We’re glad that the Lake Placid Film Forum seems to be getting some of its old form back. Landing director Jonathan Demme, who will bring with him a new documentary about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is a big deal, and probably a big draw for moviegoers.
It’s also important for the “forum” aspect of the Film Forum to have great novelists back on the bill, especially ones with movies made from their books — and even more especially ones like William Kennedy and Richard Russo who specialize in the ragged glory of the Northeast’s small towns and rust-belt cities. The craft of storytelling has been a central theme of the Film Forum since its launch in 2000, and the continued involvement of New York Author Laureate and Keene Valley resident Russell Banks, who helped found the Forum, keeps it focused on its strengths.
Mr. Banks, by the way, will interview Mr. Demme on stage after the screening of Mr. Demme’s “New Home Movies From the Lower 9th Ward” on Friday, June 13 at the Palace Theatre. The documentary consists of a series of “portraits” of New Orleans residents as they struggle to rebuild their lives and their neighborhoods after Hurricane Katrina.
“This is an extremely personal project,” Mr. Demme has said. “We started filming four months after the floods. I felt drawn, as an American filmmaker, to contribute somehow to the audio-visual record of what these people were going through in their heroic efforts to jump start their lives in face of this epic, tragic event.”
This film sounds fascinating as well as important on a national scale, and we’re eager to see it. We encourage others to do so, too.
We’re also pleased to see that the “Sleepless in Lake Placid” 24-hour filmmaking competition will return to the Film Forum. It’s a fun break from the heady, indoor discussions to see young talent doing it out in the streets.