Thursday, December 16, 2010

AIFF 2010: Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi and Beekeeper at Last Day of Festival

Andrew Thomas' Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi is a wonderful documentary about the jazz pianist who composed "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and the music for the Peanuts TV specials.  Thomas told me (you can hear it yourself here) the movie is really about serendipity - and he's right.  Well, it's his movie, he should know.  It covers a wide range of topics from civil rights to the hungry i to the opening of the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.  Lots of archive film from the Guaraldi family that's never been seen before.  And so much good music!  It was runner up for best documentary at the festival and won the Audience Award for Best Documentary.  And because you happened to read this, you could go see the movie and meet someone who will change your life ( for the better.)  Or get an idea that points you in a new direction.  Or be out of your house when a plane crashes into it.  The power of serendipity. 

Do you think I liked this movie?  I'm going to see it again tonight.  5:30pm at the Bear Tooth.  

And Beekeepers  was runner up for Best Snowdance film and for Audience Award for Snowdance.  I haven't seen this one - it conflicted with Ashes - but I'll get to tonight at 8pm at the Bear Tooth.  This is an Alaskan made movie (that's why it's in the Snowdance category) that's supposed to have laughs, and - a plus for people in Anchorage - it's a movie with settings you'll recognize. 

I grew up in LA and it wasn't until I was a student in Germany for a year, that I understood how much of my environment was reflected in the movies and TV shows I saw.  There I was across the Atlantic and could go to the movies and see places where I grew up. 

Alaskans get a glimpse of that when they see Scandinavian films and it isn't dark at night (or light much in the day), or there are birch forests.  With Beekeepers you'll see Anchorage as the background. 

It's the very last night of the festival.  And, wait, I forgot.  There are two more short films to see - the winners of the Quik Freeze film contest.  I haven't seen them yet either.  They had five days to make the movies.  They play with Beekeepers. Fortunately, they're short. 

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