Having grown up in LALA land…( yes it’s true I’m a native!)I’ve always loved film making. Growing up watching films being made on my street corner in Eagle Rock was a common thing. Not to mention my brother and I grew up making our own documentaries. My role was the producer/ actress, and his was the disgruntled Hollywood director who loved to get angry and scream.
As I embark on fulfilling my childhood dreams (no not of becoming an actress!) and blend my professional career with a creative flare, I was happy to attend the American Documentary Film Fest in Palm Springs this weekend.
One of my favorite films was the “Bill Murray Experience” by Sadie Katz. At a crossroads in her life Sadie, an actress, embarks on a year long quest to have a magical experience with Bill Murray. It was a fun film. I’ve gone on many crazy journey’s in my life time and encountered magical experiences myself, that’s why I found this film relatable. The film takes the audience on a crazy adventure through ups, downs and balloons as Sadie follows a path to get her Bill Murray experience. Music and animation made the film come to life. A must see!
The Soloist Of The Orchestra is Spanish 25 min documentary by Aranxta Echeverria about an autistic boy named Antonio who has the ability to recognize a note just by hearing it. Beautifully well done, and captures the struggles of a family dealing with autisim while helping to mold his creative musical future.
Robert Shaw- Man Of Many Voices, directed by Pamela Roberts and Peter Miller is a spectacular feature length documentary about self taught American conductor icon Robert Shaw. The story was empowering and I learned about a man who was not only a genius amd got people to sing at their greatest potential.
Mansfield 66/67 was another one of my festival favorites! A true story based on rumor and hearsay about Jane Mamsfield’s life. Jane lived an incredibly full life 5 children, 3 husbands, and at least 100 movies. Her life came to a tragic Hollywood ending at 33, rumored to be a curse placed by Famous San Francisco Satanist Anton LeVey. She’s the voluptuous blonde that was created to make Marilyn Monroes nervous and was rumored to be decapitated. When I told my Palm Springs neighbor about the film she immediately ran her finger across her throat! A fun film and intriguing film… stay tuned it gets released on DVD for the 50th anniversary of Jane’s death!
TRAIN a French Croatian film by Oliver Chablier was a surreal 13 min film taking the audience on a train journey through different stages of life: from affection, knowledge and dreams to loneliness and death.
I ended my festival film watching with: Kallin Esperian: Vissi D’Arte by Steven Ross. Discovered by Pavarotti and a favored co-star of Placido Domingo , Kallin was the toast of the opera world singing at La Scala and The Met. The film takes the audience through her life as she suffered a series of blows which ended her career. She was lucky to have friends who helped her get back on top. At the end of the film Kallin graced the audience with her beautiful operatic voice. Truelly spectacular!
I walk away truelly inspired by all the participants. Watching their stories of struggle and triumphant on the big screen. Never giving up to pursue their dreams.