events I’m planning on attending. Don't believe it? In the words of Gary Hart, “follow me.”

Friday January 25th

11:15AM Metro Four. A Room With a View. Eileen Quinn -- born and raised in Santa Barbara -- is executive producer of this movie.

3:30PM Victoria Hall. Up the Yangtze. I just got back from China so I’m anxious to see this documentary.

8:00PM Lobero. Tribute to Julie Christie. I was in high school when her first big movie “Darling” came out and “Shampoo” is one of my all-time favorite flicks.

Saturday January 26th

11:00AM, Lobero. It Starts With The Script. Not a film but a panel discussion of screenwriters. Not to be missed in light of the WGA strike.

1:15PM, Metro Four. In the Heat of the Night. That’s right, “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” Norman Jewison is Guest Director for the festival this year so I can’t miss this classic Jewison film.

8:00PM, Arlington, Modern Master Award - Cate Blanchett. I’ll be on the press line leaning over the velvet rope hoping Cate will straighten my crooked bow tie.

Sunday January 27th

4:45PM Metro Four. “The Man of Two Havanas.” My interest in Cuba lands this one on my list.

Monday January 28th

10:30AM Metro Four. The Thomas Crown Affair. Another Norman Jewison classic. For a high school kid like me, this was the birth of cool.

4:00PM, Center Stage. MatchMakers. Train wrecks and romance always make for an irresistible combination.

Tuesday January 29th

1:00PM, Center Stage, In Plain Sight: Public Art in Santa Barbara. The local angle gets me into the tent to see this one.

Wednesday January 30th

4:15PM Metro Four, Gone Baby Gone. Well reviewed movie that didn’t stay here long. My press pass gets me in free.

8:00PM Lobero, Virtuosos 2008. Lots of up and coming stars at this single event.

Friday February 1st

8:00PM Arlington. American Riviera Award - Tommy Lee Jones. I met Al Gore at last year’s film fest. Now I get to meet his college roommate.

10:00PM Metro Four. Dasepo Naughty Girls. Described as “crazy sexy fun wrapped in a bright eye-popping package.” It’s a dirty thankless job but someone in the press has to go over there and check out whether they’re telling the truth.

Saturday February 2nd

1:30PM Metro Four. A Mighty Heart. Missed this when it was playing in theaters.

4:30PM Lobero. The Pixar Story. OK. So I’m a Steve Jobs/Disney freak.

8:00PM Arlington Outstanding Performance of the Year Award – Angelina Jolie. Another crooked bow tie night!

Sunday February 3

11:15AM Metro Four Best Wishes for Tomorrow. This film, shot in Japan features my friend, Carpinteria actor Robert Lesser.

And in case you're wondering why tonight's opening film Definitely Maybe isn't on my list, it's because I have a day job, or in my case, a night job.

If you see me out and about at the film fest be sure to stop and say hi.

Lastly. Because of the threat of rain, tonight's opening night party has been moved from Paseo Nuevo to the Arlington.

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