3 items from 2015
They came via hyperdrive and warp speed, and even by New Jersey Transit, these devotees of Stars both Trek and Wars to mix with the high-rolling, arts-underwriting swells at a benefit performance for the Montclair Film Festival. But mostly, these disciples of sci-fi's top-shelf franchises made a pilgrimage to the Garden State to watch Stephen Colbert host a two-hour "celebrity nerd-off" with director J.J. Abrams, just three-and-a-half weeks before the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you listened closely on Saturday night, you could hear a million-ish »
J.J. Abrams will hibernate soon: In less than one month the sleep-deprived director’s Force Awakens finally premieres. But there’s still time for a few more plugs. At the annual fundraising centerpiece for the Montclair Film Festival — which kicks off at the end of April — Abrams joined Stephen Colbert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s main hall Saturday night for an extensive celebrity nerd-off in front of an audience of nearly 2,800. The 90-plus-minute discussion summarized the Bad Robot honcho’s rise from script doctor to sci-fi hotshot, included loads of Abrams-Colbert trivia (the latter auditioned for the former’s first script, which became Taking Care of Business), and somehow managed to provide even more fuel for the Star Wars hype machine. Read on for the highlights (and one unrelated gem):1. The Force Awakens is basically done.On Saturday morning, “at 2:30 in the morning, we finished the mix of the movie, »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
There will be cake
With a tweaked logo, new programs and extra extracurriculars, the festival’s 40th is a clear focal point for celebration. Free screenings light up public parks. Tiff Cinematheque unspools restorations of modern classics, including “The Mask (Eyes of Hell),” the first Canadian horror feature (in 3D!). An archival photo exhibition at the Lightbox includes festival red-carpet and party pics from 1976 to 1999.
Opening-night ignites with “Demolition” (Fox Searchlight), starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts and helmed by Canadian Jean-Marc Vallee (“Wild”), whose diverse ouevre has delighted fest auds since his Best Canadian Feature-winning “C.R.A.Z.Y.” (2005).
Excitement is building around new competish Platform, fashioned a la Palme d’Or, and with an eye to rising international auteurs. Named after the 2000 film by Chinese auteur Jia Zhang-ke (serving on the inaugural jury, alongside Claire Denis and Agnieszka Holland), Platform sees 12 pics vie for a Can$25,000 prize. »
- Jennie Punter
3 items from 2015
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