Chesapeake Country’s Cameo

By Kathy Knotts, CBM Bay Weekly managing editor

Sometimes I feel torn by my feelings toward the world of entertainment. Very often it feels shallow or hollow. A bad impulsive reaction was the bigger news item after the Oscars—not so much the work of creative and dedicated artists who were being honored for their craft.

I tend to have mixed feelings about movies, mostly about what role films play in our society. Are they just distractions from more important things or are they valid means of expression?

But then I remember the movies that touched me in an impactful way and I reconsider my feelings towards the medium. From childhood favorites like The Goonies or The Princess Bride to more serious themes seen in Schindler’s ListGone With the Wind, or Casablanca, sometimes the finished product lingers in my mind long after the credits. (A confession I recently had to make to my high school senior who is taking two film classes this year: I have never seen The Godfather. I intend to honor its 50th birthday by watching it this weekend, in between basketball games.)

Do you think of movies as something we consume, a product? It is something that is made and created for us to spend time with, share space with, have a reaction to. Or do you just enjoy it for what it is? A form of expression from a visual storyteller who wants to entertain, educate or inform the masses? Does the creator’s intention have an impact on how you feel about a film?

You have the chance to question filmmakers yourself when our own Chesapeake version of Cannes comes to Annapolis this weekend in the 10th annual Annapolis Film Festival. Writer Chelsea Harrison shares with us how the festival began and the best way to experience it. Plus, our very own Moviegoer, Diana Beechener, gives you her top picks from the lineup.

Admittedly, Diana’s movie reviews are one of my favorite parts of Bay Weekly. While she generally likes more horror than I could ever handle, her take on a film is usually pretty spot-on. 

Considering one of my favorite movies is Sleepless in Seattle, you can see how we diverge!

The festival begins with a movie about author Roald Dahl, the creator of Willy Wonka, and one of my childhood fantasies—a trip through an edible candy factory. The magic of film took many of my favorite books—as a child and as an adult—and brought them to life for me. A great movie has a power similar to a great book—a journey I can get lost in or learn from or both.

If you head out to the Annapolis Film Festival this weekend, take a moment to appreciate the work that went into the films and the event. I look forward to hearing what your favorite film was.

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