Fresh from our front page, here are today's Florida Film Festival top movie picks:
USA, 2008, 99 Mins, Rated R
Directed by DERICK MARTINI
7:00 PM - 8:40 PM at Regal
Tangled relationships, real estate speculation, and Lyme disease converge in the heart of suburbia. This tale of two families in 1970s Long Island revolves around 15-year-old Scott Bartlett (Rory Culkin) who is having trouble coping with more than the local Lyme disease hysteria. Scott's parents (Alec Baldwin and Jill Hennessy) are hitting another rough patch in their icy marriage, and his volatile brother (real-life sibling Kieran Culkin) is on furlough from the Army. Scott's neighbor and longtime crush, Adrianna (Emma Roberts), doesn't have it any better. With her father (Timothy Hutton) ill from Lyme disease, her mother (Cynthia Nixon) is forced back to work. When she starts selling homes for Scott's real estate developer father, the two troubled families collide with devastating consequences. Director Derick Martini and his brother and cowriter Steven drew inspiration from their own childhoods on "The Island," and get riveting performances from a truly stellar cast. They deliver a film filled with humor, authenticity, and emotional wreckage that leaves you wondering what's going on in the secret lives of your own neighbors.
IN A DREAM
USA, 2008, 78 Mins
Directed by JEREMIAH ZAGAR
9:00 PM - 10:50 PM at Regal
The artists among us--people like septuagenarian Isaiah Zegar and his wife Julia--take more risks in a day than many of us take in a lifetime. This loving, complex portrait by their son Jeremiah, explores the obsessive passion that possesses Isaiah to create 50,000 square feet of mosaic murals in their south Philadelphia neighborhood. Isaiah's single-minded, narcissistic, and unstable personality takes its toll on his wife and his family in this deeply intimate film. Visually stunning and emotionally raw, IN A DREAM presents a world of chaotic extremes. The art is nothing short of magnificent--dizzying, reflective towers, and wall upon wall of beauty, painstakingly created by an artist living within a stone's throw of sanity. Thousands of tourists make the pilgrimage to the neighborhood to drink it in. Even as Julia strives to keep Isaiah mentally balanced, he nonetheless betrays her in word and deed, causing his own home to crumble. What price art, indeed.
PUSH BUTTON HOUSE
USA, 2008, 12 Mins
Directed by ROBERT PROFUSEK & RYAN SILBERT
In dreams and animation, structures rise and fall as if pushed by a button. Equal parts engineering and architecture--with a dash of art--created an astonishing sculpture that captured the imagination of the 2007 Venice Biennale. Adam Kalkin talks about this work as we watch what can happen when an artist of towering vision and imagination decides to push a button.
WE ARE THE MODS
USA, 2009, 81 Mins
Directed by E. E. CASSIDY
9:45 PM - 11:30 PM at Enzian
When some kids are looking for their future, they turn to the things of the past. Sadie's a subdued, college-bound photographer who could stand to enlarge her world. She finds the perfect opportunity in Nico, a fellow student who introduces Sadie to a whole new subculture--including the joys of ska, scooters, and the usual teenage vices of drugs and sex. A much more important influence, though, is her new friend's confidence. Nico's ability to navigate the world with cool determination despite the burden of Milroy's disease (which gives her an enlarged "monster foot" and necessitates the use of a cane) begins to rub off on Sadie, who gets both an emotional and sartorial makeover. "Don't be a victim, and never look a victim," is one of Nico's rules: good advice for older girls, too. While this fun and fresh film showcases mod style and features one of the hippest scores you'll ever hear, it's not just a fashion show but also a warm, realistic story of two girls sticking together in a difficult world.
For more information and to watch trailers please visit www.floridafilmfestival.com.