Arts on the Horizon

Sarasota Film Festival

   There were going to be over 30 films shown at the Sarasota Film Festival – plus shorts. Now, with the festival postponed because of COVID-19, you may never be able to see these good films. Right? Wrong. Hopefully new dates will be posted soon.

   The whole idea of the festival is to get potentially good films in front of the public so that popular support could help determine which would go into national distribution. The festival was the buffer between the hundreds of films made, and you. Let’s slim the numbers down to five that might have some appeal to you. 

     Tom Dolby’s The Artist’s Wife is about an aging artist whose wife has to take control because he is losing it. No, it isn’t The Wife, starring Glenn Close, whose husband was a writer and never had it to lose. Neither is it a copy, rip-off, or remake, but partly an extension of where the other left off. And stars Bruce Dern. Desert One is sort of a horror story that you might actually have lived through but haven’t thought of since. In 1979 Iran took our embassy staff in Tehran hostage and President Carter authorized a rescue mission. He tried, it failed, and he paid the price – the buck stopped there. What actually happened? See the film.

     The Last Shift could have been called The Last Shaft. An old duffer is retiring from a fast food chicken joint after 38 years and his last task is to train his replacement, who he doesn’t like – generational differences, et al. It was to be the closing night film, which means it was the one the festival wanted you to remember.

   Can you think of a situation in which you would never want to find yourself (or your daughter or granddaughter)? Never Rarely Sometimes Always is a film about one of those situations. It is part of a world in which you do not wish to live but where you really should dwell for a couple of hours so that you may feel empathy (or more empathy, depending on how much empathy you already feel) for someone caught up in a horrible situation which was, to some degree, of their own making. 

     Talking about people we’ve forgotten, remember those Booker Elementary School kids here in Sarasota to whom President Bush was reading when he found out both of the World Trade Towers had been destroyed? Well, Elizabeth St. Philip did and made the film 9/11 Kids. This film focuses on those 16 children and how they’ve fared. More about these films at: Sarasotafilmfestival.com, theatre listings, Netflix, el al, and google the titles in six months.