If you like seeing movies before anyone else and then discussing what you just watched with the filmmakers who made them, you should consider joining the Orange County Film Society, which presents such special screenings throughout the year.
Take this Thursday evening, for example.
That's when City Island will be shown to members at the Lido in Newport Beach, followed by a Q&A session with Andy Garcia, one of the stars of the Bronx-based comedy.
Garcia plays Vince Rizzo, a lifelong resident of the tiny, tradition-steeped Bronx enclave that gives the film its title. He works as a corrections officer, but dreams of becoming an actor.
Rizzo is also a family man, but he is ashamed to admit his aspirations to his family. This leads his wife Joyce (Juliana Margulies) to think her husband's weekly poker games are cover for an extramarital affair.
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Actually, he's taking acting classes in Manhattan. And a class exercise leds him to inadvertently sets off a chaotic chain of events that eventually shows everyone in his seemingly close-knit family has something to hide.
City Island was written and directed by indie filmmaker Raymond De Felitta (Caf Society, Two Family House, The Thing About My Folks). His documentary Tis Autumn: The Search for Jackie Paris played at the 2006 Newport Beach Film Festival.
That's the same year the festival founded the nonprofit Orange County Film Society to celebrate international and American film. The $99 annual membership may sound steep, but it's a screaming deal when you consider what it includes: six to eight advanced screenings a year before the films are widely released, eight tickets to the Newport Beach Film Festival in April and advanced notice about other special events throughout the year.
Interested? Visit orangecountyfilmsociety.com or call (949) 253-2880.