Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ipanema on the Big Screen

There were multiple mysteries during the happy hours that are Gallery 5 After 5 this evening.

How did contra bassist Todd Matthews manage to play all the parts of a pop song, say Led Zepplin's "Kashmir," on his bass?

How did Science Museum educator David Olli make the red scarf and the water disappear from their respective containers?

And how does someone announce, "I'm dating a girl but she used to make out with my brother" in all seriousness and expect an answer?

Looping and talent.

Assorted magic tricks.

He'd already made peace with that fact and was using it for conversational shock value.

As difficult as it was to top such a thrilling start to my Wednesday night, the final showing of the James River Film Festival at the Grace Street Theater awaited me.

There was already a good-sized crowd in line when I arrived.

Being screened was Richmonder Rick Alverson's latest, "New Jerusalem," a film about an Afghan vet (and Irish immigrant) and his evangelical co-worker.

One scene was even set at the ROCK Mega-Church over on southside, a place I'd just been discussing with two G5A5 attendees (they'd both mentioned the music, the diversity of the crowd and the sheer energy of the service).

Funny how those kinds of coincidences happen.

The movie was filmed and shown in high definition, made all the better for the achingly gradual unfolding of the story.

Alverson used the kind of pacing usually only seen in much older films or foreign films; nothing was hurried or forced.

The film also featured Ipanema in all its dimly lit nighttime ambiance back in the smoking days; even if I hadn't been asked to the wrap-up party there afterwards, I'd have needed to go over there after seeing it on the big screen just for a reality check.

As several people noted at the bar, the film had been full of shots of the characters eating, making for a ravenous audience by film's end.

This film goer started with the eggplant-wrapped dates with harissa, flavorful enough that the usual bacon wrapping was forgotten.

Along with some focaccia and polenta fries, I was starting to pick up speed.

With all the film geeks in attendance, it was fun to rehash the festival: who'd seen what, which films were well attended or not (and why not?), what books need to be read now.

I was delighted when an unexpected friend showed up to have a glass of wine with me and do some quick dishing about upcoming restaurants, overly talkative chefs and copycats.

We'd have talked till closing if we hadn't already had plans to meet up tomorrow.

And so the James River Film Festival comes to an end, having provided me with outstanding film watching and speakers for the past week.

I don't know how I'll fill my free time without a festival program to fall back on.

Oh, wait, yes I do. No mystery there. 

I've got so much going on at the moment, it's about time I reinserted myself into my real life.

I'm hoping for great reviews of my starring the critics who count anyway.

No comments:

Post a Comment