Oscar Winning Sound Editor/Designer Eugene Gearty to Receive Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award at BIFF Story & Photos by Mark Shaffer, Editor at Large There is a moment in Martin Scorsese’s period epic Gangs of New York where Daniel Day Lewis’ Bill “The Butcher” Cutting is confronted by Jim Broadbent’s Boss Tweed for his very public murder of the local sheriff. The lord of the Five Points may be a homicidal maniac, but he is a man of principle who long ago cut out his own eye to prove his self-worth. He’s slicing up a steak with a very sharp knife, seething in rage. The tension is palpable as Tweed declares, “You don’t know what you’ve done to yourself!” Bill glares up at him then slowly taps his glass eye with the point of his blade. Tink, tink, tink, tink, tink…
By Mark Shaffer, Editor at Large With each iteration, the Beaufort International Film Festival continues to grow and evolve as word spreads and buzz builds around the festival circuit. Once again we reached out to a cross section of attending filmmakers and asked them to participate in a short Q&A to get a sense of what to expect.
The 14th Beaufort International Film Festival Heats Up February By Mark Shaffer, Editor At Large Much has changed since we first started covering the Beaufort International Film Festival back in 2009. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (the MCU) had just laid the foundation for the next decade’s campaign of worldwide cinematic domination with Iron Man, starring Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark. James Cameron’s Avatar was about to shatter box office records on its way to becoming the top grossing film of all time with box office numbers so huge they were thought to be untouchable. Heath Ledger posthumously becomes the first actor to win an Oscar for the role of a comic book villain as Joker in The Dark Knight. And Ridley Scott’s acid rain-soaked dystopian world of Blade Runnerstill lurked somewhere in the future.
Wherein the Author Gets a Window Into the Movie Business. Literally. By Mark Shaffer, Editor at Large This is it. I finally made it into the movie business. It’s almost like I imagined it would be as a kid. I’m dressed to kill in a white dinner jacket and black bowtie, hair combed back like a mid 20th century matinee idol, cigarette in my right hand (unlit), my left hand caresses a tumbler of bourbon. I am positioned – no, posed – at a café table shrouded in linen and littered with vintage World War II identification papers in both French and German. At my back is an old fashioned upright piano. All of this and me are on display in the massive center window of Beaufort’s NeverMore Books. And if you haven’t figured it out, I am a very poor stand-in for Humphrey Bogart’s iconic Rick Blaine character in Casablanca, the cynical, world-weary American ex-pat owner of Rick’s Café American and some of the best lines ever uttered on film.
20 Year Movie Drought Ends With “Crimson Tide” By Mark Shaffer, Editor at Large Welcome Back to Alabama On November 9thsomething will happen in Beaufort that hasn’t happened in 20 years. When Director VW Scheich calls, “Action!” it will mark the first time a feature film has rolled in Beaufort since William Freidkin shot the mega-budget war drama Rules of Engagement here in 1999.
The Beaufort Film Society presents their collection of Short films, Student films and Animation films for one hour each Wednesday beginning October 9th and continuing to November 20th. at the Technical College of the Lowcountry. T
The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which gives women the same rights and protections as men, was first introduced in 1923 – yet remains unpassed today. The League of Women Voters Beaufort Area will present the documentary film, Equal Means Equal, which showcases the struggle to pass the amendment. It is scheduled for public screening at Beaufort’s Technical College of the Lowcountry on Tuesday, September 24 at 5:30 p.m.
Monday Night is Movie Night at the USCB Center for the Arts, and this month they’re celebrating 3 inspiring documentaries: Be Natural: the Untold Story of Alice Guy Blache’, Honeyland, and Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins.
The Beaufort International Film Festival Celebrates Story by Mark Shaffer The numbers – all of them records – preface the story: 16 thousand tickets sold, four days and nights of screenings, each screening averaging over 300 people with more than eighty filmmakers and attendees representing 33 states and half a dozen nations. Now, here’s the real story: this is one of the top 20 film festivals on the planet and it all takes place on one screen, under one roof, on an historic college campus backing up to the Intracoastal Waterway in a theater that seats less than 500 people.
Five films, five vastly different topics – the official selections in this year’s Features category have been called the strongest in BIFF history. Festival runners Ron and Rebecca Tucker concur. “Several of our judges couldn’t stop using the word ‘wow,’” says Ron. All five films will be represented in Beaufort by the following individuals…
BIFF 2019 Pat Conroy Lifetime Achievement Award Interview by Mark Shaffer Henry Hill (narrating): Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn’t have to move for anybody. – Goodfellas, 1990 When Director Martin Scorsese was looking to cast the role of caporegime Paul “Paulie” Cicero in Goodfellas, he knew he needed an actor who could embody a sense of lethal gravitas. The man had to inspire fear and loyalty just by walking into a room. He found that actor in Paul Sorvino. In GQ’s 2010 oral history of the film, Sorvino recalls, “I had a sense of elevation the entire time I was making it. I’ve never had that before or since, making a movie. Felt I was three feet in the air.”
The Beaufort International Film Festival at 13 As this issue of Lowcountry Weekly hits the streets the Beaufort International Film Festival prepares to celebrate its 13thyear. Appropriately enough, BIFF’s put on some serious growth as it enters its teens. This year festival runners Ron and Rebecca Tucker added an extra day to the event, significantly expanding the slate of films (and Ron’s chronic fear that no one will show up). This year more than 80 filmmakers are scheduled to attend. The festival gets under way Tuesday the 19thwith a gala at Tabby Place in downtown Beaufort.