By Alan Scherstuhl
By Amy Nicholson
By Charles Taylor
By Stephanie Zacharek
By Brian Feinzimer
By CAROLINA DEL BUSTO
By AMY NICHOLSON
By Amy Nicholson
THURSDAY, April 11BIG NEWPORT The Bank. This year's festival launches with a screening of this thriller about the chaos theory as applied to the world of Australian high-finance. Anthony La Paglia and David Wenham star. The cast and crew will be in attendance. 7:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, April 12EDWARDS ISLAND 1 The Children of Siberia. Documentary look at the children who remained behind when their Latvian parents were deported to Siberia in 1941.11 a.m. Dangerous Summer. A Prussian girl and Latvian radio journalist fall in love in this historical melodrama set in 1940.Noon. Manuela Saenz. "The dark side of official history," a drama concerning Herman Melville's attempts to save Saenz, Simon Bolivar's lover, from the plague. 2 p.m.There's Something Fun In My Shorts.This is a big bunch of shorts on the comic side, including such fare as Bryan Harston's eMale, about a guy who tries to win a contest by living alone in his apartment for a year with naught but the internet to sustain him, and Wendy Wilkins' Get Skinny, about three gals who become fed up with mainstream standards of beauty, kidnap a model and force her to fatten up. 4 p.m. The Broken Wings of Elijah Footfalls. Very Cirque du Soleil story of a romantic triangle between a juggler, a circus ringmaster and the ringmaster's girl. Lots of shots of our hero in a clown nose doing the sad-clown face. If you can get through Le Cirque without retching, this could be for you.6:30 p.m. The Bronze Screen. Documentary exploring the Latino contribution to film over the past 100 years. Reception follows at El Torito Grill. 8 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2Bucket o' Shorts. The fare includes Tom Novak's Foursome and Ruth Sergel's Cusp. 11:30 a.m. Battleship Texas: The Lone Star Ship. Documentary look at the only battleship still in service that served in both World Wars. 2 p.m. To Protect & Serve. Satire about a young documentary filmmaker who sets out to make a film about the LAPD. Attended by cast and crew.3:30 p.m. You Don't Know What I Got. Documentary that "reveals a cross-section of American women," ranging from singer Ani DiFranco to housekeeper Jimmie Woodruff.6 p.m. Joint Security Area. Action/drama about an investigation into a shootout at the Korean DMZ.8:30 p.m. LIDO THEATER Aftermath: Remnants of War. A documentary about the lingering after-effects of some of the 20th century's most brutal wars, focusing on personal accounts of those involved in the cleanups.11 a.m. Bark. Lisa Kudrow and Hank Azaria star in this comedy about a dog walker who gradually assumes the identity of a canine. Even the festival program doesn't sound very enthused, calling it a "cute, sentimental view of mental illness as societal rebellion." 1 p.m. Obaachan's Garden. Documentary about filmmaker Linda Ohama's grandmother, who looks back at her life at age 103, having survived Hiroshima and the World War II forced relocation of her family.3 p.m. A Short Look at Us. Collection of shorts including Tom Pankratz's Jittersand Adolfo Vargas' Infidel.5 p.m. An Evening With John Waters. Get set for twisted merriment and hijinks as Waters hosts a screening of his depraved masterpiece Polyester—complete with Odorama cards! There will also be a Q&A, and Waters will spin some sleazily fascinating anecdotes from his long career. A private party follows. 8 p.m.SATURDAY, APRIL 13 EDWARDS ISLAND 1 In Shifting Sands. West Coast premiere of a documentary about the debacle surrounding the UN's inspection of Iraq's arms. 11 a.m.Hawaiian Shorts. Hot dang! A collection of Hawaiian short films, "accented by music and traditional Hawaiian dancing!" 1:30 p.m. Amy's Orgasm. Amy is a successful young author who has penned the best-seller Why Love Doesn't Work. But when she meets a vulgar shock jock, her theories about romance go out the window. 4 p.m. Blood: The Last Vampire. Japanese anime thriller about a vampire slayer on the prowl on Halloween, when the distinction between legit bloodsuckers and mere costumed revelers can be a tricky matter. 6 p.m.Academy Award-Nominated Shorts. The lineup includes Kalman Apple's Speed for Thespians and Joe Merideth's Stubble Trouble. 7 p.m. The Decline of Western Civilization III. Penelope Spheeris' latest music doc looks into the lives of hardcore punk fans in LA, circa 2000. 9:30 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 Nynke. Netherlands drama about a children's book author who attempts to leave her writing behind to embrace life as a wife and mother, only to find her new existence unfulfilling. 11 a.m. Dirtboy. A young man moves to a town where a famous, elderly author lives. As the young man listens to one of the author's books on tape, events in real life begin to imitate the novel. A thriller from director John V. Smalley, with the screening attended by cast and crew. 1 p.m. Violet Perfume. Mexican drama about two young girls from different class backgrounds who become friends. When one of them is raped, she only tells her friend, and their shared secret results in tragedy. 3:30 p.m. The Search for John Gissing. Janeane Garafolo and Alan Rickman star in this comedy about a husband and wife who find their life being turned inside-out by the schemes of the man the husband has brought to England to unknowingly replace. Attended by cast and crew. 5:30 p.m. As Far As My Feet Will Carry Me. Docudrama based on the true story of Clemens Forell, a German soldier who escaped a Siberian labor camp and spent three years struggling to return to his Prussian family. The cast and crew (all unknowns) will attend. 8 p.m. LIDO THEATER Bad Trip. Ghastly sounding thriller about three hip-hop comic-book characters come to life. "Warning, this movie kicks ass!!!" I think I'll heed that warning and stay away. Screens with the short Scratch Miscellaneous, a documentary, super-eight look at art, surfing and travel. The cast and crew of both films will attend, not that there's anybody in either bunch you've heard of. 11 a.m. Drive-In Movie Memories. Relive those fond recollections of being squeezed into the trunk to sneak into shows. I get misty just thinking of it. Come on, how much better would Blade II be on a drive-in screen? Like, infinitely. 1:30 p.m. Julietta. SoCal premiere of a romantic drama about DJs, drugs and pregnant girls, featuring a love triangle set against the backdrop of the Berlin Love Parade. 3 p.m. Interstate 60. See Film feature, page 36. 5 p.m. A Tribute to McG. A celebration of the short career of the OC native who directed Charlie's Angels and music videos by Cypress Hill and Everclear, along with other crimes against humanity. Party follows at the Hard Rock Café. 8 p.m. Eat/Mutant Aliens. See Film feature, page 36. 10 p.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 14EDWARDS ISLAND 1Youth Shorts. It's another collection of film shorts, in this case films about young folk. 11 a.m. The Jimmy Show. Drama about an unsuccessful inventor/standup comic who turns to boozing. Ethan Hawke and Frank and Robert Whaley star. West Coast premiere attended by cast and crew. 2 p.m. The Cabbie. A Taiwanese cab driver falls in love with a policewoman and commits every moving violation he can think of in hopes of meeting her in this comedy. Attended by crew. 4 p.m. The Trespasser. West Coast premiere of this drama about six lives amid the confusion of contemporary Brazilian society. 6 p.m. Rodents. West Coast premiere, attended by cast and crew, of an Ecuadorian drama about a young thief who gets out of prison and promptly finds himself back in hot water. 8 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 The Ashes of the Volcano. Six years after filming his documentary, The Pain of the Dream, director Pedro Perez-Rosado returns to visit with the inhabitants of revolution-torn southwest Mexico. 11:30 a.m. The Power of Truth—According to the Dalai Lama. West Coast Premiere of a documentary featuring interviews conducted during the Dalai Lama's trip to Denmark in 2000. 1:30 p.m. Desperado Square. An Israeli man receives a vision in which his late father orders him to open the family's long-closed cinema and screen a film. The man proceeds to follow his father's orders over his mother's strenuous objections. 3 p.m. Girl Fever. One disease you hope they never find the cure for. This is a romantic comedy about an artist who falls for a depressed woman. The unfamiliar-sounding cast and crew attend this West Coast premiere screening. 5 p.m. According to Spencer. Comedy about a guy who agrees to star in a low-budget movie in exchange for free room and board, only to discover it's actually a porno flick. 7 p.m.The Polyester Prince Road Show 2002 Tour. Contrary to expectations, this show has nothing to do with John Waters' traveling lecture show. But it is a pretty cool collection of film shorts, making its SoCal premiere. The lineup includes Satoshi Shimizu's cartoon romance Joe's In Love and Mike Ott's glam-rock extravaganza The Chad Lawler Story. 9 p.m. LIDO THEATER The Bank. See April 11 listing. 11 a.m. USC Short Film Showcase. Six short films. From USC. And they're showcased! 1:30 p.m. Mind Meld: Secrets Behind the Voyage of a Lifetime. See Film feature, page 38. 4 p.m. Stan Lee: Mutants, Monsters and Marvels. While some vocal parties have presented persuasive evidence that it was artist Jack Kirby, not Stan Lee, who actually invented most of the characters that made Marvel Comics a success, fanboys still venerate Lee, the avuncular, wig-wearing rogue featured in this documentary portrait. That pesky Kevin Smith is on-hand with commentary. Attended by cast and crew. 5:30 p.m. To Kill a Mockingbird. Gala screening of the Southern Gothic classic, presented as a special tribute to famed composer Elmer Bernstein, who will be in attendance. 7 p.m. Markova: Comfort Gay. Philippines drama chronicling the many ups and even more frequent downs in the long life of a gay man. Attended by cast and crew. 9:30 p.m.
MONDAY, APRIL 15EDWARDS ISLAND 1Can't Get Enough Shorts!You can tell that past a certain point, the festival folks just gave up trying to come up with catchy titles for their shorts programs. This one is particularly tired. That exclamation point isn't fooling anyone. This bunch of shorts includes David Ward's Sixty Cups of Coffee and Haley Mclane's To Ease the Loss. 11 a.m. Manito. West Coast premiere of this drama about a day in the life of two Latino brothers and their gradually transforming neighborhood. 2 p.m.Put a Thrill in Your Shorts. Pathetic title, guys. Simply pathetic. But the show does include such kooky gems as Chris Bailey's computer-animated Major Damage, featuring giant marauding tiki monsters. 4 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 My American Girls: A Dominican Story. West Coast premiere of a documentary about Sandra Ortiz, a woman who left the Dominican Republic for New York and now faces challenges raising her three daughters. 11 a.m. The Execution of Wanda Jean. West Coast premiere of a documentary about Wanda Jean Allen, a woman who faced the death penalty. 12:30 p.m. Kanadiana. West Coast premiere, attended by cast and crew, of a thriller about a young, would-be novelist who is unaware she possesses the booty wanted by two hoods. Uh, not that kind of booty. Jeez, you guys. 2 p.m.Big City Shorts. Just kinda blah, as titles go. Basic but informative, as these are all shorts about life in the big city. 5 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 1 & 2 In the Bosom of the Enemy. And they do mean bosom. The story of a Filipino woman who becomes wet nurse to a Japanese soldier's baby in exchange for her husband's freedom. But as time goes on, she finds herself preferring the company of the soldier and the baby to her husband. 8 p.m. LIDO THEATER Julietta. See April 13 listing. 11 a.m. Hunters Moon. West Coast premiere of a drama about a guy, his transvestite pal and the dangers they face as they attempt to make a drug run carrying 30 kilos of coke they picked up at the Colombian border. Could you possibly devise a more sleazy-sounding plot for a movie? I'd like to see you try. 1 p.m. The Medicine Show. See Film feature, page 38. 4 p.m. Manna From Heaven. Shirley Jones, Shelly Duvall and Cloris Leachman star in this comedy about what happens when an apparent gift from God turns out to be merely a loan. 7 p.m.
TUESDAY, APRIL 16EDWARDS ISLAND 1A Short Look at Us. See April 12 listing. 11 a.m. Nynke. See April 13 listing. 1:30 p.m. Obaachan's Garden. See April 12 listing. 3:30 p.m. X. Nope, not a doc about the LA punk band—sorry. This is Japanese anime from an all-female studio, with a story line that sounds very Japanese indeed, concerning a young man who must destroy either the Dragons of Earth or the Dragons of Heaven, with the fate of the universe somehow hanging in the balance. We've all had days like that, haven't we? 5 p.m. The Best in the West Advertising. A collection of some of the most notable (which is to say, most evilly effective) advertising in TV history, specifically the stuff that came out of the Left Coast. 7 p.m. Dogtown and Z-Boys. Documentary look at the, uh, art of vertical skateboarding, that thing the kids do where they go shooting up and down the walls for a while before eventually breaking their fingers and shins and limping off to the ER. Narrated by . . . Sean Penn?! 9 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 The Trespasser. See April 13 listing. 11:30 a.m. Docu-Short O-Rama. Give the title points for eccentricity, at least. They're documentaries; they're short. Any questions? 2 p.m. Par 6. Überquirky comedy about a man who receives a message from the Great Spirit telling him to build a golf course in Valhalla, Texas. 5 p.m.Did Someone Say "Shorts"? I think, at this point, that the person who had to come up with all the titles for these various shorts programs started to go a little nuts. This batch of shorts includes Jeff Bemiss' The Book and the Rose and Suzie Templeton's Dog. 7 p.m. Bad Trip. See April 13 listing. 9:30 p.m. LIDO THEATER According to Spencer. See April 14 listing. 11 a.m. A Fine Balance. West Coast premiere of a documentary that takes a sharp, uncompromising look at the experience of competing for a spot on the US Olympic rowing team. 1 p.m. The Cabbie. See April 14 listing. 3:30 p.m. Cherish. West Coast premiere of a thriller about a love-starved animator who runs down a policeman and is punished by being incarcerated in her own apartment for two years. Jason Priestly and Liz Phair highlight the oddball cast. 6 p.m.There's Something Fun in My Shorts. See April 12 listing. 8 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17EDWARDS ISLAND 1 The Medicine Show. See Film feature, page 38. 11:30 a.m. Bro. Comedy about three Miami thirtysomething pals who jeopardize their friendship in pursuit of making it big. 2:30 p.m.The "The" Shorts. No, not shorts about that band The The. They're shorts with the word "the" in the title. Guess somebody was desperate for a linking device. 4 p.m. The Power of Truth—According to the Dalai Lama. See April 14 listing. 7 p.m. On the Nose. Robbie "Hagrid" Coltrane stars in this tale of a Dublin medical porter who believes he has finally found a gambling scheme that will lift him out of his petty existence. Dan Ackroyd co-stars. 8 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 Drive-In Movie Memories. See April 13 listing. 11 a.m. I Don't Know Jack. See Film feature, page 38. Noon. Maangamizi—The Ancient One.An African-American doctor journeys to Africa and encounters a patient who has not spoken in 20 years. The screening of this drama will be attended by cast and crew. 2:30 p.m. A Strange World. Mexican comedy with a plot redolent of The King of Comedy, concerning a thief/would-be comic who hopes to hit the big time by assaulting a famous comedian. 5 p.m. Youth Shorts. See April 14 listing. 7 p.m. The Broken Wings of Elijah Footfalls. See April 12 listing. 9:30 p.m. Blood: The Last Vampire. See April 13 listing. 10 p.m. LIDO THEATER Crash Boats—Air Force Sailors in World War II and Korea. Documentary look at small, fast boats that supported air squadrons on overseas missions. 11 a.m. Best Wishes. Romantic comedy about two birthday wishes made on the same night in 1958 Texas that eventually bring together two women. 1:30 p.m. Kytice (Wild Flowers). See Film feature, page 38. 4 p.m. Joint Security Area. See April 12 listing. 6 p.m. When the Rain Lifts. A down-on-his luck samurai is convinced his wife is unhappy with their financial situation and becomes obsessed with bringing in the Benjamins. Well, he wouldn't put it that way, of course. 8 p.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 18EDWARDS ISLAND 1 Bark. See April 12 listing. 11 a.m.Today in Shorts. A news program about daily events in the short-pants industry. Ho, ho, what a kidder I am. No, it's another program of short films, including Andrew Neel's billy528 and Steven Austin's Moment of Silence. 1:30 p.m. Bang the Machine. SoCal premiere of this doc about the bitter rivalry among the competitors in the national Street Fighter video game tournament. 4 p.m. Grownups. Ouchy-sounding comedy about wife-swapping, starring the likes of John Stamos, Meredith Salenger and Carol Alt. Attended by cast and crew! 6 p.m. Kytice (Wild Flowers). See Film feature, page 38. 8 p.m. EDWARDS ISLAND 2 The Kiss You Gave Me. Oddball Puerto Rican drama set in 2006, about a TV star attempting to retrieve her son after her estranged husband kidnaps him. Attended by cast and crew. 12:30 p.m. No Socks, No Shoes, Just You and a Bag of Chips. U.S. premiere of this story about two country bumpkins who hit the road in search of fame and fortune. No good can come from a romantic comedy with a title like this. None. 2 p.m.Shorts From Afar. A collection of shorts from around the globe, featuring Eternity from France and England's Moving On Up. 4:30 p.m. One-Eyed King. A gallery of gangster-movie supporting players (Armand Assante, Chazz Palminteri, Bruno Kirby) are featured in this dramatic tale of life in Hell's Kitchen. 7 p.m.Bucket o' Shorts. See April 12 listing. 9:30 p.m. LIDO THEATER Cherish. See April 16 listing. 11:30 a.m. Interstate 60. See Film feature, page 36. 1:30 p.m. Silent Partner. U.S. premiere of an Australian comedy about two hapless losers who spend a lot of time at the dog tracks and get involved in a scheme to race a greyhound named Silent Partner. 4 p.m. Runaway. Iranian documentary about five girls who dared to challenge the rules of their homeland; having run away from home, they now reside in a shelter for Iranian women. 6 p.m. Eugenio, I Love You. Gentle Italian story about a disabled, fortysomething bachelor who toils away in a rest home until the day a girl in a coma awakens something in his spirit. The closing-night reception party follows. 8 p.m. Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; Edwards Island, 999 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach; Lido, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach. (949) 253-2880; www.newportbeachfilmfest.com or www.tickets.com. Tickets are $7 per screening; special events cost much more.
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