Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Close-Knit Band of Movie Lovers

The genealogy of this documentary begins with an interrupted conversation in LA's San Fernando Valley in the fall of 2010 and continues Friday, August 22nd with a premiere screening at a film festival in Oaklyn, New Jersey.

In between, there was also a sneak preview July 26th at Warner Bros. that generated solid reviews. Directed by Inda Reid, the delightfully titled Brotherhood of the Popcorn profiles the various members of The Cliffhangers, a group of film buffs who have been meeting twice a month on weekends for decades to share and discuss their love of movies.

Here's how Reid describes the genesis of her latest project on the movie's website:

On a brisk October day, 2010, while having coffee and donuts in the San Fernando Valley, Reid overhears a conversation between Rocky (a retired house-painter) and Bill (a retired animator). They are discussing the classic Hollywood actresses they believed to be "knock-outs" in their day. Names were dropped like, Ava Gardner, Jane Russell, Lana Turner, Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, Sophia Loren.
Their conversation caught my attention. I butted in and said, what about Veronica Lake, Hedy Lamarr or Grace Kelly? The guys looked at me like I was crazy. Rocky blurts out in his sardonic Brooklyn accent, "How would you know those dames? You weren't even born when they were in the movies!" "I just watched Mildred Pierce last night for the third time," I said. "I love classic films, especially black & white."
We sat and talked about movies we'd seen, films that were our favorites, and films that I haven't seen yet, but should. They told me they loved classic movies so much that they had an exclusive club called The Cliffhangers, where they got together every other week to watch a double feature and a cliffhanger. I told them I was a filmmaker and would love to come and possibly do a short piece on their band of brothers. Well, after hanging out with The Cliffhangers for two meetings, that “short piece” turned into a full-blown documentary...

Tomorrow's screening will be hosted by Filmadelphia author Irv Slifkin. And no doubt each and every Cliffhanger will approve of the movie that follows theirs at the festival's 350-seat Ritz theater: Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 silent The Lodger, with live musical accompaniment by Steve Weber. Reid also works in LA as a photographer.

[Brotherhood of the Popcorn]

No comments:

Post a Comment