U.Va. student performance artist participates in the Fringe
Festivals Carnevale Performance and Dance Party Oct.
26. Co-sponsored by the Virginia Film Festival and U.Va.s
art department, the Fringe Festival is a new supplement to
the annual film festival. Visiting artists, U.Va. students
and faculty have contributed works in a variety of mediums
on display in the Frank Ix building, a downtown warehouse.
The art exhibition will run through Nov. 11 from 3 to 7 p.m.
daily and is free and open to the public.
share stories of silver screen
the box-office numbers werent in yet as of early this week,
for last weekends 14th annual Virginia
Film Festival, the reviews were quite positive, said festival
director Richard Herskovitz.
the closing night party, [actress] Gena Rowlands embraced me warmly
and asked to be invited back. [Director] Sydney Pollack walked
in after introducing and watching Tootsie at the Culbreth
[Theater], and said the appreciation he felt, both from the stage
and in the audience, was a rare and wonderful experience for him,
Herskovitz said of two of the events headliners.
remarks opening the festival, Herskowitz dedicated this years
event to the late state Sen. Emily Couric, whom he described as
a great friend of the arts. Couric, who died last month, had been
a member of the festivals advisory board.
credited her with its expansion to include more of the arts, including
live music, the gala at the art museum and the addition of the
would be impossible to cover the dozens of festival events, but
Inside UVA writers attended two in an attempt to capture some
of the festivals flavor.
recalls how Titans integrated a town
from Los Angeles to Alexandria a few years ago, screenwriter Gregory
Allen Howard was struck by how well-integrated his new Virginia
town was. Los Angeles, and D.C. for that matter, are very racially
separated cities, Howard said. So he wondered how nearby Alexandria
had become so cohesive.
started asking around and was told that a football team was responsible,
he told a Newcomb Hall Theater audience Saturday night, explaining
the impetus for his project, Remember the Titans,
now the second-highest-grossing sports film ever.
movie is based on the true story of how two men coached a football
team to a state championship in 1971, the first year of the newly
created, integrated T.C. Williams High School. Former head coach
Bill Yoast, who is white, was ousted from his position by the
powers that be and replaced by a new, black football coach, Herman
Boone. Neither Yoast nor Boone was happy about the predicament
they found themselves in; however, both set aside their differences
to unite the team and their city.
their experience, the two men became friends, Howard said. And
due to the success of the film, they are booked through
2002 giving inspirational talks around the country.
said that converting a true story into a screenplay requires the
ability to compress time and occasionally to create characters
that are a composite of several real-life people. Its important,
however, to retain the essence of the story, he said. The
actual players and coaches felt that this film captured the spirit
of the Titans.
his success, Howard likened sports stories in Hollywood to the
ghetto. The only reason theyre made is so klutzy actors
who never played sports in high school can fulfill their dreams
of being star athletes, actor Will Smith being an exception.
He looks and sounds like the heavyweight boxer hes portraying
in Ali, said Howard, who wrote the original screenplay
for the film, due out Christmas day.
charms opening night audience
Rowlands said she is too close to her late husbands films
to be able to critically judge them.
just act them. I dont explain them, Rowlands said
to laughter and applause when asked by a film critic to dissect
the symbolism in a films ending.
discussed the films she made with her husband, the late director
John Cassavetes, at the festivals Oct. 25 opening night.
Three of these films Love Streams, Gloria
and A Woman Under the Influence were screened
at the festival.
discussed Cassavetes work with festival director Richard
Herskowitz and, later, with Cassavetes scholar Ray Carney, a Boston
University film professor.
remarks before the festival screening of Gloria, Carney
said no couple has contributed more to filmmaking than Rowlands
and Cassavetes. Rowlands 40-year career has encompassed
stage, film and television, during which she has worked with the
best acting and directing talent in the business.
is the first lady of American acting and the finest actress now
working in film, Carney said in introducing her to the audience.
Rowlands said Cassavetes did not want to make Gloria.
He wrote the film to sell to the studios to finance another film
they were in middle of shooting. He had no interest in it.
It was not his kind of picture, she said.
the film, Rowlands protects, often violently, a 6-year-old boy
whose family was killed by mobsters. Much of the film revolves
around Glorias relationship with the boy, but it is complicated
by her relationship with the mob boss, who had been her lover.
recalled building the character up a little at a time, learning
to walk properly and developing the necessary attitude. By design,
she stayed aloof from John Adames, who played the 6-year-old boy.
Adames was acting in his first, and only, movie, Rowlands explained,
and she did not want to confuse him by being stern with him on-camera
and friendly off-camera. Once the filming was done, Adames and
his sister stayed with Rowlands and Cassavetes, and she was finally
able to be nice to him.
making the film was fun, Rowlands confessed it cost her half the
hearing in one ear. In one scene, a pistol was fired next to her
head. Vanity had led her not to wear the earplugs she was supposed
to use, she admitted; her wince of pain can be seen in the film.