Even if you plan your attendance at the Florida Film Festival with military precision, there's always that one special movie that seems destined to escape your grasp. You've been hearing about it for weeks, your friends all have tickets to see it, but try as you might, you just can't fit it into your schedule. It must be a conspiracy.
Don't call Oliver Stone just yet. As the festival draws to a close on Sunday, June 20, last-minute selections have been added to that day's schedule in order to recap some of the elusive gems. The 4:30 p.m. screening of The Red Violin at General Cinemas Colonial Promenade placates the estimated "40 to 50 people" who were turned away when the musical history lesson played to a sold-out crowd last Saturday, reports Richard J. Grula, the festival's director of media and marketing.
Other Sunday pick-ups include the excellent Japanese drama After Life (7 p.m. at Colonial) and the blues bio Hellhounds on My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson (11:30 a.m. at Enzian Theater) -- both of which had previously been relegated to single showings. The all-or-nothing quandary is one the festival is intent on minimizing this year, Grula says. After its final day has come and gone, only a tiny percentage of the event's more than 100 featured films will have been exposed to the light of a projector only once.
Two remaining entries on Sunday's slate, however, are designed to capitalize on popularity instead of scarcity. After drawing strong notices from the film-history buffs who make up a big chunk of the festival's audience, Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood is getting a third-time's-the-charm run-through (2 p.m. at Colonial).
The festival closes with a reprise of Shorts Program 4: Monsters and Angels (9:15 p.m. at Colonial), a medley that features a few of the week's more popular short-form works. Highlights include "The Meeting," a winning jab at corporate absurdity, as well as "Peep Show," the satirical view of women's passions that has already made actress Jane Leyden one of the FFF's talked-about breakout stars.
Taking chances is what the Florida Film Festival is all about, but the closing day's carefully assembled compendium allows you extra time to weigh all your options. As noted movie hound Madonna once remarked, more is better than nothing, but nothing's better than more.