Patti Smith in Dream of Life; Skeeter and Dr. Gruesome, horror hosts from Virginia Creepers Photos courtesy JRFF
An intriguing assortment of new, classic and experimental moving-image presentations is on the program of the 17th James River Film Festival, reeling in Richmond from March 19 to 25.
Guests include the critic/teacher/writer/experimental-film champion Scott MacDonald, a Bard College-based film professor who first came to the JRFF in 1995. Celia Maysles presents Wild Blue Yonder about her father, the late David Maysles, who died when she was young. Maysles and his brother Alfred (a past JRFF guest), transformed the documentary genre with such films as Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter and Salesman. Also showing: Dream of Life, a documentary by Stephen Sebring about avant-rocker Patti Smith, and Unlikely Weapon: Eddie Adams, Cindy Lou Adkins' acclaimed documentary about her brother-in-law, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer. Adams took the iconic — and often misunderstood — image of South Vietnamese General Nguyen Ngoc Loan's execution of a captive Viet Cong assassin-squad leader.
Virginia Creepers, by Sean Cotz and Chris Valluzzo, celebrates the Old Dominion's television horror-movie hosts, including Richmond's The Bowman Body, as well as Dr. Gruesome and Skeeter. These masters of the macabre may be in attendance at the Byrd Theatre screening. Also at the Byrd, Richmond's Hotel X will provide soundtracks for several silent films.
Works by JRFF's juried short-film competition finalists will also be screened, with awards up to $2,000 in cash and prizes. JRFF's venues include the Byrd, Firehouse and Grace Street theaters, and Plant Zero. For more information, call 355-6537 or visit rmicweb.org.