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L.A. Film Fest Gears Up for Second Weekend

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2010, at 11:53AM
IMGP5435 Ed Fuentes

Producers Ophira Dagen, Eric Roy, and Marah Strauch demonstrate how to keep up with screenings at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

The Los Angeles Film Festival got off to a non-traditional start on Thursday, dropped out of the spotlight by a Laker championship and the ensuing mayhem.

It survived, and this week is running at full speed with an impressive slate of screenings and events.

The event's most notable visual is the crowd of fans who have been camped out on Nokia Plaza since Monday morning to secure a seat on the red carpet for the U.S. premiere of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" on Thursday.

For those filmmakers with a little less box office power, the festival mixers and parties are busy with self promotion. Over the weekend, filmmaker Adriana Yurcovic passed out postcards to her International Showcase entry, the Argentinian film "El Ambulante." Her pitch was simple: “Come see it. You will like it." By the way, the title of her film translates as "The Peddler."

Here are a few more pitches for the festival's long close-out weekend:

WOLF PACT: The LA Weekly's critics note "The Wolf Knife" by artist/filmmaker Laurel Nakadate. "An ultra-low-budget road-trip flick" that is "far bolder and more controlled than it initially seems." The last screening is tonight, June 23, at 10pm in the Regal.

GREEN SCREEN: Away from L.A. Live, "Climate Refugees" will be screened free at California Plaza on June 25. The film looks at populations displaced by the effects of extreme climate change.

MORE OBSSESSED FANS: "The People VS George Lucas" is the 2010 off-the-wall love letter that wants to be the voice for Star War fans bitter about prequels. Producer Robert Muratore carefully explains that the Alexandre O. Philippe written and directed documentary looks at how fans have an ownership in the series. The film screens Wednesday night at the Ford Amphitheater.

HARSH TALK: Not technically part of L.A. Film Fest's 2010 lineup -- though it was in 2009 -- documentary BANANAS!* will have a one night screening at the Downtown Independent the night before a hearing in the trials between DOLE Food Company and filmmaker Fredrik Gertten. The night includes a Q&A with Gertten and his attorney Lincoln Bandlow after each screening. 7 and 9pm, Wednesday night, June 23.

DOWNTOWN CONFIDENTIAL:The Driver” stars Ryan O’Neal and Bruce Dern. Directed by Walter Hill, it’s about the chase and the smell of rubber burning on downtown asphalt. The film screens at REDCAT on Thursday, June 24, at 9:45pm.

STRUGGLE: "Ain't in it for my Health: A Film about Levon Helm" is a portrait of Levon Helm, a founding member of The Band, as he attempts to make his first studio album in 25 years. It screens on Friday, June 25, at 9:45pm in Regal 11.

TALK IT UP: "Coffee Talk: Directors" is Saturday, June 26, at 11am and includes Gary Ross, Joe Carnahan and Jay and Mark Duplass. It is followed by "Coffee Talk: Actors" with Shohreh Aghdashloo, James Cromwell and William Mapother; "Coffee Talk: Composers" with Moby, Gustavo Santaolalla and BT; and "Coffee Talk: Screenwriters" with Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski and Josh Olson.

TWO NOT OF A KIND: If indie filmmakers are a tribe, Roger Corman is the witch doctor elder. He will be honored at the Grammy Museum on Friday, June 25, at 8pm. At the same time, Paul Reubens hosts his selection of "You Can't Take It With You" at REDCAT. The next morning, he will be the guest of honor at a screening of "Pee-wee's Big Adventure" at the Orphuem (Saturday June 26, at 1pm).


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