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Laura Blum


Laura is a festival correspondent covering films and the festival circuit for filmfestivals.com. She also publishes on Thalo

 


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Nashville Film Festival Is Music to the Eyes

The Nashville Film Festival turned 40 last year, and
while "41" doesn't cut the same dash, the South's oldest film festival
should keep crowds plenty fortified over its eight days. Running April 15-22 at Regal Green Hills Cinemas, NaFF 2010 has a lineup of 230 films.

Adrien
Grenier

Naturally, music themes bloom brightly among
these. Titles in the popular "Music Films/Music City" competition
include several non-fiction films. There's The Bass Player, Niall
McKay
's road trip with his Irish jazz-performer dad, and Clark
Stiles
' Don't Quit Your Daydream. The latter,
produced by Adrian Grenier, follows two musicians
crisscrossing America in an RV and jamming with folks
they encounter along the way.

The Entourage star directed
another buzz-making film, Teenage Paparazzo. Closing the
Festival with it is a bit of programming mischief that NaFF artistic
director Brian Owens calls "almost deliciously
subversive … in a town full of celebrities" where fame is downplayed.
Bolded names from Alec Baldwin to Noam Chomsky
bob up in this documentary about celebrity obsession.

Grenier
will make the scene together with country music artist Brad
Paisley
, whose short film, When Mom's Away, opens the
April 22 event.

Robert Patton-Spruill's Do It
Again
is surely the hoot of the tune tales. The documentary tracks
a middlescent journalist's mission to reunite '60s rockers The
Kinks
. As sad sack as he and his profession may be, America
comes off as sorrier still.

NaFF's Opening Night film, Nowhere
Boy
, cocks a snook at the British Invasion from the other side of
the pond. UK director Sam Taylor-Wood
dramatizes the young John Lennon's coming of age in
post-war Liverpool with his mother, caretaker aunt and
the US culture that helped raise him.

Other
music-flavored events at the Festival are a "One On One" with composer Carter
Burwell
. The Coen Brothers staple will take
this year's Mike Curb Career Achievement Award For Film Music.

A
chat is also scheduled with Mario Van Peebles and the
cast of his latest drama, Black, White and Blues. Shot in Nashville,
this tale of spiritual redemption and the Memphis blues
is one of nine films that will have its world premiere at NaFF.

One
of the most hotly anticipated screenings is Radu Mihaileanu's
The Concert. It centers on Bolshoi orchestra conductor Andrei
Simoniovich Filipov
, who was fired during the Brezhnev
era for hiring Jewish musicians and who now seeks to reunite them for a
Paris concert that the current Bolshoi was slated to
perform. French screen veteran Miou-Miou co-stars with Mélanie
Laurent
(Inglorious Basterds).

Val
Kilmer in Provinces of Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like The Concert, Provinces
of Night
comes to Nashville as a "Special Presentation." Set in
rural Tennessee, Shane Dax Taylor's
work in progress stars Grammy Award winner Kris Kristofferson
as a musician, womanizer and drunk. Character actor W. Earl
Brown
scripted this translation of William Gay's
novel, featuring music by T Bone Burnett. You'd think
Crazy Heart might have exhausted the field, but judging by Provinces'
reception at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival,
where extra screenings were added, the film co-starring Val
Kilmer
, Dwight Yoakam and Hilary Duff
will garner its share of kudos at Nashville.

For the rest of the
international lineup that NaFF artistic director Owens either invited
or winnowed down from 2,000 submissions, see NashvilleFilmFestival.org.

By Laura Blum

 

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