Reel Local The 2014 New Orleans Film Festival


By Jeff Boudreaux

The 25th anniversary of the New Orleans Film Festival will be held for one week between Thursday Oct. 16 and Oct. 23. Members of the New Orleans Film Society and all other moviegoers can catch this year’s releases at participating area theaters such as Canal Place, The Prytania, Chalmette Movies, and the recently renovated Joy and Carver Theaters.. The 2014 edition of one of America’s top regional festivals will surely not disappoint diehard film fanatics.

The work of filmmakers from all over the country will be showcased here, from narrative and documentary features to short subjects and even classic films, whether mainstream or forgotten. Here are the major releases screening during this year’s festival.

The three centerpiece films begin with Justin Simien’s “Dear White People,” a satire on race relations at an Ivy League school. The film will be shown on Saturday Oct. 18 at Prytania. Next is Margaret Brown’s “The Great Invisible,” the much-anticipated documentary about the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It will be shown on Monday Oct. 20 at Prytania. Lastly is “Foxcatcher,” a drama that is garnering considerable Oscar buzz for Steve Carrell and also features Channing Tatum. This screens Tuesday Oct. 21 at Canal Place.

The opening night release, “Black and White” directed by Mike Binder, will be held at the Civic Theater on Thursday Oct. 16. This film, about a family’s race relations, stars Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer. On Friday night the big dogs start to come out, such as Gregg Araki’s “White Bird in a Blizzard” starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green, playing at Chalmette. “The Last Weekend,” a comedy directed by Tom Dolby and Tom Williams, and starring Patricia Clarkson, also screens at Chalmette.

Saturday is the New Orleans premiere of “The Imitation Game,” directed by Morten Tyldum. This biopic of WWII British codebreaker Alan Turing stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. You can catch it at Prytania. Playing at Chalmette Movies on Saturday is Hossein Amini’s “The Two Faces of January” which stars Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. This film is based on a story by Patricia Highsmith, the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train.

Closing out the festival at Canal Place on Thursday Oct. 23 is “Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chezelle and starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. This film took the Grand Jury prize at Sundance in January. At The Carver Theater, Joe Lauro’s “The Big Beat,” a documentary about the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll in New Orleans will officially end the week’s festivities.

For a complete listing of films and venues visit www.neworleansfilmfestival.org

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