Penn's Pix For Flix
Money. Dough. Clams. Cannolis. Bank. Coin. All this and more. People say money can't buy happiness and the Beatles say it can't buy love. There is, however, an old line about how it can buy you chocolate, and that’s a start.
The best movie about money is either Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Town or any one of the good mob movies including Scarface, Goodfellas and Heat. Their message is always one and the same: "quit while you're ahead.” It's okay to want but apparently it's the ‘just a little more’ that gets us every time.
Theodore Roosevelt — Teddy, to his friends — is credited with the great line that "comparison is the thief of joy.” Probably true. I've always been quick to observe that whoever you are, there will always be people who are worse off than you and there will always be people better off. With that in mind, I feel like the commentary that pervades the movie business is so entirely based on "comparison" that we lose sight of the story, the art, the escape.
This fall will see the release of the IT sequel, titled, wait for it... "IT 2.” It will also see the release of The Joker and Will Smith in Gemini Man. I can hear the headlines now... comparing IT 2 to the original. The Joker to the legendary Heath Ledger performance and how Will Smith's latest title stacks up against his previous box office grosses. (Pro tip: if you love Will Smith, the movie you should go see is Spies in Disguise. It's a kids movie but is gonna be so fun.) The articles will include how much money each of these titles rakes in, and what they take to put out.
But in the case of movies, maybe money is a fair measure. After all, it is the result of how many people go and see it. How many people are compelled by the story and heart of a given picture to check it out. That's what drives the box office and what underlies the never-ending comparison. That's fair.
But there's another world playing out at the exact same time, which is the world of independent film. Of so-called “smaller pictures.” Beautiful works of art that have just not gone after the budget and scope of the blockbusters but their stories are no less compelling. These pictures are coming to Lancaster thanks to the Red Rose Film Festival, which plays out in downtown Lancaster the first weekend of November. That's what I'm excited about. Don't get me wrong, I have Episode IX circled on my calendar for December, but the Film Festival will bring to light a whole slate of titles that might not otherwise find a local audience. They'll come and tell their stories, share their visions and open up their hearts. Yeah, there will be a winner. What do they win? Money. Ironic? Maybe. But in the end, we all gotta eat.
By: Penn Ketchum
Vist Penn Cinema at 541 Airport Road, Lititz, PA. 17543