Sunday, February 03, 2008

For Angelina, The Kids Are Alright

If you've come here looking for photos of Angelina Jolie's appearance on the red carpet last night at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, or maybe a quote or two that she might have given to a particular blogger, or even to see if she straightened a bow tie of anyone among the press corps, I'm going to send you straight over to the website of Santa Barbara Middle School's Teen Press.

Jolie and Brad Pitt, who accompanied her, both gave video interviews to the young aspiring journalists. The middle school students gave Jolie one of their cycling jerseys. The interview that Pitt gave to the middle school students was the only interview he gave outside the Arlington Theater last night.

Besides the middle school group, Jolie, talked to local TV stations KCOY/KKFX, KEYT and that was it. After posing for some pictures at the first photo backdrop they quickly walked up the red carpet and past the writers and yet more photographers, some of whom who had been waiting several hours, ignored the questions that were being shouted and went into the theater. They didn't stop to talk to anyone.

Brangelina did spend a considerable amount of time out on the street in front of the Arlington saying hello to and even posing for pictures with some of the hundred or so fans.

And no, I couldn't tell whether or not she was pregnant.

After the draft that followed the Brangelina bullet train, who appeared on the carpet but none other than Clint Eastwood. Eastwood was here to make the presentation of the award to Jolie for Outstanding Performance of the Year.

Unlike Tommy Lee Jones, who one night earlier looked like a man who was on his way to get a root canal as he made his way up the red carpet, Eastwood actually looked happy to be here.

Eastwood, who was accompanied by his beautiful wife Dina Ruiz, even stopped and answered a couple of questions from reporters.

After the award presentation the post party was held at The Bluffs, a new housing development at the far western end of Goleta.

Model homes were the venue for the party. Hopefully no frustrated reporters or photographers punched any holes in the walls with their fists.

* * *

"Psycho" and "sexual." In real life those are two words I'd rather not see used in conjunction with each other. But in a movie, "psycho-sexual drama" can make for some pretty compelling entertainment.

Still Waters, which I checked out Saturday morning at the Metro Four is one good looking movie. Written and directed by USC Cinema School graduate Carolyn Miller it is a suspenseful thriller that she describes as a homage to such movies as Roman Polanski's Knife In The Waterand the Coen Brothers Blood Simple.

This is Miller's first feature film and it was a packed house at the Metro for the screening I attended. During the Q & A conducted by film fest Programming Coordinator Ryan Hedge with Miller following the showing one member of the audience revealed that she had seen it at its earlier showing and liked it so much she wanted to see it again. Repeat customers usually portend a successful movie.

To me Still Waters is an example of the type of "small, smart" film that Leonard Maltin pointed out is vanishing from Hollywood.

* * *

Although I didn't get to see the film Disfigured, I did get a chance to chat with its writer/director Glenn Gers and one of the stars, Staci Lawrence.

Set in Venice, California, the plot involves two young women who are facing weight issues. One is overweight the other is anorexic. The anorexic one, played by Lawrence, attempts to join a "Fat Acceptance Group." Apparently she gets bounced quicker than a blogger trying to crash the VIP room at a film fest party.

Nevertheless, the two women become friends.

Deidra Edwards & Staci Lawrence, stars of Disfigured, on the red carpet Friday night.

Gers, who wrote the screenplay for the recently released Mad Money, told me that the inspiration for "Disfigured" came from his personal life. His wife has dealt with weight issues. The movie tackles the serious issues of body image and self-esteem.

After he told me about it, I mentioned that it sounded like a good movie to take my 12 year old daughter to. Glenn graciously warned me that it does contain a sex scene, which meant it was out of consideration for father daughter viewing yesterday afternoon when it was shown. Look for the movie sometime during the summer.

* * *

My suggestions for today, the last day of the film fest.

9:00AM Metro Four Ratatouille

11:15AM Metro Four Best Wishes for Tomorrow

1:00PM Center Stage The Man of Two Havanas

1:30PM Metro Four Noodle

1:45PM Metro Four Fix

Today's complete schedule is at Edhat.

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