Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story and Diminished Capacity

Last year, I only got to watch one film in the festival, Snow Angels starring Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman (it wasn't all THAT good.) This year, I've made a more concentrated effort to see and do things during the festival. It's been far more difficult since we're going to have a major inspection at our theatre, but with a festival day off coinciding with a booth day off, I found myself with a whole day in which I could watch movies, if any caught my eye.
First, however, I had to deal with a red, swollen, painful right shin. Yep, on my day off, I spent half of it either at Sarasota Memorial's Walk In Clinic on University or at Sarasota Memorial itself as I received my first ever Ultrasound. This was of my leg to rule out blood clots. I also received my first shot in ten years: an antibiotic / lidocaine cocktail (the lidocaine was because the antibiotic apparently causes a lot of pain upon injection. Go figure.) The ultrasound was painful, too, but also really cool. I got to see what this skin holds in!
I have cellulitis, which is an infection of the skin and the tissue underneath. It could have been caused by anything. Since we're kicking up so much dust and crap in the booth in preparation for this inspection, I could have scratched my shin with unknowingly dirty nails, or bumped it, or scraped or cut myself shaving and gotten it that way. There's no visible point of entry. It's uncomfortable and I'm certainly feeling more pain now than before I got the shot, but at least with that, and the antibiotics I'll be picking up tomorrow, it'll get better soon.
Anyway, I was determined to see some movies at the festival, darn it and so I went in.
Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story is about producer / director William Castle, the man behind the original versions of The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, and The House on Haunted Hill and dozens of other B-grade horror films from the fifties and sixties. His biggest film was Rosemary's Baby (he produced it.)
It was a very sweet, nostalgic documentary and a lot of fun to watch, especially if you've seen and liked the films he made or are into film history in general. Dark Castle (the production house set up specifically to remake his films and make a few originals) is NOT discussed. Just for your information...
Afterwards, I watched Diminished Capacity which stars Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, and Virginia Madsen. Broderick plays a man suffering from memory problems after receiving a "grade 3" concussion (I don't know what that means beyond 'a very bad thing for your brain') who is asked by his mother to convince his uncle, played wonderfully by Alan Alda, to check into an assisted living home. Alda instead convinces Broderick to take him to Chicago to sell an extremely rare baseball card. He agrees when he realizes that the high school crush (Virginia Madsen, and thank you for coming back to the silver screen, Ms. Madsen) for whom he still carries a torch is now single and wants to go to the Windy City to try and sell a painting of hers to a restaurant chain. Hilarity and poignancy ensue.
Oh! And fish write poetry.
This was a great film. Very funny and heartwarming with brilliant performances from everyone involved (and omigod yay Bobby Cannavale!) I highly recommend it.
I have a feeling this is the extent of the movie watching I'll be doing this year, but since I saw one more than last year, maybe that means I'll be able to see three movies next year!

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