Darlene's Kudzu Report
We're trying something new here at "Making Cherry" for this entry -- we have a guest writer (and a new look, thanks to Lovisa). Darlene Kepner, a contributor to the Unofficial David McCallum website, attended the Kudzu Film Festival and kindly agreed to write about it for us. Jon was also there, but he is still deeply immersed in the writing of his new screenplay (In the Pines) and could not be persuaded to divert his attentions to the website. So, here is Darlene's refreshing take on the scene at Kudzu:
The Kudzu Film Festival in Athens, Georgia was an excellent experience for me. I have NEVER been to a film festival and I was so looking forward to it. Now, mind you, I had to drive nearly 9 hours to get there from Lakeland, Florida, but my friends know I will travel anywhere to see a David McCallum showing.
Athens is a well known college town surrounded by rolling hills and beautiful trees. I arrived Friday, October 15th and immediately looked up the Morton Theatre where the films were being shown that evening. The Morton, built in 1910, looks like an old Off-Broadway theatre with a full stage and balcony.
Why would anybody care to go to a film festival? Well, I am so tired of people saying "Oh yeah, I know the ending to this movie." Trust me, the films I saw on Friday did not have your typical endings or story lines. They made me look at life in a new and different way. I know some of the English students in the audience were having a whale of a time discussing the plots and what they thought the themes meant. Jolly good fun for an older adult who’s been there, and seen it all (almost).
In the line up for that evening was a feature film, "The Eden Myth," about an unusual family and marriage; several shorts: "Peep Show," incredibly funny, about a woman in a peep show getting off on hearing men compliment her, "Panther" - artistic drawings of a panther moving; "Stops on the Road to Nowhere" and an amusing anecdote about Jesus called "Lord of the Road," in which Jesus arrives in a Nevada town and meets the town’s minister and doesn’t make too good of an impression; and finally...drum rolllllllllll...the last showing --
Cherry! The main reason I went. Well, Jon walked onto the stage, but didn’t talk about the film, but rather his trip to Georgia. He had a car accident and made it to the airport just in time with the help of the police. His back was hurting and he said he was on medication.*
Cherry is a sweet love story of a girl who has been turned down at the altar and wants NO more relationships with men. As the years go by, does she change her mind?? You bet! David McCallum plays a dear old sweet uncle who makes sure everybody gets well fed and slowly convinces his niece that men aren’t all that bad, nor is sex! He should know -- he’s gay! Now to find a donor. Could be anybody -- the customer??? The cook???? The clown/delivery man??? Heck, even the doctor looked good and he certainly had feelings for her; he gasped for air every time she came in to his office. So who got lucky??? My guess was well, correct, although I thought they might choose someone else. I think the writers got sentimental and decided on the proper person. Well done!
The audience loved Cherry. They so laughed when Shalom burnt her wedding gown. Some of the scenes in the restaurant were incredibly funny, especially the Customer at the counter banging the muffin! I smiled when I saw David in his apron ["World’s greatest Mom"] and I think a couple of other older women enjoyed that scene as well. A lot of awwwwwwwws and laugher when Leila and Kirk discussed how to get pregnant and Kirk wrote the symbols on the blackboard - lots of laughs when he couldn’t think of the symbol for birth. Cute. I heard people talking about Cherry on the way out and saying they enjoyed the film and thought it was funny.
Who won that night or for the 3 nights?? I know I voted for Cherry!
* Jon filled me in on the details of what this was all about: His day started at 4:30 AM (the time he usually leaves Siberia, for God's sake!). All packed and ready to go, he was tottering down the stairs balancing his bags and a cup of coffee when Emma the Impaler (doggie) careened into him in pursuit of the cat. Jon went sprawling down the remaining steps, instantly sending his already fragile back into spasm. He struggled back up the stairs to the medicine cabinet to find the muscle relaxant, without which he would not be able to get on the plane. In the cabinet he found four bottles of prescription pills, each with a complicated name, and none of which he could identify as the drug he needed. Fairly sure that one of the bottles contained the appropriate medication, he did what any intelligent person would: he swallowed one of each.
Then, just as the buzz of unknown drugs began to hit him, the cab he was riding in to the airport was rear-ended, sending his back into spasm again. The NJ State Police, responding to the accident, took pity on him and drove him the last few miles to the airport, leaving the wrecked cab behind. This is the anecdote Jon shared with the audience. Far more amusing than the usual indie film intro, I think.
Thanks again to Darlene for taking the time to share her views of the festival and Cherry. Oh, and the answer to her final question is that The Eden Myth won the top prize at the festival. Kim Moarefi and I saw it at a screening here in New York a couple of months ago. While Kim and I shared the same opinion of the film, she gave it the most succinct review: "Ghastly!"