The 21st Annual New Orleans Film Festival comes to a close Thursday night with the fest’s Closing Film – Blue Valentine (7:30 pm Prytania Theatre). But before the weeklong event comes to close, there are two more jam-packed days of films and events.
If you have not been able to make it out to any screenings or parties yet, be sure to take advantage of the final few days. If not, you are going to have to wait a whole year to enjoy this unique New Orleans celebration of film and filmmaking.
Over the past several days, I have been posting several previews highlighting individual independent films playing each day. For this article, I want to provide a brief overview of the festival’s final two days.
Some of the highlights from Wednesday, October 20th:
A suspense-filled glimpse into the dark corridors of political power, Fair Game is a riveting action-thriller based on the autobiography of real-life undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), whose status as an agent was revealed by White House officials allegedly out to discredit her husband (Sean Penn) after he wrote a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece saying that the Bush administration had manipulated intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the invasion of Iraq. Directed by Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity). Will play at 7:45 and 9:30 at The Theatres at Canal Place. Watch the trailer here.
Moviegoers will also get the opportunity to see encore presentations of other festival films: American Grindhouse, John Kennedy Toole: the omega point, Life During Wartime (Read my festival preview of the film), Strangers on A Train (Hitchcock’s masterpiece as part of Prytania’s Classic Movie Series), Poligamy, Race, and Walker Percy: A Documentary Film
Highlights from Thursday, October 21st:
A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop
The owner of a Chinese noodle shop’s scheme to murder his adulterous wife and her lover goes awry. Acclaimed director Yimou Zhang’s (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Raise the Red Lantern) Chinese remake of the Coen Brothers’ black comedy noir-thriller Blood Simple. Will play at 7:45 at The Theatres at Canal Place. Watch the trailer here.
Moviegoers will also get the opportunity to see encore presentations of other festival films: Howl (Read my review of the film), The Big Uneasy (read my earlier preview of the film), The Human Centipede (part of Prytania’s earlier Midnite Movie Series), I Am Love (read my festival preview of the film), The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (read my preview of the entire Swedish Millennium trilogy films), and the Louisiana documentary Haynesville: A Nation’s Hunt for an Energy Future.
And finally, the New Orleans Film Festival’s Closing Night Film is Blue Valentine.
The film centers on a contemporary married couple, charting their evolution over a span of several years by cross-cutting between time periods. A devastating parallel portrayal of both the blossoming and wilting of a modern relationship, the film’s unique structure adds tremendous depth to the traditional “twenty-somethings’ relationship drama.” Watch the trailer here.
The film was recently given a controversial NC-17 rating by the MPAA, which is currently being appealed by the filmmakers. If the petition is lost and a lower rating not granted, the distribution company may choose to re-edit the film in order to meet ratings board’s approval. Therefore, this may be one of the only chances to see the film in its intended, unedited presentation. Read my previous article about the film and its surprise rating.
If that’s not enough to entice you, the film itself is supposed to be really good, with stars Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams already garnering strong awards season buzz.
Blue Valentine was included on my Most Anticipated Films for the Remainder of 2010 List (#10). Read that 3-part article here. This news certainly has not diminished my desire to see the film one bit.
The film will screen Thursday, October 21st at 7:30 at the Prytania Theatre.
Immediately following the film will be the festival’s Closing Night Party from 9 – 11 pm at Ioa (221 Camp St.)
Individual film tickets can be purchased for $7 (New Orleans Film Society members) and $9 (Non-Members). Tickets are available at the respective theatres’ box office.
Read my four-part article on the New Orleans Film Festival here and my Festival update here.
Visit the New Orleans Film Society’s website for more information about this film, others, and the New Orleans Film Festival.
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