The Williamstown Film Festival begins today!  Lots of interesting events in the line-up, but this one stands out for me:

WFF returns to MASS MoCA on Friday night, October 30th with La Nave de Los Monstruos (The Ship of Monsters), a Mexican sci-fi musical in which Venusian women land on Earth in search of men. Ethel, America’s leading rock-infused string quartet, accompanies the film with a live original score. In honor of Halloween, a costume contest will precede the film.

[By the way, women of Venus, I live in Washington D.C., and I’m ready to be your intergalactic love slave … oh, and how much must it suck to be in American’s second-leading rock infused string-quartet … “oh, you rock the strings?  Sweet, you must be in ‘Ethel'” … “ummm, well, actually …” — awkward!]

Other events of note: Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man, etc.) speaking at The Clark, and a lunch seminar with James Ivory at The Orchards (and really, could an event featuring Victorian-period-drama-maven Ivory be held anywhere else in Williamstown; if tea and crumpets aren’t on the menu, it will be criminal).

Kudos to Steve Lawson ’71 for making this happen …

Speaking of Williams and film, does any college without a film program have a group of alumni directors that can rival this group of Ephs: Elia Kazan, John Frankenheimer, John Sayles?  I’d be surprised … (and how sweet is Sayles’ webpage?!).  Browsing Sayles’ prolific IMDB page, I was pleased to discover that he wrote Battle Beyond the Stars, an especially corny entry in the-post Star Wars explosion of low budget underdog sci-fi movies, and one I watched at least 25 times before I turned 10.  Space Cowboy, anyone?  Anyone?

In other film news, notable Eph actors Monique Curnen ’92 (starring in Legacy opposite Stringer Bell, err, Idris Elba), Lee Hom Wang ’98 (featured in Jackie Chan’s upcoming Chinese-language war movie) and David Straitharn ’70 (too many wicked-cool sounding films to fully list — can you find the connection to Amherst in one of them — but Howl, The Tempest, Odysseus in America, and Challenger all figure to be high-profile releases) all have intriguing projects on the horizon … I am particularly looking forward to Challenger.  Ask anyone in my generation the first news event that they clearly recall, and eight out of ten will list the Challenger disaster.

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