Film Festival

​Opening Night Gala 2016

Chad W. Lutz
​            It’s the kind of thing that never gets old and always looks good on a city. I’m talking, of course, about a party, and what better reason to throw a soirée the size and scope of the Cleveland International Film Festival Opening Night Gala than for the sake of cinema itself. Movies have been bringing people together since their early invention, and while last night’s Good Ol’ Boy was hardly what 19th French inventors imagined for their hard-labored creations, it was no less monumental, even if that was only the wine talking.
            The theme for last night’s event was 1970’s chic, in honor of the time period in which the movie was set. The film is about a young Indian boy precariously named Smith and his immigrant family adapting to the lifestyle changes between their home country and Oklahoma. And, no, I didn’t mean to type Indiana. Smith falls in love with Amy, the girl-next-door, who has domestic issues of her own in a drunk father and an image-consumed mother. Anjul Nigam, who played the father in the film, said the loss of innocence experienced nationwide during the 70s as a collective consciousness was a perfect mirror for the loss of innocence taking place in the main characters.
According to the actor, the script was actually written by a Caucasian who grew up in a neighborhood where there was an immigrant Indian family. It was a fresh take on an old cinematic archetype, and the use of foreign perspective kept this film engaging (How Doing!) and hilarious right to the warm, bubbly ending.
Would you like to come over for a metal grilling contest?
            The only problem I had with the entire evening was the lack of enthusiasm from the crowds. You’d think inviting a large group of upper crust to a post-viewing bash with it clearly stated in the invite food and adult beverages were going to be provided would have cracked at least one or two of even the crustiest personalities, but, I suppose it’s hard living up to the wild imagination of a writer from Stow and the enigmatic energy of his date draped in authentic 1970s apparel consistently giving the least amount of fucks in the room.
            But, I digress.
Good Ol’ Boy is slotted for a September 2016 nationwide release, which was announced by the director, Frank Lotito, just before the projector flickered. If you have the chance to see the movie, do it. The outfits are amazing, the one-liners are inerasable, and the heart that went into the production (it took fifteen years to complete) is immeasurable.
No sympathy for the self-conscious…