By Dave Montalbano
As we watched Hurricane Sandy, the 27th Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival presented Giancarlo Esposito with his Career Achievement Award in Grand Bahama Island, after much improvisation. Due to Sandy’s wind and rain, outdoor festivities were moved indoors.
The celebrity focus moves locally this weekend. Oscarnominated for Baby Doll, actress Carroll Baker will attend a screening Sunday night at Cinema Paradiso of But Not For Me, costarring Clark Gable. After the screening, Carroll will be interviewed by Professor Hirsch and will talk about her work in such classics as Giant, How the West Was Won, Ironweed and Kindergarten Cop.
Carroll’s daughter Blanche Baker will likely be in attendance. An Emmy Award-winner for Best Supporting actress for the miniseries Holocaust, Blanche has an impressive resume within her own right. She wrote, directed and stars in the title role in Ruth Madoff Occupies Wall Street, a short subject that will be screened Saturday night at the Sunrise Civic Center.
Tonight at 9 p.m., Director Julia Dyer and actress Molly Parker will bring The Playground to Muvico Pompano. Costarring character actor John Hawkes, this film is a dark drama about suburban life among the beautiful people. If you miss the Pompano screening, The Playground will be playing at Cinema Paradiso and the Sunrise Civic Center on Friday and Saturday, respectfully. Some of the best of this year’s FLIFF films are documentaries featuring music. David Bromberg, Unsung Treasure is a delightful historical documentary. Falling under the spell of the Reverend Davis’s Blues influence, Bromberg thrives in this art form and jams with Dr. John in New Orleans. Bromberg’s dedication leads the young prodigy into musical magic with Phoebe Snow and George Harrison. When he dropped out of the spotlight, Bromberg’s creativity grew.
Blues also influences Joe Camilleri: Australia’s Maltese Falcon. Though Australian, the Joe Camilleri story is similar to that of the Blues Masters from New Orleans and Chicago. Music becomes redemption for a rowdy youth who could have chosen a life of crime.
On Election Day, Cinema Paradiso will screen Mr. Cao goes to Washington, a documentary about a successful Republican politician who won a congressional seat in New Orleans. Representative Cao is scheduled to attend and his story is fascinating.