The Oscar-winning five-ringed film "Chariots of Fire" in its 30th anniversary format will premiere worldwide this month at the 11th Annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. Bravo!
The best picture of 1981 is one of dozens of great features heading to the AJFF, which kicked off tonight with a snazzy party at The Fox Theatre and a screening of the new documentary "Jews In Baseball: An American Love Story"
It was cool to connect at the event with the AJFF P.R. team from Manning, Selvage & Lee (thanks for the ticket), 790 The Zone's Steak Shapiro (who introduced the film), and to shake hands with Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank while we briefly waited in line for a plate of delicious catering (BTW, I asked Blank whether he trekked to Dallas for the Super Bowl, and he confirmed that he did go to DFW but came back to Atlanta before the kickoff since "it's hard, you know" to see the game after this season, to which I replied "there's always next year, right?")
Here's a rundown of some of the AJFF selections on my short list to attend:
- "The 'Socalled' Movie" featuring the Canadian performance artist
- "Little Rose" which appears to be a thriller spy flick
- "Vidal Sassoon The Movie" documenting the man behind the brand
- "Winston Churchill: Walking With Destiny" looking at pre-war England
- "An American Synagogue" checking out Frank Lloyd Wright's design built in Philadelphia
- "Tell Them Anything You Want" portrait of Maurice Sendak
- "Louder Than A Bomb" looking at a Chicago poetry slam
And of course, I intend to screen "Chariots of Fire," which will include a possible Q&A opportunity with Director Hugh Hudson (I'll post video or Q&A if this happens -- fingers crossed).The AJFF also features dozens of other films. For baseball fans, "Jews In Baseball" is excellent, featuring a frank and often humorous look at Jewish ballplayers through history, including Barney Pelty of the St. Louis Browns (the first Jewish player on a baseball card), Moe Solomon, Hank Greenberg, Sandy Koufax, several owners or managers, the composer of "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" (also Jewish) and narration by Dustin Hoffman.
There are several great lines in the film, and my favorite arrived early in the feature. Paraphrasing, baseball was referenced in the Old Testament, in fact, in the opening line of the Bible, which states, "In the Big Inning ..."
Logo via AJFF