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Nix tix; max SRO at best fest

Opening night, Sat., Oct. 26

How I do love that great old Variety headline-writing style. It makes this old copy editor’s heart sing.

As the eighth annual Savannah Film Festival opens, the entire block of Broughton in front of the Trustees Theatre is sectioned off for a VIP party complete with open bar. A line of not-so-VIPs snakes around the corner, waiting to get into the opening night gala.

I walk up just in time to take some photos of Sidney Lumet, George Segal, Natasha Richardson and James Franco.

Richardson is stunning. Franco looks like he’s about 12.

It’s interesting how the stars react when the flash bulbs start going off. Like sunflowers, they instinctively face the cameras, passively arranging themselves in front of a blue accordion screen erected for precisely this purpose.

I wade into the bar crowd in the middle of the street, and lo and behold the first familiar face I see is that of SCAD President Paula Wallace. She’s talking to well-wishers, relaxed and generally having a good time. And rightly so -- the festival is off to a great start.

Whenever I see Paula Wallace in person, I’m always struck by the difference between the legend and the reality. Some people in town concoct the most absurd conspiracy theories about Wallace, portraying her as some kind of sinister evil mastermind.

Then you meet her. And instead of biting your ear off and rotating her head 360 degrees before vomiting green bile all over your face, she turns out to be this petite, graceful, soft-spoken Southern woman with no pretense.

I see a few friends, but the merriment is short-circuited when, as if prompted by some deep-seated genetic lemming instinct, the crowd wafts as one into the Trustees Theatre to be seated.

The tireless Danny Filson, festival director, introduces Wallace, who in turn introduces tonight’s guest of honor, the great director Sidney Lumet.

I don’t envy Filson, who has to please the two most fickle and demanding clienteles in the world -- Hollywood and Savannah. He copes by checking his watch a lot and gently informing people to move it along. As far as I can tell Paula Wallace is the only person Filson never presses to finish up quickly.

Before Lumet accepts his award, we’re treated to the usual fawning career retrospective. Wow -- what a career this guy has had. He’s directed Kate Hepburn, Al Pacino (twice), Henry Fonda (thrice) -- and Vin Diesel?

Say it ain’t so. But there it is -- a still shot from Lumet’s upcoming 2006 release, starring none other than the talentless musclehead named after designer jeans. An audible wha? goes up from the crowd.

Then it’s time for the screening of the new George Clooney flick, Good Night, And Good Luck. Clooney is our generation’s Paul Newman -- a movie star with gravitas and intelligence, a real fighting liberal from the old school.

Alas, I’m disappointed. In a nutshell, the movie is rich in only two things: cigarette smoke and political messages. In telling the story of broadcaster Edward R. Murrow’s feud with the right-wing Sen. Joe McCarthy in the ‘50s, Clooney cannot resist the urge to make direct -- really direct -- comparisons between the McCarthy era and our own Commander Coo-Coo Bananas era. Less usually is more, and Clooney misses the mark.


The Ape, Oct. 30

I’m unavailable for Festival-going today. So here’s a guest entry from Connect Music Editor Jim Reed:

“The directorial debut of James Franco was shot on video and featured a mostly no-name cast, but triumphed over such adversities, emerging as an intelligent comedy that makes no attempt to hide its origins as a stage play written by Franco and Merriwether Williams.

“Franco is visibly nervous during his post-show Q&A at the Lucas. One unintentionally hilarious moment comes when an audience member asks Franco if, now that he’s directed his first indie film, he’ll no longer concentrate on making big-budget fare like the upcoming Spider-Man 3.

“‘Um... no,’ he chuckles. ‘I think I’ll keep making big movies for big money as long as they ask me to.’”

Sound and the fury

The Squid and the Whale
, Oct. 31

Connect goes to bed on Mondays, so I can’t attend squat today. So here’s Jim Reed again, with a report from Sunday night’s gala at the Trustees:

“How do you define irony? Just before noted film editor and sound designer Walter Murch strides onstage to receive his Lifetime Achievement Award for Sound and Editing, he waits behind the Trustees Theater’s massive screen while a compilation of clips from some of his most celebrated projects is shown.

“The irony? One appreciates little of his Oscar-winning aural craftsmanship -- represented by scenes from such works as Apocalypse Now and The Conversation -- through the loud hiss permeating the montage’s low-fidelity soundtrack.

“Still, Murch gamely jokes that it’s disconcerting to watch his decades-long career flash before his eyes in reverse -- a reference to the horizontally-flipped visual perspective of his backstage vantage point.

“Afterwards, the packed house is treated to a screening of writer-director Noah Baumbach’s latest effort, The Squid and The Whale, starring Laura Linney and Jeff Daniels (who also received an Achievement in Cinema Award for Acting after the film).

“This bone-dry comedy is widely known to have been based on the director’s own difficult childhood in Park Slope, Brooklyn during the mid-1980s. A wry and at times almost frightfully funny movie, it deals with the divorce of two successful New York City-based authors, and the unexpected stress this brings to bear on their teenage sons.

“The uncomfortable humor in the film is reminiscent of both Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (which Baumbach co-wrote) and Todd Solondz’ Happiness. Based on this audience’s reaction, the film has the potential to crossover from an indie-cred sensation to a smash mainstream hit.”

Babs, Bobby Z, & the f-word

The Owl and the Pussycat
, Nov. 1

This 1970 lark, screening at the Lucas, involves a culture clash between two of Hollywood’s oldest archetypes, the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold (Barbra Streisand’s Doris) and the fish-out-of-water (George Segal’s Felix).

I’m struck by the young Barbra Streisand. I’d forgotten not only what a capable comedienne she is, but how truly gorgeous she was back in the day. Then again, maybe I’m biased -- my wife shares a birthday with Babs.

At the too-brief Q&A session afterward, Segal and scriptwriter Buck Henry comment at length on Streisand’s unique starpower.

“She was always saying she was scared of being around live people,” Henry remembers. “I thought to myself, big deal, so what if she’s scared of live people. And then at one performance, at the end of a number I saw all these guys who didn’t have real lives advancing toward the stage like zombies.”

Segal echoed Henry’s observation.

“At the opening of Hello Dolly, Broadway was packed six deep like there was going to be a parade,” Segal recalls. “At that point I got it -- I finally understood that people just had this robotic thing of being drawn to her.”

Though The Owl and The Pussycat is based on a play, Henry tells us only three scenes made it into the film. He says one scene from the play -- in which Felix humiliates Doris in Central Park -- was kept in the film specifically because Streisand insisted on keeping it.

“I tried to take out that whole part where he makes her act like a dog on a leash. It offended me. I also thought that it would be too difficult to recover from that. But Barbra wanted it. As you can see, Barbra made that scene work.”

Barbra made the scene work?” pipes up Segal in mock indignation.

Henry’s disappointed that the screening today features a poorly edited, censored version of the film. He describes one scene in which a carful of hooligans harasses Doris and Felix. In the unedited version, Doris gives the hooligans a profane piece of her mind, resulting in them leaving the car and chasing the couple on foot.

But instead all we see is Streisand telling them to leave her alone -- and the men inexplicably start chasing them.

Henry fills in the blanks:

“I really wanted Barbra to use the word ‘fuck.’ I wanted to hear her say it in that accent. And she did, to these guys that stop her at Lincoln Center. There’s this long, very amusing paragraph where she says it just wonderfully.”

Alas, Babs saying the f-word is a thrill that will have to wait until another day.

Off to the side during the Q&A is Bobby Zarem, native Savannahian, noted film publicist and walking Rolodex for the Savannah Film Festival. Looking more like a Brooklyn shopkeeper than a movie impresario, the quiet yet ubiquitous Zarem gets a shout-out from George Segal.

“This is a great town to hang out in. For us it’s like a vacation,” Segal says. “And it’s all thanks to that man right there, the great Robert Zarem.”

Buck Henry goes on to explain the unique, timeless appeal of the Savannah Film Festival to him.

“Does the word ‘freeload’ mean anything to you?” he says.

Stalking tall

The Red Thread, Nov. 2

Today I see the full-length feature film Red Thread, made entirely in Savannah through the auspices of SCAD and produced by local film mavens Stratton Leopold and Harvey Ray.

The film is the story of an eccentric young maintenance man (Jonathan Irons) who weedles his way into the life of Tamara (Jasmine Brook White), who’s a veritable Roget’s Thesaurus of film cliches: a young beauty neglected by her fiance (of course) and who works in a strip club (naturally), but as a cocktail waitress, not a stripper (needless to say).

The cliches continue to fly as Billy introduces Tamara to his pet snakes (!) and takes her on a bike ride in the park -- wherein Tamara meets Billy’s “friends,” the ducks at Lake Mayer.

The movie is technically outstanding, however. Beautifully shot, well-lit, masterfully edited, Red Thread will make a good resume item for the huge and predominantly local crew associated with it.

Director and Writer Teddy Sharkova Pashikov -- a girl, not a guy -- explains the genesis of the film:

“I got the idea from the maintenance people where I lived,” she says. “I started asking them questions. Are they happy doing what they’re doing? I started asking them all about themselves.”

So what’s a maintenance man’s life like? According to Red Thread, it involves letting yourself into a young woman’s apartment while she’s taking a shower. I must be getting old. Is that what the kids do nowadays?

The newsworthy item here, though, is Diana Scarwid, in a juicy role as the bawdy, nymphomaniacal property manager of Billy’s apartment complex.

People talk about Mommie Dearest all the time, like that’s the only thing she’s ever done. But not a lot of people realize Scarwid got the Oscar nomination for Inside Moves, not Mommie Dearest. The girl’s got all-around skills.

Seeing this professional bite off this role and chew it up with relish is a delight. She knows it’s a cardboard character, knows it’s a cliche -- but blows it out of the water all the same.

Channeling Christian Slater, Irons does a good job in an impossible role as Billy. Overall, his character is pretty likeable -- for a stalker.

Producer (and master saxophonist) Harvey Ray is dashing as always as he introduces the cast and takes questions after the screening. He explains that co-producer Stratton Leopold actually had to leave early on during filming.

“Stratton was asked to return to L.A. to be a producer on Mission Impossible 3, which they say is going to be the most expensive production Paramount has ever made,” Ray says. “So I guess he had a pretty good reason to go.”

Silence? Golden

Phantom of the Opera, Nov. 2

I’m a moron. I show up for the “director’s choice” surprise screening 15 minutes late. Not even standing room.

“Not even for media?” I ask, doing my supercilious editor bit, flashing the “M” badge around my neck. No, not even for media, the nice girl at the Trustees says.

With some time to kill before the Lucas screens the 1925 silent classic Phantom of the Opera, my wife and I go for an ice cream and coffee at Leopold’s.

A sign on the door informs us that “Stratton Leopold is on location filming Mission Impossible 3.” Harvey Ray wasn’t kidding.

After dessert we mosey over to the Lucas Theatre to catch The Phantom of the Opera. As we walk, I wonder aloud what the surprise film might have been.

“The new Woody Allen,” answers a raspy voice at one of the outdoor tables.

Great. I only missed the new Woody Allen. What a credit to journalism.

Turns out our al fresco informant is a producer of one of the Festival entries, and he confesses to not being much of a Woody Allen fan.

“Not my cup of tea,” he says. “I walked out.”

We go to the Lucas. A line is already snaking around the corner. I meet Lucas Director Ken Carter outside.

Carter tells me the Alloy Orchestra “is really the group that started it all,” referring to the new silent film revival. Carter says the Alloy guys just arrived in town from their previous gig in Philadelphia with all their stuff packed into a van like a teenage rock band.

Walking in, I see a Sergei Eisenstein DVD for sale. I comment to my wife about how that Russian silent film director is still considered one of the best moviemakers of all time.

“This just fits in with my theory that every art form begins at its peak and goes downhill into entropy from there,” I expound. “The first work of Western literature is The Iliad, and it’s still the greatest story ever written.”

“Would you still think it was the greatest if it wasn’t the first?” my wife shoots back. Good question.

We take our seats in the rapidly filling theatre. The Alloy Orchestra’s array of instruments -- synthesizers, theremin, kettle drums, etc. -- sits in the orchestra pit at stage right. In the middle of the house are two cordoned-off rows of seats, guarded by a pair of young SCAD students in black Festival T-shirts.

George Segal and his wife approach. But one of the SCAD kids won’t let them sit down. He’s all, “I’m sorry, but this section is for VIPs.”

Segal gets a little grin on his face. Not a happy grin, but a “let’s try this again, shall we?” grin.

I read his lips as he quietly says, “I’m George Segal” -- not in an obnoxious way, but as a statement of fact. George Segal, Oscar-nominated star of stage and screen, two-time guest of honor at the Festival -- ipso facto VIP. Hello!

But the SCAD kid still doesn’t get it. He motions again that the empty rows are reserved. On this kid’s planet, George Segal does not qualify as a VIP.

I cringe in embarrassment -- embarrassed for Segal, embarrassed for the kid, embarrassed for my town. Is there anything Savannah can’t screw up? I think to myself as I sink lower in my seat.

Finally the kid walks off. Segal lifts up the cordon and he and his wife sit down.

According to Festival Director Danny Filsson, last year’s screening of Nosferatu was too big a hit to ignore. He tells the crowd tonight’s screening is a direct result of “students telling faculty they want more silent films, and they want them here at the Film Festival.”

Film prof Michael Chaney then introduces the flick, doing a funny riff on the similarity of his name and that of the Phantom’s star, Lon Chaney.

Michael Chaney is one popular professor. The students here in the theatre absolutely love this guy. That’s probably the kiss of death, of course. I give him another year here.

The Phantom begins, and the effect of the live orchestra is intense. It goes way beyond any experience you might have had with so-called “home theatre.” With deep, rumbling basses, sinister organ lines and punctuating percussion, the Alloy Orchestra accompanies the on-screen action with a compelling yet unobtrusive audio portrait of the dastardly Erik and his subterranean machinations in the Paris Opera House.

We’re told later that the Orchestra has nearly 200 cues to hit during the ninety-minute film. They hit them flawlessly, and the result is magnificent. The silent film revival, I conclude, is worth the hype.

At the too-brief Q&A session, Roger Miller of the Alloy Orchestra explains their unique art:

“We consider the movie our conductor,” says. He explains that the Orchestra composes and masters music for each scene individually, “and then we connect them all.”

Ken Winokur, also head of his own company, Box 5 productions, has actually bought the original negative of Phantom of the Opera. Turns out the studio that made the film, Universal, inexplicably let the copyright lapse in 1953, putting this incredible masterpiece into the public domain.

Winokur says his firm had to recreate the primitive “two-strip” Technicolor technique used for the masked ball sequence, and had to hand-color another gorgeous sequence where the Phantom’s red cloak waves in the wind atop the Opera House.

On the way back to the car, we run into our friend Alexandro Santana, local artist, aesthete and all-around fun guy.

I mention that I was always told that The Wizard of Oz was the first color film.

“Yes, that’s what I always heard too,” Alexandro says. “But obviously that’s not the case, is it?”

Sure enough, here’s a 1925 silent film using Technicolor, albeit an early version, to great effect. It’s true -- you learn something new every day.

The other Paula

TV production panel, Nov. 3

I go to the Paula Deen panel out of journalistic duty. I don’t expect to enjoy it. But it turns out to be one of the best things I do at the festival.

The challenges Deen faced in getting her show, “Paula Deen’s Home Cooking,” on the Food Network were daunting. Her longtime producer, Gordon Elliott, explains:

“At the time the Food Network had very smart chefs in starched coats telling people how to cook. It bored the pants off of me,” he says.

“We immediately recognized Paula’s food as food people actually ate. The network had all these culinary people who thought Paula’s cooking was too lowbrow. I thought, shit, I eat it. I love it.”

Elliott is an old-school Aussie tabloid guy in the Rupert Murdoch mold. The former Current Affair host tells it like it is and doesn’t care if you don’t like it. He is yang to Paula Deen’s yin, the wind beneath her wings, as it were.

They make a great team, Elliott with his gruff down-underisms and Deen with her cackling laugh and self-described Wal-Mart and Goodwill wardrobe.

“So is it the format or is it personality?” Elliott opens the panel rhetorically. “Ninety percent of it is personality. Unless the viewer can have a relationship with the host, there’s no show.”

Apparently, despite Deen’s personality the Food Network still didn’t think there was a show there -- though it wasn’t for lack of persistence on Elliott’s part.

Deen says the reason she got her show was because of one event: 9/11. Hey, if Bush can use that as an excuse for everything, why not Paula Deen?

“It took a heartbreaking tragedy in our country,” Deen says. “All of a sudden we became vulnerable and frightened. This country needed some comfort.”

“Comfort” as in “comfort food.”

Elliott describes his post 9/11 breakthrough moment with the Food Network:

“The head of the network was sitting at her desk eating mashed potatoes, gravy and meatloaf. She called me and said, ‘You know, I’m thinking about that Paula Deen show.’”

And the rest is history, as they say, with Deen all over the Food Network’s schedule, a reality show with her sons Jamie and Bobby come and gone, and another show for the boys in the works.

The reality show, Elliott explains, just wasn’t meant to be:

“The thing about Paula is, she’s Mickey Mouse in her own Disneyland. You don’t want to see Mickey doing the laundry and cutting his toenails, which is what you get with a reality show.”

However, Paula’s sons score so high with test audiences and their hand-held interest meters -- “those 35-year-old women just dial ‘em up everytime,” Elliott says lustily, like a pirate that’s found hidden treasure -- that the Food Network wouldn’t rest until the boys, too, had a show of their own.

The key to getting a network to give you a show, Elliott says, has nothing to do with how many viewers you can get. It’s which viewers you can get.

“They don’t care if they get a five share. Hell, they don’t care if it’s a one share -- as long as it’s the right demographic.” The right demographic, he says, is the 18-35 age range.

An audience member asks why, with the Baby Boom set to retire, networks don’t instead focus on older viewers.

Elliott replies without missing a beat, “Because Baby Boomers are set in their brands. The 18-35 demographic are brand-switchers. That’s what advertisers are looking for.”

Indeed, the Paula Deen phenomenon appears to have everything to do with her uncanny appeal across age lines. Even little children watch her show.

“The other night I was sitting in my bed signing a stack of pictures to send back to people who had written in,” Deen says. “Almost all of them were for children who watch the show.”

Jamie and Bobby apparently cast the same kind of spell. But the two remain humble, and have their own explanations for their mom’s success:

“We’re at the restaurant every day, and we see people who love Mom as a real person,” Jamie says. “There’s so much crap on TV, and they see this person that is a real person. She’s true to herself.”

Bobby Deen, paying his mom the ultimate compliment says, “my hero -- sitting right here -- shows people that they can do anything they want, that the American dream is alive and well.”

Word. Paula Deen just had a supporting role in Elizabethtown and is set to launch her own magazine. The woman has her own Wikipedia entry, for gosh sakes. She’s the white Oprah.

Acting: better than heroin

Film acting workshop, Nov. 4

This panel, featuring George Segal and Diana Scarwid, will be hard-pressed to be more entertaining than the conversation of the SCAD students sitting around me in the Red Gallery’s folding chairs as we wait for it to begin.

“I’m going to see Requiem for a Dream this afternoon.”

“Oh, I saw that back when I was doing heroin.”

“Is it just me, or does this festival seem to be screening a lot of real downers?”

“That’s how indies are. The filmmakers think Hollywood is making such crap so they think they all have to have these big depressing messages.”

“I see their point, but who wants to pay $8 to be depressed?”

Then the panel comes out -- Segal, Scarwid, and some director chick I don’t know.

Segal and Scarwid are quite the pair, he as always in his hypercasual homeless-chic mode, and she looking dashing and movie-starrish in a pink ‘50s style hat.

Normally very reserved, Scarwid is in her element here, as a teacher. She goes on long riffs into the microphone with that warm, comforting, one-of-a-kind voice, Segal looking on in a state of respectful amusement.

“I taught myself not to rely on everyone else -- to arrive with my bags fully packed, because there’s often not much there to work with,” Scarwid tells us. “You sometimes get a plate of crumbs as an offering, and you have to gladly eat one of those crumbs off the plate.”

But all is not drudgery.

“The only way to move forward, as an actor and as a human, is to keep giving and keep offering,” she says.

“As actors, we have the opportunity to touch massive amounts of people and change their lives. I see a cracked door, and I say to myself, I’m going to open it. I look on acting as my turn with the gift basket. How am I going to decorate this?”

Scarwid is a one-woman metaphysics machine. She can go on like this for hours, dispensing hard-won wisdom like a thin, blue-eyed Deepak Chopra.

At one point, Scarwid says of acting: “The deeper you go, the better you feel. And the better you feel, the deeper you go.”

This proves too much for Segal to resist. He does a slow-burn, eyes-wide take to the audience, to much laughter.

“This one’s a real hypnotic, isn’t she?” he laughs.

Truth be told, Segal is no less metaphysical than Scarwid. He just frames it in more workaday terms.

“You need to build a wardrobe for auditions. Dress in such a way that you feel in control of yourself,” he counsels.

“Dress for the part and let them know who it is. They want you to tell them what that character is. You become a real actor at these auditions. You’re specific about what you’re doing there,” he says. “We’re all our own specialists. There’s no one else like you.”

It’s heady, inspiring stuff. George Segal is telling me how to become a famous actor! I’m ready to chuck this whole newspaper grind and take a Greyhound to Manhattan.

Segal also offers this observation, which is only funny if you imagine George Segal saying it:

“Wear a pinky ring! I’ve got a pinky ring! A pinky ring makes you feel different!”

A student director stands and asks a question about dealing with actors. As is the case with every student director I’ve ever seen ask a question at these things, it’s less of a question than an extended summary of her own accomplishments.

Finally, she gets around to a brief interrogative statement: “What do I do about actors who just don’t want to rehearse?”

For once, Segal is taken aback.

“I’ve never met an actor who doesn’t want to rehearse,” he says simply.

Ending on a high note

Capote and after-party, Nov. 4

Film festivals are about hype, and there’s been no shortage of that commodity at this one. But believe the hype about Capote. It’s that good.

Not a second, not a frame, not a breath is wasted. Even the score -- a haunting, soft accompaniment that in some scenes is but a single vanishing chord -- could not be improved upon.

Every moment of this lean, gripping film serves to push along the film’s central, horrifying narrative: novelist Truman Capote’s strange fascination, almost symbiosis, with an articulate drifter who has murdered a family of four in their Kansas home.

The film avoids the cheap shot of portraying the relationship as purely a homoerotic phenomenon. Instead, the script and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s amazing performance combine to make it clear that Capote’s relationship with the drifter is about Capote himself.

You’ve no doubt heard that Hoffman’s performance is a shoo-in for an Oscar nod. That’s true, but Oscar’s a devalued currency, isn’t he? Gwyneth for Shakespeare in Love, Pacino for Scent of a Woman. Don’t get me started on Braveheart.

Yes, Hoffman will likely get his Oscar, but not merely on the basis of his uncanny impersonation of Capote’s voice, mannerisms and facial tics. Unlike Jamie Foxx’s rote mimicry in the insipid Ray, this is an honest-to-God piece of acting here. Unlike Foxx, Hoffman is not content to channel his film’s namesake; he begins with an impersonation and builds his art on it from there.

After the film, my wife and I are in that dazed stupor you get after you see a particularly powerful film. We passively join the bustling crowd leaving the Trustees Theatre, all marching purposefully in one direction. We lack the willpower to resist, so we attach ourselves to this mass exodus like remoras to a school of fish.

Along the way, we encounter local jazz great Ben Tucker and his delightful wife Gloria -- as glamorous and charismatic a couple as you would see in Hollywood -- and walk with them for awhile, talking about the good old days at Hannah’s.

Turns out our crowd of pedestrians is not re-enacting Napoleon’s retreat from Russia after all. They’re hightailing it to a Festival party at the First City Club.

Once inside, it’s the classic “everybody who’s anybody” scene. People are overflowing the balconies, the open bar is rocking as is the band, and we end up seeing a dozen old friends we haven’t seen in a long time.

I talk with my old chum Anthony Palliser, one of the world’s great painters, in town from Paris with his darling wife Diane.

Turns out Palliser -- who knows everybody -- has been hanging with George Segal and Buck Henry this week. He says neither one has yet seen their recent Connect interviews. I make a note to get their addresses from Bobby Zarem and send papers pronto.

“Big” is in the room, he of Sex and The City fame. His real name is Chris Noth, but I will always know him as Big.

And he is. Big, that is. Tall guy. Looks and talks exactly like the character.

In the press of the crowd, Film Festival Managing Director Len Cripe brings a well-dressed gentleman over to meet Big. The gentleman and Big talk briefly. The gentleman is in banking, probably a Festival donor of some type.

The banker dude is clearly stoked at his brush with stardom. He walks away grinning from ear to ear.

Len’s mama didn’t raise no fool.

My wife and I stay for awhile, then conclude the evening with an appetizer and another gin and tonic at Il Pasticcio.

I’m all movied out, I tell her. After Capote, there’s just no point in seeing any other movies for awhile.

Tomorrow, the final day of the festival, will just have to get by without me.

Jim Morekis is editor in chief of Connect Savannah.