Special Report By Andrea Chase
I know what you're thinking. Just what we need, another film festival. There just aren't enough of them springing up like so many mushrooms after another assault by El Nino. But the Classically Independent Film Festival makes a point of screening films that not only push the envelope of indie filmmaking, they also push people's buttons. Needless to say, I'm in love.
For its debut, the festival will be tripping the light fantastic with a program of golden oldies that you may have only seen on video, and a slate of brand new flicks that are sure to spark some heated debates.
First on that list is "Lawn Dogs," an unflinching look at the evils of the class system in our supposedly classless society. Sam Rockwell stars as the downtrodden masses.
"Henry Fool" is filmmaker Hal Hartely's brilliant retelling of "faust" as a way of considering the nature of evil. Bill Plympton's new full-length animated feature is "I Married A Strange Person." It's Magritte meets an X-rated " Secret Life of Walter Mitty" while teaching the musical lesson that love conquers all.
Meg Richman reworks Henry James' "The Wings of the Dove" by updating it to the present and thereby putting a whole new spin on the nefarious doings. Molly Parker, who bravely and brilliantly played a necrophiliac in last year's "Kissed," once more shows her courage by taking on the role that won Helena Bonham Carter an academy award nomination. Joely Richardson is heartbreaking and mysterious as the doomed heiress. "Smoke Signals" is the first feature film made by and starring Native Americans. It's a vision quest disguised as buddy film with two unlikely travelling companions bumbling across the country. Prepare to have several myths exploded.
The final new film is "Space Truckers," a rock 'em, sock 'em film noir comedy set two hundred years in the future. Dennis Hopper is the trucker in a world of interplanetary strip malls and hot dogs that are safe for humans, but not their pets.
The classic revivals include "Diner," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Player," "Drugstore Cowboy," and the always timely John Sayles gem, "The Brother from Another Planet."
For more information about the Classically Independent Film Festival, call1 800 362-5377.
© 1998 - Andrea Chase - Air Date: 6/03/98
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