Hopkins to receive Virginia Film Award
Annual Virginia Film Festival to Feature "Animal Attractions"
18, 2000 -- The
13th annual Virginia Film Festival,
scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 29, will explore
the theme of "Animal Attractions," featuring media representations
of animals as the reflections, antagonists, victims and superiors
of humankind, announced Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz today.
at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the Festival designs
its program to resemble a huge, comprehensive course on a cultural
theme a course so popular it draws a large audience of current
and former students back to campus. Its many guests, including actors,
directors, and scholars, engage a broad audience of film enthusiasts
in engaging and stimulating discussions.
opening night premiere on Thursday, Oct. 26, will be E. Elias Merhige's
"Shadow of the Vampire," starring Willem Dafoe and John Malkovich.
"Shadow" dramatizes the haunted production history of the silent
classic, "Nosferatu," directed in 1922 by F. W. Murnau. Slated for
a Dec. 29 release from Lion's Gate, "Shadow" is based on the idea
that the director was so determined to make the most authentic movie
ever that he employed a real vampire, Max Schreck (Dafoe) in the
starring role. The screening of "Shadow of the Vampire" will be
preceded by a special screening of Murnau's original "Nosferatu,"
accompanied by the Silent Orchestra. This Washington, D.C.-based
band of electronic and acoustic musicians will be releasing their
original score for the film on DVD in January.
Festival will culminate on Oct. 28 with the presentation of this
year's Virginia Film Award to Academy Award-winning actor Anthony
Hopkins ("Silence of the Lambs"), who has portrayed two unforgettable
men-turned-cannibals. Following a screening of Julie Taymor's "Titus"
(1999), Hopkins will join critic Roger Ebert for a discussion of
his acting career. Based on Shakespeare's tale of betrayal and vengeance,
"Titus" stars Hopkins as the general with a brutal taste for revenge.
Also screening will be "The Silence of the Lambs," in which Hopkins
gives his Oscar-winning performance as the flesh-eating serial killer
Animal Attractions program is giving special emphasis to images
of human-animal hybrids, such as bat creatures, werewolves, cat
people, cannibals, and cartoon critters. "The linking of human and
animal has been a profound theme of cinema since its beginnings
in the serial photography of Eadweard Muybridge. Muybridge scandalized
his audience when he published his images of naked people and horses
in motion under the combined title: 'Animal Locomotion,' " Herskowitz
highlights of this year's program, which are available at www.vafilm.com,
videos and films of artist William Wegman, known throughout the
world for his endearing deadpan photographs and films of dogs dressed
as humans, will be presented by the artist, who will give a lecture
and display his work at the Bayly Art Museum. Other
artists to be represented through their films and visual art include
performance artist and sculptor Carolee Schneemann, and Sam Easterson,
an artist who lets wild animals create their own videos.
critic Roger Ebert returns for his biennial film workshop with a
three-day shot-by-shot exploration of "The Birds," Alfred Hitchcock's
1963 classic tale of nature run amok.
Festival is also featuring anthropomorphized creatures in its extensive
retrospective of "Cartoon Critters," and will include a cartoon
on nearly every program, ranging from Gertie the Dinosaur to Pixar's
ŒFor the Birds.' "Cartoon Critters" will include special feature
presentations of the new documentaries "Chuck Jones: Extremes and
In-Betweens," and "The Hand Behind the Mouse: the Ub Iwerks Story."
John Hancock ("Bang the Drum Slowly," "Weeds") will present his
latest feature, "A Piece of Eden." The film's lead actress, Rebecca
Harrell (who is also the star of Hancock's children's classic "Prancer,"
which will be screening at the Festival), will accompany him.
regional film premieres to be presented by their directors include:
"A Natural History of the Chicken," by the iconoclastic Australian
nature film director Mark Lewis, along with his classic "Cane Toads";
Mongolian director Dorjkhandyn Tumunkh will present "State of Dogs";
and Austin-based filmmaker Kelly Greene will introduce "Attack of
the Bat Monsters," a hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the making
of a low-budget fifties horror film.
Virginia Film Festival's line-up of classics on animal themes is
impressive, ranging from "The Creature from the Black Lagoon in
3D" to Cocteau's "La Belle et la Bete" and "The Planet of the Apes."
Also on the program is a newly restored print of "Cat People" from
the Library of Congress, and "The Lost World" (1925), restored by
David Shepard with a newly recorded score by the Alloy Orchestra.
the Festival's many panels and workshops will be a CD-ROM demonstration
by artist Leah Gilliam, video sampling techniques practiced on viewers'
home videos of their pets by avant-garde appropriators Animal Charm,
a screenwriters panel with Sam Hamm ("Never Cry Wolf," Batman" and
"Batman Returns") and Dorothy Tristan (co-writer of "A Piece of
Eden"), and a session on "New Technologies and Animated Animals"
with Academy Award-winner Stan Winston, the foremost practitioner
of creature and makeup effects and the recipient of last year's
Virginia Film Award.
complete program is available at www.vafilm.com beginning September
15. Tickets are available online. Call 1-800-UVA-FEST for more information.
Anne Hooff at Payne, Ross & Associates: 804-977-7607 (phone), 804-977-7610
(fax), or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cara White, 843/881-1480 e-mail: email@example.com