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Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel

 

 

 

We recently attended the annual Hampton International Film Festival (HIFF), which is a five-day event of films and special programs. With more than one hundred-fifty films and shorts to pick from, it’s difficult to pick which films to see.

On opening night we saw a fabulous film, Itzhak, a documentary about famed violinist Itzhak Perlman. The life story of this “greatest living violinist” captures the audience from its start, and high praise is deserved for director/producer Alison Chernick for this accomplishment. The story is told with vintage photographs, film clips and current interviews of Mr. Perlman and his wife Toby in their New York City apartment. Toby is also an accomplished violinist, and they met when both attended violin camp as teens one summer.

Itzhak was born in Tel Aviv to parents who were natives of Poland. The family moved to the United States when he was a boy of only ten so he could study at Julliard. Having contracted polio when he was only three, it was a difficult start that he overcame when his musical genius was recognized. Throughout the film, viewers saw and heard the fantastic personality of Itzhak Perlman shine through despite the hardship of his early life and illness.

Some HIFF films go on to be shown in theatres while others might be shown on cable or Netflix. Presented by The American Masters series on PBS TV stations, watch out for broadcast dates for Itzhak, so you don’t miss it!

Another film, Goodbye Christopher Robin, is the life story of author A.A. Milne. This is a sensitive portrayal of the little boy who was the subject in his father’s Winnie the Pooh book series. Milne was inspired to write his stories after seeing his only child playing with his stuffed animals. One might think this film is how whimsical and happy Christopher’s life must have been during the years this book series started and hit peek popularity; however, viewers are quickly immersed in Christopher’s life and come to see that the fame was not something we’d come to envy.

Newcomer Will Tilson (Christopher Robin) is absolutely adorable, and his dimpled smile melts your heart. The strong performances by Domhall Gleeson as A.A. Milne and Margot Robbie as Christopher’s mother complete this sensitive, enchanting and touching story. You will never look at storybook characters and the fame it brought its authors the same way again.

Read about other films in this year’s HIFF festival that might be in theaters soon. http://hamptonsfilmfest.org

 

November 8, 2017 |

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