The Reel Less Traveled – May 2022

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Outside and In, Over and Under, Young and Old

    This month brings with it a reawakening to the possibility of all things as they were with the reintroduction of outdoor movie viewing.
    Well thanks to the Orinda Parks and Recreation Association, the Orinda Community Foundation and the City of Orinda, you will be able to do just that and see a free movie to boot.
    Starting May 20 at the Orinda Community Center Park, with nothing more than lawn chairs, blankets, pillows and food, you will have the opportunity to see one of Pixar’s latest classics, Luca. This is, quite literally, a fish out of water story about friendship, acceptance, perseverance and growing up, with all the hallmarks of a Pixar film: beautifully realized locations including a small Italian seaside village, witty dialogue, music and adventure. Show time begins at dusk.
    On a heavier, more traditional note, there’s the International Film Showcase with its May offering You Will Remember Me. The French/Canadian film follows the journey into old age and deals frankly, but sensitively, with the ravages the years take on the body, but more importantly, the mind.
    It centers on a retired teacher who, after achieving a certain fame in his own right, is surrounded by those who care for him but don’t necessarily know how to care for him – or even if they want to. This struggle is shown from different perspectives, his own wife who finds herself hindered from leading her own life and his granddaughter going through growing pains of her own.
    Many American films have covered this same subject, but this one provides a worldlier take on it. I recommend viewing this film since it may show another, previously unthought-of, way of addressing this devastating problem. It opens May 13. Check in at www.internationalshowcase.org for more information.
    Lastly, we not only have a movie but a whole event! There is a rich history of children’s television programming in America. We have always found new and inventive ways to entertain the younger set, and somewhere right in the middle of that history are the contributions of Sid and Marty Krofft. The Banana Splits, H.R. Pufinstuf, Land of the Lost and Lidsville to name a few, are just some of the shows they have created. Singular and distinctive are words that come to mind in describing their shows, and it was these elements that also made them extremely popular, not only for children but for all age groups.
    On May 21, the Orinda Theatre will present the first ever KrofftKon. Starting at 11 a.m., this all-day event will include guest stars, including Sid and Marty Kroft, Butch Patrick (The Munsters, Lidsville), Johnny Whitaker (Sigmund and the Sea Monster) and many others. Ever since this event was announced, the response has been overwhelming, possibly only rivaled by the California Independent Film Festival. People are coming in from all over, just to bask in the warm memories these shows engender.
    There will also be celebrity Q and As, costume and trivia contests, episodes from shows, capping it all off with a showing of the 1970 film Pufinstuf. Tickets are available but going fast through Eventbright. This is not something you want to miss. For more info, go to www.orindamovies.com.
    See y’all in July, but in the meantime remember always go towards those wonderful images made from light and sound – for that’s where the reel magic lies.

Tom Westlake can be reached at poppinjay@earthlink.net.

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