Film Scouts Diaries

2005 Taormina BNL FilmFest Diaries
A Life in a Day

by Philipp Hoschka

Taormina, July 16, 2005 - Possibly inspired by the town of Taormina, where you trip over some Greek or Roman ruin every time you turn a corner, the Festival makers have been adding more and more movie retrospectives, turning the program into a bit of an antique show.

It can be a bit disorienting, however, to see a large part of the lifetime of an actor or director pass by in a short timeframe, and to watch the progression from youthful exuberance to adult complacency.

Take the example of director Bob Rafelson, originally famous for having produced "Easy Rider". Yesterday, you have been watching movies covering his whole career (including "Five Easy Pieces" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice").

Today, you sit in his Cinema Lesson. Together with numerous film students from various Sicilian universities, we learn that Rafelson has discovered that he is a happier person when he does not make movies, since he does not like the person he becomes when making them - obsessed and dictatorial. Not only that, but he also does not watch his old movies, because that reminds him how painful it was to make them. Instead, Rafelson (aged 72) prefers to play with his one-year-old son. It is not clear what lessons the film students are supposed to draw from this - is it "Don't get into movies, but get a life instead"?

Another example is Andie MacDowell. Today, Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies and Videotape" was shown, a story on the strange impact that new technology could have on sexual relationships, made before the Internet became in widespread use.

Tonight, MacDowell is on stage, receiving her "timepiece". In her awards speech, she praises the joys of motherhood. So unlike Sharon Stone and "Basic Instinct II", it seems a bit improbable that MacDowell would participate in a "Sex, Lies and Videotape II", doing - say - unmotherly things on the Internet.

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