Okay, this one is for all you old-school downtown San Jose movie fans--the Camera 3 is coming back!!!
For those who don't know what that means, the Camera Cinemas used to own a 3 screen and 1 screen theater downtown. Cinequest started in Camera 3. A few years back they bought out the 12 screen theater across the street (I think it used to be UA, and then was empty for a while). Then they closed the Camera One and Camera 3, since the Camera 12 was enough (they also have the Camera 7 in Campbell, and the Los Gatos theater, which as I recall is 3 screens). The Camera One has become an art gallery, but the Camera 3 was empty for years (except for an improv comedy troupe called ComedySportz that played there, I've never seen them).
For those who know what that means but don't understand why I'm excited--this means the cafe in the Camera 3 is reopening, too! Have a nice sandwich and sit and chat with other film fans before, after, or between movies. It was a great social spot of Cinequest and film fans all year round, and it's coming back!
For those who know, understand why I'm excited, but don't really care themselves...screw you!
Anyway, last Thursday was their "soft launch" and the kickoff to Cinequest's year-round "More Than a Movie" program. They're playing art house and festival films for one week runs throughout the year. The opening program was "Flourish", a humorous mystery-drama by Kevin Palys, and starring Leighton Meester and a lot of other fine actors, but Leighton Meester was there for the screening. Opening night of each run has some special event, and this time it was snacks and an interview with Kevin Palys and Leighton Meester.
As I said, it's a mystery-drama-comedy. To make it more mysterious, dramatic, and comedic, it's told after the fact by a woman in a psychiatric ward. That woman is Gabby Winters, she is a proof-reader, tutor, and for just one night, a baby-sitter. The girl she was baby-sitting is actually the 16 year old Lucy (Meester), who ended up dead in a pool by the end of the night. Gabby is telling her story to Dr. Kaufman, because in her words the police report is "boring". And of course you have to realize this through the whole movie--this is a story told by a semi-crazy woman who's more interested in telling a fun story with a big finish than in telling the truth. And the story is interesting, with cheating spouses, stolen cars, girls locked in trunks (more on that later), a brother in the army, and a mysterious envelope--the maguffin of the whole movie. It's wild and fun, and the acting is great. It was shot on video, so the picture isn't that good (it looked kind of dark, which might have been a projection problem), and it felt like the sound levels were off, too. But all in all, it was a fun night.
And here's a picture of Leighton Meester and Kevin Palys, being interviewed just before the screening.