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Mark Your Calendar: Let's go to the movies
"We Need to Talk About Kevin"

Sure, it’ll be kind of cool to ogle Oliver Stone, Lily Tomlin, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Barkin and Famke Janssen when they hit town for “awards” at the Savannah Film Festival Oct. 29–Nov. 5. Who doesn’t like a good celeb–sighting?

However, this event – always one of the most highly anticipated on Savannah’s cultural calendar – is really all about the movies.

This is the one time a year when the Hostess City plays hostess to some of the finest independent films out there – most of them still unreleased, still looking for a distributor, still unseen by all but a few critics, insiders and cinephiles at other film festivals.

That particular segment of the 2011 SFF program hasn’t been released yet, but for the moment we can savor the big name and/or big budget films that have been announced:

Carnage. Director Roman Polanski’s adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s acclaimed play The God of Carnage, with Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly and Christoph Waltz.

The Artist. It’s a silent, black and white romantic comedy (yes, you heard right), set in 1927 Hollywood. Starring Jean Dujardin (who took the Best Actor Prize at the Cannes Film Festival), Berenice Bejo, John Goodman and Penelope Ann Miller, the film was directed by Michel Hazanavicius.

We Need to Talk About Kevin. Director Lynne Ramsay’s drama was the big buzz of this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Tilda Swinton plays the mother of a sociopathic boy who has gone on a brutal, murderous rampage at his school. John C. Reilly co–stars in the film, based on Lionel Shriver’s novel.

A Dangerous Method. David Cronenberg returns with his go–to actor, Viggo Mortensen, with an historical drama about psychoanalysis pioneers Carl Jung (Michael Fassbinder) and Sigmund Freud (our Viggo), and the patient (Keira Knightley) who comes between them.

Like Crazy. Winner of the Grand Jury and Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Drake Doremus says he was inspired by last year’s Blue Valentine to create this tightly–focused drama about the long–distance, nearly–missed relationship between Felicity Jones and Anton Yelchin. Much of the dialogue in the film was improvised.

Another Happy Day. Festival honoree Barkin stars in Sam Levinson’s dark comedy, along with Kate Bosworth, Ezra Miller, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church and George Kennedy(?!).

Bringing Up Bobby. Written and directed by SFF honoree Famke Janssen, this set–in–Oklahoma comic drama stars Milla Jovovich, Bill Pullman and Marcia Cross.

There’s more, much more to come as we chronicle the Savannah Film Festival. Tickets for all screenings and events are scheduled go on sale Monday, Oct. 3 at the Trustees Box Office and at

Or check out as updates go online.

Gay & lesbian film fest

The International LGBT Film Festival is set for Oct. 14 and 15 at the Jepson Center for the Arts. Among this year’s features: Wish Me Away, a documentary about country music singer Chely Wright, who came out as gay in 2010.

Also on the schedule is Leave it On the Floor, the gritty, L.A.–based musical that the Los Angeles Times predicts will become a cult hit.

The songs are by Beyoncé’s musical director Kimberly Burse, and Glenn Gaylord’s script propels the song–and–dance numbers, which are presented as elements of the story rather than onstage set pieces.

 Gun Hill Road, a drama about a transgendered person, is planned, along with the festival’s always–rewarding screening of selected short films.

See the schedule at