HOLLYWOOD—Over 200 art house movie theaters across the country protested President Donald Trump by screening the 80s version of the film “1984,” on April 4. The significance of that day, April 1984 revolved around Winston Smith, the protagonist in George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984” began writing in his forbidden diary. The novel begins with the sentence: It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13.
English author Orwell’s work is known for his lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism. His work continues to influence popular and political culture. In the film, Smith is played by John Hurt. The film also stars Richard Burton, in one of his final roles. Orwell’s portrait of the government that manufactures their own facts, demands total obedience, and demonizes foreign enemies. The novel hit No. 6 on Amazon’s best-seller list in late January after Kelly Anne Conway defended press secretary Sean Spicer’s claims about the size of President Trump’s inauguration crowd. Conway called Spicer’s statements “alternative facts” a phrase eerily similar to plot points in “1984.”
Filmmaker Roman Polanski has failed to win assurances from a U.S. court that he will not face prison over a decades-old case involving relations with a minor. A judge rejected a motion by Polanski’s lawyers who said he was willing to return to the United States, if he was assured he would not serve more time in jail.
Polanski, 83, fled the U.S. from sentencing in 1978 after admitting to having sex with girl who was 13. A document was released on April 3 from Los Angeles Superior Court, where the defendant’s motions and corresponding requests were denied. Now for the interesting disclosure, later this month a hearing will take place in Los Angeles regarding a controversial piece of testimony which the award-winning director and his legal team are seeking to have unsealed.
It consists of testimony by the original prosecutor in the case and is thought to contain allegations of misconduct by the trial judge. Authorities in the U.S. have tried for years to extradite the Oscar-winning director. Truth be told, Polanski is a brilliant director, best known for the films “Chinatown,” “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Pianist.” Polanski lives in France and has French and Polish citizenship. In December, 2016, Poland’s Supreme Court rejected a request to have him extradited, while Swiss authorities turned down a U.S. extradition warrant in 2010 after placing Polanski under house arrest for nine months.
What a milestone for the San Francisco Film Festival, it’s turning 60. The 60th San Francisco International Film Festival runs through April 5 through April 19. Actor/filmmaker Ethan Hawke is slated to attend after the April 8 screening of “Maudie.” Screenwriter, novelist and director John Ridley after the April 12 showing of the first episode from his Showtime series “Guerilla.” Influential producer and filmmaker James Ivory at the April 14 screening of his 1987 drama “Maurice.” “The King of Bollywood” shah Rukh Khan at the April 14 screening of “My Name is Khan.”
Rose’s Scoop: The Tribeca Film Festival which was founded by Jane Rosenthal, Robert De Niro and Craig Hatkoff, in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. The festival runs from April 19 thru April 30.