Day two of the film screenings was cut short for me as I had to leave early due to prior engagements. Here again are some short reviews of the day’s films. Keep your eyes open this weekend as I have a screening of “Buried” tonight and press screenings on Friday for, “The Social Network” and “Film Socialisme” which is the new film from Jean-Luc Goddard.
Lennon NYC- This new documentary chronicles not only the time John Lennon spent living in New York and his love for the city, but his struggle fighting Nixon and the FBI who wanted to deport Lennon as an illegal immigrant. The film contains some never before heard outtakes and studio chatter from the Double Fantasy sessions that I am sure fans would love to hear. As a whole, the documentary seems to draw its focus away from its main point at times and falls into just another chronicle of John and Yoko and how their ups and downs affected their music, more than how his struggle to stay in the city and country he had come to love affected it. If you stick to what the film is trying to say, then you do have a very interesting comparison to what illegal immigrants may feel. People who are just trying to do something better for themselves. And all of them are in no way going to get the support John Lennon ever did. “Lennon NYC” was produced as part of the American Masters series for PBS and will air on the station this November. If you want an advance look at the film though, I will post links to purchase tickets for the NYFF screenings that are coming up at the end of these reviews.
A Letter to Elia- If you are unaware of who Elia Kazan is, he was one of the greatest film directors hollywood ever had. Due to one unfortunate circumstance, he was shunned by a large number of people in hollywood and to some, his name is still a matter of blasphemy. His films include, “On The Waterfront”, “East of Eden” and “A Face In The Crowd”. All amazing films, all well-known and well-loved classics. This hour-long documentary was made by Martin Scorsese, who credits Kazan with planting the film making bug into his life. Using his own image and voiceover, Scorsese tells the audience how his life changed after seeing, “On The Waterfront” and how from that day forward, he followed Kazan’s career, even to the point where Scorsese botched a chance at being an assistant on a Kazan film by showing up late for a meeting with Kazan himself. Later in life, Scorsese became friends with Kazan as Scorsese himself started to make a name for himself, but through that friendship, Scorsese never mentioned how much Kazan had changed his life. Their friendship was more about the men in their present state and things were left at that, Scorsese did not want to burden their friendship with a boyish fandom overtone. “A Letter To Elia” is Scorsese’s deeply heartfelt farewell message of love and admiration to his now passed friend. This is not a documentary, it is one man declaring his sorrow over losing someone who was like a father to him and he is sharing it with the world. More moving than any film you will see this year, next year and then some, do not miss “A Letter To Elia”.
A Letter To Elia- Monday Sept. 27th 6:15pm (This screening will be followed by a screening of Kazan’s, “America, America”)