3×5 Classic Film Fest

When developing plans for the inaugural 3×5 Classic Film Festival, sponsored by Brumos, David Luckin approached the process to select a truly great film.

By limiting the workshops, panels and other extraneous activities that often detract from the films at similar events, Luckin wants the films to have the space to speak for themselves. “We hope people appreciate the simplicity of it. We didn’t want the films to get lost,” Luckin says. “We want to bring art to the community, so I wanted to pick five films that were really at the top of the heap. These films are regarded as some of the best in history.”

This 3×5 Classic Film Festival presents five classic films from March 28-30 at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Luckin says the films were selected to represent the best directors, the best actors and the best overall products in a generation of great filmmaking. The event kicks off with an Opening Night Reception at 6 pm, Friday, March 28, followed by an 8 pm screening of the 1941 classic, Citizen Kane, directed, co-written, produced by, and starring Orson Welles. “Citizen Kane is arguably the best film in every poll,” Luckin says.

On Saturday, families and fans of the musical fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, are encouraged to participate in a costume contest for best character and other activities leading up to the showing of the 1939 film, based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, a precise musical score and unusual characters, over the years it has become one of the best known of all films and part of American popular culture.

“A lot of people, especially kids, have never seen this on a big screen. You are able to see all of the things that get cut off when its modified for TV,” Luckin says. “The first time I saw it on a big screen, I was just looking at the edges. It gives it such a different feel when you see it exactly the way it was shot.”

Saturday’s day-long event continues with back-to-back showings of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington at 5 pm. Luckin says it is an important film, particularly when introduced by Al Letson and given our current political divisions, because it shows how things “haven’t really changed. It’s man against the system.”

The evening rolls on with an 8 pm showing of The Big Sleep, starring Humphrey Bogart as detective Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge, the mysterious female lead in a story about the “process of a criminal investigation, not its results.” In 1997, the film was also recognized by the U.S. Library of Congress as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” film and added to the National Film Registry. “You can’t have a classic film festival without Bogart,” Luckin says.

The festival closes Sunday, March 30, with a 2 pm screening of Notorious, a 1946 American thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The film stars Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and Claude Rains as three people whose lives become intimately entangled during an espionage operation.

Tickets are available for $7.50 per film or $25 for all five films at www.pvconcerthall.org. An event page is also available on Facebook, and the poster art for each film will be presented at Lillie’s in Neptune Beach prior to the commencement of the festival. All festival proceeds benefit WJCT.

About Liza Mitchell