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North Country News

Lake Placid Film Forum Brings Filmmakers and Films To Olympic Village

The 15th Lake Placid Film Forum is being held this week.  After a few years of struggling, the event has regained its footing and is bringing notable films and filmmakers to the Olympic village.
The Adirondack Film Society, which organizes the Lake Placid Film Forum, is bringing classic and emerging films, documentaries and Canadian movies to the Adirondack village this week.  Among the highlights are screenings of Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid” with live piano accompaniment, Orson Welles’ “The Third Man,” a Canadian double-feature, a film-student showcase, and panel discussions featuring the filmmakers.

Adirondack Film Society Vice Chair Nelson Page says the secret to the forum is in its name.   “We don't use the word festival in our title, that's why we have forum: a free and open exchange of ideas. In the beginning we tried to make this a national event. And then as time went on we realized that it's a regional event. And by keeping in mind that this is a regional event it helps us focus more on the films that we think the people in the area want to see, the topics that folks might be very interested in addressing and films that address those issues. It’s about sports and about nature and about the High Peaks. So a lot of those titles that we have will certainly appeal to that audience.”

Among the films being screened is “The Last Gold,“ a documentary about the 1976 U.S. Olympic swim team.  They competed against East German athletes who had been subjected to massive doping.  Director Brian Brown will be at the forum for its East Coast premiere.  “All of us who’ve worked on the film want to spread the story.  This story is the second draft of history of a conspiracy hiding in plain sight. And the relevance of the film has been magnified by the Russian doping scandal. So it's a cautionary tale. It's a tale of tragedy but also a tale of triumph. You know after all of us have worked very, very hard for two years on this production you're proud of it and you want people to see it.”

Forum organizer Nelson Page notes that there is no theme to the Film Forum.   “What we look for is the greatest variety of films that we can possibly find. And sometimes those films find us. This year in particular I think these choices will certainly resonate with the audience. People love to see the film and then after the film the Q and A that we usually follow with some of the larger presentations. They get a chance to see and hear the filmmaker and it's interesting to hear some of the filmmakers.”

A highlight of the festival is Saturday evening’s showing of “Robert Klein Still Can’t Stop His Leg.” The film looks at the comedian’s career with clips of past and current performances and features famous comedians talking about how Klein influenced their careers.  Klein, himself,  is enthusiastic about the film.   “This movie, Marshal Fine who is a film critic for many years, it seems that many of the big successful comedians have named me as a primary influence. Seinfeld and Leno and Jon Stewart and a long list. And when he actually went and did this he got these very heartfelt statements. It really was very moving. He cherrypicked some of my very best work along with these comments and there is footage of me that's current in performance which is also a nice touch. That's how the movie was conceived by Marshall and I think he and Brennan Vance did a fabulous job putting it together.”

The Lake Placid Film Forum runs through Sunday June 12th.
 

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