Monday, June 30, 2014

Nantucket Film Festival 2014

I just returned from my third annual trip to the Nantucket Film Festival, and once again it was everything I could ask for and more.  In around five days I managed to squeeze in 18 films, four filmmaker/writer panels, two Chris Matthews interviews (of Bradley Whitford and Aaron Sorkin), a comedy roundtable (moderated by Michael Ian Black and Ben Stiller, and with panelists Jenny Slate, Billy Eichner, and John C Daly), a staged reading of a TV pilot set in Nantucket, two parties, and a Writers Guild meet and greet.  I accidentally sat next to two great actors (and fantastic guys), Bradley Whitford and Mark Duplass, at a film and a panel, respectively.  There were surprise appearances by Ben Stiller, who wasn't expected to be there this year, and Mark Ruffalo. I met up and bumped into friends from past festivals and made new ones.  I stayed in the same room at the same B&B (The Barnacle Inn) I have for the past two years.  I ate poorly, didn't sleep much, and got more sun than I'm used to.  And, most importantly, I had a ton of fun and miss it already.  Let's do it all again in 51 weeks!

Below is a summary of my grades for the 18 films I saw, as well as a few pictures.  I'll write more about these films once they are available to you in theaters or on Video on Demand.

Boyhood    Grade: A+  (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/11)
Gabriel     Grade: A
The One I Love    Grade: A  (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 8/15)
I Origins    Grade: A    (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/18)
The Heart Machine    Grade: A
Rich Hill     Grade: A-    (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 8/1)
Break Point     Grade: A-
Life Itself     Grade: B+   (opening in limited theatrical and Video on Demand on 7/4)
Begin Again     Grade: B+  (now in limited theatrical release)
The Skeleton Twins     Grade: B+  (opening in limited theatrical release on 9/19)
Sounding the Alarm     Grade: B
We'll Never Have Paris     Grade: B
Arlo & Julie     Grade: B
Land Ho!     Grade: B    (opening in limited theatrical release beginning 7/11)
Kumiko the Treasure Hunter     Grade: B
10.000 Km     Grade: B
Creep     Grade: B-
Warren    Grade: C-

(I also attempted to watch the documentary Last Days in Vietnam, the audience award winner, but just wasn't in a Vietnam-y kind of mood so I left and had breakfast instead.  There's only so much Henry Kissenger one can take in the morning while on vacation.  I'll have to catch that another time once it's released on 9/5.)

The Dreamland theater, the main venue of the festival, and my second home.
Chris Matthews interviews Bradley Whitford
Chris Matthews interviews Aaron Sorkin
Mark Ruffalo surprises us with a pre-movie Q&A for 'Begin Again'
Mark Duplass and Susanna Fogel discussing their films at the Morning Coffee With ... panel

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