Virginia Film Society kicks off spring season on Feb. 25
|A scene from “Winter Passing,” which will kick off the spring season on Feb. 25.
The Virginia Film Society kicks off its 2006 spring season with the Feb. 25 sneak preview of “Winter Passing,” produced by U.Va. alumnus David Koplan and directed and written by Adam Rapp, acclaimed as one of the country’s most dynamic playwrights. The two will be on hand for a discussion after the screening. In this Yari Film Group release, Ed Harris stars as a renowned novelist and neglectful father, Will Ferrell plays an odd wannabe musician who takes care of Harris, and Zooey Deschanel is the estranged daughter who returns for a difficult reunion.
Rapp also will meet with U.Va. drama and creative writing students while he is in Charlottesville. His play “Nocturne” is the highlight of a special course created at U.Va. to expose drama students to exciting new American playwrights. Students will perform a staged reading of the play and discuss the work with the playwright.
The “Winter Passing” preview is cosponsored by the Film Society and Cinematheque, and will take place at 6 p.m. in Newcomb Hall Theater. Admission is $8 for the public, $5 for U.Va. students and free to Film Society members. Advance tickets are now at Newcomb Box Office or at http://www.musictoday.com and also will be available at the door.
The second sneak preview is the drama-comedy “Duane Hopwood,” which stars David Schwimmer, Jeaneane Garafolo and Dick Cavett, on March 14. Director and screenwriter Matt Mulhern will discuss his film, an IFC Films release that was a sensation at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
“The Virginia Film Society aims to keep the Virginia Film Festival’s rich dialogues with filmmakers, scholars and audiences going all year long,” said Richard Herskowitz, director of the Virginia Film Festival. “We’re bringing some exciting new directors and critics to town to present and discuss films with our lively audience of film buffs.”
In addition to the sneak previews, an eclectic brew of dramatic, experimental and documentary fare is scheduled for the society’s spring season.
In conjunction with the Festival of the Book, the society will screen “Sherlock Jr.” and “The Playhouse” on March 22, silent comedy classics directed by and starring Buster Keaton. Edward McPherson, author of “Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat,” will discuss the silent film legend after the screening. Matt Marshall, Anna L. Krome-Lukens and Elizabeth Leverage will provide live musical accompaniment.
The Black Maria Film and Video Festival returns on April 5. John Columbus, the festival’s director, will present work by cutting-edge independent film- and videomakers at the annual international juried competition and award tour, which comes to Charlottesville for the 12th year.
Director Adam Watstein and producer Jennifer Lyne will be in Charlottesville April 25 and 26 to share their inventive improvisational approach to filmmaking. “Off the Hook,” portrays two friends struggling to make it as hip-hop musicians in the South Bronx. “Loudmouth Soup,” which depicts a couple’s first dinner party in Hollywood, was shot in one night with seven actors, eight cameras and no script.
The spring schedule concludes on May 9 with the documentary “Shakespeare Behind Bars,” a behind-the-scenes look at a production of “The Tempest” by convicted felons inside a Kentucky prison. U.Va. assistant professor of drama Betsy Tucker, who has worked on theater with U.Va. students and women at the Fluvanna Women’s Correctional Facility, will speak following the screening.
All Virginia Film Society events are co-sponsored by the Virginia Film Festival and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, with the support of the Omni Hotel. Screenings feature special guest speakers and are held at Vinegar Hill Theatre at 7 p.m. (except for “Winter Passing”). Admission to individual screenings is $8 and free to Film Society members.
Spring membership for the Virginia Film Society is $30 ($25 for students and seniors). For more information, visit http://www.vafilm.com