Long time friends Jon Voight and Burt Young share a moment during the often moving tribute to the late, great director Hal Ashby (Coming Home, Harold and Maude) at the 2009 Sarasota Film Festival. Voight and Young co-starred in Ashby’s 1982 film Lookin’ to Get Out, the director’s cut of which was recently discovered in the UCLA Film Archives and world premiered in Sarasota the night before the tribute. Ashby’s daughter Leigh MacManus was on hand to accept the SFF’s Master of Cinema award on her father’s behalf and gave a stirring thank you speech wherein she spoke of never knowing her father and how much the closing moments of Lookin’ to Get Out meant to her. I won’t spoil the film for you (director’s cut out soon on Warner Home Video!), but suffice to say, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house and both MacManus and Voight were brought to tears during the evening.
Elizabeth gives me a rather adorable version of the evil eye, while James chats, slightly confused…
Shot at a fantastic BBQ thrown in honor of the recently concluded Sarasota Film Festival. More pix and videos coming soon.
One of the things that the staff and guests at the Sarasota Film Festival like to do several times during the fest is gather either at Esca or Cabana, both local bars with, uh, different styles. On Tuesday nights it’s Cabana, a rather colorful dive, complete with the occasional hooker. No kidding.
Since Tom Hall’s bow as programmer in 2005, the Sarasota Film Festival has become known for excellent musical performances in addition to its film program and in the first of this year’s performances, at the opening night party, crooner Matt Dusk belted out Louis Prima’s “Just a Gigolo,” in addition to many other originals and standards. I don’t know about you, but I’m buying his new CD, Matt Dusk-Back In Town!
I apologize for the lack of closeups, but the band was separated from the crowd by a moat. No, I am not shitting you. A moat.
Regional film festivals all over the world need to take notice of how the Sarasota Film Festival does its thang. First of all, the opening night film, David Sington‘s brilliant In the Shadow of the Moon, was fantastic and Tom Hall, director of programming for this fest isn’t the only one who’s noticed. Festival programmers all over the country are opening their events with this film and the audience here was rapturous.
A compelling, moving and enlightening account of the Apollo space program told from the point of view of the astronauts who took part, In the Shadow of the Moon is the adult film for the 10 year-old “when I grow up, I’m gonna be a asta-naut!” inside us all. The film is further proof that there are still stories to be told, considering that there had, as yet, not been a film strictly about the Apollo program, narrative or doc. Rife with heretofore unseen footage from NASA’s archives, including footage shot by astronauts on the moon, the film is far more than a rote an accounting of the Apollo program. The personal accounting of the program and their missions by the 10 astronauts makes for compelling viewing, especially when Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot Michael Collins recounts what it was like being alone in the spacecraft while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin where making their famous moonwalk.