By Dave Montalbano
The 85th Oscar ceremony has come and gone. While Argo won best picture, the awards were pretty divided between Django Unchained, The Life of Pi, Lincoln and Skyfall. Perhaps the biggest highlight included Shirley Bassey singing Goldfinger followed by Adele belting out Skyfall, the most memorable James Bond song since Timothy Dalton was 007. In fact, Oscar had better music than the Grammy Music Awards from a few weeks ago. Next week, The Miami International Film Festival (MiFF XXX), held March 1-10, will celebrate its 30th year making it the longest running film festival in South Florida. I am looking forward to interviewing veteran character actor James Cromwell and director Michael McGowan. The two are in town to champion Still Here, an excellent drama slated for local release in May.
Twenty Feet from Stardom opens MiFF XXX this Friday night. This documentary is about “back up” singers to famous rock stars like Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bruce Springsteen. Vocalist Darlene Love will be in attendance and is expected to sing. Another documentary, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story makes it’s South Florida debut. This documentary concerns Ungerer’s neurotic obsession and finding his outlet through the visual arts. Director Brad Bernstein presents a 98-minute moving portrait of Tomi Ungerer from children’s illustrator to subversive artist. From the United Kingdom comes Venus and Serena, a documentary about The Williams Sisters of West Palm Beach. Filmed in 2011, this film follows the tennis circuit in which both sisters battled serious health ailments. Blackfish is about one of the biggest mammals in the world, the Orca Whale. Since Orlando’s SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed in a “rare” accident, Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite discovers evidence to the contrary. If you liked The Cove, you may want to check out Blackfish. For those interesting in adventuring in Miami for the next two weeks for MiFF XXX, check out www.miami.festivalgenius.com/ 2013.