Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movies and the South.

When one thinks of the term "Film Festival" one does not think of Nashville. One does not think of the South at all. The two places most people think of are far from the South: Cannes in the South of France (that's in Europe) and Aspen in the Rockies of Colorado (that's in the Western US).

Amazingly, Nashville has its own Film Festival held every year as it has for the last 42 years. Yes, you heard me right. 42 years. Celebrities, Premiers and star studded parties in the center of Green Hills. (Green Hills is the 'old' money part of Nashville.) Originally called "Sinking Creek", it was the champion of independent, experimental and documentary film. More recently, the festival now sees a broader reach of emphasis including Music Films. (Well, it IS the Music City!)

In fact, the city is so 'into' film that recently (just back in March) the local 'ART" film house hosted what was coined "an ambitious film retrospective" (one of many it seems to hold regularly) of films ABOUT life in the South called "Visions of the South." It is obvious that this city loves Film as much as it loves non-light beer and amateur politicians. (Yes, that's a dig, but let's not dwell on it shall we?) It is amazing to see that some films don't really get life in the South right, where others seem to do it justice. And I guess a 'film retrospective' is just what the good Suthunah needs.

It will not stun or amaze you to learn that in the 20-plus years that I have lived in the wonderful Athens of the South (Yeah, Nashville's sister city is Athens, Greece) that I have attended neither Sinking Creek nor the Nashville Film Festival nor any of the 'Film Retrospectives' at the local Art House. No, not one. Not even once. Not on a bet, not on a dare and not by accident.

Why, you may ask? It's simple. I prefer my entertainment to be more...well...entertaining. Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure that all the films in the above Festivals and Retrospectives have great followings, great scripts and all that, but when it all comes down to it, RARELY are they entertaining to me, the standard guy-on-the-street. And by that I mean, no gun-play, no car chases and nothing 'ker-splodes.' A rather simplistic explanation, but it's better than saying that I don't want to watch the kinds of films that sound like this:
 Title: Bloomington
"A former child star, known for her role in a cult-hit sci-fi TV program, decides to attend college in Bloomington, Indiana where she begins an affair with her femme-fatale psych professor." It's noted that this is a study of lesbian relationships and the writer even notes that there is no nudity, as if that's a reason for attending. I'd rather watch 'Ace Ventura: Pet Detective'. (And if you know me at all, watching Ace Ventura ranks just above going under the house and just below a root canal.)

Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with any of these films, any of these film series, festivals and the like. There is nothing wrong with anyone who is associated with them nor anything wrong with anyone who attends. They're just not my cup of suthun-sweet-tea. So as much as I love the South and the things that go with it, the Nashville Film Festival will go on (again) as it always does, without me.

I'm sure they are crying in their non-light malt beverage
'unoaked chard.*

*My brother, Bubba, suggested the change in the last line. I am unsure what "unoaked chard" is, but if he says that a person who attends such film festivals and film retrospectives would enjoy 'unoaked chard' over a non-light malt beverage, then I'm one to believe him. Brother bubba is knowledgeable in such things and I bow to such knowledge. He also keeps me from using 'it's' in place of 'its.'

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