Friday, November 15, 2013

SNL Alumnus Will Forte Discusses 'Nebraska' at 2013 Virginia Film Festival

Will Forte at 2013 Virginia Film Festival
The new Alexander Payne film, Nebraska, opens in cinemas across the United States today. It has already won wide acclaim, including a best-actor award for leading player Bruce Dern at the Cannes Film Festival last May.

The movie is about an aging man's journey across the plains from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, with his younger son, and a reunion with family members and friends in his long-ago hometown (location-shot in Plainview, Nebraska, represented as the fictional "Hawthorne").

Dern's turn as Woody Grant is getting plenty of Oscar buzz. The generally talkative (in real life) Bruce Dern plays a taciturn octogenarian who falls for a sweepstakes scam and insists on picking up his winnings.

Although Nebraska is set in the present day, the black-and-white cinematography by Phedon Papamichael recalls period pieces like Paper Moon (1930s) and The Last Picture Show (1950s), both directed by Peter Bogdanovich in the early 1970s.

Last week, co-star (and SNL alumnus) Will Forte came with Nebraska to the Virginia Film Festival.

Before the capacity screening at the Paramount Theater downtown, Forte bantered with local reporters about the film and his career. (You'll hear my voice asking him about his experience with animated comedies like The Cleveland Show and Bob's Burgers.)

After the screening, Forte was joined on stage by one of the film's producers, Ron Yerxa, for a question-and-answer session moderated by NYU film studies professor Harry Chotiner.
In addition to the Cannes and Virginia film festivals, Nebraska was also screened at the new Middleburg Film Festival in Northern Virginia, where Bruce Dern came to promote it, along with Ron Yerxa and his producing partner, Albert Berger.

At the 2009 Virginia Film Festival, actor Matthew Broderick discussed another Alexander Payne film set in Nebraska, Election.

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