MFF: Top picks for the second weekend
We covered a lot of films and events this week, but there are so many worthwhile events to catch. Some things are already sold out — but you can always try the standby line. Here are a few more possibilities to consider. And you can always just show up at a venue and see what’s on, too. Saturday, May 5 is a big day at the festival: every venue has many things going on. Sunday’s busy too. Get ready for a blue Monday. For full calendar to to montclairfilm.org.
1. Screenwriting master class, Richard Wesley
Montclairite Richard Wesley is an associate professor in playwriting and screenwriting at NYU, a Drama Desk and Audelco Award winner. His screenplays include “The Mighty Gents” (1978) and “Native Son” (1984), among others. A rare opportunity to learn from an expert.
Saturday, May 5, 2 p.m., Presentation Hall, MSU, 1 Normal Ave.
2. Conversation with Jeff Daniels
The actor, musician and playwright is known for his roles in “Terms of Endearment” (1983),
“The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985) and in HBOS’s “The Newsroom” (2012-2014), among others. Most recently, he appeared in Hulu’s 10-episode series “The Looming Tower,” which debuted in 2018. He has been cast as Atticus Finch in Aaron Sorkin’s Broadway-bound adaptation of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Moderated by Stephen Colbert.
Saturday, May 5, 5 p.m., Buzz Aldrin Middle School, 173 Bellevue Ave.
3. “First Reformed”
This film directed by Paul Schrader (“Taxi Driver”) stars Ethan Hawke as Toller, a priest grappling with dwindling attendance, and the politics of his church’s leadership. Then a parishioner’s confession changes his life.
Saturday, May 5, 5 p.m., Clairidge 2, 486 Bloomfield Ave.
Sunday, May 6, 6:30 p.m., Clairidge 2
4. “The Rachel Divide”
This documentary about Rachel Dolezal, who was president of the Spokane chapter of the
NAACP and professor of African Studies before she was revealed in 2015 as not an African American, looks at the idea of “transracial,” racial appropriation, and entitlement. Promises to be fascinating. Q&A with director Laura Brownson, DP Jerry Henry and editor Jeff Gilbert to follow.
Saturday, May 5, 5:15 p.m., Clairidge 1
5. “The Gospel According to André”
A documentary about André Leon Talley, raised in the segregated Jim Crow South, who went on to become a tastemaker at Women’s Wear Daily, W, and Vogue. Q&A with André Leon Talley, Kate Novack, and Andrew Rossi follows. Documentary Centerpiece.
Saturday, May 5, 8 p.m. The Wellmont Theater, 5 Seymour St.
6. “Never Goin’ Back”
Two teenagers tired of their waitressing jobs want to run away — and nothing goes as planned. MFF describes this as “a new kind of buddy comedy.” In the Future/Now competition.
Saturday, May 5, 8 p.m., Clairidge 1
Sunday, May 6, 8:30 p.m., Clairidge 2
7. Conversation with Ethan Hawke
Thirty years ago, he starred in “Dead Poets Society.” Today, he acts and also works as a novelist, screenwriter and director. He co-wrote and appeared in the movies “Before Sunrise, Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight” and received Academy award nominations for both scripts. His films “Blaze” and “First Reformed” are both in MFF. Moderated by Stephen Colbert.
Sunday, May 6, 1 p.m., Buzz Aldrin Middle School
Directed and produced by Ethan Hawke, the film fictionalizes a portrait of the real-life songwriter Blaze Foley, part of the Outlaw Music movement in Texas. Q&A with director Ethan Hawke and producer Ryan Hawke to follow.
Sunday, May 6, 6:45 p.m., MKA upper school, 6 Lloyd Road