Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Speaking of the Greensboro Film Festival... - North Carolina: Fans connect with film sites

Films and movies have been good for North Carolina, and North Carolina has been good in return.
Show your appreciation for the magic of the cinema by celebrating in the green city, Greensboro...which, as John Cleese (rhymes with cheese) reminds, should be pronounced "greensburra", like "Edinburgh". Confusing isn't it? What with those teeth. I should talk!

You yes. Neglect what I say at your peril, as I am fond of overspeak, yet exuberating at the pleasures that spill from my ladle.

Now CNN, we see, forgot a nugget or two, one of which contained the fearful mug of yours truly, and no it wasn't Gone with the Wind. It was Gone with that Wind, what one might call a me-too movie. But alas, I am in jesture, as the correct answer would have to be a little known film called Black Rainbow -- a film, well, a movie starring Jason Robards, Jane Wyman, Tom Hulse and Patricia (or was it Roseanne?) Arquette, and which was filmed in Charlotte, just months before it went nowhere.

I played a person in the audience, all of whom stampede for the door after a gunfight breaks out while Arquette is being psychic on stage. I'm the fellow in the long black cashmere overcoat and white scarf sitting beside a young lady who looks not entirely unlike Katie Couric, had Katie darker hair.

My second gig as "extra" was in Charlottesville, Virginia, on the grounds of a lovely private school, where Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, Lou Gossett Jr., and a few others gathered to create Toy Soldiers -- another movie famous for lacking quotation marks.
There I played a teacher who, yes, you guessed it, was in a room when gunfire broke out. (Gotta love that gun lobby!) This time it was an auditorium. It was while shooting Toy Soldiers that I met a couple whom I adore, named Jonathan and Alexandra, he from Oxford, she from Washington and Lee, and both among the most gentle, tender souls I have had the good fortune to meet. Jon and I were teachers at an elite boy's school, in the movie, and we got paid to throw frisbee with Sean Astin, who unlike the others, was a real human being, who, in addition, felt no need to separate himself from the locals, who he probably recognized were not exactly Jethroes. (Oh God I'm having a Dan Quayle moment!)

So anyway...during the shooting, I suggested to the director, Daniel somethingoranother -- who also directed Big Easy, and is a son of a director with the same name -- that "do you think teachers would just sit here if one of our students takes a riflebutt to the stomach?" So he agreed that it would be better to have some reaction.
Sadly...the plan was to be that Jon would react, but I, having noted the terrorist at his back with a rifle, would reach over with my head and, pointing behind him, tell him to desist. The sad part is that it looked like I kissed him. Not that I don't adore him, which I do. In a manly, art-cowboy way though. Klymt Eastwood maybe.

Enough of that.

Go to the movies.