The Nashville Film Festival (NaFF) today unveils the Retrospective and Graveyard Shift screenings for the 44th annual Festival scheduled April 18-25 at Regal Green Hills Stadium 16. The selected Retrospectives range from years 1923 to 2009 and include a 90th anniversary screening of the 1923 silent comedy Safety Last!. For its own Graveyard Shift late-night cult-movie program, NaFF includes the feature that swept the Texas Fantastic Fest’s horror prizes last fall, Here Comes the Devil, along with Golden Lion award winner Pieta and others.
“The Graveyard Shift film category is where we celebrate genre fare like horror, sci-fi, outrageous comedy, and just the generally bizarre,” says Artistic Director Brian Owens. “These are late night movies for late night movie goers – a celebration of the quirky, the frightening, the strange and the disturbing.”
“Safety Last! is a family-friendly classic and it’s great to celebrate the career of Harold Lloyd on the film’s 90th Anniversary,” says Executive Director Ted Crockett. “Grave of the Fireflies is also a rarity, and it has been held from audiences due to legal squabbles, so it’s exciting to be able to share this beautiful picture on the big screen with Nashville audiences.”
The Nashville Film Festival has become one of the premier showcases for the best new work of American and international filmmakers. The festival screens films that represent the creative risk filmmakers take to tell powerful and important stories in innovative ways.
Grave of the Fireflies (Director: Isao Takahata) — Setsuko and Seita are siblings living in wartime Japan. After their mother is killed, they move in with relatives. Having fought with their aunt they leave the city and find home in an abandoned shelter. While their father’s destiny is unknown, the two must depend on each other. With everything in short supply, they succumb to hunger and their only entertainment is the light of the fireflies.
I Killed My Mother (Director: Xavier Dolan) — Teenager Hubert haughtily regards his mother with contempt. Confused by this love/hate relationship that obsesses him more and more each day, Hubert drifts through the mysteries of adolescence. The turbulent relationship unfolds with a compelling combination of fury and affection.
Kick Off (Director: Shawkat Amin Korki) — Inside a beat up stadium in Kirkuk, Iraq, live many refugees trying to escape Sadam Hussein’s administration. For Asu, his younger brother, and Hilin, one of the only sources of happiness is soccer. Asu gathers together the Kurdish, Arabs, and Turkish in order to hold a soccer match. Although they are of different races, they become close neighbors.
Safety Last! (Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor) — In 1922, country boy Harold leaves his mother and girlfriend Mildred in Great Bend to find success in the big city. He promises to marry Mildred after he makes good, and moves in with friend Bill, who makes a living performing stunts as a “human fly”. After a combination of lies and stunts, Harold finds himself in a most unexpected place…
East Nashville Tonight (A Work in Progress) (Directors: Brad Barnes and Todd Barnes) — In February 2013, the Barnes Brothers were commissioned to make a documentary on Todd Snider. Its purpose was to present Todd to a wider audience. They failed. Instead, drugs took over. Instead they made: East Nashville Tonight starring Elizabeth Cook.
Pieta (Director: Kim Ki-duk) — Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark brutally threatening people for paybacks. This man, without family and therefore nothing to lose, continues his merciless way of life regardless of the pain he has caused to countless others. One day, a woman appears claiming to be his mother. He coldly rejects her at first, but gradually accepts her in his life. He decides to quit his cruel job and live a decent life. Then suddenly, his mother is kidnapped. Assuming that it’s by someone he had hurt in the past, he starts to track down all the people he had harassed. The man finally finds the one, only to discover that most horrifying dark secrets are better left unrevealed.
Here Comes the Devil (Director: Adrian Garcia Bogliano) — Felix and Sol are your typical young parents on a typical vacation with their children. On the way home, exhausted from their long journey, Felix and Sol allow their kids to explore the countryside near a rest stop unattended. The kids enter a cave and disappear. After hours, the local authorities can’t find the kids and Felix and Sol retreat to a hotel room, frightened and unnerved. Their nightmare appears to be over when the kids return unharmed. It’s not long, however, before the parents begin to suspect something is wrong…Very wrong…
The Rambler (Director: Calvin Lee Reeder) — Upon release from prison, a solitary man known only as “The Rambler” embarks on a mysterious journey en route to reconnecting with his long-lost brother. Traversing treacherous back roads, lost highways, and isolated small towns, he unearths a multitude of bizarre and wickedly depraved slices of Americana.
Jug Face (Director: Chad Crawford Kinkle) — The pit has spoken. Dawai, the potter of a backwoods community, has crafted a face on a ceramic jug of the person that the pit wants sacrificed. Ada, pregnant with her brother’s child, has seen her face on the jug and hides it in the woods, determined to save the life of her unborn. If she does not sacrifice herself however, the creature from the pit will crawl out and kill everyone in the village until she does. Shot in Tennessee, Jug Face is atmospheric Southern horror about the terror of inevitability.
Shopping Tour (Director: Mikhail Brashinsky) — A group of Russian tourists goes to Finland on a trip organized by a shopping mall. One of the participants is a mother with her adolescent son, who films the expedition with his cell phone. But once they arrive, the trip takes an unexpected turn: on the department store shelves, drops of blood begin to appear, then mutilated limbs, and finally entire corpses. Today was not the best day to go shopping in Finland.
*Photos from Safety Last! and Here Comes the Devil courtesy Nashville Film Festival.