Thursday, October 21, 2010

Chaplin, Welles, Bogart, Curtis Shine At American Film Festival

Fest21.com, 10.21.10
by Sandy Mandelberger, Festival Dailies Editor

While the main focus of the American Film Festival, Eastern Europe's first all-American film showcase, is on contemporary directors, the Festival is also presenting an eye-opening homage to classic films and filmmakers from both the golden age of Hollywood and the last decade of American indie gems. The result is a full schedule designed to intrigue any casual or ardent admirer of American cinema.

In the section Play It Again, Sam, the Festival is bringing a smorgasboard of film classics, offering a rare treat to enjoy these films on the big screen. Charles Chaplin, one of cinema's first auteurs and one of the most influential film artists of any age, is represented in the program with his silent classics THE KID and THE GOLDRUSH. Also included is his 1940 cri-de-couer against the rise of Nazism, the wonderfully trenchant THE GREAT DICTATOR (with Charlie playing a version of the fanatically overwrought Adolph Hitler).


Perhaps the greatest debut film of all time, CITIZEN KANE by Orson Welles, is also on the program. A critique of American capitalism and obsession with fame (oh, how things have not changed in 70 years), the film established Welles as a singular film talent. The barely disguised subject of his film, famed publisher and power broker William Randolph Hearst, almost succeeded in having the film banned and burned, but luckily for us, it has remained intact. Current filmmaking giants such as Spielberg, Scorsese, Eastwood and others cite CITIZEN KANE as the film that convinced them that film could be art and started them off on their own legendary careers.

Citizen Kane screens on Oct 20 & 24 at AFF.

**Vincent D'Onofrio's "Don't Go in the Woods" screens at AFF on Oct 22 and 23.

**Vincent D'Onofrio portrayed Orson Welles in "Ed Wood" (1994) and in D'Onofrio's "Five Minutes, Mr Welles" (2005).

/jenn

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List of films in production.

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