A wide-screen 35 mm matinee of “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” featuring the late David Bowie, is among the offerings at the James River Film Festival. (Photo courtesy James River Film Festival)
The James River Film Festival’s 23rd year begins April 7 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' Leslie Cheek Theater with "The Very Best of Rural Route Films, 2011-2015," a showcase of short films shot on all seven continents in narrative, experimental and documentary forms (6:30 to 9 p.m., $8.)
Additional offerings during four days at varying locations, some free and others ticketed, include a wide-screen 35 mm matinee of “The Man Who Fell To Earth,” featuring the late David Bowie; an evening of regionally produced “Microcosmic Shorts” with five-minute-or-less films made regionally and organized by Laura McCann; a 30th anniversary screening of the documentary “Heavy Metal Parking Lot," accompanied by director John Heyn and film subject/author Jalyn Graham Owens; and Orson Welles’ 1946 film noir "The Stranger," about a Nazi war criminal tracked down to a New England town, playing at the Richmond Public Library. “Even Welles downplayed the film, but it’s just as good as the ones everybody knows,” says Mike Jones, the festival's director.
Musician Marc Ribot — last seen here playing alongside a Charlie Chaplin film — will accompany Jennifer Reeves’ “Shadows Choose Their Horrors.” All this and experimental musician Laurie Anderson’s "Heart of a Dog," the documentary "Industrial Soundtrack for Urban Decay" about the “noise” movement that features Throbbing Gristle, a group renowned in that genre; comedian Steven Wright’s "One Soldier" short about a traumatized Civil War veteran; and Richmonder JJ McMoon’s thriller spoof "Run," whose protagonist cannot stop running or she will explode. (See McMoon talking about the film in the video below). Many Richmond locales provide the backdrop. 355-6537 or jamesriverfilm.org.