April 11th, 2012

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 honors June Lockhart

"The 17th Annual Palm Beach International Film Festival (PBiFF 17)" will begin April 12 and run until April 19th. The exciting news about this year's festival is that Mizner Cultural Arts Centre will be hosting many local screenings during the opening weekend.

June Lockhart will be honored for her lifetime achievement in the motion picture business since the 1930s. Children of the 1950's knew her as Lassie's Mommy and in the 1960s she was the matriarch of the family who was "Lost in Space." In the 1970s June Lockhart smashed sexual stereotypes by portraying a medical doctor on **Petticoat Junction,"
which costarred Benji, a previous PBiFF honoree.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 A "Hamlet" Double Feature?

In the 1938 Lockhart made her screen debut in **A Christmas Carol,** in which she played one of the Cratchit children. Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit were portrayed by June's real life parents, Gene and Kathleen Lockhart. Still active on the independent film circuit, June will be screening her latest film, **Zombie Hamlet,** which co stars Shelly (**Cheers**) Long.

Shakespeare's **Hamlet** will be veiwed through the eyes of Alex Hyde-White. Alex Hyde-White directs and stars in **Three Days (of Hamlet),** a documentary about a stage production of **Hamlet.** In 3 days he confronts young actors with ADD and the ghost of his own father, British Character actor Wilfrid Hyde-White.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 "7 Years Underground : A 60s Tale"

This year, **PBiFF 17** will present some good documentaries. Based on one's taste, be on the look out for the following films;

"7 Years Underground: A 60s Tale"
Predating Woodstock, this documentary about Cafe Au Go Go features unseen footage of Lenny Bruce, legendary blues musician and Cass Elliot as a waitress in Greenwich Village. This is the best historical documentary in the festival.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 "Cartoon College"

"Cartoon College"
Young people go to cartoon college in New Hampshire to become the either the next Walt Disney or Robert Crumb. This documentary features endearing students, some with learning disabilities. "Cartoon College" also presents caring teachers who love their craft.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 "True Gods Have Bones"

"Los Dioses De Verdad Tienane Huesos (True Gods Have Bones)"
Young Doctors try to movie people from Guinea Gissau. An impoverished environment to Europe, only to have their mercy mission gets bogged down in bureaucratic red tape.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBIFF 17 "eMANNzipation"

"eMANNzipation" is a German dark comedy about domestic abuse against men.
At first the tone is oppressive, but once one gets use to the environment, there is a comedic payoff that is life affirming.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 Future History

In the past five years, **the Avengers** has easily become the most hyped comic book movie since the end credits of **Iron Man.** At the **2008 Palm Beach International Film Festival(PBiFF),** **Iron Man's** costar Sayed Badreya walked the red carpet promoting his short subject **Prisoners.**

This weekend Badreya will be seen as an orderly in **The Three Stooges.** Standing by my side on the red carpet was a Deerfield Beach High School student and photographer, Jeremy Emmerman. Look for Jeremy's name at the end credits of **The Avengers,** for he was one of the photographers.

Jeremy's story is just one example of how **PBiFF** impacts our community on a local level. Two years ago, **PBiFF** was rumored to be extinct, but last year's **PBiFF** revealed it's resiliency and outlasted two competing festivals. This year, the staff, board and volunteers took additional steps to be more inclusive with the community.

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

PBiFF 17 "Violins in Wartime" plays at Mizner Sunday Afternoon

The fact that **PBiFF** returns to Mizner Park Cultural Cultural Arts Center is a major bonus to our local community. Formerly the **Cartoon Museum,** the screening room on the second floor will feature two fine documentaries about Jewish Culture Sunday afternoon, **Follow Me: The Yoni Netanyahu Story** and "Violins in Wartime."

Set against the backdrop of the second Lebanon war of 2006, "Violins in Wartime" features 2 master violin soloists teaching a music class to young Israel prodigies. Through the horrors of war, music provides solace for dark times.

This 50 minute documentary provides the intimate carpentry of Amnon Weinstein the Violin maker, the film's central character. Adding to the intimacy of the 4pm Sunday screening will be the appearance of Master Soloist Ida Haendel, one of the master soloists who taught the class.

For those who feel like venturing to Palm Beach Gardens or Lake Worth venues, visit the website http://pbiff.festivalgenius.com/2012/schedule/week for more details about screenings and events. Who knows ? One might see a local celebrity like the return of Eric the Doorman this year!

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

"The Hunger Games" do not disappoint

For all of the marketing hype surrounding "The Hunger Games," it is hard to believe that this young adult novel was published less than four years ago. This book has definitely struck a nerve with popular culture that is multigenerational. At the Friday afternoon screening that I attended, the Muvico Pompano auditorium was filled with senior citizens that seemed enthralled by the proceedings.

In the not too distant future, the United States of American has fallen and has been rebuilt into the 12 Districts of Panem. To recall the rebel uprising that caused the fall of USA, the totalitarian government selects 24 teen agers (2 from each district) to be sacrificed in the nationally television sports/reality television show, "The Hunger Games.' These young people (called Tributes) are chosen by lottery to forge for food and outlast their 23 competitors.

Meet Katniss Everdean (Jennifer Lawrence), the eldest daughter who has experience hunting for food with a bow & arrow since her father died in a mining accident. Katniss becomes a 12 Distict Tribute with her neighbor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson, the son of a baker who had a long, unrequited crush on Katniss. Together Katniss and Peeta enter the "Hunger Games" as both rivals and allies.

With the exception of two poorly edited fight scenes, "The Hunger Games" has lived up to the hype of Suzanne Collins Young Adult novel. Part one of a trilogy, "The Hunger Games" is science fiction myth more in common with Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" and George Orwell's "1984," than "Star Wars" and "John Carter." The message is important, but a satirical sense of humor keeps the story from being mundane.

Stanley Tucci and Toby Jones portray two foppish commentators who narrate "The Hunger Games," these characters can get a job with the "NBC 30 Rock newsroom." Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson also portray broad character, though with far more depth than Tucci & Jones' characters.

As the leading lady, Jennifer Lawrence deserves her kudos. Given her persona in "Winter Bone" and "X-Men First Class," Lawrence enchances her image as the central character. Josh Hutcherson offers strong support without upstaging his Katniss. Not since the films produced in the 1970s, **Hunger Games** has scenes that require these young actors just to silently sit and think. Lawrence and Hutcherson make these scenes as interesting as brutal action sequences.