Though the exclusive Orlando engagement of THE HISTORY BOYS remains the main present under Enzian's tree this holiday season (and a good thing too, for those of us who never made it to the play on Broadway), the week between Christmas and New Year's brings some other special treats for Central Florida filmgoers.
The festivities begin tonight (Tuesday) at 9:30 PM with the final Art House Project/Sundance Channel Film Series screening of the year, HIGH ART (1998). This highly acclaimed lesbian drama, set amongst a world of photography, artistic creation, and drug abuse, won a Special Jury Prize at Deauville, the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at Sundance for writer/director Lisa Cholodenko, and earned an outstanding Ally Sheedy the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead, and Best Actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics. Focus Features was kind enough to make a brand new 35mm print for the Art House Project bookings--bravo!
If you didn't get enough of Bob Clark's A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983) yet (gee, it's only on 24 hours straight on TBS or something), Sanford's monthly "Cinema in the Park" series in Centennial Park will be presenting Jean Shepherd's holiday classic under the stars at 7:30 PM on Wednesday night the 27th. It's impossible to get tired of Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB Gun, the fishnet leg lamp, and the expressions on the faces of Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, and Melinda Dillon. This nostalgic comedy turned out to be the inspiration for TV's "The Wonder Years," and was nominated for nine Genie Awards (Canadian Oscars), winning two for Best Screenplay and Best Achievement in Direction (where it tied with David Cronenberg and VIDEODROME!)
Last but not least, Thursday night Florida Citrus Sports is presenting a special Popcorn Flick screening of David Aspaugh's RUDY (1993) in Central Park, downtown Winter Park, in honor of all the other College Bowl-related activities this week in Orlando. The director of HOOSIERS did it again with this inspirational story of the boy who was too small to play football for Notre Dame but overcame the odds. One of the classic underdog movies of recent years, the film stars Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty, Lily Taylor, and Charles S. Dutton, who gives one of the great speeches in sports cinema history.
So trade in those unwanted gifts, use up those gift certificates, and come out and join us for these "belated" cinematic offerings. Happy Holidays!