Florida Film Festival - Day 5 Top Movie Picks

by enzian
March 31, 2009 2:29 AM
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Here are just a few of the outstanding films that you can catch at the Florida Film Festival today!

THE WRECKING CREW
Directed by Denny Tedesco
Florida Premiere
4:15 PM - 5:55 PM at Regal
You may not have heard their names, but you've heard their music. Director Denny Tedesco chronicles the musical history of his late father, the legendary Tommy Tedesco, and his compatriots Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye, Al Casey, Earl Palmer, Plas Johnson, and the other L.A. session musicians known informally as "The Wrecking Crew." Uncredited and unknown outside the industry, these musicians played on a staggering number of hits, collectively recording more number one singles than Elvis and the Beatles combined. That they were the force behind the Monkees' records may not surprise you, but that's barely scratching the surface--the Beach Boys, The Byrds, Paul Revere and The Raiders, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass are but a few of the acts whose hits were in fact played almost entirely by these session cats; and artists ranging from Frank and Nancy Sinatra to Ike and Tina Turner benefited from the impeccable backing of the Crew. Featuring revealing and often hysterical conversations with people from both sides of the mixing board, THE WRECKING CREW reveals the foundation of the 1960s West Coast music scene and the faces behind the soundtrack of America.

EARTH DAYS
Directed by Robert Stone
East Coast Premiere
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM at Enzian
Direct from a closing night screening at the Sundance Film Festival, this visually stunning epic recounts the modern environmental movement's birth. On April 22, 1970--the very first Earth Day--more than 20 million Americans across the country marched for change and political action to protect the environment. While their demands were never met in whole, they had a galvanizing effect on the national psyche. Average Americans began to comprehend that that the Earth's health required consideration (recall, this was four decades before Al Gore and his slide show made it all so clear) and it was connected to their own actions. Such a consciousness-changing realization prompted a new awareness: the American dream of unlimited scientific progress, new technology, and economic expansion had wrought some unforeseen and nightmarish side effects. Utilizing rare archival footage and nine witnesses to the events--from astronauts to government officials to eco-feminists--director Robert Stone (Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army, FFF 2004 Grand Jury Award - Best Doc Feature) has crafted a powerful and mesmerizing document of a transformative moment in our planet's history.

Preceded by:
OUT OF PRINT
Directed by Danny Plotnick
Southeast Premiere
How did we discover cool cultural media before the web? We worked for it.

SITA SINGS THE BLUES
Directed by Nina Paley
9:00 PM - 10:40 PM at Regal
If the Hindu gods can't get love right, what chance does a modern American mortal have? One of the most visually lavish, colorfully explosive, and thoroughly unique animated features you'll ever see, SITA SINGS THE BLUES interprets The Ramayana, the story of the kidnapping of Sita, wife of Rama, by an evil king. Narrated by a wryly comic trio of Indonesian shadow puppets (go ahead . . . digest it), Sita's tale is also layered with what we can only describe as animated videos music, featuring Hindu singing to 1920s jazz music, and the modern American story of love-gone-bad, based on the true life experience of filmmaker Nina Paley. Gifted Paley has put as much sensuous beauty in 82 minutes as any film could hold, including several different types of animation, classic and modern Indian music, thoughtful consideration of what love is, and a monkey army. If that's not enough, here's what Roger Ebert said about SITA on his Chicago Sun-Times blog: "I am enchanted. I am swept away. I am smiling from one end of the film to the other. It is astonishingly original." Did we mention the monkey army?

For more information and to view more trailers, please visit www.floridafilmfestival.com.

Posted by Shannon/FFF Programming

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