Friday, October 15, 2010

New Orleans Film Fest rolls tonight

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 2:15 PM

The New Orleans Film Festival kicks off tonight with the feature Welcome to the Rileys (6:30 p.m. at The Prytania Theatre), a locally shot feature starring James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), Melissa Leo (Treme) and Kristen Stewart (Twilight). Gandolfini and Leo play a couple whose marriage is strained, and while he is on a business trip in New Orleans, he meets an underage prostitute (Stewart) and tries to take care of her. Also screening at the Prytania is 127 Hours (9:45 p.m.), based on the true story of a hiker who was caught under a boulder and had to sever his own arm to escape. There's a full schedule and descriptions of all films on the festival website.

Many excellent documentaries are screening at Chalmette Movies (8700 W. Judge Perez Drive, Chalmette). Tonight kicks off with Winnebago Man (trailer above). Any fan of Network who still wants to go to a window, lean out and scream "I'm as mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore" will appreciate the real life Howard Beale, who's angry all the time. Actually, Jack Rebney was immortalized as the angriest man in the world due to the release of outtakes from an industry marketing video for Winnebago. Rebney constantly blew up in profanity-laced tirades on set — over bad dialogue and camper van jargon, over flies swarming the campground set, and over his own frustration and poor performance. He became an underground star to people who traded videotaped oddities. And when YouTube came along, he was introduced to a much bigger world of fans. Austin-based director Ben Steinbauer decided to find out what ever happened to Rebney, and Winnebago Man chronicles his attempt to introduce film audiences to the real Rebney, who it turns out is still mad as hell, particularly about his ill-gotten fame. American Grindhouse, about the history of exploitation films, screens at Chalmette on Monday, Oct. 18, and Wednesday, Oct. 20.

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