I’ll just repost the article. No sense in a preamble when the article says it so much better. Wait! Wasn’t this a pramble? Nevermind.
Black Bear Fest welcomes Keir Dullea
By GREG WATRY
MILFORD, Pa. — The lineup for the 15th annual Black Bear Film Festival, which kicks off Friday, Oct. 17 and ends Sunday, Oct. 19, promises to provide attendees with a variety of film choices. From science fiction selections, such as “Under The Skin” starring Scarlett Johansson, to comedy-dramas, such as Jon Favreau’s “Chef,” attendees are sure to find something to satiate their film tastes.
But the festival is also a venue for guest speakers from the film and entertainment world. Both the main stage, and the free Black Bear Film Festival Salon, which will be held Oct. 18 and 19 at the Pike County Public Library, will feature speakers and give attendees a glimpse into the world behind the screen.
Following a showing of the 1965 film “Bunny Lake Is Missing,” at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, an interview will be held with one of the film’s stars Keir Dullea.
Well-known for his role as David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Dullea plays Steven Lake, the uncle of a four-year-old girl who goes missing in the film. With the assistance of Inspector Newhouse, played by Laurence Olivier, the group searches for missing Bunny Lake, whose very existence comes into question.
“You find out that my character is a bit of a nutcase,” Dullea teased when reached by phone on Thursday.
The film was shot in London, a city that Dullea expressed an affinity for. However, filming was a different story.
“It was one of the worst experiences I ever had with a director,” Dullea said of working with Otto Preminger. “He loved to scream at people and humiliate them.”
On a day off from shooting, Dullea went to a funfair close to the River Thames. He decided to get his palm read. The palm reader asked if Dullea was an engineer or a mathematician because he saw a rocket ship in his future.
About a week later Dullea’s wife told him to call his agent, who had some big news. He’d just been offered the lead in Kubrick’s newest film.
At the time, “I was a Kubrick fan,” Dullea said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
He described Kubrick as the quiet type, who never raised his voice. “When you were around Kubrick, you knew you were in the presence of genius,” he said. “It was magical.”
While he doesn’t consider 2001 the peak of his career, Dullea said, “I’m an important cog in a beautiful piece of machinery.”
He still attends many events focused on the film. In November, Dullea will travel to Toronto for a special showing of the film by the Toronto International Film Festival. On Nov. 28, the British Film Institute will re-release the picture nationwide, and Dullea is traveling to London for the event. “It seems to have a never-ending life,” Dullea said of the film many people call a masterpiece.
Dullea first became interested in acting as a young boy. Stricken with rheumatic fever, he couldn’t participate in sports. Instead, he focused inwards.
Acting “gave me the opportunity to escape from myself into various roles,” he said. Eventually, he began to appreciate acting as an art form.
He pursued roles while he attended the George School, a boarding school in Bucks County, Pa.
“The human persona is like a rainbow,” Dullea said. Acting gives you “the opportunity to explore a different color than you usually have.”
Eventually, Dullea hitchhiked from the East Coast to San Francisco, where he worked as a carpenter while attending San Francisco State College. A visit from his parents prompted Dullea to consider pursuing his passion of acting, which they supported. He moved to New York City where he was told the best acting teachers were. His lead role in the 1962 film “David and Lisa” launched his career, Dullea contends.
This isn’t Dullea’s first time attending the Black Bear Film Festival. Last year he attended the event because he was in the film “Isn’t It Delicious,” which was part of the festival’s lineup.
“We enjoyed the people very much at this particular film festival,” he said.
“Out of the blue, they invited me back this year,” Dullea said. “It’s kind of like coming back to a familiar place.”
Jerry Beaver, founder of the festival and part-time Milford area resident, can’t help but wonder at the growth of his festival as it hits a milestone 15th year.
“It’s quite amazing that in a small town things last more than one or two years,” Beaver said during a recent press event to announce this year’s films. “In my mind, the Black Bear Film Festival is now a regional film festival. It’s not a local film festival, because the people coming from 100 miles away spend the weekend here. They’re staying in hotels, or bed and breakfasts; they are eating in the restaurants.”
The Black Bear Film Festival kicks off on Friday night with a gala at 6 p.m., at St. Patrick’s Church in Milford, Pa. The film “Chef” will be shown at 8 p.m.
Main stage films will be shown at the Milford Theatre, located on Catharine Street.
A complete schedule for the film festival can be found at www.BlackBearFilm.com. Tickets can also be bought on the website. Individual film tickets cost $10. A gold pass costs $150.
“There is a lot to be said about this being our 15th year,” Beaver said in a statement. “We are fortunate enough to be able to continue to celebrate the art of independent film — from the writers and actors to directors and the producers — and this year we really wanted the films to be special. We truly hope that festival-goers enjoy this year’s festival as much as we have had putting it together.”