23 September 2008

Chris Moore on 'The People Speak'

EASTON, Md. — Why would Chris Moore, producer of hit films like Good Will Hunting and American Pie, make a documentary inspired by a history textbook?

“My mom says I make too many R-rated movies,” Moore, an Easton native, said during a presentation of The People Speak at the Chesapeake Film Festival.

About a year ago, “I had just made this horror movie, I was getting tired of killing teenagers and I thought I needed to do something that feels a little better,” he said.

Chris Moore

The seed for The People Speak was planted more than a decade ago in Good Will Hunting. In one scene, Will (Matt Damon) advises his therapist, Sean (Robin Williams), that he should read Howard Zinn’s A People's History of the United States if he wants to read a real history book.

20 September 2008

Chesapeake Film Festival: Opening night

EASTON, Md. — More than a year in the making, the inaugural Chesapeake Film Festival has taken over Easton this weekend, starting Friday evening with a gala at the Tidewater Inn and a screening of Universal Pictures’ Flash of Genius at the Avalon Theatre.

“Our mission is to entertain, educate, inspire, enrich,” said Doug Sadler, the festival’s artistic director.

“If you look at what we’re offering and the people we’re bringing in, I feel we have totally met our goal this year,” he said.

The slate of films includes premieres of major Hollywood studio movies (in addition to Friday’s Flash of Genius screening, New Line Cinema’s Western Appaloosa starring Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen closes the festival Sunday night); issue-driven documentaries such as I.O.U.S.A., which examines the national debt, and At the Death House Door, which focuses on the death penalty; work of local residents, including The White Pony, written by Laura Ambler of Easton, and Charlie Obert’s Barn, a documentary by Kurt Kolaja of Queen Anne’s County; screenings of classics The Best Man (1964) starring Henry Fonda, followed by a political panel, and William Castle’s House on Haunted Hill (1959) enhanced with live effects provided by ArtHouse Live; and more.

05 September 2008

Chesapeake Film Festival

EASTON, Md. — The first-ever Chesapeake Film Festival will open and close with premieres of major Hollywood films.

New Line Cinema's Appaloosa, a Western starring Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger and Jeremy Irons, will close the festival Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Avalon Theatre.

Directed by Harris and adapted from a Robert B. Parker novel by Harris and Robert Knott, the movie is set in the Old West territory of New Mexico and tells the story of two friends and lawmen (Harris and Mortensen) hired to police a dangerous town run by a ruthless rancher (Irons). A young widow (Zellweger) arrives and further complicates matters.

Viggo Mortensen, left, and Ed Harris in a scene from New Line Cinema's Appaloosa.

Knott, who also served as a producer and appears in the film, played one of the lead roles in Swimmers, a film shot locally by the festival's artistic director, Doug Sadler.