The ‘Marvelous’ Mr. Mortensen Is “Captain Fantastic”

The AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues Fri. & Sat., Nov. 4-5, at 7 pm with Captain Fantastic, a poignant comedy-drama starring Viggo Mortensen (“The Lord of the Rings”) as an unconventional father whose family is torn from its off-the-grid paradise in the Pacific Northwest and forced to enter the “real world.”

Ben Cash (Mortensen), his wife Leslie and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington State. Isolated from society, Ben and Leslie devote their existence to raising their kids — home-schooling them to think critically, training them to be physically fit and athletic, guiding them in the wild without technology and demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When a family crisis occurs, Ben must take his sheltered offspring into the outside world for the first time.

remember-viggomortensen-is-capt-fantastic-full-358x201The film co-stars Frank Langella as Ben’s disapproving father-in-law. For his work directing the film, Matt Ross was honored with the Prize for Best Director among the films selected for the Un Certain Regard Awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Captain Fantastic is also a Critics’ Pick of the New York Times.

“Viggo Mortensen is a marvel.”—USA Today ♥ “Viggo Mortensen is magnificent.”—Rolling Stone ♥ “Wise and deeply moving.” —Washington Post ♥ “Triumphant and spirited.”—The Huffington Post ♥ “Sweet and funny.” —Entertainment Weekly

Tickets are $7, available in advance and at the door. For reservations and more information, please call the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) box office at (518) 523-2512 or visit lakeplacidarts.org. The Adirondack Film Society Screening Series (AFS) at LPCA will resume on January 20-21, 2017 with Love and Friendship, directed by Whit Stillman, who also adapted the screenplay from Jane Austen’s novel Lady Susan, and run monthly through April. And save the dates for the 2017 Lake Placid Film Forum: Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11!

For more information on any of these programs or the AFS in general, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 523-3456 or fredbalzac@aol.com.

morning-exercise-capt-fantastic-crederiksimkins-full-1260

From Carlos Danger to Captain Fantastic

The AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues Fri. & Sat., Oct. 21-22, at 7 pm with Weiner, hailed as “the best documentary ever made about a political campaign,” and Nov. 4-5 with Captain Fantastic, a drama starring Viggo Mortensen about family caught between its off-the-grid paradise in the Pacific Northwest and the “real world.”

Just in time for Election Day, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) Version 3.0 gets real with this fascinating look at the essentially tragic downfall of a smart, articulate and talented American politico.

1913s-5-3-may-3-nyc-lg-300x236As an added bonus, both evenings will kick off with another politically oriented film—albeit from the other end of the “personal responsibility” spectrum, Inez Milholland: Forward Into Light, a 15-minute documentary about a now largely forgotten American icon from nearby Lewis, New York who broke with convention by publicly and passionately advocating for women’s rights, pacifism, racial justice, unions and free speech in the early twentieth century.

Tickets are $7, available in advance and at the door. For reservations and more information, please call the LPCA box office at (518) 523-2512 or visit lakeplacidarts.org.

weiner-with-pressRaw and Unfettered

Sexts, lies and “Carlos Danger” (Weiner’s now notorious pseudonym): watch the wildest political meltdown in recent history as it unfolds. It’s 2013 and Anthony Weiner—still reeling from the sex scandal that ended his political career two years earlier—is back in the spotlight as he mounts an audacious comeback campaign for New York City mayor. But it’s not long before history repeats itself and new sexting allegations leave Weiner and his aides scrambling to contain the damage.

Granted unfettered access to the candidate and his campaign, filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg capture a jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at the political machine as it breaks down. Winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary (100 minutes, rated R).

Since the release of the film in May 2016, Weiner’s story has taken a further bizarre turn with news of yet another sexting incident occurring in late August, resulting in the separation announcement by the ex-Congressman’s wife, Huma Abedin, a close aide to Hillary Clinton, and their marriage becoming an issue in the presidential campaign—at least to the extent that Republican nominee Donald Trump and his allies have attempted to make it one.

“Mesmerizing. The best documentary about a political campaign ever made.”—Indiewire

“Hilarious. One of the best documentaries ever made about a political scandal.”—Rolling Stone

“Invigorating, thoroughly involving, and captivating. The level of access here makes the film hard to turn away from.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“Five stars. A gift that keeps on giving. A compelling, deep dive into a scandal.”—The Guardian

 

A Family in Turmoil

The 2016-2017 AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues on Friday and Saturday evening, November 4-5, with the poignant family drama Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen. Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father (played by Mortensen) devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education—off the grid—is forced to leave his paradise and enter the “real world,” beginning a journey that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent.

For his work directing the film, Matt Ross was honored with the Prize for Best Director among the films selected for the Un Certain Regard Awards at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Captain Fantastic is also a Critics’ Pick of the New York Times.

“Viggo Mortensen is a marvel.”—USA Today ♥ “Viggo Mortensen is magnificent.”—Rolling Stone ♥ “Wise and deeply moving.”—Washington Post ♥ “Triumphant and spirited.”—The Huffington Post ♥ “Sweet and funny.”—Entertainment Weekly

The Screening Series at LPCA will resume in January and run monthly through April. And save the dates for the 2017 Lake Placid Film Forum: Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11!

For more information on any of these programs or the AFS in general, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 523-3456 or fredbalzac@aol.com.

It’s a Hog Dog of a Season!

The Adirondack Film Society Screening Series (Version 3.0) returns to the LPCA with Todd Solondz’s Wiener-Dog, the behind-the-scenes political documentary Weiner and a “marvel” of a performance by Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic.

wiener-dog-01-on-skateboardLAKE PLACID, NY—The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) returns for its third season with three diverse, compelling independent films. First up, on Friday and Saturday, September 9-10, at 7 pm, is “Wiener-Dog,” a quirky comedy drama written and directed by Todd Solondz (“Welcome to the Dollhouse”) that follows the life of an adorable dachshund as she passes from one oddball owner to another, profoundly affecting their radically dysfunctional lives along the way. The ensemble cast of well-known names and recognizable character-actor faces includes Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Greta Gerwig (“Mistress America”), Julie Delpy, Kieran Culkin, Tracy Letts and Zosia Mamet.

Then on October 21-22, the series continues with “Weiner,” the fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary about ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner’s disastrous 2013 race for Mayor of New York City. The Fall 2016 segment of Year 3.0 of the series concludes on November 4-5 with “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen as a father of six who—after having been devoted to raising them deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest with a rigorous physical and intellectual education, off the grid—is forced to leave his self-imposed paradise and reenter the “real” world, beginning a journey that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent.

They’ve All Come to Look for a…Wiener-Dog

Wiener-Dog” is a dark, starkly funny story of a single dog and the many different people she touches over her short lifetime. This particular incarnation of “man’s” best friend—a lovable dachshund who proves to be women’s and children’s best friend, too—starts out by teaching a young boy some contorted life lessons before being taken in by a compassionate vet tech named Dawn Wiener. Dawn reunites with someone from her past and sets off on a road trip. After leaving Dawn, our unsinkable Wiener-Dog encounters a floundering film professor, as well as an embittered elderly woman and her needy granddaughter—all longing for something more. Writer-director Solondz’s perversely dark comedy offers an appallingly honest look at the American experience, brought to life by its standout cast that includes Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Greta Gerwig, Tracy Letts and Zosia Mamet.

From One Hot-Diggity-Dog to “Carlos Danger”

Just in time for Election Day, the (AFS) Screening Series at LPCA (Version 3.0) continues with a fascinating look at the essentially tragic downfall of a smart, articulate and talented American politico.

Sexts, lies and Carlos Danger: watch the wildest political meltdown in recent history as it unfolds. It’s 2013 and Anthony Weiner—still reeling from the sex scandal that ended his political career two years earlier—is back in the spotlight as he mounts an audacious comeback campaign for New York City mayor. But it’s not long before history repeats itself and new sexting allegations leave Weiner and his aides scrambling to contain the damage.

Granted unfettered access to the candidate and his campaign, filmmakers Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg capture a jaw-dropping, behind-the-scenes look at the political machine as it breaks down. Winner of the 2016 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary, “Weiner” has a running time of 100 minutes and is rated R for mature content.

Since the release of the film in May 2016, Weiner’s story has taken a further bizarre turn with news of yet another sexting incident occurring in late August, resulting in the separation announcement by the ex-Congressman’s wife, Huma Abedin, a close aide to Hillary Clinton, and their marriage becoming an issue in the presidential campaign—at least to the extent that Republican nominee Donald Trump and his allies attempt to make it one.

The reviews are in for “Weiner”:

“Mesmerizing. The best documentary about a political campaign ever made.”—Indiewire

“Hilarious. One of the best documentaries ever made about a political scandal.”—Rolling Stone

“Invigorating, thoroughly involving, and captivating. The level of access here makes the film hard to turn away from.”—The Hollywood Reporter

“Five stars. A gift that keeps on giving. A compelling, deep dive into a scandal.”—The Guardian

The 2016-2017 AFS Screening Series at LPCA continues on Friday and Saturday evening, November 4-5, with “Captain Fantastic,” starring Viggo Mortensen.

For more information on any of these programs or the AFS in general, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 523-3456 or fredbalzac@aol.com or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org.

 

Indy Feature Film Shot in Schroon Lake to Premiere There

Lorenzo Rodriguez and Sarah Joy Byington share a tender moment in

Lorenzo Rodriguez and Sarah Joy Byington share a tender moment in “The Night We Met”

The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) “Easy Screening” Series continues its celebration of the advent of digital at the Strand Theatre in Schroon Lake, NY, on Saturday & Sunday, August 13-14, at 8 p.m. with the world premiere of an independent film shot in & around Schroon Lake.

The Night We Met, an indy feature directed and co-written by Albany-area-based filmmaker Jon Russell Cring, tells the tenderly romantic story of the kind of unforgettable night shared by two young lovers that we’ve all had or wished we had at least once in our youth.

The AFS, which served as the nonprofit conduit for New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grant funding that helped make the Strand’s upgrade to digital film-projection equipment possible, is pleased to be presenting this premiere of The Night We Met as the latest in a planned series of special screening programs in partnership with Larry and Liz McNamara, the movie theater’s owners.

Meet the Filmmakers

Introducing North Country filmgoers to filmmakers and other industry professionals—typically, in small, intimate, up-close-and-personal settings—is one of the chief calling cards of the Adirondack Film Society, the people who have brought area movie buffs the highly celebrated Lake Placid Film Forum on an annual basis most years since 2000. The “AFS Easy Screening Series at the Strand” is no different.

In August, director Cring will be on hand at the Strand, along with his wife Tracy Nichole Cring—who served as the film’s co-writer, director of photography and editor—to introduce their film and answer questions about the thrills and travails of indy filmmaking in the Adirondack North Country after each evening’s screening.

The film begins each evening at the Strand Theatre, 1102 Route 9 (518-532-9077) at 8 pm, followed by the Q&A. Admission to each evening’s program is $10 per person; tickets are available for advance purchase during the day at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, 1075 Route 9 (518-532-7675) and in the evening at the Strand, as well as at the door on the evening of each screening. For more information, please call the AFS at (518) 523-3456 or 588-7275 or visit adirondackfilmsociety.org.

A Real Schroon Lake Story Debuts in August

When producer Stan Denis decided to help make the script of The Night We Met a reality, there was one place he thought of as the perfect backdrop. Director Jon Russell Cring went with Denis to scout Schroon Lake and met Maureen and Robert Diaz, owners of The Adirondack General Store. “The lake and mountains were picturesque, Maureen and Robert were so excited to be involved, and we walked out their front door and saw a phone booth,” Jon recalled with a hearty laugh.

“A phone booth was written into the script and we thought it would be the hardest thing we’d have to find, but there it was,” said Stan Denis.

The store was featured in scenes, and its owners and staff cooked a delicious hot meal for cast and crew daily. The Seagle Music Colony and The Stand Theater make guest appearances along with many other local landmarks. The film was shot in September 2014.

Director Jon Russell Cring and his wife, Tracy Nichole Cring, have made 18 feature films together. The duo wrote the script based on a night Tracy had in her late teens meeting a guy for the first time and driving around having conversations and adventures. “I think everyone has had one of those magic nights where sparks fly and, if they haven’t had one, they wish they had,” said Tracy, who in addition to her role as co-screenwriter, worked as the film’s director of photography and its editor.

The Night We Met stars Texas-based actor Sarah Joy Byington, who was cast from the very first audition the filmmakers received via video submission in the leading role of Stacey. New York City-based actor Lorenzo Rodriguez plays her love interest, Nick. Rodriquez’s video audition was the last such submission the filmmakers received. Schroon Lake-based actor Haley Beauregard plays best friend Steph.

The Adirondack Film Society is proud to be presenting—in partnership with Larry and Liz McNamara of the Strand Theatre—the world premiere of The Night We Met, especially given that it was shot in Schroon Lake. The screening time on Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14, is 8 p.m. All seats are $10, and tickets will be available in advance during weekdays at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, 1075 Route 9 (518-532-7675), and every evening at the Strand, 1102 Route 9 (518-532-9077), as well as at the door. For more information, please call the AFS at (518) 523-3456 or 588-7275 or visit www.adirondackfilmsociety.org.

New and Classic Movies Like You’ve Never Seen Them Before

The AFS “Easy Screening” Series celebrates the advent of digital at the Strand Theatre with two all-time great comedies introduced by movie-book author & ultimate film buff John DiLeo July 16-17 and…

 A world-premiere of an indy film shot in Schroon Lake August 13-14

SCHROON LAKE, NY—Summertime…and the screenings are easy—to paraphrase the great Gershwin song from “Porgy and Bess.”

In celebration of the Strand Theatre’s recent acquisition of digital film-projection equipment, the Adirondack Film Society (AFS), which was the nonprofit conduit for New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) grant funding of the upgrade, is pleased to be presenting a series of special screening programs in partnership with the Strand.

Grouch, Harpo and their comic foil in a scene from

Grouch, Harpo and their comic foil in a scene from “A Night at the Opera”

First up on Saturday evening, July 16—in glorious digital cinema package (DCP) format—is the madcap comedy, “A Night at the Opera,” starring the inimitable Marx Brothers in one of their funniest movies and one of the truly great comic movies of all time. Then on Sunday evening, July 17, the AFS will screen one of the greatest films ever made—the Depression-era comedy-drama classic, “Sullivan’s Travels,” written and directed by Hollywood wunderkind Preston Sturges, which itself is a love letter to the art of movie-making and which served as a partial inspiration for the Coen Brothers’ 2000 classic, “O Brother, Where Art Thou.”

Saturday and Sunday evening, August 13-14, brings an entirely different flavor to the Strand’s big (and brand-new) screen with the world premiere of “The Night We Met,” an independent feature directed and co-written by Albany-area-based filmmaker Jon Russell Cring and shot in and around Schroon Lake—about the kind of unforgettable night shared by two young lovers that we’ve all had or wished we had at least once in our youth.

Meet the Movie-Book Author and the Filmmakers

Introducing North Country filmgoers to filmmakers and other industry professionals—typically, in small, intimate, up-close-and-personal settings—is one of the chief calling cards of the Adirondack Film Society, the people who have brought area movie buffs the highly celebrated Lake Placid Film Forum on an annual basis most years since 2000. The “AFS Easy Screening Series at the Strand” is no different.

Author and lecturer John DiLeo has published five books on film and is currently at work on his sixth (photo by An Eye for Details).

Author and lecturer John DiLeo has published five books on film and is currently at work on his sixth (photo by An Eye for Details).

In August, director Cring will be on hand at the Strand, along with his wife Tracy Cring—who served as the film’s co-writer, director of photography and editor—to introduce their film and answer questions about the thrills and travails of indy filmmaking in the Adirondack North Country after each screening. And serving as emcee for the premier collaboration between the movie theater and the AFS in July is author and lecturer John DiLeo, whose books include “And You Thought You Knew Classic Movies” and “100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember But Probably Don’t.” Mr. DiLeo will introduce each film and lead a Q&A session following each screening. As an added bonus, on each evening of the weekend prior to the film screening that night, Mr. DiLeo will present an informal 45-to-50-minute program of memorable film clips and movie-lore tidbits on a theme.

On Saturday the 16th, join in on the fun of “Bloopers, Secrets, and Surprises from Hollywood’s Golden Age,” which will set the stage for the hilarity to come with Groucho, Chico and Harpo in “A Night at the Opera.” On Sunday the 17th, John DiLeo shifts the focus from outtakes to outstanding but underappreciated screen appearances by some of Hollywood’s shiniest starts with “Great Film Performances You Should Remember But Probably Don’t,” adapted from his book of the same name.

The fun and festivities begin each evening at the Strand Theatre, 1102 Route 9 (518-532-9077) at 6:15 pm with a reception, followed by Mr. DiLeo’s movie clips-and-anecdotes program at 7 pm and the film at 8 pm, capped off by the Q&A. Admission to each evening’s program is $10 per person; tickets are available for advance purchase during the day at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, 1075 Route 9 (518-532-7675) and in the evening at the Strand, as well as at the door on the evening of each screening. For more information, please call the AFS at (518) 588-7275 or visit www.adirondackfilmsociety.org.

Anarchic Slapstick of Marx Bros. Meets High-Level Humor of Sturges in July

With the accent clearly on comedy in the July screenings, the pairing of two classic comedies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, yet with two radically different approaches to comedic cinematic storytelling, demonstrates the breadth and depth of the genre. Here’s how John DiLeo describes each film:

  • A NIGHT AT THE OPERA (Sat., 7/16, 8 pm): The Marx Brothers had their biggest box-office success with this splendidly mounted MGM production released in 1935. A screamingly funny movie that is partially set aboard an ocean liner, it features the justly renowned (and hilarious) overcrowded stateroom sequence. Assisting the trio in their merry lunacy is, of course, Margaret Dumont as a wealthy widow.

With a screenplay co-written by legendary playwright George S. Kaufman (“You Can’t Take It With You”), the laughs reach their climax in the chaotic opening night of Verdi’s classic opera, “Il Trovatore,” which includes “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the score, as well as Harpo’s swordfight with the conductor. Mixing the high art of opera with the lowdown antics of slapstick proved to be an inspired combination, resulting in a comedy classic for the ages.

  • SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (Sun., 7/17, 8 pm): Writer-director Preston Sturges is responsible for this brilliant 1941 comedy about a hotshot movie director (Joel McCrea) tired of making lightweight entertainments, yearning to make a “Grapes of Wrath”-style saga known as “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Though all forces are against him, he is determined to broaden his scope, soon getting himself into more than he bargained for. McCrea, the most underrated of the Golden Age’s leading men, and Veronica Lake—who is about to explode as one of the WWII era’s biggest female stars—are dynamite together.
Joel McCrea has a rude awakening in this scene from

Joel McCrea has a rude awakening in this scene from “Sullivan’s Travels”

“Sullivan’s Travels” is the rare comedy able to meld humor, poignancy, and romance into one irresistible stew. Celebrating the film’s 75th anniversary, this curated screening will demonstrate why “Sullivan’s Travels” remains a timelessly affecting and affectionate movie, a human comedy if ever there was one.

And here’s how Mr. DiLeo describes his two “appetizer” programs of film clips and movie trivia that will whet your appetite for the film classic that follows each evening:

  • “BLOOPERS, SECRETS, AND SURPRISES FROM HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE” (Sat., 7/16, 7 pm) is a delightful compilation of classic-movie clips featuring an assortment of gaffes, head-scratchers, and in-jokes—from Yul Brynner’s now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t earring to Cyd Charisse’s mysteriously altered costume mid-dance, plus a few misbehaving extras and stagehands. Adding to the fun are bit parts from future superstars, surprise entrances by legends, and, of course, Hitchcock’s famed cameos. It’s a funny, lighthearted “insider’s peek” at the dream factory, including appearances from Cary Grant, Lucille Ball, Fred Astaire, and Ava Gardner.
  • bk cvr 100GreatFilmPerformancesYouShouldRemember by John DiLeo.recd fr author 062416“GREAT FILM PERFORMANCES YOU SHOULD REMEMBER BUT PROBABLY DON’T” (Sun., 7/17, 7 pm) looks at outstanding but neglected and underappreciated work from some of Hollywood’s greatest stars. The clips focus on Vivien Leigh, Tyrone Power, Marilyn Monroe, Joel McCrea, Audrey Hepburn, and Robert Redford, placing the attention on great work that seems to have been overlooked in favor of their most revered screen performances. See these stars as you may never have seen them before and, in the process, broaden your experience of their artistry, magnetism, and sheer talent.

Ultimate Film Buff and Movie Fan

John DiLeo with Gary Cooper's Oscar for Best Actor, in

John DiLeo with Gary Cooper’s Oscar for Best Actor, in “High Noon”

John DiLeo’s first book was “And You Thought You Knew Classic Movies” (St. Martin’s, 1999, revised in 2013), hailed by Pauline Kael as “the smartest movie quiz book I’ve ever seen.” His second book was “100 Great Film Performances You Should Remember—But Probably Don’t” (Limelight Editions, 2002), which Adolph Green called “a valuable and touching work.” Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne said, in the Hollywood Reporter, that the book “delightfully throws the spotlight on some remarkable film work,” and the Washington Post’s reaction was, “Not only is this helpful criticism, but ‘100 Great Film Performances’ can serve as balm for anyone who has ever been disgruntled by the Academy’s choices on Oscar night.”

Turner Classic Movies devoted a night of prime-time programming to films featured in John’s third book, “Screen Savers: 40 Remarkable Movies Awaiting Rediscovery” (Hansen Publishing Group, 2007). His fourth film book, “Tennessee Williams and Company: His Essential Screen Actors” (Hansen Publishing Group, 2010), led to his presentations and panels at the Tennessee Williams festivals in Provincetown and New Orleans. His most recent film book is Screen Savers II: My Grab Bag of Classic Movies (Hansen Publishing Group, 2012).

John has been a contributing book reviewer for the Washington Post’s Book World and frequently hosts classic-film series, appears on radio programs, lectures on cruise ships, conducts film-history seminars, and has been an annual participant in the Black Bear Film Festival (Milford, PA) where he interviewed Farley Granger (2005), Arlene Dahl (2006), Marge Champion (2010), Keir Dullea (2013), and Jane Powell (2015) on the festival’s stage. Born in 1961 in Brooklyn, John was raised on Long Island and graduated from Ithaca College in 1982 with a B.F.A. After 27 years together, he and his partner Earl McCarroll were married in 2009. John’s website is johndileo.com and his Twitter handle is @JOHNDiLEO.

Coming Attraction: A Real Schroon Lake Story Debuts in August

When producer Stan Denis decided to help make the script of “The Night We Met” a reality, there was one place he thought of as the perfect backdrop. Director Jon Russell Cring went with Denis to scout Schroon Lake and met Maureen and Robert Diaz, owners of The Adirondack General Store. “The lake and mountains were picturesque, Maureen and Robert were so excited to be involved, and we walked out their front door and saw a phone booth,” Jon recalled with a hearty laugh.

“A phone booth was written into the script and we thought it would be the hardest thing we’d have to find, but there it was,” said Stan Denis.

The store was featured in scenes, and its owners and staff cooked a delicious hot meal for cast and crew daily. The Seagle Music Colony and The Stand Theater make guest appearances along with many other local landmarks. The film was shot in September 2014.

Director Jon Russell Cring and his wife, Tracy Nichole Cring, have made 18 feature films together. The duo wrote the script based on a night Tracy had in her late teens meeting a guy for the first time and driving around having conversations and adventures. “I think everyone has had one of those magic nights where sparks fly and, if they haven’t had one, they wish they had,” said Tracy, who in addition to her role as co-screenwriter, worked as the film’s director of photography and its editor.

It's a wrap: cast and crew of

It’s a wrap: cast and crew of “The Night We Met” at the end of filming

The Night We Met” stars Texas-based actor Sarah Joy Byington, who was cast from the very first audition the filmmakers received via video submission in the leading role of Stacey. New York City-based actor Lorenzo Rodriguez plays her love interest, Nick. Rodriquez’s video audition was the last such submission the filmmakers received. Schroon Lake-based actor Haley Beauregard plays best friend Steph.

The Adirondack Film Society is proud to be presenting—in partnership with Larry and Liz McNamara of the Strand Theatre—the world premiere of “The Night We Met,” especially given that it was shot in Schroon Lake. The screening time on Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14, is 8 p.m. All seats are $10, and tickets will be available in advance during weekdays at the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce, 1075 Route 9 (518-532-7675), and every evening at the Strand, 1102 Route 9 (518-532-9077), as well as available at the door if the two shows don’t sell out in advance. For more information, please call the AFS at (518) 588-7275 or visit www.adirondackfilmsociety.org.

We Got Movies!

The region’s premier film-related event, the Lake Placid Film Forum—now marking its 15th anniversary—takes place June 8-12 with its biggest & best lineup of new, recent and classic movies in years…

LAKE PLACID, NY—With its initial success as a major cultural event here in the Adirondack North Country—let alone the odds of sustaining that significance for 15 years—being as likely as the proverbial million-to-one shot, the “underdog” of film festivals is trained, prepped and ready to step into the ring once more.

Taking its cue from the boxing classic “Rocky”—the Best Picture Oscar-winner whose 40th anniversary will open the five-day event with a free outdoor screening in Mid’s Park in beautiful downtown Lake Placid Wed., June 8th (~9 pm)—the annual Lake Placid Film Forum (LPFF), presented by the Adirondack Film Society (AFS) through Sunday, June 12th, returns this year with its biggest and best lineup of new, recent and classic films in years. Venues include the venerable Art-Deco-style Palace Theatre at 2430 Main Street—soon to be celebrating its 90th anniversary—and the multipurpose, regionally cherished Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) at 17 Algonquin Drive.

Screenings include: narrative features and documentaries; international foreign-language as well as North American English-language movies; a slew of Canadian pictures, including a special double-feature on Saturday afternoon of two highly regarded new films curated by an emeritus Ontario-based film professor and AFS Board Member Tom Hanrahan; a silent film classic—Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid”—plus a short, with live piano accompaniment by Ben Model, who frequently performs such programs at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art; and a special “Essentials” screening of one of the greatest movies ever made, Carol Reed’s “The Third Man,” starring Joseph Cotten and Orson Welles—a program that will be moderated by Jeremy Arnold, the author of the brand new book, “The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter,” which is a tie-in with the popular “Essentials” program that airs Saturday nights on cable TV’s Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Following the screening, Mr. Arnold will be joined by producer and former industry exec Larry Jackson, who worked with Welles on his unfinished film “The Other Side of the Wind” as well as “Filming Othello,” and AFS Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll, former film critic for the New York Daily News, for a discussion of “The Third Man” and what makes a film an “Essential.”

Among the documentary features are true-life stories about such subjects as:

  • The witty, urbane, long-established comedian, Robert Klein, who influenced at least a whole generation of comics who followed him such as Jerry Seinfeld and Richard Lewis, some of whom appear in the film;
  • The indigenous Onondaga people of northern New York State and their efforts to save and protect the environment of the land and planet that they regard as sacred ground;
  • Legendary photographer Robert Frank whose work includes a famous shot of the Village Green in nearby Jay, New York, which was published in the New York Times;
  • Revered filmmaker Sidney Lumet, considered one of the greatest “actor’s directors” to work in New York City as well as Hollywood, whose rich output of powerful, gritty contemporary movies includes “Twelve Angry Men,” “Serpico,” “Dog Day Afternoon, “Network” and “Verdict”;
  • The USA and East German women’s swim teams that competed against each other in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, in a narrative that details the triumph of victory and the agony of defeat until it unravels into a tale of tragedy when the East German women are shown to have been enmeshed in illegal doping during the Games; and
  • A fascinating take on the impact of the digital world on real life by the great German narrative feature director, Werner Herzog, known for such classic works of obsession as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Fitzcarraldo.”

Over the years, the Lake Placid Film Forum has become known for providing an intimate setting for audience members to meet well-known filmmakers as well as other film-industry professional who—while not necessarily household names—are artists of the first order in their craft and often expert at communicating about it. Expected guests this year—in person or, in one case, via Skype—include:

  • Film critic Marshall Fine, director of the documentary “Robert Klein Can’t Stop His Leg” (scheduled for Sat., 6/11, 8:30 pm at the Palace*);
  • Gwendolen Cates, the director of “The Good Mind,” about the Onondaga, who will be joined by Chief Jake Edwards, who is featured in the film (Fri., 6/10, 9:15 pm & Sun., 6/12, 4 pm at LPCA);
  • Laura Israel, director of “Don’t Blink,” the Robert Frank doc (Sun., 6:15 pm, LPCA), slated to be accompanied by panelist Nathan Farb, the renowned Adirondack photographer whose footage of Frank giving a lecture is included in the film;
  • Documentary maven Nancy Buirski, director of “By Sidney Lumet,” this year’s Closing Film (Sun., 8:30 pm, LPCA), who will appear via Skype to introduce her film;
  • Fifteen-time Emmy Award-winner Brian Brown, director of “The Last Gold,” about two very different approaches to Olympic women’s swimming (Fri., 7 pm, at LPCA & Sun., 7:00 pm, at the Palace); and
  • Pianist-organist Ben Model, who returns to the LPFF following his crowd-pleasing performance at last year’s event accompanying a Clara Bow feature and a Charlie Chase short and who, with the Chaplin classic “The Kid” plus another short, promises to top his previous Film Forum appearance (Thu., 6/9, 7:30 pm, LPCA).

Among the narrative features (or, in the case of “Where to Invade Next,” strictly speaking a documentary) that will be screened, performers and directors include: Cate Blanchett, Robert Budreau, Andrew Cividino, Stephen Elliot, Ethan Hawke, Todd Haynes, Harvey Keitel, Martin Landau, Guy Maddin, Rooney Mara, Michael Moore, Atom Nagoyan, Christopher Plummer, Paolo Sorrentino and John Turturro.

The organizers of this year’s LPFF are excited about the program and ready to roll. AFS co-founder and Chair John Huttlinger says, “We really focused on programming this year, and it has paid off: we have a bounty of great films.” Co-founder and Artistic Director Kathleen Carroll agrees: “As has been the case in recent years, it’s been the documentaries I’ve seen in festivals and screenings in New York City that have caught my eye…but it’s also been a banner year for Canadian narrative features—and we are featuring both genres.” And Vice Chair Nelson Page exclaims, “Given the lineup of films—new, classic and in between—this promises to be one of our best years yet!”

Tickets to each screening are $10 per person, available at the door, with the exception of the Canadian double feature Sat. at 1:15 pm at the Palace, for which admission is $15 for both films, $10 for the second film (space permitting). The Palace Theatre accepts only cash (518-523-9271; please visit its Facebook page); tickets to screenings at the LPCA can be charged as well (518-523-2512, www.lakeplacidarts.org). To learn more about this year’s Lake Placid Film Forum—including a complete schedule and more details about the films once both are posted, as well as periodic updates—please visit www.adirondackfilm society.org and our Facebook page; for additional info, including about the Film Society itself and its other programs and activities, please call AFS Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 588-7275 or e-mail fredbalzac@aol.com.

*Please note: times, locations, guests and films/events are subject to change. Please check the AFS website, www.adirondackfilmsociety.org, for schedule updates.

Recent Media Coverage

AFS Screening Series: “Cold Warrior Weekend”

Bridge of Spies screening at the Palace Theatre, Lake Placid, Sun., Feb. 14th, at 2 pm:

– “The Surprising Connection Between Lake Placid and ‘Bridge of Spies,’” a report by Jack LaDuke on “Mountain Lake Journal,” Mountain Lake PBS, Plattsburgh, NY, published online March 4, 2016

– “Conversation with ‘Bridge of Spies’ James Donovan’s Granddaughter,” North Country Correspondent Pat Bradley’s interview with Beth Amorosi, on WAMC (Albany public radio), Feb. 11, 2016

– “Preview: ‘Bridge of Spies’ Cold War discussion in Lake Placid on Sunday,” interview by Todd Moe with Beth Amorosi on North Country Public Radio, Canton, NY, Feb. 12, 2016

– “‘Bridge of Spies’ screening, panel discussion with family Sunday,” Adirondack Film Society-Lake Placid Institute press release, Adirondack Daily Enterprise Weekender, Saranac Lake, NY, Feb. 11, 2016

– “Special ‘Bridge of Spies’ screening set for Lake Placid,” AFS-LPI press release, Press-Republican Out & About, Plattsburgh, NY, Feb. 11, 2016

Free to Rock screenings at LPCA, Fri.-Sat., Feb. 12th-13th, at 7 pm, introduced by director Jim Brown, with a post-screening Q&A:

– “‘Free to Rock’ documentary Friday, Saturday at LPCA,” the lead story in the Weekender section, by Tom Salitsky, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Feb. 11, 2016, featuring an interview with the film’s producer-director, Jim Brown

 

Previous News Releases

Adirondack Film Society Screens Best Picture Oscar-Winner, “Spotlight”

The Spotlight investigative team--played by (L to R) Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Brian D'Arcy Jame--goes to work.

The Spotlight investigative team–played by (from left) Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton and Brian D’Arcy James–goes to work.

Lake Placid, NY—The Adirondack Film Society (AFS) Screening Series Version 2.0 at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA) concludes for the season Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, at 7 pm with Spotlight, winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2015. Tickets are $7 and are available by calling the LPCA Box Office at 518.523.2512 or online at www.lakeplacidarts.org. For more info on the AFS, please call 518.588.7275.

The movie tells the riveting true story of the team of Boston Globe reporters and editors who uncovered an unimaginable conspiracy to cover up clergy child abuse. Winner of the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay—by Tom McCarthy, who directed the film—and Josh Singer, Spotlight was also nominated for Best Director, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Mark Ruffalo), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rachel McAdams) and Best Film Editing.

In 2001, Marty Baron, the new Editor of The Boston Globe, assigns a team of journalists—the “Spotlight” unit—to investigate allegations against John Geoghan, an unfrocked priest accused of molesting more than 80 boys. Led by Spotlight team editor Walter “Robby” Robinson (Michael Keaton), reporters Michael Rezendes (Ruffalo) and Sacha Pfeiffer (McAdams) and researcher Matt Carroll (Brian D’Arcy James) interview victims and try to unseal sensitive documents. The journalists make it their mission to provide proof of a cover-up of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church.

The Globe’s Spotlight team is the oldest continuously operating newspaper investigative journalism unit in the United States. The film’s portrayal of the unit’s investigation into cases of widespread and systemic child sex abuse in the Boston area is based on a series of stories by the actual Spotlight team that earned the newspaper the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

A Visit with editor Ben Bradlee Jr.: from L to R, McAdams, Ruffalo, James, Keaton and Slattery (as Bradlee)

A visit with editor Ben Bradlee Jr.: from left, McAdams, Ruffalo, James, Keaton and John Slattery (as Bradlee).

“‘Spotlight’ is a gripping detective story and a superlative newsroom drama.” —A.  O. Scott, New York Times

“Like any good reporting job, ‘Spotlight’ slowly builds momentum from nothing, gathering disparate bits of information into an emotional juggernaut of a story.” —David Sims, The Atlantic

“Old-style journalism triumphs in the story of the real-life team who knocked on doors and scoured the cuttings library to reveal a scandal that may have begun centuries ago.” —Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“It’s these survivors who give ‘Spotlight’ its beating heart. Roiling emotions are also felt among reporters who desperately want to get the story right and just as desperately want to get it first. That tension makes for an insanely gripping high-wire act and the year’s most thrilling detective story….This landmark film takes a clear-eyed look at the digital future and honors the one constant that journalism needs to stay alive and relevant: a fighting spirit.”—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

The AFS Screening Series at LPCA will resume in September. Next up for the AFS: the annual Lake Placid Film Forum, happening Wednesday through Sunday, June 8-12, at LPCA and other venues. For more information on any of these programs or the Adirondack Film Society in general, please contact Operations Manager Fred Balzac at (518) 588-7275 or fredbalzac@aol.com or visit www.adirondackfilmsociety.org.