FLICKS: FLIFF’S grand finale, featuring Karen Allen

Posted on 16 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

After You’re Gone is an appropriate title for the closing night film of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) because the 32nd annual event will soon be a mere memory. From the Russian Federation, After You’re Gone features the story of a ballet dancer with a bad back who tries to understand the end of his career. Writer/director Anna Matison will be in attendance with a wrap-up party at Bailey Hall [at Broward College in Davie] featuring grilled wings, pizza and paninis.

Paninis and pasta sounds like appropriate food for the much-anticipated TOGA Party at the Villa Di Palma. FLIFF Executive Board Member Steve Savor is presenting live entertainment featuring Otis Day & The Knights from the 1978 classic comedy Animal House, starring the late John Belushi, the late John Vernon, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert and Karen Allen, who is in town to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best known for her blockbuster body of work from the 1980s, Karen Allen is truly a renaissance woman. Besides owning her own fiber arts business in Barrington, Massachusetts, Allen teaches Yoga and acting. Born in southern Illinois and raised in Washington D.C., Karen was a camp counselor for special needs children during her teens. A natural writer, Allen was bitten by the acting bug after seeing a tour of the Polish Laboratory Theater in 1972. As an actress, Allen [perhaps best known for her role in Indiana Jones films] balanced her acting career between film and theater.

In theater, she found diversity of roles in classics written by William Shakespeare, August Strindberg and Tennessee Williams. Besides Patty Duke, Allen has portrayed both Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan in stage productions of Monday After the Miracle and The Miracle Worker, respectively. In the past eight years, Allen has directed theater productions in the Berkshires.

This Saturday evening, at 6:30 p.m., Allen’s cinematic directorial debut will be screened at the Savor Cinema before the TOGA party. Based on a short story by Carson McCullers, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud is a quiet story about an old man who meets a boy at a roadside cafe. Usually published as part of Carson McCuller’s novella Ballad of the Sad Cafe, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. was a story Allen wanted to visualize since reading it in her early 20s.

While they never worked together, both Burt Reynolds [who received his Lifetime Achievement Award opening night of FLIFF] and Karen Allen have much in common.

Besides successful acting careers on the big screen, both have made a point of passing on their knowledge to the next generation. The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theater, located in Jupiter, has been in existence for 40 years. Karen Allen is a Lifetime Member of the Actor’s Studio and is on the board of the Berkshire International Film Festival.

Given their participation at this year’s edition of FLIFF, both of their appearances have raised the cultural standards of our local community. Tickets & info: www.FLIFF.com

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