Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Festival vignettes, from Fright Night to Ochs, 10.3.10
By Deborah Medenbach

it’s been a whirl of a weekend, but there are some really precious moments that really make me smile that I haven’t had a chance to share:

–Arriving at the Catamount for the Fright Night screening of “Don’t Go in the Woods”, I encountered Vincent D’Onofrio sitting comfortably at the top of the stairs, casually smoking a cigarette. We were having a nice chat about the film’s musicians when a woman approached him.

“You shouldn’t be smoking here. I don’t think it’s allowed.”

D’Onofrio looked at her, took a deep drag and, with a rebel’s soul showing, replied “Let them tell me I can’t.”

Y’know what? No one ever did!

I sat next to a woman at the screening who’d driven all the way from central New Jersey for the festival. She owned 22 of D’Onofrio’s films and was thrilled to be able to walk by him several times, but could never bring herself so say so much as “hello, I like your films.” Even at the Q&A she couldn’t raise her hand, but she was probably the happiest person in the pavilion on that blustery night.

The band from the film played in the Catamount after the screening. It was very interesting to see how Sam Bisbee’s music had an entirely different feel to it when there wasn’t the threat of psychotic murder attached. You could easily listen to these songs in your car without getting creeped out. Probably even like it a whole lot!

The afterparty at the Emerson Resort was packed with about 300 filmmakers, actors and festival attendees. As much as I enjoyed the beautiful rooms that threaded from salon to salon, I found myself out in the lobby with a frustrated video crew who’d completely given up on trying to do interviews because of the warring acoustics. Even private conversations required shouting head to head. I circled through the rooms a few times and made some connections for the following day, but exhausted by the shouting, trailed down a hallway to the main entrance. There, sitting on a couch was Lucy, the grandmother of actor Cassandra Walker whose performance opens and closes the “Don’t Go in the Woods” film.

“So, was it upsetting to you to see your granddaughter getting knocked off kind of gruesomely in this film?” I asked. Lucy laughed…she loves her granddaughter and supports everything she does. The dark secret of this Long Island grandmother is that she adore horror films. Gory is great, and Cassandra’s performance did her proud!

On Saturday night I had a chance to see the Phil Ochs documentary in Rhinebeck. I’d heard Ochs songs in the 60s but never knew he suffered from mental illness. This compassionate documentary, compiled by his brother Michael Ochs and Kenneth Bowser, includes a huge amount of original footage of Ochs. Michael said that shortly after Phil died, he tried to collect as much footage as he could and came up with about two hours worth of film performances and interviews. When making this documentary, with the help of the internet, he was able to track down a full additional hour.

I’magine…30 years after your brother’s suicide, you are able to receive a full extra hour of visual time with him. It was a restorative experience for Michael to frame his brother’s life with original footage. Ochs was once considered second to Bob Dylan in activist influence but some say has been relegated to a footnote because of his spiraling final days. Michael’s film rectifies that.

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DonnaJo said...

Ok.....who is the VDO fan who owns 22 films and traveled from New Jersey to the screening? Fess up! I can't imagine this fan wouldn't be a member of this blog, lol!

I can relate. I would be too nervous to go up and talk to him. But it would be thrilling to get up close!

val said...

Gosh, that woman only had 22 of his films? Just looking across at my shelf, with all of them, including FMJ x3, Naked Tango x3, MIB x2, The Narrows x2...

She wasn't as happy to be there as I would have been!

Anonymous said...

I figured she must be a 'newbie' if she 'only' has 22 films ;0)

Peyton said...

Hey Miss Priss, save it. I can smoke as long as someone tells me not to.

[Browse Amazon]


List of films in production.

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]

"In Dubious Battle" [2016]
An activist gets caught up in the labor movement for farm workers in California during the 1930s. Vincent....Al Anderson


A story about the early life of Tennessee Williams

Directed by James Franco
Vincent D'Onofrio, Jacob Loeb

"American Falls" - [TBA]

In a rural town in Southern Idaho, the Suzukis, a Japanese American family, run a small motel. One night they get a strange visitor who sports ‘city’ clothes who turns out to be the first African-American man that Toru Suzuki’s children have ever seen. Yoshiko takes it upon herself to solve the mystery about this man, especially when 2 police officers come knocking on their door.

Short film produced by Erika Hampson.
Vincent D'Onofrio as Detective Foster.

'Purgatory' [TBA]

'Purgatory' [TBA]
Tagline: In the Wild West a lot of blood was spilled... but it didn't go to waste. Vincent....Dallas Stoudenmire

"A Fall From Grace" [TBA]

Detective Michael Tabb knows the city of St. Louis inside and out. He has felt its true heart, as much as its dark underbelly: but he does not know who, in both the dark and light - is taking the lives of young girls.

Director: Jennifer Lynch
Producer/Writer ...Eric Wilkinson

Vincent D'Onofrio ....George Lawson (GRACE's father)
Tim Roth.......Detective Tabb

Filming in St Louis - TBA

"Supreme Ruler" [TBA]

A man campaigns to become the leader of the Buffalo lodge.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Hank Dory
Ron Livingston as Steve
Marcia Gay Harden as Nancy

"The Monster Next Door" [TBA]

"The Monster Next Door" - Comedy Horror

Executive Produced by Dennis Johnson, Melanie Mohlman Produced by Eric Wilkinson, David Michaels
Written by Jim Robbins
Directed by Jennifer Lynch

Cast: Vincent D'Onofrio, Bill Pullman, French Stewart, Bill Moseley

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]

'Down & Dirty Pictures' - [in Production - Filming TBA]
Vincent......Harvey Weinstein

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