"To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield"
- Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833

"live deep and suck out all the marrow of life"
- Henry David Thoreau, 1845

"Some guys, they just give up living
And start dying little by little, piece by piece
Some guys come home from work and wash up,
And go racin' in the streets."
- Bruce Springsteen, 1977

"...to the heart, there's no time for you to waste.
You won't find your precious answers now
by staying in one place."
- Frank Turner, 2009

"The best things in life aren't things.
They're living and breathing."
- Michael Franti , 2011

"I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did"
- Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, 2014

All written content and photos by Rob Fulfer unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

NaFF '10

For the third straight year we participated in the Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) held this week at the Green Hills Mall Theatres. This has always been a great event to attend especially on opening and closing nights of the festival when a few stars seem to show up to walk the red carpet. In the past we have seen William H. Macy (also met him), Sheryl Crow, Ben Folds, Hal Holbrook and William Shatner (see previous blogs).
We started off on Wednesday, April 14 by attending the Patron Party with our friend, Carolyn, (photo below) a day before the festival actually began. It was a very nice tent party held outside the ground floor of the theatre building. It was all you could eat and drink with some tasty finger foods and good selections of beer and wine. There were literally no "big" stars in attendance that we saw, but their was one "minor" local celebrity we got to meet. And when we say "minor" we mean that literally as well since he is known as "Two Foot Fred." TFF is actually Fred Gill, a comedian and businessman in the Nashville area known for yes, his small stature. He is a member of the country "Music Mafia" started by the duo, Big and Rich. He has appeared in a few of their videos, on stage with them during concerts, etc. We actually saw him a couple of times as part of the cast of comedian, Larry the Cable Guy's Christmas specials that are taped in Nashville and we have been a part of the audience (see previous blog). TFF is a very nice guy who was all smiles when we asked for a picture (see below). The following evening we met Carolyn again for the Opening Night screening of "Nowhere Boy" - a biopic focusing on the early life of John Lennon before Beatlemania swept him into super stardom. The film stars young Aaron Johnson as the teenage Lennon and Kirsten Scott Thomas as his straight-laced Aunt Mimi who raised him for the most part. Both Johnson and Thomas were spectacular in their roles as was Ann-Marie Duff as Lennon's estranged mother, Julia Lennon. Unlike the fairly well known Thomas, British natives Johnson and Duff are relative newcomers to American cinema, but look to have bright futures. Johnson may be on the fast-track to American recognition as he has the lead role in the comic-book-to-big-screen movie, "Kick-Ass", which opens nationwide the following day of this NaFF screening. Perhaps that's why he was a no-show as far as we know for the screening as we promised by the festival literature. Or perhaps it was the rather strange fact that he (2o years old) recently knocked up the 42-year-old director of "Nowhere Boy", Sam Taylor Wood who was also listed to appear but did not that we know of, and is engaged to be married to her. Too much controversy for the meager NaFF? Could be, but more than likely the Hollywood glitz of "Kick-Ass" coming out the following day was more of an obligation to them than a film festival in "Music City." Despite the disappointment of not seeing or hearing from the film's star and director like we did last year with "William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet" the film was well-done and enjoyable. We also hated the fact that Carolyn was called away on a medical emergency (she's a doctor) just before the film started. Sorry, Caro, but the film will be released in the fall of this year in wider distribution throughout the U.S. We waited a week before returning to the NaFF and selected the Closing Night documentary, "Teenage Paparazzo", directed by Adrian Grenier, most well known for his role as Vincent Chase on HBO's hit show (and one of our favs) "Entourage." Carolyn joined us again as well as our friend, Paige. We were all hoping to spot Grenier on the red carpet before the screening as was again indicated by festival literature, but were again disappointed to find out he had to back out last minute. At least we were told this time because we still had no idea what happened on opening night to the scheduled attendees. Grenier even taped a brief apology to the festival goers that was broadcast before his film. We did get to see Brad and Kim Paisley of country music and TV/movie fame (photo below) being interviewed on the red carpet before the show. Brad had a short film preceded the main feature. It was called "When Mom's Away" and it was hilarious. "Teenage Paparazzo" tells the story of a 13-year-old living in California who has joined the packs of roving photographers that stalk celebrities in hopes of obtaining pictures to sell to tabloids and magazines for big bucks. Grenier was a target of this young photographer and was intrigued by his young age and passion for getting the shot. He decided to turn the camera around on the young man and follow this mere child into this bizarre world of late night stalking, car chasing and pushing/shoving for the shot. It's a very well-done and engrossing film, and very revealing about our society and culture these days in terms of celebrity (hey did we mention we got to see Brad and Kim Paisley!!!!).
We enjoyed our time at the NaFF this year and while our brushes with stardom were not as prevalent as in previous years, the films we saw were top notch. We may expand or experience next year and go for festival laminates that give us more access and privileges as well as try and take in more films during the week-long celebration of the arts.

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