The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey on April 24, 2005 · E9
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The Record from Hackensack, New Jersey · E9

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Sunday, April 24, 2005
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SUNDAY, APRIL 24, 2005 ENTERTAINMENT THE RECORD E-9 Indie director created his own film festival Some people are part of the solution. Others are part of the problem. Independent filmmaker Jonathan Lipp is a bit of both. When Lipp, a Paramus native, launched his Big Apple Film Festival in 2004, it was his response to the rejection slips he got from many of the major festivals. He wanted a film festival where the little guy - a guy like himself - could have a chance. Now, a year later, he's handing out the rejection slips. "The festival circuit is so competitive," Lipp says. "Now I find myself at fault too, because I get so many submissions that I can only accept a small amount." For his first festival, held December 2004 at the Anthology Film Archives with little advance fanfare, he got 100 submissions, of which he was able to screen maybe 20. It was only this month that he began to solicit entries for the 2005 festival (to be held Nov. 17-19). Already, he has 20 submissions. That's how quickly the Big Apple Film Festival has become an established fact in New York, a city only slightly more movie-crazed than the United States at large. "I think New York is the heart of independent film," Lipp says. "You're just surrounded by all these people in the business, all these people who have been in major films." When Lipp, 28 (Paramus High class of 1995), conceived his A "-u . movie showcase, he m 4 was entering a crowded ft field. In addition to the big festivals like Sundance, Cannes and Toronto, there are hundreds of smaller ones into which desperate film makers are vying for entry - and with good reason. In the 30-plus years since the collapse of the Hollywood studio system, festivals have become the key way for newcomers to break into the business. It's at festivals that novice work is seen by distributors who can get it booked into theaters. Lipp knows all about that. He's been JIM BECKERMAN HERE AND I NEW JERSEY ARTS making films since the eighth grade: among them features like "Bridges and Tunnels" (about four very different Jewish siblings) and "Singles.com" (about the Internet dating scene). He's working on a movie update of Edgar Allan Poe's "TheTell-Tale Heart." In 2002, he submitted "Bridges and Tunnels" to some 20 festivals, including Sundance. He got into two - not including Sundance. "The year I submitted to Sundance, they got 5,000 entries," he says. "When you get rejection letters, it's never a good feeling. The positive thing about it was that, ultimately, it made me realize that if I was going to do this, I had to start my own festival." Unfortunately, the Robert Moses rule applies. Moses was the city commissioner who built bridge after bridge to relieve traffic congestion in New York. Within a year of each new bridge, the traffic was always back to its original volume - it had increased in response to the increased capacity. Likewise, the more film festivals that are created to handle movie output, the more films seem to come out of the woodwork. Which is how Lipp, who created the Big Apple festival as a haven for rejected films, has ended up becoming the rejecter. "When I started it, I said to everyone, 'I hope that 10 people submit films, and maybe 20 people show up,' " he recalls. "The surprise is that we got 100 submissions, and maybe 700 people showed up." The buzz from last year's festival was compounded by the fact that it got results. Major indie distributors like Magnolia ("Capturing the Friedmans," "Control Room") came to screenings. Several of the 2004 Big Apple winners, including "About Baghdad" (best documentary) are being released in theaters. "People flew in from all over the country," Lipp says. The festival costs about $5,000 to run, which Lipp, a high school social studies teacher in Far Rockaway, gets mostly from the $50 entry fees ($35 for short subjects) and $10 movie admissions. But Big Apple Film Festival's Jonathan Lipp with John Travolta, who grew up in Englewood. this year, he's also got sponsors - including Filmmaker Magazine and The Learning Annex (which is also hosting Big Apple-sponsored filmmaking classes with such heavyweights as Ron Howard and Kevin Smith). Meanwhile, what about Lipp's own movies? Ironically, while the festival has given Lipp a venue for screenings, his position as founder and director leaves him unable to compete. "I screened 'Singles.com' last year, but it wasn't in competition," he says. "It would be a conflict of interest." Entries for this year's Big Apple Film Festival are due Sept. 15. For more information, visit bigapplefilmfestival.com. E-mail: beckermannorthjersey.com Traces of Anthony LaPaglia's past make their way into his new film By IAIN BLAIR TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES Anthony LaPaglia didn't have to do much research to convincingly play a New Jersey-based landscape gardener in his new film "Winter Solstice." "I actually spent a couple of years installing sprinkler systems in New Jersey, very early on in my career when I was still struggling to make a living as an actor," he says. "Little did I know that it would pay off all these years later in a movie like this." A somewhat somber drama, "Winter Solstice" stars LaPaglia as Jim Winters, a man struggling to raise two teenage sons alone since the death of his wife, killed five years before in a car accident. Although Jim might be happy for both boys to stay at home in the suburbs and eventually join him in his gardening business, he is soon butting heads with the elder, Gabe (Aaron Stanford), who makes no secret of his wish to leave the family and start his own life with a friend in Florida. Meanwhile, Pete (Mark Webber), Gabe's younger and equally restless brother, is less than enthusiastic about his studies and finishing high school, preferring to play lookhditkianiTmes b Imckk Dwrc Open iff toiw I I I !" Lea Schwrzbaum, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY antliony allison lapaglis janney winter solstice CLASSICSH CLEARVIEW FLORIN CREATIVE CLEARVIEW CINEMAS MONTGOMERY -WASHINGTON SIAIPJ? CENTER TWIN CINEMAS CINEMAS ROCKY HILL WASHINGTON MONTCLAIR 924-7444 TOWNSHIP 777-FILM 574 -lmjs-i- 777-FILM 916 MATI0MAL AMUSEMENTS ALL-JERSEY MULTIPLEX CINEMAS MEW ARK 817-8100 NATIONAI AMIISFMFNTS AMB0Y MULTIPLEX SAYKEVILLE 721-3400 AMC CLIFTON COMMONS 16 CUE I ON 777-EILM 554 REGAL CINEMAS COMMERCE CENTER 18 NORTH BRUNSWICK 1-800-FANDANGO262 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGE WATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS EDGEWATER 840-0699 REGAL CINEMAS HADLEY CINEMA 11 SOUTH PLAINFIELD 1-800-FANDANGO 264 AMC HAMILTON 24 HAMILTON 890-7952 REGAL CINEMAS HUDSON MALL CINEMA 7 JERSEY CITY 1-800-FANDANGO 260 DESTINTA INDEPENDENCE PLAZA HAMILTON 888-4500 LOEWS JERSEY GARDENS 20 ELIZABETH 1-800-FANDANGO751 LOEWS MEADOWS 6 THEATRE SECAUCUS 1-800-FANDANGO758 GRANT MEGA MOVIES 13 EAST BRUNSWICK 651 -MEGA CLEARVIEW CINEMAS MIDDLEBR00K GALLERIA CINEMA 10 OCEAN 777-FILM 726 LOEWS MOUNTAINSIDE MOUNTAINSIDE 1-800-FANDANGO 754 LOEWS NEW BRUNSWICK NEW BRUNSWICK 1-800-FANDANGO 755 CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT NEW PARK CINEMAS ROSELLE PARK 241 -2525 CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT NEWARK METR0PLEX NEWARK 642-5335 CINEPLEX ODEON NEWPORT CENTRE CINEMAS JERSEY CITY 1-800-FANDANGO 753 LOEWS RIDGEFIELD PARK THEATRE RIDGEFIELD PARK 1-800-FANDANGO 757 PAPPAS UNION CINEMAS UNION 686-4373 LOEWS WAYNE THEATRE WAYNE 1-800-FANDANGO 761 NO RftSSES ACCEPTED TO THIS ENGAGEMENT CLEARVIEW CINEMAS ALLWOOD CINEMAS CLIFTON 777-FILM 914 AMC CLIFTON COMMONS CLIFTON 614-0644 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS CLOSTER CINEMA 4 CLOSTER 777-FILM 985 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGEWATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS' EDGEWATER 840-0699 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS EMERSON QUAD EMERSON 777-FILM 915 LOEWS PLAZA 8 SECAUCUS 1-800-FANDANGO 759 RAMSEY TWIN RAMSEY 825-2090 SORRY, NO PASSES. LOEWS JERSEY GARDENS 20 ELIZABETH 1-800-FANDANGO 751 LOEWS RIDGEFIELD PARK 1-800-FANDANGO 757 CINEPLEX ODEON ROUTE 4 TENPLEX PARAMUS 1-800-FANDANGO 756 LOEWS WAYNE WAYNE 1-800-FANDANGO 761 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS WAYNE PREAKNESS CINEMAS 777-FILM 787 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS NEW CITY CINEMAS NEW CITY 777-FILM 917 LOEWS PALISADES CENTER WEST NYACK 1-80OFANDANGO 787 sports and hang out with friends. "The big problem is, no one really expresses what they're feeling inside, and there's not much dialogue," says LaPaglia. "And that's also what I really liked about the script written by first-time director Josh Sternfield - the sparse-ness of the words and the complexity of the family dynamic. So often scripts are overwritten and explain way too much for the audience, but this didn't, and it didn't need to. You just watch the characters interact and you can see all the tension there." The star of the popular TV series "Without a Trace" goes on to note that the family situation and tension explored in "Winter Solstice" are "universal, especially for men and their relationships with their sons. I think all kids growing up tend to feel that they are just appendages to their parents and their lives, and then you reach that point in your own life where you have to separate and find your own identity. Sometimes that in evitable separation is easy, but often it can be very difficult and painful." With this in mind, LaPaglia found it easy to sympathize with his character. "Jim's just trying to do the best ANTHONY LaPAGLIA ft i - it m simply fabulous: BOSTON HERALD Sandra Bullock A miss congeniality: xArmed and $WcUhiIou& C4l,T,Lt,jy?9K. PG-13 WMINER BROS. PICTURES SOUNDTRACK AlflUH OH WARNER SUNSET RECORDS WWWJUIMEDANDFABUL0US.COM V AMC HAMILTON 24 HAMILTON 890-8307 BERKLEY BERKLEY HEIGHTS 464-8888 AMC THEATRES BRIDGEWATER COMMONS 7 BRIDGEWATER 725-1161 fiSCEDAR LANE CINEMAS TEANECK 836-3334 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS ES CINEMA 12 PARSIPPANY 470-CLVW 509 LESSER ES CINEPLAZA NORTH BERGEN 868-6565 AMC THEATRES CLIFTON COMMONS CLIFTON PitsFNii 614-0644 DIGITAL eg RFGAL CINEMAS COMMERCE CENTER 18 NORTH BRUNSWICK 940-0300 800-FANDANGO 262 LESSER DDDUNELLEN THEATRE DUNELLEN 968-90 1 0 REGAL CINEMAS HADLEY THEATRE 16 SOUTH PLAINFIELD 668-4449 800-FANDANGO 264 LESSER ES HAWTHORNE HAWTHORNE 427-2828 NATL AMUSEMENTS HAZLET MULTIPLEX CINEMAS RT. 35 - HAZLET 264-2200 HILLSBOROUGH CINEMAS HILLSBOROUGH 874-8181 V LOEWS EAST HANOVER EAST HANOVER 800-FANDANGO 749 V LOEWS FREEHOLD METROPLEX FREEHOLD 800-FANDANGO 752 V LOEWS JERSEY GARDENS 20 ELIZABETH 800-FANDANGO 751 V LOEWS MONMOUTH EATONTOWN 800-FANDANGO 75 O V LOEWS NEW BRUNSWICK THEATRE NEW BRUNSWICK 800-FANDANGO 755 V LOEWS SEACOURT THEATRE TOMS RIVER 800-FANDANGO 760 V LOEWS WAYNE THEATRE WAYNE 800-FANDANGO 761 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS E3 MANSFIELD 15PLEX HACKETTSTOWN 777-FfLM 548 MANVILLE 12-PLEX MANVILLE 707-4000 REGAL CINEMAS MARLBORO CINEMA 8 MORGANVILLE 972-8181 800-FANDANGO 261 ESmega movies at brunswick SQUARE EAST BRUNSWICK 651 -MEGA T DIGITAL cineplex odeon ESmenlo park mall cinemas EDISON 800-FANDANGO 820 NATL AMUSEMENTS MULTIPLEX CINEMAS AT TOWN CENTER PLAZA EAST WINDSOR 371-8472 PASCACK westwood 664-3200 ESralto west field 232-1288 I rockland V LOEWS PALISADES CENTER WEST NYACK 800-FANDANGO 787 LBLr f Sony Dynamic V J UUJ Digital Sound.. "A Fiercely Funny Human Comedy" -Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE Joan Allen Kevin Costner the i upside fanger VIP MedienfondsZ NEW LINE CINEMAl CLEARVIEW CINEMAS ALLWOOD CINEMAS FLORIN-CREATIVE ATLANTIC FIVEPLEX CINEMA ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS 29 1 -0 1 48 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS BELLEVUE CINEMA 4 UPPER MONTCLAIR 777-FILM 773 CINFMA SFRVICFS CEDAR LANE CINEMAS TEANECK 83(S3334 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS CHESTER CINEMAS 777-FILM 926 CINE PLAZA NORTH BERGEN 868-7335 FLORIN-CREATIVE CRANFORD FIVEPLEX 276-9 1 20 LOEWS THEATRES EAST HANOVER NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGEWATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS RIVER RD , RT 505 AT GORGE RD 840-0699 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS EDISON CINEMAS 777-FILM 929 LOEWS THEATRES FREEHOLD METROPLEX 800-FANDANGO 752 AMC HAMILTON 24 890-8307 LESSER HAWTHORNE FIVE 427-2828 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS HAZLET MULTIPLEX CINEMAS RTE 35 264-2200 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS KINNELON 11 777-FILM 997 REGAL CINEMAS MANAHAWKIN 10 733 ROUTE 72 E 800-FANDANGO 687 READING CINEMAS MANVILLE 12-PLEX 777-FILM 559 MEGA MOVIES AT BRUNSWICK SO. EAST BRUNSWICK 651-6342 CINEPLEX ODEON MENLO PARK MALL CINEMAS EDISON 1 -800-555-TELL CLEARVIEW CINEMAS MIDDLEBROOK GALLERIA CINEMA 10 OCEAN 777-FILM 726 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS MILLBURN CINEMAS 777-FILM 591 LOEWS THEATRES MONMOUTH MALL 800-FANDANGO 750 FLORIN-CREATIVE MONTGOMERY CENTER ROCKY HILL 924-7444 UNITED ARTISTS THEATRES MOVIES AT MARKET FAIR STADIUM 10 PRINCETON 800-FANDANGO 601 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS MULTIPLEX CINEMAS AT TOWN CENTER PLAZA 371 -8472 EAST WINDSOR LOEWS THEATRES NEW BRUNSWICK 18 15 U S HIGHWAY 1 800-FANDANGO 755 CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT PASCACK WESTWOOD WESTBWOOD 664-3200 REGAL CINEMAS PO HAT CONG CINEMA 12 PHILLIPSBURG 800-FANDANGO 263 CINEPLEX ODEON ROUTE 17 TRIPLEX PARAMUS 1 -800-555-TELL LOEWS THEATRES SEACOURT PAVILION TOMS RIVER 800-FANDANGO 760 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS TENAFLY CINEMA 4 TENAFLY 777-FILM 989 ROCKLAND LOEWS THEATRES PALISADES CENTER WEST NYACK 800-FANDANGO 787 with Receive a complimentary copy of The Record with the purchase of a Popeyes Ghleken Biscuit Combo Meal 282 Rt. East 201-489-1 121 786 Rt. 1 7 North 201-447-9885 104 MeacJow Rd. 201-460-98 50 1 1 Rt. 46 West 975-540-9677 : $1.00 off any Combo Meal OytPvXCQ With this coupon Not to be combined with other offers . iiiM!,- Expires 063005 he can in a very tough situation, and he just wants the best for his sons," he says. "But I actually identified far more with Gabe and what he's going through, and his need to make that break from his father and his father's world." That world goes through its own major change when an attractive single woman, Molly (Allison Janney), moves into the neighborhood to house-sit for a friend. After borrowing Jim's dolly to help unload her belongings, Molly appears at the house one day to invite the entire family to dinner as a thank you. "The boys wriggle out of it, so Jim goes alone, and for the first time since his wife's death, he begins to let his guard down a little and deal with his feelings a bit more," LaPaglia says. "Suddenly there's someone he can talk to, and be attracted to. He's been pretty repressed in many ways, and once his wife died, I think he also repressed any sexual side, partly out of respect for her memory, and partly out of guilt at the idea of letting another woman into his life again. But Molly is like a ray of sunshine, and she also helps him deal with his frustration and anger of what is inevitable at home - that Gabe is going to leave, whatever he says." LaPaglia and "The West Wing" star Janney teamed up once before, in the 1998 Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge," which won them both various awards. Don't blame cSin City 8 ROGER EBERT Questions for the Movie Answer Man: Q. Lately, some people have been complaining that "Sin City" was the No.l movie in the country the same weekend the pope passed away. I'm guessing they are referring to the violence and sexual content of the picture, which could be mistak en for anti-Catholicism, even though it is a great film. My question is, where do you stand on this issue and why? Ryan Graham, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories I think it is more of a coincidence than an issue. I did get a lot of messages saying my review should have underlined the level of violence in the movie. They were correct: I became absorbed in my discussion of the film's visual style and its roots in film noir and comic mac kutcher who now playing NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS ALL-JERSEY MULTIPLEX CINEMAS NEWARK 817-8100 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS AMBOY MULTIPLEX SAYREVILLE 721-3400 CLEAR VIEW CINEMAS BERGENFIELD BERG EN FIELD 777-FILM 984 LOEWS THEATRES BRICK PLAZA HH BRICKTOWN 800-FANDANGO 747 OCLEARVIEW CINEMAS CINEMA 10 SUCCASUNNA 777-FILM 918 OCLEARVIEW CINEMAS CINEMA 12 PARSIPPANY 777-FILM 509 AMC OCLIFTON COMMONS CINEMA CLIFTON 614-0644 REGAL CINEMAS COMMERCE CENTER 18 NORTH BRUNSWICK 800-FANDANGO 262 FLORIN-CREATIVE CRANFORD THEATRE CRANFORD 276-9120 LOEWS THEATRES EAST HANOVER BKfl EAST HANOVER 800-FANDANGO 749 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGEWATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS EDGEWATER 840-0699 AMC OESSEX GREEN WEST ORANGE 731-7755 LOEWS THEATRES FREEHOLD METROPLEX 2KI FREEHOLD 800-FANDANGO 752 REGAL CINEMAS HADLEY CINEMA 1 1 SOUTH PLAINFIELD 800-FANDANGO 264 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS HAZLET MULTIPLEX CINEMAS HAZLET 264-2200 FLORIN-CREATIVE HILLSBOROUGH CINEMAS HILLSBOROUGH 874-8181 REGAL CINEMAS HUDSON MALL CINEMA 7 jersey enr 800-FANDANGO 260 OCLEARVIEW CINEMAS MANSFIELD PLAZA 14 HACKETTSTOWN 777-FILM 548 REGAL CINEMAS MARLBORO CINEMA 8 12 ROUTE 9 NORTH 800-FANDANGO 261 LOEWS THEATRES MEADOWS 6 BH SECAUCUS 800-FANDANGO 758 CINEPLEX ODEON MENLO PARK MALL CINEMAS EDISON 800-FANDANGO LOEWS THEATRES MONMOUTH MALL BH EATONTOWN 800-FANDANGO 750 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS MULTIPLEX CINEMAS AT TOWN CENTER PLAZA EAST WINDSOR 371-8472 LOEWS THEATRES NEW BRUNSWICK BH NEW BRUNSWICK 800-FANDANGO 755 CINEPLEX ODEON NEWPORT CENTRE CINEMAS jersey enr 800-FANDANGO 753 LOEWS THEATRES RIDGEFIELD PARK BHD RIDGEFIELD PARK 800-FANDANGO 757 CINEPLEX ODEON ROUTE 4 TENPLEX PARAMUS 800-FANDANGO 756 LOEWS THEATRES SEACOURT PAVILLION BH TOMS RIVER 800-FANDANGO 760 LESSER SUMMIT QUAD UNION enr 865-2878 CLEARVIEW CINEMAS WARNER QUAD RIDGEWOOD 777-FILM 581 LOEWS THEATRES WAYNE BH WAYNE 800-FANDANGO 761 LOEWS THEATRES JERSEY GARDENS 20 651 KAPKOWSKI ROAD 800-FANDANGO 751 LOEWS THEATRES PALISADES CENTER WEST NYACK 800-FANDANGO 787 mT J, ran, 3 books. The violence did not seem real to me, as it did, for example, in "Monster." It had no psychological depth or realistic meaning but was simply the medium that the genre swims in. Still, my review should have given a better idea of the film's content. Readers might also have been well advised to note the MPAA rating ("Rated R for sustained strong stylized violence, nudity and sexual content including dialogue"). This week's contribution to "Ebert's Little Movie Glossary": LAW OF ASYNCHRONOUS SLEEP. If two people are sleeping in the same bed, they will never arise at the same time. Instead, we will see (a) Person A getting up and leaving while Person B is still asleep; (b) Person B waking up to see Person A finishing getting dressed (if Person A is male, he is guaranteed to be putting on a tie); or (c) Person B waking up to discover that Person A is already long gone (see Futile Hug Syndrome) Adam Fromm, Glens Falls, N.Y. Robert Ebert can be reached via suntimes.comebertemail.html. 'A WONDERFUL NEW FILM!" -David Denby, THE NEW YORKER r r r r . l (HIGHEST RATING) IhJ A GEM!" ML -Jami Bernard. L j NEW YORK DAILY NEWS I I ROBERTS FLORIN CREATIVE I CHATHAM MONTGOMERY 822-1550 ROCKY HILL 924-7444 I I gnemas" PRINCETON GARDEN I I CINEMAS CLEARVIEW CINEMAS I MONTCLAIR RED BANK 777-FILM 574 777-FILM 721 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGEWATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS EDGEWATER 840-0699 AMC CLIFTON COMMONS CLIF0N 614-0644 NATIONAL AMUSEMENTS EDGEWATER MULTIPLEX CINEMAS EDGEWATER 840-0699 LOEWS JERSEV GARDENS 20 ELIZABETH 1-800-FANDANGO 751 LOEWS PLAZA 8 SECAUCUS 1-800-FANDANGO 759 LOEWS RIDGEFIELD PARK RIDGEFIELD PARK 1-800-FANDANGO 757 CINEPLEX ODEON ROUTE 4 TENPLEX PARAMUS 1-800-FANDANGO 756 LOEWS WAYNE WAYNE 1-800-FANDANGO 761 LOEWS PALISADES CENTER WEST NYACK 1-800-FANDANGO 787

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