Saturday, October 28, 2006

'Reading Too Much Kierkegaard'

Virginia Film Festival, 2006 -- Day Two:

See Oscar winner Robert Duvall!

See Oscar winner Morgan Freeman!

See a Danish farmwife rise from the dead!

(Ordet photo courtesy Virginia Film Festival)

It was a busy day at the Virginia Film Festival. I began the morning with Carl Theodore Dreyer's 1955 film, Ordet ("The Word"), based on a play by Danish martyr Kai Munk. The film kept breaking during the screening, which was troublesome, but the Dreyer's meticulous composition makes it well worth seeing. (I also discovered that I can understand more spoken Danish than I ever expected.)

I then saw three gay-oriented (or, to use the preferred term in the third one, "GLBT-oriented") documentaries: Keep Not Silent, about Orthodox Jewish lesbians in present-day Jerusalem; In My Father's Church, a video diary of the months leading to a woman's wedding, with the question of whether her Methodist-minister father will be able to perform the ceremony; and Camp Out, featuring the first Bible camp for openly gay Christian teenagers.

Rushing out of Camp Out -- which has its own web site -- I missed the discussion with co-director Larry Grimaldi (but trust my Metro Herald colleague, Tim Hulsey, will report on that), so that I could cover the celebrity-studded evening at the Paramount.

Robert Duvall received the Virginia Film Award and discussed his career with New York magazine film critic David Edelstein. The interview followed a screening of Duvall's triple-threat 1998 film, The Apostle, which he wrote, directed, and starred in. I didn't measure precisely, but I estimate that in this 134-minute movie, no more than 5 minutes go by without Duvall on the screen. It is an impressive performance.

After a break, Morgan Freeman arrived to present his new film, 10 Items or Less, which is scheduled to be released in theatres on December 1 and available for (legal) download on December 15. The movie was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by film critic Josh Young and featuring Freeman, director Brad Silberling, and two of the film's producers. Freeman began by announcing that the Cardinals had just won the World Series, and it went on from there ...

Two more days to go. Here are some photos from today's fest:

Robert Duvall answers questions from the Charlottesville press corps

Robert Duvall answers questions from film critic David Edelstein

New York magazine and NPR's David Edelstein outside the Paramount

Morgan Freeman speaks to NBC29's David Douglas

Morgan Freeman eyes a reporter suspiciously

Post-screening panel discussion of 10 Items or Less

Morgan Freeman and Lemony Snicket director Brad Silberling

1 comment:

-roger said...

I love Ordet!
Here's a great essay on the film from the Criterion Collection Website. The Dryer box set is worth a gander.