While the future of moviegoing - pandemically-speaking - feels tenuous, DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY filled me with delicious optimism. I see it as our next (future) movie/meal event in the Starlight Room. It's a fun, wonderful movie. If you were one of the 30 fortunate ones who joined us last June 30th for a screening of CITY OF GOLD, followed by an extraordinary movie-themed meal at a long communal table, then you can understand my optimism. Chefs Rachel Jensen and Victoria Gilligan created a dinner to remember, and they were over the moon when I proposed DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY for our next event. Watch it on an empty stomach. Relish it (pun intended). "Ms. Kennedy is, by reputation, ferocious. Brilliant. Direct. Uncompromising." -The New York Times
Last week, in introducing ALICE, I quoted director Josephine Mackerras when speaking about a film project that never got off the ground for her. She said that "the project went sideways." Going sideways might be an vast understatement when speaking of THE GHOST OF PETER SELLERS. The film recounts, in head-spinning detail - the disastrous journey of the ill-fated pirate comedy GHOST IN THE NOONDAY SUN starring Peter Sellers (1973). "The director has made a documentary that is both a mea culpa for his role in a botched enterprise that left no one looking good and an affecting attempt to define a life's turning point." -Variety
If you still have room for one more documentary, then I highly recommend LIFE ITSELF, the second film in the 4-film series, MAGNOLIA PICTURES: A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE DOCS. Based on his best-selling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF explores the legacy of Roger Ebert's life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. Your ticket purchase also gives you access to a live Q&A with director Steve James and Chaz Ebert, Roger's wife. The Q&A will be Wednesday, May 27th at 5:00 PM (PST). You can submit questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org Ten Percent of ticket revenue will go to the Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund, as designated by Mr. James.
The woman below the photos of Roger Ebert and Peter Sellers is Seattle-based writer-director Lynn Shelton. She passed away suddenly last Friday at the age of 54 from a previously unidentified blood disorder. Lynn was a guest at the Rose twice, in person with her 2011 film YOUR SISTER'S SISTER, and via Skype in 2018 with OUTSIDE IN. Her other features include HUMPDAY, TOUCHY FEELY, LAGGIES, and SWORD OF TRUST. She also directed numerous television episodes.
Lynn's passing fills me with a measure of sadness that I haven't felt in a long time. And I'm sure that anyone who was fortunate enough to spend time with her is experiencing the same. She was a gifted writer and director whom actors loved working with. She possessed a generous joyful spirit, and it came through in her work.
The day after my Skype interview with her in 2018, I wrote to her, concerned that the poor national box office for OUTSIDE IN might discourage her, reassuring her that her films would always find a home at the Rose. My concern was misplaced. In true optimistic Lynn fashion, she gently set me straight. [Rocky] "please don't be sad on my part. I'm over the moon with the response to the film (every other review seems to bring me to tears) and I feel like between word of mouth and the wide love of Edie Falco, this film will have a lovely long following...it may take some time but folks will find it, eventually. At least a few of them will, I'm confident. Thanks for bringing it to your neck of the woods. Makes me grin. Warmly, Lynn."
You can rent OUTSIDE IN on Amazon.