Friday, April 20, 2007

Atlanta Film Festival - Opening Night

The Opening Night of the Atlanta Film Festival was something of a mixed bag. The screening was held at the Regal Atlantic Station 16, which is a PRIME location as the post-party would be literally 30 feet away at STRIP. The lobby of the Regal is quite large enough to accommodate patrons, VIPS and the accompanying paparazzi. Yes, there was a media red carpet. BIG TIME! The opening feature was a VH-1 production, thus there were (presumably) a large number of R&B and Hip-Hop artists, at least that's what the fashion statements said as they paraded in. And quite the parade it was, as it held the up the screening for more than ONE HOUR LATE.

Once the VIPS, Press and we, the lowly patrons (Opening Night is only available to "All Access Pass" holders) were seated, Festival Director, Dan Krovich, quite unassumingly greeted the audience with the general, grateful patter that one hears at such events. What was remarkable though, was his comfort level in front of the crowd and his overall pleasant demeanor. He then introduced an executive from VH-1 (sorry, I don't remember who that was), who was followed by Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes' brother, who made a few remarks about the family and the foundation in Lopes's name, before Mr. Krovich returned to do Corporate thank yous and begin the screening.

"Last Days of Left Eye" (dir. Lauren Lazin, US, 2007, 90 mins.) is the autobiography-documentary of Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes, the former member of TLC, the highest selling all-female R&B group. She died in a car accident while on a retreat in Honduras, where she was videotaping an autobiography. The un-edited tapes survived and Lauren Lazin (director of "Tupac Resurrection") created a documentary, which screens like an autobiography, of her last days, including footage in the SUV just moments before her death.

I found it to be sort of a mixed experience, which was not helped by the hour delay which preceded it. Firstly, I tend to be put off by 'advantaged 20-somethings' who have the opportunity to take 20 family members and friends to a retreat in Honduras and work out their dis-advantaged youth. That said, Lopes did not lead a dull life. The film is of such a personal and familial level, that its success rests with the interest level the viewer has in its subject. In my case, I am hardly familiar with TLC, much less Lopes herself. And I admit that I had little empathy with the story, though sympathy for the tragedy. The film is part of VH-1's rockDocs series and will air this fall.

There was a Q&A with director and what could have been the entire family tree (the Lopes' had no less than two entire rows reserved for them), which I did not stay for. Nor did I stay for the post-party, as the film started an hour late and the post-party was NOT going to start until the VIPs (aka the Q&A) were ready.

Friday: three, perhaps four programs! In other words, full throttle!

Maxxxxx says re "Last Days of Left Eye" "Is it bedtime?"

1 comment:

Maya said...

ONE HOUR LATE???? They may have charmin' customs down there in the South (batting eyelids), but, puhleez.