PTTF ~ 2000
2000 Port Townsend Film Festival September 22-24, 2000
On Saturday night pass holders were treated to a screening of one of actor Tony Curtis's best films, Sweet Smell of Success, which was followed by an interview with the actor by Turner Classic Movies primetime host, Robert J. Osborne. Another Curtis classic, Some Like It Hot, was screened at the Taylor Street Outdoor Theatre on a Friday night.
"On behalf of Turner Classic Movies, I congratulate you on a wonderful inaugural festival. We were really impressed with the entire event-from the programming to the executive to the attendance. It was as if you had been doing it for years. We were thrilled to be involved."
Gloria Avillar, Director for Special Events, Turner Classic Movies
"The PTFF has two things going for it that could conceivably turn it into a world-class cinema event: 1) an isolated, special location that makes going there part of the fun; and 2) sponsorship by, and a special connection to, Turner Classic Movies and, thus, the nation's largest library of vintage Hollywood films."
William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"A huge rave for this past weekend's Port Townsend Film Festival! The films were fantastic; I saw 11, and there was not a dud in the bunch. The organization of the event was phenomenal (a last-minute thrash to fix a partly blown projector was performed with such grace and poise that the crowd gathering for the movie was completely oblivious). In the three days that I was there, I heard not one single complaint or negative comment about the festival. There was a truly rare and amazing feeling of camaraderie and harmony, enthusiasm and excitement, both from the filmgoers and from the organizing staff and volunteers. Bravo!"
Rant & Rave Alive, Seattle Times, September 29, 2000
USA, 1999, 93 min.
Director: Todd Robinson
Academy Award finalist for feature length documentary tells the story of Marta
Becket, an artist whose singular determination to remain true to her creative
spirit led her to create an oasis in the middle of the Mojave Desert for the
sole purpose of having a place to dance, paint and perform. Director Todd
Black and White in Color
Czech Republic, 1999, 58 min.
Director: Mira Erdevicki-Charap
The documentary film about the Romany singer Vera Bila and her KALE group
is an honest portrait of a striking artist and strong personality who refuses
to change despite the intolerance in Czech society towards Romany ethnicity.
Floundering deep in debt, her adopted son in prison for robbery, Vera struggles
to perform her music in an honest and uncompromising fashion.
USA,1968, 20 min.
Producer/Director: James Broughton
Introduced by Joel Singer. An imaginative, playful look at just about everything
that could happen in a bed. From birth to death and whatever's in-between,
Broughton's wit and charm are in full blossom. "Broughton's finest film by
far. It exists in a state of play, fully realized."-Stan Brakhage. This film
won awards in 1969 at the Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Yale and Foothills Festivals.
Broughton gained famed as a writer and filmmaker while living in San Francisco,
but spent his last decade as a resident of Port Townsend.
Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American
USA, 2000, 86 min.
Director: Anne Makepeace
Documentary on the one-time Seattle resident whose life was dedicated to photographing
the vanishing ways of the North American Indian. An even-handed account of
Curtis and the controversy that still surrounds his work. Director/Producer
Anne Makepeace attended.
A Cry From The Grave
UK, 1999, 104 min.
Director/Producer: Leslie Woodhead
A feature-length documentary looking at the massacre of over 7000 Muslim men
and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in July 1995, Europe's worst massacre
since WWII. With first-hand witnesses and previously unknown archive, the
film tells the story of a brutal 72 hours in the life and death of the Muslim
refugees in this United Nations "safe area" and the utter failure of that
system. The film also follows the wives, mothers and sisters as they travel
back to Srebrenica one year later to continue to search for answers, giving
a human face to the very harrowing statistics. Awards: Special Jury Award,
1999 Amsterdam International Documentary Festival.
A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict
USA, 1999, 110 min.
Director: Steve York
Narrator: Ben Kingsley
Feature length documentary focusing on three extraordinary individuals:
Gandhi, whose march to the sea in protest of the British salt monopoly led the way for Indian independence from Britain and convinced millions of his countrymen that nonviolent refusal to cooperate with injustice is the best way to defeat it.
Rev. James Lawson, a Methodist minister who studied in India. In 1959 Lawson led college students with quiet but remarkably forceful determination in the successful desegregation of Nashville's downtown lunch counters in only five months.
Mkhuseli Jack, an anti-apartheid activist who organized a boycott of white-owned businesses in South Africa's black townships in the mid-1980s. Bringing South Africa's retailers to their knees through their pocketbooks hastened the ending of apartheid. Producer Jack Duvall attended.
Estonia, 1998, 104 min.
Director: Sulev Keedus
A young boy commits a crime on the mainland. Instead of being sent to prison,
he is sent to an island to live with the old caretaker, Jakub. Jakub lives
with his bees and his horse and dreams about his missionary days in Africa
and about translating Virgil's Georgics into Swahili. This miraculous film
is a map of thought and memory as well as a visual poem.
Australia, 1999, 94 min.
Director: Paul Cox
Retired organist and music teacher, Andreas, discovers that his first love
lives in the same city he does. Fifty years have passed since their passionate
love affair in post-war Belgium. Married, Claire hesitatingly responds to
his plea to meet again, and it soon becomes evident that their love has not
faded. A tragicomic tale of love and lust, jealousy and regret. A passionate
reminder to live life to the fullest. A touching work by Australian master
Paul Cox. Julia Blake and Charles Tingwell, actors who are both 70ish, bring
a heart-stopping passion and risk to their renewed love affair. "A truthful,
philosophical film about what love means, what time means and how time can
steal love or deepen it."-Roger Ebert, report from Cannes.
Janice Beard 45 WPM
Great Britain, 1999, 81 min.
Director: Clare Kilner
When her father drops dead on the delivery room floor the day poor Janice
comes into the world, her mother retreats into a crippling depression that
leaves her house-bound for the next 23 years. Janice learns early how to make
her mother happy - she regales her with stories about her interesting life
away from home. With each passing year, Janice is more determined to secure
treatment for her mother's agoraphobia. Armed with less than stellar secretarial
skills, Janice leaves the confines of their small Scottish town for the vast
possibilities - and vast salary - she envisions for herself in London. Unable
to land anything but "temp" jobs, Janice nonetheless manages to sustain her
mother through hilarious videos of her exciting life in London. When Janice
finally lands a real job with a real future - and a real boyfriend - her fortunes
take yet another twist as she finds herself embroiled in industrial espionage.
This is a touching, laugh-provoking tale of the most hapless heroine to come
along in years.
Lon Chaney: Man of a Thousand Faces
USA, 2000, 84 min.
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this documentary examines the film career and
techniques of this diverse actor who brought us Phantom Of The Opera as well as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The film also details his childhood
with deaf parents and the circumstances that led to his chameleon persona.
Looking for Alibrandi
Australia, 2000, 90 min.
Director: Kate Woods
Three generations of Australian-Italian women live in a hothouse of drama,
love, support and secrets. Josie is 17 and about to enter the most tumultuous
year of her life as she meets her father for the first time, falls in love,
experiences grief and gathers the courage to be her indomitable self and embrace
The Lost Lover
Italy/UK, 1999, 98 min.
Director: Roberto Faenza
The penetrating sorrow of their child's death is destroying the love between
Adam, a successful auto mechanic, and his wife Asya, a teacher and university
researcher in Tel Aviv. The chilly pallor enveloping the family seeps into
the soul of teenage Dafi, their surviving child; Adam finds her night after
night staring into the darkness beyond her window. Gabriel, a beautiful Israeli
man, comes into Adam's shop one day, desperate for work. Fluent in French,
Gabriel assists the dispirited Asya in her work. As the days pass, Adam sees
Asya blooming to life again in Gabriel's company. When Gabriel is suddenly
conscripted into the armed forces - and then mysteriously disappears - Adam
is desperate with determination to find him, rather than watch Asya withdraw
again. He enlists a young Arab, Na Im, in his quest, but the young man's journey
brings him into Dafi's loving embrace - a culturally forbidden relationship.
This is a touching, multi-layered story of love, loss, and the renewal of
Man in the White Suit
UK, 1951, 85 min.
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Alec Guinness stars as Sidney Stratton, a lab technician, who after much trial
and error produces a revolutionary new fabric that cannot be soiled or damaged.
Unsurprisingly, the tycoons of the textile industry want no such thing on
the market. Thus begins the wild chase with Guinness dodging a bevy of textile
magnates and their minions. A delightfully wicked satire of the British industrial
system. One of two free outdoor movies on Taylor Street.
No Coffee, No TV, No Sex
Switzerland, 1999, 87 min.
Director: Romed Wyder
Handsome Arno lives in the Geneva squats, having given up most of life's comforts
in order to avoid "complications" - particularly those having to do with sex
and relationships. But now, his best friend's girl, Nina, faces deportation.
His best friend Maurizio, who won his resident status with a marriage of convenience,
encourages Arno to likewise marry Nina to ensure she is not forced out of
the country. (Arno is the perfect prospect, of course, because he's avoided
"complications and sex and relationships".) As Arno and Nina navigate the
labyrinthine bureaucracy of Swiss immigration, they fall in love. Nina doesn't
want to choose between these two men - she wants both! This is a charming
and romantic reconsideration of the love triangle.
Not of This World
Italy, 1999, 100 min.
Director: Giuseppe Piccioni
A quietly affecting drama about strangers who touch each other's lives in
unexpected ways. A nun just preparing to take her vows is walking in a Milan
park when a jogger hands her a newborn baby he has found. Unable to ignore
her maternal instinct for contact with the baby or her urge to find its mother,
Caterina is led into an odd bond with the man who may be the child's father.
One More Kiss
Great Britain, 1999, 102 min.
Director: Vadim Jean
A visually stunning and remarkable tale of a young woman's return to the Scottish
Borders to complete the brief circle of her life. A subject generally handled
with an overload of pandering sentiment, this film is remarkable for its subtle
humor and staggering honesty.
The Phantom of the Opera
Introduction by Robert Osborne
USA, 1925, 93min.
Director: Rupert Julian
Producer: Carl Laemmle
Lon Chaney stars in this classic tale of lost love and revenge in the Grand
Opera House, Paris. The Phantom is threatening that a certain catastrophe
will strike if Marguerite, the understudy to the leading lady, does not perform.
The Phantom kidnaps Marguerite, taking her to his lair beneath the opera house.
Her lover must save her from the Phantom. Chaney plays the role of the Phantom
with a delicate balance of horror and heart. The twisted lighting and baroque
sets are fantastic. Accompanied by the exciting live piano music of Michael
D.Mortilla, composer for film, TV, radio, theatre, dance and the concert stage.
Mortilla has accompanied silent films for numerous festivals and films series
including The Silent Society of LA, UCLA Film and TV Archive and the San Francisco
Silent Film Festival. Michael is currently composing the score for the feature
film, Loch Ness, directed by Chuck Comisky of Terminator and Addams Family
The Pleasure Garden
UK, 1953, 37 min.
The Cannes Film Festival in 1954 gave The Pleasure Garden its Best Poetic
Fantasy Award. A joyous musical satire celebrating life and love in the park
as the puritanical killjoys post bills prohibiting all pleasurable activity.
"On the side of angels,it's a testimony for love"-Allen Ginsberg
Set Me Free
Canada, 1999, 94 min.
Director: Lea Pool
Lea Pool's largely autobiographical feature set in 1960s Montreal tells the
story of 13 year old Hanna, whose troubled home life with an angry poet father
and depressed overworked mother is taking its toll. Seeking refuge in the
local cinema, she finds comfort in Nana, the ill-fated prostitute in Godard's
My Life To Live. Finding herself attracted to one of her girlfriends only
complicates matters. An honest and unflinching look at a young girl's intellectual
and sexual awakening. Karine Vanasse, who plays Hanna with amazing charm and
depth, will be in attendance.
Some Like It Hot
USA, 1959, 199 min.
Director: Billy Wilder
This classic was recently named the number one American comedy of all time
by the American Film Institute. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis star as a pair
of jazz musicians on the run from the mob after witnessing a crime. Dressing
in drag, they join an all girls band. Things heat up considerably when one
of the members turns out to be Marilyn Monroe. The antics are hilarious and
appear effortless. Tony Curtis recently remarked that he was the best looking
woman a man ever played in a movie. He is stunning! One of two free outdoor
movies on Taylor Street.
USA, 1999, 111 min.
Director: Del Shores
An all out trashy romp of a movie. All hell breaks loose in this small Texas
town when Grandma Peggy trips over an ill placed pair of wooden legs during
a romp in a cheap motel with the local lothario. As the family bickers over
the details of her burial all sorts of family secrets are unburied. Hilarious
over-the-top performances by a Tammy Wynette impersonator, a pair of angry
women on a Thelma and Louise mission of revenge, and the scariest mental institution
employee since Nurse Mildred Ratched. Some remarkable hairdos as well. Featuring
Beau Bridges, Bonnie Bedelia, Olivia Newton-John, Delta Burke.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Introduction by Frank Buxton
USA, 1928, 69 min.
Director: Charles Reisner
Buster Keaton's last silent film, over which he had complete writing and directorial
control, is a masterpiece of set gags. Accompanied by the live piano music
of Michael Mortilla, whose work has been featured in numerous other festivals
and on many stages across the country. Accompanied by Michael Mortilla (See Phantom of the Opera.)
Sweet Smell of Success
US, 1957, 96 minutes
Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Searing script by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman about a ruthless, all-powerful
columnist, J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster), and a smarmy press agent, Sidney
Falco (Tony Curtis), who will do anything to curry the columnist's favor.
Inspired by the life story of Broadway columnist Walter Winchell. Though critically
acclaimed upon its release, the film did not find an audience until decades
later. Leonard Maltin has written: "Vivid performances, fine jazz score by
Elmer Bernstein, outstanding camerawork by James Wong Howe that perfectly
captures New York City nightlife." Pauline Kael called it "a slice of perversity
- a study of dollar and power worship." Tony Curtis appeared in a Q&A session
with Turner Classic Movie Host Robert Osborne after the screening.
The Third Man
UK, 1949, 104min.
Director: Sir Carol Reed
Turner Classics host Robert Osborne introduced this, one of his favorite films.
A bona fide film noir classic starring Orson Welles as Harry Lime and Joseph
Cotton as the pulp-writer on a manhunt for the elusive Harry in post-war Vienna.
Nominated for three Academy Awards, it took home the Oscar for the moody cinematography
of Robert Krasker.
Under The Sun
Sweden, 1999, 118 min.
Director: Colin Nutley
40-year-old Olaf places an ad for a housekeeper. When beautiful Ellen shows
up on his farm to take the job, the jealousy of his friend and relentless
womanizer, Erik, is piqued. Trying to understand why such a beautiful woman
would choose to live so far away from a city and why she would prefer Olaf
to himself, Erik sets off to the city to discover her secret.
You Can Count on Me
US, 2000, 109 min.
Writer/Director: Kenneth Lonergan
You Can Count on Me is a compelling, character-driven drama that features
fine performances by Laura Linney (who was nominated for an Oscar as best
actress for this role), Mark Ruffalo, who plays her wayward brother, and Matthew
Broderick as her boss and adulterous lover. A serious drama interspersed with
lots of humor, You Can Count on Me avoids formulas and clichés.
The film was PTFF's "mystery movie."