Freedom & fun are the focus of FLIFF

Posted on 07 November 2019 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

Behemoth ! Colossal !! Gigantic ! ! ! These are just some of the adjectives describing the opening night of The 34th International Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF34) at the Museum of Discovery and Science.

Cuba, the 45 minute documentary on the six story IMAX theater, created ambiance to set up a unique party. How unique? The magnitude of party goers danced to Tito Puente Jr.’s Mambo tunes on a dance floor situated between a Megalodon Shark and Terry the Otter’s water pool.

Besides rocking it out on the dance floor, Karen Allen and Peter Reigert proved to be generous celebrities. Karen Allen’s drama Colewell and Peter Reigert’s short subject, Extra Innings, are reminders about the importance of storytelling in the movies. For this film columnist, it is such a welcome relief to see professionals like Allen and Reigert express such genuine love for cinema and storytelling.

With echoes of Frank Capra’s Oscar winning classic, It Happened One Night, the French film, Our Happy Holiday, screened with director Patrick Cassir and actress Camille Chamoux too. A romantic comedy with modern charm, this film had people laughing all the way up to the end credits.

This international party continues this Friday, Nov. 8 with Duck Pond from Sweden. Director Robert Andersson will present his film and host the Merry Meatballs party after the 6 p.m. screening. Even Executive Director Michelle Filipi’s success with organizing parties this season, expect this Duck Pond/Merry Meatballs party to be a unique and fun event. 

On Veteran’s Day — Monday, Nov. 11, actress Diane Baker will attend the screening of her cult classic, Strait-Jacket, costarring Lee Majors and Joan Crawford. Professor Foster Hirsch will conduct an onstage interview with this prolific actress with a long resume. Besides appearing in Oscar winning films like The Diary of Anne Frank and The Silence of the Lambs, Diane Baker has starred in many cult classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Cable Guy and A Mighty Wind.

Baker will attend a special evening screening of Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie at the Savor on Tuesday evening, Nov. 12.

Earlier in the day, Florida Film Legend William Grefe will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award before the screening of the 1985 film Cease Fire. This moviewas one of the first movies to tackle the subject of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on the big screen. Starring Don Johnson,this filmfeatures an appearance from Vietnam Veteran’s advocate Chris Noel.

With Justin Long and Radha Mitchell arriving in town to screen their movies and party with our neighbors, it is silly not to join the fun. For ticket prices and updates, visit the website — Also — don’t forget to thank a Veteran this special weekend!

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