Monday, February 2, 2009

Italian Film & Food Festival 2008

Okay, this past weekend was a busy one and I'm not talking about that hockey game or whatever it was they had on the TV. One of the highlights of the weekend by far was the Italian Film & Food Festival. It went down Saturday at Plant Zero, RVA.

Carra and I made it to the first of their four showings at 11am, just in time for breakfast. We walked into Plant Zero's event hall and after getting some coffee, we were directed to the buffet tables at the back of the room. Edo's Squid, Mama' Zu, and 8½ (all of the very best, no frills, local Italian restaurants) had catered the event. The food was awesome and I think well worth the ticket value on its own. I had some kind of very lean pork sausage in tomato sauce with peppers, a lentil stew and a chicken stock soup, salmon with cream cheese and capers on a toasted baguette, fruit salad, and a weird little chewy desert pastry spiraled around a cheesy danish-like center. Following food was the screening of Antony and Cleopatra, a 1913 silent film. This was accompanied by a live performance of the original score by pianist Dr. James Doering. We sat right behind the piano, so we had a good view of what he was doing while we watched the film. Seeing that footage from almost a hundred years ago with real live accompaniment was a surreal experience. I spent most of the film thinking about how different film making and viewing film and other art forms must have been back then. Most things are so accessible and instantaneous now. Every things just a push of the button and broadcasted and you-tubed and podcasted and streaming downloads.

I missed the next two films, but I met up with Kelly Alder and we made it to the fourth. Again, we were served amazing Italian food by Edo's Squid, Mama' Zu, and 8½. Then the lights went down and we watched the Orange Thief directed by Boogie Dean, Vinnie Angel, Artie Wilinski. They made this movie from scratch in just a couple months in a foreign language, with Italian and Sicilian non-actors, as first time directors. They actually spent the first month just learning how to use the cameras, how to act, how to write, and how to direct. One of the directors, Vinnie Angel, was present and took questions after the film. This movie was my favorite of the day. I even rented it from Video Fan the next day to show to a few friends over pizza.

All in all the festival was a fun break from the usual. A good excuse to get out of the house in the frigid winter months and eat some good food with some good people and watch some good films I would have missed otherwise.


No comments: